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The Washington Monthly

Gold Erring

  • By
  • T.A. Frank,
  • New America Foundation
July 1, 2009 |
How did we manage to have it all in the years after the Second World War--car, house, health care, affordable education, Social Security, rising wages, leisure--and where did it go? If anyone knows, please tell California. Things seemed to be going so well here a half century ago: unemployment rates just above 3 percent, swimming pools in every backyard, baseball teams poached from Brooklyn, matchless public schools and universities, and swift new highways. Good jobs were available to nearly anyone who came, and nearly everyone did.

It all seems awfully remote.

Winning the Good War

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
July 1, 2009 |

Throughout his campaign last year, President Barack Obama said repeatedly that the real central front of the war against terrorists was on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. And now he is living up to his campaign promise to roll back the Taliban and al-Qaeda with significant resources. By the end of the year there will be some 70,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan, and the Obama administration is pushing for billions of dollars in additional aid to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Green Cards for Grads

  • By
  • T.A. Frank,
  • New America Foundation
June 1, 2009 |

I recently spent several days in Northern California and came down with a mild case of wealth poisoning. This often happens when I travel to places like San Francisco and Palo Alto. The greenness, tidiness, and modernity of the Bay Area start to chafe, like a Barbra Streisand interview, and I become homesick for the soothing grime of Los Angeles. The feeling is especially strong in Silicon Valley, which seems determined to show the world how rich you can get without having any fun.

The Need for Speed

  • By
  • Nicholas Thompson,
  • New America Foundation
May 1, 2009 |

Broadband Internet in the United States is a disaster. It’s appalling. It’s embarrassing. It’s preposterous. Compared to the rest of the world, our connections are slow, balky, and expensive. If you divide speed by cost, Australia’s Internet access is three times better than ours; France’s is nine times better; and Japan’s thumps us twenty-one times over. We’re catching fish with our hands, while they are out in trawlers. And the reason doesn’t have to do with anything intrinsically American. It’s not, for example, that the country is too rural. Broadband stinks even in Chicago.

Washington's Turnaround Artists

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
March 31, 2009 |

The massive corporate bailouts that Washington is undertaking as a result of the economic crisis have left most of us feeling deeply nervous. It’s not just the price tag, measured in incomprehensible trillions. It’s also the fear that the problems of the financial and auto industries may be so deep and so tangled that no one can fix them--and certainly not a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington.

Tipping Back the Scales | Washington Monthly

March 1, 2009
Steven Teles, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University and a fellow at the New America Foundation, offers a more rational take in The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement, and in a new article in Studies in American Political Development. However, with Alberto Gonzales’s blank stare lingering in the mind’s eye, Teles’s assessment still sounds quite outlandish: he suggests that the real secret of the movement’s success was its thirst for ideas and intellectual debate.

Yes He Did!

  • By
  • T.A. Frank,
  • New America Foundation
March 1, 2009 |

For the record, "Yes we can" emerged as a slogan later and less deliberately than one might think. The year was 1972, three years after César Chávez had appeared on the cover of Time magazine and two years after he had led farmworkers to a major victory against grape producers in California. Chávez was in Arizona trying to reverse a law prohibiting strikes by farmworkers during harvest time. Supporters of Chávez told him the law couldn’t be repealed. "No se puede," they said. Dolores Huerta, a colleague of Chávez’s, disagreed. "Sí! Sí se puede," she insisted.

Our Man in Tel Aviv

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
January 27, 2009 |

Just the thought of another book about Middle East policy under President Bill Clinton might make the most stout-hearted reader quake; but he or she would be well advised to consider Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East, by Martin Indyk. Indyk, who was (twice) U.S. ambassador to Israel, and now directs the Saban Center of Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, has managed to write a new, very readable chronicle of Mideast policy during the Clinton years.

Back on Tracks

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
January 13, 2009 |

Six days before Thanksgiving, a truck driver heading south on Interstate 81 through Shenandoah County, Virginia,ploughed his tractor trailer into a knot of cars that had slowed on the rain-slicked highway. The collision killed an eighty-year-old woman and her one- and four-year-old grandchildren, and brought traffic to a standstill along a ten-mile stretch of road for the better part of the afternoon.

The Little Unions That Couldn't

  • By
  • T.A. Frank,
  • New America Foundation
January 1, 2009 |

As Barack Obama prepares to get a stimulus plan launched this winter, carefully planting seeds of cross-party warmth and nurturing each rare shoot, he may wish to avoid unrelated matters that cause bitter partisan showdowns and lay waste to the whole damn thing. At least, that seems wisest when you're asking for a trillion or so in new spending. So people understood why Rahm Emanuel, during a meeting with the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council last November, dodged an inquiry about a contentious piece of legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act.

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