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Nicholas Brown

Entries by Nicholas Brown

Christmas List for Occupy Wall Street

(8) Comments | Posted December 22, 2011 | 3:46 PM

The holidays are an inherently atavistic affair: we huddle someplace warm, eat meat, and then start fights with one another. This Thanksgiving, my own family's fight was about Occupy Wall Street. I found myself uncomfortably knighted as the resident conservative, and lambasted by my sisters and uncle for failing to...

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The Kilgore Trout Effect

(2) Comments | Posted November 8, 2010 | 10:30 AM

Well, shit.

That was more or less my reaction and the reaction of people around me while watching MSNBC last Tuesday. There was a Jersey housewife a little more frantic than that, and a New York writer a little less concerned, but the general attitude was as if we had...

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Health Care: What We Do Now

(7) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 10:08 PM

Well, shit.

It turns out that the common wisdom was wrong: a Democrat doesn't automatically get to be Senator in Massachusetts. The election must still be held.

Or maybe the common wisdom was right: no matter how favored, a Democrat is still capable of losing an election.

The truth is...

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New Yorker 2009 Roundup

(1) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 3:39 PM

It's resolution time. The new year has come and the booze-fiends are taking some time off, the philanderers are planning quality family time and deleting guilty phone numbers, we're joining gyms, and people are generally cleaning up their lives for a couple weeks before the sheer weight of winter misery...

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Mandatory National Service as a Political Tool

(3) Comments | Posted November 9, 2009 | 1:21 PM

I want Congress to stop fighting and I want to serve my country. These are connected.

I am twenty-nine and I have never done anything (other than pay taxes) that in any way contributes to this country in which I was lucky enough to be born. But, honestly, I'm probably...

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Making Bankers Wait...

(5) Comments | Posted September 15, 2009 | 12:01 PM

I could really use $700,000, though I understand that no one is all that eager to give it to me. Of course, I don't work for Goldman Sachs, where the average employee is on track to earn roughly that much this year. If you are anything like, well, anybody who...

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Comparing Healthcare: Some Personal Notes

(2) Comments | Posted September 8, 2009 | 1:24 PM

The health care bill is complicated. Crazy, mind-numbing, eyes-bleeding-before-you-finish-it complicated. Cutting health care costs is a baffling process on its own. When you add expanding coverage to uninsured Americans and figuring out what that insurance will look like it's so impossibly daunting that even the best-meaning of experts have trouble...

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True Crime (Very Mild Edition)

(1) Comments | Posted February 12, 2009 | 3:01 PM

In the grand hierarchy of crimes there are those that produce true villains: Iagos, Macbeths, and Claudiuses (Claudii?). There are those that produce middlemen (any character played by Steve Buscemi for example). And then there are those that produce the bulk of the people in the Midtown Courthouse.

"Public urination,"...

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Inauguration: Tuesday, Early Morning

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2009 | 6:53 AM

Tuesday, January 20, 2008, 2:22 AM

Washington, DC - Less than ten hours...

The miraculous thing that is easy to overlook about Obama is that the president elect (say it again, it gives me shivers!) was not a default choice. That is: we are not just happy that the...

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Inauguration: Sunday

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2009 | 12:10 PM

Monday, January 19, 11:22 AM

Washington, DC - Things I have abandoned since coming to Washington: sleep, the keys to my apartment (this will be problematic upon returning to New York), and my resolution to write regularly about the lead up to the inauguration.

It's probably not the end of...

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Inauguration: Friday

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2009 | 1:13 PM

Inaugural weekend - DC bound

Friday, January 16th, 2008

12:52 pm - somewhere in New Jersey - The one journalist on the bus has just pulled out the booze. He works for some personal finance rag and seems like a smart guy. I say this not because he is drinking a twenty-four oz...

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A Bailout Proposal: No More ATM Fees

(24) Comments | Posted November 28, 2008 | 7:08 PM

Here's what I really want: no ATM fees. Ever again. Ever. I can happily blow $5.00 on a McDonald's double cheeseburger in Times Square, but the $3.00 I am charged by Bank of America to use their ATM as a non-customer will leave me feeling sour the entire afternoon.


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Fighting Back Against Voter Suppression

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2008 | 12:09 AM

Imagine this: a nervous high-school kid walks into a convenience store. He retreats to the pharmacy section and then shuffles up to the cashier and throws a pack of Trojans on the counter.

"How much are these?" he asks, blushing furiously.

"Two dollars," the middle-aged cashier tells him. She...

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Remembering September 11th - The Day not the Politics

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2008 | 6:08 PM

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

5:08 pm - I don't own a TV and that might be an act of arrogance. I figure that if the news happens, I am well enough connected that I'll know about it one way or another. I live in New York after all. If some...

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Speculations on 'Partisan Rancor'

(3) Comments | Posted September 7, 2008 | 2:00 PM

Saturday, September 6th

3:55 pm CDT - If you ever really need to remind yourself that September is not July, jump in a lake in northern Minnesota. If your brain does not immediately enter a state of shock, then you will feel the enlightened joy that comes when nature gives...

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RNC Day Four: Aced Speech, But Not Much Has Changed

(1) Comments | Posted September 5, 2008 | 12:04 AM

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

6:19 pm CDT - To feel fully American, you have to bowl now and then. I do an annual pilgrimage to the Blueberry Bowl in Deer River, Minnesota. It's 10 miles from Deer lake, 16.7 miles from Grand Rapids, and 102 miles from the Canadian border....

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RNC Day Three: Palin's Provocations

(11) Comments | Posted September 3, 2008 | 11:46 PM

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

11:44 pm CDT -- Palin's speech was essentially a provocation: an invitation to get us so hopping mad that we can't respond responsibly; to incite us into such pure fury that fury is the only thing we can think; that we want next-to-the-bone red meat torn...

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RNC Day Two: Traveling North, A Safe Distance From The Spectacle

(8) Comments | Posted September 2, 2008 | 8:09 PM

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

6:29 CDT
Northern Minnesota is cold and windy today, which doesn't really distinguish now from most of the rest of the year. I am twenty miles west of Grand Rapids, a tiny northern town that has run on the Blandin paper...

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The McSame Campaign

(2) Comments | Posted September 1, 2008 | 7:05 PM

In recent weeks McCain has attempted to jump on the change bandwagon and I want to add my voice to those observing that this is preposterous.

McCain had a genuine claim towards independence for a while, but he, like Romney, has completely caved to a party platform. The man who...

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Hurricane Gustav And A Storm Of Civility

(3) Comments | Posted September 1, 2008 | 12:31 AM

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

10:29 CST -- You wind your way down out of the mountains and suddenly the whole perspective shifts and you are surrounded by flatlands and tightlipped American Gothic midwesterners, rather than the freakishly tall beautiful Ur-people of the Colorado mountains. Nine hundred miles and fourteen hours...

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