With your indulgence, I will give you some disjointed thoughts today.

My good friend Al Felzenberg, who teaches a communications course at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania, invited me up to give his students some of my thoughts on my former job as a press secretary. I gladly accepted because I wanted to see what was on the students’ minds.

I expected them to be concerned about the environment, and of course, they were. But what they mentioned most to me was America’s declining prestige around the world, linking that to the precipitous fall in the value of the dollar. Frankly, the kids just didn’t seem that optimistic about our nation’s future, although they all were very patriotic.

I note that only because whoever gets to be the next president needs to communicate a message that will resonate with these kids, and their parents. A message, based on sound policy, that communicates optimism for the future of American leadership in the world is sorely needed in this country.

While I was up there, Al introduced me to David Eisenhower, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Yes, that David Eisenhower, grandson of the president. I was thrilled to meet him. As I have said a couple different times in this blog, David’s grandfather, upon historical reflection, has proven to be one of our nation’s best and wisest leaders. While Harry Truman is often cited as the president who has aged the best with time, Eisenhower was a far better president. History should reconsider his legacy and put him in the pantheon of our greatest presidents.

A couple of quick thoughts on the actions of Congress yesterday. While I applaud House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for standing up to the protectionist forces in her caucus, and I applaud Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures MORE (D-N.Y.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act Congress feels heat to act on youth vaping GOP senator wants Violence Against Women Act passage by year end MORE (D-Calif.) for their votes for the new attorney general, I can’t help but note that misery in the Democratic Caucus is opportunity for the Republicans. And today, that opportunity will arise when Blue Dog Democrats are forced to walk the plank on a tax increase. As Blue Dog Jim Cooper pointed out to Congress Daily earlier this week, “Why should House Members have to walk the plank? This is a 130 percent tax increase.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.