The Plank

Is New York City Puritanical?

In last night's New York City Democratic primary, Anthony "Sexting" Weiner lost. So did Eliot "Hooker" Spitzer.

After 20 Years of GOP Mayors, This Is What a Non-Bloomberg Looks Like
September 11, 2013 New York City

New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio threw a raucous victory party Tuesday night as the numbers from the day came in and he appeared extremely close to winning 40 percent of the Democra

Gun Control Loses in a Swing State
September 11, 2013 Setbacks

Not much more than a year ago, Jessica Ghawi, an effervescent college student and aspiring sports broadcaster, was shot and killed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle by a gunman at a movie t

My Train Ride with Donald Rumsfeld
A vignette
September 11, 2013 Ghosts of Intel Past

As the President addressed the nation about the crisis in Syria, I sat waiting for the Acela to Washington at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station when an old man walked past me, trailed by an entourage from the K-9 unit. The hard, squinting eyes behind the glasses, the pinched brow, and the pencil-line lips were unmistakable: It was Donald Rumsfeld, just shrunken and more frail. He bounced around the platform and laughed and chatted with his guards. 

Finally, I decided to approach him, and broke the ice by identifying myself as fellow Princeton alum.

Obama Steps Back from the Syria Brink
A few lucky breaks led to a different speech than we expected
September 11, 2013 Diplomacy

Barack Obama’s speech on Syria had a peculiar structure.

FDR's Secret Weapon for Winning the Presidency
September 11, 2013 Trivia

FDR's Secret Weapon for Winning the Presidency

Ross Douthat Is Wrong. U.S. Policy in the Middle East Has Been Very Bad.
September 10, 2013 Media

Responding to an interview with author Andrew Bacevich that he finds overly negative, The New York Times' Ross Douthat

This Man Wants the U.S. to Give War a Chance in Syria
September 10, 2013 Hands Off

On August 24, conservative (sorta) author and defense-policy wise man Edward Luttwak published an op-ed in the New York Times a

New Australian Prime Minister is Bad News for Non-Australians
September 10, 2013 Disaster Down Under

Australia elected a new prime minister on Saturday—a divisive, brash conservative named Tony Abbott who promises to make Australia a far-right paradise after six consecutive years of liberal rule.

How Long Before the Syria Deal Fails? Any Minute Now.
September 10, 2013 Syria

Okay, so Secretary of State John Kerry inadvertently opened the door to getting President Barack Obama off the hook, and saving him from an inevitab

Pages