Throughout the Bush years, Orange County, FL, Franklin County, OH, and Bucks County, PA ascended to national preeminence as the closest counties in the closest states in the 2000 election. In 2008, the diverse and well-educated new coalition counties, like Arapahoe, CO, Fairfax, VA, Wake, NC stole the show. In 2012, Obama could easily win every county listed above and lose the election. As the suburbs diversify and Republicans compensate with additional inroads into the countryside, the old swing counties of the Bush years have largely moved into the Democratic column.
This Sunday, April 1st, marks the first anniversary of the reported death of Nick Hathaway, the genre- and taste-defying songsmith known for having the kind of talent that is truly not to be believed. For the tens of fans of Hathaway’s music around the world and in his hometown of Chester, Pennsylvania, the past year has been as eventful as any other. Yet eventfulness is hardly the measure of Nick Hathaway's life and work. Nor is quality, that big bugaboo of critics, artists, audiences, and others who like the arts.
On June 8th, a motley coalition of conservative senators and activists huddled in the Cannon Office Building to discuss strategy around Cut, Cap, and Balance, the radical budget proposal to cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP that they hoped to push through Congress in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. After an impassioned prayer for the nation’s future from Senator Jim DeMint, staunch libertarians like Chris Chocola of Club for Growth rubbed elbows with evangelicals like Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America and Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council.