Is Obama losing popularity because he's too liberal? The “Obama making mistakes” narrative is at fever pitch, but even if his health-care plan falters, we shouldn’t consider the president a failure — our system makes reform almost impossible. Charm Offensive: How the White House manages the expectations of its base. A review of The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office by David Blumenthal and James Morone. The war on universal healthcare: What's at stake could very well be nothing less than America's own Weimar moment. A review of The Year Before the Flood: A Story of New Orleans by Ned Sublette. From The New York Times Magazine, overtired after the hurricane, doctors and nurses in New Orleans injected some patients with drugs; were they trying to comfort those patients — or hasten their deaths? Chronicling Catastrophe: An article on Dave Eggers and the American nonfiction novel. From Salon, an interview with Dave Eggers on the future of journalism, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and his new book, Zeitoun (and more and more and more and more and more; and more at Bookforum). Four years on, Katrina remains cursed by rumour, cliche, lies and racism. A review of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit (and more and more and more and more and more and more).

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