Baltimore

As someone who just moved back to Baltimore, where I lived for five years before spending the following six bouncing around greater Washington, I was glad to hear that the Washington Post, my former employer, had a big piece in its magazine about my new-old town.

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Several high-profile Democratic governors seem to think gun control is no longer an issue to avoid. Will they be proven right?

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The Curse of Warholism

Never mind Andy Warhol’s art. It’s his perspective that’s doing the damage.

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Maryland’s 3rd congressional district, the most gerrymandered in the nation, is a Rorschach test in the most literal sense. The Washington Post called it a “crazy quilt.” A local politician compared it to “blood spatter from a crime scene.” A federal judge said it reminded him of a “broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state.” DCist suggested we ditch metaphor altogether and change the word “gerrymander” to “Marymander.” It would be an apt name.

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Tarzan turns 100

What the Spanish-American War can tell us about the ideological core of the original Tarzan story:

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Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is right about gay rights, but he's not the norm.

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BEFORE HE EARNED his reputation as one of the best ad men in politics, before he wrote for several major television shows, and long before he became Mitt Romney’s top campaign strategist, Stuart Stevens found himself in Cameroon, face to face with a machine-gun-wielding soldier looking to shake him down. It was 1988, and a few weeks earlier, Stevens had deposited himself in the nearby Central African Republic to pick up a friend’s Land Rover and drive it back to France. But the trip was a disaster from the get-go. Local officials confiscated the car and refused to release it.

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At first glance, Ursula Rozum, who has curly hair and a pierced nose, seems more like your average late-twenties hipster than a congressional candidate. But Rozum was in Baltimore this past weekend to promote her run for Congress in New York—and to support Roseanne Barr as the next president of the United States. While Roseanne’s candidacy may seem like a joke to some, it’s no laughing matter here in Baltimore’s Holiday Inn ballroom, home to the Green Party’s national convention.

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Nobility Eclipsed

Sanctuary in the Wilderness: A Critical Introduction to American Hebrew PoetryBy Alan Mintz (Stanford University Press, 520 pp., $65) I. ON DECEMBER 17, 2007, on the storied stage of the Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York, the Hebrew language—its essence, its structure, its metaphysic— entered American discourse in so urgent a manner as to renew, if not to inflame, an ancient argument. The occasion was a public conversation between Marilynne Robinson and Robert Alter: a not uncommon match of novelist with literary scholar.

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Last week, Brookings published a paper by my colleague, Jonathan Rothwell, focused on the extent to which low-income kids are concentrated in low-performing schools, as measured by test scores.

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