Call It: How Obama Should Play Gustav
September 01, 2008

Campaigns despise the unpredictable nature of real world events unfolding in real time.

Mccain Vs. Gustav
September 01, 2008

The War Room operators in the McCain campaign are used to fighting Democrats, not hurricanes. But unless Gustav changes course or stalls, it looks like this the McCain campaign will have to fight on two fronts--on the one side with Mother Nature, on the other, Barack Obama. The campaign had no choice but to curtail the festivities in Minneapolis this week. In a situation like this, you weigh what the press response would be under various scenarios; operatives chat with reporters, and sound them out.

Nonproliferation: A Liberal Issue?
August 19, 2008

An ad promoting nuclear non-proliferation is causing controversy at the Minneapolis airport. Clear Channel is taking the item down because Northwest Airlines considers it an "attack ad" aimed at John McCain--even though a similar ad in Denver addresses itself to Barack Obama. (Related ads also seem to be running on websites like DemConWatch.) McCain is ostensibly for reducing our nuclear arsenal, just like the ad advocates.

The Corncob Pipe Of Politics
August 14, 2008

There was a time when party platforms truly mattered. That time is not now. What happened? Seyward Darby is here to explain.   The Democratic Party’s platform committee approved a whopping 54-page draft document last Saturday in Pittsburgh. (That’s up 15 pages from the 2004 platform). The Republicans won’t draft their platform until just prior to the GOP convention in Minneapolis, so it stands to be seen how the new platform will stack up to the 2004 document, which topped 41,000 words and began with a triple homage to Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, and George W.

American Collapse
August 27, 2007

Within fourteen days of each other, two rush-hour calamities: a bridge collapse and a steam-pipe explosion. In Minneapolis, a forty-year-old bridge along highway I-35W suddenly dropped sixty feet into the Mississippi River, killing at least five people and injuring approximately one hundred more. The federal government had deemed the bridge structurally deficient in 1990, which the Minnesota Department of Transportation acknowledged in separate reports issued in 2005, 2006, and 2007, after inspecting the bridge.

'Nuff Said
June 07, 2004

In the aftermath of September 11, the FBI hired Sibel Edmonds--and hundreds of others who, like her, were fluent in Middle Eastern languages--to translate thousands of hours of backlogged wiretap transcripts and other documents. Edmonds didn't stay at the FBI for very long, though. In March 2002, after she complained to her supervisor about poor management, slow progress, and even a possible spy within the translators' department, she was fired.

Mo’ Better
February 02, 2004

Ryan Lizza's 2004 campaign journal.

J-School Confidential
April 18, 1993

Columbia: the inside story.

American Gothic
August 12, 1991

How the eclectic hodgepodge saved Modernism.

The Decline of the City Mahagonny
June 25, 1990

Robert Hughes explains how New York in the 1980s is *not* Paris in the 1890s. He gives a compelling account of the decline of the fine arts in America