Hillary’s Unanswered Question

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For all the clever tweets, sophisticated data, and focus group tested messages the Hillary Clinton campaign pumps out daily, they may have forgotten to ask the simple question that should be at the heart of every campaign: If voters had one sentence to explain why they support her candidacy, what would it be? After nineteen months of campaigning, I’m not sure they have an answer to that.

Continue reading Hillary’s Unanswered Question

Likability Shouldn’t Matter When Electing a President

bushOlympicIt’s now routine for the scribbling pens and chattering class to pose the beer question or a variation thereof, and, based on a candidate’s perceived likability and relatability, they create a self-fulfilling narrative of electability.

If a candidate is warm and likable, these pundits say, Americans will be more inclined to vote for him or her. But woe to any politician who seems unable to kiss babies with ease, feel someone’s pain, look relaxed on television, or down a beer comfortably. Continue reading Likability Shouldn’t Matter When Electing a President

War, Liberalism, Trust in Government: The Many Casualties of LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Johnson Fifty years ago, on August 10, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed what is known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. It is a day that should live in infamy.

On that day, the President gave himself the power “to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed forces,” to fight the spread of communism in Southeast Asia and assist our ally in South Vietnam “in defense of its freedom.”

Or as former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put it decades later, it gave “complete authority to the president to take the nation to war.” Continue reading War, Liberalism, Trust in Government: The Many Casualties of LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

What’s Your Universe?

Cosmology is not cosmetology and quantum mechanics isn’t a firm comprised of angels reporting to Saint Peter that keeps the Pearly Gates oiled so the blessed can rush in. It’s the study of the interaction of energy and matter on a subatomic scale. Among the supernova physicists in this rarified firmament are Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku and Neil Turok. Continue reading What’s Your Universe?

Cheney’s the One

The political player of the year award goes not to the Super Pacs, not to a bevy of short-lived but always entertaining Republican candidates, not the message mavens who have been wildly unsuccessful in their efforts to control their candidates, but to Dick Cheney, who set things in motion at the turn of the century by selecting himself as the GOP vice presidential candidate. Continue reading Cheney’s the One