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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
An Optimistic Look at Second Terms

Blue State Secession: The Only Solution?

by ZOLTAN GROSSMAN

The Election of 1860 led to the Secessions of 1861. The Election of 2004 can lead to Secessions in 2005.*

MAPS FOR FUN

(Washington, Oregon, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia.)

…Or at least the formation of a nice new Canadian province (with single-payer health care and cheaper medicines)…..

* — This is a joke….

….but there are a few developments that could prevent the "blue states" from joining Canada and Mexico……

AN OPTIMISTIC LOOK AT PRESIDENTIAL SECOND TERMS

Second Nixon term : After the largest landslide in U.S. history in 1972 (in which the Democrats win only one state), Nixon’s Democratic opponents –emboldened by Vietnam and Watergate– aggressively investigate the President, and force him to resign.

Second Reagan term : After another Republican landslide in 1984 (in which the Democrats win only one state), Democrats launch a probe of the Iran/Contra scandal, and diminish Republican control of foreign policy in Central America.

Second Clinton term : After Clinton handily wins the 1996 election, Republicans aggressively investigate Clinton’s private life, and impeach him, weakening his vice president’s 2000 White House bid.

Second Bush term? After George W. Bush narrowly wins the 2004 election, Democrats elect a new congressional leadership to replace the complacent Tom Daschle. Democrats aggressively investigate the Iraq War, denials of civil liberties, and security lapses before and since 9/11.

Anything can happen, because a strong opposition has less to lose in a second term.

Dr. ZOLTAN GROSSMAN is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. His peace writings can be seen at www.uwec.edu/grossmzc/peace.html, and he can be reached at grossmzc@uwec.edu.