In recent weeks, I've written about how the "Bootleggers and Baptists" dynamic corrupts regulatory politics. Bruce Yandle developed this concept decades ago. He observed that Prohibition became reality because Baptists wanted people to stop drinking while the ban on legal alcohol put money in the Bootlegger's pockets. The do-gooders succeeded only because the money-grubbers joined their effort.
I recently highlighted an important book that describes how politics really works. "Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics," by Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle, showed that prohibition became reality because it appeared to satisfy both Baptists and Bootleggers.
The death of Leonard Nimoy saddened millions of Trekkies around the world (including me). But it wasn't just Trekkies who mourned. In the past month, it has become clear that Mr. Spock - the character Nimoy brought to life - had become a cultural icon extending far beyond the Trek universe.
It's apparent to anyone willing to look that a wide gap has grown between a Washington/Wall Street political class and the nation they want to rule. Less clear to many is the reason why.
Two-thirds of all federal spending is consumed by just three program areas: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and National Defense. Because these programs consume most of the budget and are responsible for most of the annual spending increases, there is simply no way to regain control of federal spending without addressing these programs.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has emerged as a serious contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. In response, the Washington Post researched and published a lengthy article on the "mystery" of why Walker dropped out of college.
Recently, while responding to a question about how to get young people involved in politics, President Obama expressed fears that they see politics as a "sideshow in Washington" and should be taught that "government is not something separate from you - it is you."
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Shortly after the end of World War II, a pair of allergists gave some medication to a patient suffering from hives. Surprisingly, the patient reported her lifelong battle with carsickness had disappeared. After follow-up testing, Dramamine quickly became standard issue for fighting motion sickness.
Not long ago, the conventional wisdom in official Washington held that the so-called sequester spending cuts would be a disaster for the Republican Party. People were expected to rise up in vehement protest once the "cuts" went into effect.
The debate in Washington this week was allegedly about the president's health care law, but it quickly became all about Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas Republican objected to the law by speaking on the Senate floor for 21 straight hours. The effort made him a hero to some, a fool to others, and it ultimately had no legislative impact.
It's become common over the past year or two to note how well Wall Street is doing while Main Street is still struggling.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an enabler as "one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior." Enablers do so "by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior."
Each of Newton's two games this season have been decided by late scores.
Official Washington is always a decade or two behind the American people. That was true in 1963 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream for a better America. It's also true today.
You might expect a story about wine, The Washington Post, Twitter and polling to be about the lifestyle of the nation's political elite. But this one is about the digital threat to America's political class.
Americans are rightly upset with political leaders who are more interested in partisan politics and scoring ideological points than in serving their country.
One of the sure signs that political activists have too much time on their hands is all the chatter about who will win the 2016 presidential nominations.
It's no secret that both political parties are struggling to connect with voters. Strategists dream up marketing plans to increase their party's appeal to this constituency or that group. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't. But they never establish a deep and lasting connection with voters.
As Americans, we tend to believe we have the right to do whatever we want, so long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others.
Our nation's 237th birthday is being celebrated in many ways that have become familiar over the years.
To help motorists better enjoy July 4 and the holiday weekend, the Georgia Department of Transportation said it is restricting construction-related lane closures from noon on Wednesday, July 3, through 5 a.m. on Monday, July 8.
While recognizing that it's important to fight terrorism with all of the tools at our disposal, the American people are having a hard time finding good guys in the story about the National Security Agency's surveillance program.