EDITORIAL

The Obama Economy

BY FRED BARNES

Presidenting for Dummies

The Obama administration is 0-for-3 in meeting economic expectations. In 2009, President Obama and his advisers believed the bountiful stimulus package would give the economy a strong jolt. It didn’t, and still hasn’t. In 2010, Obama declared Recovery Summer and predicted a surge in employment. The economy lost 283,000 jobs over the summer. This year, Obama expected a significant ratcheting up of jobs and growth. There’s been a ratcheting down.

The White House always has an excuse. Obama’s economic policies are never at fault. The problem in 2009, according to Obama? The economy was in worse shape than he’d feared when he took office. In 2010, ...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Auf Wiedersehen to Atomkraft

BY VICTORINO MATUS

The issue of nuclear power will be front and center when German chancellor Angela Merkel visits Washington this week. Consider the ...

ARTICLES

Land of Pawlenty

Can he win Iowa?

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

T Paw

Council Bluffs

Standing with his back to a mirror that spans the width of a private dining room at Tish’s Restaurant in this western Iowa town, Tim Pawlenty sought the support of the locals who had come to hear him by making a peculiar pitch: I’m less objectionable than my likely Republican primary opponents.

“Everybody’s got a few clunkers in their record,” Pawlenty says. “I think mine are fewer and less severe than most.” 

For Sale

Houses of Pain

The crumbling real estate market.

BY CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

There was supposed to be some good news amidst the dismal report card the U.S. real estate market got last week. On average, houses have lost a third of their value since their ...

Limo

Leave No Limo Behind

Washington luxuriates in a crisis.

BY GEOFFREY NORMAN

They are buying limousines in Washington. Lots of them. The number of government limousines increased by 73 percent during the first two ...

Scary Protester

From Slow Growth to No Growth

The perils of living beyond our means.

BY DALIBOR ROHAC

The U.S. economy might be on the verge of a double-dip recession, while Europe is paralyzed by a massive debt crisis afflicting the governments on the periphery of the eurozone. ...

Snobby Obama

Elites Gone Bad

What America needs is a better class of left-winger.

BY DAVID GELERNTER

Although it’s gauche to ask, one can’t help wondering: Do the Obamacrats love America? If so, how come? Would they please be specific? 

Jim Wallis

Our Savior, the Democrats

What would Jesus do about the deficit?

BY MARK TOOLEY

Right after Easter, the irrepressible evangelical-left activist Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine announced a new “spiritual battle” against cuts to sacred federal programs in the 2012 budget. Enlisting the U.S. Conference of ...

FEATURES

The Crash of 1993

As the great comic-book bubble showed, sometimes there’s no recovery from a speculative boom

BY JONATHAN V. LAST

Comics!

What Tolstoy wrote about families is true of economics: Boom times are all alike, but every crash is disastrous in its own way. That’s why stories about bursting bubbles are always instructive. There are lessons in the smallest of them, even the bubble that led to the comic book crash of 1993. 

Once upon a time comic books were ubiquitous and worthless. Sold in drugstores for a dime during the 1930s and ’40s, they were fun, pulpy reading for kids and youths. Issues were printed by the hundreds of thousands—even a million for the top titles—and then read, passed around in classrooms, locker rooms, and barracks, and eventually thrown away. A few ...

The Sharp Pencil Test

The Sharp Pencil Test

Time for a real growth agenda

BY LAWRENCE B. LINDSEY

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of the political battle of the day over the nation’s economic and fiscal health—after all, that’s what we do in Washington. Unfortunately, many of our decision-makers and opinion leaders possess the skills required for ...

Books & Arts

Message from Dr. K

Anything new from the old China hand?

BY ARTHUR WALDRON

Henry Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, ca. 1972


On China

by Henry Kissinger

Penguin, 608 pp., $36

Properly understood, this is not a book about what Henry Kissinger accomplished in the realm of U.S.-China relations, but rather a book about China herself: an attempt to answer the questions, what sort of civilization and country is China? And what sort of international behavior can we expect ...

Old Airplane

Up in the Air

They have seen the future, and it whirls and tilts

BY RICHARD STRINER

Aerotropolis

magazines

Pant by Numbers

101 reasons to get excited over nothing.

BY JOE QUEENAN

Like most Americans, I have constructed my personality and lifestyle almost entirely by consulting magazines. I have purchased the “10 ...

Men Overboard

Men Overboard

Big notions of adultery in the smallest state.

BY DIANE SCHARPER

Compass ...

Avatar

The Next Big Thing

It’s not 3-D, and here are the reasons why.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

From roughly 1982 to 2007, the motion-picture industry was transformed financially by the advent of the VCR and the DVD—new technologies ...

‘The Grand Canal and the Church of the Salute” (1730) by Antonio Canaletto

Cities of Dreams

The urban/e vision of Canaletto and his rivals.

BY JAMES GARDNER

Most sophisticated museumgoers would think it ineffably crass to complain about Cezanne’s unending sequence of apples and peaches, or the ...

CASUAL

Bring It On, Fyodor Mikhailovich

Joseph Epstein, finally well read

BY JOSEPH EPSTEIN

Preparing for battle

At English department parties of many moons past, or so I have been told, once all had become properly snockered, a popular game commenced in which everyone confessed to what he or she hadn’t read. The game had a crescendo quality as the intellectual stakes rose. “I’ve never read Christopher Marlowe,” a Renaissance English specialist might admit at the outset. “That’s nothing,” a Romantic poetry man might add, “I’ve never read, and won’t allow in the house, Wordsworth’s Prelude.” “Paradise Lost—forget about it!” Finally, as things continued, escalating nicely, someone would admit to never having read Homer or Hamlet and everyone could go home. 

SCRAPBOOK

John Edwards on Trial, Left Coast News, and More

John Edwards

John Edwards on Trial

Late last week former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards was indicted on charges that he violated campaign finance laws during his 2008 presidential campaign. 

While many readers might be familiar with the broad outlines of the Edwards scandal, The Scrapbook feels obligated to recap the sordid saga, and to spell out some of the new details revealed in USA v. Johnny Reid Edwards—just for the sake of posterity.

PARODY

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