The Fiscal Cliff: A Return To Reason?

In the wake of the election, it’s nice to hear the usual DC suspects singing a tune of unity rather than obstruction. Time will tell if the principals in this stage show–President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner–back up their words with action, but they seem to have received the message […]

Weaving Social Themes Into Suspense Novels

Like many thriller/suspense authors, especially those trained as attorneys, I craft intricate, well-researched plots, engage my characters in thought-provoking social drama and spice their lives with alluring romantic entanglements. The most challenging aspect of mastering this genre is incorporating contemporary social issues without preaching or compromising pace. Two early John Grisham novels illustrate the perils. […]

Patrick Henry Revisited: Give Me Liberty AND Give Me Death

I dislike that we have become a starkly divided nation but understand the philosophical underpinnings of many disputed issues. I can’t understand how one mind can believe government intrusion into the personal decisions of citizens is an intolerable restraint on liberty (the conservative credo), yet insist government deny women free choice in their reproductive decisions, […]

Do We Still Have A Dream?

We celebrate anniversaries to mark time, to reflect on progress year over year. On this 48th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Washington celebrates great leaps forward in race relations with the unveiling of the King Memorial, but my reflections leave me wondering if a shell-shocked nation has given up on […]

What Would Republicans Say If Democrats Tried Extortion, Too?

Negotiation occurs when two parties stake out principled positions and work together to achieve reasonable compromise. Sometimes one party has more bargaining power and may negotiate a favorable deal. But extortion occurs when a person uses coercion–threats of harm–to establish bargaining power where none otherwise exists. Raising the federal debt ceiling is a routine administrative […]

Deficits, Taxes & Shared Pain

I’m not an economist, but I played one in college–well enough to know that if you put 100 economists in a room, you’ll get at least a dozen inconsistent theories (and the makings for a really exciting cocktail party!). I believe there is no economic basis for choosing between spending cuts and tax increases. As […]

Tax Hike!!!!

My wife, Ellie, and I watch the Sunday morning news shows religiously each week. We usually remain fairly civil, even in the privacy of our own living room, but nobody brings out the wrath of the Kahns like Mitch McConnell, who was interviewed on This Week today. No matter how many times or how aggressively […]

Wealth Redistribution, The Law of the Jungle & Seeds of Revolution

We look on with hope and concern as revolution breaks out across the Middle East, but as the world’s great bastion of democracy we seem to consider ourselves immune from civil unrest. I think that’s a mistake. The conservative agenda is planting the seeds of revolution in America, and in a democracy revolution does not […]