FiveThirtyEight.com is the most interesting election horse race site. It’s run by Nate Silver, the Baseball Prospectus stats guy, who does the most thorough analysis of polling data, sophisticated in a way that only a Sabermetrician can fully appreciate. Silver rejects the “tightening race” narrative that we’ve started to hear, as he looks at state … Continue reading “Election not tightening”
FiveThirtyEight.com is the most interesting election horse race site. It’s run by Nate Silver, the Baseball Prospectus stats guy, who does the most thorough analysis of polling data, sophisticated in a way that only a Sabermetrician can fully appreciate. Silver rejects the “tightening race” narrative that we’ve started to hear, as he looks at state polls and projects the Electoral College outcome:
If the state polls aren’t showing movement toward McCain, then it is probably the case that any perceived movement in the national polls is sampling noise. If anything, in fact, the state polls are showing movement toward Obama on balance, not just in battleground states like Virginia, but also in non-battlegrounds as diverse as New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Arizona.
Movement in the popular vote in non-battleground states is not significant, so let’s not get distracted. But let’s not forget to vote, either (I’ve already voted, thank you very much.)
Now that the whole world knows that Skype’s Chinese partner, TOM, has been censoring IM’s and building a database of forbidden speakers for the government of China, Skype President Josh Silverman had to respond: In April 2006, Skype publicly disclosed that TOM operated a text filter that blocked certain words in chat messages, and it … Continue reading “Skype defense not persuasive”
In April 2006, Skype publicly disclosed that TOM operated a text filter that blocked certain words in chat messages, and it also said that if the message is found unsuitable for displaying, it is simply discarded and not displayed or transmitted anywhere. It was our understanding that it was not TOM’s protocol to upload and store chat messages with certain keywords, and we are now inquiring with TOM to find out why the protocol changed.
We also learned yesterday about the existence of a security breach that made it possible for people to gain access to those stored messages on TOM’s servers. We were very concerned to learn about both issues and after we urgently addressed this situation with TOM, they fixed the security breach. In addition, we are currently addressing the wider issue of the uploading and storage of certain messages with TOM.
I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the fact that one of most vocal net neutrality advocates is colluding with the government of China to finger dissidents, or the fact that they didn’t know they were collaborating. Frankly, this corporate defense raises more questions than it answers.
There are always going to be countries where the local laws are antithetical to post-enlightenment values. I think the correct response to such situations is to just say “no” and go somewhere else. For particularly compelling services, such as Google and Skype, the fact that the foreign service provide can’t do business in the fascist state then becomes a pressure point for change. The companies that collaborate with China are selling out their futures to fund the current quarter. How much money does Skype need to make, anyhow?
Tom Shales saw what I saw in the VP debate, a lot of evasion: Palin basically stated early in the debate that this would be her strategy. She said she wasn’t necessarily going to respond to the questions of the moderator or charges from Biden, but instead, “I’m gonna talk right to the American people.” … Continue reading “Debate Strategy Notes: Don’t debate, pontificate”
Palin basically stated early in the debate that this would be her strategy. She said she wasn’t necessarily going to respond to the questions of the moderator or charges from Biden, but instead, “I’m gonna talk right to the American people.” Since this was billed as a debate, not a speech, her remark came across as arrogant, and as an admission she would duck tough questions.
And duck she did. Biden is an impressive person and he’ll make a fine vice-president.
I never realized that Peggy Noonan had a drug problem before reading this deranged piece of spin. She had to be high to write the last three paragraphs, in which she segues from Palin’s debate performance to some imagined love Tiny Fey must have for her subject. The incoherence is understandable, given what a bizarre event this was.
The so-called debate was actually a conversation between Joe Biden and Gwen Ifill on the issues, conducted while a perky little bunny hopped around the stage singing lines off index cards and weaving a maypole. I hope nobody saw this outside the US, because I’m going to Europe in a few days and I don’t want to have to explain the American political system to quizzical foreigners. Sometimes it sucks to be an American.
(CBS) Uncommitted voters who watched the vice presidential debate thought Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden did the best job by a margin of more than two to one, according to a CBS News/Knowledge Networks poll taken immediately following the debate.
My fellow citizens aren’t that dumb, you see.
Joe Gandelman has compiled the mother of all reaction lists, but most of it is boring. Read this instead and find out why some people think Palin won the debate: she’s regular, and Joe’s one of them damn elites. Totally.
I score the debate for McCain. The first part, on the financial crisis & bailout, was even, since neither candidate is truly in the loop. They’ve both tried to look they were involved, with McCain pulling the stunt about suspending his campaign to rescue the bill, but it didn’t work: the deal was still uncertain at debate time, so McCain had to break his promise to stop campaigning and work on the deal to make the debate. He didn’t have enough specifics to give straight answer on the bill, and neither did Obama. McCain was weak throughout the whole segment, and Obama should have decked him but didn’t.
The second part, on foreign affairs and national defense, went to McCain. Obama continues with the ill-advised strategy of trying to paint McCain as a Bush clone, and that’s just not going to work. Sure, it plays well with Democratic audiences, but Obama has to reach out to the indifferent voters who still see McCain as a maverick. As Debra Saunders puts it,
George W. Bush is not running for re-election. The gratuitous Bush-bashing has gotten old – and it makes Obama sound like a college student at a political rally. Maybe it works with the moveon.org crowd, but most voters are looking for a leader for the next four to eight years. And it takes no leadership to kick someone with an approval rate higher only than that of Congress.
McCain was able to rattle off a long list of areas where he’s disagreed with Bush, and it’s persuasive. Obama scored points on being opposed to the Iraq War in the first place, but it’s academic at this point, and besides, most of America was where McCain was on that issue.
So at the end of the debate, McCain was the winner, and by a significant margin. The only saving grace for Obama is that a lot of voters probably tuned out before McCain gathered steam toward the end. But the McCain team soundly lost the post-debate debate. Joe Biden was all over the place giving interviews and sounding like an elder statesman, while Palin was in some undisclosed location getting a brain transplant. It was like a tag-team wrestling match on one side against a team of one on the other. Palin’s absence from the airwaves reinforces her lack of ability, and McCain’s pre-debate dramatics made him look less serious as well. So McCain did fine in the second half of the debate, but lost all the surrounding events.
One theory about McCain’s pre-debate dramatics holds that he was trying to buy time for Palin by delaying Thursday’s VP debate. The Couric interview suggests that’s a plausible ploy.
The VP selections are important, because there’s a greater than average chance that the winner of this election won’t live out his term. McCain is old and infirm, and Obama’s black. We have a nasty history of assassinations in this country, and Obama is bound to have his haters among the segment of the population that goes for that. That’s gruesome, but that’s the way I see it. I remember the Kennedy assassination and the attempts on Ford and Reagan all too well.
Another way to look at it: if we consider the candidates even in terms of temperament, preparation, and intelligence, then we have to turn to the VPs to be the tie-breaker. Biden vs. Palin’s not even close.
So how should Biden deal with Heidi Doody in their debate? Certainly, he can’t be snide or condescending, and he can’t be aggressive because she’s a girl. But it’s a real challenge for somebody who’s not an insult to the American system of politics to share a stage with someone who is. I’d suggest he take a page from Obama’s playbook on Bill O’Reilly and tune it for the occasion. Like Palin, O’Reilly’s completely insane, and while he’s probably not a dunce in real life, he certainly plays one on TV. Obama didn’t let O’Reilly ramble, politely interjecting his comments as soon as it was apparent he’d made some sort of point or asked some sort of statement.
Biden should let Palin talk, because she’s her own worst enemy. Let her talk, ramble, and tie herself up in knots, and then summarize her answers for the audience. When she trots out multiple talking points and connects them incorrectly, play it straight and say something like “Gov. Palin says the bailout is a job-creation umbrella program, I think, but I have to disagree. We don’t look to government to create jobs, that’s what free enterprise is for. The bailout is about preserving our financial system so that people *with jobs* won’t be thrown out of their homes. I’m all for job creation, but that’s not what the bailout is about.” He can also look quizzical and scratch his head when she makes some boneheaded remark, and there will be several. McCain tried to protect her by over-using the phrase “Obama’s naive and clueless,” but it won’t be necessary for Biden to say that in so many words, because the voters are going to see it with their own eyes.
But in any event, this is the high point of the McCain campaign. He’s just had his military debate, against a backdrop of high anxiety about the future of our economy. The next three debates are all downhill for him, as are current events, and at this rate the election could easily be a colossal blowout.
John McCain is many things, but “conservative” is not one of them. See Wick Allison’s succinct essay on why he’s voting for Obama after donating the maximum to McCain during the primaries, A Conservative for Obama: Liberalism always seemed to me to be a system of â€œoughts.â€ We ought to do this or that because … Continue reading “A Conservative for Obama”
John McCain is many things, but “conservative” is not one of them. See Wick Allison’s succinct essay on why he’s voting for Obama after donating the maximum to McCain during the primaries, A Conservative for Obama:
Liberalism always seemed to me to be a system of â€œoughts.â€ We ought to do this or that because itâ€™s the right thing to do, regardless of whether it works or not. It is a doctrine based on intentions, not results, on feeling good rather than doing good.
But today it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly donâ€™t work. The Bush tax cutsâ€”a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to warâ€”led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his â€œconservativeâ€ credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.
Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world â€œsafe for democracy.â€ It is John McCain who says Americaâ€™s job is to â€œdefeat evil,â€ a theological expansion of the nationâ€™s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.
This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.
Conservative friends especially need to read David Brooks today on the role of experience and prudence in the conservative movement: Conservatism was once a frankly elitist movement. Conservatives stood against radical egalitarianism and the destruction of rigorous standards. They stood up for classical education, hard-earned knowledge, experience and prudence. Wisdom was acquired through immersion in … Continue reading “Read David Brooks”
Conservatism was once a frankly elitist movement. Conservatives stood against radical egalitarianism and the destruction of rigorous standards. They stood up for classical education, hard-earned knowledge, experience and prudence. Wisdom was acquired through immersion in the best that has been thought and said…
The idea that â€œthe peopleâ€ will take on and destroy â€œthe establishmentâ€ is a utopian fantasy that corrupted the left before it corrupted the right. Surely the response to the current crisis of authority is not to throw away standards of experience and prudence, but to select leaders who have those qualities but not the smug condescension that has so marked the reaction to the Palin nomination in the first place.
Sarah Palin scored points for knowing her interviewer’s nickname, but didn’t do so well on the actual questions. Most notably, she went all “moose in the headlights” when asked about the Bush Doctrine. Jim Fallows explains why Palin’s ignorance is troubling: What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world … Continue reading “The interviewer’s name was Charlie”
Sarah Palin scored points for knowing her interviewer’s nickname, but didn’t do so well on the actual questions. Most notably, she went all “moose in the headlights” when asked about the Bush Doctrine. Jim Fallows explains why Palin’s ignorance is troubling:
What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the “Bush Doctrine” exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.
The other spine-chilling moment came when Gibson asked about her recent comment, in a speech at her church, that the war in Iraq is “a task that is from God.” (ABC then showed a YouTube clip of the speech.) Palin tried to finesse the question, saying that her remarks were only “a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words” that we should pray not that God is on our side but that we are on God’s side. Gibson didn’t back down, noting that she had in fact gone on to say, “There is a plan, and it is God’s plan.” To this, Palin replied:
I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that these are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That in my worldview is a grandâ€”the grand plan.
Two things came to mind upon hearing her say these words. First, they sound like the earnest answer given by a contestant in a beauty pageant when the M.C. asks her about world peace. (Sorry to seem sexist, but it’s true; read it again.)
Second, and more to the point, do we want someone a heartbeat away from the presidencyâ€”and a 72-year-old cancer survivor’s heartbeat, at thatâ€”to possess both impetuousness (“You can’t blink”) and holy certitude? Isn’t that what we’ve had, actually in the Oval Office, the past eight years?
Robots are wired to react a certain way, but people are required to think.
Here’s the bonus beauty queen interview for comparison:
Saturday Night Live creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said the show is talking with Tina Fey about playing Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at some point this season, possibly as soon as this Saturday’s season premiere.
Newsweek has some interesting back story on Sarah Palin’s Troopergate scandal. Three years ago, the Alaska courts found she had engaged in a form of child abuse and told her to stop: Court records obtained by NEWSWEEK show that during the course of divorce hearings three years ago, Judge John Suddock heard testimony from an … Continue reading “Sarah Palin, Abuser of Children”
Newsweek has some interesting back story on Sarah Palin’s Troopergate scandal. Three years ago, the Alaska courts found she had engaged in a form of child abuse and told her to stop:
Court records obtained by NEWSWEEK show that during the course of divorce hearings three years ago, Judge John Suddock heard testimony from an official of the Alaska State Troopers’ union about how Sarah Palinâ€”then a private citizenâ€”and members of her family, including her father and daughter, lodged up to a dozen complaints against Wooten with the state police. The union official told the judge that he had never before been asked to appear as a divorce-case witness, that the union believed family complaints against Wooten were “not job-related,” and that Wooten was being “harassed” by Palin and other family members.
Court documents show that Judge Suddock was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten’s behavior and character. “Disparaging will not be toleratedâ€”it is a form of child abuse,” the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings. The judge added: “Relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs [sic] the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives.”
The emotional abuse of children suffering from their parents’ unpleasant divorce is a very serious matter, one that casts doubt on the mental stability and judgment of the adults involved. Given that Palin acted this way from one step removed – it was her sister’s divorce, not hers – makes this behavior even more troubling. If I hadn’t already decided not to vote for Palin because of her lack of intellect and experience, this would have turned me around. We don’t need any child abusers in the White House.
Obama still has a healthy lead in the electoral college, which will only increase as Palin has to speak in public without a script. Nothing to worry about, the McCain campaign can’t keep her in seclusion forever. She’s supposed to do an interview with Charlie Gibson tomorrow, but there are apparently all kinds of off-limits … Continue reading “Palin faces the firing squad”
Obama still has a healthy lead in the electoral college, which will only increase as Palin has to speak in public without a script. Nothing to worry about, the McCain campaign can’t keep her in seclusion forever.
She’s supposed to do an interview with Charlie Gibson tomorrow, but there are apparently all kinds of off-limits topics, like the pregnant daughter. That’s an interesting topic alongside Palin’s cutting back the funding for a teen mother’s center in Alaska, of course. And I take it there are similar issues around funding for special-needs babies as well. And I’d love to know why she left a church where people speak in tongues while trying to get elected governor, and why she lost her first attempt to win statewide office as Lt. Governor.
Originally posted as a comment by Richard Bennett on Broadband Politics using Disqus.