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‘Political Spectrum’ Category

  1. Political Spectrum: A View From the Right — Can Romney Beat Obama?

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    April 10, 2012 by Mike Landry

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    It seems apparent that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee. Can he beat President Obama?



 Pitting Mitt Romney against Barack Obama recalls some aspects of the election of 2008. Romney has more media presence than the wooden John McCain. And overexposure, gaffs, and wobbly abilities in extemporaneous speaking have revealed Obama as being less than his initial image. But this is not about the election of another of the nice, respectable Republicans that the party establishment seems to love to nominate. The election is about Barack Obama. And the President has real problems. He pledged to his supporters the ending of the wars, the providing of civilian trials for terrorists, the closing of Guantanamo, the freeing of us from the curse of Wall Street, and he said he’d give us national health care and more. To date, the wars have expanded, terrorists don’t clog our courts, Guantanamo remains, the administration is cozy with Wall Street, and national health care is on the ropes. As a result, President Obama’s supporters are not amused. On the other hand, the administration promised to release the dogs of scorched earth environmentalism (including destruction of the coal industry), raise gas prices, spread the wealth, …

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  2. Political Spectrum: A View from the Right — Talk radio’s ‘cooling effect’?

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    March 26, 2012 by Mike Landry

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    Question: The brouhaha over conservative talk radio star Rush Linbaugh’s incendiary remarks on contraception has intensified and more advertisers have withdrawn their support. Will this have a “cooling effect” on talk radio in general? Should conservatives be concerned? Rush Limbaugh made a statement that he admits was over the top. In the ongoing effort to do what Limbaugh calls “Hush Rush,” this was about as juicy as it gets. Limbaugh made what was termed a vicious, unwarranted attack on an innocent young woman, implying she was a prostitute for wanting funding of contraception, although his language was not so discreet. The resulting uproar caused some national advertisers to pull sponsorships. There were news reports that anywhere from two dozen to forty advertisers were bailing. Unlike probably most of the people offended by the Limbaugh statement, I heard it live on the radio. I thought it was silly. I had earlier seen the televised testimony of the woman in question, Sandra Fluke. I thought what she said was silly, too. Then Limbaugh apologized. As a more than two-decade listener to the Rush Limbaugh Show and being some- what familiar with the characteristics of its host, I thought the apology was sincere. …

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  3. Political Spectrum: A View From the Left – Talk radio’s ‘cooling effect’?

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    March 26, 2012 by Richard Drake

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    Question: The brouhaha over conservative talk radio star Rush Limbaugh’s incendiary remarks on contraception has intensified and more advertisers have withdrawn their support. Will this have a “cooling effect” on talk radio in general? Should conservatives be concerned? For years we have been hearing of the great liberal conspiracy to silence talk radio, to still the men and women who would speak truth-to-power (do you hate that cliché as much as I do?) and force Americans to live once more under the cruel tyranny of the “Fairness Doctrine.” The Fairness Doctrine, much like death panels and voter registration fraud, is trotted out every so often to scare the professionally frightened among us, those who don’t stop and say, “Oh, wait. What?” I refreshed my knowledge of the Doctrine at the website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications. I emphasize the word “Museum,” because this is where the Doctrine permanently resides, as a relic of the past. This rule, which once meant that opposing views must be represented on TV and radio stations is a thing of the past, is as dead as the Dodo bird. I mention this because professional hysterics are bringing it up again, as if the Rush …

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  4. Political Spectrum: A View from the Right — Birth Control

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    March 15, 2012 by Mike Landry

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    Question: Why is the national political debate so preoccupied with the topic of birth control? On a scale of 0-to-10, the political relevance of recent discussions of contraception is about minus-3. It’s not an issue, but rather is a link to other issues of varied importance. Some history: at one time, access to means of contraception was illegal in the United States. Eventually such laws went away. As a result, contraception is no longer a political issue. But a major religious organization, the Roman Catholic Church, has opposed all means of contraception. Despite the reported practice of contraception by the majority of American — and probably the developed world’s — Catholics, the church’s official doctrinal position is that such behavior is wrong. That is the church’s belief. Whether or not you or I agree with it or whether or not the Catholic laity adheres to it, such belief remains a sincerely held religious conviction protected under the First Amendment. Comes now the Obama administration to say: “Too bad about your beliefs on contraception, Church, but our secu- lar beliefs on contraception (and about abortion) trump your beliefs. Therefore you WILL pay for the contraception and abortions of your employees, under- …

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  5. Political Specturum: A View From the Left — Birth Control

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    March 15, 2012 by Richard Drake

    Question: Why is the national political debate so preoccupied with the topic of birth control? We’ve all been hearing a lot recently about religious liberty, freedom, the First Amendment and how lots and lots of men feel about the birth control debate that is sweeping this country. Well, one says “debate,” but in reality, the debate was settled long ago: most Americans are in favor not only of birth control, but also of having insurance companies pay for it. What began as a skirmish with the Roman Catholic Church has spread far and wide. Then again, not really. The national media, ever slow to pick up on a story, has failed to noticed that attacks on a woman’s right to choose birth control or have access to an abortion have been under assault for some years now. Literally millions of words have been written and spoken on the subject, but this is what it all boils down to: Women don’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain. I was going to go with the old cliche, “Women don’t know their place,” but we’ll come to that one soon enough. But really, when it it is all said …

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  6. A View From the Right: Who’s Winning the Republican Nomination Race?

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    February 24, 2012 by Mike Landry

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    Candidates in the Republican Primary are described at various times with such terms as surging, withdrawing, forging ahead or making a comeback, in a chaotic race to the convention. What’s going on? Whose on first? Romney? Bachmann? Perry? Cain? Gingrich? Santorum? What’s been happening? Just a Republican primary doing what it’s supposed to do: vet the candidates and find the one most desired to go up against the incumbent President. True, it’s been a convoluted one. But that’s due to four forces using the Re- publican primary race to duke it out. The first major force is the GOP establishment. Romney’s their guy: a former governor, successful in business, good family, telegenic. Had “The West Wing” been a conservative show, Mitt Romney would have been cast as President Josiah Bartlet. And while Establishment Republicans like to throw out a lot of conservative language, on their laptops they spell the names of guys like Romney as m-o-d-e-r-a-t-e. Pleasant, respectable, unlikely to scare the horses. Sort of like Bob Dole with an MBA. Establishment Republicans tend to fear the second major force: the news media, also known as the Democratic Ministry of Propaganda (DEM-OP). DEM-OP’s role in this fight has been to …

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  7. A View from the Left: Who’s Winning the Republican Nomination Race?

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    February 24, 2012 by Richard Drake

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    Candidates in the Republican Primary are described at various times with such terms as surging, withdrawing, forging ahead or making a comeback, in a chaotic race to the convention. What’s going on? I used to joke that politics should be covered by sports writers, as that might bring some excitement to the manner of storytelling. But honestly? Many sports writers are as prone to use cliches — and drive them into the ground — as other journalists. Over the past few years, we have seen the gradual militarization of the English language, especially where it pertains to political reporting. There is a small part of me, the man who is nourished on clichés and rarely comes out to play with others, who wrings his hands when he hears news anchors speaking this way and worries about the militarization of the English language. And in truth, I am getting combat fatigue from all the increased martial terms in our political discourse. There may be those who suspect that all of the above was just an excuse to use that line. Well, partly true. Our use of military metaphors began long ago with our War on Poverty, followed by our War on …

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