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Trump Bragged About His Biggest Climate Failure

The painting style of Jackson Pollock is called “gestural abstraction,” but before last night’s debate, I never knew that it was also a governing philosophy. The debate featured many decisions from President Donald Trump that were puzzling, to put it mildly. The president constantly interrupted…

A ‘Climate Corps’ of California Volunteers

Back in the early days of the pandemic, when some people imagined that changes in American life might be a matter of months rather than of years, I wrote about California Volunteers and its response to the crisis. This is a publicly sponsored organization, serving…

Hong Kongers, Don’t Idolize the U.K.

During this uncertain and unstable year, I’ve learned not to take Hong Kong’s freedom for granted. Prodemocracy protests consumed the city for months starting in early 2019, but the political climate changed abruptly in the spring, when Beijing passed a wide-ranging security law that many…

A Defense of Court Packing

It was only a matter of time, really. Ever since Senate Republicans refused to hold a vote on Merrick Garland four years ago, progressives have argued that Democrats need to wrest back control of the Supreme Court by packing it full of liberal justices. By…

The Immigrants Who Created New Possibilities

Of the many questions at stake in this fall’s election, one of the less obvious is this: Will the United States remain a country where someone like Barack Obama or Kamala Harris—a person of color with immigrant parents—is likely to be born? The answer depends,…

The Most Important Number for the West’s Hideous Fire Season

To understand the ravenous wildfire season in the American West this year, boil some ravioli. Put the heat on high. After about 10 minutes, the pasta will go limp and start to break apart. Keep boiling. When the pot holds a shallow puddle of water…

A Note on Ted Halstead

Everyone who knew him has been shocked by the news that Ted Halstead, a founder of New America and pioneer of many other causes and organizations, has died in the past few days in a hiking accident in Spain. He had recently turned 52. Accidental…

The Terrifying Inadequacy of American Election Law

Merely voting and counting the votes in this year’s election will be an extraordinary challenge. The country faces the worst public-health crisis in a century, a potentially severe shortage of poll workers, mail-in voting on an unprecedented scale, mounting functional problems at the U.S. Postal…

The Reinvention of Ed Markey

For the better part of a year, Senator Edward Markey was a legislator spiraling toward a forced retirement, a veteran progressive whose legacy in Massachusetts would soon be reduced to a footnote in the latest chapter of the Kennedy dynasty. Polls taken last fall showed…

Your Tote Bag Can Make a Difference

My newly adopted home state is on fire again: Scorching heat and lightning strikes have sparked dozens of fires across California, burning an area the size of Rhode Island. Iowa is reeling from a deadly derecho. The mountain west is suffering through a severe drought.…

Democrats Are Trying to Save Climate Policy From the Senate

Why has the United States done so little politically to combat climate change? Blame the Senate. For the past quarter century, the world’s greatest deliberative body has killed virtually any bill that would ensure the continued habitability of the world. Through its slow process, excessive…

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