Politics

December 03, 2008

The Final Leap
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--In recent years, the outside world's idea of India has been tied almost exclusively to its glorious economic rise. The tragedy of Mumbai reminds us that severe religious, ethnic and nationalist differences remain. And these differences weigh heavily against India's definitive rise.There is no denying the leap forward (pardon my Maoist slip) made by India since the bold changes unleashed in 1991 by Manmohan Singh, then the finance minister and now the prime minister.

A Few Good Women
12:00 AM

In the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama first distinguished himself in the area of foreign policy; criticizing an atrophied approach to international affairs in both parties, he promised a new approach to diplomacy and national security.

Defining Barack Down
12:00 AM

The funny thing about elections is that their meaning undergoes a metamorphosis the very instant they occur. A couple weeks before the vote, a Republican member of Congress declared at a McCain rally, "This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing. It's a referendum on socialism." If you said now that the election was a referendum on socialism, or even mere liberalism, you'd be taken for a left-wing maniac. Political scientists will tell you that a presidential "mandate" is just a social construct. But it's an important construct, in two ways.

Is Harry Reid Going Down?
12:00 AM

Like the young Julius Caesar--who confidently boasted, while languishing helpless and imprisoned by pirates on an island, that he would soon crucify his own captors--the embattled Senate Republicans, who haven’t won a single seat from Democrats in two election cycles, are already dreaming of taking the biggest prize of all in 2010: Majority Leader Harry Reid. Jon Cornyn, the newly-minted chief of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, reportedly wants to make Reid, who’s up for re-election, one of his prime targets; the RNC is panting after him, too.

Inside The Belly Of Bush's Beast
12:00 AM

I'm a day late on this, but don't miss David Sanger's intriguing story on what the transitionistas are uncovering about the inner functionings of the formerly-opaque Bush administration: “For a bunch of small-government Republicans,” one former denizen of the White House who has now stepped back inside for the first time in eight years, “these guys built a hell of an empire.” Eight years ago, there were two deputy national security advisers; today there are a half-dozen, each with staff.

All Hail King David
12:00 AM

In case you haven't heard, NBC is in advanced negotiations with David Gregory to take the reins at Meet the Press, apparently beating out folks like Chuck Todd, Gwen Ifill, and Andrea Mitchell. If you want to know more about Gregory, be sure to check out Zachary Roth's excellent 2007 profile of "King David": His breaking point came in the summer of 2005, after it became clear that the White House had deceived the press about Karl Rove's role in the unmasking of Valerie Plame.

December 02, 2008

Better Than a Bailout

On Tuesday, executives from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors will submit reports on how they can restructure their operations. And quite a lot is riding on what those reports say. If Congress isn’t satisfied that the planned changes will make the companies more competitive, it’s unlikely to approve the $25 billion in emergency loans that the automakers may need to survive the current crisis. If just one of the companies should fail, let alone all three, the economic repercussions could be enormous--and not just in Detroit.But exactly what kind of changes should the executives promise?

Better Than A Bailout

Today, executives from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors will submit reports on how they can restructure their operations. And quite a lot is riding on what those reports say. If Congress isn't satisfied that the planned changes will make the companies more competitive, it's unlikely to approve the $25 billion in emergency loans that the automakers may need to survive the current crisis. If just one of the companies should fail, let alone all three, the economic repercussions could be enormous--and not just in Detroit.But exactly what kind of changes should the executives promise?

What’s The Matter With South Dakota?
12:00 AM

South Dakota state legislator Larry Rhoden is as loyal a pro-life crusader as you are likely to find in the Rushmore state. Rhoden worked enthusiastically in 2004 to pass a state bill that would ban nearly all abortions. When that failed, he continued to push the issue--helping to form an abortion task force that would give legitimacy to the ban effort, and helped lead the efforts on another abortion ban bill that passed the legislature but failed when referred to a statewide vote as a ballot initiative in 2006.

Unions Jacked
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--There is a paradox at the heart of the proposed bailout of the auto industry. The rescue would have no chance of passing without the muscle of the Big Three's unionized work force. Yet you can't turn around without hearing someone trash autoworkers for the terrible crime of trying to earn a decent living.The CEOs of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, having blown their earlier plea for help last month, deliver their revival plans to Congress on Tuesday and face their big test later in the week when they defend them.

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