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Archive of Articles in the "News" Category

Take Two

[ Posted Wednesday, November 9th, 2022 – 16:07 UTC ]

That headline could be applicable to today's post-election situation in a number of ways, I suppose. As a movie director's cry (i.e. "We're starting take number two!"), since we are going to have a Senate race runoff election on December 6th in Georgia. It could be read literally, since at this point both parties need to take two of the three uncalled races in order to achieve a Senate majority. Or just as: "Take two and call me in the morning," the classic punchline to a doctor joke -- because it will probably take quite a while to get all the results in even before the December runoff. Or maybe even as: "I did a double-take when I heard the first results," that could work too. The funniest thing I heard during the extended post-election period in 2020 came out of the mouth of a babe -- some parent's toddler (this was passed along to me as an anecdote) said they were tired of watching television with Mommy and Daddy because "all they wanted to watch was The Map Show." And it looks like we'll all have at least a few more mornings of checking in with The Map Show before we know what Congress is really going to look like in January.

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Stress Test

[ Posted Monday, November 7th, 2022 – 16:06 UTC ]

The American system of holding elections is about to go through a stress test. I saw this term in the headline of a Washington Post piece today and had to agree it was the correct term to use. A stress test, whether for a piece of software or a new gizmo, is essentially the quality assurance/quality control people beating the living daylights out of it until it crumbles. For online software, this might mean simulating millions of people trying to access it simultaneously (see: Obamacare marketplace website rollout). For a new doodad, it might mean dropping it from increasing heights until it shatters when it hits. The whole idea is to push beyond the limits to find out the breaking point, one way or another.

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Friday Talking Points -- Get Out And Vote!

[ Posted Friday, November 4th, 2022 – 16:17 UTC ]

Some weeks, we pre-empt our own talking points here and just deliver a rant (because sometimes the circumstances seem to almost require it). This week, however, we're going to pre-empt the entire Friday Talking Points column. For some reason, we just don't think handing out awards to Democrats (good and bad) or providing talking points is the important thing, this week. At this point, the Democratic talking points are kind of set in stone; new ones wouldn't do much good with such little time between now and Election Day.

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What Has Changed In The Past Two Years

[ Posted Thursday, November 3rd, 2022 – 15:47 UTC ]

Two years ago today, we were all glued to our television sets to find out who had won the 2020 presidential election. We didn't find out that night, of course, we had to wait days and days before the final results were in: Joe Biden had decisively beaten Donald Trump, with the exact same Electoral College split as happened in 2016 -- an election Trump had always liked to refer to as "a landslide."

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A Shift In Storyline?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 1st, 2022 – 15:23 UTC ]

Perhaps things aren't quite as bad for Democrats as the storyline the entire political media universe has been echoing for the past week or so. That's the message today, and it is an interesting one indeed for Democrats to see. For a while now, the political press has had a rather gloomy outlook: "Democrats peaked too early on the abortion issue and the momentum has now officially shifted to the Republicans in the midterm election races." Now, I'll admit I haven't been following the polls as closely as I do during presidential election years, so I didn't notice something that has apparently been happening (but, to be fair, few others had commented on it either) -- virtually all of the polling done in the past couple of weeks has been from Republican pollsters, not independent, nationally-known polling organizations. Which could explain the whole "momentum shift" as nothing more than bias induced into the polls themselves.

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Friday Talking Points -- Election Fears

[ Posted Friday, October 28th, 2022 – 17:20 UTC ]

We have to admit, we're more than a little worried about the upcoming midterm elections. Not about who will win (that's a different subject), but about the elections themselves. Because for the first time in a very long period in American history, one of the major political parties is openly attacking the election system itself. This is a dry run for the 2024 presidential election, and at this point it is impossible to say that Election Day (and the counting of the votes thereafter) won't be marred by intimidation, internal sabotage, and/or outright political violence. And that's a pretty sad state of affairs for American democracy.

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Midterms Up For Grabs

[ Posted Thursday, October 27th, 2022 – 15:37 UTC ]

I start with a simple truth: nobody knows what the midterm election results will be. I don't know, you don't know, and the people who get paid to tell you they do also don't know. Of course, this is always true -- nobody can perfectly accurately predict the future -- but it used to be that politics was at least somewhat predictable. Polling would show what the voters were thinking, and it usually played out on Election Day.

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Celebrating Putting Country Above Party

[ Posted Monday, October 24th, 2022 – 16:19 UTC ]

In a number of races in the midterm elections, an extraordinary thing is happening. Both Democrats and Republicans are backing candidates which are not from their own party. Republicans are endorsing Democrats. Democrats are endorsing Republicans or Independents who lean Republican. Each case, so far, is fairly individual. So this isn't yet a big trend or anything, but it is interesting nonetheless because it shows that in the right circumstances politicians still exist who are willing to put "country above party" -- in other words, supporting candidates they feel would be the best for America's future rather than blindly backing their own party's candidate.

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Friday Talking Points -- Student Loan Relief In Sight

[ Posted Friday, October 21st, 2022 – 17:29 UTC ]

Next week, millions of students and former students are on track to have $10,000 to $20,000 of their student debt wiped off the books. Republicans are incensed and are desperately fighting to halt this debt forgiveness before it can happen. It is a perfect example of the ideological divide between the two parties -- one of whom is trying to help millions of people while the other fights against it tooth and nail.

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What The Republicans Will Do If They Win

[ Posted Wednesday, October 19th, 2022 – 14:40 UTC ]

Republicans have always had a good chance of winning at least one house of Congress in the upcoming midterms. As things stand, it looks a lot more likely that they'll take control of the House, but they could also win the Senate. So what would they do if they did win control of either one or both houses? Probably not a whole lot, in terms of substantive legislative goals, since Joe Biden will still be sitting in the White House (with a veto pen at the ready). But Republicans aren't really campaigning on substantive legislative issues much anymore, because they have followed the lead of their base and are much more interested in style over substance. What we can definitely expect from a Republican Congress is spleen-venting, and lots of it.

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