Think Locally, Act Globally
May 26, 2010
Did anyone notice that NEC director Larry Summers quietly exploded old-fashioned urban policy last week? He didn’t mean to. In a speech at the Brookings-White House Council on Automotive Communities summit on May 18, Summers set out to talk about the economy, and how to stimulate manufacturing in general and auto manufacturing in particular. He identified four policy areas that are particularly important: the availability of credit; exports; innovation and R&D; and human capital. More credit, more exports, more innovation, and more educated workers could, in conjunction with huge and su
May 21, 2010
Most of us have in our minds a general sense of what a jihadist is. And Faisal Shahzad, who, earlier this month, was charged with attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, probably fits the bill. Since September 11, Americans have come to think of terrorism as a fundamentally foreign phenomenon that has somehow ensnared us. We have frequently been assured that the United States—unlike Europe—does not have a homegrown terrorism problem. Other than the fact that Shahzad is an American citizen, his profile conforms to this general pattern: He originally hailed from Pakistan.
Panic to Win
May 19, 2010
Pittsburgh—Almost all the shibboleths of Washington conventional wisdom took a hit in Tuesday's voting. Yet advocates of a single national political narrative clung to the difficulties of two incumbent Democratic senators to keep spinning the same old tale. It's true that the idea of incumbents and party establishments being in trouble won some support from the defeat of Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania primary and Sen. Blanche Lincoln's failure to avoid a runoff in Arkansas. But the races tell different stories. Specter, a Republican-turned-Democrat who was defeated by Rep.
Please “Treme,” I Beg You--Get Over Yourself
May 07, 2010
On Wednesday, TNR senior editor Ruth Franklin explored the way authenticity is played with in David Simon’s new HBO show, “Treme.” Here, John McWhorter offers his own, markedly different opinion on the subject. People can get irritating about their authenticity.
May 02, 2010
WASHINGTON—"There's something else you need to know about me," declared the earnest young politician, "which is I believe the test of a good and strong society is how we look after the most vulnerable, the most frail and the poorest." This lovely bleeding-heart liberal sentiment was part of the closing statement offered by David Cameron, the leader of Britain's Conservative Party at last week's final debate before this Thursday's election. And after a rocky campaign start, Cameron now leads in the polls and may well become the next prime minister.
And Now the Real Work Begins (Cont'd)
March 25, 2010
President Obama and his Democratic allies should enjoy the moment. This was a hard-fought victory, one not years but decades in the making. Still, there is work to be done. And some of it must begin soon. In the new issue of Time, Karen Tumulty and Kate Pickert with Alice Park sketch out the major challenges ahead.
March 24, 2010
In which we, hopefully regularly, highlight articles and resources of note: Portland, Ore. is spending $47 million on an economic development project… for the homeless. Cleveland magazine argues the city won’t be reborn until it “buries its dead” and that means demolishing vacant properties.
Mr. Coffee and Mr. Fixit
March 13, 2010
Raymond Carver: Collected Stories By Raymond Carver (Library of America, 1019 pp., $40) Raymond Carver: A Writer’s LifeBy Carol Sklenicka (Scribner, 578 pp., $35) In the summer of 1984, the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami and his wife traveled to the remote coastal town of Port Angeles, Washington, to visit Raymond Carver in the glass-walled “Sky House,” overlooking the ocean, which he shared with his partner, the poet Tess Gallagher. It was more of a pilgrimage than a social call.
The Cul-De-Sac Backlash
February 09, 2010
Via Sarah Goodyear, it looks like a number of city and regional planners are starting to declare war on the cul-de-sac: Early last year, the state of Virginia became the first state to severely limit cul-de-sacs from future development. Similar actions have been taken in Portland Oregon, Austin, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. What they are beginning to realize is that the cul-de-sac street grid uses land inefficiently, discourages walking and biking, and causes an almost complete dependence on driving, with attendant pollution and energy use.
'Finish the Kitchen'
February 08, 2010
WASHINGTON -- If President Obama gets to sign a health reform bill, as I believe he will, one reason may be Rep. Jay Inslee's difficult experience renovating his kitchen. He told his kitchen story at a House Democratic caucus held after Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts sent Inslee's colleagues into paroxysms of dismay, chaos and fear. Brown's triumph reduced the Democrats' majority in the Senate to "only" 59, and this led many in both houses to want to give up on health reform altogether.