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Bipartisanship as Theater

So President Obama's health care summit didn't go anywhere it wasn't expected to go. The Democrats made noises about bipartisan compromise and asked for Republican input. The Republicans demanded the whole bill (or more accurately both the bills) be scrapped entirely. The Democrats got no concessions. No reasonable person would have expected anything else at this point. And Barack Obama, who is a fairly reasonable person, must have expected to play out much the way it did.

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Andrew Joseph Stack: Pauper with a Private Plane

So, Andrew Joseph Stack was angry at the IRS for his financial problems. So he got in his plane....

Stop. Stop it. Stop right there.

Do people in the media ever listen to themselves?

We have a person who, aside from being a murderer, feels he's being unjustly treated by the taxman. And that person, who considers his woes so unbearable that he's willing to take human life, has at least one personal aircraft. I know what you're thinking: The poor man. It's like something out of Steinbeck.

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Amy Bishop, Collegiality, and Debates About Tenure

Amy Bishop's murder of three colleagues, and attempt to murder three others, looks to be even less about tenure than I originally claimed ... but it's still university tenure that people want to talk about. It's become clear that Bishop would eventually have been fired under almost any conceivable system of review, and that Bishop would almost undoubtedly have responded violently to some other setback sooner or later.

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My Favorite Al Haig Story

My mother met Al Haig back in 1988, when he was under the impression that he was running for President. (Long before I was Doctor Cleveland I was the Granite State Kid, and in New Hampshire you can personally meet all the candidates, even the ones that other people won't remember were in the primaries.) Mom actually met nearly every primary candidate that year, Democratic and Republican, in a series of events sponsored by a local newspaper.

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Not About Tenure. Seriously.

Friday, at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, a biology professor named Amy Bishop murdered three of her colleagues and wounded three others. Two of the people she wounded are still in critical condition, and I offer my sincere hopes for their complete and swift recovery. The murderer had been denied tenure in the department, and media coverage has centered on the question of tenure. Tenure, that strange and exotic academic rite, is obviously the hook for this story, and the resulting coverage is appalling.

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Why College Football Playoffs Are Wrong

So a lot of people, including the President, have been talking lately about remedying the evils of college football. The chief evil that needs remedying is apparently the Bowl Championship System, which isn't enough of a "real" championship and needs to be replaced with a system of playoffs. That's a big surprise to me, because I can think of a lot of other problems with big-time college football, and instituting playoffs would probably make them worse.

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Obamanomics


Before the State of the Union address, I'd like to talk about the central issue of the Obama Presidency, which of course none of the talking heads will really get to. Obama's Presidency will hinge on how he handles the economy. More even than the wars, more than health care, more than the political sclerosis of the Senate, it's the economy. The bad news about that?

Barack Obama hasn't thought about the economy.

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What the Left Should Do About Obama

2009 was a frustrating year for liberals and progressives, and 2010 is off to a bad start. After electing the first unapologetically liberal President of the United States in forty years, with large majorities in both the House and Senate, liberals have seen our agenda diluted, stalled, and now seriously set back. It shouldn't have happened. And now, of course, there is rage and confusion and we are circling into our old firing squad. But as I see it, there are only three questions, and they all have simple answers.

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Call Your Representative

 

I'm going to shamelessly repost this from Tim F. at Balloon Juice, because it's good and timely advice. Call your member of the House and tell them to vote for health care reform. Tell them loud, and tell them proud. Here's how:

(1) Use a phone. Email has nigh on zero impact. Trust me on this. Letter mail gets read, but you don’t have time. Reach the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 .

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Biography

Doctor Cleveland is a transparent pseudonym for Shakespeare scholar Jim Marino, who blogs about politics, education, literature, and the arts. His personal obsessions include live theater, Red Sox baseball, and powerful black coffee. He teaches college, somewhere along America's glorious North Coast. He has also been known to write about Shakespeare and early modern theater.

While he blogs about the general academic life, he does not discuss his current institution, its students, or its employees on the blog. Nor does he use any university resources to blog. Opinions expressed on the blog are not those of his employer, and do not reflect the content of his classes.

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