10 most-read Occasional Planet posts of 2010

2010 has been the first calendar year for Occasional Planet’s eclectic, under-the-news-radar, occasionally-humorous-and-often-opinionated potpourri of mostly positive posts on progressive people, programs and ideas. Looking back–obsessively–via our Google Analytics dashboard, we’ve identified the 10 stories that have gotten the most clicks this year. There’s no discernible, underlying theme to the posts that readers pick up on, but we hope we’re a place where progressive readers can find something worth looking at. More to come in 2011. Here’s the list, with a bit of commentary.

  1. President Obama’s 244 Accomplishments:  Posted just before the Nov. 2, 2010 mid-term elections, this post apparently tapped into a need to find the good news in a bad-news year for Democrats. Fact is, President Obama, beleaguered from both right and left, has managed to get a lot done–and this list came out before his big finish in the December lame-duck session of Congress.
  2. $10,440 in South Carolina equals $0 in Vermont: A run for Congress,from Missouri, by OP co-founder Arthur Lieber sparked our interest in what it costs to run for Congress in other states. It took some meandering deep into some states’ regulations, but we managed to create an apparently heretofore non-existent chart comparing filing fees among the 50 states.
  3. Wacky, hidden  provisions of healthcare reform act: April Fools’ Day brought a perfect opportunity to satirize some of the misleading claims, from the right, about the Health Care Reform Act that went into effect this year.
  4. Ballpark Village to Ballpark “Tillage”: As 2010 enters the history books, there’s still no visible sign of progress toward development of the empty lot leftover from the demolition of the “old” Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. This article offers a creative idea that cold turn a downtown scar into a technological and environmental showcase.
  5. MO Prop A: If it passes, who wins, who loses? : It passed–overwhelmingly– although Missouri voters  may have been bamboozled by an ad campaign sponsored by a zillionaire. Proposition A threatens a huge portion of the operating budgets of Kansas City and St. Louis. Contributor Stacy Mergenthal looks at the consequences.
  6. School is in! What’s your teachers’ salary?:  Teachers’ salaries vary widely from state to state. A handy, state-to-state chart reveals the crazy-quilt of pay ranges.
  7. What’s a secret hold & why ban it in the U.S. Senate?: Senate rules are ugly, and Senators who know how to use them can do a lot of damage. The “secret hold” has held up hundreds of President Obama’s nominations for important jobs, without which government is, itself, on hold. An explanation and some logic.
  8. In going green, failure leads to success: First, you fail. That’s pretty much the history of a lot of eventually successful industries and businesses. And that’s probably true for the “green revolution” as well. A look at the need for start-ups and the necessity of tolerating failure.
  9. To reduce unemployment, make businesses stop off shoring jobs: Where did all the jobs go? It’s no secret–they’re everywhere but here at home, and that’s partly because tax laws “incentivize” off-shoring. OP contributor Madonna Gauding looks at ways to encourage job creation and retention in the U.S.
  10. Rejected. Annals of unsuccessful Supreme Court bids: Newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomajor made it, but many more nominees failed. A walk through Supreme Court history turns up some intriguing stories of failed attempts.