Think Locally, Act Globally
May 26, 2010

Did anyone notice that NEC director Larry Summers quietly exploded old-fashioned urban policy last week?  He didn’t mean to. In a speech at the Brookings-White House Council on Automotive Communities summit on May 18, Summers set out to talk about the economy, and how to stimulate manufacturing in general and auto manufacturing in particular.   He identified four policy areas that are particularly important: the availability of credit; exports; innovation and R&D; and human capital. More credit, more exports, more innovation, and more educated workers could, in conjunction with huge and su

Please “Treme,” I Beg You--Get Over Yourself
May 07, 2010

On Wednesday, TNR senior editor Ruth Franklin explored the way authenticity is played with in David Simon’s new HBO show, “Treme.” Here, John McWhorter offers his own, markedly different opinion on the subject. People can get irritating about their authenticity.

Weak Brew
March 13, 2010

Mark Skoda, one of the organizers of the first-ever national Tea Party convention in Nashville, is no revolutionary. “I get irritated when people say, ‘Let’s take our country back.’ We have a country,” he told one interviewer at the three-day-long gathering earlier this month. “In America, we only have to move the dial a little bit. We’re not off the rails.

Ford's Rove-ing Eye
March 04, 2010

Lloyd Grove reports that, after the 2004 election, Harold Ford Jr. requested and received an audience with Karl Rove: [S]hortly after the 2004 election, no less a Democrat than Rep. Harold Ford Jr.—back then a four-term congressman from Memphis—requested a meeting to discuss his political future in Tennessee.

Nashville Nation
February 05, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 3:28 p.m. Among the convention’s several last-minute saves—opening the conference to media, replacing one speaker who fell ill and another who dropped last minute—was bringing on Andrew Breitbart. Convention spokesman Mark Skoda knew the conservative media mogul through their mutual friend Mike Flynn, who manages the Breitbart site, and when Marsha Blackburn and Michele Bachmann backed out, Breitbart swooped in to help. At first, Breitbart himself was just supposed to introduce Sarah Palin. But to no one’s surprise, really, his portfolio grew.

How Did This American Terrorist Slip By?
January 22, 2010

The man's name is Abdulhakim Muhammad, although it used to be Carlos Bledsoe. From his picture attached to an article on, he looks like an African American. A native of Memphis, where presumably he converted to Islam, he had gone to Yemen for 16 months. To do what? Teach English, learn Arabic, and find himself a Muslim bride. Which he did. Abdulhakim says he teamed up with "Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula" in Yemen, from which he was deported back to America. He apparently had overstayed his Yemeni visa and was traveling on a fake Somali passport.

TNR on Martin Luther King Jr.
January 18, 2010

This week marks Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, a national holiday. Decades after his first civil-rights marches, what is the meaning of King's legacy? And what do we know about the man himself? Below, read some of the best TNR articles from our archives: "A Moral Revolutionary" by Garry Wills (09/13/82) The life and trials of MLK. "Uneasy Holiday" by Taylor Branch (02/03/86) How should we honor a man we still don't know? "The King To Come" by Bayard Rustin (03/09/87) The holiday and the future of race relations. "Celebrating Dr.

Will Steve Cohen Ever Become Entrenched?
September 14, 2009

I doubt it. But that's the price you pay, I guess, if you're a white guy representing a majority-black Congressional district--even if, as Cohen says of himself, he votes "like a 45-year-old black woman." That said, the black politician currently trying to unseat Cohen, former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, looks like he might be taking the race-baiting to a whole new level (which is quite an accomplishment when you consider that Cohen's opponent in 2008 tried to link him to the KKK).

Governing Memphis
September 11, 2009

The latest cover of Governing features Mayor AC Wharton of Shelby County, TN--one of the more regionally-minded leaders in the South. Wharton has long been a passionate voice for greater collaboration in his hometown of Memphis and its surrounding metro area, which spans three states (TN, AR, and MS).

Does Jew-baiting Work?
August 07, 2008

Ta-Nehisi Coates says no--and argues that the aforementioned Nikki Tinker ad against Steve Cohen in Memphis was just a case of race-baiting: Jew-baiting against a white Jewish guy in a majority black district, is like attempting a 360 dunk. Why go through all that when the the plain-old race-baiting layup will suffice? Who knows what Tinker was going for with this specific ad, but it's not as if Cohen's religion hasn't been an issue in this race.