Author Archives:

Ron Chernow’s “Washington”

washington-chernow

David Herbert Donald won two Pulitzer Prizes, but neither was for his best book, Lincoln, a stunning effort widely regarded as one of the greatest biographies ever written. (In a review for The Christian Science Monitor, Gabor Boritt referred to it as “a masterwork,” and rightfully so.) Part of what made Lincoln great was Donald’s…

Thinking About Income Tax

We only help ourselves by knowing more about, and thinking more about, federal income taxes. It must have been in this spirit that an acquaintance recently linked to a Washington Post graphic outlining the differences between “Republican and Democratic tax plans.” (It was first published in August, but remains fresh enough in the abstract to…

Predominantly White

glenn-beck-rally

The media knew what it wanted the Glenn Beck rally to be; and when it didn’t turn into the world’s largest cross burning, the media did the best it could to stay within a preconceived template. Good luck finding a mainstream media story on the rally that doesn’t mention the crowd as “predominantly white,” or…

How to Foster Tolerance Near Ground Zero

ground zero mosque contraversy

Someone made a point to say that strip clubs operate near enough to Ground Zero, so why aren’t those concerned by the Park51 mosque worried about these clubs? This would be a fair point if strippers had flown planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as a means of exacting revenge against the…

On Mark Souder's Resignation

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Sex scandals just haven’t been the same since Bill Clinton left town. Imagine yourself watching Hank Aaron hit a home run, then Jason Heyward. A home run is a home run, and Heyward is a right fielder for the Atlanta Braves, just like Aaron. But there’s something different when a seasoned hall of famer is…

But is it Art? (The Old Refrain)

In the midst of a vacation week several summers ago, I visited a Chicago art museum. On the lower floors were collected those pieces most people would consider art: large, masterful paintings and sculpture; masterpieces of subtlety and purpose. To these I showed proper reverence: Virtually flawless floor-to-ceiling portraits of some old monarch are something…