Tag: Signs & Wonders

How Washington’s Elite Learned to Love Policy Wonks

If David Brooks of The New York Times were alive in the Eisenhower era, rather than a mere intellectual artifact of it, we might have called him a “meatball.” Today, we must settle for “policy wonk.” The Oxford English Dictionary calls policy “a principle or course of action adopted or proposed as desirable.” But to understand policy requires expertise, […]

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Antifa Is Arming Itself Against a Trump Crackdown

Liberals are notoriously loath to take their own side in a fight. But their reticence may well be changing in an age of vigilante, white nationalist terror—openly condoned and supported by an incumbent president who has suggested that his armed devotees won’t stand for his removal from office. Increasingly, the antifa left is arguing—and training—in […]

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Eric Bolling Is Failing Up

In 2007, Eric Bolling was new to Fox News; after a successful run as an oil trader on Wall Street, he had landed a job as a financial analyst on Fox Business. The jauntily named show he hosted, Happy Hour, was a far cry from the incendiary, conservative rabble-rousing for which he’d later become known, […]

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White Mom’s Burden

Cindy McCain was buying sari cloth for her daughter from a “tiny wooden kiosk” in Kolkata, India, some years ago, she said, when she saw “little eyes” through the floorboards, peering up at her. The shopkeeper told her they belonged to members of his family, she recalled in an interview with a Phoenix radio program […]

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The Polling Industry Is in Crisis

The polls were unequivocal. In 2016, two days before Michigan’s Democratic primary, the respected Marist poll predicted that Hillary Clinton would win in a landslide, with 57 percent of the vote to Bernie Sanders’s 40 percent. On the morning of the March 8 primary, James Hohmann of The Washington Post wrote, “Michigan should have been fertile territory […]

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Oligarch of the Month: Viktor Orbán

During a busy May that saw his “infrastructure week” flop and his bellicose posturing toward Iran temporarily thwarted, President Donald Trump found time to roll out the red carpet for Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary. Since his election nine years ago, Orbán has built a razor wire fence, caged refugees in shipping containers, […]

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Racial Terror and the Second Repeal of Reconstruction

This April, PBS aired a groundbreaking documentary series on the fate of Reconstruction—and therefore of Black America. Featuring more than 40 scholars (myself among them) and Black descendants of key figures in Reconstruction’s history, this copiously researched chronicle also doubles as a powerful and chilling window on to our own age of violent and resurgent […]

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LA’s Museum for Nobody

When the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor released his original plans for the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2013, the building was meant to resemble an inkblot, oozing across Los Angeles’s horizon like an enigmatic brushstroke. Planners had hoped it would do for LA what Frank Gehry’s sweeping, silver Guggenheim outpost had done […]

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How Can Every Democrat Be a “Progressive”?

Defining the word “progressive” is a lot like defining pornography—you just know it when you see it. Or so Walter Mondale suggested while stumping for Jimmy Carter at a rally in Syracuse in 1980. At a time when the president was taking heat from liberal critics, Mondale reassured the crowd that he “knows a progressive […]

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The Radicalization of Fiona Scott Morton

If you attend enough conferences about antitrust policy, and I’ll impress you by saying that I have, you will inevitably hear two familiar words: “chilling” and “humble.” Any effort to prosecute antitrust cases, panelists say, creates a chilling effect on investment, preventing businesses from growing and thriving; and enforcers must be humble about how they […]

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Cory Booker Was Once a Foot Soldier for Betsy DeVos

Cory Booker had expected 10,000 people to turn out for the rally in downtown Newark that launched his presidential campaign, but on April 13, against a huge American flag draped across a building high above Military Park, he looked out on just 4,100 supporters. The turnout wasn’t the only thing that felt light that day. […]

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Oligarch of the Month: Laurence Doud III

In 2016, Laurence Doud III had a seven-figure salary, an honorary degree from the Albany College of Pharmacy, and a beach home in Florida. As Rochester Drug Cooperative’s CEO, he’d handed out lavish bonuses and increased revenue a hundredfold. When he retired the following year, the company lauded his vision. Then, this past April, appearing […]

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