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Michael Wolraich's picture

Welcome to the Republican Christian Olympics

When Gov. Rick Perry of Texas called for a day of prayer and fasting in Houston, world-famous televangelist John Hagee answered enthusiastically.

"We pray for our governor, Rick Perry," he gruffly proclaimed, "who has had the courage today to call this time of fasting and prayer just as Abraham Lincoln did in the darkest days of the Civil War."

When Perry officially launches his presidential campaign this weekend, he will not be the only Republican candidate to carry the banner of Christian piety. The presidential pre-primary season has not featured so many brave Christian Abraham Lincolns since the days of Abraham Lincoln himself.

Read the full story at

Michael Wolraich's picture

Moderation Policy Update

Dear readers and contributors,

First off, thank you for being part of the dagblog community. Or rather, thank you for being the dagblog community, for there is no community without you. Your eloquent writing, cogent arguments, passionate beliefs, and sharp wit has made dagblog a unique and (in our opinion) wonderful space in the blogosphere.

Michael Wolraich's picture

Why Should You Vote for Obama?

Wait! Don't be misled by the title. I'm not asking for your opinion about whether to vote for Obama. Whatever it is, I promise that we've heard it many times before.

Instead, I'm asking the question that Obama and his political staff will be asking themselves as they head into the 2012 campaign: What reasons will they offer voters to re-elect Obama?

The standard incumbent strategy is the old "stay the course" bromide. Focus on describing your accomplishments and vaguely promise more of the same.

Michael Wolraich's picture

Advice to Democrats: Divide and Conquer

Putting aside anxieties over the economy and fury at Republicans, Democrats, the media, and whomever else makes us hopping mad, let's play a little game of political strategy.

While House Speaker John Boehner's formidable skin-tone and Michele Bachmann's spine-chilling folksiness has driven many a Democrat to gibber in fear, it's helpful to remember that Republican power in Washington is not exactly overwhelming.

Michael Wolraich's picture

Revenge of the Bankers! and Other Tales from Under the Debt Ceiling

Lo! The deadline approacheth! In New York, the bond traders shred their garments and gnash their teeth! In Washington, the Federal Reserve Chairman foretells a "huge financial calamity." The dollar is falling, the bankers are wailing, the President, it is said, is agitated.

Michael Wolraich's picture

The End of the Glenn Beck Story

You'll notice a pattern in all stories: There are three kinds of characters: heroes, villains and there but for the grace of God go I.

-- Glenn Beck

Michael Wolraich's picture

A Warm Welcome to Our New Rich Text Editor

Dear readers,

I am sad to report that dagblog has been forced to dismiss a member of our team after years of faithful service.

You may not know TinyMCE by name, but she has served has our Rich Text Editor since 2008 when dagblog was founded. Every word that you have ever typed at dag has been tenderly processed and formatted by the indefatigable Tiny.

True, she sometimes garbled the font and impulsively inserted extra lines between paragraphs. And yes, her spellchecker never worked very well. But she did her job every day without complaint and kept dagblog humming.

Michael Wolraich's picture

Debt Ceiling Dumb Show

President enters stage left, beaming loftily at the Chorus.

House Speaker enters right, arms crossed and scowling.

President silently opens his hands as if presenting a gift. Speaker shakes his head angrily.

President furrows his brow, points at his watch, and wags his finger. Speaker shakes his fist in the air and grimaces fiercely.

Chorus members cover open mouths in alarm and look nervously at their watches.

*    *    *

It makes for good theater, and the audience is enthralled. Will Democrats cave to Republican demands for stiff budgets cuts as a condition for raising the debt ceiling? Will Republicans compromise on taxes? Are they actually crazy enough to drive the United States into bankruptcy?

Given the breathless media coverage of the drama, you can be forgiven for thinking that you're witnessing a genuine conflict with serious economic consequences. In fact, what is you're watching is a charade--a dumb show, as it was called in Shakespeare's time.

Michael Wolraich's picture

New York State to Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

While researching Blowing Smoke, I subscribed to a newsletter from the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, a non-profit organization "whose purpose it is to become the first-in-mind champion of Christian religious liberty, domestically and internationally, and a national clearing house and first line of response to anti-Christian defamation, bigotry, and discrimination."

Michael Wolraich's picture

Escaping Below the World

There is much to be said for vanishing. Short escapes from the frenzied tumult of modern life help to calibrate the soul and maintain perspective.

I've learned that proper escape requires more than disconnecting electronic devices and traveling to faraway lands. Though people may not follow you on your journey, your thoughts are more tenacious. Anxieties, memories, hopes, and fears stow away in your crowded cranium, accompanying you across the globe like irritating travel companions.

But not under the water.



Michael Wolraich's picture

Personal Information


Michael Wolraich is a non-fiction writer in New York City. He co-founded dagblog and has contributed  to the Atlantic, the Daily Beast, New York Magazine,,, Reuters, and Pando Daily.


Wolraich is also the computer genius who maintains dagblog's state-of-the-art software, but he denies responsibility for technical glitches and advises users to "quit sniveling." In his spare time, Wolraich raises peach mold and performs live impressions of the law of gravity.


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