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Politics

Sun Rises in East, Pundit Says

Political pundits have a longstanding tradition of breathlessly stating the obvious. Similarly, political reportage has an ingrained habit of throwing facts and figures at us without bothering to explain their meaning. Neither of these things surprises us—yet a recent article by ABC News's Jake Tapper on Obama's "struggle to win over key groups" may have set a new world record for meaningless analysis.

Politics

How Bad is Bush?

In an essay in the Washington Post last week, columnist Dan Eggen discusses the legacy of President Bush in a historical context. Like most other evaluations of Bush's presidency, Eggen's relies on the opinion of the majority of historians and the general public: that Bush will ultimately be remembered in a negative light, and possibly as the worst president ever. While this may be true, thanks to the president's colossal failure in Iraq and with the US economy, some possible outcomes would completely flip the perception of the President's tenure in office.

Politics

Is Voting "Present" a Cop Out?

A new attack ad—paid for by the RNC—shows an animated and paper-thin resume of Barack Obama's past experience. Over music lifted from the soundtrack of an America's Most Wanted reenactment, a narrator lists Obama's lack of accomplishments. When she gets up to the candidate's time in the Illinois State Senate she says, "In the legislature, he avoids tough votes on abortion, crime and guns by voting present instead of yes or no." This seems a little familiar, and not just because the voice-actress sounds like she should be saying, "Ask your doctor if Lipozene is right for you."

Politics

Territorial Issues

As you may have heard, on June 1, Puerto Rican Democrats will head to the polls to select their choice for the party's presidential nominee. The winner will get the lion's share of the 55 pledged delegates—who will undoubtedly be seated at the convention, unlike the in-limbo delegations from Michigan and Florida. But, for Puerto Ricans—who are US citizens but do not pay federal taxes and cannot vote in federal elections—that's where the 2008 campaign ends.

Politics

The VP of Bodily Fluids

As the primary season winds down (we hope), the media can finally start discussing issues other than the horse race for delegates. But it needs to speculate about something—enter the vice presidency. The VP selection parlor game has been an election year favorite for as long as we can remember and, truthfully, it is kind of fun (our picks: Richardson and Romney). And, inevitably, an old quote from FDR VP John Nance Garner saying the job's as worthless as "warm bucket of spit" is trotted out. Or is it a "pitcher of warm piss?" Depends who you ask.

Politics

The Obama Paradox

A recent op-ed in the New York Times argues that should Barack Obama assume the presidency, he may want to avoid visiting the Middle East. Why? As the son of a Muslim father, Obama was technically born a Muslim, but because he became a Christian, he's an apostate. Therefore, in countries that strictly adhere to Muslim law (such as Iran and Saudi Arabia) it is illegal to punish, or even interfere with, his murder.

Politics

Primary Contradictions

Over the course of the past several months, at turns enthralled and exasperated, we've noticed some unusual contradictions in the voting blocs, or supposed voting blocs, of the two Democratic contenders. Seeing as we may be nearing the end of the election's first phase (you know, when you put it like that it doesn't sound quite so momentous), we're now going to take a look at some of those. Or, just state them.

Media

We Can't All Be Seabiscuit

As Wonkette aptly noted over the weekend, Hillary Clinton's pick in the Kentucky Derby, Eight Belles, finished in second. She was also the only female horse in the race, and she lost to Big Brown, for what it's worth. Oh, and then she broke both ankles and had to be put to death on the track.

Politics

Meta-Polling the Rev. Wright Controversy

According to a New York Times/CBS NEWS poll released today, only 24% of voters care "a lot" or "some" about Barack Obama's relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. That's good news for the Obama campaign, right? Sort of.

Politics

Politicalliteration

When there are no new results to report in the race for the Democratic nomination, some media outlets seem to get a little punchy with their political coverage. Or should I say, a paucity of party primaries perhaps pushes publications to pen puerile pages. Nowhere was this playful tone more apparent than in the assonance featured in a recent New York Times story about the resignation of Clinton's chief strategist Mark Penn: "Ouster Opens Opportunity for Obama."

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