Stanford

A Reply to Jonathan Chait on Stimulus
August 23, 2010

Jonathan Chait has responded to my post about our lack of knowledge about the practical effects of stimulus spending. He seems to be taking on opinions that aren’t mine. Chait begins his reply by claiming that I “oppose any stimulus at all.” This is a position which I did not present in the post, and which I do not hold. In fact, I have consistently advocated stimulus in the face of the current crisis, and generally in venues that are not as hospitable to this idea as The New Republic.

Look Who Thinks America Is Cool Again
July 30, 2010

It’s been a long time since foreign leaders arrived on our shores saying that America is the future—so long, in fact, that when it does happen, we don’t know what to make of it. For me this was the most interesting subtext of Russian president Dmitri Medvedev’s visit to the States last month. He and Barack Obama had a familiar discussion of shared national interests, from arms control to ethnic peace in Kyrgyzstan. Their lunch outing to an Arlington burger joint reflected the search for good visuals that we often see when a summit itself isn’t generating much real news.

2010 Is Busting Heat Records
July 12, 2010

According to NASA, the first six months of 2010 were officially the hottest half-year on record—and we're now on track to witness the hottest year on record (although that will largely depend on La Niña conditions later this year). A few of the usual bullet points on how this relates to global warming: 1. One hot year doesn't, on its own, prove that humans are warming the planet any more than one cold year disproves it. That said, there's a clear upward trend here, and reams of evidence that the planet is heating up.

Complacent About the Planet. Or Not.
July 08, 2010

Last week's item about liberals and climate change provoked a smart response from Josh Nelson that, like the rest of his blog, is well worth reading. In my item, I had bemoaned the lack of grassroots pressure for climate change legislation, in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and suggested the relative complacency was one reason climate change legislation had stalled in Congress.

The Healer
June 15, 2010

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA—It was as clear as the film’s most famous scene: The work of reconciliation in South Africa is not done yet. In February 2008, a video appeared online showing four white students from South Africa’s University of the Free State (UFS) hazing their black janitors as if they were new freshmen. There’s a beer-drinking contest, a footrace to “Chariots of Fire.” Near the end, the boys appear to pee into bowls of stew and urge the janitors to eat up. It was supposed to be an in-house joke, a protest against a plan to integrate their dorm, a student residence called Reitz.

The Healer
June 15, 2010

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA—It was as clear as the film’s most famous scene: The work of reconciliation in South Africa is not done yet. In February 2008, a video appeared online showing four white students from South Africa’s University of the Free State (UFS) hazing their black janitors as if they were new freshmen. There’s a beer-drinking contest, a footrace to “Chariots of Fire.” Near the end, the boys appear to pee into bowls of stew and urge the janitors to eat up. It was supposed to be an in-house joke, a protest against a plan to integrate their dorm, a student residence called Reitz.

With Friends Like Us
June 08, 2010

Japan has a new prime minister, Naoto Kan, but he comes from the same party—the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)—as Yukio Hatoyama, who resigned last Wednesday. He will almost surely want to continue Hatoyama's policies of strengthening Japan’s political democracy and forging an independent foreign policy that is allied with the United States, but not subordinate to it. If Kan follows that course, he will undoubtedly displease much of Japan’s establishment, which still identifies with the defeated Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that Hatoyama's party trounced in last year's election.

Another Item My Wife Should Read
May 27, 2010

A.O. Scott on "Sex and the City 2": The first “Sex and The City” movie, which came out two years ago, qualifies as a comedy both because it is somewhat funny and because, according to a more classical definition, it ends, after some reversals and delays, with a wedding. The sequel — which should have borrowed a subtitle from another picture opening this week and called itself “Sex and the City: The Sands of Time” — begins with a wedding and never seems to end.

The Ten Biggest Issues Elena Kagan Will Face
May 09, 2010

Tom Goldstein is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and lecturer at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. He is the founder of SCOTUSblog, where this piece was originally posted. Here is how I think the nomination process is likely to play out. I divide it into process and substance. First, the process: Note the relationship between Monday’s announcement and the Senate calendar. There are seven weeks between Monday and June 28.

I Am Appalled That TNR Has Published Why Some Nobody Doesn’t Want Elena Kagan Nominated To The Supreme Court
May 08, 2010

This nobody who is suddenly somebody is Paul Campos. He is a professor of law at the University of Colorado. Other than being an unremarkable law professor, he is known largely for trivial interests: obesity, the personality of judges, the origins of the chicken sandwich, the Notre Dame football team. He has also shown some knack for interdisciplinary work. For example, he wrote a piece, “Fat Judges Need Not Apply,” for the Daily Beast, which, as you know, is a very serious journal. But don’t underestimate Campos.

Pages