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The Final Betrayal of Egypt’s Revolution
Thanassis Cambanis January 23, 2015

The 2011 Egyptian Revolution made global news when it succeeded in toppling then-dictator Hosni Mubarak. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis writes on the series of protests and revolts by Egyptian civilians that succeeded in toppling several regimes in just a few years through an intricate narrative titled "Once Upon A Revolution." In this Foreign Policy excerpt of the book, the two individuals who Thanassis followed are highlighted as we see the revolutionary actions unfolding:

“I don’t care who will lead the country. We just want Morsi to leave,” said a lady in a fine tailored dress, sipping tea on a terrace near the presidential palace on a break from chanting.

Read the rest of the excerpt.

Purchase the book to read the full story, available from

Library Journal Review Out
Thanassis Cambanis January 23, 2015

TCF fellow and award-winning journalist Thanassis Cambanis has received acclaim for his newly released book (1.20.2015) titled "Once Upon A Revolution: An Egyptian Story." Cambanis chronicles two unique and diverse revolutionary movement leaders and tells their story throughout the protests happening in 2011 during the Egyptian uprising. The Library Journal Review has called the book "A welcome addition to the literature on Egypt's uprising and a solid source for the general reader."


Read the remainder of the reviews and purchase the book here.

Economic Inequality and the U.S. Tax System
Edward D. Kleinbard January 23, 2015

TCF fellow and USC professor Edward Kleinbard is interviewed by Peter Slen on C-Span regarding his new book "We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money." Watch the interview below:

The link to the interview can be found here.

Will Low Gas Prices Hurt Mass Transit?
Jacob Anbinder January 23, 2015

TCF policy associate Jake Anbinder explains some of the trends associated with the recent downturn in gas prices and what it means for public transit ridership. He says that there may be less correlation between gas price and transit use than was expected, with changes in ridership more likely to be associated with cultural changes. Anbinder also explains that changes in ridership is highly linked to location with uneven growth patterns across the country.

The key indicators for mass transit will come from those booming urban areas in the south and west of the country — cities in which people own cars, but where effective land use and transit planning have the potential to reduce the need for them.

It's in those cities, where low gas prices have the potential to do the most damage to nascent transit projects, that the war for the future of public transportation is being waged. And if the recent past is any precedent, they exhibit a troubling lack of consistency when it comes to the growth of mass transit.

Read Anbinder's full article.

Baby Steps: Obama is moving toward better policies to support families, but more must be done.
Clio Chang January 21, 2015

TCF policy associate Clio Chang writes on the recent changes made to paid family leave policy in the U.S. including President Obama's recent presidential memorandum allowing parents to take 6 weeks paid leave. She relates this long-overdue issue to the greater issue of a "lack of government financial support when it comes to children." One of the simplest solutions to addressing this problem is giving cash to families with children, otherwise known as a child cash allowance.

It’s especially strange that American families are shortchanged, given how expensive it is to raise a child here, regardless of income level. The Department of Agriculture's annual child expenditure report states that raising a child is projected to cost a quarter of a million dollars. Child care alone can cost as much as $16,430 per year (although costs vary greatly by state). While parenthood should be something that anyone can strive for, even working families are increasingly priced out of raising a healthy, productive child

Access Clio's article here.

Low-income loans didn’t cause the financial crisis
Mark Thoma January 21, 2015

TCF fellow Mark Thoma goes over the reasons typically cited for what caused the financial crisis including a lack of regulation, financial innovation that didn't live up to its promise, and low interest rates from the Fed. He says that it is a constant debate between "those who claim lack of financial sector regulation caused the crisis and those who claim overregulation." Thoma reports that today's evidence "points away from those who claim overzealous government regulation was at fault."

"While there was a rapid expansion in overall mortgage origination during this time period, the fraction of new mortgage dollars going to each income group was stable. In other words, the poor did not represent a higher fraction of the mortgage loans originated over the period. In addition, borrowers in the middle and top of the distribution are the ones that contributed most significantly to the increase in mortgages in default after 2007. Taken together, the evidence in the paper suggests that there was no decoupling of mortgage growth from income growth where unsustainable credit was flowing disproportionally to poor people."

Read Thoma's full article from CBS Monewatch.

The State of Obama’s Climate Legacy Is Strong
Neil Bhatiya January 21, 2015

TCF policy associate Neil Bhatiya offers his take on the 2015 State of the Union address given last night by President Obama, confirming that despite past and current rocky ground, the president has indeed set the country up for effective climate change policy in the future. His legacy will leave much for his successor to accomplish, however at least many pertinent climate issues are now popular talking points on a nationwide scale.

The president has disappointed climate activists in not immediately rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, which only occasioned an oblique reference in last night’s speech. His recently announced regulations on fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas drilling also struck many as insufficient. These are agenda items that need to be addressed in the near-term, but it is to the president’s credit that he has set such a strong foundation for U.S. climate policy going forward.

From US News & World Report, here's Neil's piece.

In State of the Union, Obama Offers a Choice
Michael Cohen January 21, 2015

In the wake of Tuesday's State of the Union address delivered for the 7th time by President Obama, there has been substantial discussion over how he will govern during his remaining time in office. TCF fellow Michael Cohen says it it looks like it's going to be up to the American people who were given a choice by the President between, "his view of America’s future and that of Republicans." The speech was deliberate in its divisive rhetoric, pitting the working class Democrats versus the 1 percent Republicans, potentially making Obama seem like a bit of a lame-duck president.

In that sense, Obama’s State of the Union was a lame-duck speech, but it was also a hard-nosed political speech that was intended to cast Democrats as the party of the middle class and of the forgotten man and woman, and the Republicans as the party of the one percent. Obama showed that he fully intends not only to maintain his relevance as president, but that he will do everything in his power to leave behind as his legacy a strengthened Democratic Party and a political narrative in which the fundamental differences between the two parties could not be clearer.

The full piece from Boston Globe can be read here.

Two Unlikely Revolutionaries in Tahrir Square
Thanassis Cambanis January 21, 2015

Thanassis Cambanis, TCF fellow and award-winning journalist, speaks on WNYC's "The Leonard Lopate Show" about his recently released book from publisher Simon & Schuster about individuals fighting for change in Egypt. The book, "Once Upon A Revolution," which was released on January 20th, 2015, profiles two radically different dissidents to show each of their protesting journey's in 2011 during the Egyptian Revolution. Listen to the interview here:

Read the description and listen to the interview here.

Bursting The Myths About LBJ
Michael Cohen January 21, 2015

TCF fellow Michael Cohen reminds us of how much influence a president actually has, particularly on domestic issues, in the face of the legislative process. Cohen gives an overview of the policy wins accomplished by President Lyndon Baines Johnson including passing Medicare and Medicaid, expanding public education, new initiatives on children’s health care, mental health, and anti-poverty programs, immigration reform, highway beautification, and environmental restrictions on air and water pollution. It's essential to recognize that the failures and successes of LBJ are at the root of our politics today.

As a legislative battler, Johnson viewed politics in crude, transactional terms, where political support could be traded for a parochial benefit that he, as president, could provide. (This was a man, after all, who believed that he could convince Ho Chi Minh to give up his fight for a unified Vietnam in return for a Tennessee Valley Authority for the Mekong Delta.)

Read Cohen's full article.

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