The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large
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Rachel Maddow photo

In Blowout, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow plumbs the toxic influence of the oil and gasoline industries on the economies and governments of Russia, the United States and other countries. Energy companies free of constraints can be harmful to your homeland’s economic and civic health, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia just might be Exhibit Number One. Here’s a […]

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Oh, the fickleness of Trump-era news cycles! I was going to write about how the Democrats could defeat Donald Trump in part by wooing young voters in critical Electoral College states. And then along comes the Ukrainian bombshell raising serious questions about whether Trump will even be around to run against. But let’s suppose Trump’s […]

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A brilliant thinker like Elizabeth Warren would be copacetic if electability weren’t Criterion #1, but the best anti-Trump defense would be, yes, exactly what some have already called for: a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket. How might this and other actions unify the Democrats before it’s too late? What follows is in the realm of “could and should” rather than “will.” But an old Biden friend just may be reading this column—I won’t go into the details—and I fervently hope she passes it on to him.

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How to defeat Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the second-evilest man in town—Donald Trump’s main enabler? The cause gained even more urgency Tuesday when McConnell denied that Trump was a racist despite clear evidence such as his bigoted smears against four nonwhite Congress members. Here’s my suggestion. Democrats should out-McConnell the Senate majority leader at the […]

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Anti-Trump art

Our “extremely stable genius” loves to depict himself as a victim of witch-hunters. Impeachment? Bring it on! That’s what Donald Trump has said. Although Trump has been sending off mixed signals, I still believe that he pangs for impeachment. But what if witch-hunters and friends came up with a well-crafted impeachment strategy for the here […]

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Charlottesville. Neo-Nazis. Kluxers. Joe Biden homed in on Trumpish grotesqueries in the video kicking off his presidential bid—as if to say, “You need me to return us to the good old days of yore.” No one except bigots or Republican hacks would deny the cosmic-level threats here, or President Trump’s crooked and traitorous ways. Why, […]

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Nancy Pelosi - official photo

In a scenic mountain town in Trump country, a professional woman in her 50s scanned the front page of the local daily. She read a headline about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump—at odds over the partial government shutdown and The Wall. America’s oldest kindergartner had vowed to hold federal workers hostage until […]

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Elizabeth Warren, in so many ways, is catnip for progressives as fed up with the status quo as I am. “How did we get here?” she asked in a New Republic interview. “Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie, and they enlisted politicians to cut them a fatter slice. They crippled […]

Donald Trump cartoon

The Uber driver—let’s call him Muhammad—was from Afghanistan. “So,” I asked, “how do you feel about Donald Trump?” I wasn’t going to take anything for granted. The Aryan in the White House might not like Muhammad’s skin color and his probable Muslim faith. But earlier I’d run across a religious African immigrant who cherished Trump […]

Donald Trump is still demonizing billionaire George Soros and other “globalists,” just as he did in a 2016 campaign commercial with anti-Semitic dog-whistles, or at least something very close. But Trump is picky about which Jewish billionaires to smear, and for good reason. None other than Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish casino billionaire, helped finance our demagogic […]

Stone statues honoring the dead helped draw me to the University of North Carolina. Thomas Wolfe wrote unforgettably of his father the stonecutter in Look Homeward, Angel, a classic coming-of-age novel. After reading Angel, I knew I must go to Chapel Hill. Back in the 1960s when I was at “Pulpit Hill, as Wolfe called the university in […]

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HELL—Fresh from his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump has negotiated a historic agreement with Satan. Under the deal, Satan will not lay claims on the souls of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Occupational Health and Safety Administration acting head Loren Sweatt, immigrant hater Jeff Sessions, consumer financial protection foe Mick […]

Ouch. If you own stocks, how did you feel when Wall Street suffered its worst week in two years? The S&P dropped six percent. Donald Trump had been pestering the media to report more on the stock market, up since his election. Now at least one TV financial pundit was joking about Trump’s crazy trade […]

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Brilliant scientists from MIT and Berkeley deployed a powerful ray gun against President Trump before his State of the Union speech. This brain-altering gadget did not kill him. Instead it jacked up his IQ 50 points as intended, gave him a conscience and forced him to tell the truth. Wait. I’m dreaming. But here’s an […]

Late last night I fell asleep reading the Failing New York Times on my iPad here in Alexandria, Virginia. To my surprise, though a time warp and other inexplicable phenomena, I awoke in a spare bedroom in the former Trump White House. I say “former” for a reason. The time was the mid-2020s. And the […]

George Roper, my good friend from high school, is dead now. When alive, he was often as right-wing as they come—complete with a passionate anti-Obama blog. And yet George and I avoided hand-to-hand combat. Up to his death several years ago, we followed each other on Facebook. He even talked up my novel. Similarly my […]

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Think Donald Trump will give us many positive surprises in the near term? Dream on. His EPA nominee hates the agency’s mission. Among at least the long-shot possibilities for secretary of state? The head of ExxonMobil. What is this, reality or a cartoon? I caught up with James Fallows of the The Atlantic, once Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter, for his own take […]

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Thank you, Sarah Palin. Friday you reminded us what a whack job The Donald is, even if your language was more indirect. Here he’d led you to believe he was a constitutional conservative. But now he’s bragged about a plan for Indiana to pay $7 million in incentives over a decade to keep a Carrier […]

A century from now, historians may well turn to the Trump Time Capsule series. The Atlantic’s James Fallows has told “what we knew, when we knew it, about the man who was trying to become president.” The series holds Republican politicians and others accountable to future generations. Donald Trump’s detractors regard him as a potential tyrant […]

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Richard Nixon’s enemies list was a black-tie affair. What a party! The twenty original names included such luminaries as film star Paul Newman, Congress member Ron Dellums, and journalist Daniel Schorr. Some powerful VIPs almost felt slighted not to make The List. The Nixon people later added scores of other individuals, as well as groups, […]

Ohio National Guardmen killed Bill Schroeder, an ex-Eagle Scout, 46 years ago today, at Kent State University. As a reporter for The Lorain Journal, his hometown daily, I covered the death of this ROTC cadet. Do you realize what America was like back then? People actually phoned up our factory-town newspaper and praised the guardsmen […]

Nick Carraway and your English lit professor got it all wrong. A madman’s gunshots did not kill the hero of The Great Gatsby, published 90 years ago on April 10, 1925. The corpse inside the coffin was someone else, a clever ruse. With a “heavyweight team” of FBI men about to nab him, the real […]

Rashad Young, hired at $245K and now paid $266,508 a year, is leaving as Alexandria’s city manager to become city administrator for D.C. In my hometown of 150,000, Mr. Young has been pulling down a bigger salary than that of Vice President Joe Biden, paid $230,700. Across the Potomac, he’ll make $295K in his new […]

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Imagine you’re with the Secret Service. A young Ohioan calls up and says he’ll be joining the Nazi Party. “I wanted you to know.” Wait—the story gets even better. The Ohio man already has been within shooting range of presidential candidates. J. Ross Baughman isn’t a real Nazi, however. Instead he is a photojournalist for […]