Archive of Articles for December, 2009

A Teachable Moment -- The Official Banished Words List

[ Posted Thursday, December 31st, 2009 – 15:02 UTC ]

In any case, in these economic times, I felt we better end with some transparency here. As your Web Site Czar, standing on the cusp of a shovel-ready upgrade of to begin the new year (but not, for those who can count to ten, the "new decade") which will improve the site (but not require you to download a new app) by getting rid of some toxic assets, software-wise, and providing a stimulus to your experience here; I can truly say that 2010 will be a year of bromance between all of us chillaxin' here. Because we like to consider Obamaliciously too big to fail. Oh, and don't forget to friend me by following my tweets! And I assure you, there will be no sexting....

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We Need More Parties

[ Posted Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 – 16:39 UTC ]

While that may seem a rather redundant headline the day before a world-wide party is scheduled, it was actually less provocative than my original concept of selling the theme that America needs more than two viable political parties, which was: "Party! Party! Party! Party!" But then I noticed I had already used one exclamation point in a headline this week; so I realized if I ran my original choice, I would be jeopardizing my standing among the Professional Journalists And Wannabes Who Play One On The Web Guild (the beloved PJAWWPOOTWG, pronounced like... um... well, it's best not to try to pronounce the acronym until you've got at least three stiff drinks under your belt). Where was I? Oh, right, party headlines.

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Last Chance To Enter Words/Phrases For Banishment

[ Posted Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 – 16:27 UTC ]

Thursday's column, with luck, will be another year-end tradition -- the annual "banished words" list from northern Michigan. Last year, I wrote about the list and had such fun doing so that I'm going to end 2009 by doing the same. But this means that today is pretty much the last chance you have to enter phrases you'd like banned from everyday usage by your peers. And 2009 was a rich year for grating phrases, from "death panels" to "teabaggers." In any case, check out the official Lake Superior State University "Banished Words" site, and enter your nominations today!

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Ride The Populist Wave: Restore Glass-Steagall!

[ Posted Monday, December 28th, 2009 – 17:05 UTC ]

Democrats should realize, by this point, that they're going to have to reposition themselves a bit if they stand any chance in next year's midterm congressional elections. Fortunately for them, there are two issues out there just begging for exploitation. The first is the Republican Party, who has reportedly decided they are going to run next year on taking something away from voters which Democrats have given them -- the healthcare reform bill. And the second is a little-noted bill introduced a few weeks ago by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), John McCain (R-AZ), and Russ Feingold (D-WI), which would bring back a chunk of the banking regulations passed in the Great Depression known as "Glass-Steagall." Together, these two issues present an opportunity for Democrats to reap some of the populist anger brewing out there in the electorate.

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My 2009 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 25th, 2009 – 20:19 UTC ]

Welcome once again to our year-end wrapup and awards ceremony. Honesty dictates that I immediately genuflect to The McLaughlin Group, from whom I have stolen all these award categories. We will begin this week with Part 1 of these annual awards, and then next Friday on New Year's Day, we will present Part 2, with reduced volume levels (for those who are nursing hangovers... ahem).

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From The Archives -- The Interrogation Of Mr. Claus

[ Posted Thursday, December 24th, 2009 – 16:16 UTC ]

[Program Note: This column is a repeat of the first Christmas column I wrote, which originally ran on December 20, 2006. Sorry for the re-run, as getting tomorrow's end-of-year awards column is enough of a challenge over the next two days. Here's wishing our faithful readers have a very happy twenty-fifth of December [...]

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The Biggest Conspiracy Of All

[ Posted Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 – 16:14 UTC ]

Speaking as someone who generally enjoys a good conspiracy theory just for the "creative writing" aspect alone, in all good conscience I simply must report this shocking news: I have uncovered a big, fat conspiracy that is no mere theory. We're either being lied to, or we're joining in the propagation of the lie [...]

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Going Nuclear On The Filibuster?

[ Posted Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 – 17:07 UTC ]

These days, it takes 60 votes to do just about anything in the United States Senate. That is a fact that galls many, especially since it is a fairly recent development. While the filibuster (or, the more polite modern version, cloture) has been around for a long time, it simply has not been used as such a blunt instrument before in the fashion Republicans are now swinging it around. Which has led to calls to either abolish the filibuster, or scale it back in some way. But proponents of such action should really think long and hard before they do. Because, eventually, the shoe's going to be on the other foot for Democrats in the Senate. This is something which usually gets lost in this debate, or brushed off when mentioned. It really shouldn't, though.

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From The Archives -- Why Christmas Is Not On The Solstice

[ Posted Monday, December 21st, 2009 – 11:49 UTC ]

[Program Note: This column is a repeat of a past Christmas column, which originally ran on Christmas Eve, 2007. Since today is the Winter Solstice, I thought it was an appropriate subject. While I apologize for offering up nothing but a re-run today, it was unavoidable, as I will spend most of today [...]

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Program Note

[ Posted Saturday, December 19th, 2009 – 21:44 UTC ]

I am finally ready for some testing of new stuff, so I thought I'd warn everyone that the site may not be 100% stable for the next day or so. By Monday morning, it will be back to normal (actually completing the upgrade will not happen this weekend), but it may get a little [...]

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