Tumblr fans, ICYMI: the newest issue of TNR hit newsstands this week. Be sure to check out Noam Scheiber’s cover profile of Tagg Romney, Timothy Noah on Erskine Bowles, Alec MacGillis on a washed up punk rocker and the campaign to steal Ohio, Eliza Griswold on the terrifying rise of Greece’s Nazi party, Max Boot on Bin Laden, and Jackson Lears on the Mormon ethic and the spirit of capitalism. Check it out and subscribe here: http://bit.ly/R9TWOZ

Tumblr fans, TNR’s convention double issue is here!

In this special issue, Leon Wieseltier examines Paul Ryan’s nasty ideal of self-reliance, Noam Scheiber outlines Joe Biden’s presidential ambitions for 2016, Marc Tracy reveals how BuzzFeed is remaking campaign coverage, and Walter Kirn explains why this is the most compelling election in years.

In addition, Jed Perl pays a visit to the Barnes Foundation, Noreen Malone examines the political philosophy of Anna Wintour, and Seth Stevenson explores the effects of campaign ads on the mind. Also, don’t miss Timothy Snyder on military trials, Mark Noll on American evangelicals, Judge Richard A. Posner on the incoherence of Antonin Scalia, and Paul Starr on politics in the orbit of money.

Click here to access the September 13th issue and much more!

Are the new job numbers a hopeful sign?

It might be tempting to read today’s expectations-beating jobs number—163,000, against private forecasts in the neighborhood of 100,000—as a sign the economy is surging just in time to help Barack Obama. My take is a bit more pessimistic, though not quite demoralizing.

Noam Scheiber — The New Jobs Number: OK For Obama, Less So For the Country

June’s jobs report: The private sector still needs a boost.

"In June, private employers added a mere 84,000 jobs. They added 105,000 jobs the month before, and 85,000 the month before that. To put this in some context, the economy needs to add about 100,000 to 150,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with population growth, whereas the private sector has averaged a mere 91,000 over the past three months. Which is to say, even if government job losses weren’t weighing us down, we’d still be struggling because the private sector has been pretty damn anemic. Even the part of the labor market that’s growing isn’t growing at a minimally acceptable rate. 

The upshot is that we’re no longer in a world where sending states a few tens of billions of dollars to shore up their finances is going to get the recovery on track. The economy, by which I mean the private sector, is disconcertingly weak, and strengthening it is going to take something on the order of several-hundred-billion dollars.”

–– Noam Scheiber, “Today’s Jobs Report: Private Sector *Not* Fine

Noam Scheiber on how megabanks corrupt regulators.

"Is it even possible to regulate megabanks in any meaningful sense? After all, if the allegations are true, officials at the Bank of England weren’t sending these hints to Barclays because they took a shine to Barclays’ executives or because they stood to benefit personally if the bank’s share-price rose. They were doing it because they worried that a run on a bank as big as Barclays would destabilize the British economy and wanted to do everything possible to avoid that, even if it meant skirting the rules (again, according to the allegations). 

Which is to say, in order to get corruption in your banking system, you don’t need literal corruption of the Government Official X owns shares in Bank Y variety (or even Official X wants to work at Bank Y after he leaves government). You just need banks big enough so that the bureaucrats keeping an eye on them have nightmares about what happens if the banks fail.”

–– Noam Scheiber, “How Megabanks Corrupt Regulators, LIBOR Edition

After Rick Santorum’s dual-state, Southern victory last night, the two-candidate race has finally arrived.  But, is Santorum in position to take away Mitt Romney’s chance at clinching enough delegates for the Republican nomination?

Or, have Republicans already squandered their chance to go after the front-runner on the single most troubling issue of his candidacy, health care?

"That the GOP field had somehow overlooked these smoking guns for months was only the latest turn in the campaign’s most confounding subplot. Back when the contest began last year, many pundits seized on health care as the one Romney liability that spelled certain doom for him. After all, the Romney plan contained the genetic code for Barack Obama’s health care bill, an achievement Republicans now equate with civilizational decline. Yet Romney’s rivals never managed to turn this defect into a disqualifying indictment. It was an astonishing whiff, and Romney wouldn’t be on the verge of the nomination without it."

— Noam Scheiber “Lucky Run: How Mitt Romney’s Opponents Missed Their Shot,” from the April 5, 2012 issue of the magazine.

Photo courtesy of Politico.