Daily Deadline: E.J. Is Mad As Hell
October 13, 2011
[with contributions from Matthew O'Brien and Darius Tahir] E.J. Dionne today points out that the Republicans have no agenda to create jobs in the short term, summarizing their credo as "Don't just do something, stand there." It's the latest in a series of terrific, hard-hitting columns that he has written about the Republicans. And that's worth pondering for a moment. If you've ever seen E.J. on television or heard him on the radio, you've probably gotten the impression he is polite and reasonable to a fault. That impression is correct.
Daily Deadline: Exposing Scott Brown
October 10, 2011
Yes, we've decided to add a daily aggregation feature to this blog. Why? Because we hope you'll read it. Also, I'm a very slow blogger. On most days I have about ten items I'd like to write -- and I get to one or two of them, at best. For now, we're calling it "Daily Deadline," because we'll post it in the late afternoon. I'm still a newspaper reporter at heart and I'll always associate this time of day with deadlines.
Why We Don't Let People Die
September 16, 2011
The big drama of this week’s Republican debate was over whether front-runner Rick Perry would stumble. But the most interesting moment turned out to involve a man nobody thinks can win the presidency: Ron Paul. CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Paul whether he was prepared to let an uninsured 30-year-old with cancer die, just because that 30-year-old could not afford the treatments. Paul gave a long, convoluted answer about responsibility. But a handful of audience members were less ambivalent.
Obama’s Jobs Bill: Will It Reduce Metro Unemployment?
September 09, 2011
In his speech before Congress last night, President Obama argued to a somewhat skeptical public the role of the national government in responding to the continuing employment crisis. To effectively address the crisis, however, it helps to start from a shared understanding of what the problem is. And on this count, there’s some disagreement, even among the experts. Some economists believe the fundamental problem is a mismatch between available jobs, and available workers.
Obama Pulls Off The Impossible
September 09, 2011
He proposes a jobs plan that wins the approval of Paul Krugman and David Brooks. Feel the love! Surfing on over to Fire Dog Lake, I wondered if Obama managed to win the hearts of his most fervent enemies. So far I see one item on it: So how was the speech? I didn’t see it, did Obama open up with a line about how many people he’s killed? That's about as positive as you're going to get.
The Fighting Bipartisan: Has Obama Found a Solution for Republican Obstructionism?
September 09, 2011
Barack Obama’s jobs speech last night was not the speech his critics from the left had been asking for.
I'm Not Done Arguing Yet
September 07, 2011
My piece in the New York Times magazine last weekend about President Obama and the left kicked up a lot of debate. The thesis was that the left's criticisms that Obama failed to secure enough stimulus. Let me address a couple objections I've seen. One argument claims that my argument hinges on the premise that those who argued for more stimulus are unimportant. Here's what I wrote: It’s worth recalling that several weeks before Obama proposed an $800 billion stimulus, House Democrats had floated a $500 billion stimulus.
Standard & Poor’s did not downgrade the U.S. political system. It did not downgrade the stock market. It downgraded United States Treasury bonds and bills—and did so after Congress had removed whatever tiny chance existed of even a small delay in payments. So it’s instructive that, on the next market day, investors moved massively out of stocks, and into the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds and bills.
Stock Market Falling, Paul Krugman’s Head Exploding
August 08, 2011
Everybody was predicting that S&P's decision to downgrade American debt would cause the stock market to decline. And, sure enough, the Dow is down more than 300 points as I write this. But is the market reacting to the downgrade itself? Or the misguided reaction it might spark?
Should Obama Have Demanded A Big New Stimulus? Eh.
August 05, 2011
I completely agree with the economic case on the need for greater stimulus. I sort-of agree with the political argument that President Obama blew it by not passing a larger stimulus then the one he did. (If he proposed, say, a $2 trillion stimulus, maybe the moderates would have considered the moderate thing to do knocking it down to $1.5 trillion. On the other hand, maybe they would recoiled and have killed it altogether.) The part of the argument that I don't agree with is the notion that Obama should be demanding new stimulus now, or should have been demanding it for the last year.