Archive of Articles for November, 2009

Friday Talking Points [101] -- Count Me With The Misfits

[ Posted Friday, November 13th, 2009 – 17:38 UTC ]

There was an absolute prime, Grade-A example of media cluelessness this week which is still unfolding, much to my bemusement, so I thought I'd start by pointing it out. Nothing to perk everyone up like a little well-deserved media-bashing, eh?

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Unemployment, Presidential Approval, And The New Republic

[ Posted Thursday, November 12th, 2009 – 17:10 UTC ]

Are presidential approval numbers tied inexorably to the state of the economy, as measured by the unemployment rate? That is the question The New Republic tries to answer in a recent article, which comes complete with graphs purporting to provide an unequivocal answer. Unfortunately, while they do present their case, they also undermine it by cheating a bit with the statistics themselves, and a very selective process for choosing which numbers to examine. Meaning the only answer we can adequately take away from the article is: "possibly."

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President Obama At Fort Hood Memorial

[ Posted Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 – 13:39 UTC ]

[Program Note: I am honoring Veterans' Day this year by taking the day off. Instead of a column, today I present a transcript of President Obama's remarks at yesterday's memorial service for those killed in the tragedy at Fort Hood in Texas. I thought it fitting to reflect that any American soldier killed while serving -- whether from sickness, as the thousands who died in World War I from the influenza pandemic; or by accident, in some desert helicopter crash on a training base; or by a madman's rampage, as just happened at Fort Hood -- deserves exactly the same respect from our country as those killed by enemy fire.]

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On Being A Twit

[ Posted Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 – 16:59 UTC ]

There are big subjects which I should be writing about today. The abortion battle within the Democratic Party, for instance. What Obama is going to announce about our troop commitment in Afghanistan. And, believe it or not, David Hasselhoff's contribution to freedom.

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Cold War's End -- The Wall Comes Down

[ Posted Monday, November 9th, 2009 – 18:16 UTC ]

It must be a little hard to understand, for anyone reading this under the age of about 30 or so, the significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. Because one event has become historical shorthand for an immense change in the dynamics of not just our country, but the entire world. We've all seen the pictures of an exuberant crowd at the Brandenburg Gate (or "Checkpoint Charlie"), seemingly tearing The Wall down with their bare hands. But it wasn't just one wall, or one city, or even one country that the events in Berlin were changing -- it was the entire political makeup of the planet. Because the fall of The Wall signified the fall of the Soviet Union, and an end to the Cold War. And while this was of enormous historical import, I fear that future generations won't really pay much attention to it. Truth be told, I can already feel it slipping away in the American consciousness. Which, while I understand the impulse, I still think is a shame. Because as the Cold War is forgotten, passing into the dusty pages of children's history books, we run the risk of forgetting some of its lessons.

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Friday Talking Points [100] -- Whigging Out

[ Posted Friday, November 6th, 2009 – 17:28 UTC ]

This column today celebrates a milestone -- triple digits on the odometer! That's right, as hard as it may seem to believe, this is the one hundredth volume of your weekly Friday Talking Points column. For a little over two years now, we've brought you our thoughts on "the week that was in politics," and for a little less time than that, we've announced our weekly winners of both the aforementioned MIDOTW as well as the ignominious Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. And we wrap it all up with some practical, good old-fashioned, home-brewed Democratic spin, our Talking Points for the week ahead.

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Reading The 2009 Election

[ Posted Thursday, November 5th, 2009 – 15:42 UTC ]

The two prevailing views so far seem to be: "Good news for Republicans!" and, alternatively, "Good news for Democrats!" It is possible that neither are true, and yet neither entirely false. There was certainly some interesting news, but it's tough to read amongst all the spin.

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One Year After Obama's Election: Still Smarter... Than The Alternative

[ Posted Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 – 16:55 UTC ]

The day before I cast my vote for Barack Obama, I wrote a column titled "Barack Obama Is Smarter Than Us." By "us," I meant the legions of us lefty bloggers out here, who second-guessed his campaign on a daily basis for nigh on two years. I included myself in that "us" as well -- because, I fully admit, I got incredibly frustrated during Obama's campaign when he didn't do what I really, really wanted him to. Or didn't do it fast enough to suit me.

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Off Year?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 – 17:00 UTC ]

I know I'm supposed to be talking about the off-year (or even "off-off-year") elections happening today, but I really don't think it's worth the effort. I recently heard a pundit on a talk show give the most honest answer I've ever heard to the question: "Do off-year elections reflect upon the president, or the party in power, or national trends?" The pundit answered, with a grin on his face: "Depends on who wins."

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Obama Poll Watch [October 2009] -- Flattening Trends

[ Posted Monday, November 2nd, 2009 – 16:24 UTC ]

Much like Sherlock Holmes' non-barking nocturnal canine, the remarkable thing about President Barack Obama's poll numbers last month was that nothing remarkable happened. Both trendlines were pretty flat for the month, which was the second month in a row of little movement. Things are not getting much better for Obama's approval rate, but then neither are they getting much worse.

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