November 26, 1990
Drug of Choice
In the mid-1980s, as word of the French abortion pill rippled across the world, the new drug was greeted as a thing of awesome powers.
November 19, 1990
The Last Hundred Days
John F. Kennedy and the raising of the Berlin Wall.
July 23, 1990
Bart For President
"Why don't I learn? The answers to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle. They're on TV!"—Homer Simpson A thirty-second spot on ABC's "Roseanne" will cost advertisers $375,000 next year. "Roseanne" is the No. 1 show of the past television season. It's a comedy of lower-middle-class resentment, of a particularly modern kind. The heroine is a woman who struggles to balance the obligations of holding a job and raising a family in a world of sexism, oppressive bosses, dead-end jobs, pinched finances, and other social forces generally unhelpful to people in her position.
July 04, 1990
Ballots and Bullets
"Do you genuinely love your country? Are you truly considerate of the people? And do you really want democracy? If so, walk along the flower-strewn path laid down by the Tatmadaw [the Burmese army]." — Working People's Daily Dateline: RANGOON In Burma the military junta is preparing for what it calls a "multiparty democracy general election," and government officials are assuring voters that the balloting will be "free and fair." That sounds like good news for a country that has lived for the past twenty-eight years under one of Asia's most ruthless, corrupt, and retrograde dictatorships.
April 30, 1990
Although I have no special desire to be governor of Texas, and would actively prefer not to become head of the Office of Thrift Supervision (the poor soul charged with cleaning up the savings and loan mess), the traumas of aspirants to these posts in recent days compel me to make the following statement. It has been cleared with political consultants of both parties. Like many members of my generation—Senator Al Gore and Representative Newt Gingrich, to name but two—I too have experimented with marijuana in the distant past. It was in a party situation during my freshman year in college.
April 16, 1990
Not Quite A Sentimental Journey
I arrived in Moscow late on a fall evening. In my mind's eye I can still see three faces that appeared to me in succession at Sheremyetevo International Airport. In the walkway from the door of the Lufthansa plane stood a tiotka, a dumpy, shabbily dressed lady of indeterminate age. In Russian, when "ka" is added to the word for "aunt," it denotes an entirely distinct social status, a specific stratum of society that even a doctoral dissertation could not describe.
March 12, 1990
The Veep's Keeper
Last December the vice president traveled to New York to deliver a speech at Yeshiva University. He began with references to Albert Einstein and the Talmud, analyzed an excerpt from George Washington's 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, and announced a crusade to repeal the United Nation's "Zionism is racism" resolution before closing with an anecdote about meeting Elie Wiesel.
February 26, 1990
TRB from Washington
Michael Kinsley: Do the gun nuts have a point?
February 12, 1990
The Barry Bust
Marion Barry's resignation should not be traded for leniency.
February 05, 1990
Few decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court have been as roundly reviled, by comedians as well as legal commentators, as the Court's 1984 ruling in Lynch v. Donnelly upholding the constitutionalitv of a municipally sponsored Nativity scene in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In that case the Court announced what has become known as the "reindeer rule"—a tableau depicting the Nativity of Jesus doesn't amount to an establishment of religion if it is surrounded by secular symbols of Christmas.