Who Are the Greatest US Senators in History?

As an amateur student of the United States Senate, I wonder who the greatest Senators in history are likely to be? It's a little easier to determine the greatest senators if they have been out of power a long time. Back in 1957, Senator John F. Kennedy headed a committee that selected these five senators … Continue reading Who Are the Greatest US Senators in History?

Thoughtful Speeches on Separation of Church and State

In 1984, while working for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, I helped draft talking points that were used by Democratic nominee Walter Mondale in a major address at B'Nai Brith outlining distinctions between Mondale and President Reagan on religious liberty. Mondale used significant chunks of my draft. The speech even today is … Continue reading Thoughtful Speeches on Separation of Church and State

Why Lincoln Matters, By Mario Cuomo

Why Lincoln Matters: Today More Than Ever is a book by former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, published in 2004. It addressed such issues as pre-emptive war, taxes and religion in politics. Cuomo pointed out that Lincoln never belonged to an organized religion or joined a church and seemed to be a rationalist rather than a conventional … Continue reading Why Lincoln Matters, By Mario Cuomo

Death Penalty, Principled Politicians and Mario Cuomo

Joe Klein in Time recalls a telling anecdote about former three-term New York governor Mario Cuomo, who died January 1, 2015: I remember Mario best on the stump in the 1982 gubernatorial primary, running against Ed Koch—who was, like, 30 or so points ahead at the beginning of the race. Koch was hammering away on … Continue reading Death Penalty, Principled Politicians and Mario Cuomo