The Plank

The Republicans May Lose, But So Will You

Americans who want jobs or mortgages will suffer because John Boehner didn't have the guts to stiff the Tea Party

5 Things Dave Eggers Fundamentally Misunderstands About the Internet
October 15, 2013 Books

It is by now well-documented that Dave Eggers’s brutal takedown of digital culture has very little interest in the real logistics of digital culture.

John Boehner's Shutdown Endgame: "The Final Spasm of a Corpse"

On Monday I wrote that the shutdown/default-threat/Republican extortion plot was essentially over—it was just a matter of Harry Reid and his Republican counterp

Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch' Has Divided Critics. It Shouldn't Have.
October 15, 2013 Books

The new novel is Dickensian. Reading it is hard times.

The EPA Case Could Determine the Fate of Obama's Ambitious Climate Plan
October 15, 2013 Environment

This morning, the Supreme Court announced that it will consider manufacturing industry trade groups and Republican-held state governments' case to repeal some of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 

Bridget Jones Is My 'Portnoy's Complaint'
October 15, 2013 Books

Last year, I attended my first New Republic holiday party. Sometime in the middle of the evening, at a Mexican restaurant in midtown east, I found myself talking to my work pal and a colleague whom I didn’t know well.

Republicans Have Officially Reached the Nadir of Their Shutdown Debacle
October 15, 2013 Poetic Justice

Regardless of what happens Tuesday night on the Hill, the true dark-comedic nadir of the Big Beltway Brouhaha of 2013 was reached at 2:51 on Tuesday afternoo

The Government Shutdown From A to Z: A Handy, Half-Serious Glossary
October 15, 2013 Language

We’re in Week Three of the government shutdown, speeding toward the October 17 debt ceiling deadline. The stalemate continues, and the Smithsonian's still closed. We know the two parties are talking, but what are they actually saying?

Tick, Tick, Tick... Is This Boehner's Last Ransom Note?
October 15, 2013 Politics

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have nearly completed a deal that would reopen the government and increase the Treasury Department's debt ceiling. President Obama has signalled his support, as have Democratic leaders in the House.

Russians Still Love Pogroms
October 15, 2013 Russian Classics

This weekend, a working class neighborhood erupted in violence after a 25 year-old Russian was stabbed to death, allegedly by a migrant from