the Tribune

Mitt's Choice

A pillar of Mitt Romney’s claim not to be a shape-shifter on the abortion question is his insistence that he never called himself pro-choice. “I never called myself pro-choice,” he told Fox News in 2008. “I never allowed myself to use the word 'pro-choice' because I didn't feel I was pro-choice. I would protect the law, I said, as it was, but I wasn't pro-choice.” In a 2007 presidential debate Romney challenged his opponents to prove him a liar: “You can go back to YouTube and look at what I said in 1994.

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Among the many distinctions David Axelrod has achieved in his career, there is one that requires special elaboration: He is, it turns out, one of the few customers to have ever run a tab at Manny’s, the Chicago cafeteria and deli. This is not because the odd knish ($4.25) or side of potato chips ($0.75) threatened to leave him cash-poor. It is, rather, because Axelrod has long styled himself someone who accumulates wisdom at places regular people frequent, not the lacquered haunts of downtown Washington. What the Oval Room is to Beltway consultant-dom, Manny’s is to Axelrod.

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Murthaville

Congressman John Murtha passed away today. Below, you'll find a recent magazine feature that we ran on him--and the town he represented for 36 years. One night last August, John Murtha, the U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania’s Twelfth Congressional District, paid a visit to the LBK Game Ranch, a private hunting camp in the hills above his home city of Johnstown. About 60 people had gathered in the ranch’s lodge--a luxury five-bedroom log cabin decorated with deer antlers and flat-screen televisions--to raise money for his 2008 campaign. There were two odd things about the event.

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Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life Volume II: The Public Years By Charles Capper (Oxford University Press, 649 pp., $40) LIKE WALT WHITMAN, her slightly younger contemporary, Margaret Fuller was one to contain multitudes. No American woman of the pre-Civil War era--and no European woman of the era--wrote so brilliantly about so many things, while living so intently and intensely. For that matter, you would be hard put to think of a man who equaled Fuller's range of literary, intellectual, and political accomplishments.

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Citizen Murdoch

With great fanfare, the New York Daily News announced on May 1, 1982: NEWS TO CITY: WE'RE HERE TO STAY. Its owner, the Chicago Tribune company, had just discovered that it could neither sell nor close the News, and had decided, perforce, to keep it going. On an inside page, the paper announced: TRlB TO RUPERT: DROP DEAD. That blunt message was intended, of course, for Rupert Murdoch, Australian proprietor of the New York Post, the evening paper with which the News is waging the most acrimonious newspaper war the country has seen in years.

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