Naked Sleep Walkers Beware
October 26, 2009

Did you know that wandering around your own home in the buff can get you tossed in jail? This is one of those issues I never gave a moment's thought until I ran across today's WaPo piece about a guy in Fairfax, VA who was recently jolted from a nap on his sofa by a bunch of cops waving a taser in his face and calling him a perv. Seems a neighbor had reported the guy for exposing himself to her and her young son as they were walking past his house that morning.

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.

The Character of Our Country
September 09, 2009

Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. A friend asked what I was hoping to hear tonight from President Obama. It’s surprisingly hard to answer this simple question. Like many advocates and political junkies, I listening for implicit and explicit signals concerning particular matters—a strong national insurance exchange, affordability credits up to 400% of the poverty line, and more. I admit these are dry and mechanical things.

Ready for Her Close-Up
July 24, 2009

When Sarah Palin abruptly announced that she was planning to leave office, it was clear whom she blamed for her early exit. “I wish you'd hear MORE from the media of your state’s progress and how we tackle Outside interests--daily--SPECIAL interests that would stymie our state,” she said in her July 3 resignation speech, which she later posted on her website.

Does Obama Need Congress To Act On Climate Change?
December 04, 2008

What happens if Congress can't—or won't—pass a climate bill in the next two years? Does that mean Obama will just have to scrap his promise to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions? No, not necessarily. As we've discussed before, and as Marc Ambinder pointed out yesterday, thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, the EPA has the option of using the existing Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 from power plants and large industrial facilities. Here's Ambinder's take: If Obama decides to do this, climate change conservatives will go ape. An end-run around Congress.

Cultural Devolution
July 09, 2008

Cross over San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, head north for half an hour, and you'll reach Mount Tamalpais State Park, home to redwood groves and, a little ways up, panoramic views of the bay. As it turns out, though, the park is also home to large amounts of pollution from Asia--dust, sulfur, trace metals--blowing in from across the Pacific. "We call it the persistent Asian plume," says Steven Cliff, an atmospheric scientist currently working with the California Air Resources Board.