Alex Altman

Alex Altman is a Washington correspondent for TIME. He previously worked as a writer and editor for TIME's Briefing section. A native of New York City, he has degrees from Colgate University and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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Political Theater

There is a reason Congressional hearings are relegated to C-SPAN: they can be soul-crushingly boring. There’s only so long one can watch rich people berate richer people for being greedy. The Goldman hearing has conformed to a familiar pattern. Senators begin with pointed questions and descend into demagoguery; the bankers force stoic …

Goldman on the Hot Seat

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will grill Goldman Sachs execs this morning, a day after releasing reams of documents that appear to show — despite Goldman’s testimony to the contrary — that the firm raked in money by shorting the housing market. I have a preview here, and we’ll be following along as the hearing …

The Goldman Hearing: What’s At Stake?

Tomorrow morning, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will hold a hearing into the role investment banks played in the financial crisis. To show how Wall Street’s titans “spread poison through the system,” as Sen. Carl Levin put it today, the subcommittee chose months ago to focus its investigation on Goldman Sachs — a …

Obama Calls for Immigration Reform

Updated, 4:40 p.m.

At a naturalization ceremony held this morning for active-duty service members, President Obama called on Congress to take up immigration reform, pointing to Arizona’s controversial immigration bill — which some observers have denounced as draconian, or even fascist — as underscoring the need for new federal …

Tea Party Fatigue

Adam linked this morning to a Politico piece that contends the media, after mostly missing the Tea Party’s emergence, has since spilled way too much ink on the movement. Certainly many Swamplanders have made this argument already. Dave Weigel has a fair rebuttal, I think: “If a political movement, however loosely aggregated, is driving …

Playing Politics with Goldman

At the start of today’s press briefing, Robert Gibbs did his best to tamp down suggestions that the SEC’s case against Goldman Sachs was linked to the Obama Administration’s ongoing push for financial regulatory reform. “The SEC doesn’t notify the White House of its enforcement actions and certainly didn’t do so in this case,” Gibbs …

Clinton’s Critique of Overheated Rhetoric

With the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing approaching on Monday, former president Bill Clinton gave an eloquent speech this morning at the Center for American Progress. Clinton compares the poisonous political climate that sent Timothy McVeigh to the Murrah building and the debates raging today. He warned political …

Sampling the Tea

As Tea Party groups mark Tax Day by staging protests across the U.S., it’s worth taking a look at yesterday’s New York Times/CBS News poll, which paints a vivid picture of the movement. Journalists — and many others who aren’t among the 18% of Americans who consider themselves Tea Party backers, according to the poll — have had a hard …

Palin’s Staggering Haul

An ABC News report quantifies the obvious: life as a private citizen has been lucrative for Sarah Palin. ABC estimates that since stepping down as governor of Alaska in July, Palin has raked in some $12 million from book deals, speaking fees and television projects. According to the network:

That conservative estimate is based on

Stupak Steps Aside

Updated, 3:50 p.m.

During the press conference at which he announced he will not run for re-election, Bart Stupak made only passing allusion to the hailstorm of controversy he’s endured since voting for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The nine-term incumbent said his decision was spurred by a desire to spend more …

Making Toyota Pay

After enduring a public flogging on Capitol Hill, Toyota execs will now have to contend with regulators’ attempts to slap a civil penalty on the beleaguered automaker. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that NHTSA, whose purportedly lax oversight made it the target of withering criticism during Congressional hearings …

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