In Chicago I filed onto my Southwest flight, and was just about ready to throw my coat upon an unoccupied middle seat when I saw the man by the window in the T-shirt reading, “If guns kill people, then spoons make people fat,” and backed away. My trip to Washington, D.C., for Donald Trump’s inauguration […]
I was curious, so I did a bit of research on theories about why great civilizations fall. Some scholars point to the danger of overextended militaries, others on overwhelmed bureaucracies. Sometimes the key factor is declines in public health, often caused by agricultural crises. Political corruption is another contender, as are inflated currencies, technological inferiority, […]
Some scenes from the madness as we enter the final days before the 2016 presidential elections: In Des Moines on October 27, a 55-year old woman named Terri Lynn Rote was charged with first-degree election misconduct after deliberately casting a second vote for Donald Trump. She said she was worried that her first would be […]
A friend of mine, the ace political journalist Tom Zoellner, writes of last week’s vice-presidential debate, “So Pence lies like a bad carpet and he’s proclaimed ‘the winner’ because he said it in a smooth way and avoided important questions?” Which, as we bate our breath for Sunday’s “town hall” tilt between Clinton and Trump, […]
In 1976, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter squared off for the first presidential debate since Nixon and Kennedy high-mindedly locked horns. The campaign, to that point, had bogged down in childishness. Carter gave an interview to Playboy in which he affirmed that he had “committed adultery in my heart many times.” Thereupon, he was greeted at every stop on the campaign trail with signs like jimmy carter for playmate of the year and smile if you’re horny. Ford’s agriculture secretary told a dirty joke about black people, and that consumed half a dozen news cycles. Then, on September 23, all those voters pining for something high-minded amid the morass settled down for a serious discussion of the issues.
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