Rough Trade

On July 2, 1997, Thailand’s Prime Minister, General Chavalit, stood screaming at his Minister of Finance, M.R. Chatu Monkul Sonakul, in his country’s National Assembly. M.R. Chatu Monkul had advocated devaluing Thailand’s currency for months and today, he argued, devaluation was absolutely necessary. The Prime Minister was in denial and furious. Thailand had conquered capitalism… Read more »

The Washington Monthly

We’re less familiar with boys like Ronnie Vera. Last year, Ronnie, 18, entered an Arizona prison. He is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of first-degree murder. Unlike Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Ronnie did not kill anyone. He and a friend were caught stealing a bike in… Read more »

The Scandal of Special-Ed

If you’ve ever wondered what the words “special education” mean, consider Saundra Lemons. A tall, gangly 19 year-old senior in a Washington D.C. public high school, she is quiet and attentive. Like the vast majority of children in special ed, she’s not blind or deaf or confined to a wheelchair; instead, she has had trouble… Read more »

The Washington Monthly

There were two major techniques that we used to implement McCurry’s strategy of getting all the bad news out early and helping reporters write bad stories. The first was overt and fully approved within the White House chain of command, at least in the first few months of 1997: Documents would be released to the… Read more »

The Washington Monthly

With a new semester just getting underway, Paula Kelberman’s first order to her class of prospective elementary school teachers at East Stroudsberg University in Pennsylvania was to rearrange the tables in the classroom. They were lined up in rows. She wanted them in a “U” shape because rows are “boring” and too “traditional.” Rows also… Read more »

The Washington Monthly

In the Year of Our Lord 2020, the young pilots of America’s armed forces will fly aircraft designed in a previous century for that earlier century’s wars. The Army’s ground troops will be weighed down by leviathan systems unsuited to the knife-fight conflicts of the coming decades. And the Navy will be splendidly prepared for… Read more »

The Washington Monthly

A revealing episode in George Stephanopoulos’ White House memoir All Too Human confirms what many of us have long suspected: Hillary Clinton made the fatal decision to stonewall on Whitewater in 1993. Here’s the story of that crucial moment, one that was to become what Winston Churchill calls “a hinge of fate.” By refusing to… Read more »

Silence of the Liberals

If the memoirs of Dick Morris can be at all trusted, there occurred in the summer of 1996 a high-level conversation roughly along these lines: Angry, wavering president, railing at the Senate Majority Leader for placing punitive provisions in the welfare bill: “He loved cutting off children. You should have seen his face. He was… Read more »

Left Behind

Maria is a slight, diffident woman who has floated on and off of welfare for the better part of a decade. A native of Guatemala, she has raised six children, survived an abusive marriage, and suffered from medical conditions ranging from hypertension to diabetes. For the past six months, she and her two elementary school-aged… Read more »