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

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 […]

A new local bookstore and Twilight Times Books, publisher of The Solomon Scandals, are teaming up to offer the e-book version for free, in major digital formats, for customers who buy the paperback from the store (price: $16.95). The bundling deal will be limited to the first eight buyers. re∙reads Books is south of Alexandria, […]

Update #1: Ethics-challenged or not, Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia's Eighth District won reelection June 12. Scroll to the end for my advice for his possible foes in the 2014 Democratic primary. Update #2: Jim Moran has since told me there was no quid pro quo, that the real estate developer's contributions were part of […]

The terrorist-friendly Quarter Pentagon, the twin towers formally known as BRAC-133, has made Time Magazine. Time depicts the 6,400-worker complex as a “soft target” for truck bombers. Jihadists or others might wipe it out if given a chance. Since last year, the Solomon Scandals blog has been warning of the security concerns among other issues […]

Video by rhidoyakash California, not the Washington, D.C., area, is where  Americans go if they want to flirt with the apocalypse, at least the seismic kind. Man-made disasters here in Northern Virginia? Well, there was 9/11 at the Pentagon several miles from me—Target Zero, of course, during the Cold War. But in Alexandria, we locals […]

Ever wonder why our politicians, business leaders, and media figures so often disappoint us, and what happens after the scandals? The Solomon Scandals is not only about the original chicanery and related crimes but also their ripples—right up to the late 21st century. It mixes suspense, tragedy, and satire in an edgy look at Washington […]

Update: Jim Moran has since told me there was no quid pro quo, that the real estate developer's contributions were part of an arrangement by which he contributed to many races at once. I appreciated his responding and will let readers judge for themserves. I’ve already told how the $1B Quarter Pentagon, aka BRAC-133, part […]

Everything inside me is hoping that no one attacks the towers of BRAC-133, aka the Quarter Pentagon (which unfortunately will house 6,400 defense workers just off the I-395 freeway in Alexandria, Virginia, rather inside a secure military base). But a “sustainable development” news release from a Los Angeles firm gives us an idea of who’d […]

Update: Jim Moran has since told me there was no quid pro quo, that the Indiana real estate developer's contributions were part of an arrangement by which the developer contributed to many people at once, apparently with an unrelated issue in mind. I appreciated the Moran response and will let readers judge for themselves.   […]

In 2004 Baristanet—the lively hyperlocal network that helped inspire similar operations in several states—started writing up picnics, schools and other neighborly news in Essex County, NJ. Some five years later, The New York Times set up shop with blogs for Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange, all in the same county. Last month one of the […]

Virginia, where the governor honored "Confederate History Month" without at first even acknowledging the evils of slavery, has another winner on its hands. She’s Marsha Garst, Commonwealth’s attorney for Rockingham County, who let police raid the newsroom of a student newspaper and carry off hundreds of unpublished photos of alleged riot participants at James Madison […]

My old friend used to handle some PR matters for a union in Northern Virginia, and people still pick his brains. Here’s a rule near the top of his list. Don’t waste too much time trying to get into the Washington Post, even on the most newsworthy stories. L Street probably will just ignore you. […]

The Solomon Scandals blog comes out of Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac from D.C., and the novel itself is very much a Washington creature, as well as a Northern Virginia one. But oh how the local details can travel, so to speak. During the Watergate party in Scandals, a PR man offers boozy insights […]

Scandals at one level is a beach read, a mix of a thriller and novel of manners. But at another, it’s about bureaucratic laxness, which can kill workers—not just drain investors’ bank accounts. The Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico makes Scandals all the more timely. Penny-pinching proved to be lethal. – D.R. […]

The Solomon Scandals, although fiction, was inspired in part by the Skyline Plaza collapse, which killed 14 workers and injured 34. Enraged by the shortcuts taken in the construction, a civil servant named Andrew Solarz wrote the poem below.  At the time Andy lived several miles from Skyline in Falls Church, Virginia, and he is […]

Jonathan Stone as an Afro-American? Because Jewish protagonists are such old hat? So suggested a buddy of mine—not an anti-semite or self-hating Jewish, but an intelligent man of the observant, practicing variety. May I respectfully disagree? In fact, The Solomon Scandals in some respects is as much a Northern Virginia Jewish novel as a newspaper […]