Martha CoakleyThe special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of the late Ted Kennedy may be a bellwether of national discontent with the Democratic Party, but it's clearly not an ideological contest between big-government liberalism and a strict constitutionalism.

Tea Party activists are trying to take over the Republican Party from the ground up, according to the New York Times.

ObamaPresident Obama is ubiquitous in public life. Newsweek has even asked our chief executive to write an article on Haiti, in light of the recent disaster there. Michelle Obama is constantly in the news as well, first showing off her latest change in fashion, then helping some television cook show host prepare food. It is doubtful that any President or any presidential family in our national history has had more opportunities to look good in front of the nation or express the sort of broad platitudes that nearly all Americans will find nice and agreeable.

According to an article at MSNBC.com entitled “Doomsday Clock set back one minute,” the Doomsday Clock, an “end-of-the-world clock, set up in 1947, ... meant to convey how close we are to the end of the world via catastrophe caused by nuclear weapons or climate change, among other factors,” had its hands moved on January 14 from five minutes before midnight (“midnight” means catastrophic destruction) to six minutes before midnight.

Scott BrownFrom obscurity to prominence to possible victory, Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown’s campaign for Teddy Kennedy’s seat in a special election on Tuesday, January 19, is receiving national attention. From a 30-point underdog, Brown has campaigned for the seat — which he says “With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedys’ seat, it’s not the Democrats’ seat, it’s the people’s seat” — with his pledge:  “I will send this [Obama healthcare] bill back.” And in so doing he has closed the gap so that several prominent pollsters are saying the race is too close to call.