In 1995, Abe Pollin, then-owner of the Washington Bullets, announced that he had become increasingly uncomfortable with the team's name, particularly since Washington, D.C., like many large cities, was beset by gun violence. A contest was held to find a new name, and by 1997 the Bullets had become the Wizards. While some people would like to have kept the old name, the whole process was relatively painless.
Today, another of Washington's sports teams is facing increasing controversy over its name. The main difference is that Dan Snyder, the owner of the Redskins (and someone widely reviled in Washington for a whole host of reasons), is adamant that as long as he owns the team, it will never, ever, ever change its name.
Four years ago, Democratic representatives went home for the August recess and found themselves under assault from angry Tea Partiers, who took over town meetings with shouting and fist-shaking over the Affordable Care Act in particular, and more generally, the theft of their country by the foreign Muslim usurper Barack Obama. This August, however, it's Republicans who are under attack by some of those same people.
Last summer, the slew of wacky sitcom extras known as the GOP presidential slate realized their time was up. By summer, as normal people started going to the pool, Mitt Romney had the spotlight to himself and the other could-have-beens began fading into the background.
As Hillary Clinton mulls over the prospect of running for president in 2016, a couple of television networks have apparently decided that there's ratings gold in the former First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State. So, NBC is planning a miniseries on Clinton's life, and CNN is going to produce a documentary about her. One way to interpret their decisions is that Clinton is one of the key political figures of our time and a subject of enormous and ongoing fascination. Particularly if she does run, the networks will garner attention for almost any Clinton-related project. Another way to interpret it is that the liberal media is engaged in a conspiracy to get Clinton elected to the White House.
Since the 1960s, political scientists and pollsters have used a measure called the "feeling thermometer" to gauge how respondents feel about politicians, organizations, and groups of their fellow citizens. It's a way to get a general sentiment—do you feel warm or cool toward this person?—that fits on a convenient 100-point scale, which makes analysis tidy, even if it has little relationship to the way we actually think about political figures. If your feeling toward President Obama is a 72, and your feeling toward Vice President Biden is a 71, does that mean anything? Not really.