February 17, 2009
The Financial Times has two interesting pieces up about the banking crisis. The first is a write-up of a speech Alan Greenspan gave today. Key point: The US administration will have to go back to Congress for more money to recapitalise the banking system, Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, said on Tuesday. ...
Dept Of Lame Retorts
So Karl Rove had five days to think up a comeback to David Axelrod's smacktalk about him last week, and this is the best he could do? "I am not giving him advice, I am commenting on what they are doing," Rove told Lauer. "And I'm sure even this White House would say people have the right to offer an opinion." --Jason Zengerle
The Other Emanuel
There are three Emanuel brothers. All of you know two of them. The first is Rahm, about whom I blogged even before the inauguration of Barack Obama, whom he serves as chief of staff. The second is Ari E. who you know not as the top man at Endeavor, the real Hollywood talent agency, but as the fictitious Ari Gold, the top man at the fictitious talent agency Entourage. Both are friends of mine, and each is impressive in his own way. Very impressive.But the third brother, Exzekiel, really has gravitas.
Danzig, Odd Man Out, Joins Cnas
Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, a top Obama campaign advisor many people imagined as defense secretary--until Robert Gates was tapped to stay--will become chairman of the board at the Center for a New American Security, says the hardheaded Democratic national security think tank whose ranks have recently been depleted by Obama appointments.
A Mormon In The White House?
David Frum is worried about the roughly 25 percent of Americans who would be disinclined to vote for a Mormon for president. (This is a potential problem for Republicans because several of the party's leading presidential candidates are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.) Before setting out to defend the Mormons against prejudice, Frum briefly examines Jacob Weisberg's 2006 attack on the faith and promptly dismisses its arguments on the grounds that they could be applied to the members of many other churches. I agree that Weisberg's arguments are overly broad.
February 16, 2009
Not A Sap
CHICAGO--Barack Obama senses that he's in the middle of a hurricane whose gale-force winds could blow history his way.He doesn't mind acknowledging that he is learning as he goes along, and he is not bitter about how little help he is getting from Republicans. But he will never again let bipartisanship become the defining test of his success.And, yes, he is aware that the passage of his stimulus package, though a big deal three weeks into a presidency, is only a prelude to the "really tough" part.
Should we pay people to quit smoking? A new study has shown that significantly more smokers will quit if they're paid by someone else to do so. Researchers tracked over 870 employees from General Electric for a year and a half, giving out payments of up to $750 to smokers who quit. Participants who were paid to quit were nearly three times as likely to quit as those who didn't receive the cash, according to findings published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine. Encouraged by the success of the trial, G.E.
Making Legislative Lemonade
The agenda on which President Obama campaigned is in the process of colliding with the agenda that events have forced upon him. How he responds will determine the course--and perhaps the fate--of his presidency. In January of this year, the Congressional Budget Office projected deficits of $1.19 trillion for fiscal year 2009 and $703 billion for FY 2010. The stimulus package just signed into law added $185 billion to the 2009 deficit and $399 billion for 2010.
Obama And The Court
Adam Liptak notes an interesting talk John Roberts gave a few weeks back about the importance of Supreme Court justices having prior judicial experience: As late as 1972, when Chief Justice Roberts’s predecessor, William H. Rehnquist, joined the court as an associate justice, former federal judges were in the minority.
February 15, 2009
Tnrtv: Why Didn't Obama Educate Us?
TNR editor Frank Foer and senior editor Jonathan Chait discuss the latest "TRB From Washington" column: Should Obama have taken his economic case on the road earlier? Will the public rally against big government? Has he put his agenda, and his presidency, at risk? --Ben Eisler