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Is this week’s New England blizzard caused by climate change?

Inveterate deniers of climate change are stumbling over themselves today with crazy explanations of this week’s snowstorm in the Eastern United States and how it relates — or doesn’t — to mainstream scientific theories on global warming. Several deniers are pointing out that this storm is just the latest in a rush of such occurrences so far in this century. They say this pattern, on its face, disproves warming theories. But it doesn’t. The opposite is more likely the case. Of course, no single short-term weather...

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This blog post is downright miraculous, if I say so myself

OK, I’ll admit that the headline above is an exaggeration. I don’t really think this blog post is downright miraculous. But if it caught your attention, it has served its purpose. To be honest about the matter, I should concede at the outset here that I don’t really believe in miracles. Rather, I simply recognize that everything that happens in life can be made to seem miraculous. That’s because a case can be made that everything seems to be almost impossibly unlikely. Follow me here: It’s extremely  unlikely...

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Ernie Banks and me

Having awakened this morning to news of the death of baseball great Ernie Banks at the age of 83, I’m trying to sort through a flood of memories that suddenly — and even surprisingly, in some respects — come to mind. Banks was one of my great boyhood heroes, to be sure, but only now do I begin to grasp just how important he was to me in my formative years. My obsession with him was such that my nickname among my male friends in the mid- and late 1950s was “Ernie.” The Chicago Cubs were terrible in those years,...

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Sarah Palin hints at running for president, but I’m guessing she won’t

Sarah Palin, the former half-term governor of Alaska and running mate on John McCain’s unsuccessful presidential ticket in 2008, says she’s thinking of running for the GOP nomination next year. But my own sense of the matter is that she won’t. Along with several potential White House hopefuls, Palin will attend the Iowa Freedom Summit this weekend, which naturally raises questions about her own plans. She said THIS yesterday in response to such queries: “Yeah, I mean, of course, when you have a servant’s heart, when you know...

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Same old Mitt Romney is flip-flopping again

The second time Mitt Romney ran for president — in 2012, when he lost the general election to Barack Obama — he got a reputation as one of the flip-floppingest politicians of modern times. There was hardly an issue on which the Mittster hadn’t been on both sides. He seemed to figure that voters would pay attention only to his latest positions. And some of them probably did. Well, as you probably have heard, Romney is considering another run for the White House in 2016. And once again, he’s flipping and flopping all...

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Oxymoronically, deflategate scandal is overblown

The biggest problem with the so-called scandal concerning allegations that the New England Patriots blew too little air into the footballs with which they played last Sunday is that the mainstream news media have blown too much air into the matter. Did this issue really deserve to be the lead story on all three major-network newscasts the other night? Was there nothing of far greater importance happening anywhere in the world? Come on. Wait! I know what you’re thinking: Deflategate is a big story because everyone is talking about it. My...

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Millions of people think God will decide who wins the Super Bowl

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said something the other day to the effect that the outcome of a football is not likely of any great concern to the proverbial Man Upstairs. Rodgers was responding to a fan who said she found it “a little off-putting” when an athlete thanks God for helping his team win a big game. Said Rodgers: “I agree with her. I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome. He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.” Perhaps so, but a new survey commissioned...

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Here’s a Republican Party variation on the deflated football scandal

No doubt you’ve heard about allegations that the New England Patriots partially deflated some of the footballs used this past Sunday in the team’s victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Well, the Republican Party has come up with its own variation on this kind of thing. The GOP promised early yesterday that Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida (above) would offer a Spanish-language version of a rebuttal by Sen. Joni Ernst to President Obama’s State of the Union address. But Curbelo’s speech mentioned Republican efforts...

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Why do the media hype Chris Christie more than Ben Carson as a presidential possibility?

Political numbers-cruncher Sam Wang (above) of the Princeton Election Consortium raises an interesting question about several of the prospective candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Citing a recent CBS poll showing that Republicans are far more strongly in favor of surgeon Ben Carson running for president than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wang ASKS: “[W]hy are reporters covering Christie and not, say, Ben Carson?” Why, indeed? The answer, of course, is that too many political pundits know too little...

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Tammy Duckworth says she’s weighing a challenge to Mark Kirk next year

Conventional political wisdom holds that U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois is among the least likely Republican incumbents to win re-election next year — for several reasons. For starters, Illinois is a bastion of Democratic strength. Then, too, Kirk still has lingering effects of a serious stroke he suffered three years ago this month. But more to the point, if Kirk wins the GOP nomination, he might well face formidable opposition in the general election, as we see HERE: Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a two-term Democrat, told CQ Roll Call Monday...

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Behold a terrible headline on misreading results of a poll on race relations

There’s a new poll out today on the status of race relations in America during the presidency of Barack Obama — and even a prominent liberal website is grossly misreporting the results of the survey. The poll shows that most Americans think race relations have either remained unchanged under Obama (40 percent) or improved (15 percent). But that’s not how the folks at Talking Points Memo are interpreting the results. As we see HERE, the headline on TPM’s story reads: “Americans Think Race Relations Are Worse ...

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Here’s why history likely will be kind to Barack Obama’s presidency

As we near the halfway mark of Barack Obama’s second term as president, his job-approval rating in most polls is running about even, which is a considerable improvement over the numbers of not so long ago. But more to the point, Obama’s tenure in the White House now seems likely to be remembered rather fondly by history. Of course, most presidents fare better in the public’s mind after they’ve left office than when they served as chief executives. That’s true of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and both...

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