The reaction to Christine O'Donnell's upset win in the Republican Senate primary in Delaware has tended to blur several factors that need to be kept distinct. O'Donnell is described as both "extreme" and "unelectable" — two things that are related, but separate. Each also contains more than one idea and it may be helpful to [Read More...]

That e-mail from me is not from me

Do not open any e-mail you receive from Fred Clark. Someone or something, or something set loose by someone, has wormed its/their way into my hotmail e-mail account and is sending [No subject] messages to everyone in my contact list and to readers of this blog. I am not sending these and I do not [Read More...]

Book-burning is a Bad Thing

  I'll have a bit more to say about this after my home computer gets off the disabled list. For now, though, let me just note that you shouldn't be allowed to be a book-burning bigot while going by the name Terry Jones. Or Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle or Michael Palin. [Read More...]

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mosk

The end of last week brought two depressing online phenomena. The first was the "mosk" business on Facebook and the second was my Google news alert for "evangelical," which turned up a few dozen variations of the same story/column/post about Glenn Beck. If you missed the "mosk" thing, it turns out that there's a high [Read More...]

Things to come

 In 2037, the oldest baby boomers will be 92 years old. They will have been collecting Social Security benefits in full for 27 years. Those benefit payments will have added $0 to the federal budget deficit. In 2037, the youngest baby boomers will be 72 years old. They will have been collecting Social Security benefits [Read More...]

A sure-fire bet and cause for doubt

Mike Castle does not lose elections in Delaware. I don't claim to be an expert on politics in the First State, but I read the paper there every day and the pattern is obvious. Castle won his first election in 1966 and he hasn't lost since then. He won the governor's seat easily in 1984 [Read More...]

The Clod and the Pebble and the politics of resentment

"Blessed is anyone who takes no offense" — Luke 7:23 Here is a story from Sunday's paper that will make some people happy and some people unhappy. That's not quite it. What I mean to say is that it will be a source of happiness for happy people and a source of further unhappiness for [Read More...]

Glenn Beck’s Voiding the Promissory Note Rally

Look, I understand the suspicion. Glenn Beck's support for "states' rights" raises some red flags. That phrase has, for centuries here in America, been the shorthand euphemism of choice for racists seeking to restrict the rights of minorities in this country — from Calhoun to the Klan to George Wallace to David Duke. But maybe [Read More...]