Month: August 2013

Quick, with more money at stake than you would care to lose and no lifeline calls to experts, what should the United States do about Syria? Surgical missile strikes are on offer, but the fear is they will lead to more. Bzzzzz. Time’s up. You lose. Fortunately, your getting it wrong does not matter. It […]

Wikipedia has a very nice entry on the subject of abdication. It means the renunciation of office by a sovereign. Most will quickly think of Edward VIII, who gave up the throne of England to marry American divorcée, Wallis Simpson. The list of “important abdications” begins in 510 B.C. and includes four in 2013 alone: […]

If your goal in life is a great obituary, give some thought to a career in print journalism. Few take care of their own quite like newspaper people. The coverage of the sale of The Washington Post to Jeffrey Bezos looks similar — rending of garments; gnashing of teeth. Is it really a funeral or […]

According to news accounts, Catherine and Herbert Schaible are fundamentalist Christians who believe in faith healing over medicine. They are third-generation members of the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia. In 2009, their two year-old son, Kent Schaible, died of pneumonia after being “prayed over” rather than cared for medically. As a result of Kent’s […]

In recent weeks, Washington has had visits from Wall Street biggies Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former Chairman of bailout poster child AIG, and Lloyd Blankfein, current chairman of bailout poster child Goldman Sachs. What were they doing here? With little doubt about their time management skills, there must have been something in it for them. As […]

From 1950 to 2013, the population of Detroit declined from 1,850,000 to 700,000 – more than 60%. In the same period, the population of the United States increased from 151.3 million to 316.4 million — more than double. This suggests that some people were doing some things better than some others. If you are a […]

Bob Kaiser, a reporter at The Washington Post for more than 50 years, has written a book entitled “Act of Congress: How America’s Essential Institution Works and How It Doesn’t.” It tells the story of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, but it is not really about the new law, it is about the inner […]

Ira Shapiro has written a book called The Last Great Senate. Viewed from today’s perspective it should probably have begun “Once upon a time.” It is about the 1970s, especially the Carter administration that ended the decade. The years coincide with the end of the author’s tenure as a Capitol Hill staffer. It is likely […]

About two weeks ago I was a prop for a publicity stunt. That was not my intention but, as can happen, something good came of it. No Labels, a centrist group that bends its spear trying to get Republicans and Democrats in Congress to cooperate, staged the rally. It began at a velvet rope bar […]