October 17, 2009
Whatever happens in the National League and American League Championship series unfolding over the next week or so, one outcome has already been decided--the effective end of the theories of Moneyball as a viable way to build a playoff-caliber baseball team when you don't have the money. That no doubt sounds like heresy to the millions who embraced Michael Lewis's 2003 book, but all you need to do is keep in mind one number this postseason: 528,620,438.
Karl Rove, Lifelong Gay-Baiter
October 07, 2009
In the course of discussing with Sam Tanenhaus his book The Death of Conservatism (an expansion of this essay he wrote for TNR), Reihan Salam claims in passing Karl Rove never imagined that opposition to same-sex marriage would cement a permanent Republican majority. It was a distraction that I'm sure he found distasteful. Andrew Sullivan pounces Rove thought this was a distraction? From his realignment? Does Reihan recall the kind of politics Rove cut his teeth on in the South?
Water Warnings from Atlanta
September 08, 2009
Southern cities and suburbs are used to drought restrictions in the summer, watering the lawn only certain days of the week every year. But what if the rules were year round and also applied to indoor water use too? Atlantans may soon have such a situation in 2012. Last month, a federal judge ruled that the Atlanta metro cannot use Lake Lanier as a drinking water source.
What Is Malcolm Gladwell Talking About?
August 04, 2009
In The New Yorker this week, Malcolm Gladwell has an alternately confusing and maddening essay about To Kill a Mockingbird and what he calls "the limits of southern liberalism." According to Gladwell, the Atticus Finch character in Harper Lee's book--later immortalized onscreen by Gregory Peck--was the novelistic version of an all-too-common southern politician in the days of Jim Crow. Gladwell's piece begins with the story of Big Jim Folsom, the Alabama governor who sympathized with the plight of black citizens, but resisted profound change.
Sweet Home Something Or Other
May 14, 2009
Via Drudge, I see that the boys of Kappa Alpha at the University of Alabama have gotten into a little bit of hot water for marching past the black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha during AKA's 35th anniversary celebration. Oh, did I mention that the KA boys were dressed in Confederate uniforms and were waving Confederate battle flags? It was all part of KA's "Old South" festivities, which, unfortunately, fell on the same day as AKA's 35th anniversary party.
April 15, 2009
On the basketball courts of New York City, there may be no truer measure of a player's stature than his nickname. If a player is considered good, then his moniker will be something straightforward: "Pee Wee" if he is short; "Lefty" if he shoots with that hand. But if a player is viewed as great, then his talent can actually inspire poetry. He will be called "Half-Man Half-Amazing" for his superhuman dunks or "Skip to My Lou" for the way he hopscotches down the court as he dribbles past hapless opponents.
December 31, 2008
It's been more than a month since the auto industry came to Washington, begging for a rescue. And, since that time, it's become clear just how dry Detroit's reservoir of goodwill has run. For conservative opponents of bailout legislation, like Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, the U.S. auto industry is an object of scorn—"dinosaurs," he has called them. For the liberals who support a rescue, like Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, Detroit remains an embarrassment.
A Matter Of Trust
September 23, 2008
Clay Risen is managing editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and a contributing editor at World Trade. His first book, A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination will appear in January. It's tempting to watch today's Senate Banking Committee hearings, with Democrats and Republicans alike tearing into Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and feel pangs of sorrow for the beleaguered duo.
Super Tuesday Primer: Alabama
February 01, 2008
The next stop on TNR's Super Tuesday Primer is the lovely state of Alabama: "Sick of the meaninglessness of its traditional June primary, Alabama was one of the first states to move its 2008 primary forward to February 5. Unfortunately, many of the larger states it was trying to leapfrog followed suit, and it finds itself in their shadows once again. This is unfortunate, since it is hosting two competitive races: Multiple candidates in both parties have good shots at victory..." Click here for your complete Super Tuesday rundown for Alabama.
Angry White Man
January 30, 2008
If you are a critic of the Bush administration, chances are that, at some point over the past six months, Ron Paul has said something that appealed to you. Paul describes himself as a libertarian, but, since his presidential campaign took off earlier this year, the Republican congressman has attracted donations and plaudits from across the ideological spectrum.