April 12, 1999
If the liberals on the just-dissolved National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare are to be believed, the reform plan pushed by its chairman, Democratic Senator John Breaux, and backed both by commission Republicans and by Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, is about as evil as health policy can get. "They're jeopardizing the health and welfare of frail old people," says former Medicare program chief Bruce Vladeck. "These guys don't want to protect senior citizens from the industry," says Democratic Representative Jim McDermott of Washington.
July 12, 1998
I am prepared to vote for my first Republican, John Kasich," read a letter to The New York Times Magazine in May. "I have the impression that he favors no-nonsense politics, equity for the common man, and fiscal restraint, a rare combination in this politically combative era." The letter-writer, Michael Pivarnik of Indiana, Pennsylvania, received this impression from reading a Times Magazine profile of Kasich written by R.W. Apple Jr.
Roll Out the Barrel
April 20, 1998
On most days, the lobby of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Washington, D.C., headquarters has a certain rarefied air. But on this Tuesday morning it is thick with the smell of greasy, grilled bacon. The aroma is appropriate, since the breakfast speaker is Republican Representative Bud Shuster of Pennsylvania, chairman of the House Transportation Committee and, his critics say, one of the most shameless promulgators of pork-barrel spending in all of Congress.
The End of Privacy
February 16, 1998
"It's not their business," Monica Lewinsky allegedly told Linda Tripp, explaining why she was inclined to lie to Paula Jones's lawyers about her relationship with President Clinton, as her friend's hidden tape recorder whirled. "It's not their business." And Lewinsky was, of course, correct.
July 07, 1997
On a recent afternoon in Washington, D.C., a group of Christian evangelicals and social activists met at the offices of the conservative Family Research Council to watch a short home movie. The twenty-minute film, smuggled out of the People’s Republic of China, depicted Chinese Christians involved in the illegal faith known as the home church movement. The audience watched scenes of hundreds of worshipers at passionate prayer— swaying, chanting—in the caves and fields where they secretly meet.
January 20, 1997
by Andrew Delbanco
The Bloods and the Crits
December 09, 1996
During the past decade, an academic movement called critical race theory has gained increasing currency in the legal academy. Rejecting the achievements of the civil rights movement of the 1960s as epiphenomenal, critical race scholars argue that the dismantling of the apparatus of formal segregation failed to purge American society of its endemic racism, or to improve the social status of African Americans in discernible or lasting ways. The claim that these scholars make is not only political; it is also epistemological.
The Normal Person of Tomorrow
May 20, 1996
Ralph Nader makes his mark on the 1996 campaign.
The Plague Year
July 17, 1995
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (Random House, 300 pp., $23) The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 750 pp., $25) In the spring of 1983, a flock of wild ducks carrying a strain of avian influenza virus settled on a pond in a chicken farm in eastern Pennsylvania. The virus was excreted in the ducks' feces, which meant that it got onto the ground and then onto the boots of a farmer, which is why in turn it soon found its way into the chicken barn.
May 22, 1995
In the last four months, House Speaker Newt Gingrich has compared himself to a variety of Capitol Hill forebears: Nicholas Longworth, House speaker during the 1920s; Henry Clay; and the leaders of the Radical Republicans who dominated Congress after the Civil War. His press secretary, Tony Blankley, has likened him to Churchill, de Gaulle, Eisenhower, even Gandhi. (“I knew there would be snickering,” Blankley says.) Beneath the hyperbole, however, is an undeniable fact: undeniable by conservatives and liberals alike. The surprise of the 104th Congress is how effective an executive Newt Gingric