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  • 5 Quack Election Predictors

    With Republicans rejecting the admittedly imperfect science of opinion polling and the electoral math subsequently rejecting Republicans, it's time to see whether the GOP's love for quack science is requited with favorable electoral predictions. Here are five strange and occasionally accurate presidential predictors, along with where the candidates stand now…

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    Tags: Barack Obama, Children, Food, Halloween, Mitt Romney, Sports
  • Former Teen Pundit Jonathan Krohn Bullied by Conservatives

    The fate of child stars is rarely pretty. Many of them turn to drugs, or worse, independent cinema. But there's one child star who turned to something much more insidious: liberalism.

    Four years ago, 13-year-old Jonathan Krohn was a conservative wunderkind pundit. He spoke at CPAC and appeared on talk shows. He was vilified and worshiped in equal measures. And now he's 17 and not much has changed except his political beliefs.

    A week after Politico outed him as a center-leftist, he's been attacked by the right (and if his Twitter feed is any indication, some praise from the left as well). Yesterday, Salon published a piece from Krohn about how the right treats its prodigal children…

    Since then, I have been treated by the political right with all the maturity of schoolyard bullies. The Daily Caller, for instance, wrote three articles about my shift, topping it off with an opinion piece in which they stated that I deserved criticism because I wear “thick-rimmed glasses” and I like Ludwig Wittgenstein. Why don’t they just call me “four-eyes”? These are not adults leveling serious criticism; these are scorned right-wingers showing all the maturity of a little boy. No wonder I fit in so well when I was 13…

    Once you join a side, you have to obey the house rules, go to all the parties, and defend your status as a member of the greatest club on campus. And this is what drove me away from conservatism to my admittedly center-left position of independent mindedness (if that’s a thing).

    I'm glad Krohn deviated from the path of conservative punditry. He was a 13. The only thing 13-year-olds are experts on is which kinds of shorts hide boners the best. But I also don't think he should be a 17-year-old liberal pundit. As a 17-year-old, he should be going to parties and getting himself not-laid.

    [NOTE: I used a picture of child star Jonathan Lipnicki in this post because it's close enough.]

    Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/WireImage/Getty Images

     


    Tags: Children, Conservatives, CPAC, Jonathan Krohn
  • Justice Samuel Alito's Opinions Are Cruel and Unusual

    With the Supreme Court delaying the release of their decision on the Affordable Care Act, Americans will have to wait until Thursday morning to find out whether our grandmothers will be harvested for stem cells, as per my Fox News-informed understanding of Obamacare.

    But the Supremes did render an important decision in Miller v. Alabama, in which Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the 5-4 majority, ruled that states violate the 8th amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment when they don't allow for the option of a sentence shorter than life without the possibility of parole for juveniles convicted of murder.

    We also learned that Justice Samuel Alito really, really cares about sentencing 14-year-olds to life in prison without parole. If throwing kids in prison were a song, it'd be his "Free Bird." He cares about it so much that he read his dissent from the bench, a punishment that is somehow still legal, even as it features gems such as this

    The two (carefully selected) cases before us concern very young defendants, and de­spite the brutality and evident depravity exhibited by at  least one of the petitioners, it is hard not to feel sympathy  for a 14-year-old sentenced to life without the possibility of  release. But no one should be confused by the particulars of the two cases before us. The category of murderers that the Court delicately calls “children” (murderers under the age of 18) consists overwhelmingly of young men who are fast approaching the legal age of adulthood. Evan Miller  and Kuntrell Jackson are anomalies; much more typical  are murderers like Donald Roper, who committed a brutal thrill-killing just nine months shy of his 18th birthday.

    The case to which Alito refers to is Roper v. Simmons, in which Christopher Simmons was convicted of murder and Donald Roper was sued for relief in his capacity as the Superintendent of the correctional facility where Simmons was held. The legal term for Alito's dissent is "fail."

    Unfortunately, we as a nation are still ineligible for parole from the life term appointment of Justice Alito.

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Children, Crime, Samuel Alito, Supreme Court
  • Feds Mess with Sheriff Joe Arpaio's No Child Left Behind Deportation Program

    Since real life is increasingly indistinguishable from a preachy Paul Haggis movie devoid of moral nuance, it was inevitable that Barack Obama's announcement of a stay in the deportations of young, law-abiding, undocumented immigrants would be paired with a starkly contrasting story demonstrating why the new policy was necessary.

    The obvious villain in this story would have to be Arizona's Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff whose conscience long ago self-deported to someplace where it wouldn't be constantly abused by corruption and civil rights violations. So it was, that on the same day the president announced a more humane immigration policy, the Arizona Republic reported that "Maricopa County Sheriff Office deputies arrested a 6-year-old suspected illegal immigrant."

    It's all part of Joe Arpaio's unique version of No (Foreign) Child Left Behind (in the United States).

    Of course, after first touting the results of the raid in which the 6-year-old girl was picked up, MCSO officials claimed that the child was not arrested, but taken in to protective custody due to her unaccompanied status. In any case, federal immigration officials do not seem too keen on  deporting the youngster

    ICE released a statement saying only that the child was handed over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    It is common for that agency to place some young migrants with social-services organizations.

    As to where we go from here, allowing more immigrants to come to the United States legally seems like the reasonable thing to do, since there's currently no authorized pathway for the vast majority of potential migrants to come to the United States. But barring that, we should construct a border fence using whatever material is stockaded around Arpaio's soul. That stuff is impenetrable.

    Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Arizona, Children, Immigration, Joe Arpaio