The Washington Monthly

An independent monthly magazine devoted to politics, government, culture, and the media in America, from a progressive perspective. Publishes investigative and opinion-based feature articles by notable authors, short news items, humorous sidebars, and boo

Articles from Vol. 43, No. 5-6, May-June

Americans Love Unions. Who Knew?
I must admit, I had a sick feeling in my stomach when the Republican governors of Wisconsin and Ohio first began pushing this winter to gut collective bargaining rights for government employees. It was clearly an effort to bust public employee unions,...
Bring Back the Lash: Why Flogging Is More Humane Than Prison
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] You're about to get whipped. Mentally more than physically. It's going to hurt--but it's supposed to. I write in defense of flogging, something most people consider too radical for debate and even unworthy of intellectual...
Clean, Cheap, and out of Control: Why Natural Gas Could Be the Fuel of the Future, and How the Industry Could Blow It All Up
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A few years ago, land agents representing natural gas companies began knocking on doors throughout Pennsylvania and upstate New York offering residents vast sums for the right to drill on their land. One such resident was...
NCIS: Bureaucrats with Guns: If Americans Really Hate Government, Why Do They Love Watching TV Shows about It?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It's a running joke that the most popular show on television is one that no one will admit to watching. On February 1, 22.8 million people tuned in to NCIS, CBS's procedural about a team of naval investigators, and it vies...
Remembering Jonathan Rowe
On Sunday, March 20th, my friend and mentor Jonathan Rowe, a contributing editor of the Washington Monthly, died, swiftly and unexpectedly, of a sudden infection. The shock of this news has not worn off. The tragedy of it is still sinking in. [ILLUSTRATION...
The Fallacy of Union Busting: Taking Power Away from Labor Won't Rescue States from Their Fiscal Woes-But Giving Power to Voters Might
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] If you are an informed, fair-minded person, chances are you feel at least conflicted about all the hard-knuckle attacks on public employee unions in Madison, Wisconsin, and other state capitols. While Governor Scott Walker's...
The Information Sage: Meet Edward Tufte, the Graphics Guru to the Power Elite Who Is Revolutionizing How We See Data
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] One day in the spring of 2009, Edward Tufte, the statistician and graphic design theorist, took the train from his home in Cheshire, Connecticut, to Washington, D.C., for a meeting with a few members of the Obama administration....
The Real Enemy of Unions: Why Organized Labor Should Join with Entrepreneurs to Bust the Corporate Monopolies Threatening Them Both
Last August, on a blazing-hot Nebraska evening, I sat in a cool hotel bar in downtown Omaha and listened as a team of Dockers-clad union organizers joked, drank, and argued their way into an alliance with a group of southern and western ranchers. The...
Tiller's Killer: What the Murder of a Late-Term Abortion Doctor Does and Does Not Say about the Anti-Choice Movement
The Wichita Divide: The Murder of Dr. George Tiller and the Battle Over Abortion by Stephen Singular St. Martin's Press, 352 pp. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The late Dr. George Tiller was remarkable for his willingness to be one of a small and...
Your Thoughts, Please
Since I finished my book on Lyndon Baines Johnson last year, I've been thinking about my next book. Two ideas have emerged. One would be a new edition of How Washington Really Works. The most recent appeared in 1993, so considerable revision is needed....