Roughly Speaking

Roughly Speaking Dan Rodricks: Commentary and conversation on life in Baltimore, Maryland and the USA
Rodricks: He delivers her purse; she saves his life

On the day he found the purse, Aeric "Bubby" McCoy believed he was close to dying. There had been too many disagreements with people who sold heroin on the street in Penn North, and with all the guns in West Baltimore, and all the fatal shootings, he sensed that the ultimate in bad was about to happen to him.

"I'd pushed too many buttons," he says. "I felt I was going to die out there.

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Podcast: Baltimore Politics, Part IV: Factions, race, riot and renaissance

In part four of our four-part series on Baltimore’s political history with Matthew A. Crenson, we hear about the factions and prejudices that influenced municipal elections and public policy in the 20th Century.

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Rodricks: Trump's idea of making America great is not mine

The failure of Republicans to ruin Obamacare is a testament to American greatness: The Affordable Care Act was so well designed — in principle and, to a considerable extent, in practice — that it's pretty much impossible to kill.

Despite incessant rhetorical attacks and efforts at sabotage, Obamacare has taken hold in many states, including Maryland.

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Podcast: Trump l'oeil, unartful deceits of a surreal presidency

Pardon our French, but the new term in American politics might very well be Trump L’oeil — that is, the unartful deceits of the president, his sons, his staff and his apologists.

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Rodricks: The great Baltimore swine debate

In the beginning, back when Baltimore was a town of just 60 acres, there were pigs. There were people, of course — 43 of them by 1729 — but apparently a lot of pigs, too: free-roaming swine that some 18th-century Baltimoreans liked and others despised.

Some of the town's first inhabitants considered pigs to be public servants. Others saw them as a public nuisance.

The pig schism transcended generations.

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Podcast: Salad Days: A garden party with John Shields and Henry Hong

Our favorite foodies, John Shields and Henry Hong, share ideas with Dan about serving up a buffet of salads from the garden or from the farmers markets.

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