Recent Heroes Commentaries

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We Need the Strength of Heroes
The Date: September 28, 1955 The Place: Yankee Stadium The Event: Dodgers/Yankees, Game 1 of the 1955 World Series Every baseball fan has seen the video. Every baseball fan knows the outcome . . . or do they? I’ll come back to this. For my book, What Do You Stand For?, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns spoke to me about the...
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April 19, 2024
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Conscience of the Senate
Continued from Tuesday’s commentary, I offer two Senate leaders from the past. Tuesday, I spoke of the integrity of Republican John Williams. Today, I offer the character of Senator Philip Hart as excerpted with permission from The Buying of the Congress (1998) by Charles Lewis, whose response appeared in my book, “What Do You Stand For?” John Williams and Philip...
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April 12, 2024
We Need Moments Like This
Embed from Getty Images Let’s face it, we’re a mess. We’re living moment to moment, crisis to crisis at home and abroad. Every time you watch the news it feels like another brick to the head. I want a respite from the endless bombardment of anger, hate, and violence. I want a moment of triumph where everyone stands up and...
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April 2, 2024
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. . . Divided We Fall
Sherlock Holmes had just received a message from London informing him that Professor Moriarty’s gang had been captured. But “the Napoleon of crime,” as Holmes described, had escaped. Over weeks, the great detective had successfully tracked Moriarty to Switzerland. And there, above the roiling falls of Reichenback, the final combat took place. Locked in each other’s arms, Holmes and Moriarty...
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March 7, 2024
Say It Ain’t So, Mickey!
Embed from Getty Images With the end of the 2023 World Series, I became a little nostalgic for the baseball heroes I grew up with.  Most of them were Dodgers: Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Duke Snyder. All great but didn’t come close to the charismatic hitting power of Mickey Mantle. So, when I read a story by former Detroit Tigers...
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November 7, 2023
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All That Is Strong and Good
Dysfunction is no longer an adequate descriptor of Washington leadership these days. We’re all aware of the key players in this madness. The media recites them in a 24/7 loop of chaotic images and infotainment. Nonetheless, the strong and the good eventually overcame the darker forces in our nation’s past. Before we continue our march toward the abyss of cynicism,...
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October 10, 2023
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Trust Confidence: CliffsNotes
During the 1998 investigation of President Bill Clinton, independent counsel Ken Starr compelled Secret Service agents to testify about what they may have seen or heard regarding Clinton’s relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. With the support of the Department of Justice, Director Lewis Merletti argued that if agents were allowed to testify about anything other than criminal acts,...
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September 8, 2023
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We Are All Americans
Last week’s arraignment of former President Donald Trump was unprecedented in many ways. I contacted retired journalist Bob Wilson to interview some of the individuals who waited in a long line, many overnight. Here’s how that conversation went. “Jim, I’m outside the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse in downtown DC and the line of people waiting outside is something one only...
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August 8, 2023
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Heroes, We Need Them More than Ever!
Earlier this month, Fort Benning, the military’s training base in Georgia, was renamed Fort Moore, after Lt. General Hal Moore who served as commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the first and perhaps, fiercest battle in the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam. Surrounded by a massive force of the People’s Army of Vietnam,...
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May 26, 2023
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Mr. Smith is Back!
Here’s what I like about politicians. Every once in a while, we get heroes—people who stand up for what’s right and good and best not just for the people back home, but the entire country. Margret Chase Smith, the Republican Senator from Maine, was such a hero when she stood up against the lies and tactics of her Senate colleague,...
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January 17, 2023