SULLY: to stain or tarnish


The word sully is usually used in connection with the words “one’s reputation.”   It refers to the intentional act of defaming someone, of saying or doing something that stains their reputation and destroys their integrity in the public’s eyes.  It is a word that comes to us in English from the French  word souiller  which means […]

STATE: condition, status


When the President steps before the microphone Tuesday evening to deliver the 2014 State of the Union Address, the eyes of the nation…indeed, the eyes of the world…will be upon him.   It is this annual speech to which the people turn to hear the agenda for the next year…as the President hopes it to be. […]

LAME DUCK: an elected official or group continuing to hold political office during the period between the election and the inauguration of a successor


The Miriam Webster Online Dictionary is my source for the definition of the term Lame Duck today.  I looked at a number of definitions from other sources, but theirs was the clearest about something that I have suspected.  Someplace in my ancient history I was led to believe that a lame duck is, as they say, […]

AXIOMATIC [ak-see-uh-MAT-ik] : obvious, self-evident


It is amusing sometimes to be in the middle of a conversation when someone says something that is so obvious, so clearly self-evident, that it stuns those listening.  Or it may come in the midst of an article, or even something as profound as a dissertation or a scholarly paper of some kind.  Everything is […]

NUCLEAR OPTION: legislation in the U.S. Senate to return the required number of votes to a simple majority

nuclear option

Nuclear Option is a derogatory term employed by Republicans to describe the action taken in the U.S. Senate this week to remove the 60 vote requirement for affirmation of presidential nominees to lower court (Not Supreme Court) positions and other positions in the administration.    Republicans, who have enjoyed the filibuster capability and the requirement of a […]

RACIST NAMES: NFL team name sparks controversy; American Indians demand change


The controversy which is raging over the use of the name “Redskins” by the Washington NFL team is reaching a new level of volume and negativity.     For over 80 years the team has clung to its name, but there have been a number of times in its history when the name was challenged.   Of late, […]