Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz is a former staff writer for the Prospect. His work has been published by Newsweek, The New Republic, The Nation, The Guardian, and The Daily Beast. He is also a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Recent Articles

IMPOTENCE.

In his triumphant return to blogging, Matt Yglesias notes that the U.S. has, uh, no real leverage to respond to the crisis in Georgia. Even better, as these neocon types fulminate for an aggressive U.S. response, the administration officials who usually enable them are responding with ... laughter . “We’ve placed ourselves in a position that globally we don’t have the wherewithal to do anything,” Mr. Friedman of Stratfor said. “One would think under those circumstances, we’d shut up.” One senior administration official, when told of that quote, laughed. “Well, maybe we’re learning to shut up now,” he said. He asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue. Great timing. --Tim Fernholz...

BIG GOVERNMENT CONSERVATIVES.

I haven't been following Howard Gleckman as much as Ezra has , but this post offering the ridiculous idea that Douglas Holtz-Eakin should be Obama's OMB director also includes this: Second, Holtz-Eakin would enjoy fiscal credibility in the financial markets. The bond vigilantes have not cared about deficits for years, but they tend to get interested when Democrats run the government. Just ask Bill Clinton. Today, they see Obama as little more than a big-government liberal with a good speech. This might show them he is more complex than that. Jeez. Is this really how financial professionals work? I mean, the Bush administration is posting record deficits and has increased spending more than Carter or Clinton -- the largest increase, in fact, since LBJ. But none of this worries people because a conservative is doing it. And John McCain, who is planning on cutting taxes by $300 billion, doesn't concern them since his commitment to continuing to stay in Iraq and not making clear where he...

HAPPY BLUE SKY OLYMPICS DAY.

In the true spirit of the evils of euphemism -- and creating some synergy with Spencer's piece from yesterday -- today we learn how to describe air quality in China: On the long-awaited day that these Olympics officially opened, the sky was smoggy and the local air quality rating was 94, well above the limits in the United States. Still, anything below a 101 qualifies as a “Blue Sky Day” here, according to the standards set to monitor air quality for the Olympics. Which makes the air conditions " acceptable " but "some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people." So, I guess the appropriate response is ... USA! USA! USA! --Tim Fernholz...

TIME FOR A STAND.

With the Olympics kicking off tomorrow, Michael Scherer wonders whether President Bush will make any statements about China's complicity with, and indeed support of, the genocide in Sudan. Here's his chance: Earlier this week, the Chinese government revoked the visa of Joey Cheek , a speedskater and the U.S. Olympic Committee's 2006 sportsman of the year . Cheek is the head of Team Darfur , a group of Olympic athletes dedicated to ending the genocide in Darfur -- one member, Lopez Lamong , will carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony. Even Mitt Romney , who headed the Salt Lake Olympics effort in 2002, had harsh words for the regime. As Scherer points out, Bush has promised to advocate on behalf of those suffering in Darfur -- now's his chance for him to put his money where his mouth is. And it wouldn't hurt to hear from presidential candidates, either... --Tim Fernholz

LABOR + MUSLIMS, 1; HATERS, 0.

A great fracas is evolving because a labor union successfully represented the interests of its members in negotiations with a major corporation. That doesn't seem like it would be a big deal except that those members are Muslims and the corporation's concession is letting them have the important Muslim holiday, Eid Al-Fitr, as a paid day off instead of Labor Day. The hate mail the union is now receiving -- “You are a union that is proud of achieving a Muslim holiday and prayer room? A union in the U.S.A., a country based on Christianity. You call yourselves Americans? Have you forgotten 9/11?” -- is so depressing because this is a case where the system worked! This is exactly how new communities should be integrating into American institutions, with give and take on both sides. Instead, what seems like a good faith effort by all parties involved is being attacked. Even more ironic: The Union has worked the last 23 labor days -- it's not usually taken as a holiday but...

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