A Little Alphabet Soup

Two M’s + one N Spell Some Interesting Conclusions

Today We Wander a Bit

Three unconnected thoughts seemed to fill my head over the last few days and so I thought I might share them with you. Let’s talk about Two M’s (Mechanics and Morality) and a single N (Nunes). Here we go.

 M for Mechanics

 Like much of America, I have been interested in the discussion about Senate mechanics, especially but not exclusively the filibuster. It seems pretty clear that throughout our history,

How About Some Really Good Reading?

I Have Been Reading Some Great Stuff. Allow Me to Share.


The State of Writing in America

I am pleased to report that, at least from my perspective, there is some really fine writing going on in this country. I have a short list of recent work that I have been thoroughly enjoying.

Note I said enjoying, present tense. I find that I tend to slow up when I find exemplary writing. I like to kind of roll around in the luxury of stories well told or facts well analyzed.

One Big Victory Accomplished. The Next One is Even More Important

The Covid Relief Bill is a Great Accomplishment. Voter Protection is at Least as Important

Well Done, on Several Counts

 The COVID relief legislation was a master class in legislation and political management. Many of us were concerned that Biden, so desirous of bipartisan results, would delay and weaken the package dramatically. Worse, there was fear that he would have nothing to show for that gift. We have been to this dance before.

We need not have worried. He never gave up on bipartisanship, but he did not become a hostage to it. When it was obvious that Republican so-called leaders had no interest in supporting anything and had no substantive inputs to offer,

Bipartisanship is Dead! Long Live Bipartisanship!

Redefining Bipartisanship Could Revolutionize America’s Politics

Biden’s Hope and Toolkit

If anyone believes in and can make bipartisanship work, its Joe Biden. This approach is deeply embedded in his DNA. And just for the record, he is right – as a general guideline, better to get a 90% solution with bipartisan support than a 100% solution supported only by one party.

True to his word, he has been working this from the outset. SN Collins of Maine noted last week that she has spoken with the president four times in his first month in office.

Thinking About Defense in the Biden Administration

Every New Administration Relooks the Defense Posture. This is Not Easy


What a New Administration Needs to Do, Up Front

Any new administration, but especially this one, post Trump, need to relook everything. It is all important and it is all seems time sensitive. But arguably, none is more complex, expensive, or high risk than the defense posture.

A long history and recent events both reinforce that dilemma. Much of what any administration has to work with is legacy, with long lead times and extensive logistics tails. New threats are constantly arising,

Admit It! We All Like It When a Big Guy Takes a Shot from the Little Guy

Things are Seldom Black and White, But These Felt Kind of Good

David and Goliath

There is something in us all that likes it when an improbable match comes out with the Little Guy winning. As noted in the title, always some complications and areas of gray in evidence, but here are a few examples of recent weeks that please us to hear. A couple of them are true David vs Goliath, a couple are not quite so, but at least have that mic drop flavor to them.

GameStop Anyone?

If you have even the slightest interest in market dynamics,

Helping Hands or Talking Heads? Trolling or Governance?

Two Unrelated Events Share an Interesting Connection


Event 1: The Insurrection in DC

One of the still evolving consequences of the January 6 insurrection was the dismissal of QAnon follower Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from any Congressional committee assignments. When asked what she would now do with her time, she said this freed her up to do what she wanted to do – make more speeches, fundraising, etc.

Right after she spoke, newly elected embarrassment to his district NC Rep Madison Cawthorn indicated he understood Greene’s point. He said he had built his own staff around “communication”.

Impeachment Takeaways

Some Lessons are Obvious; Some, Not So Much


Before launching into today’s discussion, I want to offer you a referral.

A good friend of mine, Bill Jamieson, also produces a blog, Hope and Stone. It is consistently a good read, full of solid analysis and a thoughtful mindset that I really appreciate. Bill brings decades of experience at the state government level to these postings. He worked productively for many years with Republican legislators.

In a posting last week, Bill reflected on that, and lamented that the Republican party he knew is gone.

Impeachment, Part II

This Time, It’s Personal

Once More, with Feeling

Well, here we are again. Didn’t we just do this, last year? Lots of speculation is abounding about the Senate trial that starts today. This may all seem depressingly familiar, but there are some important differences to point out. One or more of them could affect outcomes.

What is Different This Time?

  1. This is Trump’s second impeachment, an historical first. In fact, there have only been four presidential impeachments in all of American history. Trump owns half of them. So much winning!
  2. The House Impeachment Managers apparently are putting together a powerful audio-visual presentation.

A Friday Round Up – What’s Going On?

Short Notes About Different, Interesting Things Recently Catching Our Attention

A Friday Tradition

We lived for several years in the Washington, DC area. This meant that WAMU was our PBS radio station. WAMU had a flagship program called The Friday Round Up, hosted by the legendary Diane Rehm. It featured a recap of things from the last week or so that merited highlighting. It was a favorite program of ours for many years.

With a tip of the hat to Diane and her successors, today introduces the Agents of Reason version of The Friday Round Up.