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Blog Profile / Kevin Drum


URL :http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum
Filed Under:Politics / US Politics
Posts on Regator:6670
Posts / Week:33.1
Archived Since:February 16, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Russia Has Already Blown Up the Global Economy Once. Will It Do It Again?

Just in case you're thinking that Russia's economic problems are little more than a fitting karmic payback for Vladimir Putin, you might want to think twice. When the global economy is fragile, sometimes even small events can send the whole system into cardiac arrest, and that affects everyone, not just Putin and his cronies. Show More Summary

Obama's Had a Helluva Good Month Since the Midterms

So how have things been going for our bored, exhausted, and disengaged president? He's been acting pretty enthusiastic, energized, and absorbed with his job, I'd say. Let us count the things he's done since the November 4th midterm elections: November...Show More Summary

The Person Who Care Most About Barack Obama's Approval Rating is Hillary Clinton

Peter Beinart thinks President Obama is due for a comeback. Paul Waldman agrees: I think Beinart is probably right, and the economy is the main reason; it swamps every other consideration in evaluating the president. We could have some...Show More Summary

Battered Ruble Stabilizes -- For Now

I promise not to post this chart every day, but since I've put it up for the past two days when the ruble was crashing, I figure I should let everyone know when the crash has halted. For a few hours, anyway, thanks to some dubious measures...Show More Summary

Surprise! Obama Plans to Normalize Relations With Cuba.

A couple of weeks ago, National Review's Jay Nordlinger suggested that maybe President Obama's next executive action would be normalization of relations with Cuba. That struck me as something out of left field, since I'd heard not even a hint of a peep of a rumor that anything along these lines was in the works. Show More Summary

Wall Street Salivating Over Further Destruction of Financial Reform

Conventional pundit wisdom suggests that Wall Street may have overreached last week. Yes, they won their battle to repeal the swaps pushout requirement in Dodd-Frank, but in so doing they unleashed Elizabeth Warren and brought far more attention to their shenanigans than they bargained for. Show More Summary

Republicans Cave In, Begin Traditional Holiday Backbiting, and Head For Home

Earlier today, Harry Reid pushed through Senate confirmations of Tony Blinken to be deputy secretary of State and Sarah Saldaña to head up Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At that point, Republicans, finally tired of staying in session...Show More Summary

On Torture, Dick Cheney Isn't the Problem. We Are.

Rich Lowry is a satisfied man: After a week of condemnations of the CIA interrogation program, and talk everywhere of how it violated our values and weakened our standing in the world, the verdict of public opinion is in: People support it....In the case of Cheney v. Show More Summary

The Great Paradox of Bitcoin: If It Ever Succeeds, It's Doomed

Will Bitcoin ever become a major competitor to the world's more conventional currencies? It certainly has some advantages over existing payment networks, thanks partly to its technical structure and partly to the fact that it's largely free of regulation. Show More Summary

It May Not Be 1989 In Russia, But It Sure Looks Like a Close Cousin

Why did the Soviet Union lose control of its satellite states behind the Iron Curtain in 1989? Lots of reasons, but the proximate cause was a disastrous war in Afghanistan; plummeting oil prices; and a resulting economic crisis. Here is Yegor Gaidar: The timeline of the collapse of the Soviet Union can be traced to September 13, 1985. Show More Summary

Gouging the Gougeable: Yet Another Triumph of the American Health Care System

Len Charlap has had a couple of outpatient echocardiograms recently. Elisabeth Rosenthal tallies up the damage: The five hospitals within a 15-mile radius of Mr. Charlap’s home here charge an average of about $5,200 for an echocardiogram, according to an analysis of Medicare’s database. Show More Summary

Ruble Continues Its Free Fall

Well, we have our answer: the Russian central bank's last-ditch effort to stop capital flight didn't work. It was indeed taken by the market as a sign of desperation, not strength. The ruble recovered a bit right after the surprise interest...Show More Summary

Quote of the Day: Russian Central Bank Decides It Needs to Destroy the Economy In Order to Save It

From Neil Irwin, commenting on the huge interest rate jump announced by Russia's central bank in the wee hours of the morning: It may go without saying, but a 6.5 percentage point emergency interest rate increase announced in the middle of the night is not a sign of strength. Roger that. Show More Summary

The Lima Climate Talks Actually Produced Something Important: An Idea

So what should we think about the recently concluded climate talks in Lima? They were, as usual, a dog's breakfast. Rich countries fought their usual battles with poor ones. The talks nearly foundered completely. Over the weekend the...Show More Summary

The Russian Ruble Is Now Entering Free Fall

Speaking of a possible economic crisis in Russia, it looks like the ruble is now entering free fall: For months, Russia’s ruble has been falling in line with a decline in oil. But now, the selloff has stepped up a gear amid a broad rout in emerging-market currencies. Show More Summary

No, the Tea Party Is Never Going to Join Up With Anti-Corporate Liberals

This really can't be said often enough: I'm afraid we need to call B.S. on this idea of Elizabeth Warren (or any other "populist") becoming a pied piper to the Tea Folk, pulling them across the barricades to support The Good Fight against "crony capitalism." Yes, many "constitutional conservatives" opposecorporate bailouts. Show More Summary

Here's Why Banks Care About Gutting Dodd-Frank

Elizabeth Warren got a lot of attention last week for rallying liberals against a provision of the cromnibus spending bill that repealed a portion of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. This particular bit of the law had required FDIC-insured banks to get out of the custom swaps business. Show More Summary

Krugman: "Russia Keeps Looking More Vulnerable to Crisis"

Paul Krugman just left a conference in Dubai, and decided to write a bit about oil prices because all the geopolitical stuff he heard was pretty grim. But the oil stuff wasn't that interesting. His one paragraph about geopolitics is: My other thought is that Venezuela-with-nukes (Russia) keeps looking more vulnerable to crisis. Show More Summary

Ted Cruz Shoots Self in Foot, Declares Victory

File this under "with friends like this, who needs enemies?" Republican senators fumed as a strategy developed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) intended to undercut President Obama’s immigration action seemed to backfire, giving DemocratsShow More Summary

James Risen Will Not Be Required to Reveal His Sources for "State of War"

From the New York Times: [Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan] wants to force Richard Bonin, a longtime producer for “60 Minutes,” to testify next month at a terrorism trial over bombings by Al Qaeda in 1998. One of the two defendants, Khaled al-Fawwaz, is accused of running Al Qaeda’s media office in London. Show More Summary

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