Politics

Whose Job Is It To Undo the Damage?

James Madison, 4th President of the United States

Reading Time: 5 minutes It was James Madison who was the great champion of separation of powers, that is, an active and robust separation, so that each branch of government with its several well-defined assigned powers is itself always potent, equally so compared to the others, so the overall result is a state of active equipoise. Madison saw a danger in any form of […]

Shorts & Briefs | 24 July 2019 | Just What Is Expected from Grilling Mueller?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Not to suggest that the House and Senate have a statutory sworn, not to mention ethical and moral, duty to perform in the areas of inquiry and oversight of all branches of government as the people’s representatives within that government, but it seemed clear enough how these sessions with Special Counsel Robert Mueller would go. It was sort of clear […]

Is Donald Trump Now the Most Trusted Man In America?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Before I get into it, I know the meaning of trust has eroded over the past several decades. The particular admixture of credence, confidence, and faith we invest in certain individuals who earn it – at least among the public – has seen a decline, noted in the first world from the United States to New Zealand. Then there’s the […]

Shorts and Briefs | 2 July 2019 | When You’re Smiling

Reading Time: 4 minutes Trump Thoughts Today This happens sometimes when I am surfing and I do my daily check as a lurker on Facebook. I saw two links in particular that caught my eye, to news stories in standard mainstream media sources. It really doesn’t matter which or what. Trump gesturing in a photo at one of his rallies He has much of […]

Shorts & Briefs | 10 May 2019 | Deconstructing Facebook

The Culprits in 2004 at Harvard. photo credit: Rick Friedman, © New York Times Company.

Reading Time: 3 minutes I want to recommend for your current events reading today this rather long read, a New York Times opinion piece as part of their Privacy Project, intended for the Sunday Review by the co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes (so insinuated into the fledgling company, when it hadn’t quite started to fly, that his name appears on the patent for NewsFeed—but […]

No Good Can Come of This—Newstead of State to Facebook

Reading Time: 2 minutes So, the deathstar gets Jennifer Newstead as wily mouthpiece: Newstead—from the Patriot Act to Zuckerberg’s Counsel This is where I dip into my highly conserved store of exclamations rarely used. Yikes. I see in this move, probably objectively a brilliant one by Facebook, though they’ll need a public relations genius of equal caliber to add to their roster, trouble for […]

Tom Nichols on The Death of Expertise

Reading Time: 1 minute This essay, printed in “Foreign Affairs,” in their current issue, and extracted from Nichols’s new book, just published is a sobering, yet witty account of a phenomenon long in the making. He adopted an essay that originally appeared in “The Federalist” in 2014 to write the book. So, in a sense the essay is a distillation of a reconstitution of […]

“Our democracy is not working as it should”

Reading Time: 1 minute That seems like clear understatement, and just two short months ago, when the guy who said it joined the Campaign Legal Center it was less so. Today it’s much more so, if I’m allowed the tautology. But to fight the good fight, we must understand it’s a war, not a skirmish, or even, as yet, a battle. That’s coming, as […]

About Sam Wang, the PEC, and Nate Silver and 538

Reading Time: 3 minutes Anyone with a serious interest in electoral politics ignores the Princeton Election Consortium and one of its founders, Sam Wang (disclosure: he is the son-in-law of close friends of close friends; the only way I would ever have heard of him, without stumbling on him) and speculates about November at his or her peril. It was because of Sam and […]

Bernie the Cuckoo Woodpecker

William Morris embroidery'Acanthus and Vine' embroidery, designed by William Morris, 1879. Victoria and Albert Museum.

Reading Time: 10 minutes Bernie Sanders, if metaphors must be sought, is an amalagam of two colorful, yet successful, species of birds—neither very good as game for humans, but ingenious at perpetuating their kind. The one, the woodpecker, through dogged unstinting persistence in seeking sustenance bug by bug (or, if you like, vote by vote). And the other, the cuckoo, by the audacious strategy […]

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