The mere idea that members of Congress should be required to take annual ethics training speaks volumes about how far we have strayed from our founders' values, but may be necessary as a first step toward restoring decency and respectability in our nation's capital.
When the new Senate convenes next year, the most influential person on Capitol Hill could be Greg Orman, the independent candidate for senator from Kansas, who I predict today will be elected in November.
Americans have good reason to be disgusted with politics in Washington. Both major political party organizations shamelessly pursue policies designed to generate the most money and power for the party in the short term.
What with the levels of dissatisfaction in the nation, Congress needs to start taking desperate measures to, well, woo the public once again. And what better time of year to pour on the charm than Valentine's Day?
If the nation does not turn the corner and return economic promise to most of its citizens, the divide between the haves and have not, will grow and bring with it the type of unrest that comes with dissatisfaction.
Congressional support of the NSA action is widespread. Even liberals like Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat from California, defends the NSA information-gathering exercises as necessary for "protecting America" from terrorism. So what about "protecting America" from pollution?
What would you say if I told you the federal government is spending at least $800 million dollars on something you don't like or want? It's happening. Year after year and the actual figure is probably closer to $1 billion dollars annually.
Why did his Senate colleagues agree? Why not some other social science discipline? Why not all social science? In the end, politicians don't appreciate scrutiny, which is exactly what political science does.
The presence of a million more guns than people in this country is an alarming plebiscite on the nation's confidence in the rule of law. If Americans lose faith in the courts as they have with other democratic institutions, disputes that would otherwise be settled by law will be settled by force.