I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Losing Its Sheen

In a recent speech at the Iowa College Republican's Annual Convention potential presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty made a surprising comparison for the Republican Party. Pawlenty stated, "we may not in this room have 'tiger blood' like he does, but we do have something else in common with him. There's going to be a lot of winning on the Republican side in 2012." While clearly trying to connect with is youthful audience with this cultural reference and a previous one made to Lady Gaga, Sheen might not have been the best choice. Those of us on the Armed Services Committee during simulation found out almost immediately the perils of trading on the fame of Charlie Sheen. After the State of the Union last Monday Senators Reid and Akaka were cornered by group of Republican senators demanding that we eliminate Charlie Sheen from our list of witnesses due to his questionable character. Our Charlie Sheen gave strong if uneven testimony, but he certainly did not #win us any support from the other side. His statement certainly was not as foolhardy as our attempt to get publicity for our committee, but it draws a potentially uncomfortable comparison. As a qualified candidate who has a reputation for being somewhat bland, Pawlenty may benefit from getting any media attention at all regardless of sentiment expressed. Conversely, a comment like this always has the potential to become a bad punch line if Charlie Sheen or Pawlenty's presidential bid should go off the rails (further off the rails in Sheen's case).

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