Author & Speaker

Archive for March 2009

Backbone

With the forced resignation of GM CEO Richard Wagoner, President Obama is channeling Ronald Reagan.  I bet it will work.  There’s a lot of nattering over the Wagoner putsch, Is this socialism?  Is Mr. Wagoner just a “sacrificial lamb“?  Why GM’s CEO and not AIG’s numero uno (Edward Liddy), who has certainly done nothing to…

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Support Your NEW Used Bookstore

Authors aren’t supposed to be too enthusiastic about used bookstores, since no royalties accrue on the sale of used volumes, but I am delighted to offer a preview of the opening on April 6 of a new used bookstore in Gaithersburg, sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Montgomery County.  The relevant parameters are:…

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Best Line of the Week

Often, the ultra-snarky columnist of the Washington Post, Dana Milbank, just gives me a cramp.  On Wednesday, though, he nailed it.  He was writing about a group interview of Rick Wagoner, chairman and CEO of the steadily shrinking and endangered General Motors, by a group of reporters from the steadily shrinking and endangered Traditional Media. …

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Jersey Boys

Much of New Jersey’s history — real and mythic — revolves around violence.  Yesterday I explored some of that tradition with the redoubtable Jim Clifford, attorney and history enthusiast extraordinaire.  Herewith, the story: We started at Boxwood Hall in Elizabeth, the home of Senator Jonathan Dayton, who compiled an enviable record of public service —…

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What to do with the judges?

Just put a piece on Huffington Post on this question, which was prompted (for me), by having two potential impeachments against federal trial judges: Judge Thomas Porteous of New Orleans, who has been under investigation for a long time for a variety of peccadilloes over the years, including bankruptcy fraud and some very shaky dealings…

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Speed Kills

Nope, not talking about meth, but about writing — specifically, writing in the twenty-first century. Like everything else in life, writing is accelerating.  We don’t have to sharpen the goose quills and warm the ink to get started.  We pound out blog posts and e-mails with abandon.  Lots of people (not me) thumb their way…

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Monster Mao

Mao: The Untold Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Holliday, has a spectacular first sentence: Mao Tse-tung, who for decades held absolute power over the lives of one quarter of the world’s population, was responsible for well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other twentieth-century leader. The book is wicked long (don’t…

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Governor Scoundrels, Part II

One impeached-and-removed state governor stands out from the pack for sheer vitality and no-holds-barred assaults on his political adversaries.  Governor John Walton of Oklahoma lasted only ten months in office in 1923, but they were action-packed.  Sticking with the highlights: A “radical” Democrat with Socialist allies, Walton made his inauguration a people’s celerbration.  More than…

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