Good luck with the equal time thing

One of the problems with the coming Republican debate on Thursday is that with 10 candidates in a two-hour format, and allowing for the time taken by the moderators for their questions, that averages out to at most 10 minutes per person. But the stage will contain people who are anxious to make a big impression and want to make sure they are noticed. Furthermore, they are not used to just waiting silently and this can pose a problem for the moderators if people start interrupting each other.
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Bloom County is back!

Older readers may remember the excellent comic strip Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed that featured a bunch of zany adults, children, and animals and touched on all manner of topics and political commentary in the manner of Doonesbury. It ran from 1980 until 1989 when he retired the strip. He continued with a spin-off, a Sunday only strip called Outland that ran until 1995. After that ended, he started a new Sunday only strip Opus in 2003 featuring the beloved penguin of that name. That ended in 2008.

But apparently the opportunity for satire presented by the current Republican presidential race and Donald Trump was too much for Breathed to resist and on July 13, he announced that he was starting a new strip called Bloom County 2015 and bringing back most of the original cast of characters.

You can see a recent strip where Opus, who has been asleep for 25 years, tries to come to terms with the world today.

Bloom County 2015

To follow the new strip, you can go Breathed’s Facebook page where the first of the new strips starts on July 13.

Bernie Sanders gains on Hillary Clinton

While Donald Trump has riveted people’s attention to the Republican race for the nomination, let us not forget that the Democrats also have a race. It has not drawn much attention since the pundits initially assumed that Hillary Clinton was going to win in a walk but recent events have suggested that Bernie Sanders is not merely a sideshow. He has succeeded to some extent in beating back the fringe candidate label and is thus getting some of the valuable free publicity that comes with reporters for national publications covering his campaign.
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Once again, Fox News takes on Jon Stewart and it does not end well

This time it was about the two sinister, secret meetings between Jon Stewart and president Obama where it was insinuated that they had coordinated a policy agenda. It never seems to dawn on Fox News that trying to attack Stewart and The Daily Show never fails to boomerang on them. They seem to be really slow learners. And as Stewart says, just because you don’t know something does not mean it is a secret.
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Why evangelicals and neoconservatives are trying to stop the Iran deal

It is a cliché that politics makes for strange bedfellows but surely one of the strangest is that between the hardline pro-Israel evangelicals in the US on the one hand and the extreme right-wing politicians in Israel and their neoconservative allies and the Israel lobby in the US on the other. The strong bonds between them are not based on any fondness for each other but purely due to each side seeing the other as serving its own interests.
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The killing of Cecil the lion

I have not written anything about the Minnesota dentist who killed the lion. What is there to say? Pretty much everyone has felt and expressed their revulsion at such a senseless and cruel act and have wondered what psychological need it satisfies in some people that they go to all that trouble and expense to kill just for the fun of it a magnificent, and in this case beloved, animal of which there are precious few left. And then decapitate it and mount the head on their wall. It would creep me out to see it forever looking down at me in silent reproof for subjecting it to a painful and extended period of dying but clearly trophy hunters don’t see things the same way.
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And another routine traffic stop ends in death

As if Sandra Bland’s death in the jail where she ended up following a traffic stop for not signaling while changing lanes was not bad enough, now a police officer in Cincinnati Ray Tensing has been indicted for murder following the death of an unarmed black man Samuel DuBose at another routine traffic stop, this time for lacking a front license plate, something that the state of Ohio requires but not all states do. It turned out that DuBose was not carrying a driving license either but he claimed that he had it. What is clear that neither of these facts should have ever resulted in a shooting, even if DuBose was trying to leave the scene without Tensing’s permission. There is no excuse for shooting someone who is not posing a threat to the police or is a potential threat to others.
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