Annals Of The Bush Legacy
January 05, 2009

If you don't live around D.C. and haven't been following the completely bizarre Maryland police surveillance saga, the Post put out an amazing story this weekend revealing the breadth of the state police's inappropriate efforts to spy on advocacy groups. There are just so many weird details: Intelligence officers created a voluminous file on Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling the group a "security threat" because of concerns that members would disrupt the circus. ...

Unpleasant Truths
December 30, 2008

There is an ungainly German word, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, that has no equivalent in the English language. It means "coming to terms with past," and it was coined to refer to the efforts of German intellectuals, journalists, and even some politicians who, over the past half century, insisted that facing unpleasant truths about their country's history was both a moral and political necessity.

Status Woe
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.

House Broker
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.