May 05, 2009
Dinner With The Nobel Laureates
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)
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
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
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
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
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.
An Obama Deal On Nuclear Power?
Down below, I mentioned that Obama will meet with key House Democrats tomorrow and try to persuade them to support the big climate bill. Now InsideEPA reports that nuclear power may be one way the White House tries to woo some of the more recalcitrant Dems: Obama administration officials are suggesting that Democrats in Congress are willing to compromise on providing incentives for nuclear power as part of a federal climate change program… [EPA senior counsel David] McIntosh said he sees that more liberal members of Congress are ready to deal on nuclear to get a bill passed.
According to today's Politico, some House Dems are fretting that Obama's climate proposals will suffer the same grim fate that health care reform did during Bill Clinton's first term. DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen, for one, has started warning that the House should "move cautiously" on the big Waxman-Markey energy bill if it's just going to die in the Senate anyway.
John Edwards's Tangled Web
How miserable is it to be John Edwards right now? Elizabeth's new book containing details of her reaction to his affair--she threw up--is about to come out and now federal investigators are combing through his campaign finances to figure out if he used any of that money to pay off his mistress in order to keep her quiet.
The Case For A Latino Nominee
I want to add a footnote to Jeff Rosen’s discussion of Sonia Sotomayer’s Supreme Court candidacy. It would be a very good thing if Barack Obama were to appoint a Latino to the Supreme Court. I don’t say that as a matter of politics. He’s done enough in his cabinet and White House appointments to satisfy Latino voters. It’s a matter of democracy. Getting someone on the Supreme Court is one very important way our democracy registers the full acceptance of a social group in our nation’s politics. Think of the appointments of Louis Brandeis, Thurgood Marshall, and Sandra Day O’Connor.