December 20, 2004

INHERIT THE WIND Billy Tauzin of Louisiana was one of the most venal politicians ever to sully Capitol Hill. As Michelle Cottle chronicled in these pages ("Cajun Dressing," October 6, 2003), the Republican representative used his perch on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to shill for almost every big business in America--until a business broke enough laws to spark public outrage, at which point Tauzin would hold showboat hearings and recast himself as a consumer champion.

Angels and Beards
January 26, 2004

Tony Kushner's new play, Caroline, or Change is a formal anomaly. It has been hailed as a breakthrough musical created by a confident professional collaborative—vigorous score by Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie), lively choreography by Hope Clarke (Spunk), and dynamic staging by George C. Wolfe (Jelly's Last Jam).

May 05, 2003

BIBLE STUDY Andrew Sullivan and The New Republic have made a great contribution to the discussion of the issue of homosexuality by giving readers the article about Lawrence v. Texas, the sodomy case before the U.S. Supreme Court (“Unnatural Law,” March 24). My only concern is with Sullivan’s closing, which says that hopefully the Supreme Court will now end this violation of civil rights and invasion of privacy by “liberat[ing] a whole class of persons.” It seems to me that the Supreme Court will follow the precedent set by the decision it made in the Colorado Amendment 2 case, Romer v.

Speed Kills Misjudge
November 27, 2000

It is January 5, 2001. The state of Florida has submitted two slates of electors to Congress, one for George W. Bush and one for Al Gore. To decide which to accept, Congress has appointed an electoral commission, composed of five senators, five representatives, and five Supreme Court justices. The commission is divided evenly along party lines, and the fate of the nation hangs on the mystical deliberations of the only undecided member, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

The Permanent Insurrection
November 30, 1998

David Grann on Bob Livingston's unruly inheritance.

Call the whole thing off
October 18, 1998

Last weekend was the hundredth anniversary of George Gershwin's birth, and, to commemorate the event, while seeking refuge from the obscene cd-rom containing the appendices of the Starr report, I put on the Brooklyn Academy of Music's terrific recording of Gershwin's greatest political operetta, Of Thee I Sing.

America in Thick and Thin
January 05, 1998

Civic Ideals: Conflicting Views of Citizenship in U.S. History by Rogers M. Smith (Yale University Press, 719 pp., $35) A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case called Lorelyn Penero Miller v. Madeleine K. Albright, and some of the drama of the case is encapsulated in the petitioner's name. Twenty-seven years ago in the Philippines, Lorelyn Penero Miller was born out of wedlock.

The Numbers Game
May 19, 1997

During the blustery first week of March, New York was talking of nothing but riches. No matter that the stock market was slipping from its dizzying perch, New Yorkers were spending fortunes in their heads. "I would buy a big house and get lots of maids so I never have to clean again," one young woman told a local reporter. "If I win, I want to take my family to see Howard Stern’s movie this weekend," William Boutilette told the New York Post. Boutilette had come from New Jersey for a shot at the jackpot. The hopeful stood in endless lines, swarmed through newsstands at the rate of over 8,000

Out of Order
May 05, 1997

When renowned conservative radio talk-show host Armstrong Williams offered Stephen Gregory a job as his personal trainer in 1994, Gregory assumed his new boss was simply interested in shaping up. But when Gregory later became a producer for the radio program, occasionally traveling to speaking engagements with Williams, Williams allegedly began showing an interest that Gregory took as more than merely professional. In a complaint filed on April 10 in D.C.

The Seducer
November 18, 1996

Bill Clinton and his cadre of dogged conspiracists.