Archive

  • CNN POLLS FIVE KEY SENATE RACES.

    CNN POLLS FIVE KEY SENATE RACES. With just a week to go before the midterm elections, CNN released a new poll this morning on the five states political observers are watching most. * Missouri -- Sen. Jim Talent (R) and state Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) are right where they've been all along, tied at 49 percent support each. However, the CNN poll showed that expanding the field to registered voters (instead of likely voters) shows McCaskill ahead, 51 percent to 43 percent. * New Jersey -- Like nearly all recent polling in the Garden State, Sen. Bob Menendez (D) still leads state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R), 51 percent to 44 percent. * Ohio -- No wonder the GOP establishment bailed on Ohio; it appears increasingly uncompetitive. CNN shows Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) leading incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine (R), 54 percent to 43 percent. * Tennessee -- In perhaps the biggest setback to Democratic hopes of regaining the Senate, CNN shows former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker with a six eight-point lead...
  • LOOKING AHEAD.

    LOOKING AHEAD. The battle for control of state legislatures and the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade begins one week from today. How's that? Well, because incumbent governors are re-elected at high rates; and because any four-year-term governors elected this coming Tuesday who are not term-limited from running for re-election in 2010 will find themselves in the advantaged position four years hence; and because winners that year will be in position to have a major influence over the district mapmaking for both state legislatures and the House, the gubernatorial elections this year will have an indirect bearing on the fates of literally thousands of state and national legislative candidates running in 2012 and beyond. So, too, will battles for control of the state legislatures, in which the parties right now are basically at parity . And the significance of these under-the-radar races is partly why, as I recently argued in The New York Times , long-term base development...
  • Do All Economists Expect a Stronger Fourth Quarter?

    Not one of the "Blue Chip" 50 economic forecasters saw the coming of the 2001 recession in the fall of 2000. How could 50 intelligent informed observers make independent assessments of the economy and fail to see a major event that was right in front of their eyes. The obvious answer is that forecasters do not make independent assessments. They try to make sure that their foecasts are consistent with the rest of the forecasts. This way, if they are right, they can be happy. And, if they are wrong, well, who could have known? This history is important to keep in mind as we approach a period of extrordinary economic uncertainty. It is also a good reason that reporters should not be asserting that, " with Americans earning more and spending more, economists expect that the gross domestic product will expand faster than it did in the third quarter ." Reporters who gave their readers the wisdom from the Blue Chip 50 in the fall of 2000 would have badly misled them about the state of the...
  • Maybe Better Reporting Would Help

    Circulation Plunges at Major Newspapers --Dean Baker
  • ABRACADABRA. Having tracked...

    ABRACADABRA. Having tracked the religious right's rise over the last two decades, I must say that, unlike Scott and Sam , I find the argument, rendered via Amy Sullivan , over whether or not the religious right is a tool of the man, or poised to become the man himself, largely irrelevant; either way, we wind up with law written by self-appointed religious sages. The most prescient thing ever said to me about a Republican Party high on religion came from the late Rabbi Arthur Hertzerg , a celebrated scholar whom I interviewed for a 1995 Mother Jones cover story on the religious right. (The cover featured a Photoshopped picture of the White House with a cross on its gable, and the headline, "House of God?" A decade later, the Prospect offered a new riff on the theme): Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, Ph.D., of the Interfaith Alliance, a coalition of clergy formed to oppose the religious right, sees something sinister in the language of the right: the exploitation of a religious impulse felt by...
  • EVANGELICALS FOR AGNOSTICS....

    EVANGELICALS FOR AGNOSTICS. To vaguely weigh in on whether Christians are getting used by the right or taking it over, this point of Amy 's struck me as interesting: I, and many Democrats, supported expanding the charitable tax exemption so that more Americans could donate more money to charity. I think you'll agree that it was a supremely conservative idea--increase private giving to private charities so they can do good work without the public sector getting involved. It was the most significant and dramatic part of Bush's original faith-based plan, and it would have resulted in enormous injections of funds into the charitable sector--certainly much more than the faith-based initiative has already dispersed. (One respected estimate projected an increase of $160 billion in charitable giving over ten years.) Unfortunately--and this gets back to our original question of whether the White House has delivered on its promises to religious conservatives--the Bush administration turned its...
  • SULLIVAN VS. LEMIEUX.

    SULLIVAN VS. LEMIEUX. Amy responds to Scott here . --Sam Rosenfeld
  • GOLD IN THEM THAR CREDITS.

    GOLD IN THEM THAR CREDITS. Last week the investment bank Morgan Stanley announced it was investing almost $3 billion in emissions credits made possible by the much-vilified Kyoto protocol . The announcement happened to coincide with the release of the World Bank's annual "State of the Carbon Market" report, at Carbon Expo Asia , trumpeting the news that the carbon market grew from nearly $11 billion in 2005 to almost $22 billion during the first three quarters of 2006. The Stern report flagged by Kevin Drum , which contains dire warnings about the economic consequences of global warming, is making Morgan Stanley's investment look prescient indeed. News that many European countries won't be able to meet their Kyoto targets means there is ample opportunity to make a killing while doing good for the environment. Businesses are more likely to heed the clarion call of the almighty dollar than earnest newspaper editorials . As for the Bush administration, that's another story. -- Blake...
  • POPULISM WITHOUT XENOPHOBIA?...

    POPULISM WITHOUT XENOPHOBIA? Peter Beinart has a smart column this week on the downsides of Democratic populism: For writers like [Thomas] Frank, the tragedy of that era was that the free-trading, Wall Street-friendly Bill Clinton did not use economic populism to permanently lure these angry white males into the Democratic fold. Now Democrats have another chance. But renouncing future naftas won't be enough. Many liberals would like to pick and choose their anti-globalization politics--arguing for more regulation of international trade and investment, but resisting punitive measures to regulate the flow of international labor. Morally, that's perfectly defensible. But, politically, it is likely to fail. There is a reason that the late nineteenth-century populists Frank admires were nativists: While low-skilled immigration may benefit the United States as a whole, it rarely benefits low-skilled Americans. And, for many blue-collar Americans today, Mexican immigration--whether legal or...
  • IRANIAN NUKES.

    IRANIAN NUKES. I was all ready to write a long post on Noah Feldman's article about the Iranian nuclear program, but that determination foundered upon my inability to figure out what Feldman was actually arguing. Feldman included a long, interesting, and rather pointless discussion of the Islamic position on suicide bombing, danced around a realist analysis of the nuclear situation in the Middle East without really committing to it, and soldiered through a discussion of Islamic theology without coming to any conclusions. Marty Peretz liked it, which means that it must have been incoherent. Fortunately, Matt Yglesias is a better man than I, and managed to slog through and produce some observations. Most notable, I think, is Matt's observation that contemporary Western discussions of suicide bombing suffer from some fatal definitional flaws: And, again, why all the talk of suicide bombers in the context of nuclear deterrence? The West lacks a significant tradition of literal suicide...

Pages