District of Columbia

Bad Bet
March 10, 1997

Political corruption comes in two forms. Most familiar is the hand-in-the-till variety: bribes, payoffs, influence-peddling, lobbyists lining the pockets of public officials in exchange for access and favors. This corruption thrives in secrecy, and is usually condemned when exposed. But another kind of corruption arises, by degree, in full public view. It involves no theft or fraud, but rather a change in the habits of citizens, a turning away from public responsibilities. This second, civic corruption, is more insidious than the first. It violates no law, but enervates the spirit on which go

Credit Is Due
June 17, 1996

The full faith and credit clause is about to become the Constitution's hottest provision. Found in Article IV of the original Constitution of 1789, its first sentence provides that “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” This guarantee makes our lives in a mobile polity easier, assuring that local driver's licenses, birth certificates, marriages and divorces are recognized all around the country.  But the provision is about to be put to a historic test.

The Air Around Tom Paine
April 24, 1995

Thomas Paine: Collected Writings edited by Eric Foner (The Library of America, 906 pp., $35) Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom by Jack Fruchtman Jr. (Four Walls Eight Windows, 557 pp., $30) Thomas Paine: A Political Life by John Keane (Little, Brown, 644 pp., $27.95) I. Every twenty-ninth of January, Thomas Paine's admirers assemble at his old farm in New Rochelle, New York, to celebrate his birthday and to lay a wreath on his monument.

The Barry Bust
February 12, 1990

Marion Barry's resignation should not be traded for leniency.

Skelly Wright's Sweeping Decision
July 08, 1967

In a long, passionate opinion in the case of Hobson v. Hansen, Judge J. Skelly Wright of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, sitting by assignment as a District Judge, has roundly indicted the Washington school system and its superintendent, Dr. Carl F. Hansen, declaring the former, and quite possibly also the latter, unconstitutional. The opinion is a jeremiad and as such commands respect. The inner city of Washington, with its slums, its poverty, its juvenile crime and its schools, is a disgrace. Against this, Judge Wright cries out, from the heart.

Why We Need Medicare
December 26, 1964

Today there are 15 million Americans over 65; by 1970 there will be 17 million. They need more doctoring than the majority of us; they are more prone to suffer from degenerative diseases affecting the heart, lungs, digestive tract and arteries. Treatment of those diseases tends to be prolonged and expensive. An average American couple over the age of 65 typically spends $312 a year on medical expenses other than hospitalization; and in any year the typical elderly individual has a 13-percent chance of being hospitalized.

Behind the Headlines
July 05, 1954

The President’s Remarkable Firmness The Tennessee Valley Authority needs a new plant—^with an installed capacity of 600,000 kilowatts—if it is to meet the demands of the Atomic Energy Commission: about 50 percent of TVA power goes to the AEC and another 25 percent to defense plants.

Benjamin Banneker: Unschooled Wizard
February 02, 1948

One of the uncommon Americans of the eighteenth century is a man so neglected today that the Dictionary of American Biography, which lists the great and the not-so-great of the past, does not bother to include him. Yet he is a far worthier and more interesting figure than many of the second-rate politicians who clutter the pages of official biography. Many of the Founding Fathers knew and respected his work. Jefferson admired him and helped to make his reputation. Washington's Administration appointed him to a federal post.

The Week
July 07, 1926

After leaving Pennsylvania, the next stop is Illinois! The searchlight of investigation is now to be turned on expenditures in the recent Senatorial primary in that state. The Senatorial committee which has been looking into the Pennsylvania orgy decided some time ago that as soon as Congress adjourns it will move to Chicago and continue its activities there. Since then Senator Caraway has made charges on the floor of the Senate which if confirmed will make the stigma attached to Illinois politicians quite as serious as that now clings to the Pennsylvanians.