Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

Get my RSS |

Caption Contest Challenge: Evil Nixon

| Wed Aug. 25, 2010 10:28 AM EDT

Rapid City, South Dakota—See that there? That's our 37th president, Richard Milhous Nixon. And while you can't see it in this photo, he's actually sitting right across from a 24-hour Hardee's just off Main Street in southwest South Dakota's largest metropolitan area. 

Since Rapid City fancies itself as the gateway to the Black Hills, its street corners are decorated with statues of all the presidents who didn't make it up onto the side of the big mountain. Calvin Coolidge is there, holding a saddle for some reason. So are Herbert Hoover and John Quincy Adams. It's Mount Rushmore's Island of Misfit Toys.

So what's even going on in this photo? Why is Nixon smiling like that? Why are his hands clasped? What's up with the menacing lizards just below the arm rests? Why is he flashing so much ankle? Did he just put a hit out on McGovern or something? What is the deal?

I have no idea, but maybe you do. Send us your best caption ideas in the comments, or ping me @timothypmurphy, and I'll post the winner later today.

The winner gets...his/her entry posted. Sorry, guys; we're on a budget here.

Profile shot below the jump, in case this one didn't do it for you.

Update: We have winner: "Release the hounds, Smithers," from commenter Eric Dana. I would also have accepted "Bring me the muggle, Nagini."

Advertise on MotherJones.com

The View From My Windshield: Heavens to Bessy

| Tue Aug. 24, 2010 1:26 AM EDT

She's Really Friendly: Just don't provoke her (Photo: Tim Murphy).She's Really Friendly: Just don't provoke her (Photo: Tim Murphy).New Salem, North Dakota—North Dakota never gets no respect. Even the friends we stayed with in Fargo came up empty when we asked for suggestions on what to do on our drive through the state. South Dakota at least has Rushmore and the Badlands; North Dakota has two cities(ish) on the Minnesota border, and some nuclear silos, if you're into that kind of thing. Even our road map from the state tourism board was running out of suggestions by the time we got to Bismarck.

But if you want to blame someone for the state's emptiness, don't blame North Dakotablame the United States Senate, which brilliantly decided to split the relatively empty Dakota territory into two relatively empty states for political reasons.

Anyways, to compensate for its lack of destinations, North Dakotans have, I think, informally embarked on an elaborate mission to construct the largest sculpture of every animal found on the northern plains. Before we found "New Salem Sue," the world's largest Holstein cow at 38x50 feet, we passed signs for, among others, the world's largest sandhill crane, and the world's largest turtle. It's like Noah's Ark on HGH. And while I'm not suggesting any sort of cause-and-effect, I should also note that North Dakota's the last great place in America to find a job. So it's got that going for it.

A Sense of Where We Are: Westward Expansion

| Mon Aug. 23, 2010 5:45 AM EDT


View Westward Expansion in a larger map

This Post Is Banned In Bemidji

| Sat Aug. 21, 2010 7:57 PM EDT

Not this one: Some cities do cows. Some cities do bears. Bemidji did beavers. Cue controversy (Photo: Tim Murphy).Not this one: Some cities do cows. Some cities do bears. Bemidji did beavers. Cue controversy (Photo: Tim Murphy).Bemidji, Minnesota—The most controversial piece of public art in the state of Minnesota sits on the corner of 4th Street and Beltrami Ave., in downtown Bemidji. For now. When I asked for directions at the Blockbuster outside town, I was told it had been moved. When I asked again at the supermarket, I was told it was no longer there. "But it's exactly what they say it is," said the teenaged boy at the deli counter, stifling a laugh.

"To be honest, I don't really understand why it's so controversial," say Christine Lundquist, sitting on a bench with her back to the controversy. "I guess they decided freedom of expression was no longer in the Constitution. That's how Deb wanted to paint it, and that's how it should be."

"I sit out here and read a lot. I eavesdrop—and I've only heard one negative comment. They said, 'That's disgusting!'" She rolls her eyes. "I mean, obviously it's a vagina…"

The View From My Windshield: Fog of Ore

| Sat Aug. 21, 2010 11:27 AM EDT

Duluth, Minnesota—With the Iron Range fading, the Atlantic's westernmost deep-water port has seen its population fall from 107,000 in 1960, to 86,000 today. The best way to see Duluth is to climb to the top of the abandoned ski jump in the Chester Bowl, the city's sprawling, forested central park. But failing that, you could do worse than going to Leif Erickson Park and looking southeastLake Superior permitting.

Mon Jul. 21, 2014 3:33 PM EDT
Tue Jun. 10, 2014 9:26 PM EDT
Tue May. 6, 2014 10:03 PM EDT
Tue Apr. 15, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
Fri Mar. 28, 2014 7:41 AM EDT