On Offer: Themeless Pudding

Covering the news, not creating it...

There are two kinds of Wide World of News readers: 

1. Those who will mourn the death of Billie Hayes with a mixture of sadness and personal reminiscence. 

2. Those who have never heard of Witchiepoo.

People: “Billie Hayes, Actress Who Played Witchiepoo in H.R. Pufnstuf, Dead at 96”

For those in Group 1, please prepare to be returned to a simpler, scarier time:


I have teamed up with public relations expert and documentarian Paul Wilke and 30-year political strategist and ad maker Kim Alfano to create our Special Conversation series.

With the world in chaos, and political and ideological tribes splitting apart, we are seeking voices of reason and wisdom in the cacophony. 

For this first discussion, we chose former Indiana governor and current Purdue University President,  Mitch Daniels, for an unfiltered, thoughtful, and searching conversation. His reputation for excellent analytical thought, deep intellect, and willingness to work with all parties to achieve the best outcomes made him the perfect voice for our initial episode. 

Future installments will include conversations from both sides of the aisle and across the political spectrum in the hope of finding a return to humanity in politics.

Daniels talks about a wide range of topics with us, including his career, the current climate, managing a university through a pandemic, and the challenges of raising four girls (in no particular order of difficulty!).

The audio version is here.

Enjoy it and let us know who else you would like to hear from.



Florida topper DeSantis is still moving at 800 miles per hour, but he might slow down long enough to take in this quote from a Times of London profile of White House chief of staff Klain:

A former colleague and admirer of Klain told me he had only one downside: “Ron is so smart he doesn’t understand when he is wrong.”

One way to think about the fundamentals of the Biden presidency and the 2024 race for the Republican presidential nomination is to ask: What do Joe Biden and Ron DeSantis think of that quote?



The New York Times suggests Chuck Schumer believes it is a good idea to use reconciliation to pass a big immigration overhaul, while Bret Stephens sees the Biden spending proposals as a vehicle for ruinous socialism.

Which one is right?



Every incentive in the current Red politico-media ecosystem suggests there is no reason for Liz Cheney to continue to stand up to Mr. Trump and Trumpism.

Understandably, there is a lot of focus on the Wyoming representative, but the better way to think of her challenge is to focus on the vision and motives of those who oppose her — as opposed to on Cheney herself.




Eleven Madison Park is considered one of the finest restaurants in both New York City and the world -- and starting next month, it will also be completely meatless and almost entirely vegan.


Pandora A/S, which makes more pieces of jewelry than any other company in the world, will stop using mined diamonds as part of a broader strategy to drop raw materials associated with unethical production methods.



Shots in the tough-to-reach arms; Manchin-Sinema; Putin; Iran; tariff strategy; Roku vs. YouTube; the second Gates beat; the Giuliani reckoning; The Presumption of Grace paradigm rising.


If you would like to enjoy or support the work of Mark Halperin, there are now more ways to do it than ever before.

Experts estimate Halperin is now going about 600 miles per hour, but source say he would like to go even faster.

Here’s your menu of options:

1. Have Mark speak to your group, company, or meeting in person or virtually on politics, media, government, metaphors, or whatever else you would like. 

Send an email to markhalperintalk@gmail.com to set up an event.

2. Become a voluntary paying subscriber to support the independent journalism of Wide World of News today.

3. Become a voluntary contributor to support that same independent journalism by emailing markhalperintalk@gmail.com and arranging to give any amount of your choice.


If you would like to participate in a focus group I will conduct by Zoom on an upcoming Thursday at 5pm ET, please send an email to mhfg@walkingduck.com and let us know of your interest.


For all the latest news all the time, check out our new 24/7 website the Walking Duck.