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 BigGovernment.com, 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.

Steele Cage
January 15, 2010

Last weekend began with Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, clinging to his job primarily via implicit racial blackmail. Steele’s tenure has consisted of a string of gaffes and managerial blunders, but Republicans had concluded that his color made him un-fireable.

The Retro Man
November 30, 2009

About 20 minutes into my sit-down with House Minority Leader John Boehner, I am overcome by the desire for a drink. Scotch, maybe. Or a bone-dry martini, extra olives. It’s not that the Ohio congressman is shaping up to be confrontational or unresponsive or in any way unpleasant.

God Squad Tries, Fails to Get Arrested at Holder's Front Door
November 17, 2009

On an Indian summer afternoon in front of the Justice Department yesterday, a group of dark-suited ministers gathered to protest recently-passed hate crimes legislation, saying it had had a “chilling effect” on religious freedom.  “We will not be bullied!” cried Reverend Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, to a rank of cameras. “We will not be pressured!

Tom Coburn: An Unwitting Cog of the Gay Agenda
October 23, 2009

I'm a bit late in getting to this, but I have to disagree with Suzy Khimm's take on GOP Senator Tom Coburn's co-authoring a piece for The Advocate with Christopher Barron, Chairman of GOProud. That organization was founded earlier this year (I wrote about it here) by a pair of disgruntled former employees of the Log Cabin Republicans, who argued that the flagship gay GOP organization had been hijacked by liberals.

Tom Coburn Wants a Gay-GOP Alliance. Seriously?
October 20, 2009

In their latest attempt to turn the tide against the public plan, some Republicans have begun trying to appeal to gay Americans to join their anti-government crusade. As The Hill notes today, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has co-authored an op-ed blasting “government-run health care” for The Advocate, the leading LGBT magazine. Together with his co-author, GOProud’s Christopher Barron, Coburn rails against the Ryan White CARE Act for forcing AIDS patients onto waiting lists to receive life-saving drugs from a government program.

With Abortion, Complacency Is a Dangerous Thing
August 19, 2009

Living in a blue state, it's easy to forget that the issue of reproductive rights is far from settled. Efforts to chip away at a woman's right to control her own body continue apapce--and with impressive creativity--in plenty of red states.  Happily, one such effort just met its demise in Oklahoma.  Here's hoping South Dakota's noxious "disclosure" law suffers a similar fate.  --Michelle Cottle

Executive-legislative Smackdown In The Sooner State
April 27, 2009

Which part of Oklahoma's state government is wasting the public's time most egregiously? a) The state senate, for passing a measure making the Flaming Lips's "Do Your Realize??" the official rock song of Oklahoma, based on the results of a 21,000-vote internet poll; b) The state house of representatives, for rejecting the measure because they were unhappy that band member Michael Ivins wore a hammer-and-sickle t-shirt during a March visit to the state capitol; or c) Governor Brad Henry, for overrriding the house vote and declaring he would pass the measure by executive order tomorrow at the

Oklahoma Is Doing Pretty Ok, Actually
January 19, 2009

Julia Ioffe is a writer living in New York. As a wonderfully menacing Christmas card sent out by the Oklahoma GOP last month reminded us, Oklahoma was the only state in the Union to go completely and utterly red: Not one county--and only one of the state's 2249 precincts--voted for the Obama/Biden ticket in November. ("It was god, guns, and gays with a little bit of race thrown in there," a local Democrat quipped bitterly.) And yet, two months later, a crowd of 800 Oklahomans merrily rang in the Obama presidency on Sunday night at the Museum of the American Indian.

Going Under
December 31, 2008

In December 2003, Brent Cambron gave himself his first injection of morphine. Save for the fact that he was sticking the needle into his own skin, the motion was familiar--almost rote. Over the course of the previous 17 months, as an anesthesia resident at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambron had given hundreds of injections. He would stick a syringe into a glass ampule of fentanyl or morphine or Dilaudid, pulling up the plunger to draw his dose. Then he'd inject the dose into his patient.