Shane BarnhillThursday,26 December 2013

The Snap:

I can’t decide whether we love or hate politicians here at TSD. On one hand, many of them are terrible at what they do. The 113th Congress, for example, is on track to be the least productive one in history, and as a result, they rank below both hemorrhoids and cockroaches in terms of public perception (although, to be fair, they handily defeated both gonorrhea and the Kardashians). On the other hand, however, Congressional ineptitude has been the inspiration for a lot of our best writing this year. Ted Cruz, for example, was the source of so much jackassery that we probably should have sent him something nice for Christmas.

The Download:

But whether TSD’s staff loves or hates politicians isn’t important. What matters is that our readers clearly enjoyed our team’s political coverage in 2013; many of our most-read articles were in our “Politics+News” vertical. Congressional jackassery sells, apparently. So, without further ado, here are our top 5 most-read political and/or general news posts of 2013. Enjoy.

5. If Only Yankee Doodle Had a Uterus: “It’s been a while since a middle-aged or old white man told me what to do with my body and I’ve been walking around lost and confused. Please, tell me the story again of how big government is bad unless it is legislating what I can do with my body or who I can marry,” writes Adrienne Boettinger in this fantastic piece about some state legislators who attempted a sneak attack on reproductive rights earlier this year. And as she usually does, Adrienne provides some links to ways to get involved to help.

4. Olivia Nuzzi on NSFWCORP, Politics and Music: “Olivia Nuzzi was described by Anthony Weiner’s campaign as a ‘slutbag’, a ‘cunt’ and a ‘twat,'” but she’s also one hell of a political writer. I interviewed Nuzzi about a variety of topics back in November. Olivia’s thoughts on Chris Christie, Ann Coulter and other items are worth checking out, as is her latest piece on New York’s e-cigarette ban in The Daily Beast.

3. When I Am Queen of Everything: Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers: “The big-box-o-crap store threatened to pull out of deals in Washington, D.C. because the City Council passed a bill requiring all corporations operating in the city that have more than $1 billion in global sales to pay a minimum wage of $12.50.” Is Wal-Mart doing right by its employees with a living wage, or is it exploiting them for fun and profit? That may be up for debate, but one thing is certain: When The Queen of Everything ascends to the throne, things are going to be different.

2. How the Tea Party Will Hurt the Republican Party in 2014: “The evangelical christian party of god took the brunt of the blame for the shutdown. So the knee jerk reaction is that this will hurt the GOP in 2014. The logic goes that since more people hold them responsible, independents who are leaning Republican will either not vote, or vote for the Democrat.” Will the Tea Party hard-liners who contributed to the extended shutdown of the federal government come back to haunt the Republican Party in 2014 Congressional elections? Our Matt Healey dug in with a good look at the potential ramifications of their actions.

1. The Best Things in Life are Free: “A lot of people can’t handle quickly becoming rich. A study of 35,000 Florida lottery winners who won $50K-150K from 1993 to 2002 showed that 5.4% were bankrupt within 5 years.” This article isn’t really about politics, but it fits into this vertical as a newsworthy event — a major Powerball win in Florida.

(Bonus top picks of 2013: Everything Ted Cruz. And John Boehner. Those two really stepped in it repeatedly this year.)

So there you have it — our top political and news posts of 2013. If you missed any of them, take a moment and read them now. They’re popular because they’re good. Let’s just hope that our political leadership provides as much fodder in the year to come (Wait, what? Never mind.).

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