The next 18 months are going to be a fascinating time for Republicans. As we can already see, the field of candidates offering themselves for the role of Commander in Chief is going to be diverse, energetic, and exciting. The 2016 Republican presidential primary and subsequent general election will significantly display the power of politics and the individual.
The American experiment that unfolded in the 18th century after the Declaration of Independence was signed caught the imagination of thinkers and scholars across the globe. The document’s premise of what government should do in service to its people was truly revolutionary.
As I’ve been watching the Hillary Clinton email scandal unfold over the past few days, a lawyer by the same name comes to mind – her husband.
We talk a lot about the birth of the United States of America, this great nation, and its principles that underpinned the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, which grant us incredible liberty, freedom, and opportunity. But since it has been at least a decade since most of us were in a 7th grade American history class, let’s have a quick review of how and why this nation was born.
Over the last few days, the uproar about news anchor Brian Williams’ claims of taking fire in Iraq in 2003 has reached extraordinary heights. I was amazed at the PhotoShopping frenzy that took place when his deception came to light. Images of Williams eating pizza with Jesus at the Last Supper; sitting in Ford’s Theater at the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; and crossing the Delaware with General George Washington filled my Facebook feed and probably yours as well. They were all fake, all funny and all pretty much outrageous.
Blame it on Woodward and Bernstein—or Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Nobody really thought of journalists as celebrities until the Washington Post reporters who pursued the Watergate scandal to Richard Nixon’s disgrace were transformed into American icons by two of Hollywood’s most charismatic actors in the 1976 movie “All the President’s Men.”
From Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman ’s play “You Can’t Take It With You” (1936), a scene when Wilbur C. Henderson of the Internal Revenue Department visits Martin Vanderhof (“Grandpa”), to discuss his failure to pay income tax since the law took effect in 1914: Grandpa: Suppose I pay you this money—mind you, I don’t say I’m going to pay it—but just for the sake of argument—what’s the Government going to do with it?
One of the slow-rolling and under-reported government debacles is the rising amount of student-loan debt that is guaranteed by taxpayers and will never be repaid. Thanks to the federal takeover of the student-loan market in 2010, the Education Department now stands behind more than $1 trillion in outstanding debt. Less well known is how the same federal government that has promoted and subsidized this debt is also scheming to make sure it doesn’t have to be repaid.
After eight years as Texas Comptroller, Susan Combs leaves office this month with a record her successors might find hard to match.
Imagine an economic historian in the year 2050 talking to her students about the most consequential innovations of the early 21st century—the Model Ts and Wright flyers and Penicillins of our time. What would make her list?