Howard Baker, A Lion That Roared

Senator Howard Baker

Lance Simmens: Howard Baker was not averse to partisan politics, it would be naïve to suggest otherwise, but in the formative years that I spent in Washington, DC and the halls of Congress it was accepted that compromise and civility would ultimately triumph and keep the engine of progress moving forward.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

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Lance Simmens: Attempts by O’Keefe and his cohorts to skew the nature of the conversations via selective editing are preempted by the fact that the entire conversation was captured by Fox as a defensive effort to protect his integrity. In this case, the punkers were punk’d.

The Value of Vets and Public Service

Veterans and Public Service

Lance Simmens: Unless we find our soul in the conviction that our institutions of government and governance play a major role in this quest we will find ourselves adrift in a society where increasingly it will be every person fending for themselves.

The Myth of American Exceptionalism

Restoring Public Service

Lance Simmens: The levels of inequality, injustice, unintended results, hypocrisy, and brutality that our children witness on a daily basis contributes to a sense of hopelessness and fatalism that I believe is both justified and heartbreaking.

Bunkerville, Nevada: Relearning Civics

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Lance Simmens: Whether they can be characterized as secessionists, survivalists, anarchists, or just plain outlaws this increasingly virulent anti-American tenor that occurs with more and more frequency should be seen as a warning signal of a system that is severely being tested and questioned as to its relevancy and effectiveness.

Politics and the Water’s Edge

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Lance Simmens: With the blunt force obstructionism of ultra-right conservative politics and a nearly total breakdown in comity and civility comes a disturbing brand of hubris from the right that sounds more like sour grapes than sober analysis.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Conservatives Love Vladimir Putin

Lance Simmens: Ultra-conservative orthodoxy and its deep penetration into our political system have weakened the country more than any perceived Obama “weakness.”

The Pope as Political Philosopher

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Lance Simmens: I am certainly not one driven to pore over papal pronouncements, but the compelling analysis of the contemporary social condition is a stark counterbalance to the relative dearth of what passes for analysis either in the media or political arenas.