Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

USPS may be losing money, but it's still a great deal for its users. Congress mandates that the Postal Service deliver mail for the same price to any address in the country, from downtown Manhattan to remote villages in Alaska. Because Congress limits any postage increase to the inflation rate, a First Class stamp costs only 46 cents—far less than the cost of mailing a letter in any European country, including tiny Malta. And the U.S. Postal Service did better than any other in a recent international test to see how many letters sent to false addresses were correctly returned

For many people, the possibility of having influence is enough to get them to donate money to a political campaign. Now unless you're very naive, you can't really think that donating anything short of huge amounts of money will allow you to the rub shoulders with the powers-that-be. That's why a membership upgrade mailing from the National Republican Senatorial Committee that's been in the mail since early 2010 works so well.

My wife, Peggy, and I overdosed on the 2008 election.

Eighteen months ago—with 10 Republicans and eight Democrats vying for their respective nominations—we started slowly. By August of this year, we were hooked. We'd start the day at 6 a.m. watching MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and his happy crew—Mika Brzezinski, Willie Geist, Pat Buchanan, et al. At 1 p.m., over a sandwich in the kitchen, I'd look in on Andrea Mitchell. After work we'd surf the dials, hitting Chris Matthews, David Gregory and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC; Brit Hume and his wonderful roundtable on Fox News; as well as checking in on Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs at CNN. Compared to the energy and excitement of the cable shows, network evening news was a cure for insomnia.

The cable folks parsed every speech, analyzed every gesture, trumpeted every miscue, interviewed everybody and anybody who might shed some light on the outcome, and involved viewers in the minutiae of political campaigning. It was a giggle while it lasted.

Now Obama is in while McCain and Bush are out.

The suspense is gone. Life is normal once again.

So whither cable? Will it wither and die?

Welcome to the new shadow government.

In spring 1958, I was about to graduate from Columbia College and head off as a draftee for a two-year stint in the Army. We were in the thick of the Cold War. Eisenhower was president and in Russia, a bellicose, bald little tyrant named Nikita Khrushchev, first secretary of the Communist Party, was claiming missile superiority over the United States and constantly threatening us with nuclear annihilation.

The mainstay of American defense was a growing fleet of giant Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses that the Strategic Air Command (SAC), under super hawk Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, kept in the air 24/7, loaded with nuclear bombs and missiles, and ready to head into Russia on receipt of a coded order over the radio. America’s Cold War strategy was MAD—Mutually Assured Destruction—whereby if one of the big firecrackers on either side went off, each of us would blow the other to hell.

These were very tense times.

In April 1958, for a brief and glorious moment, all the angst and terror vanished amid a sudden lovefest between the people of Russia and America.

Let me say at the outset that I have no idea who I will vote for in the general election. Being a committed Independent, I will not be voting in the Pennsylvania primary on April 22. As of March 27, the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are dead even in the opinion polls. The candidates are beginning to hammer each other, freeing John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, to act, look and sound presidential on the national and international stage. If strong action is not taken to break the logjam, this internecine scrap will go down to the convention in August

Friday afternoon on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” host Christ Matthews raised this question to two guests: Should the leader of Iran be allowed to speak on Columbia University campus in New York next week?” Radio talk show host Ed Schultz was unequivocal: Absolutely. I think Columbia University is doing this country a favor by getting this guy on American soil, getting him on the record in an academic environment. Let‘s find out what he thinks about Israel. He‘s made all these outlandish comments about the Holocaust on the other side of the world. Let‘s get him on American soil and get him on the record. The thing I

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