If you live in Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Rhode Island, there is something I hope you will do. Call or write your Senator (I'll tell you which one in a moment) and ask him or her why he/she helped launch a vicious anti-Semitic smear against the new junior Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul.
They are generally referred to as "talking points," but are sometimes called "marching orders." They are instructions members of Congress, or candidates for same, receive from their party's headquarters or its congressional leadership to help them stay "on message." That means not only holding on for dear life and campaign funding to the substance of the message, but also clinging even to specific words and phrases, usually tested in polls and with focus groups. It's enough to make you think "talking points" are what Edgar Bergen gave Charlie McCarthy. Or what Joe Stalin gave Franklin Roosevelt.
One of the requirements to become a Dayton, Ohio, police officer is to successfully pass the city's two-part written examination. Applicants must correctly answer 57 of 86 questions on the first part (66 percent) and 73 of 102 (72 percent) on the second part. Dayton's Civil Service Board reported that 490 candidates passed the November 2010 written test, 57 of whom were black. About 231 of the roughly 1,100 test takers were black.