The Waxman Cometh
April 23, 2007
Save, perhaps, for his mustache, there's nothing about Henry Waxman that would lead anyone to mistake him for Joseph Stalin. Stalin’s rise to general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party included stints as a Bolshevik bank robber and a commissar in the Red Army; Waxman was elected to Congress after representing an affluent West Los Angeles district in the California State Assembly. Stalin’s policy of forced collectivization resulted in a famine that killed six million Ukrainians; the only person Waxman has ever starved is himself—and then only on Yom Kippur.
February 12, 2007
IF THERE WAS one thing George W. Bush and his clique were supposed to know, it was oil. That, at least, was the widespread consensus back in 2000, when Bush first sought the White House, and it was easy to understand why. Bush’s grandfather was an oilman. His father was an oilman. He himself had worked in oil. His vice presidential nominee, Dick Cheney, was the former CEO of energy giant Halliburton. His campaign’s chairman, Donald Evans, was CEO of the oil company Tom Brown.
November 20, 2006
Earlier this year, Republican Conrad Burns, locked in a tough struggle to defend his Montana Senate seat, cut anot-terribly-original ad attacking his Democratic challenger. "JonTester joins liberal judges opposing proven anti-terror programs,is against the Patriot Act, and his position on Iraq is constantlychanging," the script read. But, if Burns's line of attack—theDemocrat as flip-flopping friend of activist judges with no appetitefor fighting terrorism—was decidedly familiar, the response fromhis opponent was anything but.
November 20, 2006
It's about time. After a series of frustrating election nights for Democrats, dating back to the Florida boondoggle in 2000, this year's election is a clear triumph. But was it, like the Watergate election of 1974, simply the result of correctible mistakes by the opposition? Or have the Republican scandals and the Bush administration's misadventure in Iraq brought to the surface trends that will lead to a new political majority? It's too early to say for certain, but it seems this election has at least provided Democrats with an opportunity to build a lasting congressional majority. Whether
New Orleans Postcard
August 14, 2006
My wife and I were about to put our house on the market before Hurricane Katrina. I remind myself of this as we contemplate an act that has taken on the trappings of civic treachery--putting our house on the market now, a year after Katrina. It's true: We really were talking to realtors last summer. It was time to downsize, we said. Empty-nest syndrome, we said. That was our cover. Secretly, we were a bit freaked out about hurricanes even before Katrina. (At least I was.) Not so secretly, we were certain the national real estate bubble had reached its soapy and iridescent limit.
July 31, 2006
READ ABOUT U.S. EFFORTS to seal the Mexican border, and you quickly encounter two words. The first is futile. Take this June 5 dispatch in U.S. News & World Report, which reports on the "deep sense of futility" about illegal immigration in the town of Nogales, on the Arizona-Mexico border. "The number of Border Patrol agents has increased more than 200 percent in less than 15 years.... Yet the number of people estimated to cross the border illegally each year has remained fairly constant, at about half a million.
May 08, 2006
Alan Wolfe: What the immigration debate tells us about who Americans are, and who they want to be.
February 06, 2006
JUST WHEN YOU thought the world couldn’t get any more anti-American, it seems a whole other continent has suddenly lined up against us. While we turned our backs to focus on the Middle East, Latin America went and painted itself red. Last week, Evo Morales—an admirer of Fidel Castro, as well as a proponent of nationalizing industry and decriminalizing coca production— ascended to the Bolivian presidency. Most press accounts portray his election as part of a Latin American socialist revival. These stories point out that Morales’s political mentor, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, may soon have
January 16, 2006
A battered yellow school bus rumbles up a bumpy dirt road on the outskirts of Sasabe, a small Mexican town just over the border from Arizona. At the top of the hill, the bus winds around brick and mud huts. Ragged children stand in the doorways, and emaciated dogs forage for scraps. The bus passes dented pickups and old cars without wheels and stops in a dusty clearing, where it disgorges about 40 teenagers dressed in blue jeans and carrying small knapsacks. One boy’s t-shirt features a picture of Che Guevara. A girl’s pale blue top says ADORABLE in sequined letters.