The group blog of The New Republic

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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From the annals of “is this good news or bad news?”, today comes a new CBO report predicting that immigration reform as passed by the Senate will reduce illegal border crossings by one-third to one-half. That’s up from its previous estimate, that the bill would only reduce them by a quarter.

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Poor Evo Morales. The leftist Bolivian president was in Moscow on Monday and Tuesday for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, and must have been feeling quite important indeed.

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Let’s begin by admitting that this is an easy target: The movie trailer is hardly (ever?) a paragon of nuance.

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It seems illogical that mass protests should force an elected president from office, especially only a year into a four-year term. But democracy in Egypt, such that it exists, has not been institutionalized, in large part because President Mohamed Morsi failed to govern via consensus.

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The video released on YouTube several days ago by a group of amateur filmmakers in Hong Kong is the first of what will surely be many dramatizations of the Snowden saga. Paced like a thriller, it features the requisite pounding music and a few brisk shots of city skylines. It makes reliable use of cinematic details such as the Rubik’s cube that Snowden allegedly used to identify himself to Greenwald.

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Recently, I argued that it was time for a “Daddy Wars” to complement the wide-ranging debate among women about how to be working parents. I called for us to confront the cultural expectation that fathers be career-oriented, and to demand that men include themselves in a conversation that heretofore has been dominated by women. And this conversation, I said, should involve both economic and policy issues like paternity leave and social issues like what kind of dads we expect fathers to be.

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July 2, 2013

Most of the stories about implementation problems with Obamacare have had little basis in fact. Not this one.

On Wednesday, the Administration announced a significant policy change: Businesses will get an extra year before they must comply with the “employer mandate.” According to the administration, the delay will give businesses and the Treasury Department more time to simplify the mandate’s reporting requirements.

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