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Declaration of Independence

lglp0875swan-song-led-zeppelin-poster1 (1)Swans sing before they die; ’twere no bad thing
Did cer­tain per­sons die before they sing.

— Samuel Tay­lor Coleridge

Accord­ing to a pop­u­lar poetic image, which goes back to the days of ancient Greece and Rome, swans are mute their entire lives and sing one song before they die. We know that’s not true, but the image of a Swan Song remains.

Log​a​rchism​.com, and its pre­de­ces­sors 538refugees​.com and the “old”, pre–New-​​York-​​Times FiveThir­tyEight blog, all gave us an oppor­tu­nity to sing a song about pol­i­tics. We’ve enjoyed the oppor­tu­nity. Every­thing, how­ever, has a sea­son, and the sea­son of Log­a­rchism now draws to a close. (more…)

Open Mic June 28

This is the last Open Mic before Inde­pen­dence Day. And, this week, the for­mer Con­fed­er­ate States gained inde­pen­dence from Sec­tion 4 of the Vot­ing Rights Act. Same-​​sex mar­ried cou­ples gained inde­pen­dence in most of the United States from being treated dif­fer­ently by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment than are opposite-​​sex mar­ried cou­ples. Same-​​sex cou­ples in Cal­i­for­nia gained the right to be mutu­ally depen­dent as mar­ried cou­ples. Devo drum­mer Alan Mey­ers gained inde­pen­dence from his mor­tal coil. And Tex­ans gained a glim­mer of the pos­si­bil­ity of inde­pen­dence from one-​​party rule.

What are your plans for the upcom­ing hol­i­day? Pic­nics? Fire­works? Bar­be­cues? Today doesn’t have to be about pol­i­tics. Let’s have a lit­tle fun! It’s sum­mer, after all.

Don’t see an arti­cle on a par­tic­u­lar topic, but want to talk about it some­where? This is Open Mic. Talk about what­ever you want, but stay respectful.

We cre­ate a new Open Mic every week to give a clean slate, but feel free to add to this topic at any time.

Open Mic June 21

James Gandolfini

Rest in Peace

Actor James Gan­dolfini, most famous for his por­trayal of New Jer­sey busi­ness­man and entre­pre­neur Tony Soprano, died unex­pect­edly this week at the age of 51. A bipar­ti­san deal in the Sen­ate to fur­ther strengthen bor­der secu­rity seems to have brought the immi­gra­tion reform bill back from the dead. In the House, the farm bill unex­pect­edly died, after hav­ing been pushed by Speaker John Boehner. Conservative-​​sponsored amend­ments cut­ting twenty bil­lion dol­lars from food stamps, intended to woo Tea Party con­gress­peo­ple, didn’t bring them in, but did kill Demo­c­ra­tic sup­port. Sixty Repub­li­cans voted against the bill because it didn’t kill food assis­tance enough. Maine’s out­spo­ken Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor, Paul LeP­age, has killed all com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the state’s three major news­pa­pers, appar­ently because they reported on the Gov­er­nor assign­ing an anti-​​environment lob­by­ist to be in charge of the state’s envi­ron­men­tal enforce­ment. Exo­dus Inter­na­tional, the largest orga­ni­za­tion attempt­ing to “pray away the gay” and thus turn gay peo­ple straight, has also suf­fered an unex­pected death. The church’s leader, Alan Man­ning Cham­bers, gave a heart­felt speech apol­o­giz­ing because “there have been peo­ple that we’ve hurt. There are hor­ror sto­ries.” Exo­dus Inter­na­tional was 38 years old.

Those are only a few of the sto­ries we haven’t yet cov­ered. What would you like to talk about? The floor is yours.

Don’t see an arti­cle on a par­tic­u­lar topic, but want to talk about it some­where? This is Open Mic. Talk about what­ever you want, but stay respectful.

We cre­ate a new Open Mic every week to give a clean slate, but feel free to add to this topic at any time.

Open Mic June 14

Ducking Out Of His Own Bill?

Duck­ing Out Of His Own Bill ?

The week started with rev­e­la­tions about the NSA and a leaker who remains at large, and led to later rev­e­la­tions about State Depart­ment employ­ees hav­ing sex. In what may be a related sex­ual devel­op­ment, an all-​​male vote in the House Judi­ciary Com­mit­tee rec­om­mended pas­sage of a bill to out­law all abor­tions nation­ally past 20 weeks — even in cases of rape and incest.

Tak­ing a long way around to sex, the Sen­ate voted to allow debate on the immi­gra­tion reform bill. It then defeated an amend­ment regard­ing bor­der secu­rity, despite the threat of one of the bill’s authors, Sen­a­tor Marco Rubio (R-​​FL), to scut­tle the bill if it didn’t have this amend­ment. That same Marco Rubio is now threat­en­ing to scut­tle the bill if it rec­og­nizes same-​​sex cou­ples. Con­tin­u­ing this theme of obses­sion over sex, Repub­li­cans in Wis­con­sin are ram­ming through a forced ultra­sound bill, requir­ing women to receive an inva­sive and med­ically unnec­es­sary pro­ce­dure if they want an abortion.

Leav­ing aside for a moment sub­jects of sex, abor­tion, and rape, Pres­i­dent Obama has announced con­clu­sive evi­dence that the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment used chem­i­cal weapons against its own peo­ple, and Amer­ica will there­fore increase mil­i­tary sup­port for Syr­ian rebels. None of this will alter plans for New Jer­sey to hold a spe­cial elec­tion in Octo­ber to replace the late Sen­a­tor Frank Lautenberg.

Those are only a few things that hap­pened dur­ing this busy week. What do you want to talk about?

Don’t see an arti­cle on a par­tic­u­lar topic, but want to talk about it some­where? This is Open Mic. Talk about what­ever you want, but stay respectful.

We cre­ate a new Open Mic every week to give a clean slate, but feel free to add to this topic at any time.

Open Mic June 7

Win­ning in court

The courts have been in the news this week. The Supreme Court ruled that DNA can be col­lected in the same way as fin­ger­prints. Pres­i­dent Obama nom­i­nated three peo­ple to the DC Cir­cuit Court of Appeals, dar­ing Sen­ate Repub­li­cans to block them. On the ten­nis court, today the French Open semi­fi­nals are being played. And today is Fri­day, which means we court your opin­ions on any and all topics.

Don’t see an arti­cle on a par­tic­u­lar topic, but want to talk about it some­where? This is Open Mic. Talk about what­ever you want, but stay respectful.

We cre­ate a new Open Mic every week to give a clean slate, but feel free to add to this topic at any time.

Open Mic May 31

English: US Representative Michele Bachmann (R...

A Grate­ful Nation Heaves a Sigh of Relief

On Sun­day, Pres­i­dent Obama vis­ited tornado-​​ravaged Moore, Okla­homa, and promised fed­eral relief. Later in the week, the Pres­i­dent extended his odd-​​couple bro­mance with New Jer­sey Gov­er­nor Chris Christie, by tour­ing rebuild­ing efforts in the wake of Hur­ri­cane Sandy. All of Amer­ica got some relief on Wednes­day, when another dis­as­ter, Michele Bach­mann (R-​​Stillcrazy, MN) announced her inten­tion not to seek a fifth term in the U.S. House. Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-​​Assad offered no relief in his nation’s build­ing civil war, while Sen­a­tor John McCain (R-​​AZ) wants to ratchet things up a bit. Along those lines, there seems to be no relief on the hori­zon from Repub­li­can efforts to invent scan­dals, while ignor­ing real ones. Last-​​minute action by the Texas leg­is­la­ture may have given relief to home­own­ers in West, Texas who oth­er­wise would have to pay prop­erty taxes on homes that were destroyed in the April 17 fer­til­izer plant explosion.

But it’s Fri­day, which is some­thing of a relief to most of us work­ing stiffs. Gather ’round the water­ing hole, and let us know what you want to talk about.

Don’t see an arti­cle on a par­tic­u­lar topic, but want to talk about it some­where? This is Open Mic. Talk about what­ever you want, but stay respectful.

We cre­ate a new Open Mic every week to give a clean slate, but feel free to add to this topic at any time.

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