Archive of Articles for November, 2010

Friday Talking Points [146] -- Clowning Around

[ Posted Friday, November 12th, 2010 – 18:15 UTC ]

But for anyone who thinks that American voters just elected a bunch of clowns to represent them in Washington, I humbly draw your attention to Brazil, where they just elected a real clown to their Congress.

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Rare Earth Optimism

[ Posted Thursday, November 11th, 2010 – 18:53 UTC ]

The town of Mountain Pass, California, is about as close to a ghost town as you can get without actually being empty. The town lies fifteen miles in from the Nevada border, on the interstate highway route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. It is a mining boom town that went bust -- and not back in the Wild West days, but very recently. But it's not just any mining town out in the desert, it's a very special one.

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Obama's Next Steps

[ Posted Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 – 17:28 UTC ]

President Obama conveniently scheduled a trip to Asia immediately after this year's midterm elections. This has worked, so far, as designed -- it removed Obama from the political scene in Washington, while serious jockeying for position takes place among both major American political parties (leadership elections will be one of the first things the lame duck Congress will do when it reconvenes next week). This also has allowed Obama a pause to consider exactly what his next political steps are going to be, now that he faces two years of a politically-divided Congress (with Republicans in charge of the House, and Democrats still nominally in charge of the Senate).

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Missile Launch West Of Los Angeles?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 – 18:49 UTC ]

A missile apparently launched out of the ocean 35 miles west of Los Angeles last night, and the Pentagon has no idea what or whose it was. Now, I realize that we've all gotten a bit blasé over such things since the end of the Cold War, but this should really be front-page news, don't you think? If anyone either in the military or outside of it (a private American contractor who builds missiles, for example) got permission for such a launch, the Pentagon really should know something about it -- which they appear not to. Because if this was merely a matter of missed communications, that's one thing -- but any other plausible reason would be truly alarming. And the lack of knowledge at the Pentagon is disturbing, to say the least, when we're talking missiles being launched that close to one of America's biggest cities.

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The Lame Duck Window

[ Posted Monday, November 8th, 2010 – 17:26 UTC ]

Democrats in the 111th Congress may be down, but they are not quite out yet. Due to the quirky nature of our political calendar, the "old" Congress will reconvene in a week or so, and stay in session through December, and then the "new" or incoming Congress will be convened for the first time in January. What, if anything, this "lame duck session" will accomplish is an open question. They certainly won't have any shortage of issues to tackle, and this may well be the last chance Democrats get at moving their agenda forward for the next two years. Whether they will take this window of opportunity to do so or not remains to be seen, though.

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Friday Talking Points [145] -- A Democratic Epitaph

[ Posted Thursday, November 4th, 2010 – 23:29 UTC ]

An interesting article caught my eye last week, but what with all the election hoopla, I haven't had a chance to write about it before now. But even if it went mostly unnoticed by the public at large, it was an important and downright scathing indictment of the Democrats' complete inability to get their message out, so it certainly fits in with our theme here on Fridays. Some may feel, perhaps, that the word "indictment" is too strong to use here. I disagree. In fact, I'll make the statement even stronger: this article is an absolute epitaph -- which should be carved into the gravestone laid on top of the corpse of the Democrats' efforts to communicate their virtues to the voters in the 2010 midterm elections.

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The Parting On The Right

[ Posted Thursday, November 4th, 2010 – 18:50 UTC ]

We now find ourselves in such a "day after the revolution" situation, to some degree or another, in American politics. The question of whether or not folks will be fooled again is going to grow larger throughout the next two years, over on the Right. The question is inherently impossible to answer at this point, but it hasn't stopped the song from running through my head as we survey the post-revolutionary political scene. And, so far, this "parting on the right" is already causing some headaches for the Republicans in Washington. I speak, of course, of the Tea Partiers.

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Obama Poll Watch -- October, 2010

[ Posted Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 – 13:44 UTC ]

Obama got a mixed bag of candy and rocks this Hallowe'en, at the close of October. Feel free to make your own comparisons to the mixed election results, but we're talking here about the month leading up to the elections. Obama was out on the campaign trail in a big way, and his numbers were both up and down as a result. Let's take a look at the chart:

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Biggest Little Proposition On California's Ballot

[ Posted Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 – 16:54 UTC ]

Proposition 25, as I said, will likely have no national implications (as 19 and 23 do). But that doesn't mean it isn't important. What Proposition 25 will do, if it passes, is to change our state laws regarding how budgets are voted on in our legislature. Already, I can feel readers' eyelids drooping, as it sounds like a pretty wonky subject, for which I apologize.

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My Final Midterm Election Picks

[ Posted Monday, November 1st, 2010 – 16:53 UTC ]

We're down to the wire with the midterm elections, so it's time to put all the cards on the table and pick the winners of tomorrow's Senate races.

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