Beyond GSA ‘crats at play: Scrutinize office leasing

Tax dollars at work, GSA style Angry taxpayers are buzzing over the organizational “culture” at the General Services Administration, the federal procurement agency. I don’t mean Chaucer, Mozart or Van Gogh. Enjoy this spoof video for a GSA conference—rudely picked up by ABC News and others. Hey, you helped pay for it. GSA was supposed […]

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ABC’s ‘Scandal’ vs. ‘The Solomon Scandals’ novel

The Solomon Scandals novel, set amid the Washington muck, bears the same title as ABC-TV’s similarly located Scandal series, except for the “The,” the “Solomon,” and the “s” Big differences I’ve seen so far? The book, though fiction, takes on The System. ABC is less serious-uppity. Also, Scandals’s Jonathan Stone dedicates himself to getting stories into […]

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Mind reader and clown helped kill GSA leader Martha Johnson’s job

”Among the other expenses were $3,200 for a mind reader, $6,300 on a commemorative coin set displayed in velvet boxes and $75,000 on a training exercise to build a bicycle.” – Washington Post report on $823K splurged on a 300-employee federal conference in Las Vegas. Ouch. The gems in the sentence above don’t even include […]

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The Solomon Scandals’ bureaucratic setting—a few decades later

Much of The Solomon Scandals is about conflicts between friendship and duty. A rickety high-rise may tumble as a result, with hundreds of IRS and CIA workers inside. Washington has a culture of traded favors, one reason why Congress and the Interior Department unwittingly let the oil spill happen in the Gulf. And how about […]

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Martha N. Johnson: GSA’s new leader vs. dirty politics—the ‘Solomon Scandals’ angle

A sad and bizarre update: Here. Margo Danialson, Oberlin B.A., is reporter Jon Stone’s partner in crime or anti-crime in The Solomon Scandals. She’s a 20-something real estate specialist at the government’s business agency, for which Seymour Solomon, a well-connected federal landlord, has built a rickety high-rise on the banks of the Potomac River. Now […]

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The Jonathan Stone-David Rothman Q. & A.

Jonathan Stone, the reporter in The Solomon Scandals, grilled me for this Q. & A.—uncut. Last updated April 10, 2024. STONE: Why’s Scandals copyrighted in your name? It’s my newspaper memoir. ROTHMAN: Er, faux memoir. Without me, you wouldn’t even have been born…or have worked for the Washington Telegram…or have struggled to avert an IRS-CIA […]

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Deep Throat is dead—and so are the old rules of investigative journalism

Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, the whistleblower in the FBI who blew open much of the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, is dead. Leonard Downie, a Post staffer at the time, writes how much investigative reporting has changed since then—for example, technologically. Imagine staying in touch with a source who totes a prepaid cell […]

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Two Chicagoans: President Bullard vis-a-vis Obama

Both are self-made men from Chicago—intellectual politicians with law degrees. And like me, both are on the liberal side. No doubt, a few superficial parallels exist between my fictitious Eddy Bullard and President-elect Barack Obama. And it isn’t even deliberate. Thirty years ago when I conceived The Solomon Scandals, President Bullard held a law degree […]

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