Baltimore

Why Do People Like Ronald Reagan So Much?
March 19, 2011

Over the next few months, the dedicated Reagan fan will have numerous opportunities to celebrate the fortieth president. There are tributes at a NASCAR race in California in late March and at Chicago’s Wrigley Field in early August. The Gipper’s hometown— Dixon, Illinois—will host a “Dutch” ice cream social in September; Washington will throw a gala in May, and London will unveil a statue on July 4.

Are State and Local Government Workers Sharing the Pain of Job Cuts?
March 14, 2011

In proposing to increase state government workers’ payments for their pensions and health insurance (read: cut their pay) and gut their collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin Gov.

Royal Mess
January 06, 2011

In a critically and commercially disappointing year for the film industry, one of the few highlights has been the reception given to The King’s Speech. The movie has been nominated for just about every existing award, and a bevy of Oscar nominations are forthcoming. The period drama is also on its way to financial success. Like Stephen Frears’s film from 2006, The Queen—which won Helen Mirren an Oscar for her eponymous performance—The King’s Speech is a testament to Americans’ continuing fascination with the British Royal Family.

The Republicans Are Calling!
November 02, 2010

Apparently, it’s never too late to scare away voters. This evening, just before the polls closed in Maryland, voters in Baltimore and Prince George’s county reported to Election Protection that they had received robocalls advising them to relax, stay home, and watch the election on television. Ron Hube—a voter in Baltimore who works at the University of Maryland—played a recording of the call from his voicemail for TNR. A stilted recording of a woman’s voice relayed the following: “Governor O’Malley and President Obama have been successful … our goals have been met ... we took it back.

Gaming Housing Prices: Boise Bulls vs. Boston Bears
September 15, 2010

Which way are housing markets going? The recent national-level indicators have looked pretty bleak for housing bulls. Sales of new homes hit a record low in July. House prices in June topped their levels of a year ago but only, it seems, because of the now-expired federal homebuyer tax credits.  There’s a lively debate about whether housing prices will continue to fall, and David Leonhardt summarized the controversy nicely in his New York Times column last week. But this debate misses an important part of the story. Because housing markets are regional, not national, there may not be a single

I Like Turkey, but It's Not Going to Join the European Union
August 30, 2010

For a brief season, Henry Hopkinson was a Tory politician of the second rank, who might have risen higher if he hadn’t famously misspoken in 1954. As a junior minister at the Colonial Office, he said in the House of Commons that Cyprus would never be granted independence. This dogged him for the rest of his life.

Beck on Top
August 29, 2010

Almost no one who attended Saturday’s “Restoring Honor” rally on the National Mall seems able to cogently explain what, exactly, took place. Was it a thinly disguised political rally? A triumph of Made in America inspirational treacle? A modern-day religious revival? When probed by reporters, happy participants and skeptical observers alike struggled to make sense of the prayerful parade that saw Tony LaRussa, Sarah Palin, and Eveda King take turns at a podium between prerecorded voiceovers about crossroads, awakenings, and miracles.

The READ: In Defense of Amazon
July 28, 2010

I wrote that headline initially as a joke. In the decade and a half since it first started delivering to our doorsteps everything from bestsellers to diapers, Amazon.com has become so entrenched as an icon of evil business policies that any person who loves books can no longer look upon it with an unskeptical eye.

The Gospel According to Luce
July 23, 2010

The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century By Alan Brinkley (Knopf, 531 pp., $35) I. Sometimes human beings bring sociological theory to life. Consider the career of Henry Luce. A child of Presbyterian missionaries in China, he pursued wealth and power with unremitting zeal, creating the media empire that dominated American journalism for much of the twentieth century: Time, Inc. Yet Luce never lost touch with his didactic origins, never abandoned the conviction that his magazines should teach Americans the right way of thinking about the world.

Obama: The "Astonishing Progress" of Dubai. Once Unbelievably Wealthy, Now Just A Crooked Little Emirate.
June 19, 2010

You may recall that, during the Bush presidency, Dubai World, a flagship corporate asset of the emir and his kin, had been discovered servicing and actually owning some U.S. ports on the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. You will not be surprised that I wrote against this. Or that Tom Friedman wrote for it. Frankly, I didn't trust the emirate to serve as guardian to the ships going in and out of the docking facilities or, more generally, to patrol sensitive entry points to great harbor cities like New York, Baltimore, Miami and 19 other municipal areas.

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