Michael Tomasky

Michael Tomasky is the American editor-at-large of the Guardian (UK). He was executive editor of the Prospect from 2003 to 2006.

Recent Articles

IF I WERE...

IF I WERE A TERRORIST� I'm a former New Yorker (and one who watched the first tower collapse in person, not on TV) and a present Washingtonian. So I ought to be as lathered up as the next guy about this terror-funding thing . But what if DHS is...right? I have sometimes thought, �If I were a terrorist, where would I strike next? What would really mess with the psyches of my hated Great Satanic foes?� And I�m not sure I�d hit New York or Washington. Too obvious. Been done. Besides, both probably are reasonably well fortified. Therefore, I could easily imagine a scenario in which the next terror attacks occur in, say, Wichita, Des Moines, Memphis, and Omaha. Such a series of coordinated strikes in heartland small cities would be pretty devastating, I�ve always thought, and might well rattle many Americans even more than another attack on Manhattan, which, let�s face it, many Americans think of as a western province of France. And if they happened, everyone would be sitting around saying...

IS IT JUST...

IS IT JUST ME? Or does anyone else suspect that maybe half the reason Hastert et al. are so in heat over the Jefferson raid has nothing to do separation of powers and something to do with the fact that if they defend Jefferson and help him stay in the House, the corruption issue doesn�t cut so cleanly for Democrats? I�m fairly certain that Pelosi and other leaders want him out. But they�re afraid to stand up to Charlie Rangel . As the senior/most influential African American House member, Charlie is the one who can cut Jefferson loose, and he should face public pressure to do so. If I still had my old New York magazine column, I know what I�d be writing this week. --Michael Tomasky

JUST WONDERING. Okay,...

JUST WONDERING. Okay, I�m not stupid enough to think that I just won a seven-figure sum in the Australian lottery (for starters, I didn�t enter it). But reading through the email I just got made me wonder: How does this scam work? According to Valentino von Kahn (Mrs.), the �coordinator� of the Australian Lottery who �signed� the email, I�m to contact a bank in the Netherlands and give them the following information: name, phone number, fax number, address, and amount won. That seems like relatively harmless information that anyone in the world could get in five seconds at whitepages.com (except fax number, but so what?). So how can that information be used to separate me from my hard-earned dosh? And if it can be, can�t then anyone go to whitepages.com and scam me, or anyone? How does this work, people? Jonah , what we need is a virtual fence! --Michael Tomasky

Not So Fast

The Good Fight: Why Liberals -- and Only Liberals -- Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again by Peter Beinart ( HarperCollins, 304 pages, $25.95 ) Has the time come for liberals to put Iraq behind us? The answer depends to some extent on which Iraq we're talking about. Iraq the Reality still rages, and we can be certain that we will be enmeshed in the region in one way or another for a long time. Iraq the Debate, however, is already in some sense a relic of the past. Three years ago, liberals for and against the war tore into one another, the arguments in some cases rupturing friendships between people who took opposing sides (and in one case I know, between two who were both hawks!). But isn't it time now to look to the future, fashioning a set of principles about foreign policy, national security, and the fight against terrorism on which all liberals can more or less agree? There is something to be said for this view. It's one I advance in an essay I wrote for a...

The Real Tax Test

Iraq in continuing meltdown. Oil prices at record highs. Forty-five million uninsured. A still-large budget deficit and an ever-increasing debt. How to respond? Hey, let's cut taxes! That was the congressional rejoinder to our nation's several crises in early May, when lawmakers passed a five-year, $70 billion tax cut, which news accounts affirmed that the President was eager to sign. The story is an old one, but the details still have not lost their ability to shock: Middle-income households will receive an average of $20 back, The Washington Post reported, while the .02 percent of American households above $1 million will reap an average windfall of $42,000. One almost has to admire the Tammany-esque frankness of these numbers. In 2000, candidate Bush at least felt the need to pretend that his tax cuts were aimed at the middle class. But now, with the clock ticking on his (and maybe congressional Republicans') lame-duckery, they don't even bother disguising the class warfare. With a...

Pages