May 05, 2009

Saletan Responds: Ok, Let's Try This
12:00 AM

William Saletan has responded to my comment on his discomfort with No Child Left Behind data being tabulated by race. I get where he's coming from. He makes many valid points.

Daily Affirmations 5/5
12:00 AM

1. Nate Silver puzzles over Tim Pawlenty's willingness to continue backing Norm Coleman even as his own popularity dwindles, in a blue state: Arguably, in fact, the Franken affair is already impairing Pawlenty's political fortunes. According to polling from SurveyUSA, Pawlenty's popularity has suffered significantly since the November election, and he now has a net-negative approval rating, with 50 percent of Minnesotans disapproving of his performance and 46 percent approving.

Dept. Of Not Credible Rhetoric
12:00 AM

From the Times piece on Obama's plan to close loopholes multinational corporations use to avoid taxes on income they earn abroad:    The changes, if enacted, would take effect in 2011, when administration officials presume the economy will have recovered from the recession. But business groups were quick to condemn the White House for proposing tax increases amid a global downturn. “This plan will reduce the ability of U.S. companies to compete in foreign markets, which will not only reduce jobs, but will also cripple economic growth here in the United States.

What Treasury Needs Is A Distraction
12:00 AM

The bank stress tests are beginning to create a perception problem, but not--as you might think--for banks. Rather the issue is top level Administration officials' own optics (spin jargon for how we think about our rulers). At one level, the government's approach to banks--delay doing anything until the economy stabilizes--is working out nicely. This is the counterpart of the macroeconomic Summers Strategy and in principle it is brilliant.

Dinner With The Nobel Laureates
12:00 AM

Well, this is encouraging, both as a window onto Obama's style, and because these guys have a lot of smart things to say. From Newsweek's Evan Thomas: Mindful of his predecessor, Barack Obama seems to be trying harder to make sure he hears all sides. On the night of April 27, for instance, the president invited to the White House some of his administration's sharpest critics on the economy, including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz.

Today At Tnr (may 5, 2009)
12:00 AM

Pimp My Rep: Reality shows, Twitter, TMZ: Is this Congress or ‘The Real World'? by Michelle Cottle Will Republicans Sink Environmental Reform Like They Did Healthcare In 1994? by Bradford Plumer TNR Live: Leon Wieseltier Questions Condoleezza Rice On Bush's Torture Policies And Mistakes In The Middle East How Many Cities Would Have To Be Sacrificed To Justify The Use Of Torture? by Damon Linker What We Don't Yet Know About Obama's Economic Program, by William Galston Should Sonia Sotomayor Be Obama's Supreme Court Pick? by Jeffrey Rosen Not So Fast, Arlen!

May 04, 2009

Walk to the Border
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--On many questions, President Obama's approach is full speed ahead. On immigration reform, he prefers to take one step at a time. There really is no alternative.     Immigration is politically vexed because it splits both parties and scrambles the usual ideological alignments. And on this issue, there is no clear majority. Roughly a third of Americans strongly favor granting illegal immigrants a way to become citizens, while another third is strongly opposed.

The Case Against Sotomayor
12:00 AM

This is the first in a series of reports by TNR legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen about the strengths and weaknesses of the leading candidates on Barack Obama’s Supreme Court shortlist. A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Sonia Sotomayor’s biography is so compelling that many view her as the presumptive front-runner for Obama's first Supreme Court appointment. She grew up in the South Bronx, the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. Her father, a manual laborer who never attended high school, died a year after she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of eight.

Tnr Slideshow: Supreme Fail
12:00 AM

Today at TNR.com, Jeff Rosen speaks to critics of Sonia Sotomayor, a potential replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. If nominated, Sotomayor would still have to earn the Senate's approval--a challenge that has sidelined many court hopefuls in the past. Out of 156 nominees, 35 have failed to make it to the bench after being picked by the president. Check out today's TNR slideshow for a look at some of the failed nominees, from John Rutledge under George Washington to Harriet Miers under George W. Bush. --Amanda Silverman Photo courtesy of www.pace.edu

Uncertainty In Bankland
12:00 AM

During his first 100 days in office, President Obama has honed his economic program, and his defense of it. There is no longer any question about what he intends to do. As the croupiers in Monte Carlo say, les jeux sont faits. The remaining uncertainties are these: Will it work? If so, how long will it take? And what are the likely political consequences? The short answer to the first question is, we don't know. Much depends on the willingness of private investors to buy troubled assets and take them off the balance sheets of major financial institutions.