Of all the miseries inflicted on the news business over the past decade, arguably the worst was the ravaging of the Tribune Company when real estate mogul Sam Zell took it private in a complex transaction in which he risked little of his own fortune while leading the businesses into $13 billion in debt. Jim O’Shea’s book, The Deal from Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers (published by PublicAffairs in 2011), is a thorough account of the catastrophe, which Zell himself characterized as “hell’s deal.” O’Shea, a former editor of the Los Angeles Times and managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, brought an investigative reporter’s skills to the events as they evolved, combined with an undertone of indignation at how an enterprise of admirable assets could be driven into bankruptcy in barely more than a year after it was acquired in 2007. Now, following four years of rancor, downsizing, and management scandals, the Tribune Company has emerged from bankruptcy court with Zell and his cohorts finally gone. In the midst of it all, according to a detailed account of the case by Michael Oneal, a Chicago Tribune reporter, the bankruptcy judge, Kevin Carey, “looked out at a Delaware courtroom packed with high-priced attorneys and conceded the case had broken down into what he called a ‘multiconstituent melee.’”READ MORE
TCF fellow Michael Cohen on Obama's 2013 inaugural address as published in The Guardian.
Over the weekend, I wrote for the Guardian that inaugural addresses tend to be banal, platitudinous affairs with saccharine pieties to national unity – and the Barack Obama's second inaugural was unlikely to be much different. Today, Barack Obama proved that argument quite wrong.
Rather than an empty call to national unity, Obama offered one of the most full-throated defenses of liberalism that this or any other president has delivered – and he did so in the shadow of unquenchable internecine political conflict. There was an attack on inequality:READ MORE
TCF Fellow Ed Kleinbard interviewed on The War Room with Jennifer Granholm, January 11, 2013.READ MORE
Policy Experts on Taxation, Poverty, and Labor Join Progressive Think TankREAD MORE
One pressing foreign policy problem that received not a single mention in the presidential debate on foreign policy two weeks ago was the security situation in our neighbor and third largest trading partner, Mexico. Mitt Romney’s tendency to stick a silver foot in his mouth squandered any electoral advantage he might have wrung from his family’s personal connection to Mexico, and Obama was borne to a second term in part by the Latino vote. The president also enjoyed a great advantage over Romney in popular opinion polls in Mexico. The changing demographics of the American electorate may mean that immigration reform becomes a policy priority in Obama’s second term, a welcome prospect for U.S.-Mexican relations. But Obama cannot afford to ignore the other, in some ways more urgent, dilemma of security and stability inside Mexico itself.READ MORE
President Obama wasn’t reelected because of his serviceable but lackluster foreign policy. We know from polls that voters weren’t thinking too much about issues beyond America’s borders. Even the big ticket questions that Mitt Romney tried to inject into the debate—Iran’s nukes, Israel’s security, the Arab uprisings—failed to sway the public. Obama still won 69 percent of the Jewish vote (down from 78 percent in 2008), according to exit polls, despite a sustained campaign to portray him as a villain on Israel.READ MORE
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