Revisiting Saddleback

I haven’t watched any the presidential debates because I sort of like my LCD television set and don’t want to damage it just yet by throwing things at it. Plus, other people do a more amusing analysis by counting tongue juts and generating word clouds.

This explains why I’m furiously googling what the hell a “Joe-the-Plumber” is (not that it mattered).

It also explains why I base my opinion on word-based transcripts and not strange body language.

And it occurred to me just how different the transcripts on McCain’s end seemed between this and the Saddleback Forums. You remember that? It was the debate at a evangelical Christian megachurch in which to be fair the same questions would be asked of both candidates with the latter being in a “cone of silence” which McCain won handily.

On comparing Saddleback to the debates after the jump

Paul Krugman wins the Nobel Prize

It has always amazed me the competency gap between the liberal columnists and the conservative and moderate ones on the New York Times. The gap widened today as New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, has won the Nobel Prize in Economics.

For the last four years on this blog I’ve been quoting him profusely.


(Here is an column he wrote three years ago about the housing bubble that was pilloried by the right wing echo chamber.)

Bring Tina Fey to Michigan!

Last week, McCain pulled out of Michigan, the state parties’ reactions there is highly amusing

The Republican party there is apparently petitioning for Sarah Palin to visit Michigan in an attempt to prevent McCain from giving up on them.

The Democratic party there decided to “help” their brothers out by petitioning to bring actress Tina Fey to Michigan.

Tina Fey/Sarah Palin CNN video after the jump

What we’re being protected from

The commenters on Balloon Juice get funny when they get angry.

For instance, this article where John concludes, “And let me be clear, once again, the [Dirty Fucking Hippies I derided and mocked as delusional] were right.” In this case, it turns out the terrorist surveillance watchlist is being abused in the exact same ways they were abused in the sixties.

But the kicker is when a commenter writes:

But that’s not the worst of it. What’s really bad is that our law enforcement can’t take this terrorist watch list seriously. If cops are going in to monitor Quakers and Sierra Club meetings, the list isn’t worth a damn. What are we being protected from? Hiking and oatmeal?

Yep, that’s what I’m afraid of—hiking and oatmeal! :-D

And don’t even get me into Shredded Wheat. That shit gives new meaning to “ashes in our mouth.”

Netflix rationalization

Got this in the inbox today:

Netflix raises rates for me

Yes, because Blu-Ray costs more, Netflix going to charge more. Makes perfect sense right?

Wait a minute! What about the much vaunted scratch-resistance with Blu-Ray coatings such as Durabis?

I’ve noticed I’ve had to clean 1 out of 10 discs and about 1 out of every 30 discs are busted, damaged, or unreadable. If we assume discs are rented an average of once per week, that means that a regular DVD disc lasts about a half year in circulation before it needs to be either taken out and a new one purchased.

What’s next? If I put newer releases on the queue I’ll have to pay a $1 more also?

I mean. Fine, Netflix, raise my rates a dollar, but don’t give me the bullshit.

Keating Economics

Disclaimer: I’m going to issue a non-apology for all my political articles of late. If it makes you feel better, I’ve only been posting about a tenth of the political articles that I’ve started writing and I’ll soon return to my regular rare political rant blog after this cycle is over. I’m just wrapped up in what will certainly become the most important single political event of my generation. Remember that the singular reason I started blogging almost four years ago was because of politics. You may not agree with me, but realize the motto of this blog:

Write to create context for another to think.

Last Friday at work someone asked me why I seemed in uncommonly good spirits. I replied: “Because the electoral map finally looks like a disaster for McCain.” After a dalliance into spin and absurdity, I thought I had a right to be pleased that reality, as it were, was on the march. “The only problem,” I said, “was this means McCain’s campaign will be forced to get ugly fast.”

I was sick over the weekend and yesterday, so I didn’t realize I had been right until this morning. This bothers me because spite works in spite of the myth that Americans dislike negativity. I have a Pavlovian response bourne from experience that the Democrats will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once more by not addressing the negative campaigning with some negativity of their own or try to defeat the absurdity of the claims with logic. It seems every two years my co-workers can hear me yell randomly, “Fucking Democrats think that voters are Vulcans.”

political strategery after the jump

Hypocrisy thy name is Libertarian

“Hours of interviews in Manassas Park turned up exactly one resident in favor of the bailout, a fellow in a Harvard T-shirt in a big house near the golf course. Richard Bejtlich, 36, who works in computer security for General Electric—its stock jumped dramatically Friday when the government banned short-selling of financial securities—says he’s a libertarian and normally wouldn’t support government intervention. But there’s no other way at this point, he says, because we’re in too deep of a hole and have been too profligate.”
“A Sense of Resentment Amid the ‘For Sale’ Signs”, Washington Post, September 22, 2008

Shorter Libertarian:

“I was for unfettered capitalism before I was against it.”

What’s the point in trying to brainwash them to become mindless conservatives when it seems ignorance and selfishness at our top universities are doing the job for you?

(I’ve been ranting too long about this, so please read Paul Krugman and William Kristol. Newsweek has a summary of the economic philosophies of the two candidates.)