A utopian German settlement in Chile had already turned darkly cultish by the time it became a secret torture site for enemies of the Pinochet regime.
A driver and passenger engage in uneasy political and social discourse.
"Darshan could all too easily picture Malik at prayer while on the job. He saw every detail--head bowed, eyed shut, both hands clutching the wheel as a laundry list of requests was whispered towards heaven: a new carburetor for the engine, a new dress for the wife, new sneakers for the children. Each and every petty need enunciated like a brave but modest child, the requests a thing of beauty in their humility, a delicate song of worship and desire that would only come to an end when Malik veered slightly into the opposing lane and plowed directly into the headlights of an oncoming sixteen-wheeler."
An actor, fresh from prison, attempts to reconnect with his son in 1950s California.
"And he had believed it. Everyone had. Since the day he’d been cast as Lev, Alexi had been aware that he was getting away with something—though, he reasoned, he’d never explicitly lied about anything. He just never told the complete truth. He may have, when asked about his American accent, mentioned the pronunciation workbooks stacked on his family’s kitchen table, as if he, and not just his parents, had pored over them nightly. He may have once, a little drunk at a party, pretended to forget the English words for the pigs in a blanket being passed around. He may have, that night and possibly a few others, begun sentences with, In my country . . . He may have, when asked by the film’s very openly communist director one night over steaks at Musso’s what he thought about Truman, parroted back what he’d overheard at the writers’ table, that he was narrow-minded and ruthless, his doctrine a farce and an affront to civil liberties. He may have, at Stella and Jack’s invitation, attended a number of meetings in their Hancock Park living room, where there may have been some pretty detailed discussions about following their Soviet comrades down whatever path they took. He may have, on one of those evenings, filled out one of the Party membership forms being passed around, simply because everyone else was."
On Silvio Berlusconi’s hedonism.
Berlusconi is Italy’s waning Hugh Hefner, alternately reviled and admired for his loyalty to his own appetites—except that he’s supposed to be running the country.
A senator and his wife deal with the aftermath of a sex scandal.
"He opened the car door and pushed his way out into the sea of shouting reporters. Batting away microphones, he made his way up the front walkway and mounted the steps to the porch. The door was locked. Steve patted his empty pockets; his keys were in his suitcase in the trunk of the car. He rang the doorbell and waited with his hands folded in front of him. Then he took out his phone and dialed Maureen. 'I’m locked out,' he said when she picked up."
Inside the political battle over reproductive rights in Texas.
Tracking down a Congolese war criminal.
In a fictionalized Haiti, a man explains the inner workings of the political landscape and his own shady rise to the role of Prime Minister.
"Yet…deciding to recount the entire tale, the whole historical record, as in order for events to work out as Richard wanted them to, then yes, he’d have to make good on his promise that everything would be made clear, revealed in one fashion or another—it’s probably best if I explain: Jean was once a senator in the Haitian senate, the second-youngest senator in Haiti’s history in fact, and as a senator, he was wildly inept. You can’t really find him totally at fault however, because Jean’s parents bought him his seat when he was fresh from school. I can’t fathom why, but my guess is that they knew he had no head for business and that there was nothing else he’d really be good for, so they had hoped that a career in politics would both keep him busy and allow them to control a portion of the country without too much effort. But well, Jean, Jean bloody fucked all that, what with his reckless politicking and all."
A Ugandan bill that would threaten homosexuals with imprisonment, or in some cases death, has its roots in the shadowy American evangelical group known as the The Family.
In Colorado and beyond, a negotiated surrender in the war on drugs.
How a team of 40 engineers helped reelect Barack Obama.
Memoir of a Latter-day campaign correspondent.
As immigration turns red states blue, how can Republicans transform their platform?
The US election as witnessed by 25 reporters in 23 countries.
A delightfully strange and humorous imagining of Mitt Romney's thoughts during a massage.
"Something curdled inside him—he didn’t deserve this dig. Yes, he’d been busy lately, insanely busy, especially with those foreign-policy dopes, but he’d tried to remain attentive to his lady. He’d arranged this nice weekend for them. He’d canceled events, he’d canceled events that were scheduled months ago. Suddenly, he was impatient to get away from her, to find the remote and check on the day’s news. He hadn’t turned on the set since lunchtime yesterday, a gesture he’d hoped that she’d notice and appreciate, mostly because it came so hard to him."
“His seeming ease belies the anxiety and emotion that advisers say he brings to his historic position: pride in what he has accomplished, determination to acquit himself well and intense frustration.”
Future historians review the fantastic legacy of John Adams: Lincoln Michel's contribution to Melville House's forty-four stories about out forty-four Presidents.
"John Adams appears to have originally been conceived as a familiar or minion of George Washington, the first of the hundred tyrants that are said to have ruled the country until its infamous, self-inflicted demise."
How Barack Obama decided to green-light the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
Meet Kareem Ahmed, the President’s reclusive bankroller.
Why the flood of money in this election is just the beginning.
On Nate Silver and the messiness of modern political polling.
A profile of Bidzina Ivanishvili.Published originally in GQ Russia.
“Redistricting today has become the most insidious practice in American politics—a way, as the opportunistic machinations following the 2010 census make evident, for our elected leaders to entrench themselves in 435 impregnable garrisons from which they can maintain political power while avoiding demographic realities.”
On the country’s poorest.
Unprecedented access to six months in the life of the President of the United States.
The Buckeye State’s fortunes and the fight for credit.
On JFK and the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
A depressed, pregnant woman shares a brief conversation with then-Senate candidate Barack Obama; from Chabon's upcoming novel.
" At his remark, the pregnant woman nodded without turning to look at him—there was an elaborate candelabra of a potted cactus behind whose tapered thorns she appeared to be attempting, somewhat punitively, to conceal herself. Obama was running for the United States Senate that summer and had given a wonderful speech last month at the Democratic Convention in Boston. When she did turn to him, her eyes got very wide."
An appraisal of the Wisconsin congressman’s “green-eyeshade fiscal conservatism.”
Freedom, the GOP, and a rhesus macaque on the loose.
How Mitt Romney made his millions.
The false promise and double standard of integration in the Obama era.
A sample from Powell's 2009 novel-in-questions.
"Are you happy? Are you given to wondering if others are happy? Do you know the distinctions, empirical or theoretical, between moss and lichen? Have you seen an animal lighter on its feet than the sporty red fox? Do you cut slack for the crime of passion as opposed to its premeditated cousin? Do you understand why the legal system would? Are you bothered by socks not matching up in subtler respects than color? Is it clear to you what I mean by that? Is it clear to you why I am asking you all these questions?"
As a young community organizer in Chicago, Barack Obama concluded that to make a real difference, he needed to gain power. A look at how that plan has worked thus far.
On Mitt Romney’s top strategist—a steroid-dabbling, screenwriting bon vivant.
How the former Bush advisor is “reengineering the practice of partisan money management in hopes of drumming Barack Obama out of the White House.”
Libertarian, futurist, billionaire: a profile of Peter Thiel.
“One afternoon about three days ago the Editorial Enforcement Detail from the Rolling Stone office showed up at my door, with no warning, and loaded about 40 pounds of supplies into the room: two cases of Mexican beer, four quarts of gin, a dozen grapefruits, and enough speed to alter the outcome of six Super Bowls. There was also a big Selectric typewriter, two reams of paper, a face-cord of oak firewood and three tape recorders – in case the situation got so desperate that I might finally have to resort to verbal composition.”
How did the gambling magnate and prolific super PAC donor amass his billions?
How a group of men with nicknames like “Emperor” and “Spear Carrier” tipped the balance in South Sudan’s fight for independence.
A longtime Harper’s contributor considers America as he dies: “When I died, I died of many things: the failing systems; the weakening of age; the exhaustion of the long war against dying. Finally, I succumbed to the lack of ethics in a California hospital, killed by filth and neglect.”
A 7,000-word anatomy of the chaotic 9 minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its health care ruling.
A congressional hearing exposes the hypocrisy of American superiority.
"So that’s where you need these cheap inflation dollars so everybody can pay everybody back, right? See we had this neat idea of this here trickle down theory only it didn’t work out so good, I mean it all like got stuck at the top where 15 years ago this richest 1 percent of the nation held 27 percent of the wealth now they’ve got almost 36 percent, I mean it mostly like trickled up. And see where the Administration’s goal was to end inflation it worked so good that this sudden massive collapse of it brought these terrific budget deficits so like now we’re this world’s biggest debtor nation where if these here Japanese weren’t like buying $60 billion in Treasury bonds a year we couldn’t hardly pay the gas bill, right?"
How Obama’s immigration enforcement policies got away from him.
Inside the increasingly hostile global warming debate.
One night in Newark with Chris Christie and Bruce Springsteen.
“No one is beyond the reach of Bruce!” he screams over the noise of the crowd, and then screams it again, to make sure I understand: “No one is beyond the reach of Bruce!”
The highest-ranking CIA officer to be convicted of spying passes the tricks of the trade along to his son.
The education of a campaign manager.
On the complex nature of a presidential second term and what Obama would do if he wins one.
The Watergate reporters look back.
In the course of his five-and-a-half-year presidency, beginning in 1969, Nixon launched and managed five successive and overlapping wars — against the anti-Vietnam War movement, the news media, the Democrats, the justice system and, finally, against history itself. All reflected a mind-set and a pattern of behavior that were uniquely and pervasively Nixon’s: a willingness to disregard the law for political advantage, and a quest for dirt and secrets about his opponents as an organizing principle of his presidency.
Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist “beyond the leading edge” of the same-sex marriage fight.
The author reflects on his mayoral run with Norman Mailer against John Lindsay.
At the bar one night a couple of weeks after the primary, I looked up from a drink and saw my face and Norman's face floating across the screen on the NBC First Tuesday show. It is a network thing, and they did a 20-minute look at our campaign. The show reinforced my opinion that Norman and I had some of the most terrific lows in the history of anything that ever took place in this city. And, perhaps, a couple of highs that could be recognized as time passes a bit. Like maybe colleges for years will be using the things Norman Mailer was saying out in the streets.
Horowitz went from the New Left to the far right. Now neither side wants him.
On the last weekend of April 2011, two things happened in Washington D.C.: the annual White House Correspondents Dinner and the decision to raid Osama bin Laden’s compound. This is the story of how both transpired.
Alabama’s chemical-endangerment law was passed to protect kids from meth labs. But is the prosecution of about 60 mothers – and the definition of “child” extended to “unborn child” – pushing its boundaries too far?
A young man awaits a conversation with his father, with the Egyptian Revolution in the background.
"I am standing and waiting on my father to come home. He is well-educated and serves quite the purpose in one of the state dailies. He works among the bureaucrats, in their offices without walls, only partitions, and aspires for me to do the same when he is promoted. Promotion is not contingent, it is imminent. Our side will win and the present situation will end, but for tonight I hope political talk will trap itself somewhere on the road from Tahrir to our apartment and that my father and I can focus on our cocktails."
Drunken students discuss politics and philosophy.
"Longhaired Empty in his furlined cape gazes down disdainfully on Harry, ogling Annie Axe’s butt as she wags it johnward. 'Alas, wretched mortal!' he says. Empty, alias Empedocles, flamboyant charlatan, lofty romantic, gay vegetarian, is the brightest and the maddest of us all. For Empty, ardent but gloomy democrat, the Red Scare is real, the Bomb is. 'It’s a time of increasing Strife,' he oft laments."
The story behind the story that ended Dan Rather’s career.
A stoned woman's journey encompasses family memories and political and feminist activism.
"The caravan of images broke apart, dispersing into the motes that poured through the windshield of her Dart. Ruth took off her sunglasses and rubbed her eyes. The tiny blood vessels felt huge. She did not know her sister anymore; they were separated by politics and by her marriage to Jack. Had she ever known Helene? Ruth put the saliva-soaked joint to her lips, aware now of the music coming over the radio. “All you need is love. Love is all you need.” She laughed, sapphires and rubies spilling from her mouth, and the sadness left for a moment."
An artifact from the height of the uproar:
Behind the tawdriest of headlines, there's a woman I wouldn't mind bringing home to mom.
Lessons learned about Washington from investigating how the “grand bargain” fell apart.
Marion Barry is running for reelection – and nobody cares.
No one can do that day after day, week after week, for years ... without some rock-hard certainty that can't be milled away by nonsense and stress. He has to know: Why him? And: Why now? ... He has to know that he is The One. And if he's strong enough to keep going-if he's able, smart, and lucky-then, he'll get to the final twist in the road, when things catch fire, he can see how his words make the people feel, he can feel how those words now matter to him. He can make all the difference just by walking into a room. There are thousands of people -- and they want him. He and his campaign fill the lives of people who are almost strangers, and he takes over the life of everyone dear to him. He has to, it's all right -- because it's that important. Now, he knows: Not only should I be President, I am going to be President!
All violence is not like all other violence. Every Jewish death is not like every other Jewish death. To believe otherwise is to revive the old typological thinking about Jewish history, according to which every enemy of the Jews is the same enemy, and there is only one war, and it is a war against extinction, and it is a timeless war.
In 1970s Britain, conservative philosophy was the preoccupation of a few half-mad recluses. Searching the library of my college, I found Marx, Lenin, and Mao, but no Strauss, Voegelin, Hayek, or Friedman. I found every variety of socialist monthly, weekly, or quarterly, but not a single journal that confessed to being conservative.
A young Brit goes against the political grain.
In an odd way, crime has fallen off the political landscape. To an extent it's been replaced on the agenda by concern about the dire consequences of mass incarceration. But violent crime itself remains a major area in which the United States lags behind other developed countries. To suggest that smarter management of the criminal justice system could make it less brutal while simultaneously creating large reductions in the quantity of crime sounds utopian. And yet the proposals for parole system reform found in this article are utterly convincing.
"I thought dying for your country was the worst thing that could happen to you, and I don't think it is. I think killing for your country can be a lot worse. Because that's the memory that haunts."
On February 25, 1969, Bob Kerrey led a raid into a Vietnamese peasant hamlet during which at least 13 unarmed women and children were killed.
Putin v. Khodorkovsky:
Almost a decade ago, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then the owner of the Yukos Oil Company and Russia’s richest man, completely miscalculated the consequences of standing up to Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s president. Putin had Khodorkovsky arrested, completely miscalculating the consequences of putting him in prison. During his eight years in confinement, Khodorkovsky has become Russia’s most trusted public figure and Putin’s biggest political liability. As long as Putin rules Russia and Khodorkovsky continues to act like Khodorkovsky, Khodorkovsky will remain in prison—and Putin will remain terrified of him.
How the Justice Department killed a $2.5 billion industry.
The strange saga of a 2009 Gary Oldman profile that his manager, Douglas Urbanski, aggressively sought to kill.
"Mr. Heath's motives are dishonest in the least...supposed 'journalism' at its very lowest...while Mr. Heath may find his sloppy reporting cute, in fact it is destructive, and he knows it...his out of context and uninformed pot shots...out of context swipes at me...stretching the most basic rules of journalism...in certain ways has aspects of a thinly disguised hit piece... a hole filled swiss cheese of wrong facts, misleading insinuations, and in general lazy, substandard, agendized non-reporting...again and again Mr. Heath attempts to turn the piece into a political piece...GQ has allowed Heath to go for the cheap shot..."
On the Susan B. Anthony List, the anti-choice power broker:
In a year when 11 women are running for the U.S. Senate, including six pro-choice Democratic incumbents, the efforts of a group founded by second-wave feminists, named for a first-wave feminist, could once again be a major force in reducing female representation in Congress.
A profile of Maggie Gallagher, founder of National Organization for Marriage.
When 25-year-old Valentine Strasser seized power in Sierra Leone in 1992, he became the world’s youngest head of state. Today he lives with his mother and spends his days drinking gin by the roadside.
Protests against the Putin regime are already drawing over 100,000 in sub-zero weather; what will they become when spring arrives?
In Michele Bachmann’s home district evangelicals have pushed anti-gay policies to the school board. After a rash of suicides, teens are fighting back.
On the Republican Party’s successful use of redistricting to “pass draconian anti-immigration laws, end integrated busing, drug-test welfare recipients and curb the ability of death-row inmates to challenge convictions based on racial bias.”
Clarence Thomas, then-chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, profiled by Juan Williams:
He agrees with Reagan's characterization of the civil-rights leaders as old men fomenting discontent to justify their own "rather good positions." "The issue is economics—not who likes you." Thomas has told me. "And when you have the economics, people do have a way of changing their attitudes toward you. I don't see how the civil-rights people today can claim Malcolm X as one of their own. Where does he say black people should go begging the Labor Department for jobs? He was hell on integrationists. Where does he say you should sacrifice your institutions to be next to white people?"
Reviewing Newt Gingrich as historian and intellectual.
How one of the most maligned cast members in SNL history ended up a talking head on Fox News.
Hanging out in Moscow with Russia’s yuppie, 20-something journalist revolutionaries:
In other words, the protest was being brought to you by the same people you would have relied on, weeks earlier, for restaurant picks.
An interview with the former president about the upcoming election and American consensus.
But his greatest presidential stumbling block may be right under his nose. At home, Newt's second wife, Marianne Ginther Gingrich, tells me she doesn't see herself in the First Lady's job. "Watching Hillary has just been a horrible experience," commiserates Marianne. "Hillary sticking her neck out is not working." What happens if Newt runs?, I ask. "He can't do it without me," she replies. "I told him if I'm not in agreement, fine, it's easy" --she giggles at her naughtiness. "I just go on the air the next day, and I undermine everything..."
Covering a presidential candidate and the people who cover presidential candidates aboard the press buses Bullshit 1 and Bullshit 2 on the 2000 John McCain campaign trail.
From The Longform Guide to the Campaign Trail on Slate.
Joan Didion versus the boys on the bus:
American reporters “like” covering a presidential campaign (it gets them out on the road, it has balloons, it has music, it is viewed as a big story, one that leads to the respect of one’s peers, to the Sunday shows, to lecture fees and often to Washington), which is one reason why there has developed among those who do it so arresting an enthusiasm for overlooking the contradictions inherent in reporting that which occurs only in order to be reported.
A profile of Rick Santorum published early in his final campaign for the U.S. Senate, a race widely considered a stepping stone to the White House before he lost.
A suburban dad. A fictional television blowhard. And now a political money launderer. How one funny guy became three.
The transcript from an lecture presented by In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture-capital arm, on the ethics of drones, military robots, and cyborg soldiers.
What happened when Pakistan shut down the vitally important Karachi to Kabul trucking line.
After decades of failed revitalization strategies, a town of 10,000 tries another.
On the American Legislative Exchange Council, a D.C. nonprofit with a library of more than 800 pieces of fill-in-the-blank legislation ready for state legislatures across the country.
On the strengths and limitations of the Republican frontrunner:
“The Mormon’s never going to win the who-do-you-want-to-have-a-beer-with contest,” concedes one adviser, while another acknowledges, “He’s never had the experience of sitting in a bar, and like, talking.”
A log of the 32 shitless hours that the author spent in the Tombs prison after being arrested during an Occupy Wall Street protest.
Frank rarely smiles, even when he’s being funny. “There are three lies politicians tell,” he told the real-estate group. “The first is ‘We ran against each other but are still good friends.’ That’s never true. The second is ‘I like campaigning.’ Anyone who tells you they like campaigning is either a liar or a sociopath. Then, there’s ‘I hate to say I told you so.’ ” He went on, “Everybody likes to say ‘I told you so.’ I have found personally that it is one of the few pleasures that improves with age. I can say ‘I told you so’ without taking a pill before, during, or after I do it.”
Nearly three decades ago, Mother Jones profiled a rising star in the Republican Party:
The divorce turned much of Carrollton against Gingrich. Jackie was well loved by the townspeople, who knew how hard she had worked to get him elected-as she had worked before to put him through college and raise his children. To make matters worse, Jackie had undergone surgery for cancer of the uterus during the 1978 campaign, a fact Gingrich was not loath to use in conversations or speeches that year. After the separation in 1980, she had to be operated on again, to remove another tumor While she was still in the hospital, according to Howell, "Newt came up there with his yellow legal pad, and he had a list of things on how the divorce was going to be handled. He wanted her to sign it. She was still recovering from surgery, still sort of out of it, and he comes in with a yellow sheet of paper, handwritten, and wants her to sign it.
Whoever wants to enchant America’s conservative base as well as independents looking for a steady hand amid economic upheaval must try to grasp what has carried Cain this far — what not only shields him from spectacular attempts at self-immolation but also, with each incident, seems to make him stronger. Why, with this candidate, do the laws of physics seem not to apply?
Edward Luttwak is a rare bird whose peripatetic life and work are the envy of academics and spies alike. ...he published his first book, Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, at the age of 26. Over the past 40 years, he has made provocative and often deeply original contributions to multiple academic fields, including military strategy, Roman history, Byzantine history, and economics.
On the privilege of being then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.
A charismatic entrepreneur, an ex-con turned devout Christian, and the politicians who championed them.
The story of a $36 billion Ponzi scheme in Minnesota.
A discussion of the “limited but important” power of Occupy Wall Street’s open blog, “We Are the 99%.”
He arrived in Bolivia in November 1966, disguised as a Uruguayan businessman. After desertions, drownings, and difficulty contacting their support group in La Paz, his small troop was surrounded the following October. The inside story of how they were found and destroyed.
Retracing the early economic steps of the Obama administration.
From Vallejo to San Jose, a tour of local government despair:
The relationship between the people and their money in California is such that you can pluck almost any city at random and enter a crisis.More Lewis: the complete financial disaster tourism series to date.
From the Econo-Lodge to the Porcupine Freedom Festival, on the campaign trail with former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, the fringe candidate who doesn’t really seem he should be a fringe candidate.
N.K.: So when you saw the photo of Neda Soltan, what did you think? M.A.: It was incredibly sad, due to many reasons. First we have proof that that scene was staged, and she was killed later, at a later point. This footage was shown for the first time by BBC. Our security officers and officials had no information of such a thing. but if BBC makes the complete footage from beginning to end available to us, we will analyze it, we will research it because we do search for those who are truly guilty of murdering this young lady. And also, a scene fairly close to this—almost a photocopy I would say—was repeated previously in a South American country—in a Latin American country. this is not a new scene. And they previously tell those who are due to participate, they tell them that “you will be participating in making a short footage, a short movie, a short clip.” After their participation is finished they take them to some place and they kill them. If BBC is willing to broadcast this film, this footage in its entirety, any viewer would be able to distinguish whether it is as we say or it is as they maintain.
A Mexican man reluctantly provides cultural insights to a pandering white American journalist.
"Two years before, Samuel Kramer had arrived to write the nteenth feature on Frida Kahlo. Someone told him I wrote screenplays for tough documentaries, and he paid me to accompany him through a city he considered savage and explain things he called mythical."
A profile of the comedian who’s “not so funny anymore”:
Jon Stewart has made a career of avoiding "Whooo" humor. He has flattered the prejudices of his audience, but he has always been funny, and he has always made them laugh. At the Juan Williams taping, however, at least half of Stewart's jokes elicited the sound of Whooo! instead of the sound of laughter. He's been able to concentrate his comedy into a kind of shorthand — a pause, or a raised eyebrow, is often all that is necessary now — but a stranger not cued to laugh could be forgiven for not laughing, indeed for thinking that what was going on in front of him was not comedy at all but rather high-toned journalism with a sense of humor. Which might be how Jon Stewart wants it by now.
In a campaign supported by the Koch brothers, Republicans are working to prevent millions of Democrats from voting next year.
On witnessing the transformation of George W. Bush over 25 years.
A detailed, fictionalized diary entry of a German Jew in the early 1940s.
"We actually forgot we were Jews most of the time. But the men in charge keep reminding us of our heritage in an increasingly torturous way. My father laughed it away at first."
Former U.S. Presidents are reincarnated as horses.
"Martin Van Buren is barn sour, but even he shouts out impossible promises at the turkeys from the dim interior of his stall: 'You are my constituents, my turkeys,' Van Buren neighs, 'and the love I feel for you is forever.' The turkeys promenade around the yard and ignore him. Rutherford wonders if they, too, have human biographies hidden beneath their black feathers."
In 1979, a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy and held the entire American diplomatic mission hostage for fifteen months. Twenty-five years later, the students reflected on their actions, many with regret.
On the London riot on 2011, which “tells us a great deal about our ideological-political predicament and about the kind of society we inhabit, a society which celebrates choice but in which the only available alternative to enforced democratic consensus is a blind acting out.”
On the combined force of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Virginia, a Tea Party stalwart.
Notes from the campaign trail in Nevada with Ron Paul.Part of Longform.org's guide to the 2012 GOP field at Slate.
One reason the Tea Party's patriotic political statements are so taupe is that they mirror the religious rhetoric, which is high on generalizations about God and low on nuance and complexity and conflict. Go ahead, replace "constitution" and "patriotism" with "God" and "faith" in some tea party speech sometime—it's not as wacky as it should be.
The making of a lost generation:
According to the Unicef report, which measured 40 indicators of quality of life – including the strength of relationships with friends and family, educational achievements and personal aspirations, and exposure to drinking, drug taking and other risky behavior – British children have the most miserable upbringing in the developed world. American children come next, second from the bottom.
On America’s relationship with the right to bear arms, from the Founding Fathers to the Black Panthers and the Ku Klux Klan.
It’s 11 p.m. when Larson at last agrees to meet me in the lobby of the Hampton Inn, next door to the Gurnee Grand. He’s just come out of a marathon closed-door meeting with his fellow exiled senators. Tall, gap-toothed, and handsome, but with a squished, broad nose, Larson appears in a fitted black overcoat, a sedate suit with a Wisconsin flag lapel pin, and an athletic backpack. He looks shockingly young, younger than his thirty years, and seems to be relieved that I am even a few years younger myself. We jump in my Chevy and head for the town’s late-night diner: Denny’s. By the time we settle into a booth, Larson has dropped the routine political affectations—the measured language, the approved talking points, the inauthentic humor. We’re cracking up comparing Republicans to evildoers on South Park and shit-talking mutual acquaintances in Milwaukee. And then, just as Larson is about to take a bite of his veggie burger, I ask the freshman senator if he is scared. “What would I be scared about?” he replies.
Two writers, one young, one old, share a varied correspondence about writing, politics, and family matters.
" The Alcoy Council sent me his address without delay—he lived in Madrid—and one night, after dinner or a light meal or just a snack, I wrote him a long letter, which rambled from Ugarte and the stories of his that I had read in magazines to myself, my house on the outskirts of Girona, the competition (I made fun of the winner), the political situation in Chile and in Argentina (both dictatorships were still firmly in place), Walsh's stories (along with Sensini, Walsh was my other favourite in that generation), life in Spain, and life in general."
What are the foreign policy views of Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney?
On a decade-long war:
Hackers from many countries have been exfiltrating—that is, stealing—intellectual property from American corporations and the U.S. government on a massive scale, and Chinese hackers are among the main culprits.
Former Bob Ney, Mark Foley and William Jefferson underlings provide a street-level view of D.C. opprobrium.
Karen Holloman opened the door of her uncle's apartment with his best friend, Larry Young, a step behind. As they edged inside, she looked to her left and saw the end of her uncle's bed and his motionless feet. "He's been in here asleep all along," Holloman muttered, for a moment annoyed at the worry he had caused by not answering his phone. Her anger froze as she entered his room: The Rev. Marvin Moore lay dead in his bed, a bullet hole through the back of his head, a pool of blood gathered beneath his limp arm.
For years, homosexuals have, for the most part, been politically apathetic. Rarely did a candidate stir their enthusiasm; when homosexuals did vote, many of the more affluent ones tended to go Republican. But now the gay and lesbian community appears to be united for the first time in a Presidential race behind a single candidate -- Bill Clinton. And the money is pouring into the Clinton campaign -- $2 million so far from identifiably gay sources, according to Democratic Party estimates. "The gay community is the new Jewish community," says Rahm Emanuel, the Clinton campaign's national finance director. "It's highly politicized, with fundamental health and civil rights concerns. And it contributes money. All that makes for a potent political force, indeed."
On a failed attack in Spokane and the fragments of homegrown terrorism in the United States.
Early novel samples from one of my most influential college teachers.
"[T]o drive along any of the national highways meant you had indeed acquired value, but that your value had absolutely nothing to do with your worth as a unique individual."
In Afghanistan and other zones of international crisis with John Kerry:
Why, then, does Kerry bother? Why is he racing back and forth to put out the fires being set by a serial arsonist? I asked him about this on the short flight from Kabul to Islamabad. Kerry tried to put the best possible face on what he had learned. Despite the warlords in Kabul, he said, Karzai had appointed some talented officials at the provincial and district levels. “It’s a mixed bag,” he concluded gamely. Kerry knew Karzai’s failings as well as anyone, but he was not prepared to abandon Afghanistan’s president, because he was not prepared to abandon Afghanistan. But why not?
The story of a Marine who saved innumerable lives, then got fired.
Boris Yeltsin’s right-hand man tells the inside story of the 1991 coup that killed glasnost:
"That scum!" Boris Yeltsin fumed. "It's a coup. We can't let them get away with it."
A profile of 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan, the newly crowned Miss America.
A profile of California congressman Darrell Issa:
A few days after we met in Las Vegas, Issa called me. He was concerned about all my questions regarding his early life and didn’t see why they were newsworthy. The conversation was awkward.
The rise and dissolution of the magazine that nearly took down a president.
Over the last several weeks, dozens of lawmakers, strategists and advocates described the closed-door meetings and tactical decisions that led to approval of same-sex marriage in New York, about two years after it was rejected by the Legislature. This account is based on those interviews, most of which were granted on the condition of anonymity to describe conversations that were intended to be confidential.
This new strain of Republican is not one Wisconsin, nor the United States, has ever seen...The new Republicans are corporate wrecking crews, given a sledgehammer, a piece of legislation and a command to "make it fit."
The story of Daily Kos and its founder, Markos Moulitsas.
No one argues before the Supreme Court more than Tommy Goldstein.
A profile of the up-and-coming New York politician, who at the time was toying with a run for mayor.
The circus Roger Ailes created at Fox News made his network $900 million last year. But it may have lost him something more important: the next election.
A campaign diary of Luther Campbell’s (better known as Dr. Luke of 2 Live Crew) run for Mayor of Miami-Dade County.
An annotated transcript:
MR. SEALE: [The marshals are carrying him through the door to the lockup.] I still want an immediate trial. You can’t call it a mistrial. I’m put in jail for four years for nothing? I want my coat.
During her brief tenure as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin was a genuinely effective, bipartisan legislator. What went wrong?
On the ground to witness Cuba’s last days:
“Either we rectify our course or the time for teetering along on the brink runs out and we go down. And we will go down…[with] the effort of entire generations.”—Raul Castro
A profile of Maine’s two U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.
Manny Pacquiao, possibly the greatest boxer of his era and still in his fighting prime, on the campaign trail for a congressional seat in the remote, untamed Southern province of the Phillipines that spawned him.
Inside Obama’s most glaring reversal.
In 1967, Stanley Ann Dunham took her 6-year-old son, Barry, on an adventure to Indonesia. An excerpt from A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother.
Why has the Palestinian cause failed to produce a Martin Luther King-like leader with a platform based on non-violence?
A 12,000-word profile of recently departed Brazilian President Luiz Inácio da Silva, the “most successful politician of his time.”
On the mysterious relationship between a major New York State power broker and a Brooklyn family. “The Turanos are variously described by friends, neighbors and colleagues as the senator’s social acquaintances, lovers or surrogate relatives.”
A first-person account of the author’s time spent volunteering with a group of Burmese activists in Thailand, who turn out to be not Korean but in fact Karen, members of Burma’s persecuted ethnic minority. In the course of her time there, they show her videos of their risky forays across the border, and she shows them MySpace.
The perilous routes through which information—video footage, secret documents, radio broadcasts—flow in and out of North Korea through its porous borders with China.
On who will bear the burden of the financial crisis facing cities across America. “Will it be articulated in terms of bond defaults or larger kindergarten classes—or no kindergarten classes at all?”
What did $3M paid to a US consulting firm get Qaddafi? A glowing profile in The New Republic, written by a Harvard professor, who travelled to Tripoli to interview him. On the consulting company’s dime. Which he failed to disclose.
Kansas City’s most powerful political journalist is a 36-year-old blogger who resides in a porn lair in his mother’s basement, posting rants on local government and bikini shots 24-hours-a-day.
A profile of Alex Jones, who draws a bigger online audience than Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh combined.
How a journalism professor named Dan Sinker became the most entertaining part of the Chicago mayoral race.
A manifesto from one of the first professional bloggers on a new ‘golden age of journalism.’
The Gabrielle Giffords shooting, from the vantage point of three central figures: Daniel Hernandez helped save the congresswoman’s life; Patricia Maisch stopped the shooter from reloading; Bill Badger tackled him.
On the evolution of New Jersey’s governor.
One of most popular Libyan figures amongst Western intellectuals and democracy advocates is… Qaddafi’s second son, Saif.
A profile of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the Malibu-dwelling, “fantastically corrupt” dictator-in-waiting of Equatorial Guinea. Teodorin, as his friends call him, is considered by U.S. intelligence to be “an unstable, reckless idiot.”
In 1998, a reporter called up Thompson to discuss the Clinton scandal and film adaptations, among other topics. The complete, previously unpublished transcript of their conversation.
How focusing on the neediest patients could radically reduce health care costs.
On 30 years of Long Island politics.
A look at the legislative lobbying efforts of Michael Bloomberg’s $7 billion-per-year company. While the mayor has no specific day-to-day role at Bloomberg LP, he maintains “the type of involvement that he believes is consistent with his being the majority shareholder.”
An opinion piece on the structural causes of unrest in Egypt; the business fraternity, globalization, and the fate of Egyptian women.
On the enduring racial segregation in Chicago and why it’s an issue no mayoral candidate is willing to touch.
A primer on income inequality in America.
A profile of Republican Eric Cantor: six-term congressman, new House majority leader, highest-ranking Jewish elected official in American history.
A newly minted, 34-year-old White House budget director gets a little too candid with a reporter profiling him during Ronald Reagan’s first year in office. Among Stockman’s many admissions: “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.”
The Bohemian Grove is an exclusive, all-male club made up of Presidents, ambassadors, and other world leaders, with a 33 year waiting list for membership. Their booze-soaked annual retreat outside of San Francisco had never been infiltrated—until this story.
On the cloak and dagger dealings between The New York Times and WikiLeaks. Adapted from Executive Editor Bill Keller’s forthcoming ebook, Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy: Complete and Updated Coverage from The New York Times.
Lockheed Martin is the largest government contractor in history. They train TSA workers and Guantanamo interrogators. Every American household pays them around $260 per year in taxes. The new military industrial complex is a single company.
A profile of then-First Lady Barbara Bush, published just before the 1992 presidential election. The lede: “Even Barbara Bush’s stepmother is afraid of her.”
“For the first time since the Civil War, the United States has a political party that is ideologically cohesive, disciplined, and determined to take power, even at the cost of disrupting the political system.”
Obama’s presidency may well be defined by whether or not he can curb unemployment. Step One: find a decent idea.
A profile of the Time Man of the Year for 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
How a young state rep from Missouri, seemingly guaranteed political greatness, ended up behind bars.
A profile of Mitch Landrieu, the first white mayor of New Orleans in nearly 30 years–part of a larger post-Katrina trend in the city’s politics. “The elected leadership looks almost like a photo negative of the pre-Katrina government.”
Putin, Medvedev, and how the Russian security agency FSB became the “new nobility.”
The unedited transcript of an interview with Julian Assange for the cover story of Forbes’ December issue. His next target? A major U.S. bank.
The latest WikiLeaks unveiling has exposed more than 250,000 sensitive messages from American diplomats. Among the revelations: the plan for a unified Korea, the Chinese government’s hacking strategy, and negotiations with countries for housing Gitmo detainees.
Scenario-based forecasts on the future of America, in the style of the C.I.A’s National Intelligence Estimate.
How did a Kentucky entrepreneur, a Louisiana politician, and the vice president of Nigeria end up in one of the biggest scandals to hit America’s black elite in decades?
How to spend $1.2 million per month on your laundry in Kuwait; the system of kickbacks and non-competitive contracts that made Halliburton/KBR the near-exclusive contractor in the Iraq war zone.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, oil magnate and once the richest man in Russia, delivers a speech from prison, where he has lived since 2003.
A profile of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, published at the height of the controversy.
A report from Nevada, where an economy in crisis and a Tea Party upstart are threatening to topple Harry Reid, the most nationally powerful politician in the state’s history.
What happened next for Harry Whittington, the guy Cheney shot in the face? Not an apology.
The godfather of experimental psychedelics and his many occasionally imprisoned followers.
A behind-the-scenes account of the tense negotiations, involving Gorbachev, Kohl, Bush, and Thatcher, that led from the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall to a reunified Germany. (Translated from German.)
The story of how Washington blew its best shot to do something on climate change.
Taibbi on the Tea Party. “After lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit.”
An interview with Michael Maren, who spent nearly twenty years working in Africa as an aid worker and then a journalist, on why NGOs and “feed an African child” charities do more harm than good.
According to this excerpt from Woodward’s Obama's Wars, the president’s military advisors gave him only one option: send an additional 40,000 troops. Obama pushed back.
Can real activism happen on Twitter and Facebook? Malcolm Gladwell says no.
Not long ago, Rand Paul, opthalmologist and son of Ron, would have been written off as a wacky extremist. Thanks to his Dad and the Tea Partiers, he’s poised to become the most radical member of the U.S Senate.
India’s greatest terror threat may not be militants slipping across the Pakistani border, but rather the homegrown Maoist rebels who control the villages of the interior.
A profile of Joe Biden, whose political stock has continued to rise even as his boss’s falls.
A profile of Jon Stewart, who’s now run The Daily Show for more than a decade.
A profile of Rahm Emanuel, written during his first congressional campaign in Illinois. Emanuel was running to fill the seat vacated by Rod Blagojevich.
Inside the C Street house in Washington and the little-known spiritual group behind it.
A profile of Francis Collins, a fervent Christian, former head of the Human Genome Project and Obama’s appointee to head N.I.H., now at the center of the stem cell research debate.
The boyish CEO of America’s largest and most controversial mercenary force, Blackwater, also happened to be a C.I.A. agent.
A profile of the man who helped invent the modern art of presidential spin and came to embody the blurry line between journalist and government official.
Alex Haley interviews the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s number two - Malcolm X - in a Harlem restaurant.
How sex scandals have made Silvio Berlusconi even more powerful in Italy.
A year after dozens died protesting his election and hundreds more were imprisoned, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad grants a rare interview to an American journalist.
Pat Robertson was 29 years old, possessionless, and living in a Bed-Stuy brownstone when he announced that God had told him to buy a fledgling TV station in Virginia. Here’s what happened next.
The Appleseed Project is ostensibly a traveling marksmanship school - but what else is it teaching?
Frank Rich on The Promise, Jonathan Alter’s book about the first year of the Obama administration.
How Christopher Hitchens, a former socialist, became one of the most vigorous defenders of the war in Iraq.
Sandinista, reverend, and president of the U.N. General Assembly.
A profile of Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the sixth-highest paid lobbyist in the country. Since Obama took office, Donohue has scared-up tens of millions in new donations.
On January 1st, 2011, the U.S. estate tax will jump from zero to around 50%, which gives a lot of very rich elders (or perhaps more accurately, their heirs) millions of dollars in incentive to expedite death.
The nihilistic confessions of a presidential campaign reporter who covered Giuliani, Huckabee, and Clinton for Newsweek.
The rise and fall of NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association), from its 1970s founding as a splinter group within the gay rights movement to its current incarnation as the most reviled organization in America.
Political races don’t run on ideas and grassroots activism–they run on voter databases. And no one has more voter data than Aristotle Inc., whose information has helped elect every president since Reagan.
“Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”
Is Mike Huckabee the GOP’s best hope in 2012? Mike Huckabee’s not so sure.
Carl Malamud is on a quest to change the way average citizens can interface with the government – by scanning its paperwork and making it available free online. And he’s financing his effort with his own credit cards.
After a racial hazing incident, the first black head of South Africa’s University of Free State confronts the myths of the reconciliation era.
A conversation with NYU Law Professor Philip Alston on the legality of ‘targeted killings’ by drones, which have made headlines in Pakistan, but also have been deployed by the C.I.A. in countries like Yemen.
Today, Abraham Lincoln’s struggle with clinical depression would make him “unfit for office.” Back then, it was the key to his presidency.
Job Cohen, the current mayor of Amsterdam, is leading the Dutch race for Prime Minister on a platform of racial integration that could transform the relationship between European politics and immigration.
The head of the Social Security Administration’s secret life as a respected poet.
In 2003, Gary Coleman ran for governor of California. But what he really wanted was to have never come to Hollywood in the first place.
Banned in Russia and cut by Conde Nast from the GQ website, this story (presented in full) details the intrigue behind the Moscow apartment bombings, blamed on Chechens, that allowed Putin to rapidly ascend to power.
Playing beer pong with David Axelrod—and other scenes from the lives of young, high-profile aides in the Obama White House.
The improbable and true story of how Al Sharpton, Cornel West, Marion Barry’s wife, and Tucker Carlson (yes, that Tucker Carlson) flew to Liberia to negotiate a ceasefire in the midst of a civil war.
The city of Boston, the Tea Party movement, and the rightful heir to the American Revolution.
Kevin Fulton, a spy planted in the IRA, thought he was dead when he faced interrogation by a notorious IRA enforcer. But, it turned out, the enforcer was also an agent. How British intelligence undermined the IRA.
How the daily e-mail from Mike Allen, Politico’s star reporter, has become a morning ritual for Washington’s elite.
China is securing sub-Saharan Africa’s natural resources at a staggering rate. With the buying spree comes contracts, workers, and of course, politics. (Part 1 of a 6 part series, rest here)
Crooning with a once-notorious racist in
According to Lou Dobbs, we’re wrong about his stance on illegal immigrants, wrong about why he quit CNN, and wrong about his presidential aspirations. Well, we might actually be right about that last thing.
In 1995, the Chicago Reader profiled a little-known professor (and lawyer and philanthropist and author) who had decided to run for office to get back to his true passion: community organizing.