Really, Rick Perry?
December 29, 2011

There hasn't been much reason these past few weeks to dig back into the vast landscape of unsavory dealings in Rick Perry's Texas, given the governor's increasing irrelevance in the GOP primary.

How Hard Will Education Cuts Hit Texas?
December 22, 2011

Texas, like many states, is facing difficult budget cuts—but even in this cash-strapped environment, the Lone Star State stands out. As NPR reports today, “School funding in Texas is in turmoil.” The state has cut $4.3 billion from education over the last school year, leading to over 12,000 layoffs and sharp reductions in everything from school security to special education. Can Texas stomach these cuts? Data from the National Education Association illustrates a few of the reasons why Texas will be particularly hard-hit by education cuts.

Why Don’t Libertarians Care About Ron Paul’s Bigoted Newsletters?
December 22, 2011

Nearly four years ago, on the eve of the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, The New Republic published my expose of newsletters published by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The contents of these newsletters can best be described as appalling.

Brokered Conventions, Last-Minute Comebacks, and Other Crazy Ways the GOP Could End Up With a Nominee
December 16, 2011

Has there ever been a worse year for the conventional wisdom in handicapping a presidential primary race? Sure, the pundit pack has been grotesquely wrong before, from over-hyping Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2008 to smugly dismissing Howard Dean’s potential to galvanize anti-war Democrats in 2004. But never have the political railbirds so frequently compounded their errors as they reeled from one smug, but erroneous, prediction to another.

Whatever Happened To The Superconducting Super Collider?
December 13, 2011

The scientific world is in a state of high excitement over the prospect of finally isolating the Higgs boson, the subatomic "God particle" that gives, or conveys, or accounts for the existence of, mass.

Remembering the Monstrous Stan Kenton
December 09, 2011

It takes a special awfulness for an artist to be worth remembering not for the value but for the faults of his work. In American music, few well-established figures went quite so wrong as Stan Kenton, the pianist and orchestra leader whose centennial on December 15 will be recognized by concerts at Jazz at Lincoln, the Manhattan School of Music, and the University of North Texas, which houses an archive of Kenton’s papers and scores.

TNR Film Classics: Whatever Happened to Black-and-White? (August 30, 1975)
December 08, 2011

How many major black-and-white movies can you think of that have been made in the last five years? I can think of five: The Wild Child (1970), The Last Picture Show (1971), Paper Moon (1973), Lenny (1974) and Young Frankenstein (1974). In all five, the decision to use monochrome was both calculated and special. There was a time in the not-so-distant when using color was the choice that was calculated and special. What happened and why? For one thing, television.

Rick Perry's Guru, North Toward Home
November 29, 2011

Lost amid the Cain campaign death watch today was this item, reported by Politico: Dave Carney is out as the top strategist for Rick Perry's campaign, replaced by former George W.

Organization Man
November 23, 2011

Just four years after he slid out of the White House as the embattled Rasputin to a flailing president, Karl Rove has reinvented himself as the dominant private citizen in the Republican Party. He is today a driving force behind both the powerful advocacy organization Crossroads GPS and its even more influential sibling, American Crossroads, the largest SuperPAC on the right.

(Semi-) Daily Deadline: May It Please the Court
November 16, 2011

[with contributions from Matt O'Brien and Darius Tahir]  Five and a half hours -- that's the time Supreme Court justices have set aside for oral arguments in the lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act. And you'll forgive me if I find that a little unsettling. As readers of this space know, I've long believed that the law's individual mandate is constitutional. Yes, the Supreme Court could reach a different conclusion. The justices can say pretty much whatever they want.