Political Asylum

Political Asylum — November 9, 2012, 3:59 pm

Obama’s Bland Bargain

A dispassionate president disavows the liberal idea.

Political Asylum — November 8, 2012, 6:03 pm

Angry White Men

Can the G.O.P. genuinely change its attitude toward minorities and women?

Political Asylum — November 6, 2012, 2:01 pm

The Electoral Battle Between Corporationism and Empiricism

Obama’s data-driven approach may decide today’s race—and determine the future of the G.O.P.

Political Asylum — November 5, 2012, 9:42 pm

The Withdrawal of the American Establishment

An election-eve elegy for the country’s former guardians of sanity

Political Asylum — October 25, 2012, 1:33 pm

Is the Media Walking Us Into Another War? (Part II)

A New York Times op-ed writer nods his head along with Mitt Romney.

Political Asylum — October 24, 2012, 5:40 pm

Welcome to Easter Island

On a narrowly defined, narrowly argued foreign policy presidential debate.

Political Asylum — October 19, 2012, 4:26 pm

Is the Media Walking Us Into Another War?

The right’s strange new trope: bloodless regime change in Libya was bad; bloody, useless regime change in Iraq and everywhere else is good.

Political Asylum — October 17, 2012, 2:07 am

The Right Time

Recapping Mitt Romney's most blatant and risible falsehoods at the second presidential debate.

Political Asylum — October 15, 2012, 1:03 am

David Brooks Wants to Mix It Up

On the genteel Republican Party of David Brooks’s imagination

Political Asylum — October 9, 2012, 12:25 pm

Yes. We. Can.

“Who knew it was going to be the Skypilot himself, Flight Chief Obama, scrambling for the eject button while the rest of us tried to batter down the cockpit door and force him back into his seat?”

Political Asylum — October 4, 2012, 10:14 am

The Man Who Would Be Ex-President

After watching the first presidential debate, it’s hard not to wonder whether Barack Obama genuinely wants to remain in office.

Political Asylum — October 3, 2012, 3:05 pm

Mitt Romney Announces His Intention to Cheat

"The presidential debate in Denver this evening is supposed to be exclusively about domestic policy. But in today’s New York Times, we read that 'advisers said he would try to broaden the argument against Obama’s job performance by raising questions about how his administration handled the attack on a diplomatic mission last month in Libya that killed four Americans.'"

Political Asylum — October 2, 2012, 11:33 am

Unlikely Questions for the First Presidential Debate

A sampling of topics we're not likely to hear discussed at the first, “domestic” presidential debate. These are the questions that, if they are somehow asked, we can expect both candidates to strenuously avoid answering.

Political Asylum — October 1, 2012, 3:27 pm

The Crybabies’ Response to the Centrist

Mark Lilla says he's a centrist Democrat who was “relieved” to observe Obama's “political liberalism and instinctual conservatism.” But which of the social programs generated by the Great Society's legislative “overreach” does he so object to?

Political Asylum — September 26, 2012, 3:31 pm

The Literary Art of W. Mitt Romney

"Some have begun to detect a literary current in Mitt Romney’s seemingly mindless ramblings—a stream-of-consciousness that reflects, perhaps, the romantic wistfulness of the middle-aged man facing his own mortality."

Political Asylum — September 25, 2012, 3:18 pm

Wall Street Places Its Election Bets

How do the two presidential candidates stack up in the eyes of America's investment class?

Political Asylum — September 21, 2012, 11:22 am

Teatime With the Tea Party

"There’s little point now in trying to suss out whether Mitt Romney is at heart as much a thoroughgoing, Social Darwinist creep as the one he plays for rich donors. After a while, as Kurt Vonnegut once put it, “You are what you pretend to be.” And Romney’s pretenses have now infected not just the Republican leadership but its rank-and-file as well.??"

Political Asylum — September 14, 2012, 10:58 am

Ruin and Rebirth in the South

The South is, perhaps, the last romantic place in America, in all the best and worst senses of that word. It is a region where the wail of a freight train whistle is never very far away, and where you can see both lovely, fetid green swamps and nuclear-reactor towers from your train window. It is where a stretch of highway might bring the majestic spectacle of summer lightning illuminating a rolling cloud bank, or a gigantic American flag flying proudly over an auto dealership—or the Chernobyl-like remains of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s old Heritage USA, Christian theme park …

Political Asylum — September 13, 2012, 2:03 pm

Ybor Stories

“There was music in the cafés at night/ And revolution in the air . . .”—Bob Dylan Some may conclude from reading this blog that I believe downtown Tampa to be a soulless, sun-blasted hellhole made up of little besides empty sidewalks, endless parking lots, and sterile glass boxes. Some would be right. But there are many other parts of the Tampa Bay area that have real style and character. My own favorite is Ybor City, which was where Jack and I stayed during our sole- and soul-blistering trip to the Republican National Convention. Despite the name, Ybor is not a separate city, …

Political Asylum — September 9, 2012, 9:52 am

Party Like It’s 1984

I was struck, attending the Republican and Democratic political conventions, by how woefully inadequate the two southern host cities were to the task. I completely understand the political calculations that spurred these choices—Charlotte and Tampa are both “new” Sun Belt cities in important swing states. But c’mon. Minneapolis and Denver, the 2008 choices, were bad enough. This was ridiculous. Charlotte looks like Stamford, Connecticut, on steroids—a collection of overgrown glass boxes with bizarre roofs that are mostly the result of a fight between two of our greediest banksters, plus a NASCAR museum bigger than many NASCAR racetracks. Its slogan reads: …

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On February 5, 2019, the president of the United States (a certain Donald Trump) in his State of the Union speech warned of “migrant caravans and accused Mexican cities of busing migrants to the border ‘to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.’ ”? Wishing to see the border for myself, I decided to visit Arizona, where my ignorance of local conditions might save me from prejudgment.

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On a November Saturday in 1990, Pam went over to Joe’s place to listen to records. It was raining in sheets that whipped around the corners of buildings and blowing so hard that women in heels were taking men’s arms to cross the street. Cars were plowing bow waves through puddles of scum.

As Joe was letting Pam into the apartment, a man emerged from the bedroom with a square sheet of black plastic in his hand and said, “Hey, man, you have the Sassy Sonic Youth flexi!”

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Discussed in this essay:

Stalingrad, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 1,088 pages. $27.95.

Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century, by Alexandra Popoff. Yale University Press. 424 pages. $32.50.

Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler. New York Review Books. 904 pages. $24.95.

An Armenian Sketchbook, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 160 pages. $14.95.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A swarm of ladybugs in California was so large that it appeared on the National Weather Service’s radar.

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