Pundit Wire

“A Dealer In Hope”

speakerNapoleon once said that a leader is “a dealer in hope.” If putting heart into people is the touchstone of leadership, then General Colin Powell is one of the outstanding leaders of our time.

I had the chance to observe the General at close range during the three years that I worked for him as his speechwriter. (See the picture of me with the General on the home page of my web side, www.ringingwords.com. I no longer have the beard but I’m still recognizable.)

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Some Still Don’t Know What We Knew Then and Aren’t Sure What We Know Now

Jeb_Bush_at_CPAC_2015,_National_Harbor,_MD_05“…every other real or imagined candidate felt compelled to jump in with their response to what they would have decided twelve years ago based on what we knew then or what we know now or what we thought we knew then or think we know now but didn’t know then.”

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Looking before you Leap

IMG_20150514_102213At $50.3 billion (FY 16 projected), the U.S. budget for diplomacy and overseas development is a pretty good deal.  One-tenth the spending of the Department of Defense and well below two percent of national public expenditures, it comes in almost unnoticeable by people like me, baffled by zeroes.

Even so, it’s real money and needs to stand up to scrutiny.

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Kyle Clark, Brandon Rittiman should moderate all the debates

debate_539_332_c1Here’s Kyle Clark grilling Republican Cory Gardner, who went on to oust Mark Udall from his Colorado senate seat in 2014:
“You continue to deny that the federal Life at Conception Act which you sponsor is a personhood bill to end abortion, and we are not going to debate that here tonight because it’s a fact. Your co-sponsors say so, your opponents say so and independent fact checkers say so. So let’s instead talk about what this entire episode may say about your judgment more broadly…. A charitable interpretation would be that you have a difficult time admitting when you are wrong, and a less charitable interpretation is that you’re not telling us the truth. Which is it?”

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Lusitania: How the Unthinkable Happened

article-0-14059853000005DC-49_634x380One hundred years ago on May 7, just ten months after the start of the First World War, the British luxury liner RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank in just 20 minutes. Out of nearly 2,000 passengers and crew only 764 survived. The dead included 123 Americans.

To mark this tragic anniversary, I am reading the much-acclaimed new book by Erik Larson–Dead Wake: The Lusitania’s Last Crossing.

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The Washington Dread and Denial Association Dinner

whitehousedinner_539_332_c1“Don’t do it!”

Stories, whether torn from history or made from whole cloth, can make us want to shout that. Don’t open that door at the top of the stairs. Don’t get on that boat. Don’t believe that president, general, journalist, preacher, cop.

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Gay Marriage: Who’s Sorry Now?

Rainbow_flag_breezeThe April 28 issue of the Wall Street Journal carried an editorial warning of grave consequences if the Supreme Court rules that there is a constitutional right to gay marriage.

“Discovering a fundamental right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution,” tut-tutted the Journal’s editors, “pre-empts the democratic process and assumes that the people aren’t capable of mediating their differences with decency and tolerance.”

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Also posted in Civil Rights, Culture, General, Politics, Religion, Supreme Court & Judiciary | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Interview with PunditWire Co-Founder, Robert Lehrman

Bob-Lehrman-profile“I came of age during the Vietnam War. At the time I didn’t care about politics. I wanted to be the next Tolstoy… But what we did to Vietnam was so barbaric, it made me want to get into politics. I said, why not be Gandhi instead of Tolstoy?”

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