Alabama

Ante Establishment
August 28, 2006

When I came to Washington from Baltimore in 1974, I had reason to be interested in a profound question: Do Republicans make better poker players than Democrats? My $15,000 salary at the Baltimore Sun remained unchanged, but the mortgage on my new house was four times the old one. So my Friday night game, which often lasted until 6 a.m., became a matter of survival. Seven years later, I moved over to The Washington Post with a modestly improved salary, a second mortgage, brutal tuition bills, and a higher-stakes poker game.

Pin Prick
May 08, 2006

Ryan Lizza on George Allen's race problem.

Low Clearance
October 10, 2005

In January 2006, a court in Northern Virginia will hear a case in which, for the first time, the federal government has charged two private citizens with leaking state secrets. CBS News first reported the highly classified investigation that led to this prosecution on the eve of the Republican National Convention. On August 27, 2004, Lesley Stahl told her viewers that, in a "full-fledged espionage investigation," the FBI would soon "roll up" a "suspected mole" who had funneled Pentagon policy deliberations concerning Iran to Israel.

Island Mentality
August 22, 2005

Guantnamo Bay, Cuba The detainee, by all appearances, is resigned to his fate. Throughout his hearing, he remains stoic, not once even shifting in his chair, let alone jostling the restraints that bind his wrists and ankles. His tan jumpsuit indicates his compliance with the camp guards. (The infamous orange jumpsuits are reserved for "problem" detainees.) When the panel of American military officers asks if he wants to submit additional statements on his behalf, he declines.

America the Ruthless
August 08, 2005

Born Losers: A History of Failure in AmericaBy Scott A. Sandage Harvard University Press, 362 pp. You might approach a book about losers with a certain hauteur. And Scott A. Sandage's opening anecdote about an unidentified loser who died in 1862 lends itself to your hunch that his book is going to be a dutiful trudge through a gallery of garden-variety failures. "I cannot help counting it a fault in him that he had no ambition," a friend grieved at the man's funeral. That's page one.

Opportunism Knocks
September 06, 2004

To grasp the strangeness of the current rapprochement between President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain, you need to understand the saga of John Weaver, the political operative who brokered the peace. Long before many Democrats became Bush haters, Weaver was already there. As a chief strategist for John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign, he bore witness to the carnage of the primary in South Carolina, where Bush campaign proxies spread spurious rumors about their rival's venereal diseases, treasonous wartime behavior, and the black child he sired with a prostitute.

AWOL
February 09, 2004

RETIRED GENERAL Wesley Clark has faced many enemies in his career, from the Viet Cong to Slobodan Milosevic. At last week’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire, however, Clark was ambushed by an unexpected foe. ABC News anchor Peter Jennings took the general to task for staying silent while liberal filmmaker—and Clark supporter—Michael Moore labeled President Bush a “deserter” at a campaign rally. “That’s a reckless charge not supported by the facts,” Jennings admonished Clark, all but demanding that he exhibit “a better example of ethical behavior” by repudiating the claim. An off-guard Clark

28 Pages
August 01, 2003

Since the joint congressional committee investigating September 11 issued a censored version of its report on July 24, there's been considerable speculation about the 28 pages blanked out from the section entitled "Certain Sensitive National Security Matters." The section cites "specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers," which most commentators have interpreted to mean Saudi contributions to Al Qaeda-linked charities.

Don't Look Now
July 28, 2003

In the hushed halls of the Hart Senate Office Building last Thursday afternoon, there was a bustle of activity outside room H-219. A group of senators streamed through tinted-glass doors, leading to a soundproof steel vault in which the Senate Intelligence Committee holds its classified hearings. An academic-looking man in thin-rimmed glasses arrived with an aide in a white Navy uniform.

Ripple Effect
June 23, 2003

In the next two weeks, the Supreme Court will rule, in Lawrence v. Texas, on the constitutionality of Texas's law criminalizing consensual homosexual sodomy. The case involves the arrests and convictions of John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, who were discovered having sex in Lawrence's bedroom when police responded to a false report by a neighbor that a man was "going crazy" in the apartment. The two men were arrested, convicted, fined, and jailed.

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