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November 1, 2010 [LINK / comment]

Campaign 2010: home stretch

As the campaign activity winds down, the frequency of television ads has skyrocketed to absurd proportions. Will any of it resonate with the voters? I tend to doubt it, but a record amount of money has been raised this campaign cycle, and that's probably the best way to spend it for immediate impact. In Virginia's 5th District, incumbent Tom Perriello came out with an ad in which he is a punching bag, taking his licks from those "mean Republicans," but always bouncing back. It's a bit too self-pitying and/or self-congratulatory for my tastes, but he does at least make a convincing pitch at the end: He fights for what he believes in, refusing to cave into pressure. I happen to disagree vehemently with what he believes in, but I respect his attitude.

I was in the Blacksburg area yesterday, and saw quite a few campaign signs for the two candidates in the 9th Congressional District, incumbent Rick Boucher (D) and challenger Morgan Griffith (R). Griffith seems to be closing the gap, and both this race and the 5th District race are probably too close to call. Spine-tingling excitement on Election Eve!

Griffith sign

Campaign sign for challenging candidate, Republican Morgan Griffith, along Prices Fork Road, west of Blacksburg.

Boucher sign

Campaign sign for the incumbent, Democrat Rick Boucher, near the same place.

Krauthammer on elites

A few weeks ago I put a link to a fine Washington Post column by Charles Krauthammer on my Facebook page: "The last refuge of a liberal." I fully share his disgust with the arrogant attitudes expressed by many if not most of the mainstream media commentators, toward the Tea Party and some of its leaders. Even though I am quite wary of the populist tendencies on the Republican side these days, I have enough respect for the opinions of average citizens to resist the urge to disparage them -- most of the time, at least. smile Money quote:

It is a measure of the corruption of liberal thought and the collapse of its self-confidence that, finding itself so widely repudiated, it resorts reflexively to the cheapest race-baiting (in a colorful variety of forms).

Problems in academia

Speaking of elite pathologies, Bruce Bartlett raised a point (on Facebook) about the irrelevance of political science advanced degrees these days, something that hits home with me, of course. He clarified to say that the same sort of problem exists throughout academia, and I agreed in the following comment:

There is much painful truth in that video and above comments, as I know all too well, BUT ... It seems to me that everyone is lamenting the downward spiral of civic, historical, and geographical knowledge in this country and/or bewailing the ever-escalating costs of higher education. And yet the bleak academic career prospects imply that there is a surplus, so something just doesn't add up. Could it be that academia has become a cartel, artificially jacking up prices by peddling rank sophistry?

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 01 Nov 2010, 5: 13 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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