The TNR Primary: Part Three
January 25, 2008

Women are always in the wrong--particularly in politics. Our culture is sexist, and we don't even see it. Gloria Steinem said, "We'll do anything not to elect a woman." Women are attacked whenever we go public. Think of Eleanor Roosevelt, Bella Abzug--and Hillary Clinton. So Clinton has run a gauntlet. All her life. From Wellesley student to Yale student to lawyer to governor's wife to First Lady to senator to presidential candidate. I get it. I've run that gauntlet on a much smaller scale--and I don't even want to live in the White House. My heart goes out to her.

Mormons and Money
December 31, 2007

Alan Wolfe on Mitt Romney, his church, and the culture of prosperity.

Bromwich Goes Off The Deep-end
September 23, 2007

David Bromwich is the Sterling Professor of English at Yale which means he is a great literary scholar. On the other hand, he rides the Huffington Post which is different from the Pony Express. In the former, the rider is usually also an ass. Bromwich does not disappoint in his postings on Zsa Zsa's tuchus.

The Ivy Gang

At my back-in-the-day former employer, the Boston Phoenix, Steven Stark laments John Edwards's chances at the nomination. Why? Edwards, you see, didn't go to Harvard or Yale. In the Democratic landscape of 2007, that doesn't seem as if it should be a problem. But you'd have to go back to 1984 to find a Democratic nominee (Walter Mondale) who didn't attend one of those elite universities for either college or graduate school. Before that, a number of Democratic also-rans, including Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, and Jerry Brown, were also graduates of either Harvard or Yale.

The Pathetic Bobby Seale
July 24, 2007

You know the name "Bobby Seale?" But do you know who he is now? And what he was back then? This is not a nostalgia story. It is a pathetic story. But it is the pathos of the present a direct result of the pathos then. A report from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, this year, not on the late sixties, from San Francisco or from Yale.

The Enterprising American
May 21, 2007

MARCH 9, 2006, was a bad day for the White House. Weeks before, Claude Allen, the president’s chief domestic policy adviser, had resigned, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Then, on March 9, Allen was charged with having stolen some $5,000 worth of merchandise from Washington-area department stores during a months-long shoplifting spree.

Heavy Thinker
May 21, 2007

Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative DestructionBy Thomas K. McCraw (Harvard University Press, 719 pp., $35) I KNEW Joseph Schumpeter only in the last five years of his life, from 1945 until his death in 1950, at the age of sixty-six. To say that I knew him is actually a bit of an exaggeration. First as a returning undergraduate and then as a doctoral student in economics at Harvard, I attended his courses on advanced economic theory andthe history of economic thought. The theory lectures bordered onincoherent; they alluded to everything but analyzed nothing.

Partial Law
May 21, 2007

“THANK GOD for President Bush, and thank God for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito,” intoned Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention last week, after the Supreme Court announced its decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, the so-called partial-birth abortion case. But Land also should have thanked Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose majority opinion dangerously reframes the abortion debate.   Kennedy doesn’t proceed from the question of harm to the unborn—the premise on which the congressional act in question is based.

Cock and Bull
December 25, 2006

There is an obscure publishing doctrine known as "the small penis rule." As described in a 1998 New York Times article, it is a sly trick employed by authors who have defamed someone to discourage their targets from filing lawsuits. As libel lawyer Leon Friedman explained to the Times, "No male is going to come forward and say,`That character with a very small penis, `That's me!'" This gimmickwas undoubtedly on the mind of Michael Crichton, the pulp science-fiction writer of Jurassic Park fame, when he wrote the following passage in his latest novel, Next. (Caution: Graphic imagery.

Study Break
October 30, 2006

It’s not news that the pharmaceutical industry routinely suppresses negative data, with the effect of exaggerating the benefits of its drugs and glossing over their risks. Take, for example, the painkiller Vioxx. According to court testimony, the drug’s manufacturer, Merck, withheld data showing that the drug caused five times as many heart attacks as a similar painkiller, naproxyn. The result? Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety expert David Graham calculated that Vioxx caused an estimated 39,000 to 60,000 heart-attack deaths before it was pulled from the market in 2004.