Archive of Articles for August, 2015

Hillary's Enthusiasm Gap

[ Posted Monday, August 17th, 2015 – 16:59 UTC ]

Deep into the political silly season, it seems the pundits are getting rather tired of being so very, very wrong in predicting the imminent demise of Donald Trump's candidacy, so instead they all seem to have turned to a new summertime storyline: predicting the imminent demise of Hillary Clinton's candidacy. This is what passes for conventional wisdom inside the Beltway in the dog days of August, but it's likely going to turn out to be just as wrong as the endless refrains of "surely this will sink Trump!" which preceded it. For anyone so disconnected from reality to understand what I'm saying here, a handy reminder that we have over fourteen months before the 2016 election. Even the first primaries are still a half a year away. And anything can happen in that amount of time in politics.

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Friday Talking Points [357] -- The Rehabilitation Of Golf In The GOP

[ Posted Friday, August 14th, 2015 – 18:07 UTC ]

We're going to begin today with a wrapup of the week that was in the presidential campaigns, and as befitting his status as the Republican frontrunner, we're going to start with Donald Trump (if you're sick of hearing about Trump, just skip down eight or ten paragraphs and continue reading).

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Marijuana Legalization Fight In Ohio

[ Posted Thursday, August 13th, 2015 – 17:22 UTC ]

Legalizing both medicinal and recreational marijuana will be on the ballot in Ohio this November. But this news is actually dividing marijuana activists once again, which might have some political repercussions for the entire movement. Because of the way the proposed law was drafted, it would create an official oligopoly of only ten growers for the entire state. Ohio has over 11 million people, so each official farm would serve the needs of over one million people. That's pretty unbalanced, to put it mildly, since the other 75,000 farmers in the state would be out in the cold.

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A Little Celebritician History

[ Posted Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 – 17:30 UTC ]

Donald Trump is unique. Let's start off with that. He's an outsider to the political process, he's got name recognition other candidates would die for, and he makes his own rules out on the campaign trail. He is (to use a word I coined a while back) a "celebritician" -- a celebrity who decided he'd become a politician. This horrifies many, mostly because he's been so successful (so far). But he's certainly not the first celebrity to toss his hat into the political ring, although he is the first big one to emerge on the Republican side in a while (ever since the days of Senator Fred Thompson, by my reckoning). But since each celebritician is unique, can anything be learned from the past history of quixotic celebrity political campaigns?

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Who Will Exit The Race First?

[ Posted Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 – 17:13 UTC ]

I am no different than most other political commentators, in at least two respects. I love a good presidential race, and I mostly only pay attention to the frontrunners on both sides. To put this another way, I don't write many articles about Jim Webb's campaign or how Lindsey Graham is fairing. So today, in the midst of the political dog days of August, I thought I'd concentrate on the bottom end of the polls, in an attempt to answer the question: "Who will drop out first?"

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New Poll Shakes Up GOP Race (Below Trump)

[ Posted Monday, August 10th, 2015 – 17:14 UTC ]

The entire political punditry world has been holding its collective breath since last Thursday night, waiting for some polling numbers to interpret. As usual, polling takes longer than most people think. The first Republican debate, after all, was held Thursday night. Most pollsters take at least two days to conduct a poll, then maybe another day of number-crunching, before the results are made public. Due to this process, a lot of new polls will likely appear in the next two or three days. NBC beat them all to the punch, though, and released their first poll results over the weekend. The numbers -- if they prove to be valid, and not outliers -- show a remarkable shakeup happening in public opinion as a direct result of the debates, at least in the field right below the frontrunner. One question in particular from this poll seems to show some very bad news for the Republican Party, but before we get to that let's take a look at the whole field.

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Friday Talking Points [356] -- GOP Debates, Round One

[ Posted Friday, August 7th, 2015 – 17:10 UTC ]

Well, that was entertaining, wasn't it? We refer, of course, to the grand spectacle of the first Republican presidential debates, held last night on Fox News. Since this is all anyone's talking about in the political world today, we are going to follow suit and devote most of this column (with the exception of the awards) to our reactions to seeing all the Republican candidates under one roof for the first time.

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Program Note

[ Posted Thursday, August 6th, 2015 – 15:54 UTC ]

There will be no column today. I'm going to become just a consumer of politics today, because there's so much going on, with the two Republican debates. I thought about commenting on just the first one (the "kid's table" debate), but instead of offering up snap reactions this time I'm going to let [...]

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How Do You Solve A Problem Like The Donald?

[ Posted Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 – 17:48 UTC ]

I have to begin by immediately offering my apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein for that title, but the lyrics from The Sound Of Music's "Maria" have indeed been running through my head -- as I contemplate what all the other Republican candidates are going to do in the debate tomorrow night to differentiate themselves from their party's frontrunner, Donald Trump. Especially the ever-so descriptive line: "A flibbertigibbet... A will o' the wisp... A clown."

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Obama Poll Watch -- July, 2015

[ Posted Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 – 17:02 UTC ]

Barack Obama doesn't usually have very good summers, as measured by his public opinion job approval numbers. Last month, he finally broke this curse and posted some solid gains -- the first time he's ever done so in July. The daily polling was a bit of a rollercoaster, though, so he could just as easily go back down in August, but let's focus on the good news for Obama fans first. Take a look at the new chart, for starters.

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