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Risking default on our debt has no comedic, symbolic, strategic or “performance art” value. Brinksmanship is not statesmanship.

Great damage has already been done. The United States officially reached its debt limit on Thursday. Both U.S. and global markets are spooked. America’s standing in the world has again been dinged. The “word” of the United States is once again unreliable.

This reckless game of “chicken” is hurting and in many cases terrorizing American citizens. The federal government has now resorted to “extraordinary measures” just to keep the ship of state afloat. These “measures” include cheating our own people.

And for what? So that Congressional Republicans can primp, preen, posture and peacock. This is not “public service.” This is blackmail. Republicans are not “standing on principle.” They are stooping to petty political grandstanding. Yet again.

Yes, new spending measures, controls and limits must be adopted going forward through bipartisan legislation. But the immediate issue is honoring and servicing our existing debt from obligations we have already incurred. Responsible adults pay their bills. And they pay their bills on time.

And then there’s this. The United States will be 247 years old in July. Almost one quarter of the total debt the U.S. has taken on in its history was the result of four years of spending during the Trump Administration. Read that again.

The exact figure is 22.3 percent of all debt incurred in almost two and a half centuries. This is a fact. This is math. These are verified numbers.

Not that Republicans believe in facts, math, truth, accountability or verification.

It must be noted that a chunk of that spending during Trump’s presidency resulted from the pandemic. Duly noted. But 22.3 percent of all national debt since 1776?

And the GOP (Group of Prevaricators) has the gall to hold our economy and citizens hostage? Well, yes, they do. Because they have no shame. Or honor. Or devotion to duty.

They’re not patriots. They’re poseurs and posturers.

Donald Trump raped E. Jean Carroll. How do we know? For the same reason we know he lied about the pandemic, lied about the 2020 election, incited the Jan. 6 insurrection and attempted to overthrow the government of the United States.

We know because he has at various times admitted all of those things. Read the transcript of Trump’s deposition in Carroll’s lawsuit. He admitted it.

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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.