The Great Debate

No, a nation’s geography is not its destiny

By Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
March 19, 2012

This essay is adapted from Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, published this week. For more from these authors, see their blog.

A caucus-goer’s community

By Eitan D. Hersh
January 3, 2012

We think of caucus-goers as unduly politically active. But the data suggests they care far more about something closer to home.

The Democrats’ opportunity in the supercommittee’s failure

By Nicholas Wapshott
November 8, 2011

By Nicholas Wapshott
All opinions expressed are his own.

Thanksgiving, I don’t have to remind you, marks the settling of irreconcilable differences between the early settlers and the original Americans, the burying of the hatchet, as it were, between Christians and heathens. If only this Thanksgiving marked the same.

Do libertarians like Peter Thiel really want to live in America?

By Sally Kohn
September 1, 2011

By Sally Kohn
The opinions expressed are her own.

It sounds like “Fantasy Island” meets “The Twilight Zone” — a privately funded island nation created for the sole purpose of escaping government.

from MediaFile:

Looking beyond Schiller’s signoff from NPR

March 9, 2011

Here we go again. In February, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a budget that would eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. That event tells you everything you need to know about the resignation this morning of NPR president and chief executive office Vivian Schiller. Yes, her underling Robert Schiller (no relation) embarrassed the organization by making some politically inexpedient remarks about the Tea Party, Republicans,and some more arcane issues, all captured on tape by conservative activists.

Digital media and the Arab spring

By Guest Contributor
February 16, 2011

BAHRAIN-CLASHES/

By Philip N. Howard, author of “The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam,” and director of the Project on Information Technology and Political Islam at the University of Washington. The opinions expressed are his own.

Rumsfeld’s biggest unknown

By Joshua Spivak
February 15, 2011

USA-AFGHAN/TILLMANBy Joshua Spivak
The opinions expressed are his own.

The knives are out in Donald Rumsfeld’s new memoir, Known and Unknown. In defense of his long public service career and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the man who was both the youngest and oldest Defense Secretary clearly believes that a good offense is the best strategy.

from Bernd Debusmann:

In America, violence and guns forever

By Bernd Debusmann
January 16, 2011

Another American mass shooting. Another rush to buy more guns.

On the Monday after the latest of the bloody rampages that are part of American life, gun sales in Arizona shot up by more than 60 percent and rose by an average of five percent across the entire country. The figures come from the FBI and speak volumes about a gun culture that has long baffled much of the world.

Rahm and the ultimate dead-end job

By Joshua Spivak
October 18, 2010

OBAMA/By Joshua Spivak
The opinions expressed are his own.

Perplexed by Rahm Emanuel’s decision to quit as White House chief of staff, arguably the second most powerful political position in the country, in order to run for mayor of Chicago?

Fed can’t fix broken economy, politics

August 12, 2010

The Federal Reserve’s decision to move to a kind of quantitative neutrality is a tacit admission that it, or rather that the United States, is in a political bind that makes a bold response to a deteriorating economy difficult.