Reaching across the aisle to prepare for the Trump presidency

If you’re a liberal, Donald Trump’s presidency gives you two choices: fight fiercely against everything conservative or Republican, or find common cause with Republicans against Trump’s excesses. The angry fight will make you feel good for a moment. The rapprochement might save our democracy. Democrats are about to enter hell. Republicans controls Congress. The new president … Continued

Did Russia hack the election? Intelligence report is active and persuasive.

When you think of government reports, do you expect clarity or doubletalk and jargon? The report on Russia and its influence in our elections, from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, is brief, direct, and unequivocal. It’s a great study in how to use clear language to persuade. This document is a joint production … Continued

Hey Rep. Bob Goodlatte: can you strengthen ethics by weakening it?

House Republicans voted to rejigger (or as the headlines put it, “gut“) their independent ethics office; then, after heavy criticism from Democrats, Trump, and voters, said, “Nah, forget it.” What were they thinking? To find out, I analyzed a statement from Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte, point man for the change. He’s mastered the Orwellian skill of calling … Continued

Donald Trump on the threat of automobiles

Here’s a statement from Donald Trump about the future: I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that cars have complicated lives very greatly. The whole, you know, age of the automobile has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but … Continued

Tweets are lies — and not just from Donald Trump

At 140 characters, tweets lack context. Without context, there is no truth. So tweets are lies. Donald Trump’s tweets are lies, and so are mine. But they reveal a lot about what’s going on in our respective heads. What do I mean when I say that the truth demands context? Let’s start with one of my … Continued

The boycott war has descended into madness

The divisions in the country have spilled over into commerce, with calls to boycott businesses from Nordstrom’s to Kellogg’s. Feel free to boycott businesses that backed a candidate you despise. But draw the line at extending those boycotts up the supply chain, because that way lies madness. After the most vitriolic election in memory, the country … Continued