In the Arena

A Time to Think Big

The country faces grave challenges. So why do Jeb Bush and Barack Obama spend so much time on small-bore maneuvers?

Sequestered in Memphis

My head is filled to bursting with the great Hold Steady song: Subpoened in Texas, Sequestered in Memphis. It’s far more fun than the current idiotic man-made crisis over the sequester in DC. I’ve been ignoring this “crisis,” assuming that they’ll cut some sort of last minute deal, as they always do.

Good News on Health Care

Good news? Yes. There’s been a decline in the increase of health care spending that could shrink our budget deficits in the near future.


Ed Koch was a giant of New York. He will not, I think, be remembered for giant breakthroughs in governance. No, he’ll be remembered for his gigantic, totally NooYawk personality.

The Shame of New York School Bus Drivers

It is shameful that New York city’s school bus drivers, whose major function is to transport special needs children, have gone on strike today–and even more shameful that they’re striking for the guarantee of employment, which may be illegal.

Bill Kristol’s Very Bad Day

Ah, the wages of extremism! Bill Kristol writes yet another editorial trying to scuttle the Chuck Hagel nomination–and even criticizes AIPAC for eschewing public denunciations of Hagel. And then the neocons’ last best hope, Chuck Schumer, weighs in.

Obama’s Second Chance

The President has decided that he is, for the moment, in a position of power and, unlike his first-term negotiating style, seems ready to bulldoze his hapless opponents.

Richard Ben Cramer

Richard Ben Cramer, a journalist I knew and admired greatly, has passed away at the age of 62.

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