We Love To See You Smile
April 10, 2007

by Darrin McMahonWho's tired of GNP? A lot of people, it seems.

Congress' Complications
April 10, 2007

I am finally in a hotel that has internet connections which work. This means I can catch up on the news and even reflect on it. Actually, the English language press--which means mainly the Hindustan Times and the Times of India--have virtually no reports from or on America or Europe. And even in its articles about India, the front page is usually devoted to cricket or stars of Bollywood. Today's HT (not Herald Tribune) reports in a big story on page three that a particular starlet, Aishwarya Rai, will use 15 kg of henna for her henna ceremony.

India's Inconsistencies
April 10, 2007

Well, the hotel at which I could finally read several newspaper websites and my incoming e-mails did not allow or technologically permit me to send e-mails. So, aside from the following two postings being a bit out of sequence, they reflect the incoherence of my experience in India, about its sublime beauty in many places and its grinding poverty in others. We did not go to Bombay or other big cities. So we did not see how the thousands of graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology have transformed the economic landscape (those of its graduates, that is, who are not now in America.)

King Coal Comes Knocking
April 09, 2007

Most coal companies aren't exactly thrilled by the prospect of Democrats putting a cap on carbon emissions in the coming years. So that means... lobbying. Whole shovels full. In March, the day before Al Gore testified before Congress on climate change, the coal industry held a $1,000-a-head fundraiser for Virginia Democrat Rick Boucher, chair of the House subcommittee in charge of global warming legislation.

"i Have Real Work To Do"
April 06, 2007

Last week, I blogged about the decision by American gay rights activists to not make use of the State Department's annual human rights report regarding the treatment of gays abroad. The activists in question say they refused to publicize the report because Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have made any research compiled by the United States on human rights morally dubious. The debate is outlined here (with a heavy dose of opinion) by Doug Ireland (who, perhaps hoping to rile some feathers, calls TNR, "neo-liberal") in New York's Gay City News.

L'etat C'est Moi
April 02, 2007

by Linda Hirshman Cass Sunstein has done us all his usual good service by bringing some old-fashionedcivic republican analysis to the newer phenomenon of the blogosphere. That similar trends have been observed in satellite TV and radio reflects, I fear, that the blogosphere at most, reinforces the polarization of the society.

Supreme Court And Climate Change
April 02, 2007

by Cass Sunstein Just out: The Supreme Court has ruled against the Bush administration in the climate change case. It is too soon to know whether this is a major development in terms of climate change, but it is a remarkable outcome in terms of the law. The plaintiffs faced several serious obstacles: It was not clear that they had standing, it was not (entirely) clear that EPA's decision was reviewable under the ordinary standards, and it was not clear that the EPA's decision was inconsistent with the Clean Air Act.

Feckless Fleet Street
March 30, 2007

I've been in London for 24 hours and already I am reminded wistfully of how much better--broader and deeper--the American press is than the British. Now, I don't much like the Guardian's editorial line. But its reporting is, save for the Financial Times, superior to all its competitors.

Krauthammer's Martian
March 30, 2007

Charles Krauthammer bashes Democrats who call Afghanistan the site of "the real war" on terror. I'm sure it's true that Democrats prefer talking about Afghanistan to Iraq because it's an easier moral case. But Krauthammer's argument is built around an awfully glib view of Afghanistan's strategic value. Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents.

History Historians Don't Do
March 29, 2007

by Eric Rauchway Further to the question, posed by Darrin McMahon, of where the economic historians are, two replies to my post on the subject give two very different pictures. Tyler Cowen writes with his usual cheer that economic history is alive and well in economics departments, and lists the new hires that his university, George Mason, has made in the field. On the other hand, Mark Thoma writes, I wish I could reassure Eric that economic history is alive and well within economics departments generally. I cannot, and that's a loss for our profession.