An Exit Strategy From Afghanistan

As it winds down its 12-year-old military commitment in Afghanistan, the United States is still looking for a face-saving way out of a conflict that seems headed, at best, for a stalemate. The new bilateral security agreement between the two nations is part of that exit strategy. So is a hoped-for political settlement with the…

How to avoid another shutdown

It is difficult to explain the recent government shutdown to citizens of other nations. In most of the world’s democracies, this kind of disruption can’t happen. Rules are in place to keep the government running even if a new budget isn’t passed on time. The U.S. needs to reform its budgetary processes to prevent the…

Pope Trumps President

WASHINGTON — I’d heard about a medical malady you can get from watching too much cable news. You start feeling jittery and apprehensive about the future. But I’d never experienced it until a recent night, when I had to turn off the rant-around-the-clock shows reporting on political vandals vitiating the good name of a country…

The Real Deficit’s in Leadership

“Man, this government shutdown is making America look foolish.” “I agree with you. I am certainly no fan of the shutdown. But the division in Washington is a reflection of the division in our representative republic.” “I think it’s a reflection of a total lack of leadership among our politicians in Washington.” Luojie / China…

Fukushima Sushi

Which is harder to believe? The ludicrous shenanigans going down in Washington or the fact that nobody seems particularly interested in doing anything about them? Good neighbors — it looks like we got ourselves one heck of a bumper crop of official dysfunction this year. Near as high as Manute Bol’s eye. You’d think with…

Obama, the Shutdown and ‘Rules for Radicals’

“Republicans are terrorists!” “Arsonists!” When President Obama chastised Americans to show restraint in political discourse, he obviously wasn’t talking to his own party … or himself. And why should he? While conservatives are reading Russell Kirk, Edmund Burke and William F. Buckley, liberals read Saul Alinsky. Saul Alinsky, whom Buckley noted may be the greatest…

This is no way to run a country

This is the first year in more than four decades that I haven’t been in the legislative branch of government. During that span, I’ve witnessed government’s greatest potential as well as its calamitous capacity for dysfunction. Unfortunately, the latter is now drastically outweighing the former. When I got my start, in the Maine House of…

Obama is ducking a leader’s duty

A vast scholarly literature spanning more than six decades exists on the subject of leadership. The characteristics of effective leaders have been pored over, cataloged and debated. Among them, one trait stands out as axiomatic: Effective leaders take responsibility for problems around them; they do not shift blame to others. As Winston Churchill put it,…

Realogy CEO: ‘Tea Leaves’ Say Real Estate on Path to Sustainable Recovery

Taking a research-packed deep dive into the real estate recovery, Realogy Franchise Group President & CEO Alex Perriello kicked off RISMedia’s 2013 Real Estate CEO Exchange with a State of the Industry Address: “The Road to Recovery: How Far We’ve Come, What Has Changed, and What Lies Ahead.” As Perriello explained to the audience of…

Government by Tantrum

  “Waaaaa! You’re not playing fair!” “Waaaaa! You’re going to bankrupt America!” “Waaaaa! You guys started it!” The crybabies in Washington are at it again. Arguing, name-calling and throwing heated rhetoric around like “extortion” and “blow the whole thing up,” our so-called leaders are acting like out-of-control little kids in a sandbox. They haven’t begun…

Incomprehensible Sums

I remember when a billion used to be a number so big nobody could comprehend it, though it is still a massive number. According to Snopes.com 1 billion seconds equals 31.7 years. A billion seconds have elapsed since 1981. One billion minutes is equal to 1,901 years — which would take us back, almost, to…

Reasonable People Compromise

Reasonable people compromise. Unreasonable people do not. Instead, they trample over those around them to selfishly get their way. And the government is shut down this chilly October day in 2013 because unreasonable Democrats behaving like spoiled children would rather refuse treatment to terminally ill children, ravage the economy, disparage veterans and make the rest…