Cuba: the momentum of the free market

As I’ve driven through Miami this weekend and spoken to friends and relatives, many uneasy and vaguely dejected, I have to remember I had no illusions about the renewal of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. If Nixon could ignore Mao’s extermination of perhaps hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens during the Cultural… More Cuba: the momentum of the free market

Of geniuses, mandarins, and institutionalists

Patrick McGilligan – Young Orson Simon Callow, Clinton Heylin, David Thomson, and the Welles-approved Barbara Leaming have covered this ground, but what distinguishes this SS-20 of a tome is the attention on George Orson’s origins. Raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin by a pianist/actress mother and a dad whose early fortune as a bicycle lamp inventor hastened… More Of geniuses, mandarins, and institutionalists

Barack Obama: a legacy

The Barack Hussein Obama presidency has been more consequential than it looks, Michael Grunwald argues. Wading through the minutiae of the stimulus bill and Department of Energy regulations, Grunwald says the president’s domestic legacy will outlive him: What he’s done is changing the way we produce and consume energy, the way doctors and hospitals treat… More Barack Obama: a legacy

An accord!

Well! This is good news. After four years of fraught U.N. talks often pitting the interests of rich nations against poor, imperiled island states against rising economic powerhouses, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declared the pact adopted to the standing applause and whistles of delegates from almost 200 nations. “With a small hammer you can… More An accord!

‘The lost illusions of American exceptionalism’

A couple days before Thanksgiving, remembering the mockery and hysteria with which the president’s sobriety before the forces of terrorist reaction has been greeted by the Beltway press, I thought it time to take stock. Charles Pierce: Shortly before his death, Thomas Jefferson described the issue of chattel slavery as the equivalent of​ holding a… More ‘The lost illusions of American exceptionalism’

Public education and its discontents

The most insistent strain of neoliberalism in Barack Obama’s DNA is his commitment to charlatans in the educational testing system — the Michelle Rhees whose commitment to high scores doubles as a way to transform public schools into fiefdoms managed by private companies (Diane Ravitch has played an estimable role explaining how the grifters work).… More Public education and its discontents

The Obama report card

My readers know that praise for Barack Hussein Obama comes rarely and is often modulated by several factors, not least of which is my scorn for political reporters to cite “accomplishments” as if they were rice cakes: calorie-free, without nutritive value, substitutes for richer and unhealthier foods. Kevin Drum’s grocery list impressed me. I’m going… More The Obama report card

DHS ‘monitoring’ #BlackLivesMatter movement

To quote a band I don’t much like, no alarms and no surprises: The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents, released by… More DHS ‘monitoring’ #BlackLivesMatter movement