Suburban Spies Among Us
July 02, 2010
The revelation that suspected Russian spies have been hiding in the suburbs of major U.S. cities has been regarded by some as a throw back to postwar Cold War novels replete with money drop-offs, hidden identities, and old school technology. Perhaps the most telling aspect of these Russians’ retro status is their attempt to “fit in” with a suburbia that no longer exists. At least eight of these alleged spies were classic suburbanites replete with dogs, families, or suburban jobs which could be part of any 1950s “welcome wagon” contingent.
On the Map: The World Cup at Home, Abroad
June 24, 2010
Yesterday’s dizzying stoppage-time goal by Landon Donovan put the U.S. World Cup squad through to the next round of the tournament, and that dramatic finish probably created a new crop of American soccer fans in the process. Up next for Donovan and company is Ghana, a physical team that, despite an injury that sidelined their star midfielder Michael Essien before the tournament, should test the U.S.
June 16, 2010
I bought a folding bicycle earlier this year in the hope that it would help me solve an embarrassing personal problem. I live in New York City, but, though I love the people I live among, I just don’t like the place. I’m loath to move out, because I only recently moved in. I left a house and a yard in Westchester for an apartment in Morningside Heights, near Columbia University, where my husband works and where life seemed likely to be more lively. But then, I got here and realized that I hated the noise and the filth and the smell.
Mitch McConnell, Democratic Patsy
May 18, 2010
Josh Green talks to some Kentucky Republican voters, and man, are those people crazy. By "crazy" I don't mean that they have objectionable moral beliefs or support impractical policies, though I'm sure they do. I mean they have no analytical connection to political reality: In my talks with voters on the campaign trail today and yesterday, the idea that the Republican Party is as complicit as the Democratic Party in what ails the country is something I heard again and again.
What's Haley Barbour's Angle?
May 06, 2010
[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] That's the first question you want to ask yourself any time you see something that makes little public-policy sense go down in Mississippi. The reason is that, as Brad Plumer and I documented in this piece several years ago, Barbour has never convincingly demonstrated that he severed ties to the lobbying firm he founded, Barbour, Griffith, & Rogers (BGR), when he became governor of Mississippi in 2004.
Kerry Goes Easy On Big Oil
May 05, 2010
Earlier today, John Kerry was at a green jobs conference here in Washington to talk up the still-not-public climate bill he's been crafting with Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. (Graham's still upset about the Dems' immigration push and may never come back to the talks, though yesterday Lieberman said they were prepared to move forward without him.) Interestingly, Kerry didn't really focus on the Gulf spill as a reason to push for big reforms to the energy sector.
I Confess: I Am A Member Of Opus Judaei
April 30, 2010
John J. Mearsheimer, who is co-author (with Stephen Walt) of The Israel Lobby, a who’s who they’d rather have called The Jewish Lobby, has finally come clean and done a morphology of American Jewry, splitting it into two schools each personified by perhaps a dozen individual Jews. The first he calls “righteous Jews.” This list includes Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Norman Finkelstein, Tony Judt, a certified nutcase named Philip Weiss, and other more-or-less unknowns—Naomi Klein, for example.
The Wild Heart
April 17, 2010
Why This World: A Biography of Clarice LispectorBy Benjamin Moser (Oxford University Press, 479 pp., $29.95) No one has ever known quite how to understand Clarice Lispector. Though she considered herself fully a Brazilian, having lived in the country since infancy, both her critics and her admirers often described her accent and her diction as “foreign”—perhaps unsure how else to characterize her unconventional wrestlings with the Portuguese language.
Just How Much Taxation Without Representation?
April 15, 2010
Over the past year or so the nebulous movement known as the Tea Party has co-opted many of the symbols of the founding fathers to fight against (among other things) taxation without representation. However, on Tax Day it is important to remember the one group of present-day citizens who know what “taxation without representation” really means: residents of the District of Columbia. A refresher: Washington, D.C.
Andy Stern Hangs It Up
April 13, 2010
The labor movement is losing a great innovator (and a powerful, unsung underrated force behind health care reform.) Brad Plumer memorably profiled Stern in 2008: With our interview winding down, Andy Stern leaps out of his chair to show me something. On the far wall of his Washington, D.C., office, the leader of the 1.9-million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) keeps a little museum.