Ivy League

Palin's Lack Of Expertise Slowly Dawns On Her Defenders
May 06, 2011

Remember the halcyon days when Sarah Palin was parroting the talking points of the neocon foreign policy advisors airlifted into the McCain campaign and remaining with her thereafter? It was an article of faith among conservatives, and especially neoconservatives, that Palin was a brilliant and thoughtful leader. Any notion to the contrary was the creation of a liberal media plot and fanned by the flames of coastal snobbery.

The Donald's Bizarre Obsession with College Admissions
April 28, 2011

[Guest post by James Downie] Clearly in need of a new way to make headlines and send his TV ratings further into the tank, Donald Trump has now shifted his aim to Obama's college credentials: Real estate mogul Donald Trump suggested in an interview Monday that President Barack Obama had been a poor student who did not deserve to be admitted to the Ivy League universities he attended.

Studies Show
March 02, 2011

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement By David Brooks (Random House, 424 pp., $27)   Why would David Brooks, the frequently interesting and reasonable-even-when-you-disagree-with-him columnist for The New York Times, write a book offering the latest insights from brain research? And why would he do it by adopting the method pioneered by Rousseau in Émile—that is, by inventing fictional characters whose adventures in life are meant to illuminate larger questions of individual development and social obligation?

The ‘Opt-Out’ Problem We Don’t Talk About
January 12, 2011

I was eight months pregnant with my first child when Lisa Belkin introduced the concept of “The Opt-Out Revolution” in The New York Times Magazine. It was October 2003, and the last year or so had seen a flurry of books and articles devoted to the challenges (to put it politely) of working motherhood. There was Allison Pearson’s comic novel I Don’t Know How She Does It, in which the protagonist, a perpetually frazzled hedge-fund manager and mother of two, finds herself in the kitchen in the middle of the night “distressing” store-bought pies so that they will appear homemade.

Why The GOP Lost Academia
November 10, 2010

I've always wondered why conservatives think academia's hostility to the GOP reflects badly on academia rather than on them. Nils August Andresen at Frum Forum mulls: Some on the right see in these numbers a brainwashing effort from “liberal elites” on Ivy League institutions, rather than a brain drain from the Republican Party. People like David Horowitz try to gather evidence of how liberals conspire against conservative professors and students. To me, these accusations seem not only often to lack any real evidence, but also to lack substantial explanatory power, even when correct.

Dispatches From the Blagojevich Trial (Part 2)
June 09, 2010

 Click here to read Margo Howard’s first dispatch from the Blagojevich trial. Chicago—Well, the games have begun. That is, the trial that has the potential, per political consultant Kevin Madden, “to be the ultimate clown-car spectacle”: United States v. Blagojevich, et al. (The part of “et al”will be played by the former governor’s brother, Rob.) There’s a very large press contingent here, this being about as jazzy as corruption cases get. I guess the prototype would be Louisiana’s Edwin Edwards, another “colorful” governor convicted of extortion and racketeering in 2001.

The Left’s John Roberts
May 13, 2010

WASHINGTON— Brace yourself for several months of occasionally biting but essentially meaningless political theater over the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Underlying the fight will be a fundamental divide between liberals and conservatives over the direction of the court. Thus, many senators who supported Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito will oppose Kagan, while most who were against Roberts and Alito will be for her. The irony is that the surface similarities between Roberts and Kagan are breathtaking.

Win Dixie
March 09, 2010

As we all understand, Republicans are about to have a pretty good election in November. Much of the GOP excitement revolves around congressional races that could unseat “red-state” Democrats who won during the 2006 or 2008 cycles, along with a number of incumbents (some of whom have decided to retire) who have been around much longer. Ground zero for the Republican tsunami is, of course, the Deep South, where in some areas John McCain did better in 2008 than George W.

Win Dixie
March 09, 2010

As we all understand, Republicans are about to have a pretty good election in November. Much of the GOP excitement revolves around congressional races that could unseat “red-state” Democrats who won during the 2006 or 2008 cycles, along with a number of incumbents (some of whom have decided to retire) who have been around much longer. Ground zero for the Republican tsunami is, of course, the Deep South, where in some areas John McCain did better in 2008 than George W.

The Mogul Empire
March 06, 2010

Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince By Mark A. Vieira (University of California Press, 504 pp., $34.95)  There are times of such chaos and promise, danger and daydream, when all of us hope for a superb and flawless leader. If he can swing it, we are off the hook. But he need not be a hero who turns into a tyrant. He is not necessarily strong, fierce, and Herculean. Indeed, it may add to his charm, to his magic, if he is slight, youthful, on the pretty side, and--better still--dying.

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