Detroit

Unlike Paul Begala (“Once A Bully, Always A Bully,” Daily Beast) I’m not inclined to connect the story of Mitt Romney’s teenage homophobic cruelty to such adult cruelties as imposing layoffs on companies leveraged to the hilt by Bain Capital or making his dog Seamus ride on the roof of the family car. Clearly Romney had a mean streak in him back then.

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Jason Horowitz's long piece in the Washington Post about Mitt Romney's prep-school years is an absolute must-read, not least because of its revelation, confirmed by several fellow Cranbrook Prep graduates, of the the time that Mitt led a posse of students in pinning down a gay classmate and cutting off his bleached-blonde locks -- an episode the student, who died in 2004, decades later told a fellow classmate had been "horrible" to experience.

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What's the best way to run for president as a private equity titan and son of a CEO in a time of rising worry about economic inequality, against an opponent who likes to note that he "wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth"? Well, you could accept your lucky lot in life and do everything possible in your proposals to offer opportunity to the less well-off. Or you could start revising your own biography. From today's Washington Post: Romney is sensitive to perceptions that he grew up wealthy, so Obama’s “silver spoon” remark could strike a nerve.

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Two of the country’s best-known urban thinkers have a discussion underway at Atlantic Cities and New Geography about changes in the urban hierarchy brought along by globalization. It paints a picture of globalization as a zero-sum game in which one city’s growth comes at the expense—at least relatively—of another’s. They suggest that peaks—concentrated centers of population and prosperity—get higher while valleys—economic left-behinds—get lower. Global competition certainly can sap a region’s assumed strengths and lead to periodic even multiple decade long population decline if a transition in

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If X, Then Why?

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention By Manning Marable (Viking Press, 594 pp., $30) I. When Malcolm X died in a hail of assassin’s gunfire at the Audubon Ballroom in February 1965, the mainstream media in the United States was quick to suggest that he reaped the harvest of bloodshed he had brazenly sown.

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The rebound of manufacturing jobs has been one of the bright spots of an otherwise sluggish economic recovery.  The United States had 3.7 percent more manufacturing jobs in February 2012 than in February 2010, representing a more robust rate of growth than that for overall employment, which rose by only 2.7 percent during the same time period. The post-recession rebound of manufacturing employment has been a driver of economic recovery in a number of the nation’s major metropolitan areas, including several manufacturing centers.  The latest edition of Brookings’ MetroMonitor, which has tracked

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Among the greatest fears sparked by the ongoing conflict in Syria is that the country will soon be irreconcilably divided, with sectarian groups implacably pitted against one another in an open civil war. Indeed, there’s no doubting that the Syrian population comprises various ethnic and religious groups, each with its own grievances.

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When Bill Clinton suggested last week that Mitt Romney’s position on the auto bailout must have caused his father, former Michigan Governor George Romney, to be “turning over in his grave,” he was being deliberately provocative. But he was also being too kind. After all, it’s not just Mitt’s stance on auto manufacturing that would have caused his father grief.

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Survival of the Mittest

JACKSON, Michigan – Did Mitt Romney win the Michigan primary? Or did he merely survive it? That really depends on your perspective. As recently as a few days ago, Romney was trailing in the polls. And as recently as Tuesday afternoon, Romney staffers were talking down expectations. But Romney won a clean victory on Tuesday night. He won handily in the Detroit metro area, his home turf, but he also ran strong in more contested counties, like Livingston and Jackson, to the west. But why was it ever this close? Romney had superior money, organization, and, for a long time, name recognition.

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One of the great moments of the 2008 campaign—hopefully to be reenacted in the new Game Change movie—was when Sarah Palin publicly objected to the McCain campaign's decision to pull the plug on its Michigan effort.

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