December 24, 2008
What does it take to get tagged as a shameless status-seeker in a town fueled by the eternal quest for access to power? Ask Beth Dozoretz, the former Democratic National Committee finance chair with a legendary affinity for snuggling up to the rich and powerful. (She asked pal Bill Clinton to be godfather to her now-ten-year-old daughter, Melanne.) It seems that, in the waning days of the presidential race, Dozoretz found herself at a dinner party with Michelle Obama. Not one to miss an opportunity, Dozoretz slipped Mrs.
December 24, 2008
A Mercy By Toni Morrison (Knopf, 167 pp., $23.95) Last spring, a mysterious object was discovered beneath a street in Annapolis, Maryland. According to The New York Times, the clay "bundle" was about "the size and shape of a football [and] filled with about 300 pieces of metal and a stone axe, whose blade sticks out of the clay, pointing skyward." Anthropologists determined that it was a ritual object, perhaps more than three hundred years old, combining African religious practices with local materials.
Greening The Suburbs
December 03, 2008
Between the coming wave of new infrastructure spending, the growing concern about climate change, and, of course, the gnawing fear that gasoline prices will cruise back upward once the global economy climbs out of its sinkhole, we'll likely hear a lot more about public transit in the coming years. But it's rarely a straightforward subject—sure, at first, it sounds harmless enough to build a new light rail or subway system, but inevitably the objections start pouring in. Earlier this morning, I sat in on a heated discussion at the Brookings Institution on the proposed Purple Line in Maryland.
Unsafe At Any District
November 05, 2008
In many ways, it was your standard Democratic fund-raiser in a Republican stronghold. On a recent Friday, a largely bleeding-heart contingent from Maryland's first congressional district--professors from the nearby liberal arts college, a left-wing lobbyist, a Sears scion turned Obama donor, the president of an environmental foundation--holed up in a Patton Boggs lawyer's Eastern Shore home to give their earnest young congressional candidate, state prosecutor Frank Kratovil, a sympathetic pat on the back. But somebody there was not like most of the others.
Greening the City
July 02, 2008
This video marks the first of a TNR TV series that will take an issues approach to contemporary environmentalism.
June 11, 2008
Nancy Pelosi believes in being direct. With the Democratic presidential contest running hot, in March a reporter with Boston TV station NECN asked the House speaker about the possibility of a dream ticket uniting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Doe eyes wide, the nation's highest-ranking Democrat flashed her trademark smile ominously. "I think that the Clinton administration [sic] has fairly ruled that out by proclaiming that Senator McCain would be a better [long pause, dismayed half- laugh] commander-in-chief than Obama.
Virginia Is For Lovers, Maryland Is For Crabs
February 08, 2008
But are they both, as the CW holds, for Obama? Josh has a smart article pouring some cold water on the notion that Obama's a shoo-in to win Virginia--noting that it's a border state with only a 20 percent black population and, demographically speaking, isn't so different from Tennesse (where Obama was trounced) and Missouri (where he barely won). I think Maryland looks more demographically-favorable to Obama, with its 30 percent African-American population and its large number of college-educated white professionals.
September 24, 2007
If, several decades from now, anthropologists set out to locate the spiritual hub of early twenty-first-century Washington, they could do worse than the Caucus Room, that bunker of a steakhouse across from the FBI building downtown. Founded seven years ago by a bipartisan klatch of moneymen and influence-peddlers--among them, famed lobbyist Tommy Boggs, Bush-family henchman C. Boyden Gray, and Clinton fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe--the restaurant caters to the bland appetites and bulging egos of Washington's expense-account elite.
September 10, 2007
Nearly everybody was baffled when, half a dozen years ago, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) mounted the strongest resistance to campaign finance reform within the Democratic Party. One CBC member, Al Wynn of Maryland, even co-sponsored (along with then-Ohio Republican and current federal inmate Bob Ney) the counter-measure designed to kill reform. Numerous other Black Caucus members sided with Wynn. "You have the potential for opposites to come together," said Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.
Books: The Whole Horror
September 10, 2007
The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 By Saul Friedlander (HarperCollins, 870 pp., $39.95) With the publication of The Years of Extermination, Saul Friedlander adds to his already well-established reputation as one of the world's pre-eminent historians of the Holocaust and of its place in modern European, German, and Jewish history.