When NPR shut down its user comment line in 2016 it missed a major opportunity

Summary NPR’s comment line was obviously troubled when it was shut down in 2016. But there had been no  guidelines for contributions to it. Nor were significant corrections made when abuses began clogging the system. As the premier U.S. public radio news network I suggest that NPR should have taken on a generic problem facing […]

A premature goodbye to Gwen Ifill, stellar journalist

I was shocked beyond words to lose Gwen Ifill so early, so prematurely at 61. Quite aside from being a pioneering African American Gwen was a towering presence among journalists. It was impossible to determine what her political views were, because she was equally perceptive, candid, gracious but no nonesense with people of various political […]

Open letter to moderators for the 2016 presidential debates

  Here are three suggested questions that bear on U.S. political polarization. They are rarely posed but U.S. voters deserve responses to them from the candidates. To both candidates: The United States now has the most extreme partisan polarization and gridlock since the Civil War. When either party takes power it seems willing to in […]

Trump’s audacious campaign and Achilles heels

In spite of Donald Trump’s lead in the Republican primary campaign, until December 2015 there was wide scepticism that he would survive. His bombastic speechmaking, carelessness with facts, and outrageous claims earned him comments like “feckless blowhard” (editor of the Des Moines Register), “crass, bigoted bully with a narcissistic personality disorder” (Frank Rich New York […]

Candidate Candor that Might Electrify the Electorate

U.S. media reporting on the Iowa Caucus tell us that the 2016 primary candidates, Republican and Democratic,  face voter dissatisfaction with American politics. “Outsiders” like Trump, Carson, and Fiorina, who have no previous political experience, are tapping widespread anger among Republicans and especially conservatives. The performance of governors like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich […]

TRUMP CARDS

Why Donald Trump leads Republican candidates in spite of breaking all the rules   Trump confounds the political experts The conventional wisdom of political columnists up to recently has been that despite strength in the polls, real estate magnate Donald Trump had little likelihood of becoming the Republican nominee, let alone president; e.g. Sarah Fagen […]

Ernest Manheim’s Encounter With Jomo Kenyatta at the London School of Economics

On March 8, 2013 results of the presidential election in Kenya gave Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the famed first President of independent Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, a narrow win (1). Kenyatta was a Kikuyu like his father.  The runnerup in this history-evoking and bitterly contested election was Raila Amollo Odinga, a member of the Luo tribe, He was the […]

Seymour Martin Lipset and American Exceptionalism

If everything else about him is forgotten, the noted American sociologist, Seymour Lipset (1922-2006) will surely be remembered for coining the term, “American Exceptionalism” through his 1996  book,  American Exceptionalism: A Two-Edged Sword. Before I took up social science as a “second language” at George Mason University, Lipset’s last academic residence, I was a federal […]

The U.S. has entered a 21st Century “Gilded Age”. Can earlier history offer insights on reform?

The “Gilded Age” from 1870 to ~1890 was a time of rampant public and private corruption. Congressional seats could be bought and sold. “Robber Barons” made giant killings through monopolies and manipulation – and brought on devastating panics. The signposts are all around us that ethics in government and society have deteriorated. In recent years record […]

NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REFORM: RECOMMENDATIONS TO GOVERNOR TERRY MCAULIFFE

Mining of a major uranium deposit in Virginia has multiple positive potentials for the state and the nation. But it has little chance for approval under Virginia’s outdated and inadequate natural resource management structures.