We Almost Lost Detroit
August 02, 2010
Washington—Who could have imagined that the bailout of the auto industry, one of the single most unpopular moves by the Obama administration, would become one of its best talking points? But don't for an instant imagine that the comeback of the nation's rescued car companies, particularly General Motors, will change the way we debate government's role in the economy.
July 11, 2010
Just over 45 years ago, I set foot in the United States for the first time. If you had sat the old Oxford scholarship exam in December and, in Simon Gray’s deathless definition of the pedagogical process, displayed a fluent fraudulence that the examiners could not expose without revealing their own fraudulence, you were able to take the next nine months off before going up as a freshman in October. So, “westward, look, the land is bright!”—a line Churchill liked to quote—and I set off to the New World, more precisely, to Chuck Berry’s ‘Promised Land’ of southern California.
Who’s Going to Replace Orszag?
June 25, 2010
The first-day stories on Peter Orszag’s looming departure from OMB highlighted a number of possible successors.
June 17, 2010
Did Obama just dump his best friend on Wall Street?
Dispatches From the Blago Trial (Part 3)
June 10, 2010
Click here to read Margo Howard’s first dispatch from the Blagojevich trial. Click here to read her second. A note about Mrs. Blagojevich and the bathroom, and Mrs. B. and the courtroom. I encountered her in the loo again, only there were more people than last time. I did hear her say, once more, that it’s tough to hear people tell lies about you. I guess that’s how she responds to “how are you?” Also, I wrote yesterday that she would not be allowed in the courtroom once the trial began because she would be a witness.
June 06, 2010
Marc Ambinder says the news media should be ashamed for chasing the Sestak pseudo-scandal: I will grant that the statutes themselves can be interpreted in such a way as to prohibit virtually all political activity by anyone remotely connected with the executive branch. But practice -- and not simply underhanded practice, but open, above-board practice, since the time those laws were written suggests that the law's authors intended them as a bulwark against official corruption, not against the mixing of politics and policy.
President Obama Asks Himself A Question
May 21, 2010
Jonathan Cohn's account of the passage of the Affordable Care Act begins with this scene, from last August, when most members of president Obama's inner circle believed they should retreat from comprehensive reform: All week, the group had debated whether to scale back the reform effort. Now, a decision point had come, according to several people who were in the room. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he couldn’t keep telling reporters that there was progress on reform when, in fact, it plainly wasn’t happening.
How They Did It
May 21, 2010
When the president and his closest advisers huddled in the Oval Office last August, they had every reason to panic. Their signature piece of legislation, comprehensive health care reform, was mired in the Senate Finance Committee and the public was souring on it. Unemployment was on the march, and all this talk about preexisting conditions and insurance exchanges barely registered above the Fox News pundits screaming, “Death panel!” Suddenly, health care reform was under attack everywhere—even in the West Wing. All week, the group had debated whether to scale back the reform effort.
How They Did It (Part One)
May 20, 2010
This is the first of a five-part series explaining, in remarkable detail, how Obama and the Democrats came to pass health care reform. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the second part, which reveals how Ted Kennedy wooed Max Baucus and what Rahm Emanuel promised the drug industry. When the president and his closest advisers huddled in the Oval Office last August, they had every reason to panic. Their signature piece of legislation, comprehensive health care reform, was mired in the Senate Finance Committee and the public was souring on it.
How They Did It
May 19, 2010
The other Jonathan at TNR has put together an epic, behind-the-scenes look at health care reform and how it passed. The piece is so comprehensive, it’s going to be released in five installments (though if you’re a member of TNR Society you can download it all here now—and if you’d like to join, here’s the registration site). The first section (which goes live at midnight) dives right into the middle of the debate, in August, when many of Obama’s advisors recommended he scale back his ambitions: All week, the group had debated whether to scale back the reform effort.