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    Martin Luther King's Civility

    We've been talking a lot lately about civility, for obvious and painful reasons. And our public conversation on that topic tends to go astray pretty quickly, because we don't all mean the same thing when we say "civility," and often aren't even sure what we mean by the word ourselves.

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    Violence and Political Gain

    I haven't blogged about Tucson because it left me sickened and sad, and because Articleman said it all better than I could have. Anyway, I had nothing to say. Violence like this is a terrible, terrible thing. Everyone should be against civil bloodshed. What else could there be to say?

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    College Football in the 21st Century

    Critics of higher education in America generally present themselves as modernizing reformers. They claim America's universities are hidebound, outmoded, and fundamentally inefficient. Maybe, maybe not. It's an easy charge to make about an institution, like the Western university, which is several centuries old, and tends to sound plausible no matter the merits of the particular case.

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    Beliefs (Or, the Ghost of Christmas Present)

    So, in my last post, I talked more specifically about my Christian beliefs than is my blogging habit. I doubt I'll do it more often; I don't think that you should believe something just because I do, and so I try to write from the assumption that you don't. But I did mention my own beliefs, and it's Christmas, so let me come clean a bit, because it's an important holiday for me, and because it's such a bitter season:

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    The War on Christian Virtues

    Apparently, the dreaded "War on Christmas" now extends to having to work between the Christmas and New Year's holidays, at least if the taxpayers pay your salary and your job title is "Senator." According to Senator Jon Kyl, having work the week after the Christmas holiday would be "disrespectful" to Christians. Senator Jim DeMint called working the week before Christmas "sacrilegious." That's right.

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    Dear Barack

    Dear Mr. President:

    I'm a big fan of pragmatism. And I've been a big fan of yours, defending you in the intramural arguments of Left Blogistan. I'm not even especially angry about this particular compromise with the Republicans, which was better than I'd feared it would be. But apparently you're angry. Your press conference yesterday made that very clear. And instead of being angry at the conservatives who've hobbled you, you're angry at the liberals and progressives who've phone banked for you, knocked on doors for you, and written you campaign checks. And that's not okay. So let me break some hard news to you:

    You are not a pragmatist.

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    Understanding Obama via WikiLeaks

    The latest Wikileaks document dump, filled mostly with low-grade diplomatic communications, does lay bare one thing that should have been painfully obvious all along: President Obama's Iran strategy.

    Here's part of the New York Times write-up:

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    Intellectual Property Blues: Beatles Edition

    So, the Beatles are finally available on iTunes, goo goo goo joob. And the news has been greeted with a resounding yawn; many people claim that the move is much, much too late to be hip, and too late to be hip, in the music business, means too late to make a sale. [UPDATE: Since the Beatles sold 2 million songs and 450,000 albums on iTunes this week, I was obviously completely wrong about this.

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    Obama's Veto and Mortgage Fraud

    If you've been looking for a fight in the lame-duck session, we may be about to see one: this Wednesday, November 17th, the House is going to have a veto override vote on the so-called "Interstate Recognition of Notaries Act," H.R. 3808. (h/t John Cole) What is the Interstate Recognition of Notaries Act, you say?

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    International Jewish Conspiracy REVEALED!

    Mike AKA Genghis's recent post on CNN.com has brought us a bunch of new anonymous commenters, who are very angry on Mr. Beck's behalf, and are generously warning us of the dangers of conspiratorial Jews such as Mr. Soros. We thank them for sharing their views. One new internet buddy speculates that Mike must be part of the Jewish conspiracy himself:

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    The Short Lesson of the 2010 Elections

    So almost every op-ed page agrees that the lessons of the 2010 midterms are as follows:

    1) The Democrats should compromise more with the Republicans, because the Republicans now have about a 50-vote majority in the House.

    2) The Republicans should get to decide what counts as "compromise," because the voters are on their side.

    3) Obama should apologize to everyone, all the time, for everything he did in his first two years as President. He has been Rebuked by the People and should atone for his Sin of Pride.

    That's certainly one way to look at it. Here's another:

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    There Is No Center

    Since the election, and in fact for some time before, pundits have been demanding that President Obama move to "the center." They don't have a lot of details, usually, about where that center is, and if they do suggest a detail it usually comes from one side of current debates, but they're all convinced that Obama needs to go there. But there's a reason that pundits can't describe this magical "center" better. It doesn't exist.

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    The Circular Firing Squad Next Time

    I guess I wasn't the only person who woke up this morning focusing on the next election cycle. Erick Erickson of Red State opened discussion of which Republican Senators to challenge in the 2012 primaries at 8 am this morning. (h/t DougJ) Erickson's post is titled "Potential Tea Party Targets for 2012."

    Which Republican Senators make his initial list? All of them.

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    My Election Night

    Tuesday morning was a beautiful day in Cleveland: crisp, clear and golden. I dressed up a bit, as I always do on Election Day. I heard a radio story a few years back about some college students who had put on ties because they were voting for the first time and it felt special, and I thought, Yes. It should always be celebrated. So now I do the same, even on days when my party is predicted to take some hard losses.

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    Election Day

    Today's Election Day. No day makes me prouder to be American.

    Go out and vote!

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    Republicans Against the Right to Vote

    The first time I went to the polls on Election Day I was probably five, tagging along beside my mother. It was a brilliant November day in New Hampshire, and the polls were in a spare room of the town hall, the same room where I would go in later years for Cub Scout meetings and later still walk through on the way to help stock our town's tiny food assistance pantry. There was a larger room upstairs, where the annual Town Meeting was held and where I would someday go for Halloween parties and the soap box derby.

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    You Can't Sell Your Soul If the Devil Ain't Buying

    The election is the day after tomorrow, and I'm basically done looking at predictions of the results. Foreknowledge is the beginning of folly, and no matter how the day goes I'm going to do the same thing on Tuesday and after Tuesday. Win or lose, you keep your eyes on the prize.

    But there's one thing just about every prognosticator agrees on: Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) is toast.

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    Harassing the Professor

    The University of Venus blog at Inside Higher Ed recently posted a personal reflection by a non-white female professor who has felt sexually harassed by one of her male undergraduates. This is at once shocking and entirely unsurprising.

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    History Never Repeats Itself

    Election day is next Tuesday. Papers like the New York Times and Washington Post began publishing their post-mortem analyses of the election results last week. What should Obama do now that next Tuesday's results are in? Highly paid opinion writers have opinions.

    The current conventional wisdom has two basic pillars:

    1) It is currently 1994.

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    The Mortgage Crisis in the Tranches

    I've posted about the housing and mortgage crisis, and the impending dangers, here and here, but there's one additional problem that I hadn't got my head around when I wrote those posts. That's the tranche problem, which is likely to lead to all kinds of perverse incentives and unforeseen difficulties.

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