This blog is the next iteration of what began as an effort to address the increasingly gratuitous nastiness of our national policy debates. In that sense, the blog is political. However, because politics is about the polity (and not just about the politicians), there is no reason why other important elements of our shared culture and intellectual life should not be discussed here as well. In that sense, this blog is also about arts and letters, movies, religion, and pretty much anything else that grabs the national spotlight. The hope, however, is that anything discussed here will be discussed with civility and mutual respect. Opinions can be stated forcefully without being offensive, and if this seems to be a lost art, then that’s all the more reason for a blog like this. We all know there are a great many questions on which reasonable minds may differ, but we should not forget that reasonable minds can also get past their differences and achieve consensus — sometimes, anyway. Ideally, the posts and comments here should all stimulate further discussion. If you like what you see here, please come back often and join the conversation. And by all means, tell others about this blog and link to our posts on any other blogs you frequent.