St. Louis

Colorado vs. Ohio
February 23, 2011

In some presidential cycles, an incumbent’s reelection strategy doesn’t matter all that much. When the economy is very strong (1984), the incumbent wins big; when it’s very weak (1932), he loses even bigger. And when a party chooses a nominee seen as outside the mainstream (1964, 1972), it suffers a crushing defeat. It’s possible that one or more of these circumstances could prevail next year. The economy could over- or under-perform current projections; the Republicans could choose a nominee who’s too conservative or lacks credibility as a potential president.

TNR Film Classics: 'National Velvet' (February 5, 1945)
January 21, 2011

National Velvet tells how a twelve-year-old butcher’s daughter, Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor), helped by a vagabond ex-jockey (Mickey Rooney) wins the Grand National steeplechase. It is the best thing to see at the moment, next to another very happy MGM technicolor film, Meet Me in St.

The Idealist
January 13, 2011

The bomber carried balloons. They were silver and purple, and when he stepped inside the parking garage, they flitted and danced around his head—obscuring his face, as well as his intentions. It was October 2008, just after 4:30 on a Wednesday afternoon, and the workers in the office tower above the garage in suburban St. Louis were still at their desks. Only surveillance cameras saw the man with the balloons as he hurriedly walked to the parking space marked “654,” knelt down, and placed a wicker basket next to the driver’s side door of a late model Acura TL.

Park Here
October 07, 2010

The High Line New York City Millennium Park Chicago Citygarden St. Louis A common plaint of contemporary social criticism is that American society has become more an archipelago than a nation, increasingly balkanized into ethnic, class, faith, and interest groups whose members rarely interact meaningfully with people whose affiliations they do not in large measure share. The pervasiveness of this phenomenon of American selfaggregation can be debated, but its existence is pretty plain.

Jeremiah, American-Style
April 30, 2010

Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch By Eric Miller (Eerdmans, 394 pp., $32) In a moving tribute to Christopher Lasch written shortly after his death in 1994, Dale Vree, a Catholic convert and the editor of the New Oxford Review, wrote that “Calvinism was his true theological inspiration.” Lasch was certainly not one of the faithful.

Between the Potency and the Existence
April 20, 2010

The Letters of T.S. Eliot: Volume 1 (1898–1922) Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton (Faber and Faber, 871 pp., £35) The Letters of T.S. Eliot: Volume 2 (1923–25) Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton (Faber and Faber, 878 pp., £35)  In these two volumes we find more than 1,600 pages of letters and T.S. Eliot is not yet forty.

Signposts
April 01, 2010

 In which we, semi-regularly, highlight articles and resources of note:  Can St. Louis compete? A Post-Dispatch series looks at the region’s challenges as the next economy emerges from recession.  Witold Rybczynski examines private sector involvement in city building and finds it crucial for these constrained times.  Conan might be off the air, but his former partner in feud, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, soldiers on as his city recorded its first calendar month without a homicide since 1966.  

Democrats Discover Their Base
March 21, 2010

Health care reform would not have happened without the political skill and tenacity of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or without the last minute round of arm twisting by President Barack Obama. But equally important was the energetic public campaign that Obama and liberal and left-wing organizations waged on behalf of it. This campaign altered the chemistry of the debate within Congress and among Democrats.

Jobs News: Good Or Bad?
March 05, 2010

David Leonhardt has your rundown: How you view today’s jobs report depends on snow. Coming into today, many economists believed that last month’s storms on the East Coast — which occurred right before the Labor Department conducted its monthly jobs survey — would temporarily reduce employment by a significant amount. Macroeconomic Advisers, a well-regarded research firm in St. Louis, thought the effect would be between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs lost.

Abbey Lincoln on the Axis of the Civil Rights Movement
February 26, 2010

I'd like to stay on the subject of music and Civil Rights for one more post. The ongoing talk about Joan Baez's performance of "We Shall Overcome" at the White House has reminded me how readily we embrace the idea of music as an instrument of political change when, often, music is more a reflection of changes in the political realm—an effect, rather than a cause. Not that songs have no power to influence the way people think or feel; to say that would be to deny the very value of music as a form of art.

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