Monthly Archives: October 2016

Idiom For A Distracted Public


Most of us use idioms in our daily conversations.

‘I would give an arm and a leg for that.’
‘Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.’
Here is one I hear from readers: ‘Don’t give up your day job.’

There’s one idiom that is especially pertinent today: ‘You can’t see the forest for the trees.’

Its origin is not clear, but it means you are so busy paying attention to detail, you are missing the larger picture. You see the pine needles, but not the tree; you see the tree but not the forest.

In presentations on political survey research, professional Dave Winston displays a slide of a white wooden-frame house in need of a paint job, with broken windows and a leaky roof. The House is also on fire. Winston makes the point that we spend too much time fixing the roof and replacing the windows, but ignore the fact that the house is burning. Continue reading

View from Inside the Beltway

OCT 13 | Reprinted from

These last 26 days of the 2016 Presidential campaign might be the ugliest, most embarrassing, and least informative in our lifetime.

The entire campaign has been flushed down to: Did Donald Trump manhandle (pun intended) more women in more disgusting ways than Bill Clinton?

Here’s my prediction: It won’t matter. Other than making us change the channel on the TV in the kitchen from a cable news program to something on the History Channel about World War II, I don’t believe any significant number of people will change their vote from Clinton to Trump, or the other way around. Continue reading

How About a ‘Stand for the Flag’ Constitutional Amendment?

OCT 5 | Reprinted from

Unless you have been around for awhile, a pretty good long while, you would think the Colin-Kaepernick-kneeling-during-the-National-Anthem controversy was the first of its kind in American history.

It is not.

We remember quite well the controversy nationwide over the so-called ‘Flag Burning Amendment’ since it was introduced and debated during the time we were serving in the US Congress in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled in a split 5-4 decision that burning the US flag in a protest was protected by the First Amendment.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said this at the time: Continue reading