London School of Economics

A Question of Life and Death
June 15, 2010

Are the basic premises of our current policy in Afghanistan fatally flawed? The fact that I feel compelled to pose this question so soon after the completion of President Obama’s painstaking review reflects the mounting evidence that the results of that policy have fallen far short of expectations. Let’s begin at the beginning, with Marja. The holy trinity of modern counterinsurgency is clear, hold, and build. Coalition forces are stalled at step one.

Mick Jagger's Plundered Soul
May 28, 2010

Mick Jagger studied finance at the London School of Economics, not law. So it is perhaps understandable that his most recent initiative—one offered up to the world as a new single, music video, and album bonus track—makes splendid economic sense while teetering treacherously close to fraud. Jagger, as de facto COO of the multinational conglomerate that is the Rolling Stones, recently oversaw a lavish and suitably well hyped reissue of Exile on Main Street, the 1972 album that Stones connoisseurs regard, with ample reason, as a rock masterpiece.

The TNR Reader’s Guide to the British Elections
May 04, 2010

Overall Best One-Stop Shop Politics Home. With all the latest polls, headlines, and videos from the campaign trail, PoliticsHome is clearly the best and easiest-to-use election portal. It’s got enough detail to satisfy political junkies and plenty of overview material for novices and newcomers. Runner-up: the BBC. Best Conservative One-Stop Shop Conservative Home.

The First Palinologist?
December 01, 2009

Sarah Palin isn’t the only person cashing in on her ill-fated bid for the vice-presidency. A whole slew of authors, fashion designers, movie producers, pornographers, cartoonists, and opticians are riding the Palin gravy train. So I was not surprised when a press release landed in my inbox plugging what seemed to be the latest category of Palin profiteer: Academics. The University of Alaska Southeast is now touting one of their political science professors, Clive Thomas, as a one-stop Sarah Palin expert.

Notes From The Cuckoo's Nest
September 25, 2009

I don't know how many head-of-state nut cases arrived in New York for the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly. But surely there are many others besides Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Muamar Gaddafi. There is a class of rulers from Africa, for example, who govern recklessly in behalf of themselves but under the cover of one or another form of millenarianism. (The brutal clowns of South America are a bit different. They still believe that Fidel Castro is a model for building the good society.) This is, I suppose, the revenge of ideology over the London School of Economics.

What Would Jesus Drive?
September 22, 2009

This Saturday afternoon, at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, the time for ideological issue training had arrived, and a breakout session on climate change was packed.

Abortion: The Third Rail of Climate Policy?
September 15, 2009

Earlier this week, Thomas Wire of the London School of Economics published a study concluding that improved family planning is one of the most effective methods of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions we’ve got.

Discovery Channel
September 09, 2009

Give the White House credit. Amid signs that the recession is ending, administration officials are resisting what must be an enormous temptation to gloat. “I think we’re certainly on track to, at least, stabilizing the patient,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis during a recent cnbc appearance. But “[t]he patient is still sick.” It’s hardly a triumphalist metaphor. To the extent that there’s a problem, it’s not what the administration is saying so much as what it is assuming: that the business cycle exerts an irresistible gravitational pull—that what goes down must eventually come up.

American Collapse
August 27, 2007

Within fourteen days of each other, two rush-hour calamities: a bridge collapse and a steam-pipe explosion. In Minneapolis, a forty-year-old bridge along highway I-35W suddenly dropped sixty feet into the Mississippi River, killing at least five people and injuring approximately one hundred more. The federal government had deemed the bridge structurally deficient in 1990, which the Minnesota Department of Transportation acknowledged in separate reports issued in 2005, 2006, and 2007, after inspecting the bridge.

Ruble Rousers; The poison-and-caviar world of Russian oligarchs inLondon.
April 02, 2007

Kim Murphy is a London correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. London, England One night last June, 400 A-list guests and several packs of wolvesdescended upon Althorp, the ancestral home of the late PrincessDiana. The guests--who included Orlando Bloom, Elle MacPherson, andSalman Rushdie--had been invited to attend a fund-raiser for theRaisa Gorbachev Foundation, which helps childhood cancer victims inRussia.