Pundit Guide to the 2012 Election

I see the pundits are already beginning to trot out their incredible insight about who is definitely going to win the election in a week and a half, and exactly why this is going to happen and exactly what it means. If you’re a pundit and you haven’t written your piece yet, I’m going to give you a template to help you with your writing. If you’re a reader and you haven’t read any pundit’s pieces yet, you can also read the template to save time reading all the pieces later. All you have to do is randomly circle words in the brackets below:

Why [Romney/ Obama] Will [Win / Lose] The Election

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Reasons For Optimism 46-49

46. Poop Transplants Are Saving Lives. Um… self-explanatory.

47. A new report says the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves are larger than expected. We’re still not running out of energy.

48. Volvo says that by 2014 they will have cars with low-speed autonomous following capability. The driverless revolution is coming.

49. Judge Protects Cellphone Data On 4th Amendment Grounds, Cites Government’s Technological Ignorance. Always nice when the judicial branch blocks the overreach of the other branches. It’s almost like how our government is supposed to work!

Running Out of Money to Help the Poor

Illinois Public Radio reports:

More than 150,000 college students were left without financial help this spring when Illinois ran out of money for MAP Grants…

…Illinois’ Monetary Assistance Program, or MAP, which provides financial aid grants to low-income students. The program ran out of money in March last spring, leaving about 150,000 students – half of all who applied – without help.

That number could grow – this year’s state budget cuts money for the grants by 14%.

Illinois has one of the worst if not the worst budget deficit in the nation, and it’s starting to reveal itself in cuts to public services. Liberals like to signal that they care more about the poor than conservatives, but it doesn’t matter how much the government cares about the poor if the government runs out of money.

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The Best Evidence That Obama Is Not Secretly A Muslim

One of the things that most frustrates me about the conservative world is the persistence in many circles that President Obama is secretly a Muslim. There are many levels of belief, from the mundane suspicion that he likes Islamic folks more than Americans all the way down to the rabid conspiracies that he’s an elaborately planted terrorist deliberately plotting the imminent destruction of the republic. Or something like that.

Maybe it’s the conservative version of the oft-libertarian truther movement. I find the notion that Obama is secretly a Muslim just as ridiculous as the notion that the government was behind 9/11. I’ve already explained why I’m not a truther; now I guess it’s time to explain why I’m not a… Muslimer?

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The Gender Gap Myth and Obama’s War on Women

There were several poor questions in Tuesday night’s second presidential debate, but this might have been the worst:

In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

The statistical gap between average female and male earnings is a favorite talking point of the left, which believes it is evidence that business owners are greedy jerks. Obama talked about a law he passed to fix the gender gap, and Romney talked about how he went out of his way to hire women when he was governor.

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Reasons For Optimism 42-45

42. 3D Printers Are Reshaping Modern Medicine. Dude, we can print human tissue! We’re still “at least 10 years away” from literally printing new organs, but I’m amazed that it’s even on the horizon. Meanwhile, they’re figuring out how to help wounds heal quicker and how to use 3D-tissue models to test drugs quicker and cheaper than 2D models.

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What Neither Party Has Talked About At The Debates So Far

We have now endured the first presidential and only vice-presidential debates of the 2012 election season. The Republicans and Democrats have endeavored to highlight their many differences, but I think it is more telling to look at all of the topics that, thus far, neither party has dared to discuss and neither moderator has dared to bring up.

To be fair, it’s impossible to discuss everything in the debates, and there are no doubt activists of various stripes who are bemoaning the absence of dozens of topics, including climate change, immigration, and the Federal Reserve. Well, here is a list of some of the things that I wish the Republican or Democratic candidates would talk about:

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