April 22, 2011
“I favor integration for integration’s sake,” Bob Herbert wrote in one of his last columns for The New York Times, on what we supposedly need to make poor black students learn more in school.
The Planned Parenthood P.R. Coup
April 08, 2011
All day Friday, there were two big, conflicting narratives floating around Capitol Hill about why there wasn’t yet a budget deal to keep the government open for the rest of the fiscal year. The Republican story: We’re still bickering over how much spending to cut. And the Democratic version: False! Both sides have basically agreed on an amount to cut—somewhere in the vicinity of $38 billion. The only holdup is that Republicans still want to slash federal funds for Planned Parenthood, and that’s an absolute no-go for us Dems. Someone had to be lying, right? But who?
March 18, 2011
It’s hardly a mystery why the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan is so horrifying—and so riveting. A country already savaged by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and 24-foot-high tsunamis is now facing the prospect of meltdowns at multiple reactors, with a handful of technicians risking their lives to avert further radiation leaks. But the crisis is attention-grabbing for another reason, too: The fear of nuclear disaster has long claimed a special hold on our collective psyche. Pro-nuclear advocates love to grumble that people are disproportionately, even irrationally, afraid of nuclear power.
It’s one thing that the United States will soon be taking orders from China (or already is). But what about when we’re becoming less forward-thinking than England? That’s the only possible reading of the fact that there, the former top drug official Bob Ainsworth has addressed the House of Commons and argued for the legalization of all drugs. Not just pot—all of them.
Getting Darnell Off the Corners: An America On the Rise Will Ride the Anti-Drug-War Wave
December 31, 2010
It’s one thing that the United States will soon be taking orders from China (or already is). But what about when we’re becoming less forward-thinking than England? That’s the only possible reading of the fact that there, the former top drug official Bob Ainsworth has addressed the House of Commons and argued for the legalization of all drugs. Not just pot – all of them.
The Great American Argument
December 24, 2010
Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787 - 1788 By Pauline Maier (Simon & Schuster, 589 pp., $30) At the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, one of the greatest editorial projects in American history has been under way for nearly thirty-five years. Since 1976, the successive editors of the Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution have published twenty-three volumes, and there are at least eight more to come.
A Health Reform Opponent Has His Ox Gored
November 16, 2010
Freshman Republican Congressman Andy Harris, who was elected on a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is outraged that he's going to go a whole month before his government-provided health insurance kicks in: A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in. Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously whe
The Republicans Are Calling!
November 02, 2010
Apparently, it’s never too late to scare away voters. This evening, just before the polls closed in Maryland, voters in Baltimore and Prince George’s county reported to Election Protection that they had received robocalls advising them to relax, stay home, and watch the election on television. Ron Hube—a voter in Baltimore who works at the University of Maryland—played a recording of the call from his voicemail for TNR. A stilted recording of a woman’s voice relayed the following: “Governor O’Malley and President Obama have been successful … our goals have been met ... we took it back.
September 24, 2010
This fall, construction is set to begin on a $4 million pop-up floodwall near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It’s designed to be assembled quickly in the event that torrential rains cause the nearby Potomac River to spill into the city. (Four years ago, heavy storms led to the flooding of buildings like the National Archives and the offices of the IRS.) The ten-foot wall is high enough that it should be able to stop even monster floods like the one in 1942 that caused millions of dollars in damage. But the new barrier will have one glaring flaw.
Should We Start a Solar Panel Trade War with China?
September 09, 2010
These days I do believe we're supposed to hail China as our clean-energy overlords. The country now produces half the world's wind turbines and half its solar panels. How did the Chinese do it? Partly through aggressive renewable-energy laws and various incentives for budding tech industries. And that's to be expected—as long as fossil-fuel externalities go unpriced, renewables are always going to need a little boost. But, according to Keith Bradsher of The New York Times, there's another side to this story.