Writing Archive

The Town that Built the Tanks and Bombs that Won This Country’s Wars

I’m driving cross-country in a couple of weeks and I feel compelled to visit Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, home of such great Americans as Mike Ditka and Gust Avrakotos.
I was planning on picking up a Primanti Brothers sandwich and eating it in the grandstands of Aliquippa High School Stadium — aka The Pit.
What else do I need [...]

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Can Obama Win Warren Buffett’s Hometown Again?

I’m washing down a $9.95 New York Strip with a root beer float on the outskirts of Omaha. The restaurant is on the other side of the Union Pacific tracks and looks like it was built in the Ford administration. It could be any other family restaurant in Middle America.
The only exception is that [...]

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A Loss for Gerrymandering

Illinois’ 17th is one of the ugliest gerrymandered districts in America. It was carved out by Democrats in 2001 to connect union-heavy manufacturing towns such as the Quad Cities with the urban centers like Springfield.
But in 2010, Republican Robert Schilling will beat Democrat Phil Hare by over tens points. Call it a win for [...]

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“Blue States” Indiana and Virginia Looking Ruby Red Tonight

Only two states voted for Republican presidents from 1968-2004, and then flipped to Barack Obama — Virginia and Indiana. In fact, the blue tide was so strong in those two states that Democrats enjoyed a 5-4 House majority in the Hoosier State and a 6-5 House majority (and both senator seats) in the Old [...]

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A Philadelphian Rest His Hope on Steelers Country

During World War II, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers came together to form the Pennsylvania Steagles. It was about the last time the cities united on anything.
Despite both being Keystone State cities, Philly and Pittsburgh have always been cultural and political rivals. Philly is a Metroliner city founded by English aristocrats that [...]

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The Defense of Alaska

From the Russians to Lisa Murkowski, it’s never been easy to defend Alaska.
On this day in 1867, the Russians likely gazed across their backyard and  breathed a sigh of relief that the United States was taking over the great land mass across the Bering Straight.  Alaska had become a liability to the Russians, who feared [...]

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A Sober Oktoberfest for Feingold

If you couldn’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, Wisconsin is a pretty good substitute. The state has the most dedicated beer-drinking population and has won some of the most awards in the nation for its brew, and Sheboygan is America’s bratwurst capital.
Indeed, Wisconsin has some of the highest concentrations of German descendants in America, [...]

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Pelosi and the San Francisco Earthquake of 2010

When was the last time that Georgia and San Francisco struck the same chord? It was probably 1971 when the Allman Brothers Band played at the Fillmore West. Since then, the two places haven’t had much in common culturally, economically, and most of all, politically.
And so it was no surprise that Rep. Jim [...]

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Democrats Look to Maintain in the Mountain State

“Almost heaven, West Virginia,” sang John Denver. But if Gov. Joe Manchin loses the Senate race to businessman John Raese, West Virginia could be almost hell for the Democrats — “almost,” because they’ll likely be teetering on the edge with a 51-seat majority. Fortunately for Democrats, Republicans’ “hicky” ad and Manchin’s awesome target practice ad [...]

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Obama Launches Fire Up the Base Tour

Usually when a Philadelphia fan is throwing something, it is in contempt. Angry Philly fans lobbing snowballs at Santa Claus or chucking batteries at players come to mind. But on Sunday, a fanatic who was reportedly enamored with Barack Obama threw a book at the president with the hopes of lobbing it on [...]

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