An American in France: Why Did Marine Le Pen’s Trumpian Campaign Lose in a Landslide?

Monday, May 8, 2017 6:41 PM
Marine Le Pen of the National Front party modeled her French presidential campaign after that of Donald Trump, yet she lost by a margin of 66% to 34%, a bigger landslide than in any presidential election in U.S. history, going back to the beginning of popular elections in 1824. So why did what worked for Trump in the United States fail in France?read more

Sylvia Wallace: A Woman Ahead of her Time

Saturday, February 18, 2017 11:31 AM
February 18, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Sylvia Wallace, my mother, a woman who was ahead of her time.read more

Academy Awards 2017—Foreign Language Films

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 7:26 PM
This year, a record 85 countries entered films in the Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards. I saw 82 of these films. 1. Normally, there are few comedies entered in this category, but this year was an exception. I attribute this to Sullivan’s Travels Syndrome, named after the classic 1941 Preston Sturges film. When times are hard and people are struggling to keep their heads above water, a good laugh goes a long way.read more

Irving Wallace: 100th Birthday

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:55 PM
On March 19, 2016, the popular novelist Irving Wallace—my father—would have turned 100 years old. Instead of honoring my father by presenting a review of his achievements and recalling what a generous, warm-hearted person he was and how much enjoyment he brought to millions of readers around the world, I have decided to look at some of the developments he would have most appreciated if he had lived to be 100, instead of dying at the age of 74.read more

Republicans Release Presidential Policy Platform

Monday, August 3, 2015 1:10 PM
In a move that caught the media by surprise, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that it had gotten the approval of every one of the 17 leading declared Republican presidential candidates to publish a comprehensive platform for the 2016 elections.read more

Academy Awards 2015—Best Foreign Language Film

Thursday, February 19, 2015 3:05 PM
When I tell people that, over a two-month period, I watched films from 83 different countries, the most common reaction is…a blank stare. Most people don’t even ask me what my favorites were. But I have to say that I had a wonderful time. Not only were most of the films at least “good”, but even the bad ones usually provide an insight into what is going on in another part of the world.read more
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The Myth of Widespread Voter Fraud

A panel of experts at the Ninth Circuit’s judicial conference agreed on one thing: the type of voter fraud President Trump claims is widespread in the U.S. is virtually nonexistent. Four Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to V.P. Mike Pence asking him to remove Kris Kobach as vice chair of the commission. They said his request for voter rolls replete with sensitive voter information was rife with privacy concerns. The also argued the data request will more likely be used for voter suppression.   read more

Director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office: Who Is Jim McDonnell?

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, McDonnell took a job with the U.S. Dept of Energy as the founding director of the Office of Energy Assurance, responsible for protecting the nation’s energy infrastructure. In 2002, McDonnell began working for the Homeland Security Transition Planning Office in the White House, helping to plan the newly created Dept of Homeland Security. He got into a bit of trouble at DHS, however, and was investigated for loose contracting practices.   read more

United States Ambassador to Guatemala: Who Is Luis Arreaga?

In 2008, as director of recruitment, examination and employment, Arreaga presided over the largest intake of Foreign Service officers in State Dept history. He was first made an ambassador in 2010, as the envoy to Iceland. In 2011, he was confronted by the Icelandic government when U.S. officials subpoenaed a member of the country’s parliament in the WikiLeaks controversy. On the whole, his tenure was positive, even getting to watch “Game of Thrones” being filmed in the rocky country.   read more

Ambassador from United Arab Emirates to the U.S.: Who Is Yousef Al Otaiba?

The UAE diplomat known as “the most charming man in Washington,” and a close friend of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, lost some of his magic recently, following release of emails that link him to a major international fraud, suggest that UAE coordinates closely with Israel, and reveal blunt criticism of President Trump. Otaiba has been a forceful voice against Iran, the Arab Spring movement, and neighboring Qatar, which the UAE royal family recently accused of supporting terrorism.   read more
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