Life Just Got a Lot Harder for Arkansas Inmates
November 30, 2009

The most obvious tragedy of the Washington police shootings is the deaths of the four police officers. The fact that the suspected gunman is a convicted felon from Arkansas whose 95-year prison sentence was commuted by then-Governor Mike Huckabee in 2000 is a tragedy for anyone currently in prison in Arkansas who might hope to one day receive executive clemency. Just consider what happened in Massachusetts after Willie Horton.

Reid Is Ready to Go (Updated)
November 18, 2009

Multiple sources on and around Capitol Hill say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is ready to go. At 5 p.m. today, he'll present the his full health care reform bill, complete with a Congrssional Budget Office score, to a meeting of the Democratic caucus. A press conference may follow. The Democratic message machine is already hard at work.

Census NOT as easy as 1-2-3…
November 10, 2009

There has been much talk lately about how politics complicates the 2010 Census. (See this, this, and this.) Politics aside, it’s a daunting task to count each of the nearly 308 million residents of the United States once and only once. Some people are inevitably missed, while others are counted twice. The 2000 census actually double-counted (about 11.6 million) more than it undercounted (10.2 million). Duplicates included “snowbirds” who spent part of the year in a second home, as well as college students and those in the military or prison.

Will Rick Perry Get Away with Murder?
October 14, 2009

Not murder in the literal sense, of course, though in this case the metaphor is less distant than one would prefer.

Revenge of Maryland's Porn Police
October 08, 2009

Well, I had thought the University of Maryland's whole porn saga from this spring--in which piety-minded state Sen. Andrew Harris vowed to withhold funding if the campus allowed the student union to screen the skin flick "Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge"--ended when the school announced that the show would indeed go on. How wrong I was. That priggish little nanny Harris couldn't let the matter go.

September 18, 2009

Well, no, there won't be any Airing of Grievances or Feats of Strength. But for anyone who might be in the vicinity of Easton, Maryland on Sunday night at 7 p.m., I'll be introducing the closing film of the Chesapeake Film Festival, After the Thin Man. The 1936 feature is the second of the Thin Man movies and, in addition to the inimitable chemistry (romantic and mixological) of leads William Powell and Myrna Loy, it offers a memorable early performance by one James Stewart.

The Truth About Disabilities and Health Reform
September 14, 2009

Will people with disabilities suffer if health reform becomes reality? Sarah Palin famously made that case in August. And quite a few people seem to believe her. To get a more informed perspective on this, I sat down to speak with Lisa Iezzoni, MD. Iezzoni is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Institute for Health Policy.

Tea'd Off
September 13, 2009

On Saturday, September 12, America threw a gigantic temper tantrum in Washington D.C. Organizers called it the “largest gathering of fiscal conservatives in history,” and they’re probably right. But for an angry, anti-government fit, the march was remarkably civil. They had come in large bands--14 buses from Morristown, New Jersey; 12 from Harford County, Maryland--prepared with picnic baskets and lawn chairs. They festooned their hats with teabags and dressed in Revolutionary-era finery.

Mob Rule?
September 03, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Health care reform is said to be in trouble partly because of those raucous August town hall meetings in which Democratic members of Congress were besieged by shouters opposed to change. But what if our media-created impression of the meetings is wrong? What if the highly publicized screamers represented only a fraction of public opinion?

The Newt Bomb
June 03, 2009

Michael Crowley on how a pulp-fiction fantasy became a GOP weapons craze.