Jesse Zwick

Up in the Air

LATE ON THE MORNING of July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart climbed into the cockpit of her Lockheed Electra airplane on a small grass runway in Lae, New Guinea. She was 22,000 flight miles into her daring attempt to fly around the world, a journey that had captivated Americans since she lifted off from Miami a month earlier. Now Earhart was facing the most dangerous leg of the trip: a 19-hour, 2,556-mile flight to a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean known as Howland Island. Earhart’s celebrity had grown formidable in the decade since her transatlantic flight, the first ever by a female pilot.

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No Holds Barred

Last May, a group of some of the most fearsome fighters in the world gathered in a hotel room at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas. Initially, only three or four showed up for the meeting; but eventually 19 brawny bodies packed into the room.

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Occupy Congress

On the evening of Wednesday, February 22, protesters pitched tents in front of the district office of Democratic Representative Allyson Schwartz in the small hamlet of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

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Pravda Lite

As international outcry grows alongside the body count in Syria, one news network has taken a decidedly unconventional approach to covering the crisis.

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Citizens Excited

Last year, Ronnie Manns was feeling down on his luck. His two Rockford, Illinois-based transportation and financial services enterprises—Manns Logistics, Manufacturing & Distribution and R. Manns & Associates—had gone bottom up during the recession, and the political rancor on television had put him in a sour mood. But from his frustration was born an idea: He would start his own super PAC. “To be completely honest, to tell you exactly what I was thinking would be a lie, because I honestly can’t remember,” Manns told me over the phone.

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Old Yeller

When five likely Republican presidential candidates addressed the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition in early March, observers may have noticed something odd about Tim Pawlenty: He appeared to have had a voice transplant. Pawlenty’s normal speaking style could be described as mild-mannered: He began his speech to the 2008 Republican convention by squeaking, “We’re really glad that you’re in Minnesota.

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The Supplicant

On a Tuesday in early February, a Tea Party event at the National Press Club set off miniature waves of excitement over a rather unlikely guest: Orrin Hatch. Hardly a favorite of the movement, Utah’s longest-serving senator and elder statesman surprised just about everyone by showing up alongside Representative Michele Bachmann and Senator Rand Paul and proceeding to address the assembled activists like a patriarch reunited with his loyal disciples. “I’ve been watching what the Tea Party does. I’m very impressed,” Hatch said.

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Tuesday Mourning

Newt Gingrich’s ’94 Republicans aren’t remembered as a particularly collegial bunch. Fired up by their ideals and their newfound majority, the young Republican guard demanded welfare reform, shut down the government, and eventually impeached the president. But, if not for the Tuesday Group, it could have been much worse. Formed shortly after the House takeover, the Tuesday Group consisted of approximately 40 Republican representatives who met for a weekly lunch in the basement of the Capitol to discuss their policy priorities.

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With all the hullabaloo surrounding Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell and Joe Miller during the midterms, it was easy to lose track of some equally conservative, but less flamboyant, candidates. And it seems safe to say that no Tea Partier had more success while garnering less national attention than Mike Lee. While running for Senate, the 39-year-old Utah Republican proposed dismantling the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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To those of you who chose to participate in TNR’s World Cup bracket (and there were over 370 of you), I have an important announcement: I am in (joint possession of) the lead. No foul play, no backchannel communications with Sepp Blatter, no Italian match fixing scandal—as your commissioner, you have my word. Hovering within striking distance of the leaders, I merely felt the winds shift in favor of Germany and chose Spain.

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