Underground Man
May 06, 2009

On the morning of June 7, 2008, Matt Drudge showed up at the National Building Museum in Washington, where Hillary Clinton was scheduled to give her concession speech. At the entrance, Drudge found his host, Tracy Sefl, a Clinton campaign staffer who, the day before, had offered to meet Drudge at the event. Throughout the campaign, Sefl had served as the Clintons' preferred back channel to communicate with the mercurial operator of the Drudge Report.

Should Republicans Pray For Rain In Fl?
October 31, 2008

Florida is known as "The Sunshine State," but it is one of the few states where rain could actually make a difference this Tuesday.

April 09, 2008

Jonathan Chait: The next generation of global-warming denialism.

Don't Cry For Her, Argentina
December 26, 2007

WASHINGTON — Cristina Fernandez recently took office as Argentina’s president. Until a few weeks ago, she was the country’s first lady. The big difference, of course, does not reside so much in the fact that her former status was ceremonial and dependent on her husband, Nestor Kirchner, as in the fact that she will need to reverse most of his populist policies if she wants to succeed. She is unlikely to do so. A recent scandal has reminded everyone in Argentina that the Kirchner couple is a firm political partnership. Assistant U.S.

Black Hole; The other Guantanamo.
May 07, 2007

Early last spring, outside a guesthouse in Kabul where I was staying, an injured Afghan man limped up to the locked gate. He wore a blazer with suede elbow patches and leaned on crutches. Because a suicide bomber had attacked the building not long before, a guard blocked the entrance of the unannounced supplicant. The fact that the man refused to give his name didn't help his case.

The Left's New Machine
May 07, 2007

Most political activists can point to one catalyzing event, an episode in each of their lives (or, more often, in the life of their country) that shook them from their complacency and roused them to change the world. You can find many such stories if you troll through the netroots, the online community of liberal bloggers that has quickly become a formidable constituency in Democratic politics. But the episode that seems to come up most often is the Florida recount.

Bigger, Badder
January 25, 2006

You hear a lot of complaining, and rightly so, about Hollywood's tendency to churn out safe, unimaginative pabulum--the remakes, the sequels, the blow-everything-up movies. Less remarked upon is the opposite problem: The studios' inability (or unwillingness) to make B+ movies, competent, mid-sized genre films that are formulaic in the good sense. There was a time when Hollywood excelled at producing such solid but unexceptional fare--Westerns are the classic example--but no longer.

Second Time Farce
June 21, 2005

In Hollywood, the one thing as inevitable as death and taxes is sequels. They roll them out, year after year, the 2s and IIs, the Returns and Revenges, and Strikes Backs and Strikes Agains. For decades, the first rule of making a successful sequel has been simple and unchanging: Figure out what you did right the first time and do it again. The problem, of course, is that this isn't always so easy. For every The Godfather: Part II there's a The Two Jakes; for every The Empire Strikes Back, an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

The Blogging of American Pop
September 06, 2004

Johnny Mercer, one of the master artisans of pre-rock popular music, was driving with some friends to the Newport Jazz Festival one summer in the early 1960s when a Chuck Berry song came on the radio. Mercer listened closely and grinned, as one of his car mates, the film-maker Jean Bach, recalls. Soon he was singing along, beaming. Mercer leaned his face into the rushing air and slapped out the beat of the song on the side of the car that Bach's husband had rented for the weekend--a big red convertible, ideally suited to the moment.

Havana John
July 26, 2004

The House of Representatives is such a reliable rubber stamp for George W. Bush that it's remarkable anytime the body votes against the president's wishes. It's even more remarkable when the House thwarts one of Bush's few election-year legislative priorities. But that's exactly what happened last week. It was lost in the hoopla surrounding John Edwards's selection the previous day, but, on July 7, 46 Republicans joined 174 Democrats to block parts of the Bush administration's new Cuba policy.