The group blog of The New Republic

July 1, 2013

The moment I saw the headline, I groaned. “Can Government Play Moneyball?” ask John Bridgeland and Peter Orszag—members of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, respectively—in the latest Atlantic.

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On the front page of Sunday's The New York Times, Jonathan Martin has a remarkable story about the G.O.P.'s strategy against a likely Hillary Clinton candidacy. Of course it's still 2013, and a lot could change in the next three years, but if the strategy remains what Martin lays out, the party should just concede the election now.

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June 28, 2013

"President Barack Obama is not bluffing," Vice President Joseph Biden told AIPAC’s annual conference last March. "We are not looking for war. We are looking to and ready to negotiate peacefully, but all options, including military force, are on the table.”  Biden was only repeating the military threat against Iran that Obama had made repeatedly over the prior two years, often in response to prodding from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Magazine covers—if I may risk journo-splaining here—are meant to be provocative. That is, they’re meant to provoke you to pick up the magazine while browsing at, say, Hudson News. Once you do so, it’s all over. Perhaps you check the table of contents, perhaps not—but chances are, you’re already sold. (A quick Google search turned up zero studies, but I would bet that most people who pick up a magazine at a newsstand end up buying it.)

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“Siberia,” the bizarre new series premiering Monday on NBC, is scripted horror drama framed as a reality competition show, which means that it replicates the thumping suspense and quick camera cuts of  “Survivor” and “Fear Factor” and “The Amazing Race" plus supernatural elements a la “Lost” and the mortal stakes of The Hunger Games.

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The Boston Globe reports that Irish mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger has been referring to his ongoing trial as “The Big Show,” and who could blame him?

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When news broke last month that the IRS had targeted for extra scrutiny conservative groups applying for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status, politicians wasted no time in jumping on it. “These actions by the IRS are an outrageous abuse of power and a breach of the public’s trust,” said one. “The actions of the IRS are unacceptable and un-American,” said another. “There’s no excuse for ideological discrimination in our system,” said a third.

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Attorney-Client Privilege? Not at Gitmo

The perverse rules governing the September 11 trials

A decade after the U.S. captured the five accused plotters of the September 11 attack, held and allegedly tortured them in CIA "black sites," and then sent them to Guantanamo Bay, the military is still obstructing the defendants’ communications with their lawyers. At risk is the men’s fundamental right to prepare a defense.

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The best television coverage of President Obama’s climate speech Tuesday wasn’t on Fox, CNN, or even MSNBC. It was on the Weather Channel, the only network to carry the address live and to treat it as the major development that it was.

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