No Exit
October 05, 2009

The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey.

Was the G20 Summit Actually Dangerous?
September 26, 2009

It is easy to dismiss the G20 communique and all the associated spin as empty waffle. Ask people in a month what was accomplished in Pittsburgh and you’ll get the same blank stare that follows when you now ask: What was achieved at the G8 summit in Italy this year? Perhaps just having emerging markets at the table will bring the world closer to stability and more inclined towards inclusive growth, but that seems unlikely. Should we just move on--back to our respective domestic policy struggles? That’s tempting, but consider for a moment the key way in which the G20 summit has worsened our pre

Exposing Iran
September 25, 2009

The dramatic revelation that Iran has a secret uranium-enrichment facility severely undermines one of Tehran's central talking points: that the West is denying Iran the its inherent right to peaceful nuclear power.

How to Fix the IMF
September 25, 2009

The headline news from the G20 summit in Pittsburgh is that progress has been made on "IMF reform," meaning increased voting power for emerging markets relative to rich countries--remember that West Europeans are greatly overrepresented at the IMF for historical reasons. But further change in a sensible direction is being blocked by the U.K.

The G20’s Already Global Host
September 22, 2009

Stewart O’Nan’s sepia-toned reminiscence of Pittsburgh past in the weekend Wall Street Journal on the eve of the G20 certainly showcases his ability as a prose stylist, but it wildly misses the mark in discussing the not quite so Steel City’s role in the global economic firmament. O’Nan asks,”Is Pittsburgh, maybe the least international city in the U.S., with all of its recent successes and entrenched problems, a model for the whole world?

Low Expectations for the G20 and IMF
September 08, 2009

As we wade through a long line of international economic meetings--G20 ministers of finance last week, G20 heads of government in Pittsburgh coming up, IMF-World Bank governors meeting in Istanbul early October (and all the associated “deputies” meetings, where the real work goes on)--it seems fair to ask: Where is regulatory reform of our financial system heading? Long documents have been produced and official websites have become more organized. Statements of principle have been made. And the melodrama of rival reform proposals has reared its head: continental Europeans for controlling pay

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.

Super Bowl Controversy: Was That Definitely A Fumble?
February 01, 2009

If you watched tonight's Super Bowl, you know that the key play was the penultimate one. That's when Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, in a desperate bid to lead a last-second comeback, was hit by Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Lamar Woodley. The ball squirted out, bouncing forward a few yards, where Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel gobbled it up. Referees on the field ruled the play a fumble, Pittsburgh took possession, and--with seven seconds left in the game--quarterback Ben Roethlesberger took a knee. Game over. Steelers are World Champions. And that's fine with me.

A Tnr Holiday: Pittsburgh’s Menorah Wars
December 26, 2008

In 1996, Michael McGough looked at the debate over holiday displays and the comically absurd "reindeer rule" that regulates where menorahs and nativity scenes can be displayed across the country. It's a controversy that ultimately homed in on a specific menorah in Pittsburgh: From this chronicle it is obvious that the combatants in Pittsburgh's menorah wars have been faithful to the spirit if not the letter of recent Supreme Court pronouncements in this area. That spirit is one of dissembling about what is really at stake in the debate over religious displays at government buildings.

The Best Addresses
December 03, 2008

Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy is Making Where You Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life By Richard Florida (Basic Books, 374 pp., $26.95)   In 2002, with The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida launched one of those terms or categories or ideas--there have been many--that try to structure our contemporary societies into something more complicated than the Marxian conflict between the owners of the means of production and those who are exploited as proletarians working on them.