Rachel Uchitel Is Not a Madam
April 06, 2010

Lisa Taddeo has a horrifying, irresistible article for New York about high end nightclubs and the nebulous sexual economy that pervades them, in which very wealthy or famous men sort-of pay to have sex, or often mere fondle, or flirt, with beautiful young women. It explores the ruthlessly efficient market in which wealth, fame and beauty all have assigned values. One takeaway from the piece is that there are numerous gradations between prostitution and gold-digging: These kinds of girls, this is how you spot them.

Are We Ready For The Rising Seas?
January 14, 2010

One aspect of climate change that's already affecting people in various parts of the world is the slow but steady rise in sea level (via YaleE360): Pacific and Indian Ocean atoll nations are already being abandoned because of the direct and indirect effects of sea level rise, such as saltwater intrusion into groundwater. In the Marshall Islands, some crops are being grown in abandoned 55-gallon oil drums because the ground is now too salty for planting. New Zealand is accepting, on a gradual basis, all of the inhabitants of the Tuvalu atolls.

Metro Home Price Recovery: Strong, Weak, Non-existent?
December 30, 2009

Yesterday’s release of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index has economists—and probably the Obama administration—on edge. The reason: an apparent softening of demand in October, which translated into weak home price growth across the 20 markets that the index tracks. That followed stronger, more widespread price growth in the summer months. The news has stoked fears of a “double dip” in house prices and the resulting havoc it might wreak in the mortgage market. Like the economy itself, though, what you make of U.S.

And the Rest Is Just Noise
December 24, 2009

American liberals have a habit of withdrawing into cynicism and ennui at the most inopportune moments. The 2000 presidential election, and subsequent recount, was one such moment. The most die-hard reaches of the left, deeming the Democratic Party hopelessly corrupt, rallied to Ralph Nader’s fulsome populist denunciation of Al Gore’s subservience to the corporate agenda. Among more moderate quarters, an attitude of wry detachment prevailed.

The Movie Review: ‘Up in the Air’
December 04, 2009

The protagonist of Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, Ryan Bingham, is a hatchet man for hire. The Omaha company that employs him, which goes by the Orwellian name Career Transition Counseling (CTC), rents him out to other companies to fire employees they don’t have the courage to fire themselves. He flies about the country, touching down briefly in Kansas City or Tulsa or Miami, to walk into offices he has never visited and tell workers he has never met that they are being let go.

Daily Treatment, Too Much Going On Edition
December 02, 2009

Too much going on today for this blogger to cover. Fortunately, I'm not alone on the beat... Reform without a public option would still be a progressive victory. Chris Bowers But if progressives give ground on the public option, what will they get in return? Ezra Klein Opponents of health care reform tell a lot of lies. Jonathan Gruber When they're not lying, they're stalling. Ben Smith, Sam Stein Of course, sometimes they're just confused. Steve Benen You think McAllen, Texas, is full of wasteful spending? It's not as bad as Lubbock. And neither compares to Miami.

Where Is the Economic Recovery?
October 30, 2009

  After four quarters of decline, GDP finally grew, and at a pace--3.5 percent annually--not seen since the summer of 2007. As my colleagues Alan Berube and Bill Galston point out, and as I argued last month, signs of economic growth don’t necessarily mean a rapid recovery, a sustained recovery, or even a recovery that feels meaningful to the vast majority of Americans. But that’s not the horse I want to ride today.

September 01, 2009

Congressman John Murtha passed away today. Below, you'll find a recent magazine feature that we ran on him--and the town he represented for 36 years. One night last August, John Murtha, the U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania’s Twelfth Congressional District, paid a visit to the LBK Game Ranch, a private hunting camp in the hills above his home city of Johnstown. About 60 people had gathered in the ranch’s lodge--a luxury five-bedroom log cabin decorated with deer antlers and flat-screen televisions--to raise money for his 2008 campaign. There were two odd things about the event.

Don't Whine. Organize.
August 04, 2009

By far the most troubling aspect of these anti-reform demonstrations is what Josh Marshall has called their "authoritarian mindset." It's something, he rightly notes, we've seen before: It's probably not too soon to note the thread connecting the Bush administration's practice of only allowing certified Bush-loyal attendees at their town hall events (from the Social Security phase-out day) and what's happening now with these tea-party activists ginned by Freedom Works with instructions to shut down Democratic town halls dealing with health care.

The Movie Review: 'Public Enemies'
July 02, 2009

It's taken countless hours of TV crime-drama ("Crime Story," "Miami Vice") and nearly a dozen feature films (Heat, Collateral, Miami Vice again), but in John Dillinger, Michael Mann may finally have found an ideal vessel for his particular vision of masculine cool: stylish, charismatic, unflappable, adept at violence but not hungry for it. After spending nine years in prison for his rookie robbery (a grocery-store heist that allegedly netted him $50), Dillinger emerged in May 1933 to launch perhaps the most storied crime spree in American history.