Leftover turkeys

It’s the day after Thanksgiving: You’ve got leftover white meat, cranberry chutney and sweet-potato soufflé. We’ve got the blogging equivalent: stories that were pretty and tasty, but didn’t get the attention they deserved. So, in honor of the day after, we’re unwrapping a smorgasbord of posts that shoulda been gobbled up in the past year, but weren’t. Don’t worry: We’ve checked them for mold and freezer burn, and they’re still good.


Our leftover turkey buffet begins with an oxymoron: U-Cubed, a union for unemployed and underemployed people. Through UCubed, members can connect with others who are unemployed in their area, provide services and support for each other, and spearhead legislative action in DC on critical jobs issues.

A strong and quiet Democrat

As we watch the unending parade of political clowns bumbling their way toward power, it’s easy to forget that there were once politicians who weren’t flashy, didn’t mouth off, knew their stuff, and got the job done. Senator Mike Mansfield was one of them.

Poligraft: News in, money links out

A website whose name is a clever amalgamation of two words that, unfortunately, often go together—politics and graft—connects the dots between politicians in the news and the donors who influence their votes. The news is not that politicians are corrupted by campaign donations; the news is that we can now input a link to a story about a politician and immediately see why they’re voting the way they’re voting.

What the other public option can teach us

The public option for healthcare didn’t make it to prime time. But those who called it “un-American” chose to ignore a different public option that has been serving American consumers for more than 100 years: publicly owned utilities. There are lessons to be learned from that model, and one Occasional Planet writer took the time, in 2010, to illuminate [wink, wink] them.

Campaign ethics 101

Hardly anybody read this oxymoronically titled Occasional Planet post. Gee, what a surprise. It’s about the Missouri Ethics Commission, which created a website to help candidates navigate the slippery slopes of money in politics. Well, they tried, but why would ethics be on anyone’s radar screen in today’s political climate?

[Hat tip to OP contributor Bill Kesler for the concept and title of this post, and to tech wiz Bobbi Clemons for identifying the turkeys.]