New York Times

Life on Earth, Life on Mars, and General Butt Naked: Today's TNR Reader
August 09, 2012

Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! The gods of Autocorrect are impish and fickle. What weird magic turns “Capistrano” into “campus tramp”? New York Times | 4 min (1,015 words) NASA’s new rover is busy hunting for life on Mars. But it can also tell us a lot about our own planet’s climate. Mother Jones | 3 min (634 words) The warlord General Butt Naked saw an apparition of Jesus and became an evangelical minister.

Tampa 2012: Pas Devant Les Enfants!
August 09, 2012

That Republican primary season you thought you witnessed? Just a figment of your imagination. That’s the message the Romney people hope to convey later this month at the GOP convention in Tampa, according to Jeremy Peters in the Aug. 9 New York Times. Almost none of the leading Republican contenders for the nomination will be offered an opportunity to speak. Newt Gingrich? They’ve got him sidelined running workshops. Rick Perry? Herman Cain? Michelle Bachmann? Ron Paul? They’ve been given no role at all.

Tampa 2012: Pas Devant Les Enfants!
August 09, 2012

That Republican primary season you thought you witnessed? Just a figment of your imagination. That's the message the Romney people hope to convey later this month at the GOP convention in Tampa,according to Jeremy Peters in the Aug. 9 New York Times. Almost none of the leading Republican contenders for the nomination will be offered an opportunity to speak. Newt Gingrich? They've got him sidelined running workshops. Rick Perry? Herman Cain? Michelle Bachmann? Ron Paul? They've been given no role at all. The Donald's been stiffed as well (not that he was ever a particularly serious candidate).

Ted Cruz, Golf-Course-Loving Genius
August 02, 2012

New York Times article, today: A Republican Voice with Tea Party Mantle and Intellectual Heft Quote from the same piece: “I’d have predicted that he would be a professor, not a politician,” said Robert P. George, Mr. Cruz’s adviser at Princeton in the early 1990s. Professor George, a noted social conservative, said that Mr.

Correcting Gore Vidal
August 02, 2012

  The New York Times's Gore Vidal obituary is attracting attention today for the lengthy correction at its bottom, which includes the unsurprising news that Vidal and his live-in partner of half a century, Howard Austen, had sex on at least one occasion.   If we're going to get into that kind of detail, then let me offer one more correction. The obit says that Vidal's maternal grandfather, U.S. Senator Thomas Gore, lived in "a sprawling home in the Rock Creek Park neighborhood of Washington." But ... there is no Rock Creek Park neighborhood in Washington.

Defending McCain
July 27, 2012

I’m not usually in the habit of defending Republicans. But when Sen.

Citizens United? Don’t Worry Your Pretty Heads About It
July 23, 2012

Everyone loves a good counter-intuitive story, but Washington loves one sort in particular: the kind that assures us all that something we’ve been led to believe was a worrisome problem is, in fact, not all that big a deal after all, thus allowing us to return to watching “Veep” or “The Newsroom.” Yesterday’s New York Times Magazine offered a classic of this form, a Matt Bai piece arguing that the Citizens United ruling of 2010 is not nearly as responsible for the boom in campaign spending by outside groups as those whiny goo-goo types make it out to be: The oft-repeated narrative of 2012 goe

Climate Optimism—and Realism
July 23, 2012

The nation is headed for a large scale cleantech subsidy pull-back, so it was gratifying to see our work on that and energy innovation referenced in David Leonhardt’s surprisingly optimistic essay on climate change mitigation in yesterday’s New York Times. The piece provided a refreshing counterpoint to the gloom many in the climate community are feeling this summer given political gridlock, the summer’s insane weather, and the steady flow of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to Leonhardt, an investment-oriented, technology-driven push toward climate sanity is beginning to emerge a

The Idea Biz
July 10, 2012

Today’s New York Times op-ed page carries two separate citations from last week’s Aspen Ideas Festival, which probably means the thing has already paid for itself. The ideas cited are good ones, but the increasing dominance of corporate-sponsored idea-disseminators like the Aspen festival and the TED conferences (gently lampooned by my friend Nathan Heller in a recent New Yorker takeout) makes me wonder whether ideas upsetting to the moneyed classes will become harder to shoehorn into the national conversation.

The Idea Biz
July 10, 2012

Today's New York Times op-ed page carries two separate citations from last week's Aspen Ideas Festival, which probably means the thing has already paid for itself. The ideas cited are good ones, but the increasing dominance of corporate-sponsored idea-disseminators like the Aspen festival and the TED conferences (gently lampooned by my friend Nathan Heller in a recent New Yorker takeout) makes me wonder whether ideas upsetting to the moneyed classes will become harder to shoehorn into the national conversation.

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