Top News Stories Of 2012

December 28, 2011

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A lot of sites are highlighting the top news stories of 2011.  It’s pretty easy to do them in hindsight – how about a look forward at the top news stories of 2012.

Here are my three news stories to follow in 2012.

The presidential election

Hundreds of millions (or even billions) of dollars will be spent to obtain a job that pays a mere $400,000 per year.  Since I live in Iowa, I’ve been deluged with commercials for many months.  I can’t wait for the caucuses to be over, so that the politicians can focus on New Hampshire.  My prediction is that the economy will bounce back and Obama will ride the economic uptick to a re-election.  I’m not saying that he’ll cause the recovery, just that he’ll get the credit for it (which is fair, since presidents also get blamed for things they don’t cause.

In addition to the presidential election, there will also be elections for all of the seats in the House of Representatives and 1/3 of the seats in the Senate.  These don’t get as much attention, but they are just as important.  While the political writers on The Soap Boxers will cover the serious political news, I’ll handle the snarky stories (which coven will Christine O’Donnell join in 2012) on my new site, Donkey and Elephant Show.

The world will end

December 21 is just 359 days away.  If you happen to be in Australia on November 13 and fear that the end of the world has arrived early, don’t worry – you’re just seeing a total solar eclipse.  You’ve still got 38 days to live.

I’ve given some advice for the end of days.  Sadly, I do expect that quite a few people will saddle themselves with debt under the assumption that the world will end on December 21 and they won’t have to repay the money.  If the sun rises on December 22, we may see a spike in the number of bankruptcies.  (Sadly, I’m not kidding).


I’m an Olympic junkie.  During the 2012 Summer games in London, I will once again learn the nuances of many sports that I pay no attention to at any other time (kayaking?).  Of particular note to me is that fact that 2004 Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson will attempt to win another gold in 2012.

Not only are the Olympics a great showcase for sports, but it’s also a great way to learn about other countries and cultures.  Certainly we’ll learn a lot about London during the Games, but also about countries like Trinidad and Tobago.  Have kids who hate geography but love sports?  Let them watch the Olympics and they’ll pick up some geography (and maybe even learn something about world politics).

While I’ll like watch just about anything, my main focus will be on track and field, especially since baseball has been dropped as an Olympic sport (sigh).

Your thoughts

What stories will you be following in 2012?


Plans for 2012

December 23, 2011

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2011 has been a very good year.  Hyrax Publications (the parent company of The Soap Boxers) turned a profit, as did the Soap Boxers division.  Not a large profit (the hourly rate would be absurdly low), but definitely black ink instead of red.  The number of visitors also hit an all-time high.  What lies ahead for 2012?

  • The 2012 election will get a lot of coverage in The Political Observers column of The Soap Boxers.  I’ll definitely have something special in place for Election Night coverage, although details have not been ironed out.  There will be more than 40 scheduled political articles between now and election day, but you can be sure we’ll sneak in a dozen or so extra articles – and I’m sure the number of comments will increase.
  • We’ll also provide ample coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, as well the the US Olympic trials.  I’m also very interested in the insights of Olympic fans outside the US, as well as expanding our US-based team.  If you’re interested in becoming part of the Olympic coverage team, send me an email at  We’ll also have an Olympic Fantasy league, where you pick a team and get points for medals your athletes win.
  • If the world ends on December 21, 2012, we’ll be sure to provide coverage.  I’ll likely write and “end of the world” article and schedule it to run on the 22nd.  If the world doesn’t end, I’ll just delete the article.  If the world DOES end, the article will run (assuming that Dreamhost‘s servers survive to apocalypse).  “Winning!”
  • I’ll continue to do some freelance writing on personal finance topics at The Digerati Life, and you may see my name pop up on other sites from time to time.
  • I anticipate launching at least one Kindle novella in 2012.  Hopefully this number will be closer to six.  I have plans for a series of novellas that follow the exploits of a certain character.  I’d love to get two of these launched by mid-year.  As always, you’ll be able to find all my works on my Amazon author page.  (Hey, guess what?  My books will be FREE tomorrow and Sunday.  Merry Christmas!)
  • I’ll also be working with some of the site’s other authors to aid them in launching their own Kindle books.  Tentative plans include a poetry book, a fiction book, and a lighthearted travel book.  The books will be published under the Hyrax Publications imprint.
  • Will we add any new writers in 2012?  Probably.  I have no plans to add any writers at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll want to tinker with things a bit at some point in the year.  I always do.  The most likely additions would be writers from other countries, as I would love to add news and analysis that doesn’t have a distintcly American angle.

What are you – the readers – looking for in 2012?  As a non-niche site, we can definitely tailor the content of the site to reflect what you want.

If the money from your Christmas bonus is burning a hole in your pocket and you want to contribute to the financial success of The Soap Boxers, you can always  PayPal a few bucks to us (email address for contributions is  Or you can simply continue to read for free.


Breaking Down The Republican Field

May 26, 2011

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An astonishing thing happened last week. No it was not the Rapture, it was the fact I agreed with the theme of an article by The Crunchy Conservative. Yes I, The Angry Squirrel can not support a residential candidacy by one Newt Gingrich. I just can’t do it. Now I wouldn’t be able to support the candidacy of any person vying for the Republican nomination, but that is beside the point. Newt had a bad week and his candidacy was for all extensive purposes ended faster than he can spend 500,000 big ones at Tiffany’s, so Crunchy I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Nominating a candidate that has a shot at winning in the General Election, that’s a different story.

Now that Newt is out of the way, how does the Republican field play out? There is the constant talk of who’s in and who is out. The out side took another blow on Sunday Morning, when we found out that Gov. Mitch Daniels was the latest in the line of those seen as major players to decide now was not the right time to go after the Presidency. Also this past month, The Donald ended his desire for excessive personal attention from the media, officially announcing what we knew all along. That he was not running for President and would focus on hosting a crappy “reality” show.

Heck ever Paul Ryan has had to say he is not intending to run for the Presidency. Although he did not rule things out in the future, Maybe Vice President? He’ll need a job after 2012 after all, as I personally do not see him winning his district this time around, especially with the response to his Path to Poverty budget proposal.

It is a long ways before we even get to Iowa, so there is no need to rush to pick a candidate. No one seems to come to a consensus on who will get the nomination. After the entire field is pretty weak and all are flawed. Though I am pleased for them to have all the infighting they want on the way to a nomination. So let us line them up, look at them all and judge their worth for the nomination. Here are those in the race, officially or not.

So we have Mitt Romney. He has not officially announced yet that he running, but it is obvious he is going to be in the race. What else is he going to be doing with the over 10 million that he is raking in on a single day. Maybe he is repaying his personal coffers from his last failed Presidential bid? Despite having a monetary advantage and following the Republican principle that money can buy anything, Mitt is going to have a tough rough road to hoe in securing the nomination. He is downright boring and changes his stance on everything with however the electorate feels about something at the moment. There is also that thing about being the architect of Massachusetts’ Romneycare, which was the model for what resemblance of national health care “reform” that was actually passed by the Congress passed last time around.

Then you have Tim Pawlenty, or more amusingly known as T-Paw. The likely person to take the boring, “serious” Republican vote not named Willard. We will see how things go. While I do see T-Paw pushing Romney out of the race in the end, I am not sure he gets the nomination either as I honestly, as I don’t think there is much exciting to get behind there and I don’t foresee him being the firebrand to spew out what the majority of his party electorate will want to hear.

The more likely Minnesotan to make noise in the race if they were to get it in is Michelle Bachmann. However she is obviously waiting for Sarah to decide to throw her hat in and be the frontrunner to take the early states of Iowa and South Carolina with her downright nuttiness it will take to win over that electorate. Like I said though, she will wait for Palin to officially be in or out to decide anything as they are both the same type of candidate, an absolute moron. That is the type of stuff conservatives like to eat up though.

Speaking of Sister Sarah, she has that fire in her belly, whatever that means. That does not mean the temporary Governor of Alaska has entered into the race yet officially though. Nor has she said she is not going to run. Buying a big mansion in Arizona has not helped to squelch the will she or won’t she watch. Is that move for her Presidential ambitions, or for scoping out Jon Kyl’s Senate seat. I’d love to see that nomination race; neither would intend to say a factual statement the entire race. While in her warped little mind she thinks she can beat Obama in the general election, she is the only candidate in the race that will lose no matter what the conditions of the economy or the nation may be at time. In fact, she is the only Republican to poll losing to Dennis Kucinich. That being said I think that if she runs she has the likeliest chance at the nomination or having the most influence that with all the delegates she would have locked up regardless and have the nominee tied to her and her views for the general election.

Ron Paul? Sure he still has a following, but I do not see him as any factor I the race this time at all.

Don’t forget about the winner of the first and only debate so far, Herman Cain. Though he is “serious” candidate he stands as much chance of getting the nomination that his former employer does of being called gourmet food or not causing me to be in the bathroom for endless hours afterwards. Also he’ll never be a darling of the crowd he’ll need to woo to get the nod. He is charismatic I guess, but the Teabaggers are likely to question his birth certificate as well and would never see him as one of them. So I hope you enjoyed your one win in this process. He is correct I one thing he is not going to be running for second place, he is running for last.

That brings us to the final candidate talked about right now in the race, former Utah Governor and Obama Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman. He has decided to set up headquarters in Florida, though not officially in the race yet. He is the mot serious threat to the President I the election in my eyes, but he is also outside of Herman Cain the least likely to get the Republican nomination. Despite being a fiscal conservative, on other things he will not fit the conservative bill. Huntsman believes in things like the environment and civil unions. So unless you believe the environment is ours to use without consequence and that gay people are an evil that should be exterminated, quarantined or tortured until they say they won’t be gay no more; you are not going to get very far towards winning this nomination.

So there we have it the Republican race so far. There will be drop outs and add ins as we move forward, but one thing will remain crystal clear. I cannot support the candidacy of any of them. I just can’t do it.