The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large

Tax dollars at work, GSA style Angry taxpayers are buzzing over the organizational “culture” at the General Services Administration, the federal procurement agency. I don’t mean Chaucer, Mozart or Van Gogh. Enjoy this spoof video for a GSA conference—rudely picked up by ABC News and others. Hey, you helped pay for it. GSA was supposed […]

”Among the other expenses were $3,200 for a mind reader, $6,300 on a commemorative coin set displayed in velvet boxes and $75,000 on a training exercise to build a bicycle.” – Washington Post report on $823K splurged on a 300-employee federal conference in Las Vegas. Ouch. The gems in the sentence above don’t even include […]

Much of The Solomon Scandals is about conflicts between friendship and duty. A rickety high-rise may tumble as a result, with hundreds of IRS and CIA workers inside. Washington has a culture of traded favors, one reason why Congress and the Interior Department unwittingly let the oil spill happen in the Gulf. And how about […]

A sad and bizarre update: Here. Margo Danialson, Oberlin B.A., is reporter Jon Stone’s partner in crime or anti-crime in The Solomon Scandals. She’s a 20-something real estate specialist at the government’s business agency, for which Seymour Solomon, a well-connected federal landlord, has built a rickety high-rise on the banks of the Potomac River. Now […]

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Psst! Advance promo copies of The Solomon Scandals are on sale now in e-book format (retail $5.95 USD). Twilight Times Books is also taking advance orders for First Editions in trade paperback (retail $16.95 USD). The paperbacks will ship in January 2009. These are “pre-release promotional copies.” Twilight’s phone number is 423-323-0183, and other ordering […]

Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, the whistleblower in the FBI who blew open much of the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, is dead. Leonard Downie, a Post staffer at the time, writes how much investigative reporting has changed since then—for example, technologically. Imagine staying in touch with a source who totes a prepaid cell […]

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Both are self-made men from Chicago—intellectual politicians with law degrees. And like me, both are on the liberal side. No doubt, a few superficial parallels exist between my fictitious Eddy Bullard and President-elect Barack Obama. And it isn’t even deliberate. Thirty years ago when I conceived The Solomon Scandals, President Bullard held a law degree […]

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A variant of a Shakespearian quote shows up on the base of a statue outside the National Archives, once within the domain of the General Services Administration: “What is past is prologue.” Why have so many scandals broken out at the government’s business agency over the years? And will we see more of them in […]

Sy Solomon, the real estate millionaire in The Solomon Scandals, never existed. Like many of the characters in my novel, he is a composite. The late Charles E. Smith, however, the founder of the construction company of the same name, would have been the most like Solomon. He and associates controlled at least $150 million […]

Sen. Abraham Ribicoff, the late Connecticut senator who also served in President John F. Kennedy’s cabinet, secretly held a $20,000 investment in a GSA-leased building that the CIA moved into. My story for States News Service, reproduced below, appeared in the New Haven Register on May 29, 1975, and later made the NBC Nightly News. […]

Blame The Solomon Scandals on my lack of ESP. Oh, to have read the minds of the people whose lives and deeds helped inspire the novel! Just why did the late Sen. Abraham Ribicoff end up in the 1960s with a $20,000 investment in a building that the CIA moved into? What were Ribicoff and […]