The group blog of The New Republic

September 6, 2013

It’s been an interesting few days for those of us following Obamacare. Three new studies came out—one each from Avalere Health, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Manhattan Institute.

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White people simply love to spend their free time walking up and down mountains and sleeping in the forest. Search "hiking" in Google Images and see how far you have to scroll to find a nonwhite person.

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In today’s paper, The Washington Post writes that President Obama has “staked the credibility of the United States—and his presidency—on his call for a military operation.” In the Wall Street Journal, Bill Galston warned more darkly of the consequences of Congress rejecting a strike on Syria: “A loss would shatter

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Both men start their handshake way too early. Nerves. There's eye contact, but no smile from Obama.

 

Handout/Getty Images

 

Even up close, it looks like there's eye contact and smiling, but there's not.

 

Handout/Getty Images

 

Seriously, these men do not want to look each other in the eye.

 

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The fracking industry’s latest environmental bugbear is earthquakes, which can be caused by injecting a briney cocktail of wastewater produced in the fracking process deep into disposal wells. And a paper making the rounds this week, by a researcher from Columbia University, clarifies just how drastically a single wastewater injection well can rattle its surroundings.

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Maybe the Jewish New Year really has ushered in the positive change it’s supposed to represent. Over the past few days, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, and foreign minister, Mohammah Javad Zarif, took to Twitter to wish the world a happy Rosh Hashanah.

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September 5, 2013

It’s common knowledge that the United States is miles behind other developed countries in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, and that our economy suffers from, as Bill Gates has put it, “a severe shortfall of scientists and engineers with expertise to develop the next generation of breakthroughs.” And we also know that the humanities are in a downward slide, in part because they’ve been eclipsed by the dire need to focus on STEM.

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I’m not in the habit of agreeing with Scott Brown, the former Republican senator from Massachusetts, but he hit the nail on the head when he lambasted Democratic Senator Edward Markey for voting “present” Wednesday on the resolution to bomb Syria—making Markey, in his first important vote since he was sworn in two months ago, the only lawmaker on the 18-person Senate Foreign Relations Committee who couldn’t come up with a “yea” or “nay.” “Please let him know that the people

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This month, conservatives will return to Washington with the goal of making deep cuts to the nation’s food stamps program, or SNAP. For the most part, their rhetorical campaign against the program, which supports nearly 48 million Americans at a cost of $80 billion each year, has seized on roundabout arguments and beside-the-point criticisms.

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September 4, 2013

In a piece titled 'A Solution From Hell,' the editors of n+1, playing off the title of Samantha Power's A Problem From Hell, take a long look at the history of humanitarian intervention, and decide that it has never been done successfully. The piece is somewhat of a historical survey, and it ends as follows:

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