March 16, 2009
Today At Tnr (march 16, 2009)
Free Larry Summers: Why The White House Needs To Unleash Him, by Noam Scheiber Killer Peanuts! Toxic Melons! Deadly Tomatoes! Why Obama And Congress Are Not Doing Enough To Keep Our Food Safe, by Steve Nash This Weekend's Big Economic Summit: More Whistling Past The Graveyard, by Simon Johnson How Obama's Ethics Obsession Undercuts His Call To Service, by the Editors TNRtv: Eve Fairbanks's Farewell To TNR And Musical Tribute To The Dysfunctional Glory Of The GOP Where Idealism Should Meet Realism On Capitol Hill, by E.J. Dionne, Jr. Hey!
Obama Vs. The Pitchforks
The NYT's Nagourney writes today about the Obama team's nervousness about a rising populist tide: The Obama administration is increasingly concerned about a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street, worried that anger at financial institutions could also end up being directed at Congress and the White House and could complicate President Obama’s agenda. Walter Shapiro is a step ahead of this story in TNR's new issue with a deeper look at populism in American politics and the peril it poses to Obama. --Michael Crowley
March 15, 2009
In her last TNRtv spot before heading off to Africa for two years, TNR associate editor Eve Fairbanks gives a musical farewell to TNR and tribute to the dysfunctional glory of the GOP.
David Broder has become a pinata of sorts for the blogosphere--a symbol, to many of my peers, of everything that is wrong with Beltway journalism. But I've always been inclined to cut him more slack, mostly out of respect for his work ethic. Say what you will about the man, but there he is, every campaign season, taking the time to interview actual voters and report back on what they feel. That's a rare thing among political columnists. I also respect Broder for his book on the 1993-94 fight over the Clinton heatlh care plan: The System, which he co-wrote with Haynes Johnson.
As some of you may recall, the Boston Globe is not my favorite newspaper. But my broad brush is unfair to some of their terrific reporters.Two of the best are Bryan Bender and Farah Stockman. I learned an enormous amount more about President Obama's Iraq pullout plan from a dispatch Bender helped report than from the articles in other dailies. And Stockman's article about the administration's intentions to approach Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei made them seem almost plausible.
Sunday Brunch With Aig
Another weekend, another round of AIG revelations--this time news that AIG is about to pay out $165 million in bonuses to employees in its Financial Products division, the same geniuses who made the bets now roiling the financial markets. Apparently the $165 million is part of a pool of more than $400 million in bonus money AIG agreed to before the government started propping it up last year. The upshot is that there isn't a legal way to block it.
March 13, 2009
Support For Christopher Hill
I guess I'm now an expert on foreign and security appointments of the Obama administration. Apparently, Charles Freeman thinks that I'm one of the people who got him scratched as the administration's chairman of the National Intelligence Council. (I was upbraided for my action by a stiff lady at a Cambridge cocktail party on Thursday: "There have to be some people in Washington who don't take Israel's side." Is she blind? Why does she think Dennis Blair wanted Freeman in the post?
Tnr Slideshow: The Revolving Door
After promising sweeping reform in Washington, President Obama and his staff have done their best to prevent the interests of lobbyists from seeping into the new administration. Thus far, they seem to be mostly successful in this endeavor. But in today's TNR slideshow, we highlight some newcomers to Washington that the president may want to keep an eye on, as well as former politicians passing through the revolving door to new positions within the influence industry. --Alexander Wolf Image courtesy of planetware.com
Obama And Summers On Inequality
This isn't a new line from Summers or Obama--the former laid it out in his last Financial Times column before joining the administration--but I thought Summers hit it really well in today's speech: Bubble driven economic growth is problematic because of disruption and dislocation – affecting those who took part in the bubble’s excesses and those who did not. And, it is not entirely healthy even while it lasts. Between 2000 and 2007 – a period of solid aggregate economic growth – the typical working-age household saw their income decline by nearly $2000. The decline in middle-class incomes ev
March 12, 2009
Americans Like Big Government
Barack Obama flew to Columbus last week to announce a stimulus-funded rescue of 25 police jobs. During his speech, this most eloquent of presidents fell into a Lyndon Johnson-like sing-song as he detailed all the other pump-priming grants to Ohio from the stimulus package: “$128 million that will put people to work renovating and rebuilding affordable housing. … $935 million to Ohio that will create jobs rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our highways.