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Topic: Offbeat

Two Fun Lessons from the Reid-Angle Debate

Posted on Oct. 15, 10 | 09:55 AM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Offbeat
Lesson #1: Senators Aren’t Good Debaters

Last night’s Nevada Senate debate should really finally put this myth to bed.  People – especially people in the media – think that Senators are very polished and experienced debaters.  They’re not.  Senators don’t debate, at least not on the Senate floor.  This is especially the case for senior Senate leaders – 95% of their jobs is done (a) behind closed doors, and (b) with people agree with them.

Harry Reid and other Senators rarely debate.  They walk hurriedly onto the floor of the Senate, read – to an empty chamber – a statement written by a staffer, then yield back and hurry off to their next meeting.  In the rare case there are two people talking on the floor, they’re usually talking past each other, not to each other. 

Counter-intuitive as it seems, a talking head on a cable news show and a random blogger in his parent’s basement actually do much more real debating in a given week than a U.S. Senator.

Lesson #2: The Media Won the Debate for Angle (and Palin, and O’Donnell, and Bush…)

Three more cheers for the mainstream media, who are repeating what is becoming a neat little trick that invariably if inadvertently helps conservative candidates win debates and elections.  Call it the Palin Three-Step.

Step One: The MSM identifies a conservative favorite – Bush, Palin, O’Donnell, Angle, all the way back to Reagan – and unfairly portrays them as idiots and ghouls, total freak-shows who have no business even vying for public office.  They attack the GOP for indulging such fools, and gleefully look forward to the moron falling on his/her faces.

Step Two: The debate comes around, and lo and behold, people see that the supposed buffoon is actually kind of charming and intelligent and thoughtful, at least as much as the overhyped liberal opponent.  The difference between expectations and reality leads most undecided people to take a positive view: “Hey, (s)he’s not that bad after all.”

Step Three: The media gnashes its teeth at the credulousness of the American people, and complains about how those even-genius Republicans are so much better than Democrats at playing the expectations game.  Or as I call it, good times.

So when next you’re flipping channels and see liberals blasting away at how laughably incompetent some poor conservative candidate is, forgive them, for they know not what they do. 

Because seriously, they still don’t.


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The Best and Worst of Congress

Posted on Sep. 10, 10 | 02:08 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Offbeat
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The Greatest Campaign Commercial of All Time

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GDP (Gobble Domestic Product)

Posted on Nov. 24, 09 | 01:44 PM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Offbeat
As you may know, Thanksgiving is the unofficial holiday of the Club for, ahem, Growth (you'll understand why at around seven o'clock Thursday evening).  So to help members appreciate this most American of holidays, we offer this unofficial report on the Gobble Domestic Product:

According to the U.S. Census, there are roughly 250 million turkeys in the United States, clocking in at more than 7 billion pounds (mmm... leftovers), about one fifth of them in Minnesota.

All told, American turkey farmers expect to gross about $3.8 billion this year selling their birds. 

Free range?  How about free trade turkeys? The U.S. will import roughly $9 million in foreign turkeys this year, almost all of them from Canada, thanks to the North American Free Turkey Agreement.

On the side, the United States will produce about 700 million pounds of cranberries, which -- and I did not know this -- are first grown on a shrub and not simply plopped, jiggling, from a vacuum-sealed metal can.

American farmers will produce 1.8 billion pounds of sweet potatos (not counting marshmallows), 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins, and 794,777 tons of green beans, two-thirds of which American children will leave uneaten.

Your personal share in all this?  About 14 pounds of turkey consumed this week... No wait, sorry: this year.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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