Sometimes, for those of us who are constantly reading statistics and poll results, something that you didn't expect to see stands out -- a number that makes you think the future will not be what you have been expecting.
What if they held a special election and nobody won? That's more or less what happened in southwestern Pennsylvania, in the special election to fill the vacancy in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District.
Donald Trump's announcement that he is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries has aroused little enthusiasm and much criticism. It evidently prompted the resignation of Gary Cohn as head of his National Economic Council.
Not since James Monroe left the presidency in 1825, 48 years after he fought in the Battle of Princeton, has America had political leadership with careers running so far back in the past. Our current government leaders have political pedigrees going back to the 1970s.
"Study: 90 Percent Of Americans Strongly Opposed To Each Other." That's the headline on a story in what, on some days, seems to be America's most reliable news outlet, The Onion.
In a 1989 article in New Republic, Andrew Sullivan made what he called "a (conservative) case for gay marriage." Today same-sex marriage is legal everywhere in America, supported by majorities of voters and accepted as a part of American life.
Amid the brouhahas about the Nunes memo and immigration, an item from Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business caught my eye. Demographers crunching census data estimate that Chicago's black population fell to 842,000, while its white non-Hispanic population increased to 867,000. National political significance: In our three largest cities -- New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- gentry liberals have become the dominant political demographic.
Donald Trump's surprisingly good State of the Union speech got a record 70 to 75 percent positive approval rating from those who watched. Even if you discount (as you should) for the Trump haters who can't bear to watch him and chose another of their 100-plus cable channels, that's not chopped liver.
He who frames the issue tends to determine the outcome of the election. That's an old political consultant's rule, and its application has never been more apt than in the Senate Democrats' failed government shutdown over immigration policy.
As we reach, gingerly, the anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration as president, none of the disasters feared by critics has come to pass. The economy has turned at least mildly upward rather than plummet to depression. The executive branch has obeyed court orders. No military disaster has occurred. Fears that seemed plausible to many have proved unjustified.