Is It the Trump Party?

After a recent talk I was asked questions about the future of the Republican Party. The ultimate question seemed to be: is its future in the hands of Donald Trump? My answer was a qualified no. The Republican Party in the 20th Century was global, fiscally...

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5th Column

Several weeks ago tweets were sent out before President Biden arrived at Dover Air Force Base to honor the thirteen soldiers who were killed at the Afghan airport. The tweets said Biden had failed to show and CNN said they were sent by conservatives. Perhaps, but who...

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Right Here in River City

Recently I watched a very impressive Border Collie quickly herd what appeared to be a hundred or so sheep into a pen. A hundred sheep, one dog—compliant behavior dramatized.  In the Congress the Border Collie is called a Whip. His/her job is to whip colleagues to...

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Humint

Inquiries and their processes are often bone dry. While in the abstract we might agree that detail is important, most of us aren’t that interested. And when it comes down to politics, as expressed through government action, we are most often tribal and regardless of...

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A Tragic Goodbye

As Afghanistan fell, I was fly fishing on the Yellowstone River. Distracted from the swirl of currents and the prospects of feeding trout, I asked the guide about Afghanistan’s fall. He said he had been too busy working to really know what was going on. I suspect the...

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Death or Passing

As we get older we experience death in an entirely different way. I can recall the deaths of my grandparents and certainly my parents. I can recall the wrenching loss of a young friend while in my late teens, but those were different. Statistically, I was far from...

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Dependency

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” was a pithy point in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Much later Rahm Emanuel, then Chief-of- Staff to President Barack Obama, in the context of the “Great Recession” reprised Alinsky and said, “Never allow a good...

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Kayfabe: “Never Break Character”

Back in the day I thought professional wrestlers fought to win but then my Dad burst my bubble. While I don’t recall his exact words, “Son, they follow a script” will suffice. I was taken back to that faint recollection by an article sub-titled, “America’s favorite...

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Fools Rush In

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” – Johnny Mercer I wonder when the faceless will say, “enough”? When those who calculate in millions and billions and even understand trillions will say, “No more–no more, unless I get better terms.”  One of my early...

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Trusting Politicians

So which Politician do you trust? None is the correct answer. If you accept a lack of perfection in those with minor temptations, then understand that those who specialize in attention-getting are loaded with temptations. Indeed they become dependent on their...

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The Real Ambassadors

In 2009 a few of us started the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival including a jazz pianist friend of mine, Bill Edgar. Bill recently sent me a book written by Stephen Crist, “Dave Brubeck’s Time Out.” One particular episode recalled the history of jazz when I was in...

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Islands of Division

News should inform opinion, opinion should not inform news. There was a moment, ancient as it seems, when communication options were few. The telephone was, well, just the telephone, not a small computer that you carried around. Smart TVs—huh?  The reason we have...

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American Myths

“We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.” Representative Ilhan Omar Countries, all of them, have their myths and narratives. They are hard-wired and deeply felt. Like all myths many of them were shaped by...

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Memorial Day Re-Visited

What holds us together? When our nation endures a bad time, what holds us together? I was five years old as WWII ended. Our nation had done heroic work—our nation, most everybody. We, along with the few allies left standing after Fascism’s initial brutality, fought...

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Rabbit Holes

Five years ago a book I wrote was published. The title: Culture Leads Leaders Follow. I looked back, gathered my thoughts, spent a lot of time by myself and then turned the manuscript over to the publisher. In some ways the book’s theme presented a puzzle. If...

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A Good Education Should Not Be Optional

“Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect.” Harry Hopkins, Senior Advisor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Spending other people’s money is infectious. We are in a pandemic of spending. But, 21st Century problems are mostly those that money couldn’t solve in the...

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