The group blog of The New Republic

July 8, 2013

At Union Square in New York City, several dozen journalists, many armed with television cameras (the local networks parked their trucks along 14th Street), waited at noon Monday for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer to arrive, shake hands, and try to begin getting the 3,750 valid signatures he needs by Thursday to get on the ballot for comptroller.

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Why are so few of our political mega-donors female? Last week, I was wrapping up a profile of Amber Mostyn—a wealthy Texan who’s helped bankroll Wendy Davis’s campaigns, and one of ladydom’s few major super PAC donors—when Politico’s Tarini Parti and Byron Tau asked this very question.

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It was overshadowed by the fatal plane crash in San Francisco, but don't be surprised if the horrific runaway train accident in eastern Quebec, where oil tanker cars derailed and exploded, killing at least five and wiping out the downtown district of the small town of Lac-Megantic, has the far greater ramifications. That's because just about everything these days that involves the transport of North American oil factors into the high-stakes debate over the Keystone XL pipeline.

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The new novel Americanah has elicited a number of strong reactions, ranging from exasperation to awe. The author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian woman, appears to be no less divisive, at least based on the discussion about her book on Twitter and elsewhere. (I haven't read it.)

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The Obama Administration’s decision to delay enforcement of Obamacare’s “employer mandate” produced some predictable reactions on the right. House Speaker John Boehner started talking about “train wrecks,” Erick Erickson advised Republicans to “go for the kill,” and so on.

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July 5, 2013

David Brooks's attempt to defend the coup in Egypt suffers from several large flaws, the first being his premise:

The debate on Egypt has been between those who emphasize process and those who emphasize substance.

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In January 2006, almost one year to the day after President George W.

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July 4, 2013

There’s been a lot of chatter these past few weeks about an Atlantic article by Jean Twenge called “How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?” In it she debunks some of the research underlying the claim that women’s fertility declines steeply after 35. (The killer point: the main data set is “French birth records from 1670 to 1830.”) Good for her! Would that there were more biostatisticians out there holding studies up to scrutiny, doing God’s work.

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When The Guardian revealed on Sunday that the U.S. was spying on at least 38 country missions in the United States, including its ally India, an angry reaction was to be expected. The European Union came out strongly against the surveillance program, with E.U.

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July 3, 2013

Are democracies just places where there are elections? Or does democracy require something more?

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