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. 39, No. 1, January-February

A Classier Con
Flim-flam and the practice of law are, as we all know, not strangers. And the fancier the law firm, the more refined are the hustles and cons it employs. Consider, for example, the art of billing the client. The object, of course, is to extract from...
Cheney's Dead-Enders: Rumsfeld Is Gone, but the Veep's Other Loyalists Remain
With the departure of his longtime friend Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton's resignation as U.N. ambassador, and Democrats taking over Congress, times seem grim for the Dick Cheney wing of the Bush administration. The vice president's vision of a "unitary...
Collective Unconscionable: How Psychologists, the Most Liberal of Professionals, Abetted Bush's Torture Policy
At around six-foot-eight and clad in combat fatigues, Kevin Kiley, the army surgeon general, cut an imposing figure. It was August 2006, and Kiley was in New Orleans to address the governing council of the American Psychological Association (APA) on...
Fight Club
Since Nancy Pelosi helped her father--Baltimore mayor and machine politician extraordinaire Thomas "Big Tommy" D'Alesandro--maintain a book of people who owed him favors, she's learned to wield power through the accounting of grudges and good turns....
How to Finish off the GOP Machine: The Machiavellian Case for Public Financing of Elections
Early this summer, in one of the periodic manifestations of the herd mentality for which this city's pundit class is known, official Washington decided that corruption didn't matter. The main piece of evidence for this conclusion was the special election...
La Causa
The new proletariat's big cause at the moment is something called the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and they're using their political and journalistic muscle to reform it to their taste. The tax was originally designed to keep the rich from using...
Queens of the Hill: Will the Newly Empowered Women Lawmakers Clean Up Congress?
Nancy Pelosi, who has served as San Francisco's Democratic congresswoman since 1987, is about to become the most powerful woman in elective office in American history. As Speaker of the House, the 66-year-old mother of five and grandmother of six will...
Read My Lips: Raise Taxes: The Era of the Tax Revolt Is over. How Democrats Have an Opportunity to Redefine the Politics of Government
The greatest challenge in politics is to understand when a political era is closing and the door to a new one is ready to be opened. Thirty years ago, a small band of conservatives understood that what they called the era of "tax and spend"--in which...
The Mordor Study Group: Transcript from a Dec. 18 Session
JAMES BAKER: I want to thank you all for being here. We took some heat for our work on Iraq, but I still think most Americans thought it was valuable. Now, we turn our attention to a new problem. Again, our mandate isn't to examine how we got into...
Value Added: A New Take on the Tax That Liberals Used to Hate
The value-added tax is the one method of collecting revenue that many conservatives actually love. A VAT taxes each step in the chain of production, calculating the increasing value of a commodity or service as it moves toward distribution. A sales...