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Where’s the real Romney?

Remember in 2008 when the process of running for President seemed to drain John McCain of most of the qualities that had once made him appealing to independents and even some liberals? Timothy Egan’s brilliant piece at the New York Times suggests that something similar has happened to Mitt Romney: Romney['s] story is laden with…

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Evil and the garden

The other day I took a bike ride along the Riverfront Trail in St. Louis.  The trail runs north from Laclede’s Landing, following the Mississippi until it crosses over the river at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. Winding through flood walls, junkyards, at least one homeless encampment, and other industrial sites, the trail offers…

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Racial politics and Obama: A new era?

Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, published in 1965 two issues on “The Negro American.” Some 56 years later, in 2011, the journal has published a kind of follow-up, a two-volume issue on race in the age of Obama. The first issue, edited by Washington University’s own Gerald Early, takes…

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Obama’s moral understanding vs. Bush’s swagger

Watching the coverage of President Obama’s speech about the killing of Osama bin Laden, I find myself in agreement with various friends (on Facebook and elsewhere) who have expressed uneasiness with the crowing over this development.  I’m uneasy with the celebration of an assassination, leery of reprisals, and put off by the tackiness of citizens singing…