In TNR, the Working Class Has Disappeared
September 06, 2010

Once upon a time, The New Republic ran detailed, empathetic articles about the lives, ideas, and activism of American workers. “They seem easygoing, good-humored and straightforward Southerners,” wrote Edmund Wilson in a 1931 essay about the coal-miners of West Virginia, “so much in the old tradition of American backwoods independence that it is almost impossible to realize they have actually been reduced to the condition of serfs.” In 1966, Maury Maverick Jr. joined a mass march by Texas farmworkers that ended on Labor Day, on the steps of the state capitol building.

Is the CBC Uniquely Unethical?
August 03, 2010

Not so long ago, all eight of the members of Congress being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics were black. Now, two powerful black members of the Congressional Black Caucus are on the griddle. There are two entirely appropriate responses. One of them is to wonder if there is something racial going on. Yes, that is reasonable. Dismissals of this line of reasoning as mere “crying racism” are, in this case, hasty. Bloggers blithely listing white people who have fallen into the OCE’s line of sight as disproof of the racism charge are missing the point.

Prison Can't Stop Bernie Kerik From Speaking Out Against Mosque
July 23, 2010

Bernie Kerik was nominated to be Director of Homeland Security by President Bush. Now he's in prison. But you can't imprison his spirit: Former New York police commissioner and convicted felon Bernie Kerik came out against the so-called Ground Zero mosque on Twitter late Wednesday.

Homeward Bound
June 19, 2010

The lady has been an old crone for more than half a century. So it was inevitable that some people in the profession would feel sympathy for Helen Thomas, even in her wicked quintessence. And not only merciful to her person but concerned for her lost job. Yes, Hearst pushed her, but Thomas, intuitively sensing that she would no longer be deferred to by the president or the press corps, went gently. Her wacky game was up. But this is not comedy. And Thomas’s answer to a random question—from a rabbi, it is true—about her current thoughts on Israel were deadly serious.

The Climate Bill's Delicate Offshore Drilling Compromise
May 12, 2010

As expected, the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill will give states incentives to expand offshore oil and gas drilling. (See Subtitle B here.) That's not too surprising. Kerry is still gunning for votes from conservatives like Louisiana's Mary Landrieu or South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, and expanded offshore drilling is one way of enticing them. But there are also a lot of adamant drilling skeptics out there, like Florida's Bill Nelson. So how did Kerry thread this particular needle? Here's how the bill would work.

A New Metro Map
May 10, 2010

Do you live in the “Rust Belt” or the “Sun Belt?” Are you a West Coaster, an East Coaster, or a resident of “flyover country?” Perhaps you’re a proud New Englander, Midwesterner, or Texan. More to the point, does any of that matter? (For the full-size map click here) Maybe not as much as you think. Our new report, the State of Metropolitan America, surveys the demographic landscape of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas over the 2000s. It finds that who metropolitan areas are is in many ways more important than where they are. In fact, my Brookings colleagues and I identify seven categ

You'll Be Hearing More About This
April 20, 2010

The key dynamic as far as passing important laws is the 60-vote requirement in the Senate. Passing laws through the reconciliation process, which only requires 50 Senate votes, is therefore crucial.

Local Government Fiscal Woes Hit Home
March 22, 2010

We’ve been warning about the coming local government fiscal crisis for months now (see this paper and  event we did with the National League of Cities (NLC) last fall). Now, the crisis is no longer coming. It’s here.

John Campbell Does Not Fear The Turtle
March 17, 2010

I don't usually wring my hands about partisanship, but this, per Luke Russert, is pretty extreme: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer offered a resolution to honor the University of Maryland for making the NCAA Tournament and for having the ACC Player of the Year, as well as the Coach of the Year on the same team. Well, California Rep.

Court and Racket
March 08, 2010

WASHINGTON -- In a city where the phrase “bipartisan initiative” is becoming an oxymoron, the urgency of containing the damage the Supreme Court could do to our electoral system creates an opportunity for a rare convergence of interest and principle. At issue is the court’s astonishingly naive decision in January that allows unlimited corporate spending to influence elections.