Archive of Articles for September, 2010

Three-Dot Thursday

[ Posted Thursday, September 30th, 2010 – 15:40 UTC ]

But all of that is neither here nor there. The style of journalism known as "three-dot" was pioneered and perfected by the late great Herb Caen of San Francisco newspaper fame, and consists of stringing together many disparate items conjoined with a liberal usage of ellipses, or those three little dots which indicate "sentence trails off here" or, in journalism, sometimes "there's a bunch of stuff I cut out from this excerpt here." Three-dot journalism relies on the first, and more common, usage... to trail off... into vagueness... or even innuendo....

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Senate Midterm Election Overview

[ Posted Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 – 17:00 UTC ]

It is time once again to take a look at the state of the midterm election races in the Senate. It has been over a month since we last examined the state of these races, and there has been some movement in both directions. Of course, the most dramatic of these has been in Delaware, but other states have been moving around as well (although admittedly, not as drastically).

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House Cleaning

[ Posted Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 – 17:28 UTC ]

Democrats in the House of Representatives, most pundits agree, are going to pay a price for the public's perception that Democrats in Congress can't get much of anything done. People are frustrated by the lack of action from Congress on all sorts of issues, this line of thinking goes, and will vent their frustration on Election Day by voting a significant number of Democrats out of the House.

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The Relevance Of Frank Zappa

[ Posted Monday, September 27th, 2010 – 17:30 UTC ]

Frank Zappa was recently honored by the city of Baltimore (where he spent the first years of his life) by the erection of a bust in front of a public library. And, yes, I like to think Frank is up there somewhere smiling down on my usage of the words "erection" and "bust" in that sentence. More on that in a bit.

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Friday Talking Points [140] -- Pledging Nonsense

[ Posted Friday, September 24th, 2010 – 17:29 UTC ]

The White House has been in the news this past week, mostly for who will be leaving it soon. One is tempted to insert the old "will the last to leave please turn out the lights" joke here; but one will not, because one holds oneself to a higher standard than that. Ahem.

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Fiscal Irresponsibility, Left And Right

[ Posted Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 – 18:02 UTC ]

American schoolchildren are not the best in the world when it comes to doing math. This is a fact which is proven over and over again by comparing test scores here with those achieved in other countries. The long-term problem with this, though, is one few people ever think about -- those kids grow up to be American adults, who still apparently can't do basic math. And, not to put too fine a point on it, this includes politicians. Either politicians can't do math themselves, or they cynically know that their constituents can't do math and exploit this when making promises to the public.

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Lame Duck Senate Worries

[ Posted Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 – 17:03 UTC ]

The reason a few senators will be sworn in early is that the races are "special" elections, held to replace vacancies which are now being filled by temporary, appointed senators. In other words, while most Senate elections are happening on their usual six-year cycle, these races are not in synch with this cycle, due to unexpected vacancies.

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Dump The Individual Mandate

[ Posted Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 – 17:27 UTC ]

But, as Howard Dean points out, healthcare reform can succeed without it. Which means there shouldn't be anything standing in the way of throwing the whole idea of the mandate under the political bus, so to speak. Or, since the Tea Partiers hate it too, perhaps "throw it overboard" would be a better metaphor.

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New Tea Party Media Strategy: No Media

[ Posted Monday, September 20th, 2010 – 17:01 UTC ]

Christine O'Donnell was going to appear on two nationally-broadcast Sunday political chat shows this weekend; Face The Nation on CBS, and Fox News Sunday. She appeared on neither, citing scheduling conflicts with a picnic in Delaware. Even Fox News didn't really buy this explanation, which is truly saying something. But it really should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention this election cycle, because this appears to be the new Tea Party media strategy: "Don't talk to the media. Ever." What remains to be seen is whether it will work or not. If it proves successful, look for many future candidates across the political spectrum to copy this strategy in future races.

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Friday Talking Points [139] -- Three Years Of FTP

[ Posted Friday, September 17th, 2010 – 16:42 UTC ]

First, though, we simply must wish ourselves a happy third anniversary. Woo hoo! Three years of FTP columns!

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