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Prediction: 2020

It may seem odd to attempt to predict the outcome of a presidential election that is two years and eleven months away, but then I never claimed not to be a little odd. Politics is also something that is weighing on people's minds a lot these days, especially at the national level. The biggest focus is on the 2018 midterm elections, but I'm curious about 2020, as well.
A lot of folks -- though certainly not all -- are of the opinion that President Trump will be ousted (or will resign) during his first term, making a prediction of his 2020 re-election chances a moot point. I'm not so sure. If 2016 taught us anything, it's to never be too certain of anything. The pessimist in me thinks that Trump could possibly not only stay in office, but also be re-elected. Following is why -- at this particular juncture -- I think that is the case.
With a little help from the 270towin web site, let's look at how the Electoral College could shake-out in 2020. We're only focusin…
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Falling In Love at the Movies

While many of us remember our first kiss, or falling in love for the first time, how many times have we been convinced of witnessing the depiction of those same emotions on the silver screen? Granted, it may not be something a lot of folks think about, but for me, romance in the movies can have the power to incredibly stir the soul, make me flinch awkwardly in my seat, or just flat-out laugh. After recently viewing the wonderful new movie Lady Bird, and being completely swept-up in the fledgling  romance of the title character and her classmate Danny, it reminded me of how I'm a sucker for a well-done movie romance.
In order for me to be convinced of the  adoration onscreen, pretty much everything has to be right -- the script, the acting, the score, the direction, editing, etc. It all has to set the right mood and believability. That isn't always an easy task. Most films run between 90 and 120 minutes. That isn't a terribly long time to introduce us to characters, advance…

Pic of the Week

Actor Lucas Hedges is our new Pic of the Week! Lucas is currently featured in two powerful films  -- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Lady Bird -- and he is great in both movies. If you haven't seen them yet, I highly recommend finding time to see them.


When Nostalgia Comes to Pass

Two recent conversations -- one public, one private -- both about seemingly disparate topics, have ushered forth to my mind their conflation in one general regard: We tend to value most, the time of our life when we were young. Sometimes, the sense of nostalgia can be warm and fuzzy. Other times, melancholy. On certain other occasions, it can be crippling. But it all seems to center around the time of our lives when we were young.
Consider a situation in my town where a few older houses might be torn down to make way for an expansion of one of the local high schools. The vote to approve this passed handily a year ago, however, a preservationist group has officially protested the demolition of the houses. It has created quite an interesting public conversation in the community about looking ahead, vs. what is worth saving from our past. The dialogue, thus far, has been both fascinating and frustrating. While we've learned more about our city's past, we've also seen the top…

N or M?

With the recent release (and surprising popularity) of Kenneth Branagh's version of Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie -- the author of the novel upon which the movie is based -- is now back in the public eye.
Having long been a fan of Christie's works, I thought it a good time to finally choose my Top 10 favorite works by her. It wasn't easy, as I familiar with so much of her output, but the following list is a good representation of why I've liked Agatha Christie so much, for so long.
Here we go:

1.  Nemesis(1971)

One of her later works (Christie died in 1976), this story nevertheless presents an old mystery with a new mystery, a garden bus tour, suspicious characters, and the deceptively sharp sleuth Miss Marple. Thoroughly enjoyable.

2. A Murder is Announced (1950)

Another Miss Marple story, this time set in the English village of Chipping Cleghorn. After reading a notice in the local paper, people show up to someone's house expecting to play a ficti…

Pic of the Week

Happy Black Friday. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Our latest Pic of the Week is actor Mahershala Ali, best known for his Oscar-winning role in the Moonlight, along with Hidden Figures, the Hunger Games movies, and True Detective (too name a few).



People Power

The first election I was able to vote in would have been the spring 1994 primary. The first election I actually voted in was autumn's general election of 2004. Ten years went by where my right to vote went unused. People had fought and died -- in wars and in the streets -- for my right to vote, and I'd case it aside with the usual excuses of, 'They're all crooked, anyway, so it doesn't matter,' or 'My right to vote is balanced with my right not to vote.' Meanwhile, elections came and went, policy was decided, and I'd had nary an input.
Things changed in 2004, and the world (for better or worse) has George W. Bush to thank for me getting me off my keister and becoming politically involved. With the Bush administration, the two main sticking points (though there were others) were our handling of the Iraq War, and lack of seeing the LGBTQ community as equal citizens. Karl Rove's orchestration of the culture wars was in full swing, and I felt under…