Why Progressives Should Take Heart

Miles Rapoport

Michael Sigman: Voter suppression is the last refuge of scoundrels, and they are still swinging for the fences. But in the 2012 elections, highly successful efforts were waged to fight back against these efforts, and the pushback was successful.

Whose God Bless America Is It, Anyway?

marc anthony

Michael Sigman: Over the past half-century, the right has used “God Bless America” as an all-purpose signifier of the God-given superiority of All-American values over those of the secularists, socialists, anarchists and malcontents of the left.

Facebook Fills a Void?

lonely birthday

Michael Sigman: I found myself looking forward to my Facebook birthday experience with pleasant imaginings that meshed with the sweet anticipation of the vast quantities of sugar I would soon permit myself to ingest.

When I’m 64, Remembering ’64

64 world series

Michael Sigman: The upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be the first hosted by the New York Mets since 1964, reminding me that following the All-Star break that same year, my St. Louis Cardinals staged one of the most thrilling comeback stories in baseball history.

License To Philosophize, Sinatra-Style

frank sinatra

Michael Sigman: We’ll never know the Chairman of the Board’s innermost insights about doing/being, if indeed he had any. What cannot be denied is that his choice of material covers a rich spectrum of emotional leaps and existential twists and turns.

Barry Goldberg: Fifty Years Of ‘Chicago Blues’

howlin wolf

Michael Sigman: The story of American music is often the story of race — and particularly of white boys and girls learning about music from black men and women. The tale of Elvis Presley hanging out in Mississippi juke joints is something like a gospel story in the history of American culture.

NRA Enemies List: With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Guns?

nra george zimmermasn

he NRA enemies list posted here has become a hot media topic as the organization and its executive director Wayne LaPierre leap from self-parody into the realm of the truly demented. The right-wing Murdoch-owned New York Post called LaPierre a “loon” on its front page after one of his rants; the centrist Daily News went with “The Craziest Man On Earth”; and [...]

This New Year’s, Resolve to Give Yourself a Break

obesity

Michael Sigman: For post-postmodern nourishment, I’m keeping David Foster Wallace’s mighty novel Infinite Jest on my night table with the intention of reading at least 10 pages a week. It’s a long haul, but if I keep my resolve, I’ll be done by New Year’s 2015!

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Kumbaya?

joan baez

Michael Sigman: In the heat of the 2008 presidential race, the popular conservative blog Red State lambasted candidate Barack Obama’s remarks during a Berlin appearance as a “Kumbaya speech” filled with “nothing but platitudes and leftist, and multicultural, rah-rah.”

Polls, Sham Polls, and Linguistics

dick mrris

Michael Sigman: Though scores of Republicans are looking at poll numbers and moving to the sidelines or outright jumping ship, at least two imaginative Romney cheerleader/pundits — Hugh Hewitt and Dick Morris — maintain a different view. They say Romney already is ahead.

Unnamed Sources: Clintons Green-Light Chelsea ’32 Presidential Bid

chelsea clinton

ith nearly five months to go, coverage of the 2012 presidential race has devolved into the self-parody of dueling gaffes. Recently, “Obama lost his mojo” Can the return of “Mittster the master gaffester be far behind? In an effort to remain conscious, media analysts spent several days last week deconstructing the nuances of a 2016 presidential bid [...]

Loving or Leaving America: A Brief History

santorum perry

Michael Sigman: The origin of “America Love It or Leave It” is murky. It was popularized by gossip guru and Joseph McCarthy sympathizer Walter Winchell, who, among other abuses of power, helped keep entertainer/activist/national treasure Josephine Baker out of the country we’re all free to love.

‘Tis the Season for GOP Exit Strategies

gop thanksgiving

Michael Sigman: Congressman Ron Paul will pull out of politics entirely. Since his son Rand is also a member of Congress, Ron will become the first politician ever to leave public life so he can spend less time with his family.

Newt’s Nasty Narcissism

newt historian

Michael Sigman: When the Newt boomlet fades, there may yet be a role for Gingrich in public life. Given his obsession with such words as “fundamentally,” “profoundly,” “desperately” and “dramatically,” how about Ambassador of Adverb Abuse?

‘Tis the Season for Poor Political Prognostication

George Will

Michael Sigman: Expert political prognostications may be devoid of useful information, but they can help us resist our own tendencies to act like big shots, prediction-wise.

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