Obama’s Elite Power Base

Appearing in: TheDailyBeast.com Looking back at President Obama’s first year in office, this much is clear: Obama first enraged the right wing by seeming to veer far left, then turned off the left by seeming to abandon them. Even as Fox News fundamentalists rail against “socialism,” self-styled progressives like Naomi Klein scream about a “blown” […]

Don’t Give Up On The U.S.

Appearing in: Forbes.com If the U.S. were a stock, it would be trading at historic lows. The budget deficit is out of control, the economy is anemic and the political system is controlled by academic ideologues and Chicago hacks. Opposing them is a force largely comprised of know-nothings–to call them Neanderthals would be too complimentary. […]

The Green Movement’s People Problem

Appearing in: Forbes.com The once unstoppable green machine lost its mojo at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. After all its laboring and cajoling, the movement at the end resembled not a powerful juggernaut but a forlorn lover wondering why his date never showed up. One problem is that the people of earth and their […]

Nurturing Employment Recovery

Appearing in: Forbes.com President Obama’s quick exit from Oslo and late arrival in Copenhagen suggest he’s finally ready to shift focus from Nordic adulation and fighting climate change and diplomacy to fixing the American economy. About time. As former Clinton adviser Bill Galston observed recently, the president needs “to pivot and make 2010 the year […]

Is Obama Separating from His Scandinavian Muse?

Appearing in: Politico.com Barack Obama may be our first African-American president, but he’s first got to stop finding his muse in Scandinavia. With his speech for the Nobel, perhaps he’s showing some sign of losing his northern obsession. On the campaign trail, Obama showed a poet’s sensitivity about both America’s exceptionalism and our desire to […]

Capping Emissions, Trading On The Future

Whatever the results of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, one thing is for sure: Draconian reductions on carbon emissions will be tacitly accepted by the most developed economies and sloughed off by many developing ones. In essence, emerging economies get to cut their “carbon” intensity–a natural product of their economic evolution–while we get to […]

The World’s Smartest Cities

Appearing in: Forbes.com In today’s parlance a “smart” city often refers to a place with a “green” sustainable agenda. Yet this narrow definition of intelligence ignores many other factors–notably upward mobility and economic progress–that have characterized successful cities in the past. The green-only litmus test dictates cities should emulate either places with less-than-dynamic economies, like […]

It’s A Mall World After All

Appearing in: Forbes.com If Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants a taste of home during his visit to Washington this week, he might consider a trip to McLean, Va., home to the region’s largest indoor mall, Tysons Corner Center. After all, there are few groups more mall-crazy than India’s expanding affluent class. Back here in […]

Boomer Economy Stunting Growth in Northern California

Appearing in: Forbes.com The road north across the Golden Gate leads to some of the prettiest counties in North America. Yet behind the lovely rolling hills, wineries, ranches and picturesque once-rural towns lies a demographic time bomb that neither political party is ready to address. Paradise is having a problem with the evolving economy. A […]

Obama Can Still Save His Presidency

Appearing in: Forbes.com A good friend of mine, a Democratic mayor here in California, describes the Obama administration as “Moveon.org run by the Chicago machine.” This combination may have been good enough to beat John McCain in 2008, but it is proving a damned poor way to run a country or build a strong, effective […]