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Best to all of you on this Monday Monday.  I hope you’ll check out our new podcast episode, which dropped this morning.  It’s available here on this website and wherever you get your podcasts.

This episode is particularly well-timed. It’s a conversation with one of our country’s top sociologists, Dr. Roger Barnes. He has written brilliantly about what appears to be America’s insistence on surrendering its greatness, and has some very thoughtful proposals about how we can reclaim it.

It’s well-timed because we are this very morning seeing a new wave of The Big Lie. The Big Lie is an existential threat to our identity and institutions.

And then there are Kevin McCarthy’s lies. They are numerous, egregious and undeniably documented. And still he and his party’s cowards dismiss them as “overblown” and “no big deal.” These lies are by no means trivial. They are foundational. And they are not now “past tense.” They continue to pollute our present and threaten our future.

I’m still trying to view this horrific war in Ukraine ultimately as an opportunity to make the world a better, and more stable, place.  Putin’s demise would make the world a better and more stable place. And Putin’s demise is now plausible.

Our Secretaries of State and Defense, respectively, represented our country with honor, firmness and distinction on Sunday. Secretary Austin is now openly talking about weakening Russia. That’s a good thing, and we should not be reluctant to say that. Secretary Blinken stated that a free Ukraine will still be on the scene long after Putin has disappeared from it.  Yeah, the Biden Administration is really soft on Russia. (Can you imagine how badly Trump would have effed this up?)  I will remind you that it was only ten weeks ago that Trump publicly called Putin a “genius,” a “peacekeeper” and “very savvy.”  That alone should disqualify Trump from ever again opening his mouth on any subject other than bathtub rubber duckies. 

The distorted cacophony about “Critical Race Theory” is simply a cynical attempt to ban ANY historical and academic discussion or even reference to the role that race and racial injustice has played in American history. That’s not the way open and enlightened societies operate. Recognizing these failures is not hating America. It is loving it. It is loving it so deeply and sincerely that we can resolve to fix it. And nobody’s kid is being asked to feel guilty. Empathy and a desire to do better are not “guilt.”  

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.