May 05, 2003
The most depressing place to be on the day Saddam Hussein’s statue fell in Baghdad was probably the ballroom of the Wardman Park Marriott in Washington, D.C. This was the site of the largest Democratic campaign event to take place during the three-week war with Iraq, a candidate forum hosted by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF).
Freedoms and Feelings
April 07, 2003
I. The Passions of Andrew Jackson by Andrew Burstein (Alfred A. Knopf, 292 pp., $25) Early in 1834, at the height of his war with the Second Bank of the United States, President Andrew Jackson received at the White House several deputations of businessmen, who pleaded with him to change course. Believing that the Bank was an unrepublican, unaccountable monopoly, Jackson had vetoed its federal recharter and ordered the government's deposits in it removed.
February 17, 2003
Al Sharpton is a world-class bullshitter. In a devastating 1996 review in these pages, Jim Sleeper noted that Sharpton's first autobiography, Go and Tell Pharaoh, included lies about his age (36 at the time, not 38), his residence (Englewood, New Jersey, not Brooklyn, New York), and even his motivation for writing the book (Sharpton attributed it to his 1991 stabbing; Sleeper showed that Sharpton hatched the idea months before that).
July 01, 2002
Uh oh. I am standing in the doorway of a hotel banquet hall, searching the room for Howard Dean, the governor of Vermont and Democratic presidential hopeful. He's here to attend a local Greek Independence Day celebration--to give a few remarks, to march in a parade, and, perhaps, to make some political contacts that might help in the 2004 New Hampshire primary. It's an informal gathering, and when I called Dean's press secretary a few days ago, she suggested I just show up as the luncheon was winding down and pull him aside to chat.
Speed Kills Misjudge
November 27, 2000
It is January 5, 2001. The state of Florida has submitted two slates of electors to Congress, one for George W. Bush and one for Al Gore. To decide which to accept, Congress has appointed an electoral commission, composed of five senators, five representatives, and five Supreme Court justices. The commission is divided evenly along party lines, and the fate of the nation hangs on the mystical deliberations of the only undecided member, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Here's Looking At You
October 16, 2000
As its new term began this week, the Supreme Court heard two cases involving the boundaries of privacy in an increasingly transparent society; later in the term, it will hear at least one more. The constitutional question in all three cases is whether the government needs to have individualized suspicion before it can conduct searches using relatively unintrusive, extremely effective technologies-- thermal-imaging devices that can detect heat emitting through house walls, for example, or random checkpoints with drug-sniffing dogs.