Maud Newton

Maud Newton is a writer, editor, and former attorney who quotes Twain too frequently on her blog,

Recent Articles

Send Up the Clowns

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress,” Mark Twain once observed. Computations remain to be performed; investigations have not been completed. But with GOP heavyweights jettisoning Jack Abramoff's contributions faster than you can say “cooperating with prosecutors,” history may prove Twain right. Again. Twain may be known for one thing among eighth-grade readers. But for those of us who need someone to make sense of a reality in which fiction is constantly presented to us as fact, Twain's bulldozing satire -- he excelled precisely at exposing the nonsensical while pretending to embrace it -- offers both stinging insight and singular comfort. Most satire dates. Twain's is so timeless it could have been written last month. And in a world where the vice president fights tooth and nail to exempt the CIA from anti-torture laws while maintaining that the CIA does not engage in torture, I wish to God some of it had...