When the late film producer Julia Phillips published her 1991 expose of Hollywood's depravity in the 1970s and 1980s, she chose a title that correctly forecasted the movie establishment's retributive response. The fury triggered by "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again" was summed up by one Hollywood power broker as "the longest suicide ...Read more
It isn't easy being Donald Trump these days: so many people to silence and so little time. Muzzling those who have damaging evidence on you can be exhausting in the best of circumstances, and keeping a lid on so much incriminating information springing from so many different sources would make anyone cranky. The president has had to block the ...Read more
It's been another bad stretch for Donald Trump. The president's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week began with his labored shuffle down a short, modestly inclined ramp after giving an even more labored speech at West Point, one eliciting an audience response somewhere between tepid and silent. It was an event commandeered by Trump himself...Read more
The inhabitants of Chelsea, Massachusetts, have known tough times for a long time, long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit them hard. Almost half of Chelsea's population consists of recent immigrants, largely from Latin America, and almost 1 in 5 lived below the poverty line even before the virus struck and wiped out the economy. Massachusetts has...Read more
It wasn't the best of weeks for President Donald Trump. On Friday, he proclaimed it a "great day" for George Floyd, who had been murdered by Minneapolis police the week before. "Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying 'This is a great thing that's happening to our country,'" said Trump as Americans took to the streets in all 50 ...Read more
Until recently, it had been Sen. Joseph McCarthy who was the poster child for the thuggish impulse that occasionally rears its head in America -- ebbing here, flowing there, but always present. If he has accomplished nothing else, President Donald Trump has supplanted McCarthy as the embodiment of the American thug, rising and reigning with the ...Read more
Notorious mobster Albert Anastasia, proud founder of the modern American Mafia, is best remembered for two things. One is being shot to death while sitting in a Manhattan barber's chair during what proved to be a really bad shave. The second is his distinctive ill humor concerning those who informed law enforcement about his illegal activities. ...Read more
In 1967, an unknown 38-year-old civil rights activist from New York took it upon himself to change the world, and then he did. Allard Lowenstein, a Yale-educated lawyer who had steadfastly avoided practicing law and was proud of having done so, was already a master of the quixotic. He had smuggled searing evidence about apartheid out of South ...Read more
For some leaders, personal responsibility in disregarding warnings of an impending pandemic that has now killed 80,000 Americans and cratered the economy might stimulate reflection about the national good. Not so for Donald Trump, whose disastrous presidency continues to capsize the democratic institutions on which we have prided ourselves.
COVID-19 has ripped off any cover that still obscures the deep inequalities burdening communities of color in America -- inequalities that have, in a few months' time, become too obvious and too ugly for the rest of us to ignore. They are driven home by what we watch hour after hour on the news to which we are glued, and by what we can see ...Read more
President Donald Trump's daily appearances at White House COVID-19 briefings have resolved a friendly dispute playing out at dinner tables across America: Is our president more aptly described as a danger or a dolt? There is no longer a need to quibble over this, and here's why: There's no incorrect answer.
The president's suggestion that we ...Read more
"Democracy is beautiful in theory," wrote Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. "In practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that one day." The fiery fascist did not have a perfect score in the prognostication department. For example, his decision to ally with Adolf Hitler worked out poorly for him, and he ended up summarily executed by a ...Read more