Archive of Articles for May, 2010

Election Projection

[ Posted Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 – 16:48 UTC ]

So there are a few interesting primaries happening today. But, since we're all sitting around waiting for the returns, I'd like instead to talk about a generic idea, rather than specifics of individual races, and what it all means. Actually, that's the idea I want to talk about right there -- "what it all means." Because, as in all election seasons, 2010 so far looks to be just like every other election for the past twenty or thirty years (or even longer), in one basic respect -- the media is going to oversimplify what "the public is thinking" and likely draw some very wrong conclusions that will become accepted history in due time.

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Religion, Bigotry, And Political Hypocrisy

[ Posted Monday, May 17th, 2010 – 18:18 UTC ]

Pat Buchanan, in his usual less-than-charming manner, brought up a point last week about the religious diversity (or lack thereof) of the Supreme Court. Buchanan pointed out that, if Elena Kagan is confirmed to the highest court (as seems likely), there will be only two religions represented on the court -- Judaism and Catholicism. He further points out that the court will be one-third Jewish, when Jews account for only two percent of the American population. Now, aside from the highly amusing spectacle of right-wingers advocating some sort of quota system, I think there's a deeper point here than Buchanan's "pity the unrepresented Protestant majority" theme. Because, even though virtually no politician would ever admit it, there is indeed a widespread (but unacknowledged) religious bigotry in America.

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Friday Talking Points [123] -- A Working Senate

[ Posted Friday, May 14th, 2010 – 17:59 UTC ]

Now, you can take this as a joke in one of two ways. The first, of course, pokes fun at the fact that the Senate takes an absolutely gargantuan amount of vacation time every year, when they are instead supposed to be doing "The People's Business." The second, of course, refers to the fact that the Senate is somewhat of a broken mechanism these days, notorious for not getting much done, ever, on anything. Compare, for instance, the amount of bills the House passes to the glacial pace of "work" in the Senate, of late.

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Arizona's Forbidding Landscape

[ Posted Thursday, May 13th, 2010 – 19:02 UTC ]

Arizona is a truly beautiful state. It has many spectacular sights, of which the Grand Canyon is the most awe-inspiring. But Arizona is also a state of forbidding landscapes -- much of the state is desert or near-desert, where the heat of the midday sun is a force of nature to be heavily respected, if not downright feared. But what has put Arizona into the news recently is its "forbidding" political landscape. Specifically, on immigration.

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Republicans Boycott Arizona?

[ Posted Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 – 17:15 UTC ]

It was just announced that the 2012 Republican National Convention will be held in Tampa, Florida, rather than Salt Lake City, Utah or Phoenix, Arizona, the other two cities that were in the running. Now, it's pretty easy to see why Utah would be contentious, seeing as how Mitt Romney may be the party's nominee. Holding the GOP convention in the heart of Mormonism would seem to be some sort of tacit party endorsement of Romney, in other words. Or perhaps it's just that the conventioneers want to have more fun (and more bars) available to them while they go about the sober (ahem) business of nominating their presidential candidate. But Phoenix is another story entirely. Because I can't help but think that the Republican Party just imposed their own de facto boycott of Arizona, due to the state's recent legislative anti-immigrant fervor.

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In Memoriam, Frank Frazetta

[ Posted Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 – 06:07 UTC ]

Frank Frazetta recently passed away. You may not immediately recognize his name, but it is likely you have seen his artwork at least once in your life, especially if you recognize the name of the southern rock band "Molly Hatchet." Frazetta's artwork occupied a certain niche, where it was wildly popular. This niche is hard to define, as it actually ranges over a wide realm of what might be called the "Kingdom of Geekiness" -- science fiction, fantasy, and even (gasp!) comic books. Naturally, as a result, Frazetta was sneered at by the "real" art world. This matters not a whit to fans of his artwork, who are legion. As, indeed, it should not.

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Democratic Primary Overview

[ Posted Monday, May 10th, 2010 – 18:43 UTC ]

While the Tea Party folks have gotten a lot of attention from the media in the Republican primaries so far, there are a few Democratic primary races which may have just as interesting an impact on the Democrats as the Tea Party challenges are having for Republicans. And since last week I took a look at the effect of the Tea Partiers in Republican races, today I thought it would be worth paying some attention to the Democratic side of the aisle. Because the anti-incumbent "throw the bums out" feeling seems to be happening to some degree in both parties this year. What it all means for the general election remains to be seen, of course. For now, let's take a look at a handful of these upcoming primary races.

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Friday Talking Points [122] -- Bikini Bottom Update

[ Posted Friday, May 7th, 2010 – 18:00 UTC ]

Since it's the Friday after month's-end, the new monthly unemployment numbers were released today. Which adds another bar to the "bikini bottom" chart. Now, the measure of how many people know exactly what this means is exactly the measure of how well Democrats are getting the "jobs" message out. Because, as I've said previously, this chart should be front and center in the Democrats' campaigns this year.

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Program Note: Playing Hooky

[ Posted Thursday, May 6th, 2010 – 16:37 UTC ]

Just a short note to inform everyone that I'm "playing hooky" today, and there will be no column. One, it's been a really nice spring day, and two, I was up late doing some behind-the-scenes work here at the site, fixing bugs and whatnot, so I think I deserve a day off. [Note: [...]

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Tea Party's Midterm Influence

[ Posted Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 – 16:57 UTC ]

Three states held Republican primary elections yesterday, which makes it a good time to check in on the Tea Party and their preferred candidates, to see how things now stand (as well as where they could head), as we get closer to the midterm elections in November.

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