A Worthwhile Canadian Initiative
February 13, 2012

Last week I decreed that given how much income inequality was bound to figure as a campaign issue, I was justified in wading into the debate over Charles Murray’s new book, Coming Apart, here on The Stump. The precedent thus set, I will today offer a thought on Ross Douthat's column on the Murray book  in yesterday’s Times. Douthat, who has made the plight of the white working class a specialty of his since co-authoring Grand New Party, a prescription for how the Republican Party can hold onto this part of the electorate, had a generally good take on Murray.

American Idol Is Just A Popularity Contest--And That's A Good Thing
April 07, 2011

Another week, another American Idol ratings victory.   The smash-hit televised singing competition continues to steamroll the prime-time competition in its twelfth season.  In its first season without acerbic, charismatic host and record executive Simon Cowell, the show now features a panel of “experts”—including musicians like Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler—judging amateur musicians for the chance to win a record deal.  After the initial few rounds, though, viewers, not the expert judges, pick who advances, voting via text message, telephone and the Internet.

Cap-And-Trade Is Coming To The West
July 28, 2010

Don't look now, but cap-and-trade is coming to the United States—and there's nothing the Senate can do about it. Earlier today, California, New Mexico, and three Canadian provinces—Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia—unveiled a plan to set up a carbon-trading system for greenhouse gases by January 2012.

Michigan’s Troubled Bridge Over Trade Waters
June 28, 2010

Regular readers of the Avenue have seen this blog more than once make the case for a national infrastructure policy, focused on strategic investments that boost our competitiveness in a global economy. We recognize that repetition doesn’t necessarily make the national infrastructure debate seem any less wonkish or abstract.

Auto-Dependent Communities to Gain from Health Reform
March 30, 2010

Big-time health care reform, now passed, will, like a lot of federal policy, have different effects in the very different American metros that make up our national economy.

Best Health News Ever
March 25, 2010

If this holds up, I'm going to live forever: A study by a team of biologists found that popular sauces and marinades contain a range of spices, fruits and vegetables which contain natural antioxidants. These are chemical compounds which fight diseases associated with old age such as cancer, heart problems, strokes, Alzheimer's, arthritis and cataracts. Antioxidants are known to fight harmful molecules called free radicals which damage the body's cells. The study, at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, found that barbecue sauces are packed with healthly ingredients which can boost the

Is The Real Action On Climate Policy In The States?
January 26, 2010

You don't usually hear a whole lot about what individual states are doing to tackle climate change. Surely those efforts, however noble, are just too small to matter—too local, too patchy. The only people who can really make a dent in U.S. energy policy are wandering around Capitol Hill, right? It's Congress or bust? Well, maybe. But that option's not looking too bright these days, given the fog around whether Congress will even pass a climate bill this year (or next year, or…).

Without a Doubt
April 03, 2006

CATHOLIC MATTERS: CONFUSION, CONTROVERSY, AND THE SPLENDOR OF TRUTH By Richard John Neuhaus (Basic Books, 272 pp., $25)   Liberal modernity exasperates traditional religion. It fosters a pluralism that denies any one faith the power to organize the whole of social life. It teaches that public authorities must submit to the consent of those over whom they aspire to rule, thereby undermining the legitimacy of all forms of absolutism. It employs the systematic skepticism of the scientific method to settle important questions of public policy.