Hawaii

Despite Hillary's aggressive attempt to mobilize the local machine, early news from Hawaii sounds good for Obama. Caucus turnout--which has never exceeded 5,000--is expected to reach as high as 12,000 (the Obama people are saying 15,000-18,000). As Noam pointed out, very high turnout is probably good for Obama. It sounds like history may be on his side, too: [P]arty activists said the last time they can recall so much interest in the caucuses was in 1988, when the Rev. Jesse Jackson brought new people to the party but ultimately lost here to Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

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Honolulu Diarist

  MY FIFTH GRADE classroom at Punahou, a private school in Honolulu founded by nineteenth-century Congregational ministers, was on the third floor of Castle Hall, in an airy room with big windows that Mrs. Hefty covered with blackout curtains when she showed us films. We thought nothing of the room-darkening curtains, until, one day, Mrs. Hefty explained to us that they were left over from curfew after Pearl Harbor, when everyone feared the Japanese would come back to bomb Oahu again. A veteran teacher, old-fashioned, Christian, strict, Mabel Hefty wasn’t shy about imparting history.

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                    Barack Obama will probably win Hawaii on February 19. He does have a "home state" advantage and an organizational edge, since the state has a caucus. But here's something to ponder: almost 60% of Hawaiians are Asian Americans--as Isaac pointed out, by far the most anti-Obama demographic in the United States in the primaries thus far.

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Paper Tigers

IT WOULD BE hard to find three families who have supported democratic principles around the world with more resolve than the Sulzbergers, the Grahams, and the Bancrofts. The first two scarcely need introduction. The Sulzbergers, of course, control The New York Times Company; Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the family’s current sovereign, is both chairman of the board and publisher of its most prized asset, The New York Times.

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Black Swan Green By David Mitchell (Random House, 294 pp., $23.95) I. 'I liked it." Is there anything less interesting to say about a book? Every negative piece is negative in its own way: we remember with a grim chuckle Mark Twain's enumeration of James Fenimore Cooper's literary offenses ("There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Cooper could write English, but they are all dead now"), or Nabokov's epistolary rebuke of Edmund Wilson ("A patient confidant of his long and hopeless infatuation with the Russian language, I have always done my best to explain to him his mistake

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The Bill Clinton Show

My Life By Bill Clinton (Alfred A. Knopf, 957 pp., $35) Click here to purchase the book. Bill Clinton used to tell us that he wanted to feel our pain, even though he often gave us one. In this characteristically garrulous volume of almost one thousand pages, he tells us all about his own pain.

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Immodest Proposal

Jeffrey Rosen: Massachusetts gets it wrong on gay marriage.

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FOR A YEAR AND A HALF now, my husband and I have lived in a tall, tomato-red house near the southern end of Washington's Embassy Row. Built in 1898, the house had the exact combination of personality and sturdiness we had been looking for. Just as important, it came with an array of age-related quirks that scared away all other potential buyers. This allowed us to avoid the bloody bidding wars so common in D.C.

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Class Acts

Ornamentalism by David Cannadine Oxford University Press, 240 pp., $25) When Hitler wished to relax after a hard day at the office, he liked to watch films in his private screening room. Nazi propaganda movies were not his favorite entertainment; they felt too much like work. Hitler liked swashbuckling Hollywood films, and one picture in particular: Lives of a Bengal Lancer, starring Gary Cooper and C.

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Reorientation

"You want to know about the awakening? This is the awakening." Ginny Gong, a manager in the Montgomery County culture and recreation department, is crowded into the wood-paneled school board chamber in Rockville, Maryland. Squeezed into the aisles around her are a Vietnamese financial analyst from Lockheed Martin, a Chinese administrator from the National Institutes of Health, and about a dozen other activists.

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