Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong

Perhaps the biggest story coming out of campaign 2016 is not the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but the fact that the media and political establishment never saw it coming. And the fact that they never saw it coming perfectly explains the rise of Sanders and Trump. Continue reading Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong

Slippery Slopes, Slippery Language, Slippery Logic

frog in water We all use metaphors to make a point. Speechwriters adore a good metaphor: get the right one and the speaker sounds wise, folksy, sassy and astute all in one go.

The trouble with such metaphors is that they capture your imagination but deaden your brain. Continue reading Slippery Slopes, Slippery Language, Slippery Logic

The Lump of Coal Awards

stocking The President of the United States: Well, it’s been a hard year for the President and next year doesn’t look much better with another budget crisis and sequestration ahead.  Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act under the federal program is increasing.  The state-run exchanges have done better in the early going.  Health care costs will go down, the uninsured will gain protection, but what an ugly start!  The Middle East is a cauldron of evil, terror, irresponsibility and worse.  There are no good guys anywhere. Continue reading The Lump of Coal Awards

Tired of Chest-Thumping Patriotism

From the July Fourth season through the fall election, the American people will be hearing nothing but uber-patriotic rhetoric coming from their politicians and national leaders.

They will be telling us how America is a great nation and how Americans are a good people, and they will be lathering praise on us as hard-working, self-sacrificing, charitable, fair and just.

I don’t know about you, but all of this cheerleading and backslapping rhetoric strikes me as a bit ingratiating and self-serving. Flattery is not patriotism. Continue reading Tired of Chest-Thumping Patriotism