The Supreme Allied Commander of Corn
October 15, 2009

When the world last left Wesley Clark in early 2004, he was a streaking meteor of a presidential candidate. Still fresh from leading NATO in the Kosovo war, he arrived as a savior for the left, who saw a bulletproof patriot that the rest of America could believe in; hero of the netroots, beloved by Michael Moore and Madonna; hope of the Clintonites, delighted by such a clean ideological slate. Alas, after five blazing months, Clark for President flamed out. There are the conventional explanations: He got in too late. He didn't play in Iowa.

The Plot Thins
September 29, 2009

Among those who know me well, few can remember when I covered any subjects other than Al Qaeda and the global jihad. I wrote about Osama Bin Laden when he was "Usama bin Ladin." And so since September 14, all anybody's been asking me are questions about a young Afghan immigrant named Najibullah Zazi and his alleged involvement in the first Al Qaeda cell uncovered in America since the 9/11 attacks. Here are my answers to the four most common questions I've been getting.  1. Is this just another of the government's over-hyped terror plots?  U.S.

No More Sex and Drugs in the Interior Department
September 18, 2009

On Wednesday, the Interior Department finally terminated a program few people had ever heard of: the royalty-in-kind (RIK) system, which allowed oil and gas companies to drill in public lands and pay the government in oil, rather than cash. Over the past decade, the program, run out of an office in suburban Denver, had allowed companies to underpay the government by $10 million.

The Metro Orbit of Small Town America
August 28, 2009

Given the American appetite for rankings as well as hometown pride, it’s not surprising that our media is awash with lists of the most desirable communities. This month’s entry came from Money Magazine, with its annual list of “100 Best Places to Live in America.” As part of the effort, “America’s best small towns,” were chosen with special focus placed on communities of moderate size (populations between 8,500 and 50,000), desirable location (within 60 miles of a major airport) and a modicum of diversity. As the magazine tantalizingly described, “Yes, local economies still exist. These small

Why The Prefab Right-wing Mobs Won't Work
August 08, 2009

I think this Times story illustrates the reason nicely: That same day in Romulus, Mich., Representative John D. Dingell, a long-serving Democrat, was shouted down at a health care meeting by a rowdy crowd of foes of health care overhaul, many crying, “Shame on you!” A similar scene unfolded in Denver on Thursday when Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California visited a clinic for the homeless there. In a statement Friday, Mr. Dingell, 83, deplored those trying to “demagogue the discussion,” but said he would not be deterred.

On Teacher Pay, Obama Looks West... To Denver
March 11, 2009

Most news reports about Obama's excellent, reform-minded education speech yesterday have focused on his suggestion that we reward effective teachers by increasing their paychecks.

Goodbye to the Age of Newspapers (Hello to a New Era of Corruption)
March 04, 2009

Why American politics and society are about to be changed for the worse.

In Brooksland, We're All Bobos
February 17, 2009

In his column in today's New York Times, David Brooks argues that most Americans don't want to live in cities, despite his assertion that "some writers" now believe otherwise. Relying on a new report from the Pew Research Center about favorite places to live in America, he reduces cities, in typical Brooks fashion, to unified totalities of stereotypical aspirations:  If you jumble together the five most popular American metro areas — Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Orlando and Tampa — you get an image of the American Dream circa 2009.

Invisible Man
October 22, 2008

On my way to Denver for what is being billed as the political speech of my lifetime, I am doing my best to open up a lotus-like space inside my head in which I can enjoy the pleasurable sensation that comes to lucky Ivy League meritocrats of a certain age, when friends from college and graduate school are on the verge of really running things in America. On any given Sunday, you stand a better-than-even chance of knowing Barack Obama's speechwriters, his economic advisers, the New York Times correspondent covering his campaign, or someone who played basketball last Tuesday with the candidate.

The TNR Q&A: Charles Barkley
September 01, 2008

With the political season kicking into high gear, it seemed like the right time for another chat with Sir Charles Barkley. Over the past year, he has been a vocal and active Barack Obama supporter, so we decided to talk to him about that, as well as the Democratic convention, his own future in politics, and his distressingly Luddite tendencies.   Have you been hanging out with Barack at all? Not lately. He’s busy. I talk to him, though. And obviously I wanted to be in Denver [for the DNC].