Archive of Articles for January, 2017

Guest Author -- Business Cycle Blues

[ Posted Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 – 18:12 UTC ]

Recently, Salon (not a right wing outlet, let's say) published a series of charts that show how much better the economy does under Democratic versus Republican administrations. This is a popular meme that appears regularly in the news feeds of the left-inclined, such as myself.

Even Donald Trump chimed in on this (although I think he has probably changed his tune since). In an interview with Wolf Blitzer in 2004 he commented that: "I've been around for a long time and it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans."

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Pondering Cultural Consolidation

[ Posted Monday, January 16th, 2017 – 17:43 UTC ]

Today is when America celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's birthday, so I thought it would be an appropriate day to discuss a cultural change in America over the polite terminology used to identify what might be called characteristics of (take your pick) race, ethnicity, or cultural identity. I'll warn you from the start, however, that this is not the usual discussion most people would associate with today's holiday, but rather something which has left me scratching my head trying to figure out the reasoning behind. I will begin with one of the usual discussions people have today, and then branch off from there, in an attempt to relate it all in a loose fashion to Dr. King's holiday.

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Friday Talking Points [421] -- Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

[ Posted Friday, January 13th, 2017 – 17:47 UTC ]

We know there's that pesky clause in the Constitution and all, but doesn't it seem like today would have been more appropriate for Donald Trump's inauguration? That's our way of saying "Happy Friday the 13th" to everyone, we should point out. Ahem.

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Trump Presidency Scenarios

[ Posted Thursday, January 12th, 2017 – 17:57 UTC ]

I've been taking a look back at the Obama presidency this week, so I thought it'd only be fair to look forward today and lay out the possible outcomes of the presidency of Donald Trump. Now, before I even start, I realize this is largely a fool's errand, for any number of reasons. But that's never stopped me before, and today I intend not to make predictions of what will happen, but rather run the whole gamut of what could conceivably happen. If rampant speculation without a shred of conclusion isn't your cup of tea, then I'd advise just skipping today's column altogether.

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Obama's Farewell

[ Posted Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 – 18:27 UTC ]

Last night, President Barack Obama bid the American public farewell. He gave a speech that was inspiring, and called upon Americans to get involved in the political process in a multitude of ways. Like many historic farewell addresses (even quoting from George Washington's), it also delivered a warning about what Obama perceives as current and future dangers which threaten America. Washington's farewell address, when read in full, contains a scathing denunciation of the mere concept of political parties (called "factions" at the time), and Obama's followed suit in denouncing the rabidly partisan era we now find ourselves in.

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Playboy Presidents

[ Posted Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 – 17:58 UTC ]

Before I begin my main thesis today, a clarification of terms is necessary. America has certainly had its fair share of playboy presidents (see: Bill Clinton, J.F.K., et al), but it seems we're in a transition point between what might be called two Playboy presidents. That capital "P" and the italics signify the [...]

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Program Note

[ Posted Monday, January 9th, 2017 – 21:23 UTC ]

Due to circumstances beyond my control, there will be no column today. We got hit with a huge storm this weekend, and woke up with no power today. We finally got our power back late in the day, but too late to put together a coherent column, sorry. Another storm is on [...]

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Friday Talking Points [420] -- Red Queen Meets The Underpants Gnomes

[ Posted Friday, January 6th, 2017 – 18:02 UTC ]

Welcome back everyone to our regular weekly roundup! We've been on our usual year-end hiatus for the past few weeks, pre-empted by our year-end awards columns (Part 1 and Part 2). But now that Congress is slinking back to the swamps of Washington, it's time to start looking forward once again. And we promise, we are going to explain that rather cryptic title, after we dispense with an initial bit of idiocy.

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Republican Rhetoric About To Meet Reality

[ Posted Thursday, January 5th, 2017 – 18:19 UTC ]

Now that Republicans control all branches of the federal government, their base is going to expect them to make good on their promises. However, what we're already seeing is that political rhetoric that helps get you elected isn't the same thing as actual reality. It's going to be interesting to see GOP rhetoric collide with the hard, cold facts of reality in the next few months, and nowhere is this more true than on the issue of healthcare reform.

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Obama Poll Watch -- December, 2016

[ Posted Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 – 20:58 UTC ]

Obama's third, or "lame-duck" honeymoon continued strong in December, putting Obama at the highest point in public opinion polls that he's seen during his entire second term in office. In other words, he's stronger now than he was when sworn in for the second time, four years ago. Obama set four second-term records this month, hitting a job approval high in both daily and monthly average poll ratings, while also charting new daily and monthly lows in job disapproval. Obama had a great December, which was the capstone on the best year he's ever had during his entire presidency. Let's take a look at the penultimate chart of Obama's presidency:

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