R. Justin Shepherd | PART-TIME PUNDIT


A new home, a slightly altered vision
14.September.2008, 10.34 am
Filed under: politics

So, here it is: I’m moving the blog to a new home, In3rds.com.

The reason is twofold: 1.) I’ve become increasingly interested in the ways culture, politics and media are intertwined, the ways they work together (and oftentimes against the interest of each) and what it says about modern American society. 2.) While WordPress.com offers a lot of great things, ultimately I decided it’s better to run my own thing, offering me more flexibility in design and hopefully offering readers the best features possible.

You’ll notice, at the new site, that I’ve added a “Share This” button at the ends of posts; this is in case, someday, I write something you might actually be interested in sharing with your social network of choice. StumbleUpon, Digg, MySpace, Facebook and more are supported, and it’s all done with a simple click. I’m also hoping, in the future, to recruit a few particularly observant and articulate people to add their thoughts.

For now, expect the same frequency of posting that you’ve come to expect… Shelley made me promise not to let the new project get in the way of family life and running a fledgling business.

Oh, and make sure to update your RSS feeds (delete the old one, and click on the coffee cup in the upper-right corner of the new site).



The tease!
13.September.2008, 7.51 pm
Filed under: politics

Big news coming soon. Stay tuned…



This is why people hate politicians…
9.September.2008, 7.28 pm
Filed under: politics | Tags:

Because they twist words into utterly unrecognizable pretzels of B.S.

Double demerits for camp McCain… is this how he plans to bring “change to Washington”?

1.) Lipstick on a pig

Obama poked fun of McCain and Palin’s new “change” mantra.
“You can put lipstick on a pig,” he said as the crowd cheered. “It’s still a pig.”
“You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.”
“We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”

Camp McCain says Obama called Sarah Palin a “pig,” and is of course a rabid sexist. Ambinder puts the lie to this, noting that McCain himself used the phrase in a similar way while describing Hillary Clinton’s health care ideas.

2.) Sex ed???

This has to be the worst misrepresentation of the year. Really.

Basically, the ad links Barack Obama with sex-ed for kindergartners.  It implies that Obama favors teaching these kids dirrrty, explicity, sexual things. The bill … was intended to sanction the teaching of basic boundary lessons to young children, as in: if someone touches you or makes you uncomfortable, tell an adult. Those who oppose this believe that parents ought to be the ones imparting those lessons, so it’s not entirely a non-issue.

But the gap between the implication (Obama has liberal, radical views about sexuality) and the reality in this ad is pretty big and fairly consequential. [bold mine—R]

McCain should fire whoever made the ad, whoever sold him this line (I can’t believe he’d approve it if he knew what it actually referred to).



Quick hits
9.September.2008, 9.13 am
Filed under: politics

1.) McCain gets swiftboated!

(longer version VodPodded at left)

2.) You knew it was coming: The Wright sex scandal

He almost wrecked Barack Obama‘s presidential dreams, and now firebrand pastor Jeremiah Wright has helped destroy a Dallas church worker’s marriage – and her job, The Post has learned.

Elizabeth Payne, 37, said she had a steamy sexual affair with the controversial, racially divisive man of the cloth while she was an executive assistant at a church headed by a popular Wright protégé.

When word of the unholy alliance got out, Payne’s husband dumped her, and she was canned from the plum job at Friendship-West Baptist Church, she told The Post.

Full article here.

3.) Obama talks up Palin’s cool factor!

Palin’s bio is “compelling,” Obama said.

The crowd booed. “No, it’s an interesting story.” More boos. “No, no, it is. I mean that sincerely. Mother, governor, moose shooter.”

The crowd broke out in laughter. “That’s cool. That’s cool. That’s cool stuff,” Obama said.

From Ben Smith’s blog.



A parting note
8.September.2008, 10.38 am
Filed under: economics, politics | Tags: , , ,

This article by conservative stalwart David Frum in this week’s New York Times magazine dovetails nicely with some socio-economic reading I’ve been doing lately. The full text is here.

In short, the trend to (economic) inequality is real, it is large and it is transforming American society and the American electoral map. Yet the conservative response to this trend verges somewhere between the obsolete and the irrelevant.

Conservatives need to stop denying reality. The stagnation of the incomes of middle-class Americans is a fact. And only by acknowledging facts can we respond effectively to the genuine difficulties of voters in the middle. We keep offering them cuts in their federal personal income taxes — even though two-thirds of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes, and even though a majority of Americans now describe their federal income tax burden as reasonable.

What the middle class needs most is not lower income taxes but a slowdown in the soaring inflation of health-care costs. If health-insurance costs had risen 50 percent rather than 100 percent over the Bush years, middle-income voters would have enjoyed a pay raise instead of enduring wage stagnation. John McCain’s health plan, which emphasizes tax changes to encourage employees to buy their own insurance rather than rely on employers, is a start — but only the very beginning of a start.



A brief hiatus
8.September.2008, 10.20 am
Filed under: politics

Blogging, if it happens at all, will be light for the next week or so as I work toward a move to my own site, which will enable me to add more features. If you haven’t subscribed to my RSS feed, please do so now by clicking the RSS link at the top left. That way you’ll know when I’m back up and running.



On faith, again: In fairness to Sarah Palin
5.September.2008, 11.45 pm
Filed under: faith

Headed home for the night, I stumbled upon this very even-handed and relatively encouraging (from a Christian perspective) profile of Sarah Palin’s faith in the New York Times. Given my last post on her, I felt it only fair to include this.

Interviews with the two pastors she has been most closely associated with here in her hometown … and with friends and acquaintances who have worshipped with her point to a firm conclusion: her foundation and source of guidance is the Bible, and with it has come a conviction to be God’s servant.




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