Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Explaining Alan Colmes

A helpful analogy to understand Alan Colmes' job at Fox News - he functioned as the Flu Shot of Liberalism. Instead of providing the real thing, Fox gave us a weakened strain, in hopes that real liberalism would stay away. And it largely worked! Still, if it had been a real balanced show, it would have been David Brooks and Colmes.

Monday, November 24, 2008


A number cruncher at the University of Chicago Law School suggests that it's very possible that civilian deaths in Iraq may have been greater if we hadn't invaded. (He also points out that they have more commercial TV stations, a greater "freedom index" and other positives.) Which is great. But you still have to wonder - we committed our troops and a large portion of our GDP for what, to make life better in Iraq? What have they done for US lately? (h/t Andrew Sullivan)

Harry Shearer Reads MY Copy!

I almost forgot about this, but over the weekend Harry Shearer's LeShow featured an email written by yours truly.

There is a regular feature on the show called NEWS FROM THE DIGITAL WONDERLAND, about the impending disaster of the conversion to all-digital televsion. And I had this weird little problem where one of my local channels moved up the dial for the weekend, then came back again, so I helpfully provided a summary of my experience. The result? One of the best voice actors in the business puts my words into a pleasing, friendly baritone. My favorite part -- where I mention that I live in the San Fernando Valley, and Harry interjects "Everybody, say it with me: Awwwwwww."

Click here. The letter is in the first three minutes.

Cookie, Lend Me Your Colmes

Alan Colmes, whom all liberals look like, is leaving his plum pinnacle-of-respect position at the Hannity and Colmes show at the end of the year.

Roger Ailes is in a tizzy, frantically struggling to find another liberal to maintain fair balance across the network. There's talk of hiring Phil Donohue as a footstool for O'Reilly, for example, or promoting Susan Estritch to the position of Chris Wallace's hairpiece. More on this story as it develops.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Z/Z Top Poll: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

At the risk of repeating myself... wait, first let me quote more successful blogger WAMK, in his response to my previous post about the Zeigler/Zogby Poll. Note how the wording suggests that Nate Silver was right:

If the study was done to see if Obama supporters are idiots, then why would one need to poll McCain supporters?...You are unhappy with the poll, because it shows that some of the people who voted for Obama had little knowledge about the candidates, except for what was spoon fed to them by the MSM.
First let me remind you I've already acknowledged that most of Obama voters are idiots, because most of ALL people are idiots. Your man Zeigler blew a chance to "prove" that McCain voters had fewer idiots by failing to interview them as well. In the absence of data, I can conclude that that there are more of them, and that was Zeigler's strategy: to distract from how stupid his people are.  Prove me wrong! 

(By the way, the inclusion of Republican respondents isn't my idea, it's Zogby's. If he hadn't left the decision to underlings, he says he would have insisted on it.)

Second, as I pointed out, in order to get an answer "right" you have to buy into some pretty suspicious language. "82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot" for example, assumes you agree that's how he won that election. "88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket" depends on you taking a remark out of context the same way Zeigler did. 

A fanciful example can be found in a faux Jane Fonda quote that the National Lampoon published in the seventies. "Poor people are poor," Fonda is made to say, "because nuclear power plants are polluting the atmosphere!" Zeigler's questions are the equivalent of "Is poverty caused by atmospheric pollution from nuclear plants?" If you answer "no," you are an idiot. OR, you're a sensible Republican.

I think the thing that is so infuriating Zeigler and WAMK is not that the majority of Obama voters are being spoon-fed information from the Main Stream media; it's that we're refusing to eat from the same spoon that they are. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

More About That Zeigler Poll

Carl Bialik of The Wall Street Journal blogs weighs in on the poll.

John Zogby, the president and chief executive of Zogby International, released a statement on his Web site Tuesday that defended the poll in the face of heavy criticism from bloggers and some media organizations... But on Wednesday, Zogby told me he was on a book tour* when the contract was reached and when the survey was conducted, and wouldn’t have approved the poll in the form it took, or a press release posted on his firm’s Web site. “This was not Zogby International’s finest hour,” he said. “Something, somehow, fell through the cracks.” He said he would review the incident with his staff on Friday to determine what went wrong. Nonetheless, Zogby stood by the results of the poll themselves. “There is valuable information in this poll,” he said.

...The poll was not, as election forecaster and Obama supporter Nate Silver originally called it, a “push poll,” because it was not an attempt to influence respondents by faking opinion research, as former pollster Mark Blumenthal explained on his blog. Blumenthal nonetheless agreed with Silver’s other criticisms, writing, “Describing his biased, leading questions as a legitimate test of knowledge is hugely misleading, at best.”
So not a push poll... I suppose that's possible. It was taken after the election. But a misleading poll - I'm down with that.

My I suggest you read the whole thing? Or not. Your call.

Liberal Bias Extends to Its Logical Conclusion

Bill O'Reilly last night:

O’REILLY: A good case can be made there are more liberal voices in the media than conservative voices. The newspaper industry is certainly left. So is the Internet. NBC News almost completely liberal. So is PBS, so is NPR.

The INTERNET! Literally, anyone, ANYONE, can get up here on the internet and post opinions. And yet the bias is toward the left. Thus, the complaint isn't that the media is influencing society, the complaint is that too many people aren't conservatives.

Gee, sorry guys. It's not that we don't want to be; we simply are too stupid to understand you. I wonder if you could repeat it all for us?

The Wisdom of Talk Show Callers

Just now, on the Stephanie Miller Show:

"I don't think people realize that if gay marriage is outlawed, only gay outlaws will get married."
Is that what you want people? To live in a world where anyone you meet could be secretly married to someone of their own sex? And robbing banks?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Joe The Remainder

Joe the Plumber Lands Book Deal

Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, the presidential campaign fixture and John McCain advocate better known as Joe the Plumber, won’t have to open his own plumbing business just yet: he has signed a deal to write “Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream.” PearlGate Publishing, a small publisher in Austin, Tex., announced the book on its Web site, pearlgatepublishing.com. The book, which will be written with Thomas N. Tabback (whose novel, “Things Forgotten,” was also published by PearlGate), will address Mr. Wurzelbacher’s ideas about American values, and is scheduled for release on Dec. 1. In an interview with Fox News Mr. Wurzelbacher said he could have signed a deal with a larger publisher. “But they don’t need the help,” Mr. Wurzelbacher said. “They are already rich. So that’s spreading the wealth to me.”

(h/t New York Times - emphasis mine. Makes a great War On Christmas Gift!)

Nate Silver Graphs the Far-Right Mind

Nate Silver, that geeky obsessive compulsive who runs FiveThirtyEight.com, has put his finger on something I've been grappling with for years now.

There are a certain segment of conservatives who literally cannot believe that anybody would see the world differently than the way they do. They have not just forgotten how to persuade; they have forgotten about the necessity of persuasion.
This is from his followup to the interview with John Zeigler that he posted yesterday. I have run into this attitude frequently during my recreational forays into right-wing world, but for a better illustration look at President Bush's press conferences. How often have you seen him asked to explain something he's just said, and the explaination is the exact same words, only slower and louder with more emphatic hand gestures? It's not that the reporters aren't buying it, it's that the reporter (or the American people) was too dumb to get it the first time.

It must have been really frustrating on that Privative Social Security Tour. Why wouldn't they understand? Those people are idiots!

It's this refusal to swerve from (I'll rosily refer to it) moral clarity that drives conservatives into their crazier corners. This morning I read the opinion that Democrats (presumably the far-left liberal media, because they're all Democrats) caused McCain to prevail over Romney in the primaries. Obviously all the Republicans MEANT to vote for Romney, but Democrats confused them. Or something. I'm waiting to hear further remarks on that one.

Silver thinks this refusal to believe that people might disagree is rooted in Talk Radio. Seems like kind of a stretch to me, but he could be right. Maybe the whole problem is if you listen to that stuff long enough, you forget that the callers are screened.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Now Who Will The Governement Go To For Internet Advice?

Adieu Ted Stevens. And congratulations to Congress for not having to expel a convicted felon - he left the old-fashioned way! By losing, once all those extra ballots turned up.

Careful sending your condolence e-mails - if you put them in all at once, they'll clog the tubes.


So the other day Zogby published the results of a poll commissioned by John Zeigler. Poll guru Nate Silver took umbrage over the poll, which he characterized as as "push poll," or an attempt to spread disinformation under the guise of conducting a poll. Zeigler invited Silver to interview him, as long as the entire interview was posted without editing, so nothing could be taken out of context.

I am not under such constraints.

NS: Do you stand by all the statements in the survey as being unambiguously true?
JZ: I stand one hundred percent by the notion that there is absolutely zero ambiguity as to what the right answer is to any of the questions.

NS: What was the right answer to that [Palin] question?
JZ: The technically accurate question [sic] is that none of the four people said that, but we counted it as correct if they said Sarah Palin.

NS: Why would you commission a survey question with no correct response?
JZ: The purpose of the question, you pinhead, was we wanted to determine the Tina Fey Effect.

NS: Were the interviews conducted by telephone or online?
JZ: How can you ask a question like that and pretend that you have any clue what you're writing about! That's unbelievable that someone could write what you did! That is unbelievable that you wouldn't know that it's a telephone or an online poll and that you went on my summaries of the questions before the questions were even released!

NS: What did Zogby charge you -- what did you pay for this survey?
JZ: I'm not going to tell you that, I'm not a fucking idiot.

NS: How many Obama supporters did you speak with in total?
JZ: All twelve we spoke with are in the video.

NS: Was there any significance to the fact that in the YouTube video, seven of the twelve Obama supporters were black?
JZ: [Laughs]. The reason why we had more black supporters – that might surprise some of the people that we spoke to -- if we go by your apparent ability to determine race -- the first location happened to be in a black section of town and we were able to get our interviews faster there because of they way that was set up, because of the logistics. We had a second location but it got dark and we didn't have any lights. So, that's it, it was no grand racial conspiracy.

NS: Did you have financing for the project or was it paid for out of pocket?
JZ: It is not self-financed.

NS: Who paid for it?
JZ: You think I'm going to tell you that? When you've already shown yourself to be the enemy?

NS: When do you think Obama was a Muslim?
JZ: I think he was likely -- registered as a Muslim between the ages of 6 and 10 while he was going to school in Indonesia. It would have been highly unusual for him not to be.

NS: Would you consider Obama a Christian?
JZ: You'd have to ask him. There was never any evidence that he was a Christian until he decided to join the church of a racist hate-monger for political purposes.

NS: Who are the two senators from South Dakota
JZ: Thune and, uh, Johnson.

NS: Very good. South Carolina?
JZ: Go fuck yourself. I'm done with this interview if you're going to ask me stupid questions like that. Obviously I know who Lindsay Graham is.

NS: Well, since you’re running a website calling people misinformed, I’d like to see if -- there are certain things you’ve said that I would consider misinformed.
JZ: Misinformed? You're a piece of work! You are never going to have the guts to post a representative transcript on your website! I thought you actually ran a legitimate website!

NS: Thank you, have a good day.
JZ: Go fuck yourself.
Well, I'm satisfied that the poll had no agenda. And any statistician will tell you, 512 people is plenty when you're looking for a representative sample. You just have to accept a margin of error around 80%. Plus OR minus, of course.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Merry Christmas From The American Family Association

Let Your "Light" Shine For Christ This Christmas Season!

Looking for an effective way to express your Christian faith this Christmas season to honor our Lord Jesus? Now you can.... with the "Original Christmas Cross" yard decoration.

Light up your front yard, porch, patio, driveway, business, organization or church this holiday season with a stunning Christmas cross.

This beautiful Christmas Cross is 5.5 feet tall, with 210 individual ultra bright lights.

As Andrew Sullivan says, "just don't put it on someone else's lawn."

Strength Through Weakness

Oh for the love of God, what does Joe Lieberman have to do to make an enemy of Democrats? After a week of threatening to not punish him by removing him from his dozen or so caucuses, the Democratic leadership has decided to not remove him from them. The man supports the Iraq war, he spent the summer advancing the right's weirdest and most scurrilous talking points against the President Elect, he's not even an elected Democrat.

Obviously he's not getting this kind of treatment because he's well-liked. I mean come on, he's Joe Lieberman. Let alone terrorists, can you see yourself pallin' around with HIM? Dude creeps me out. However, he can deliver votes, and there is still the thin possibility of a 60-vote majority in the senate. And after all, who wouldn't trust Joe Lieberman if he promises to always vote with them?

I'll tell you what I like about this situation though. It indicates that my side isn't movitated by revenge. Settling personal scores seldom leads to good governance. And since it's likely that Obama weighed in on this one, it bodes well for the next several years. In fact, it may even be a sign that Obama isn't, in fact, Hitler.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Always Remember to Lock Up Your Bike

I can't help but wonder if the guy on the left parked AFTER or before.

Remember, loop through the wheels kids!

Obama Economy

I keep hearing that the current economic downturn is due to "business" fearing Obama's policies. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are the most prominent big thinkers riding that horse. I dunno, kids. If memory serves, the economy started slidin' when the candidates were just about equal in the polls, and the undertow took McCain with it. "Business", I think, has bigger fish to fry than selling short because they think there is a possible slight tax increase in the possible future. For example, the complete inability to secure credit may be coloring their judgement. Or people not, you know, buying stuff.

Auto Asphyxiation

Hey, I just finally broke down and bought a Blu-Ray player! Times are tough so I went with Woot's crazy deal on a Memorex unit for $139.00. It doesn't have all the features I want, but the one that does would cost me $400, and even after Thanksgiving it will cost over twice what I'm payin'.

So one makes sacrifices.

The trick is choosing your sacrifices wisely. For example, say you have an auto industry that is asking for money. They've been hurting for years because they didn't anticipate the American marketplace as well as the Japanese did. Now they're on the brink of bankruptcy and they claim that if taxpayer money isn't brought in, they're outta business, leaving a big smoking hole in the center of the economy.

Do we ransom the government to prop up a failed business, or do we suck up the damage and let the Japanese win?

This one is hard, because there is no good option. Assuming we go hard-line libertarian and simply let the market sort it out, you have massive middle-American unemployment. Suddenly there is a big consumer dead zone, people who can't afford to buy stuff, and instead of bailing out the auto industry we're throwing money at unemployement benefits. Meanwhile, the malls close. In fact, it's a market correction just like the Great Depression was.

On the other hand, we could go full-on Liberal and just throw money at the Auto Makers. "Take this bag o' cash you guys, and spend it on what works best." That's not likely to help much either. And as I understand it the UAW doesn't want to budge on salaries, which is unrealistic and stupid. Auto workers are going to have to get less, profit margins are going to have to drop, and God knows the executives are going to have to take pay cuts (or move into a more profitable field, like say the airline industry) otherwise no matter how much money we pump into cars, we still lose to the Japanese.

Whose auto industry, by the way, is government subsidized.

So I'm in favor of a bailout IF the above compromises are part of the deal. It will still hurt (people who make less buy less, but at least they can afford a cheap blu-ray player) but it doesn't cause bread lines. Like a flu shot that causes you to get a little flu, but doesn't put you away for a week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Trouble With Going Pro

Publius took issue with my post yesterday, opining that I took the occasion of Veteran's day to promote an anti-war agenda. Though that wasn't my intention (as I pointed out, war is often necessary) it got me thinking - should one be pro-war? I mean let's face it - war is costly and it damages people; often as not, it kills people. How can anyone root for that? It's just as wrong to always deny war is an option. Personally, I think the Iraq war is a mistake - the prosecution was bungled, the rationale for going in the first place, if we ever find out what it was, will probably turn out to be flawed. On the other hand, the war that messed my dad up so much was clearly necessary, and I'm awfully glad we went in.

It's not dissimilar to the abortion argument. No rational person is for abortion, but many believe it should be an option in certain situations.

"Pro" and "anti" are binary terms that we apply too frequently to analog situations. Life is too complicated for an up-or-down vote.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

I was going to wish everybody a happy Veterans Day... instead, please have a thoughtful one.

Me, I'll be thinking about my Dad, one of a handful of survivors of the USS Wasp, a battleship which went down in the Pacific during WWII. He trod shark-infested waters for three days before help arrived, a skinny underaged kid who was accepted into the Navy because this was the Great War and sometimes you use the rule book to prop up a leg of the registration tables.

He came out of the Pacific Theatre with a purple heart and serious drinking problem, spared from the fate of most of his fellow crewmen by sheer capricious chance and his own survial instinct. Even when he was at his happiest, a dark cloud followed him around; he smoked like a chimney and the only reason that lung cancer didn't eventually kill him was that he drank himself to death first. He died in 1977, the year STAR WARS came out. In essence, he'd been living on borrowed time for 33 years.

Frequently war is necessary but it has a terrible cost. When you honor our veterans, praise them all the more for the chunk of their souls that they gave up while acting as human shields for you.

Where I At?

Very few postings from me lately, eh? Call it the audacity of contentment.

Honestly since Tuesday, I haven't been particularly bothered by anything in Politics. I think Rahm Emmanual is a useful Bad Cop. I'd rather the Democrats cut Joe Leiberman loose, but perhaps that is the job of Connecticut voters.

Republicans, who are usually my best source of arguable outrage, have been navel-gazing with occasional wounded pot-shots at scattered targets. I don't hate the Republicans, and they're hurting right now, and I feel inclined to leave them alone until the healing is done. Even Sarah Palin (2012!) seems kinda charming to me this week. I'm awfully glad she doesn't represent me in any way, but because she doesn't, you go girl. I'm looking forward to watching you split the ticket in four years.

Honestly I'm looking forward to Obama making a few mistakes I can deride. Man is so damn cautious though. We'll see. Maybe I need to start watching the Daily Show again, to see how they're handling it. I bet they're in reruns now, exhausted by the long election season, drinking their chianti and eating their arugula. When they come back, probably a flurry of Leiberman jokes.

I'm disappointed that Prop 8 won in California - still maybe it's best to keep the races from mixing. That's a slippery... oh sorry. Maybe it's better to keep the Jews from marrying, with their arcane ceremon -- what? Them? Why? Well, whatever. It's a constitutional amendment that conflicts without another section of the constitiution, so no matter how much people fear teh gay in the long run they'll probably have to live with it and be cautious to not accidentally marry someone of their own sex by mistake. Pardon the expression, but suck it up, people.

I wonder if I'll have any material tomorrow?

Friday, November 07, 2008

We Were ALL In On It

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Joe The Senator

Who wants Joe Lieberman? Anyone? ANYone?

To be sure, Senator Lieberman was a great ally for his support of John McCain. For that we must be grateful to him. With that support, he has made himself a pariah to his own party from which he will certainly see retribution. He will find himself on the outside looking in as the new administration gear up to govern.

At that rate, he may as well jump ship and try on the mantle of the GOP, right? Not so much.

First of all, if Joe Lieberman becomes a Republican he can kiss another term goodbye. The Republican Party in his home state is practically nonexistent and registered Republican voters a pittance. According to Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz' office, out of the 2,097,635 registered in Connecticut only 427,020 are registered as Republicans. By contrast, 779,784 are Democrat and 883,274 are registered as Independents.

To stay in office, Lieberman must stay with his wink and a nudge status as "Independent." Everyone knows he's a Democrat in reality and that he only took the Independent title because forces outside of his state attacked him in the last election. His voters know it and so does everyone else. But, if he formally dumps the Party he will lose far too many voters to be able to stay in office in blue, blue Connecticut.

Of course, everyone also knows that Lieberman has been one of our go-to guys on the war. Joe Lieberman had been great on the war, there is no doubt. He has been right on target in every respect. So right, in fact, that conservatives and Republicans the country over have fallen in love with the man. Radio talkers like Sean Hannity have fallen all over themselves to praise the Senator and a universal exclamation of thanks has been on the lips of every center right war supporter.

Yes, he deserves those accolades.

But that does not make him one of us.
Of course this is only the opinion of one man (Warner Todd Huston) but he is pretty sharp-eyed observer here. Leiberman has spent the year burning bridges behind him only to discover that there there are no bridges ahead. Joe Leiberman, unlike other men, IS an island. In fact, he's Gilligan's Island - no contact with the outside world, not a single luxury. And also like that deserted isle, it's not nearly as funny as it should be.

It's Never Too Early To Start Running For 2012

You've probably been astonished by the force with which Sarah Palin has been thrown under the bus in the last few days. Why would McCain campaign staffers be so mean! Well, a darn good explanation is coming out of the Palmetto Scoop.

The sources said nearly 80 percent of Romney’s former staff was absorbed by McCain and these individuals were responsible for what amounts to a premeditated, last-minute sabotage of Palin.

FOX News Channel reported Wednesday that some staffers intentionally leaked negative information to the media about Palin in the final hours of the campaign that painted the Alaska governor as naive, incompetent, and needy. And my sources said that all of those leaks came from the Romney faction of the McCain campaign.

But why would they want to bury the person for whom they were working?

Because they reportedly realized that, regardless of a McCain win or loss, Palin would be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2012 or 2016. And that made her a threat to a possible second run by Romney. You do the math.

(h/t Wonkette)

This makes sense to me. Just seeking revenge isn't that common in politics; but seeking revenge to advance an agenda is considered pretty good strategy. Who'd have thought the negative campaigning would start so early? Plus, it's a delicious match up, pitting the Romney splinter against the Palin splinter. Man, by 2012 there's gonna be more variations of "Republican" than there are of "Buddhist."

McCain Heals The Nation

How do I get on these mailing lists?

Cindy and I would like to take a moment to thank you for your loyal and steadfast support during the course of this campaign. Governor Palin, her husband Todd, our families, friends and campaign staff extend our deep appreciation for your tireless dedication, support and friendship.

It is the end of a long journey and your support through the ups and downs has meant more to us than you may ever know.

Although we were disappointed with the results, we must move beyond this campaign and work together to get our country moving again.

It is our sincere hope that you will join us in putting our country first and continue to work to keep our nation safe, free and prosperous.

We urge you to join us in not just congratulating Senator Obama, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together as a nation. Whatever our differences may be, we are all fellow Americans.

We are truly blessed to live in this great country and call ourselves Americans, and we will forever be her loyal servants.

Today, let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

With warm gratitude,

Cindy McCain
Cindy and John McCain
Teasing aside, it's nice to see this message out there. I fear it will not reach the people who it would be most useful to - the ones who hated both Obama AND McCain. Ah well.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

All Right, All Right, I'll Upgrade

Via Gizmodo: Somewhere, someone was still using Windows 3.x. The first ready-for-primetime version of the venerable operating system was introduced 18 years ago, and was little more than a graphical shell for DOS. Hah! You probably never used DOS either, youngster!

Amazingly, it was still supported by Microsoft, because it was used in a few cash registers and other such like. I remember when my movie theatre first got computerized cash registers they used Windows '95, and this was in 2002. Anyway, as of this month, the plug has been pulled. No more support, suckers!

Says Giz:

Requirements for the OS included a 8086/8088 processor with clock speed of 10MHz, 7MB of storage (better move Police Quest to a floppy) and 640KB of RAM. And when you realize that Vista requires a minimum of 1GHz processor and 20GB of storage, it's easy to see why at least some low end systems will miss the platform.
Every once in a while you hear tell of some celebrity dying, like Buffalo Bob Smith or Tiny Tim, and your first reaction is "He was still alive?"

Beyond The Red Horizon

Predictably there has been a little soul-searching among Republican thinkers as the result of all the ground lost on Tuesday's election. Where did we go wrong, they cry! Some blame Sarah Palin; others think it was chiefly McCain. Nearly everyone blames Bush. If there's any concensus, it's that Republicans have to return to the Reganesque principals of small government and lower taxes. At the risk of sounding snarky, it's a hallmark of conservative thinking to look to the past for solutions. And often, it's valid. This time, I'd like to offer a view from outside the bubble.

You guys devote too much of your resources to hate and fear. If the Bush presidency will be defined by anything, I think it's going to be by the paranoid belief that the terrorists are EVERYWHERE, and we have to sacrifice everything to stop them. And if the race to the white house was about anything, it was fear of Obama vs. hope for Obama. And hope, in this case, wins.

The hate button (it's next to the fear button, and it might as well be it as well) is an easy one to press. There is a common behavioral experiment where you put an electrode into a rat's brain, then hook it up to a bar which sends a stimulus to the rat's pleasure center. As soon as the rat learns that pressing the bar causes pleasure, it never stops pressing it until it starves to death. The difference between the electorate and a rat is this: they recognize when pushing a button over and over again starts to become unhealthy. Also, the electorate won't gnaw through your wiring.

I've been watching the reds for a while now, and I've never seen them as wingnutty as the last week before the election. Obama supporters will riot in the streets, even if he wins! Obama will abandon support of Isreal! He's the illegitimate son of Malcolm X! Not a citizen! Tear up the constitution! Take our guns! Look you guys, I'm not going to tell you to stop thinking that way, because frankly I like the idea of a Democratic majority in all three houses. However, since I don't like a SUPERmajority, I'm counting on you to sober up, be realistic, and stop looking more extreme than Code Pink. Be fearful if you want, just try to LOOK calm in public.

Quote of The Day

...I would also like to encourage Randy Scheunemann, Bill Kristol et al to continue to coalesce around Sarah Palin--her intellectual rigor and clarity, especially on foreign policy, indicate that she represents the real future of the neoconservative movement.
-Joe Klein, Swampland

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Glad To Put This One To Bed

For all the whining, it appears that Racism didn't play that much of a role in the election after all. African Americans voted for Obama but they traditionally vote for the Democrat; white males voted for Obama in higher numbers than they usually do for the Democrat. While we can all pat ourselves on the collective back for electing an African-American, it appears that the change we were after was of party affiliation.

Still, the overt racism that I linked to over the months probably helped engender sympathy, so I'm weirdly grateful for it. Ha ha racists! Hope you learned your lesson!

Rub Your Eyes, Sift Through the Rubble

First of all, to my conservative friends - sincere condolences. We don't agree about a lot of stuff but I know what it's like to be on the losing end of a Presidential race, even with a candidate you weren't thrilled about. I'm here for you man.

As the numbers come in, it's clear that Obama didn't win by anything like a landslide. It looks like a three point (update: Apparently it's closer to 6.1 points, which is delightful but still no landslide, just a comfortable margin) popular vote lead. While Bush called half that number a "mandate" in his victory speech, I don't think Obama is going to look at his victory the same way. It's too early to tell, but the signs are that he wants to listen to others and cooperate whenever possible. Reportedly he told McCain that he valued his experience, wanted his advice and needed his help.
Speaking of McCain, a classy, statesmanlike concession speech! I was a little freaked out by the booing, but it's not like we didn't boo in 2000 and 2004. I'm told Palin grinned while it was going on; I wasn't watching because like a lot of Americans I watch TV and surf the internet at the same time. If she was, I have to say that's UNstatesmanlike.

Speaking of unstatesmanlike, Ralph Nader described Obama as "an Uncle Tom" on Fox. Sorry Alix, but I gotta say your candidate of choice don't impress me much.

Among the other challenges Obama faces in the coming months is modulating the mistaken impressions of that segment of the voting public who believes that he's a Muslim and that it would matter if he was. He's also probably going to have to make mention of his lack of desire to take away their guns; and the unavailability of funds to round people up and put 'em in camps. There has been enough staggeringly weird disinformation coming out of this campaign to freak out the most reasonable conservative. Let alone Free Republic readers.

(Note the last sentence there - it's not bad grammar. I am endorsing letting those people alone and not dealing with them in any way.)

One last thing - I wish that this campaign would have a lasting effect on future campaigns. The more negative it got, the worse the numbers were for the attackers. It would be great if we, the people, always reacted that way. However, I don't think we're less effected by that tactic than we were; I think Obama happens to be good at deflecting it. He is an attack-ad martial artist. They say Reagan was made of teflon; Obama seems made mirrored teflon. Putting it another way, he's rubber and his opponents are glue. I doubt it's going to work for everybody.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

8:01 PST, Nov. 4th

Well, I'm glad THAT'S over. Let's get some free Starbucks.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Election Fatigue

This week's episode of Dark Meat: Music for Depressives may be just what the doctor ordered to cool you down after the presidential race, now entering its 1003rd day. 

Download it here!