Mastering the art of storytelling to drive change.


For Michael, writing is a bit like breathing. So he writes. A lot…

President Biden’s speechwriters need a new strategy

01 / 11 / 2022

Read More

Curing America

01 / 04 / 2022

Read More

Progressive Caucus Must Go Ted Lasso: Forget Yesterday’s Loss – Ensure Tomorrow’s Victory

12 / 21 / 2021

Read More

My QAnon Date

12 / 15 / 2021

Read More

Battling Depression: How the Superpower of Compassion Can Light the Way Back to Mental Health

11 / 15 / 2021

Read More

Real life superhero: How Jarrett Adams turned his wrongful conviction into an epic legal career

09 / 14 / 2021

Read More

A quintessential example of politics as public service: The life of Adlai Stevenson III

09 / 08 / 2021

Read More

The Immortality of Bravery: Holocaust survivor Fritzie Fritzshall’s life will echo into eternity

07 / 01 / 2021

Read More

Hypocrisy on democracy: The machinations of Joe Manchin

06 / 08 / 2021

Read More

The politics of Jim Crow: How one senator’s insult offers a lesson in American history

05 / 12 / 2021

Read More

More than justice: How 15 shots led to one big change in policing

04 / 20 / 2021

Read More

The (real) Masters Class: How two of golf’s greats handled one unforgettable mistake

04 / 08 / 2021

Read More

March Katz-ness: The Sleeper Cinderella Story of the NCAA Tournament

03 / 25 / 2021

Read More

VacciNation Day: Reasons for hope in America

03 / 12 / 2021

Read More

Will Democrats finally nuke the filibuster to save democracy — and themselves?

THE FULCRUM, 02 / 14 / 2021

Read More

Rep. Raskin goes “8 Mile” at Impeachment Trial to head off potential First Amendment claims

02 / 11 / 2021

Read More

“Democracy is a Verb” – How the life of Abner Mikva changed (and is still changing) history

02 / 08 / 2021

Read More

Officer Sicknick’s death a symbol of how America’s system survived

02 / 03 / 2021

Read More

OUR First Lady: Dr. Jill Biden’s case for community college just might transform America

01 / 21 / 2021

Read More

Inauguration Day 2021: The words I’d write for President Biden

01 / 19 / 2021

Read More

Democracy v. Insurgency (Abrams v. Trump)

01 / 18 / 2021

Read More

An argument for “de-friending”

01 / 13 / 2021

Read More

Our hearts were there

01 / 12 / 2021

Read More

Mr. Vice President: Was the price of Trump really worth it?

01 / 10 / 2021

Read More

Impeachment II: Pelosi’s weekend move to checkmate Trump

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 01 / 08 / 2021

Read More

One good man

12 / 30 / 2020

Read More

The $10 golf match with the Governor that delivered priceless advice

12 / 17 / 2020

Read More

The true frauds of 2020 came straight from the White House

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12 / 08 / 2020

Read More

Should the news media cover a defeated president who won’t leave the stage?

12 / 05 / 2020

Read More

ThanksGambling: Memories of a father-son tradition

11 / 25 / 2020

Read More

Tiger’s 10: The glory of failure

11 / 15 / 2020

Read More

Democrats need Black voters in Georgia to seize real power — and Stacey Abrams could deliver

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11 / 08 / 2020

Read More

How Donald Trump’s presidency drove me back into partisan politics

11 / 02 / 2020

Read More

A tale of two seniors: Split opinions over Election 2020 hide in plain sight

10 / 30 / 2020

Read More

Amy Coney Barrett confirmation the final jewel in GOP victory crown

10 / 26 / 2020

Read More

Record early vote favors Dems – but will it be enough?

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 10 / 19 / 2020

Read More

‘Swing vote Steve’ could be the key in AZ

10 / 06 / 2020

Read More

The presidential debate that won’t matter, unless…

09 / 29 / 2020

Read More

The spirit of Ruth: the time has come for Democrats to play harder ball

09 / 20 / 2020

Read More

Kenosha On Fire

09 / 09 / 2020

Read More

Democrats should obsess less over the polls and pour more into the operational war

08 / 27 / 2020

Read More

Why do politics?

08 / 25 / 2020

Read More

A national voice to fight Trump’s rogue election tactics: Coming soon?

THE FULCRUM, 08 / 17 / 2020

Read More

President Obama: Eliminate the filibuster to unlock Congress

07 / 30 / 2020

Read More

Biden must use Trump’s tactics to make clear he’s the obvious choice to lead America’s economic recovery — again

07 / 23 / 2020

Read More

COVID-19 is the political gift that President Trump refuses to unwrap

07 / 20 / 2020

Read More

Redskins owner should rename team the “Washington Greenbacks”

THE FULCRUM, 07 / 13 / 2020

Read More

Trump America? The 2020 election will tell us who we are

New York Daily News , 06 / 29 / 2020

Read More

Might or flight – who’s right in the COVID-19 fight?

06 / 20 / 2020

Read More

Continuing lessons in my own white privilege

06 / 10 / 2020

Read More

The generational trauma of growing up Black in America

05 / 30 / 2020

Read More

Bo knows comebacks: The historic performance Jackson delivered in the first game I ever covered

05 / 28 / 2020

Read More

Teaching us: The wisdom of youth in the age of coronavirus

05 / 16 / 2020

Read More

The secret to increasing community college success: An interview with One Million Degrees CEO Paige Ponder

05 / 13 / 2020

Read More

Coronavirus reminds us to think for ourselves

05 / 09 / 2020

Read More

I’m a Jew. We’ve never met. Do you hate me?

05 / 03 / 2020

Read More

MJ vs. MG in the pool game of the century

04 / 19 / 2020

Read More

A feeling of gratitude on the fifth anniversary of Unlock Congress

04 / 14 / 2020

Read More

Fathers and sons at The Masters

04 / 11 / 2020

Read More

The surprising story about the birth of conservative talk-radio — and how it has shaped the modern GOP

04 / 08 / 2020

Read More

Killing Coronavirus; Resurrecting Congress

03 / 29 / 2020

Read More

The COVID-19 lesson that’s yet to be fully applied in America: Overreact now rather than later

03 / 19 / 2020

Read More

Stay home

03 / 17 / 2020

Read More

Biden and Sanders stage negotiations

03 / 15 / 2020

Read More

The American Opportunity Offered By Coronavirus

03 / 13 / 2020

Read More

The Definitive Guide to Understanding the 2020 Presidential Election

03 / 11 / 2020

Read More

“Why haven’t these Democrats dropped out??” The Ides of March may hold the key

02 / 29 / 2020

Read More

Presidential race may portend final elimination of the Senate filibuster

THE FULCRUM, 02 / 28 / 2020

Read More

The Sanders scare: Will the remaining Democratic candidates take a cue from the 2016 GOP primary?

02 / 22 / 2020

Read More

If you want to build a political movement — you’d better make it about “WE”

02 / 21 / 2020

Read More

Some words for the whiners: This is how a presidential primary debate works

02 / 20 / 2020

Read More

My conversation with Aristotle

02 / 16 / 2020

Read More

Candidate charisma a key to winning the White House

02 / 15 / 2020

Read More

Trump-opposers who stayed home in 2016 now hold the cards to defeat him

02 / 01 / 2020

Read More

Will Lamar Alexander be the “one man” to decide impeachment witnesses?

01 / 30 / 2020

Read More

There is a movable middle on impeachment: Will any GOP senators wake up and respond to it?

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS , 01 / 21 / 2020

Read More


01 / 20 / 2020

Read More

Tigers vs. Tigers: BCS Championship Preview

01 / 14 / 2020

Read More

Interview with Eddie Bocanegra, Gun Safety Leader and Senior Director at READI Chicago

01 / 08 / 2020

Read More

The under-recognized source of the furious hyper-partisanship playing out in the House Impeachment debate

12 / 18 / 2019

Read More

Should our country crash? Is that what half of America is saying? Lessons from “Airplane!”

12 / 17 / 2019

Read More

Trump and Ambassador Sondland: Are all of the president’s men arrogant – or just “not that bright”?

11 / 20 / 2019

Read More

Will Democrats find their “Good Fellas” witness to sing on Trump in impeachment hearings?

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 11 / 14 / 2019

The reason it is so difficult to convict high-level criminals — including crooked politicians — is that they are usually well insulated. This is something that is conferred by power. The more powerful, the more insulated.

Read More

A city still segregated

MEDIUM, 11 / 02 / 2019

Chicago faces a set of seemingly intractable problems. Some new, but some as old as the city itself. Issues of race, segregation, violent crime and poverty. Issues driven by seminal events — extended over the decades by neglect and also by the sweeping of hard truths under the rug.

Read More

Wicked Don won’t lose his broomstick until Senate Dorothys see the right poll numbers for conviction and removal

11 / 01 / 2019

The number of Americans who favor conviction and removal has been consistently climbing. Now that the narrative is going to play out officially in televised open hearings, 53 Dorothys may soon find themselves with brand new powers. 

Read More

If the American Dream is still alive, it is demonstrated (and protected) by the life lived by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

10 / 31 / 2019

Vindman's life story actually personifies the attainment of the dream, and it's nothing to do with accumulating wealth or fame. His journey is one of service and integrity — yet you might not know it if you'd only heard the public attacks on his character in the 24 hours following his sworn testimony. More on the haters in a minute.

Read More

The Uber-Chicagoan

MEDIUM, 10 / 29 / 2019

The Cubs-themed floor mats — lined by blue track lights — are the first thing you notice inside Santiago’s Honda Odyssey. Next thing you see is the Chicago Bears flag proudly unfurled from the back of his seat.

Read More

Impeachment inquiry vote gets scheduled – House Majority finally catches up to the majority of voters

10 / 28 / 2019

Get tough, Democrats. But do it with your brains and your words. Yelling "lock him up" in a stadium doesn't do a thing -- except display that you're no better than were some very angry, ugly people in 2016. What matters is the letter of the law and actions to uphold it. What matters is the wording in the Constitution and actions to defend it.

Read More

Killing ISIS leader a victory for Trump, but won’t thwart political reckoning

10 / 27 / 2019

Ultimately, through the mechanism of our elected representatives and their appointees, the American people’s collective preference as to consequences for the president’s actions will rule the day. There are no get-out-of-jail-free cards. Or even hop-out-of-hot-water. The reckoning is coming.

Read More

How Nixon’s legacy is protecting Trump

WASHINGTON POST, 07 / 31 / 2019

Deep down in a cache of documents at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library Education and Museum sits a 15-page memorandum entitled "A Plan For Putting The Media GOP On TV News."

Read More

Two founders, two fourths

07 / 04 / 2019

On July 4, 1826, 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, two of America’s revered founding fathers – men who had been dear friends, successive U.S. presidents and worthy adversaries for more than five decades – both passed away within five hours of each other.

Read More

Kawhi Leonard and Ryan O’Reilly: mirror journeys to two national titles

MEDIUM, 06 / 15 / 2019

Professional hockey and basketball are totally different animals. Yet Kawhi Leonard and Ryan O’Reilly shared more over the last year than they may ever realize. Two cities are awfully grateful.

Read More

The 2020 presidential election will tell us who we are

MEDIUM, 06 / 10 / 2019

We always hear that the next election is the “most important of our lifetime!” This time it’s true. Not because Hustler Don’s policies can’t be repealed and reversed if he wins and serves out a second term — but because of what his reelection would say about US.

Read More

Left, middle or right, The Fulcrum gives Americans a fresh chance to unite

THE FULCRUM, 06 / 06 / 2019

...what would be the best way for us — and all Americans — to become better connected and more informed? Not just about the causes of our government's breakdown, but more importantly, the real work being done on the ground that is already generating real wins.

Read More

One Million Degrees of difference

MEDIUM, 05 / 20 / 2019

A great many CC students face challenges that make going to school more akin to an obstacle course... Yet these very same students are no less capable of achieving extraordinary things for themselves and for their country. In fact, the paths that they travel in some ways make them the strongest among us. Grit grows into fortitude.

Read More

The lesson of RFK: To inspire an audience, show them your inspiration

GRISKO INSIGHTS, 05 / 06 / 2019

You are a better public speaker right now than the late Robert F. Kennedy was when he ran for the US Senate.

Read More

The Second American Revolution: 5-Minute Boot Camp For Unrigging Our Government


On a piece of parchment that birthed this country, our founders emphasized that lawmakers would derive “their just Powers from the consent of the governed.” That’s us. But those words have become a bad joke. We do not truly grant our “consent” anymore — and the reason is because our system is rigged.

Read More

Shameful College Admission Scandal A Reminder Of What Actually Matters Along Life’s Early Journey

MEDIUM, 03 / 12 / 2019

...It is NOT ESSENTIAL to attend an “elite” university to live an excellent life. In fact, the Gallup-Purdue Index of more than 70,000 graduates — from people out of school for 10 years to 50 years — reports that there is NO PREDICTIVE CORRELATION between the two.

Read More

Transgender independence: A daughter’s journey and her father’s love

HUFFINGTON POST, 12 / 19 / 2018

"Deep inside I’ve always been the same person. But my body - it was just different. And I wanted to make corrections. I wanted to change myself so I felt more comfortable. And I felt more comfortable in a woman’s body. And that’s who I truly was. I wanted to bring out my inside and reveal it on the outside.”

Read More

From drug addiction to deacon: A story of love and salvation from the man who lived it

MEDIUM, 09 / 30 / 2018

“I was saved, gave my life to God. Twenty-five years ago I asked God to deliver me from drugs and alcohol. Send me to a place where I can get help, from drugs and alcohol. And he sent me to a place, a rehabilitation house."

Read More

The money flood

UNLOCK CONGRESS, 09 / 19 / 2018

"I think people are under the impression that the corruption only involves somebody handing over a check and getting a favor. And that’s not the case. The corruption, the bribery, call it, because ultimately that’s what it is—that’s what the whole system is..."

Read More

The great American story: Once a refugee, now a nominee

MEDIUM, 09 / 13 / 2018

As a child, Safiya Wazir lived in Afghanistan under the threat of the Taliban, hiding from shootings and bombings. Today, 27-year-old Safiya is the Democratic nominee for state rep. in New Hampshire’s 8th Ward.

Read More

Our democracy’s stress test: It’s coming on election day

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 09 / 10 / 2018

The lightning-rod presidency of Donald Trump has been described as “unprecedented” and “divisive.” But it’s been far more than that. The last 18 months have tested our institutions and system of checks and balances more than at any time since Watergate.

Read More

The political divide does not require us to demonize

MEDIUM, 09 / 02 / 2018

It is one of the lessons of John McCain’s life: You can fight hard for or against ideas and ideals, but it’s never a good thing to make sweeping generalizations and let differences get in the way of areas where we can agree and make progress.

Read More

Win, Tiger, win.

MEDIUM, 07 / 22 / 2018

There’s nothing in America like a comeback. Especially from the depths of public failure. In this country, we love to see people get knocked down when they deserve it — and then we cheer for them to climb their way back up the mountain.

Read More

Trump And Putin in Helsinki: For the president’s supporters, the true moment of truth

MEDIUM, 07 / 16 / 2018

When we have a president who does not defend the Constitution and the brave warriors who have fought and sacrificed time after time to protect it, we are lost as a country. The degree to which today’s remarks were an insult to those soldiers’ memories and to the entire U.S. intelligence community cannot be measured with existing technology.

Read More

You may wonder where I’ve been

MEDIUM, 07 / 01 / 2018

You may wonder where I’ve been. Why you haven’t seen much of me. Why you haven’t heard much from me. After all, I was the President of the United States for eight years. Naturally, I care. Obviously, I’m watching. And listening.

Read More

Journalists are patriots

MEDIUM, 06 / 28 / 2018

...without journalists, this country would not have known about countless scandals and acts of malfeasance committed by the publicly elected officials that we pay. That’s the WHOLE POINT of the First Amendment.

Read More

The full scope of what America’s dumb immigration system costs us

UNLOCK CONGRESS, 06 / 25 / 2018

illegal immigration is causing the country pain. The last major immigration legislation Congress passed was the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (Simpson-Mazzoli Act) — a law whose consequences remain controversial nearly thirty years later.

Read More


MEDIUM, 06 / 18 / 2018

The term “self-made” is a loaded term. What, exactly, did someone’s first station in life have to be in order to qualify as “self-made.” Some would say being born in this country is reason enough to exclude the term.

Read More

More than 12,000 Americans have taken different paths to serving in the U.S. Congress — here’s One.

UNLOCK CONGRESS, 05 / 31 / 2018

We have had more than twelve thousand Americans serve in Congress since 1789, and so many of them, like Bean, never had a clue early on that they would wind up walking the halls of the U.S. Capitol.

Read More

To connect with your audience – be YOURSELF

GRISKO INSIGHTS, 05 / 23 / 2018

By the time I presented Al Gore with the pages of the speech I’d written for him, his appearance was already running late. It was 2004, and the former Vice President had flown into St. Joseph, Missouri to rally up the troops on behalf of the party’s presidential nominee, John Kerry.

Read More

Fearing the unknown is normal; pushing past it is the real juice

MEDIUM, 04 / 22 / 2018

Sometimes it can be easy to forget that having doubts is a quite natural feeling. We all have insecurities that can give us pause before leaping into what can seem like a daunting abyss of newness. It would almost be odd if we didn’t. We are human beings. We are subject to the human condition. One plus one.

Read More

Sergio’s 13 tops Tin Cup’s 12: the “Anything is possible” principle

MEDIUM, 04 / 05 / 2018

Today, in the first round of the 2018 Masters, the defending champion, Sergio Garcia, actually made a 13 on the par-5 15th hole. It was stunning. And for a whole lotta golfers and golf fans, it was an instant reminder of the fictional plot in the movie Tin Cup.

Read More

The ageless lesson: Let yourself do good

HUFFINGTON POST, 12 / 18 / 2017

Unbeknownst to Seth, I found his admission to be ironic because I’ve struggled with the very same doubts and questions far more than he, or for that matter many others in my life, will ever be aware...And the courage he exhibited in writing about it to a professor he hardly knew was a wholesale inspiration.

Read More

Political cash and the filibuster conspire to prevent gun safety laws

HUFFINGTON POST, 12 / 06 / 2017

...this mass shooting did, once again, focus the spotlight back on the gun debate - and it is worth examining in deeper terms than the stale, red-blue political conflict that plays out on TV like an old rerun.

Read More

No matter who the new Speaker is, real dysfunction lies deeper

HUFFINGTON POST, 12 / 06 / 2017

Retirement. Boehner’s no-brainer. He welcomed Pope Francis, and then made his announcement even before His Holiness had left the country. The Speaker was just sick and tired of navigating the political minefield that is the U.S. House of Representatives. And who could blame him.

Read More

The anger and the outsiders

HUFFINGTON POST, 12 / 06 / 2017

...So in this election cycle of the Outsider, do these Outsiders actually believe what they’re saying? Even more importantly, why should Americans believe a word of it?

Read More

The next Amendment

HUFFINGTON POST, 12 / 06 / 2017

...Gregory Watson decided to take his long shot more than thirty years ago. He was just a college student in 1982. Was he interested in politics? Definitely. Did he have any inkling that he was going to have the kind of impact once reserved for the likes of Jefferson and Madison? Not in a million years.

Read More

A life spent leading by example

HUFFINGTON POST, 12 / 06 / 2017

The professor shuffled into the classroom on the first day of his economics course looking the part: bespectacled, bearded, wearing a dark sports jacket with a button-down sneaking out of a crew neck sweater. But it didn’t take long to realize that Woods Bowman was anything but your typical professor.

Read More

Taking cues from our kids: Lessons learned from “Maine Girls”

HUFFINGTON POST, 11 / 26 / 2017

Perhaps the most obvious charm in children is their innocence. Old as time, reliable as the tide, infants land in this world lacking intentional negativity. Almost universally, hatred is something that is learned.

Read More

The nuisance of nuance: one president’s doubling down on the dumbing down of American politics

HUFFINGTON POST, 10 / 27 / 2017

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Read More

For love of golf

MEDIUM, 09 / 25 / 2017

...How do you react to adversity? To losing? To winning? To bad breaks? How are you socially with other people? Some of them strangers? How’s your focus? Your concentration? How seriously do you take things? It’s all in there on a golf course.

Read More

Three debates, two polar opposites candidates, one common need

HUFFINGTON POST, 09 / 17 / 2017

...So how do the two least liked major party nominees in the history of polling become more likable? Especially in light of how deeply the constant media drumbeat has etched the essence of both candidates into our memories? Tapping into emotion is the answer. Both will need to somehow create moments to make viewers feel something good - and avoid making them feel bad.

Read More

The political problem that’s just as important as the presidency

HUFFINGTON POST, 07 / 26 / 2017

...If we let one candidate or one presidential race divide us even further from the place where we already find ourselves, then we’ve all lost the election, no matter which party wins.

Read More

The day we lost RFK: Will his son elevate poverty in his campaign for Illinois Governor?

HUFFINGTON POST, 06 / 06 / 2017

...Kennedy never forgot what he saw. What he heard. And in the very first sentences of his announcement to run for president on March 16, 1968, the Senator passionately expressed his goal to seek solutions to “the gaps that now exist between black and white, between rich and poor, between young and old, in this country and around the rest of the world.”

Read More

What line must President Trump cross before Republicans stop rationalizing his actions?

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 05 / 16 / 2017

Can the words and actions of this President still be rationalized? How much slack does he still have? Until he or his associates face indictments? Until the mid-terms?

Read More

What the legacy of Woodward and Bernstein means for journalism today

05 / 01 / 2017

Read More

The education (maybe) of Donald Trump

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS , 04 / 13 / 2017

It is no secret that President Trump dispenses lies with reckless abandon. This fact is not in dispute. It is also no secret that Trump has displayed a great number of moral failings and poverty of character during his campaign. Even swing voters who reluctantly voted for the President agree on that point.

Read More

To “drain the swamp” – dilute the money flood

HUFFINGTON POST , 01 / 02 / 2017

And all of that begging is not for nothing. The flood of money buys access and influence. Former U.S. Senator and Representative Tim Wirth (D-CO), who left office 20 years ago, has described the current environment as “getting paid for political outcomes” and “legalized corruption.” And Wirth sad that was child’s play compared to today.

Read More

How to deal with Donald Trump: Liberals now have a huge challenge — learning to distinguish between his mouth and his governance

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 12 / 05 / 2016

Many of us will never forget the damage Donald Trump has already wrought on our political discourse. At the same time, we can at least make an attempt to separate his mouth from his governance. We can try to be aware of that cognitive dissonance, and manage it.

Read More

The jobs debate that America did not get

HUFFINGTON POST , 09 / 16 / 2016

in an age where automation is supplanting all kinds of historically human work functions - it seems like the impact of technology is an enormous economic issue that was woefully underdiscussed by both the candidates and most of the media.

Read More

Three ways Congress can muscle up to your voting rights

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES , 08 / 19 / 2016

Just before the national conventions, the House Democratic leadership announced its “By The People” (BTP) legislative package. These reforms, backed by 187 members of the rank-and-file, are designed to “revitalize our nation’s voting laws, restore sanity to the electoral process, and empower everyday Americans to reclaim their voice in the political process.”

Read More

The difference between a professional golfer and a politician

MEDIUM , 07 / 25 / 2016

Roosevelt was saying that these traits are essential for citizens to have in order to play the kind of individual roles that become the collective glue that holds a republic together. Yet that famous quote always reminds me of the professional golfers who work tirelessly to master an un-masterable game, and rarely — or never — wins a tournament during the course of their career.

Read More

U.S. Reps run for re-election from Day One

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 06 / 24 / 2016

This week, for the 114th time in our country’s history, a new U.S. House of Representatives will take the oath of office. But the play clock has already started ticking down on the re-election campaigns of all 435 members. There’s plenty of debate about the problems clogging up Congress. But there is no mistaking that tiny two-year House terms are harmful anachronisms in the 21st century.

Read More

Once imprisoned by a wrongful conviction, attorney Jarrett Adams now offers universal lessons

HUFFINGTON POST, 06 / 16 / 2016

Jarrett had endured the ineffable horror of being wrongfully convicted for an assault crime he did not commit, and then served nine years in a federal penitentiary. Had it not been for his remarkable survival instinct to learn the law - in prison - and then participate in his own defense appeal, he would have lost many more years of his life to that phantom felony.

Read More

To vote or not to vote

HUFFINGTON POST, 05 / 10 / 2016

In 2008, 65 million Democrats turned out versus 52 million Republicans. President Obama was elected and his party held both chambers in Congress. But in 2010, in the “Tea Party Wave,” Democratic turnout fell to 39 million, while 45 million GOP voters went to the polls.

Read More

Presidential race not as rigged as Congress

04 / 28 / 2016

The base-driven, predictable results of US House elections travel to Washington to sustain a stale partisan divide on Capitol Hill, shrink an already threadbare political center and distort a bedrock principle of American democracy: fair representation.

Read More

The power of one: how America’s last Constitutional Amendment got passed

UNLOCK CONGRESS, 03 / 13 / 2016

Gregory Watson decided to take his long shot more than thirty years ago. He was just a college student in 1982. Was he interested in politics? Yes. Did he have any inkling that he was going to have the kind of impact once reserved for the likes of Jefferson and Madison? Not in a million years. But it only took a decade.

Read More

The mirage of an American authoritarian

HUFFINGTON POST, 03 / 02 / 2016

He may win the nomination. It is at least conceivable that he could win the White House. But whether this does or doesn’t happen, let’s be clear about one thing: the “fed-up” folks who believe Donald Trump is the alternative to the system are overlooking the system itself. American democracy.

Read More

Is anything more important to a candidate than talent on TV?

ROLL CALL, 01 / 26 / 2016

...Since then, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, George Bush, Robert Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry, John McCain and Mitt Romney all lost to an opponent who was more likable on television.

Read More

The state of our system

HUFFINGTON POST, 01 / 14 / 2016 was incredibly heartening to hear the most powerful leader in the world talking about essential democratic reforms in such a grand and traditional venue. I’m not talking about the policy prescriptions the president ticked off early in the speech, but instead the structural solutions he devoted time to down the home stretch. Not partisan positions, but logical proposals designed to empower every American — and strengthen our processes of elections and governance.

Read More

Donald Trump and the news media’s Catch-22

HUFFINGTON POST , 12 / 30 / 2015

The chicken or the egg? Trump’s lead in the polls or the media’s sycophantic coverage of Trump? The media’s hyperactive coverage of the circus, or the circus’s irresistibly magnetic power over the media? Which comes first? Which feeds which? And does it matter?

Read More


06 / 29 / 2015

...The historical lineage of Ill-Annoy leaders is infamous for its land mine of convicted felons. Walker, Blagojevich, Ryan, Kerner, Rostenkowski, Reynolds - the list goes on and on. And then it expands even further once you start looking at local governments. Now, a former high school wrestling coach who rose to become the third highest officeholder in the nation is soaked in the spotlight of shame.

Read More

Let’s reform the rules that govern Congress

REAL CLEAR POLITICS, 04 / 11 / 2015

The brilliance in our republican form of government is axiomatic, but no system of rules is perfect.  Thomas Jefferson made this clear one year before ratification of the Constitution: “Happy for us, that when we find our constitutions defective and insufficient to secure the happiness of our people, we can assemble with all the coolness of philosophers, and set it to rights.”

Read More

A ruinous rule

BEACHWOOD REPORTER, 02 / 16 / 2015

Tom Harkin (D-IA) served in the U.S. Senate for 30 years until he retired in January 2015. In an interview near the end of his service, Harkin offered a cold, hard truth: “A senator has his or her power not because of what we can do – but because of what we can stop.”

Read More

Faces of One Million Degrees

06 / 20 / 2014

“We walked into people’s offices and literally told them that we were tired of reading studies about how to help community college students; we insisted on doing something about it, NOW.”

Read More

Bridging Education Gaps

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 06 / 17 / 2007

Read More