Two Areas Where Media is Dropping the Ball

We Need Better Than This

About That Whole “Fourth Branch of Government” Thing

From its earliest days, America – well, some Americans, anyway – have recognized the importance of a free and responsible press to democracy. We all know the famous lines from Jefferson, wherein he stated that if he had to choose between a society with no press or one with no government, he would choose the latter. The press, media today, is that important to an informed citizenry.

Today, let’s talk a bit about the mainstream press, not social media.

Sometimes the Big Important Things Show Up in Small Ways

Two Events in Congress Answer the Question- How Bad Could It Get?

A Congressman from Arizona Shows There is No Bottom

A few days ago Rep Paul Gosar ran a little video on Twitter, depicting a cartoon in which he murdered another member of Congress, someone who has already had frequent death threats. This at a time of high levels of political violence here and around the world. Here it ranges from assaults on the Capitol to menacing crowds outside a school board member’s home.

Gosar thought his cartoon was funny. No harm or threat or insult intended.

Items of Note Over the Last Few Days

Five Things That Caught My Eye Last Week – Some Good, Some Not

Timing

Whoever first said that “timing is everything” sure had a point. As we noted earlier, if the Infrastructure Bill had passed a month or two earlier, it’s possible that the incoming governor of VA would be a Democrat. Similarly, if the pandemic continues to stubbornly continue in several hot zones and if inflation stays at its current pace, the administration could run out of time to convince people the country is on a good course. Which reminds me:

Messaging

The Biden administration has done a lot of things well but getting their message out has not been one of them.

It’s 11 PM – Do You Know Where Your Representative Is?

A Few Notes About Passage of the Infrastructure Bill

A Long Night – Following Long Months

The title for this posting is a bit of a chuckle that will ring a bell to readers of a certain age. Years ago, that line was often played on TV as a public service message, asking parents if they knew where their children were at that moment.  Since sometimes it feels as though our congressional representatives are childlike, the phrase came to mind.

But last week, they finally did a good thing and pulled off what sometimes felt like an impossible task. 

The Main Lessons from Last Tuesday’s Election

There is a Lot of Noise Out There. Let’s Boil It Down

 

How Bad Was It for the Democrats?

 

Well, it sure wasn’t swell. But a bit of perspective takes some of the edge off.

Let’s start with the Virginia governor’s race. Virginia has an odd law that governors cannot succeed themselves. In the long history of that state, only two people have ever come back and won a second term after leaving office. In addition, the party that won the presidency loses the governorship in Virginia about 99% of the time.

A Different Approach for Aid Money

Just Give the Damn Stuff Away – Turns Out, That Works

 

Ethical and Practical Reasons Governments Help People

Just to set the stage for this discussion, let’s remind ourselves why governments assist those who are less fortunate at some point in their lives. There are, of course, many reasons, but two tend to be the most prevalent:

It’s the Right and Moral Thing to Do: Most cultures and religions have a core belief that we should help others who are in various states of need. This is especially true for children,

The Passing of Colin Powell Merits Reflection by All of Us

He would be the first to say Life is Complicated- And Its All Connected

An Extraordinary American Has Left Us

Colin Powell’s passing has led to a steady flow of 1:1 stories and reflections on his life that remind us all of some important things. You could have zero background or interest in military or diplomatic affairs, and yet learn much from Powell’s life. I certainly have done so.

The Many Roles of Colin Powell

 Powell saw himself first and foremost as an American. To him, that title carried with it special advantages and specific obligations.

A Few Things in our “System” That Make Zero Sense

Hmmm – Half of These are Rooted in the US Senate

 

It’s a Good Time to Take Stock of Some of Our Old Standbys

The news over the last year or so has given us some vivid reminders of some elements of our national governance system really seem out of whack. Some have always been so; others have risen to the top of this list  recently.

Although we look at such things through partisan lenses, at least to some degree, a case can be made that no matter your political persuasion,

Revisiting An Old American Curse/Blessing

Getting Individual vs Community Balance Has Always Been Tough – Now We Seem Lost

 

Schools of American Thought

America has an interesting, to put it mildly, mix of philosophies about how we relate to each other, the country, and to ourselves as individuals. As we cruise deeply into the 21st Century the two main approaches to such relationships seem in sharp contrast, contributing to much of the current social and political tension.

Terms like Rugged Individualism, Natural Law, and Community Responsibility are wielded like shields – or as swords. Let’s take a relook at our approach to each other as a nation.

Go Big or Go Home

Many Key Decisions are Coming due NOW at the Same Time.
The Results Will Shape America Beyond Our Imagination

 

What a Calendar We Have Over the Next Few Weeks

We all know of periods in history wherein big decisions came due, and consequences followed. But I personally cannot remember a time when so many were coming up in so short a time. This is not the complete list, but the big items at least. They come in three categories:

Legally and Legislatively Mandated for the Next Few Weeks

  • Funding Government Operations
  • Extending the National Debt Ceiling
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
  • The Advanced Infrastructure Bill

Immeasurably important to the Kind of Country We Would Be

  • Voting Access and Rights Legislation
  • National Police Reform (likely already dead,