September 14, 2008
SITEMETER DID CHANGE, but I had the audacity to hope that it would change back. And it did!
SITEMETER DID CHANGE, but I had the audacity to hope that it would change back. And it did!
HMM: 75% of Alaska Democrats Approve Palinâ€™s Job Performance. Gosh, if you read the New York Times reporting on Palin, that’s hard to believe.
A DEMOCRAT SWITCHES TO MCCAIN: “If Democratic women wait for the perfect woman to come along, we will never elect a woman. I will vote for McCain-Palin. I urge other women to do the same. I promise to be the first person knocking on her door if Roe v. Wade or any other legislation that goes against the rights of women is threatened. But in Governor Palin, I find a woman of integrity, who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. I can work with that. I will work with that.”
OKAY, THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL LIST that I linked earlier is a bit over-the-top. Here are some more realistic disaster preparedness lists. But remember, buying stuff is nice, but you also need skills, and a plan, in advance of bad things happening. Those don’t come from a store. You might consider training through the Red Cross, or CERT.
FABIUS MAXIMUS ON U.S. ATTACKS INTO PAKISTAN. I’m not at all sure these are a good thing, even if Barack Obama does favor the idea. On the other hand, I don’t think they’re an invasion of Pakistan’s “sovereignty,” since the area in question is one in which Pakistan has not exercised sovereignty. Indeed, these areas have been the launching pad for attacks into Afghanistan, and a key attribute of sovereignty is responsibility for preventing such things. So either these areas are only notionally under Pakistan’s sovereignty, and in fact effectively stateless, or Pakistan is turning a blind eye to Taliban and Al Qaeda activities that it could stop if it wanted. Either way, though cross-border attacks may turn out to be unwise, I don’t think the sovereignty argument adds much.
SARAH PALIN: Cult Killer?
RASMUSSEN: “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows John McCain reaching the 50% level of support for the first time since Barack Obama wrapped up the Democratic Presidential Nomination. McCain retains a three-point advantage for the third straight day, 50% to 47%.”
LEANING into the wind.
MORE VOTER FRAUD PROBLEMS. I wonder why this doesn’t get more press?
PLEASE SEND YOUR BEST WISHES to Teresa Nielsen Hayden, who seems to have had a heart attack. Sounds like she’s doing OK; at least there’s an Internet connection in her hospital room.
MORE ON THE ATLANTIC’S PHOTO SCANDAL from Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote the cover story that has been unfairly, but inevitably, tainted by Jill Greenberg’s duplicitous and unprofessional behavior. “Greenberg is quite obviously an indecent person who should not be working in magazine journalism.”
THE WSJ’S CURRENT HEADLINE: Wall Street Firms Scramble to Avert Crisis.
WHY DOESN’T MCCAIN USE A COMPUTER? Jake Tapper of ABC News:
McCain did once describe himself as computer “illiterate” and dependent upon his wife for computer assistance, but there’s more to the tale than that. Assuredly McCain isn’t comfortable talking about this — and the McCain campaign discouraged me from writing about this — but the reason the aged Arizonan doesn’t use a computer or send email is because of his war wounds.
I realize some of the nastier liberals in the blogosphere will see this as McCain once again “playing the POW card,” but it’s simply a fact: typing on a regular keyboard for any sustained period of time bothers McCain physically. . . .
It’s certainly possible that the Obama campaign did not know this, since McCain makes it sound in interviews as if this is a matter of choice, not discomfort because of his war wounds.
Doesn’t say much for their opposition research, though. And this, frankly, seems outright dishonest: “Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer told the Associated Press that the Obama campaign was not trying to invoke McCain’s 72 years. ”
Riiiight. “If there were ever a sign that the Obama camp is in meltdown mode you only had to watch This Week on ABC where top surrogate Sen. Claire McCaskill dredged up John McCainâ€™s age and cancer. So we have gone from New Politics to the political gutter in a matter of weeks.”
WHAT IF Obama were white and McCain were black? “Do readers think it’s correct to assume that in this hypothetical matchup, the Republican candidate’s race would be a significant disadvantage? And would the Democratic candidate likely have been as successful a candidate against Hillary as Obama turned out to be?”
TIGERHAWK: “I seriously doubt that Democrats who count are actually panicking. This spate of stories may well mean that they are already finding their balance. If I were Barack Obama, I would be hoping that the Republicans get cocky right about now. These panic stories are just what the doctor ordered.”
JONAH GOLDBERG: Life of the Party. “The tectonic plates are definitely rumbling. Partisan Democrats may not believe it, but independents and dispirited Republicans now see the McCain-Palin pick as a sharp break with Bush (McCain now has a double-digit lead over the ‘post-partisan’ Obama among independents).” Hmm. They’re not dead yet. In fact, they’re getting better! “I feel happy! I feel happy! . . . I think I’ll go for a walk!”
DR. MELISSA CLOUTHIER: You can be fit and fat. Now if you could just be hot and fat, too, all our problems would be solved . . . .
MORE CHARLES RANGEL SCANDAL. At least now we know how he can afford those really nice suits. I’ve always admired his suits.
THE PROBLEM WITH VIDEOPHONY: “Good old traditional audio-only phone conversations allowed you to presume that the person on the other end was paying complete attention to you while also permitting you not to have to pay anything even close to complete attention to her.”
“POLITICAL PORNOGRAPHY:” Gerard van der Leun, himself a magazine editor of note, comments: “To say Ms. Greenberg’s use of this material in this way is ‘unprofessional’ and does the subject (John McCain) and the client (The Atlantic Monthly) a disservice is to vastly understate the case. Not only has Ms. Greenberg exposed The Atlantic to charges of bias it may well have not intended, it turns out she was engaged in dealing with Senator McCain falsely as well. She has, indeed, bragged about it to PDNPulse, a professional photographers’ journal.”
My sense is that the folks at The Atlantic are pretty unhappy about this, and they should be.
UPDATE: More thoughts from Shannon Love: “The important thing here is not that Greenberg took and altered the pictures. The important thing is that she felt comfortable bragging about what she did! She expected to receive accolades and approval.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Some people are having fun.
THE JAGUAR THAT James Bond wouldn’t drive.
ANNIE OAKLEY IF YOU CAN.
A FAREWELL LETTER from General Petraeus.
OFFSHORE DRILLING COMING TO A VOTE: “Congressional Democrats, balancing political reality against a policy they have long opposed, are on the cusp of approving legislation that would open the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to oil drilling as close as 50 miles offshore.” Seems like one thing we want to do is to avoid having too much of our drilling concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico, where one hurricane can disrupt a big fraction of the production. Also, 50 miles seems pretty far offshore to me.
IS GOOGLE GETTING TOO POWERFUL? “As Mr. Savage saw it, Googleâ€™s near monopoly in search ads (its market share is approaching 70 percent) put it in a position to decide which business models it would tolerate and which ones it wouldnâ€™t.”
HERE COME THE DROIDS.
OH NO: They’ve ruined SiteMeter. I agree that they should make SiteMeter classic an option. Also, right now it’s demanding a login, and I want open stats. Any recommendations for other free open counters?
FADING AWAY IN EUROPE: “After spending over half a century years in Europe, the headquarters of the U.S. 7th Army headquarters is reorganizing as a deployable unit (meaning it can be ordered to another part of the world to supervise major military operations.) . . . During the Cold War, there were over 300,000 U.S. troops in Western Europe, now it’s about 40,000, and headed for 33,000 in five years. And if there’s a crisIs somewhere else on the planet, there won’t even be an army headquarters there to command what’s left of American forces.” The Europeans will have to start thinking about defending themselves, I guess.
A MISSION TO THE NORTH POLE: “In anticipation of opened oil wells beneath the melting arctic, an ownership-mapping mission makes its way across the seabed.”
DON’T TRUST THE MEDIA (CONT’D): “Controversial celebrity photographer Jill Greenberg, a self-professed ‘hard-core Dem,’ deliberately took a series of unflattering shots of Republican nominee John McCain for the current cover of The Atlantic – and then bragged about it on a blog.” The Atlantic has a brand that most magazines envy. But recent behavior is putting it at risk. I guess it’s gone from bring your own camera, to bring your own photographer. The Atlantic’s editor, James Bennet, — who I know somewhat and think is an honest guy — says they don’t vet photographers for their politics, and they shouldn’t. But this kind of pettiness and unprofessionalism is absolutely beyond the pale. Sadly, it’s marked much of the media this election cycle.
As Andrew Breitbart said on PJTV the other night, you can hardly overstate the extent to which Big Media and the Democratic Party are one and the same these days.
I’D RATHER BE LUCKY THAN GOOD: “A study published in Science suggests the dinosaurs ruled the roost for some 135 million years not so much because they were superior to the competition, but because they were lucky.”
DRUGS FOUND IN TENNESSEE RIVER: But in parts-per-trillion levels. Missing from the story is any evidence that such minuscule concentrations pose any hazard to anyone, so this may mostly be a tribute to the sensitivity of modern testing techniques.
OIL REFINERIES seem to have come through Hurricane Ike in better condition than was feared.
INSTA-POLL: A question suggested by reader Neil Blaney, in response to the media focus on Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama.
UPDATE: From the comments: “Joe Biden? Joe Biden’s running for Vice President? Who knew?” Heh.
FROM MERYL YOURISH, ten questions for pundits.
THE TEN most generous celebrities. Oprah and Rush Limbaugh appear, along with Herb Alpert, who I’ve always heard is a very nice guy.
JONATHAN ADLER: Conservatives shouldn’t block a President Obama’s judicial nominees: “So if we get a President Obama, and he nominates accomplished left-leaning lawyers and judges to the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts, I hope most conservatives and Republican Senators let them go through without much of a fight. This is how most Republicans treated President Clinton’s nominations of Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and equally qualified Obama nominees deserve nothing less. If this means that a President Obama gets to place several quite ‘liberal’ jurists on the bench, so be it. Republicans have long argued that Senate Democrats have treated President Bush’s judicial nominees unfairly. They’re right, but the proper principled response is to set the right example, not to respond in kind, let alone to make our excessively politicized judicial confirmation process even worse.”
OBAMA AND the Woods Fund. “Obama joined the board of the Woods Fund in 1993 and remained until 2002. But Obama didnâ€™t merely use the Woods Fund to help his fellow man â€” he used it to further his career.”
THE PRESS IS OBSESSED: 60% of Washington Post’s Biden Tax Story Devoted to Palin. Reader C.J. Burch comments: “This is also a factor in the all Palin all the time thing. She wouldn’t be such a rock star if the Dems and the press didn’t depsise her so viciously. They’re going to get worse. She’s going to get more popular.” Yes, if they’d greeted her nomination with a yawn, things would have been much different.
Meanwhile, Ed Morrissey looks at her management style and popularity in Alaska. From the national press coverage, you’d never know she has sky-high approval ratings back home. Meanwhile, still waiting for this kind of exhaustive inquiry into Obama’s background. For contrasts between Obama’s words and deeds, you have to go to the London Times. “The essential problem coming to light is a profound disconnect between the Barack Obama of the candidate’s speeches, and the Barack Obama who has actually been in politics for the past decade or so.”
THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO PRINT OUT, OR AT LEAST ABSORB, when you have power:
DANNY GLOVER: Barack Obama’s high-tech blunder. “Obama hasn’t actually listened to the netroots much on substantive policy matters during the presidential campaign, and his flip-flops on issues like anti-terrorism surveillance (against it before he was for it) actually have aggravated liberal bloggers. But this play came straight from the netroots playbook.” Related thoughts from James Joyner.
MORE ON AIRBORNE WI-FI:
You can read. You can watch the movie or, on a few airlines, enjoy live satellite television. You can work, eat, drink or sleep. And now, thanks to new technology by Aircell, you can get broadband Internet service on your laptop.
But one thing you may not do is use that Internet hookup for VoIP, the voice over Internet protocol services provided by companies like Skype. In other words, you may not use your newly empowered laptop connection in flight to make a voice phone call, even though the technological capability to do so is there.
Reflecting the continuing battles over cellphone use in other public settings, Aircell and American Airlines â€” so far the only airline offering Aircellâ€™s in-flight Internet access, called Gogo â€” have erected technological barriers to block Skype and similar software programs from enabling voice calls in the insulated environment of the airplane cabin. American Airlines began offering Gogo last month.
You can always IM. As for the airborne wi-fi, all I can say is, it’s about time.
All this, taken together, goes far beyond Maureen Dowd’s searing revelation that Sarah Palin wears shoes that are really intended for much younger women. Now we know that far from a pit bull with lipstick, Governor Palin is a merely human politician who rewards friends, punishes enemies and plays “hardball” just like one of the guys. Who does she think she is? And, she’s ambitious. She confided to a friend that she wants to be president someday. Should such a person be allowed inside the White House?
But, seriously now, if the NY Times wants to bring down their favorite hockey mom, they are going to have to do a lot better than this. Forget about sending anybody to Chicago to go through Sen. Obama’s record with a similarly fine toothed comb. Or more like a manure fork. I know that’s not going to happen. Politics in Alaska is a lot like everywhere else, with friends, enemies, grudges, favors made and repaid, and those who get ahead often have sharp elbows. If Palin does become VP she will need every bit of those skills she may have.
What? They won’t investigate Obama as carefully?
DEAD SILENCE at Columbia.
IN RESPONSE TO MY EARLIER THOUGHTS ON TAKING A CAMERA TO THE INTERVIEW, reader John Barnes writes:
Glenn: Bravo for your column on the need for politicians to make their own record of interviews. I am a corporate communications consultant and I routinely advise my clients not to agree to taped interviews. If a taped interview is unavoidable, I tell them that when the news crew arrives and starts setting up its cameras and microphones, the interview subject should set up his own cameras and microphones. A few have taken my advice, but many do not, thinking it will tick off the media even more. I tell them the media is not your friend under any circumstances and you are foolish to trust it.
I must say, though, on the few occasions when my advice was heeded, I wished I had a camera of my own to record the priceless expressions on the reporters’ faces as we set up our own cameras. “What are those for?” one asked nervously. “Oh, we just have a policy of making our own record,” I said nonchalantly. He seemed a bit perturbed, but went ahead with the interview, which turned out tough, but reasonably fair. I can’t help but think that having our own record made at least some difference.
It couldn’t hurt. Meanwhile, more questions about ABC’s editing. And it’s not just politicians who should take this precaution.
UPDATE: Related thoughts here.
ROGER SIMON: The (condescending) media is the message.
And a related post from Prof. Kenneth Anderson on Judith Warner: “Judging by how she writes, I would say sheâ€™s compensated on a sort of condescension-meter approach.” It’s hard to believe that the demand for media condescension is sufficient to clear the supply . . . .
Meanwhile, Tom Maguire is happy to condescend to Bob Herbert.
JIM WOOTEN: Panic sets in for Obama, Democrats. “Barack Obama knows it. The election he had in the bag is slipping away.” He could still win it, but the fact that he’s acting panicky, with wild swings, isn’t helping him. Plus, it suggests that he can’t handle pressure, which has been a rap on him from the beginning.
Those molestation claims from Randi Rhodes aren’t helping, either. Jeez. Plus this report: “Barack Obama and his senior advisers are under fire for ignoring the advice of Democratic senators and governors who are concerned that they do not know how to beat John McCain. . . . A senior Democratic strategist, who has played a prominent role in two presidential campaigns, told The Sunday Telegraph: ‘These guys are on the verge of blowing the greatest gimme in the history of American politics. They’re the most arrogant bunch Ive ever seen. They won’t accept that they are losing and they won’t listen.’” Yes, as I said earlier, hubris coupled with poor execution is not a recipe for success. Nice to see that the Democratic leadership agrees with my analysis.
UPDATE: Barry Dauphin thinks it’s psychological: “One thing I have noticed. No matter who McCain is up against (be it Republicans or Democrats), he has an uncanny ability to get under the skin of his opponents. Most of his opponents become virtually apoplectic at some point. They make mistakes. And he simply smiles.”
GLOVES, LIES, and videotape.
REMEMBER, THEY MAY BE ON SALE NOW, BUT WHEN HALLOWEEN COSTUMES get cheaper on November 1st, it’ll be a sign that they were price gouging in October!
JESSE WALKER: “There’s a popular stereotype, fed by films and other media, that says that natural disasters are almost invariably followed by looting. But in the real U.S., theft and violence are extremely rare in such situations. In Texas right now, as Hurricane Ike moves northwards, you’ll find reports of people fretting about looters as they refuse to leave their homes. Yet when you look at how neighbors in the storm’s path are actually behaving, you see cooperation instead.”
RASMUSSEN: “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows John McCain with 49% of the vote while Barack Obama attracts support from 46%. That is unchanged from yesterday and a complete reversal over the past week.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Panic.
ADVICE TO THE TENNESSEE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: “You are blowing it, in my opinion, when it comes to rural voters and in many ways, you are disenfranchising younger voters here.”
TECH BLEG: I’d like to hook my Canon GL2 up to my Macbook Pro to use as a camera for iChat. But when I connect the USB to the Macbook the computer doesn’t see the Canon. I never have this problem hooking the Canon up to a PC. Is there a setting in OS/X or iChat that I’m not seeing?
UPDATE: That was fast. Needs a DV cable instead of USB. That fixed things right up.
BOMBS IN NEW DELHI.
ERIC S. RAYMOND: Timing the Entitlements Crash. “The fundamental problem is that income-transfer programs (and the interest service on the debt purchased to keep them running) are spending wealth in higher volumes than the economy can actually generate, and demand for that spending is rising faster than the economy is growing. Thus, raising tax rates is no longer a way out, if it ever was.” Remember, if something can’t go on forever, then it won’t.
CONTROLLING THE NARRATIVE. Or not.
RAND SIMBERG ON ECONOMIC ILLITERACY AND TALK OF “PRICE GOUGING:” “Every time we have a natural disaster like this, this idiotic topic comes up, and we once again have to explain Econ 101 to the products of our public school system, probably in futility. This time, it’s Rich Hailey’s turn.” Yeah, if only big TV networks with high-paid staffs could do the kind of reporting and analysis that we see from lone amateur bloggers.
Rand also notes:
Jeez, I thought that David Asman was smarter than that. Now he’s telling Fox viewers to take pictures of stations with high gas prices so that they can be reported to authorities. It’s hard for me to believe that Neal Cavuto would do that. . . .
You know, I think that this is an explanation for socialism and collectivism’s continuing grip on the public mind, despite its long history of unending failure. There’s just something in human psychology to which it naturally appeals, and rationality just can’t break through. It just “feels” unfair for prices to go up in an emergency, regardless of the demonstrably bad consequences of attempting to legislate them.
Yeah. But I do know that in order to “gouge” you have to have something to sell. So here’s my gas station photo. I passed four gas stations on Kingston Pike earlier today. Two were out of gas, one was out of premium, and one had nothing but regular left. Nobody’s making money selling gas they don’t have.
I’d encourage people to send me pictures of clueless TV news anchors but, really, I don’t have that much space here . . . .
UPDATE: More thoughts from Shannon Love: “Iâ€™ll say it one more time for those who canâ€™t be bothered to actually ask someone who owns a gas station. Gas stations set prices for the gas they sell today based on the wholesale price of the gas they will have to buy to replace it. Get it? The price you pay for a gallon today is the cost of the gallon the station will have buy to replace the one you just bought. Gas stations sell gas at or near cost, so if they did not use replacement pricing any sudden spike in gas prices would shut them down and you couldnâ€™t get any gas. I simply do not know why our public and private talking heads cannot understand and communicate this simple fact.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: More here:
As for fuel availability, Pilot hasn’t run out at any of its stores, but is struggling to make sure supplies remain constant. A fuel shipment from Colonial Pipeline’s main trunk into Knoxville that was originally slated to arrive Saturday, then was postponed until Tuesday, has now been pushed back to Thursday, Wright said.
The problem now is not just less fuel coming from the refineries, but a run on the pumps by drivers, he said.
“The fuel situation for Pilot really hasn’t changed a whole lot since yesterday. We have fuel right now and we continue to deliver fuel to our stores; the problem we have is we are selling about twice as much fuel as we normally would,” he said. . . .
Pilot isn’t the only local gasoline retailer watching the fuel situation deteriorate.
“I’ve been in this business 50 years and this has never happened before,” said Bill Weigel, head of the Weigel’s chain of convenience stores in Knox, Blount, Sevier, Loudon, Anderson and Monroe counties.
Weigel, who said Thursday that about a half-dozen Weigel’s stores had run out of gas, declined to say how many more stores had run dry Friday.
“It’s worse today than yesterday, and it will probably be worse tomorrow,” he said Friday.
Weigel and other retailers have been scouring the country for fuel supplies since Gustav left refinery outages along the Gulf Coast, creating severe shortages. With Ike reaching landfall at Galveston and Houston, the heart of the country’s petroleum manufacturing industry, some fear a worst-case scenario for retailers and consumers.
Weigel said Friday afternoon he had found a supply of gasoline in Birmingham, Ala., and was afraid to find out what it was going to cost him. He had to pay $4.49 a gallon for the last batch he bought.
Spot-market prices are much higher in places. One problem is that — as with electrical production — there’s not a lot of slack left in the system. More refineries would help . . . .
Of course, some are blaming the media: “Why is it that local news (both print and television) feels the need to try and scare the crap out of everyone on a regular basis. The paper runs a story about fuel shortages, and then runs another story about a “run on the pumps”. Brilliant. I wonder how much gas prices would have increased if there hadn’t been a media blitz with constant radio updates of how bad it was getting?”
THE TUNNEL OF TWINKIE LOVE: That sounds kinda . . . dirty.
THE BEST CONGRESS MONEY CAN BUY: “The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008, which was blasted by consumer groups and library associations this week as an “enormous gift” to the content industry, won the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon by a 14-4 vote.”
Okay, I’m not sure it’s really the best, but it’s definitely one that money can buy . . .
UPDATE: Reader Dean Macinskas emails:
Reminds me of that famous quote by P. J. O’Rourke:
“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. “
Which is how the legislators like it.
REVIEWING THE 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan.
THE CARNIVAL OF CARS IS UP!
NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Tiny ‘Ships’ Sail Bloodstream to Destroy Cancer.
A REWRITE WITHOUT A CORRECTION at The Washington Post. It hasn’t been a good week for the Post.
BOOSTING HOPES FOR SPACE-BASED SOLAR POWER:
A former NASA scientist has used radio waves to transmit solar power a distance of 92 miles (148 km) between two Hawaiian islands, an achievement that he says proves the technology exists to beam solar power from satellites back to Earth.
John C. Mankins demonstrated the solar power transmission for the Discovery Channel, which paid for the four month experiment and will broadcast the results Friday at 9 p.m. EDT. His vision is to transmit solar power collected by orbiting satellites as large as 1,102 pounds (500 kg) to lake-sized receiver stations on Earth.
This is cool, but I believe someone already demonstrated this by beaming power at JPL Goldstone back in the 1970s.
IN THE MAIL: The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life. By Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff. Looks quite interesting.
BRENDAN LOY is continuing to round up reports on Hurricane Ike and its aftermath.
INSTA-POLL: In response to my post from last night, reader JohnO writes: “I guarantee that the surefire way to get people talking about stuff other than Sarah Palin–Cookware. Of course, I wonder if Sarah is a Cuisinart or Calphalon user?” Okay, that obviously didn’t work, but it gave me an idea for a poll. Only I think it’s Cuisinart nonstick vs. All-Clad. Hey, it’s no dumber than some of Charlie Gibson’s questioning . . .
ROGER KIMBALL: Who is the mole in the Obama Campaign?
RICH HAILEY on why gas prices are spiking. An explanation so clear and sensible you’ll probably never see it on the news . . . .
UPDATE: Just saw the morning crew on Fox discussing gas prices and, well, they’re not up to Rich Hailey standards, to put it mildly.
BRING YOUR OWN CAMERA: I’ve got an oped in the New York Post on why candidates should take their own cameras to interviews. And reader John Moran emails: “I also don’t understand why politicians like Palin don’t take a pda with video of their alleged controversial comments and challenge interviewers to view and publish the actual comments when they are misrepresented. Such a tactic along with recording of the entire interview should keep the press honest.” If anything will . . . .
Here’s a description of the Simpsons episode I mention in the column. I looked for that scene on YouTube but couldn’t find it. If you have a link, please send it!
UPDATE: Illustrating my point: ABC News Edited Out Key Parts of Sarah Palin Interview.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Courtesy of reader Steve Barns, here’s the Homer interview clip.
JIM TREACHER: Hitler was a community organizer, FDR was a governor. “If they can launch their moronic memes, why shouldn’t we? We don’t have Axelrod’s astroturfing staff to spread it overnight, but I’m sure we can make do.” Actually, it took surprisingly long for this particular discussion to Godwinize. . . .
UPDATE: Reader Don Leonard emails:
Someone commented on local Cleveland radio yesterday:
Pontius Pilate was the guy that voted: “present”
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Not only dumber than you do imagine, but dumber than you can imagine.
LAWSUITS FOR FALSE ARRESTS:
Two people who were arrested by police who misidentified them as drug dealers have filed lawsuits against several East Tennessee counties, law enforcement agencies and officers. . . . Kitts, a UPS worker and youth athletics coach, is asking for up to $5 million from a slew of defendants including the Task Force’s executive director, Mack Smith; the agents who investigated the case; and the cities and counties that employed the agents.
Yates, a factory worker who ended up losing her house and filing bankruptcy after she was falsely accused twice of being a drug dealer, is asking for $10 million.
Both Kitts and Yates became law enforcement targets during secret counter-drug operations that used confidential informants in addition to police acting in undercover roles.
Sadly, this kind of mistake isn’t that unusual.
DOING THINGS I USED TO DO, THEY THINK ARE NEW: Okay, it’s not the campaign-killing disaster that some G.O.P. types hope it is, but Obama’s lame “can’t send an email” commercial, as I think about it, sums up lots of things that are wrong with the Obama campaign.
Consider: In a single not-very-compelling ad calling McCain a clueless geezer who can’t even send email, the Obama campaign managed to draw attention to his war injuries again, to show that it doesn’t even know that the 2000 McCain campaign actually pioneered the insurgent Web tactics that Obama used in the 2008 primary, and to produce an ad that seems tailor-made to alienate voters more than a few years older than Obama, all without providing any actual reason to, you know, vote for Obama. That’s a combination of cluelessness, sloppiness, and narcissism — it’s clear they can’t conceive that McCain could have pioneered anything on the Web, and they’re probably too young to actually remember the 2000 election — that seems emblematic of where that campaign has been lately. Hubris coupled with poor execution is not a recipe for success.
UPDATE: Related item here. “How toxic is Obama’s callous attack? His supporters are scrambling to Obama’s defense. Some are pathetically weak.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Some thoughts on toxic politics from Justin Katz, including this: “Whether Obama wins or loses, the output of the American Left is likely to be intolerably toxic. Of course, if he loses, at least that toxicity won’t have a man in the White House.”
On the other hand, here’s an argument that the Obama ad was a piece of brilliant political jiu-jitsu. “Who benefits from an extended Web-wide discussion of John McCainâ€™s physical incapacities â€“ McCain or Obama?”
And a musician reader who requests anonymity emails:
A thought occurred to me regarding the McCain-can’t-email ad: doesn’t the Obama campaign realize that 80′s-retro fashion and music have been very trendy now for the past few years with a lot of people under 30? Those big clunky glasses McCain is wearing in that footage are back in style again among some hipsters. The ad also shows a record on a turntable, as an example of outdated technology. Surely the candidate who is going to make government cool again is aware of the resurgent vinyl craze this year? Tell me again which campaign is square and out of touch?
It’s true. The ’80s are cool again!
A BIG EARMARK FIGHT LOOMING in Congress.
I’LL BE OFFLINE later today, and email, etc., will be even worse than usual. (I’ve been completely overwhelmed this past couple of weeks, and if I’ve missed your email, sorry.) But I’ve scheduled a number of posts for your delectation, most of which are non-Palin-related.
AN ARMY OF SARAHS.
IOWAHAWK looks at Looney Tunes reporting.
Plus, testing a new web-based disaster reporting system aimed at Ike. Follow the link, especially if you’re somewhere near the Texas coast. Er, unless you’re on the Texas coast, in which case you should really be leaving, like, now.
UPDATE: Watching TV a bit earlier, the Insta-Wife commented that politicians aren’t making a big deal about Ike the way they did about Gustav. That’s true.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Riding out the storm on a disabled ship. That wouldn’t be my choice, but then I’m sure it wasn’t theirs, either.
Loy himself can’t believe how many people stayed on Galveston Island: “Why the hell didnâ€™t these people leave? Iâ€™m speaking of Galveston specifically â€” the other places, I understand a bit more, but 40% of people on Galveston Island refusing to evacuate?? It makes me angry. Scared for them, yes, but also, angry. Honestly.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Looking on the bright side: “Firedoglake predicts Ike will be worse than Katrina. This is good news for Texas, because Firedoglake is always wrong about everything.” Let’s hope that record holds . . .
And Brendan Loy is still updating.
Also, a big roundup from Lawhawk.
And as I watch Geraldo out there in the wind, I note what one of Brendan Loy’s commenters says about people who won’t evacuate:
Part of it might be seeing Geraldo on the sea wall. Heck, if the media is going to stay, along with the firemen, why not?
Iâ€™m all for folks making up their own minds. Iâ€™d like a big concrete structure to get in though, if I decided to ride it out. And plenty of water, batteries, foodâ€¦et.
But nobody likes to be shown up by some chick in a windbreaker with a microphone.
These dumb standups by the press don’t do anything useful, and they set a bad example.
Lots more at Stormpulse.com.
Texas Rainmaker: “Looks like we picked the wrong one to try and ride out.”
Plus, more from Dr. Melissa Clouthier: “I think people need to understand how profoundly the refining being down is going to affect the nation. Even if the refineries could get back going the minute the storm passes, it will take at least a week to get going again. And, it should be noted, the refineries will not get going the minute the storm passes. America needs to build more.”
And here’s John Little’s Twitter feed.
Plus the Disaster Watch Twitter feed.
MCCAIN RUNNING forked-tongued immigration ads? “Would McCain ever run this ad in English?”
I think the people themselves saw unfair media coverage of Senator Clinton. I think if you go back, the polls reflected very clearly what “Saturday Night Live” crystallized in one of their mock debates about what was happening with the press.
I think here the media is on very dangerous ground. I think that when you see them going through every single expense report that Governor Palin ever filed, if they don’t do that for all four of the candidates, they’re on very dangerous ground. I think the media so far has been the biggest loser in this race. And they continue to have growing credibility problems.
And I think that that’s a real problem growing out of this election. The media now, all of the media â€” not just Fox News, that was perceived as highly partisan â€” but all of the media is now being viewed as partisan in one way or another. And that is an unfortunate development.
CBSNews.com: So you think the media is being uniquely tough on Palin now?
Mark Penn: Well, I think that the media is doing the kinds of stories on Palin that they’re not doing on the other candidates. And that’s going to subject them to people concluding that they’re giving her a tougher time.
Because, you know, they are.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong. . . . In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes’ reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their stage.”
SALON: ANDREW LEONARD ON Sarah Palin’s energy policy.
You know, I’m beginning to feel like Sarah Palin’s taken over my blog. (And I’m not the only one). I want to blog about other stuff, but she keeps popping up and taking all the oxygen away from everything else. This is certainly bad news for Obama (with me, she’s taking the oxygen away from stories about nanotechnology or asteroid mining; with Obama, she’s taking the oxygen away from him) but I’m not sure it’s good for McCain over the long term.
OKAY, I THOUGHT THE OBAMA COMMERCIAL MOCKING MCCAIN for not using a computer was dumb because it would alienate older voters. But it turns out it’s a lot dumber than that:
The reason he doesn’t send email is that he can’t use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. . . . McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.
Oops. Another unforced error from the Obama campaign, which seems to have had a lot of those lately. The above is from 2000 — don’t these people know how to use Google? Or NEXIS? Or something?
UPDATE: Ouch: “It’s extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief knows how to send an e-mail …but not how to do a five-minute Google search.” Or even how to hire someone who can . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: On that note, reader Amy L. notes that Obama was recently touting his experience managing his campaign as evidence of his executive ability. That argument isn’t looking as strong after the past couple of weeks.
MORE: Epic Fail: “This whole Obama thing has *got* to be a put-on by the DNC. Any minute Allen Funt will pop out and theyâ€™ll announce the real ticket is Hillary Clinton and Phil Bredesen (or Mark Warner) or something, right?”
Okay, that’s a gross exaggeration — though I like the imagery. Is Allen Funt still around? (No, alas). But coupled with this attack, it does give the impression that the Obama campaign is floundering. I regard the Democrats’ panic here as excessive, as I noted below, but either I have a more phlegmatic disposition (possibly) or they know something I don’t know (also possible).
STILL MORE: A reader named Craig emails that this interview from the NYT says McCain uses a computer. But, to be fair, it mostly is about people showing him things on the computer:
Q: What websites if any do you look at regularly?
Mr. McCain: Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously, everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes.
(Mrs. McCain and Ms. Buchanan both interject: â€œMeaganâ€™s blog!â€)
Mr. McCain: Excuse me, Meaganâ€™s blog. And we also look at the blogs from Michael and from you that may not be in the newspaper, that are just part of your blog.
Q: But do you go on line for yourself?
Mr. McCain: They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I donâ€™t expect to be a great communicator, I donâ€™t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need â€“ including going to my daughterâ€™s blog first, before anything else.
Q: Do you use a blackberry or email?
Mr. McCain: No
Mark Salter: He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.
Not enough here to call the Obama claim false. Here, by the way, is the Obama ad with its “can’t send an email” claim.
MORE STILL: On the other hand, calling McCain a Luddite shows more deficient opposition research by the Obama campaign. Reader Sandeep Dath sends this Forbes article from 2000:
This Internet-driven decentralization meant that the McCain campaign could organize down to a virtually block-by-block level for little cost. It allowed a thin organization to compete against the heavily financed and well-organized Bush machine, and it gave McCain campaign dollars an estimated 4-to-1 advantage over Bush greenbacks.
McCain himself was convinced early on that the Internet had to play a critical role in the campaign. Time and again it allowed him to leverage his money and his organization. “In the Virginia primary,” McCain told me, “we needed a lot of petitions signed to get on the ballot. We had the form available to download off the Internet and got 17,000 signatures with very little trouble.”
Ultimately, McCain realized he couldn’t go the distance, but the message was clear to any political organization with hopes for the future. His Web team had played the Internet like a Stradivari. . . .
In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate’s savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. “She’s a whiz on the keyboard, and I’m so laborious,” McCain admits.
FINALLY: A reader emails: “It’s more like ‘Whatever the GOP is paying Rove, it isn’t enough…’ Because, come on, this whole Dem campaign has *got* to be a Rovian plot.” I don’t think Rove is plotting anymore. The Democrats are doing this all by themselves. . . .
And this comment has got to hurt: “I think they spent months trying to figure out how they can position Obama as better qualified than McCain, and basically came up with the fact that Obama can type.”
ChicagoBoyz: What does this blunder tell us about Obama? “Such an intelligence blunder on the part of a President could cost lives.”
Plus, a Men in Black reference.
And an important question: “Which have less dexterity: John McCain’s hands or Barack Obama’s campaign strategists?”
Reader Jennifer Verner writes: “The American people can’t help but notice a pattern here. Not only totally incompetent, but nasty and petty. And certainly not presidential.” Well, they won’t notice if the press can manage to prevent it . . . .
And a reader named Daniel emails: “I think McCain can use a keyboard to a point yet it is painful to use it. People like to point out various things about his war injuries that he seemed to have more flexibility etc. when he was younger (like him being able to move his arms higher), yet you also got to understand as someone ages those old war wounds become even more debilitating as time goes by. If someone received war injuries to the legs severely and went through therapy to walk again and go on a normal life, later in age, that person still would not be able to ride a bike or go around on their feet as quickly if they didn’t receive such wounds. Really, the ad is supposed to reflect McCain being out of touch because of his age, yet in actuality it makes fun of a partially disabled senior. Not a very good move on Obama’s part.”
USA TODAY: Palin ‘governed from the center,’ went after big oil. Not quite the slant we’ve been seeing from other media. Tom Maguire notes the contrast too.
Plus, widespread media confusion: “The idea that Ms. Palin thinks we are on a mission from God fits so nicely with the libs preferred vision of her as a religious nut-job that getting these reporters to do a bit of research is an uphill struggle. But I pray they will run clarifications. And a theological note to Charles Gibson – my praying it is so does not make it so.”
CELL PHONE LOCATION RECORDS protected by the Fourth Amendment? It’ll be interesting to see if this stands.
MORE ON IKE FROM BRENDAN LOY, who says a storm surge catastrophe is likely. Meanwhile in Knoxville we’ve got storm-generated gas shortages, but there are no lines. In fact, I drove by an Exxon station a little while ago that looked deserted, and I wondered if it was because they were out of gas. But no, they had gas — at $4.69 a gallon. Pricing signals work . . . .
A SIDE TO INFLIGHT WIFI I SHOULD HAVE FORESEEN: “American Airlines flight attendants are urging the world’s largest carrier to filter its in-flight Internet service to block access to pornography and other Web sites the workers said were inappropriate.”
Those content filters are lame, though.
CELEBRATING 50 years of integrated circuits. Thank you, Jack Kilby!
WOMANHOOD as a state of mind:
Itâ€™s funny. The left has been whining about having their patriotism questioned for so long it feels like they started griping in the Mesozoic era. Feminists have argued for decades that womanhood is an existential and metaphysical state of enlightenment. But they have no problem questioning whether women they hate are really women at all.
Since we know from basic science that Palin is a woman â€” sheâ€™s had five kids, for starters â€” itâ€™s clear that these ideological thugs arenâ€™t talking about actual, you know, facts. Theyâ€™re doing what people of totalitarian mind-sets always do: bully heretics, demonize enemies, whip the troops into line.
Doesn’t seem to be working that well, though. And some feminists are unamused.
TEARING DOWN the iPod Touch and Nano.
I, FOR ONE, WELCOME OUR TINY WATER BEAR OVERLORDS: Tiny Water Bears Triumph Over Outer Space.