Category: Washington Monthly

How Buster Keaton Became a Digital Meme

Buster Keaton in The Navigator

Orson Welles once said, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” It’s a statement full of wisdom, but it also carries a degree of irony. Welles made Citizen Kane—one of the most daring and inventive movies of all time—when RKO Radio Pictures granted him historic levels of artistic freedom. It might be more […]

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Don’t Look (Close) Up

Don't Look Up

WARNING: This article contains major spoilers from the movie Don’t Look Up. The comet-as-climate-change-metaphor Netflix movie Don’t Look Up clocks in at 138 minutes. The title refers to the slogan of those who refuse to accept the clear evidence that a comet is on a collision course with Earth. Yet, for the first 100 minutes of the movie, […]

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Merrick Garland’s Trump Problem—and Ours

Merrick Garland

Timing is everything. When it comes to free and fair elections and ensuring that Donald Trump and fellow authoritarians do not pull off a successful coup, we are nearly out of time. At least 19 states have added laws that make it more difficult to vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, and 49 state legislatures […]

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Chuck Schumer’s Last Chance on Voting Rights

Chuck Schumer

Democrats can’t pass their voting rights bills without bending or breaking the filibuster, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says they will try to do by next week. Exactly how is not clear. According to Politico, “Democrats are oscillating between voting on a talking filibuster or a carveout for elections reform.” Why are they torn? “Some […]

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Critical Race Query

California Prison Inmates

When it comes to critical race theory, strong opinions abound. Proponents declare that it’s “the only way we hold the devil at bay,” while the conservative Heritage Foundation insists that its embrace would “destroy our military.”  Recently, the amorphous concept has stirred growing debate not just in the world of education policy but also in the national conversation […]

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Pretending Monopoly Has Nothing to Do With Inflation

Lawrence Summers

In recent weeks, senior Biden administration officials have been arguing that monopolization explains at least some of the inflation that is eroding the otherwise impressive wage gains average Americans are experiencing. The case they make is that firms in concentrated industries are using their excessive market power to raise prices and fatten their bottom lines at the […]

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The Well-Deserved Legal Losses of Citizen Trump

Donald Trump

Last Friday, former White House Chief of Staff Mark R. Meadows filed a Supreme Court brief asking for “a prompt answer” to the question of whether Donald Trump has legitimate grounds to shield White House records from the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Even if Trump were entitled […]

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