Being summoned for jury duty is the closest I will ever get to being drafted into the army, and the two experiences are much alike. One is reduced to a number and ordered to report to an inconvenient location at an inconveniently early hour. One is searched, processed, relieved of sharp objects, confined to a holding room, indoctrinated and sworn.Read More
There was a fairly recent time when the word most associated with the chairmanship of a major committee in the House of Representatives was powerful. Retiring Representatives Dingell and Waxman enjoyed the aura that came with the gavel.
That was then. Confirmation of how things have changed came this week when the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee unveil a tax reform plan that everyone agrees is both credible and going nowhere.Read More »
The “Religious Right” may characterize this as a matter of religious freedom. But where in any religion, especially Christianity, does it even suggest that treating some people as less than others is okay?Read More »
I wonder what would happen if the world’s storytellers and artists were to throw themselves into making the 2014 summit succeed. Invite the wizards of digital creation and distribution, the social media entrepreneurs and software geniuses, the networks and studios, to lend their talents to a communication campaign. Imagine if film-, video- and game-makers, musicians, photographers, screenwriters, graphic novelists, comedians, actors, essayists and fashionistas were inspired to tell the tale of climate change. Think of what designers, logo makers, branders and advertisers could contribute.Read More »
There are two interesting additions to the annals of political influence which focus on quiet issue lobbying.
The quiet lobbying game works best when no one looks carefully at the sausage-making machinery. It offers a stark contrast to the money game where contributors present themselves as 800-lb gorillas who are willing to spend as much as it takes to make things happen their way.Read More »
For a lot of kids, pretending on the playground means engineering a fourth quarter, winning drive in the Super Bowl or batting with a full count, two outs in the bottom of the ninth. But for me, growing up in New York from the time I was 10, it was something different.
Third period. Tie game. The Soviets. I’ll never forget that Friday night in February 1980, jumping and screaming in my family room as the American hockey team did the same on a sheet of ice in Lake Placid.Read More »
When Abraham Lincoln won the Republican presidential nomination in 1860, one newspaper editor demanded, “Who will write this ignorant man’s state papers?”
As we prepare to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, we 21st century Americans find such a question laughable. But in 1860 there was good reason to look on Lincoln as–if not an ignorant man–at least a man who lacked formal education.Read More »
The echo chamber created by Washington’s beltway wonders how seriously New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential plans have been harmed by revelations that his henchmen took revenge on Democrats by causing traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge. It is far too early to tell, but based on current information it is fairly easy to shift perspective and see how this could accelerate rather than impede his political career.Read More »