Mad Elephant Fight in NY
October 08, 2009

Trying to hold on to the New York House seat being vacated by John McHugh, the Republican leadership has thrown its support behind a candidate deemed insufficiently orthodox by its base, prompting the by-now-par-for-the-course display of in-fighting, name-calling, and savage screeching about out-of-touch RINOs' putting politics over principle. I realize this isn't why Obama tapped McHugh to be his Secretary of the Army, but it's not a bad bonus.

Today At TNR (October 2, 2009)
October 02, 2009

The Biggest Flaw in Cap-And-Trade? Follow the Power Lines. by Bradford Plumer The Unintended Consequences of the UN’s Latest Indictment of Israel, by Yossi Klein Halevi Strippers, Cowboys, and That Girl From 'Little Miss Sunshine'--What Else Could You Want From a Zombie Movie? by Christopher Orr McWhorter: In 40 Years of African-American Studies, What Have We Learnt? by John McWhorter Cohn: The Problem With Letting States Control Health Care, by Jonathan Cohn Kilgore: Tim Pawlenty in 2012? Seriously?! by Ed Kilgore Peretz: Hillary Clinton, Secretary For Women's Affairs?

Hillary: Secretary For Women's Affairs
October 01, 2009

Hillary Clinton has become the president's secretary for women's affairs, and she's done a good job at it--within the severe limits of what realistically can be done to protect females from sexual violence in war zones.  On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council met, with Hillary in the chair, and as the Associated Press put it, "adopted a resolution ...

Can States Do the Public Option?
October 01, 2009

The latest wrinkle in the public option debate (via Politico initially) is a proposal that comes from Senator Tom Carper, the Delaware Democrat that sits on the Finance committee. According to the proposal's latest draft, which Carper's staff is circulating but--I'm told--Carper himself is not really hawking yet, the idea is to let states set up their own alternative coverage options. Those options include starting a non-profit co-operative, opening up the benefits plan for state employees, or, yes, starting a real public plan. There's no trigger, at least in the document I've seen.

The Power of O
October 01, 2009

Yet one more reason Obama shouldn't go to Copenhagen to lobby for the Olympics: Chicago doesn't need him, since, judging from this report, it looks like Oprah's got things under control: ``Everyone is mesmerized by Oprah,'' said Charmaine Crooks, an Olympian and former International Olympic Committee member from Canada. One of those taking a picture of Chicago's queen - of talk - was Maria Celeste Pedroso, secretary to the leader of Rio 2016 bid chairman Carlos Nuzman. ``So they love Oprah in Rio, too?'' Pedroso was asked. ``Like all the world,'' she said, with a smile. Is all of this starting

Climate Calculus: Price + Innovation = Transformation
September 29, 2009

Alright, here we go on the climate front. After nearly a year of secretive discussions, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) will release global warming legislation Wednesday intended as a “starting point” for Senate negotiations that they hope will lead to an eventual conference with the House. That’s good. Congress needs to get back to work on climate.

Birds of a Feather--HUD’s Neighborhood-Based Housing Strategy
September 24, 2009

The steady accretion of decades of social programs at the federal level leads to frequent violations of the duck test. For instance, just because a neighborhood’s subsidized housing might exhibit the same physical and social problems as distressed public housing, that doesn’t mean it’s public housing. It could be something else entirely--project-based Section 8, or tax credit units, or single-family homes with FHA-insured mortgages.

LaHood Gets Regional on Transportation Spending
September 14, 2009

Lost in the hubbub about health care last week were some remarkable comments from U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. While certainly not as weighty as many of the issues Washington is wrestling with now that Congress is back in session, they represent a sea-change in rhetoric about national transportation policy. “[We] want to allow counties and cities to work together to develop regional plans reflecting both regional and national priorities. Then we'd fund them directly. The fact is, metro areas hold over 80 percent of the U.S. population. They're major centers of economic activity.

Discovery Channel
September 09, 2009

Give the White House credit. Amid signs that the recession is ending, administration officials are resisting what must be an enormous temptation to gloat. “I think we’re certainly on track to, at least, stabilizing the patient,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis during a recent cnbc appearance. But “[t]he patient is still sick.” It’s hardly a triumphalist metaphor. To the extent that there’s a problem, it’s not what the administration is saying so much as what it is assuming: that the business cycle exerts an irresistible gravitational pull—that what goes down must eventually come up.

Why Health Reform Matters: Some Personal Illustrations
September 09, 2009

Want a hint about what the president will say tonight? Check out the guest list for the First Lady's box, which the White House just published.