Jason Zengerle
Senior Editor

Will Steve Cohen Ever Become Entrenched?
September 14, 2009

I doubt it. But that's the price you pay, I guess, if you're a white guy representing a majority-black Congressional district--even if, as Cohen says of himself, he votes "like a 45-year-old black woman." That said, the black politician currently trying to unseat Cohen, former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, looks like he might be taking the race-baiting to a whole new level (which is quite an accomplishment when you consider that Cohen's opponent in 2008 tried to link him to the KKK).

The Roots of Joe Wilson's Rage
September 11, 2009

Nicely explained by Lacy K. Ford, the chair of the University of South Carolina history department, on the NYT's Room for Debate blog. The rage of Wilson and other South Carolina Republicans is what happens when the majority party in a one-party state realizes it's the minority party in the rest of the nation: Republicans confident of their power at home suddenly grew very testy when confronted with impotence on the national stage. As the elections of 2008 swept large Democratic majorities into the U.S..

What Is Andy Card Thinking?
September 10, 2009

I'm baffled by Andy Card's stated desire to run for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. The chances of a Republican winning that race are slim; the chances of a Republican who's been a denizen of D.C. for two decades and who's presumably best known to Massachusetts voters as George W. Bush's chief of staff winning that race are none.

Little Shul on the Prairie?
September 10, 2009

Riffing on Norman Podhoretz's new book Why Are Jews Liberal?, Robert Stacy McCain offers these thoughts on what he calls the "town-and-country divide" in American politics: Think of Reagan, riding horses and clearning brush at his ranch -- it is an image that appeals to the "country" side of the town-and-country divide, embodying as it does the antique ideal of the American frontier homesteader. This "rugged individual" ideal, the self-sufficient property owner zealously guarding his freedom, is intrinsic to what American conservatism is all about, and it is an ideal quite alien to the urban l

Murtha's Good (or Bad) Company
September 09, 2009

The Center for Public Integrity has just put out a useful report showing that John Murtha's pattern of earmarking Pentagon dollars to defense contractors who give lots of money--or are represented by lobbyists who give lots of money--to his campaigns is pretty much par for the course on the defense appropriations subcommittee: Now, a computer analysis by the Center for Public Integrity has revealed that fully three-quarters of the subcommittee members have been involved in similar patterns of behavior — in circles of relationships fraught with potential conflicts of interest, involving former

Is Mark Foley Too Debased For A.M. Radio?
September 09, 2009

TPM's Eric Kleefeld reports that Mark Foley, the former Florida Congressman who resigned in 2006 over  lewd electronic messages he sent to teenage House pages, is re-entering public life, courtesy of a West Palm Beach A.M. radio station that has hired him to do a public affairs show.

Greatest Book Subtitle Ever?
September 08, 2009

It might just be the forthcoming Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman. According to The Hill, Frank admits in the book that his ultimate political ambition is to serve as HUD Secretary, which would make him America's only left-handed, gay, Jewish cabinet member.

Atta the Architect
September 08, 2009

In Slate, Daniel Brook kicks off a multi-part series on Mohamed Atta's strangely ignored master's thesis in urban planning from the Hamburg University of Technology. The thesis was about the Syrian city of Aleppo, and Atta's plan to strip one of its neighborhoods of Western influences.

Joe Says No
September 08, 2009

Good news: Joe Kennedy has decided not to run for Senate. Even if you put aside all the Chavez stuff, there was something profoundly undemocratic about the Kennedys treating that Senate seat as a family heirloom. As the Globe reports in its subhead, with Kennedy out of the picture, the "race is on." I'm still putting my money on Martha Coakley, especially if Lynch, Markey, and Capuano all run--thus making the women's vote that much more powerful in a Democratic primary.

Murthaville
September 01, 2009

Congressman John Murtha passed away today. Below, you'll find a recent magazine feature that we ran on him--and the town he represented for 36 years. One night last August, John Murtha, the U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania’s Twelfth Congressional District, paid a visit to the LBK Game Ranch, a private hunting camp in the hills above his home city of Johnstown. About 60 people had gathered in the ranch’s lodge--a luxury five-bedroom log cabin decorated with deer antlers and flat-screen televisions--to raise money for his 2008 campaign. There were two odd things about the event.

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