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Washington Monthly

24 articles

The Big Lobotomy

How the Gingrich-era brain drain crippled the government and led to last year’s shutdown.


Smokey and the Bandit

How Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, with a little help from the Bush Administration, got 140 trees chopped down in a national park to improve his view and ruined the life of a park ranger in the process.


The Corporate "Free Speech" Racket

How corporations are using the First Amendment to destroy government regulation.


The War of Rape

Jamie Leigh Jones’s story of gang-rape in Iraq changed the law to help victims, even though she might not have been one herself.


America’s Worst Community Colleges

On the dysfunctional community colleges of San Francisco.


Special Deal

The shadowy cartel of doctors that control U.S. healthcare.


Over the Line

An investigation into shootings by U.S. Border Agents that have killed six Mexicans on Mexican soil over the past five years.


He Who Makes the Rules

The bureaucratic hell of enforcing legislation in Washington.


A Fish Story

Trying to fix the Atlantic Ocean’s food chain.


Confessions of a Black Mr. Mom

An essay on African-American fatherhood.


Confessions of a Non–Serial Killer

What happens when a complete stranger becomes convinced you’re the Zodiac killer.


Obama’s Deportation Two Step

How Obama’s immigration enforcement policies got away from him.


The Anchor

A profile of Univision’s Jorge Ramos.


The Crackdown

The United States, which took a forceful stance on other Arab revolts, remained relatively passive in the face of the kingdom’s unrest and crackdown. To many who are familiar with the region, this came as no surprise: of all the Arab states that saw revolts last year, Bahrain is arguably the most closely tied to American strategic interests.

A report on Bahrain, the Arab Spring’s most ill-fated uprising.


Jail Break

In an odd way, crime has fallen off the political landscape. To an extent it's been replaced on the agenda by concern about the dire consequences of mass incarceration. But violent crime itself remains a major area in which the United States lags behind other developed countries. To suggest that smarter management of the criminal justice system could make it less brutal while simultaneously creating large reductions in the quantity of crime sounds utopian. And yet the proposals for parole system reform found in this article are utterly convincing.

-M. Yglesias


The Unquiet Life of Franz Gayl

The story of a Marine who saved innumerable lives, then got fired.


The Information Sage

On Edward Tufte, the  great data visualization (read: charts and graphs) theorist and author of 1983’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, one of the most successful self-published books ever produced.


Rules of Misbehavior

How Dan Savage became America’s leading ethicist.


A Time Against Race

A profile of Mitch Landrieu, the first white mayor of New Orleans in nearly 30 years–part of a larger post-Katrina trend in the city’s politics. “The elected leadership looks almost like a photo negative of the pre-Katrina government.”


Dirty Medicine

How misdirected incentives in the bewildering medical supply industry keep innovative, life-saving equipment from reaching hospitals.


College Dropout Factories

Across the country, little-known schools are accepting almost everyone who applies, cashing a lot of checks, and offering so little support that only the most determined students leave with a degree.


Show Him the Money

A profile of Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the sixth-highest paid lobbyist in the country. Since Obama took office, Donohue has scared-up tens of millions in new donations.


5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … Goodbye, Columbia

The Columbia shuttle was to be a revolution for NASA. But a year before its first launch, the shuttle was several years behind schedule, had cost $1 billion, and wasn’t guaranteed to ever get off the ground.


Too Weird for The Wire

When the Feds sought the death penalty for four African-American drug dealers in Baltimore, the accused found a defense in the unlikeliest of places: the legal theories of white supremacists.