Is This Election Killing Political Satire? Ask Nicki Minaj
September 04, 2012
Have we become unable to appreciate a good political joke coming from anyone but Jon Stewart?
GOP String Divas
August 02, 2012
Tampa is the strip-club capital of the U.S. Tampa will soon be the Republican capital of the U.S. Here's an update on the impending collision.
The Problem With David Brooks’ Advice For Romney
July 17, 2012
David Brooks has a rather melancholy offering today, framing the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital as the inevitable move of a struggling incumbent -- a move that Romney is inexplicably unready to counter. Brooks, like many more orthodox conservatives in recent days, wishes that Romney would respond to the attacks with a more forthright, self-assured defense of the world of American business, rather than trying so frantically to distance himself from Bain’s activities after his sorta-departure in 1999.
On the Swiss-Yachting of Mitt Romney
July 16, 2012
The day that Barack Obama went up with his most devastating ad of the 2012 campaign—quite possibly the most devastating Democratic general election ad in years—I happened to be reading Bill Marx’s review of a new Ambrose Bierce collection in the Columbia Journalism Review. It included this quote from Bierce (best known for his oft-anthologized "An Occurrence At Owl Creek") speaking about the power of ridicule: “Ridicule, as I venture to use it myself,” wrote the author in the Chronicle in 1890, “seems to me to be the most excellent of offensive weapons because it hurts without damaging.
Up in the Air
June 23, 2012
LATE ON THE MORNING of July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart climbed into the cockpit of her Lockheed Electra airplane on a small grass runway in Lae, New Guinea. She was 22,000 flight miles into her daring attempt to fly around the world, a journey that had captivated Americans since she lifted off from Miami a month earlier. Now Earhart was facing the most dangerous leg of the trip: a 19-hour, 2,556-mile flight to a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean known as Howland Island. Earhart’s celebrity had grown formidable in the decade since her transatlantic flight, the first ever by a female pilot.
June 20, 2012
"I AM AWARE," H. R. Haldeman writes, "that I there is a cult of people in this country who collect every scrap of information about Watergate because of its many fascinating mysteries." He's more than aware: his memoir. The Ends of Power, is a seething nest of almost every conceivable scrap of Watergate conspiracy theory developed to date. The Democratic Trap Theory, the CIA Trap Theory, the Blackmail Demand Theory: you name it, H. R. Bob buys it.
Ties That Bind
May 18, 2012
On April 19, Republican Senator Marco Rubio appeared at a policy breakfast in Washington. The ostensible topic was his proposal for a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act, but it wasn’t long before the conversation drifted to vice presidential talk. Since the start of the Republican primary, Rubio has been named at the top of nearly every short list of likely running mates—and for good reason. He is young, charismatic, and popular with both the Tea Party and the GOP establishment. He has a reputation for being serious about policy.
Ozzie Guillen's Castro Problem
April 10, 2012
Today, the Miami Marlins suspended their manager, Ozzie Guillen, after he blurted out to TIME Magazine that he loves Fidel Castro. Guillen’s remark would have been bizarre and unpopular just about anywhere in the country, but it’s especially controversial in Miami, where local politicians are already calling for him to resign. Where does opinion on Castro stand today? According to a 2008 Gallup poll, Castro’s approval rating in the U.S. is 5 percent.
Romney Hires Adviser, Seals 2012 Victory
April 05, 2012
Barack Obama might as well throw in the towel, because Mitt Romney wrapped up the election just now. Which is probably for the best, because the campaign's already getting kind of tedious, and now we can turn our attention to other matters, like the Miami Marlins' new uniforms. What, you hadn't heard? Romney has hired Republican fixer Ed Gillespie. Which means that...well, let's let uber-pundit Mark Halperin tell us what it means: Whatever Romney's chances of winning the general election were before, they are higher now.
March 15, 2012
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank By Nathan Englander (Alfred A. Knopf, 207 pp., $24.95) The great mystery about the fiction of Nathan Englander is the rapturous response that it has elicited. The enigma deepens with the accolades for this new volume of stories, which, for reasons I will try to explain, is a great falling-off from For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, his debut collection, which appeared in 1999.