Posts Tagged ‘general election 2008’
* Who’s going to be the lesser evil in 2012 2008 2004 2000 1996 1992 1988 1984 1980 1976 1972 1968?
* The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block.” These results have since been confirmed.
* The real affirmative action: Researchers with access to closely guarded college admissions data have found that, on the whole, about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America’s highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions’ minimum admissions standards.
* How many people have died because Walter White got cancer? And a Breaking Bad Fermi problem: What is a good approximation of how much money Skyler had in the storage unit when she showed Walt how she stopped counting it?
* Report: Student Debt Is Holding Back The Housing Recovery. Are you interested in student debt now, old people?
* Getting spicy: Hacker Group Claims to Have Romney’s Tax Returns.
* BREAKING: Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans.
* BREAKING: Social Security Administration to arm illegal immigrants with hollow-point bullets to murder taxpayers. Wake up, sheeple! The truth is out there.
* And so begins my biennial worrying about whether Wes Anderson’s next movie will (1) be good (2) be any different than the others. The Grand Budapest Hotel sounds like yet another intricate dollhouse, and I generally don’t care for Johnny Depp, so that’s two strikes. At least it isn’t family friendly.
* Harry Reid promises filibuster reform if Dems win the election. So he must think Democrats will lose the Senate…
* Breaking: The Newsroom Is Incredibly Hostile Toward Women.
Aaron Sorkin was on “Fresh Air” Monday afternoon, and he told Terry Gross that he “like[s] writing about heroes [who] don’t wear capes or disguises. You feel like, ‘Gee, this looks like the real world and feels like the real world — why can’t that be the real world?’” Yes, a fantasy land where male privilege goes unchallenged, forever, and bosses can spend meetings riffing on the attractiveness of their dates’ legs (as MacAvoy did in “Fix”), where the male gaze is the only gaze, where men have ideas and women are interrupting. Tell us more about this magical place.
* Penn State Plane Gives Warning: Take Down Paterno Statue “Or We Will.” This could get ugly. Uglier.
* How much Force power can Yoda output? ”At current electricity prices, Yoda would be worth about $2/hour.”
* Oy: Florida federal judge voids entire health care law. Somebody wake up Anthony Kennedy, he’s got a coin to toss.
* RT @daveweigel: BREAKING: Florida Court rules Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential hopes unconstitutional
* TPM has your GOP-led voter suppression watch.
* ‘Pay China first’: don’t they deserve at least that much?
* Can someone sketch me out an even moderately plausible scenario in which a moderate Republican governor who broke with his party on civil unions and cap-and-trade and then joined the Obama administration wins both the GOP nomination and the presidential election in 2012? Easy: unemployment stays above 9%.
* Adults With College Degrees in the United States, by County. The Research Triangle really stands out. A poster at MetaFilter has a not-necessarily-illuminating comparison to the county-by-county election results from 2008.
* And at last, some good news: the Michael Steele puppet will (almost certainly) come out of retirement.
* Things I didn’t know were in the health care bill: menu labeling. Great policy.
* I want to be held accountable for getting it done. I will judge my first term as president based on the fact on whether we have delivered the kind of health care that every American deserves and that our system can afford. Barack Obama at a CAP/SEIU health care forum in 2007, up against Hillary Clinton and history’s greatest monster.
The health care forum in 2007 served as a kind of epiphany for Obama. Time’s Karen Tumulty, who moderated the forum, wrote that Obama “was noticeably uncomfortable when pressed for details” about his health care plan. As Ezra Klein wrote at the time, “Compared to John Edwards, who had a detailed plan, and Hillary Clinton, whose fluency with the subject is unmatched among the contenders, he seemed uncertain and adrift.” Obama himself acknowledged that the health care forum revealed, “I am not a great candidate now, but I am going to figure out how to be a great candidate.” Now, by delivering on the basic health care principles he pronounced three years ago, Obama is already earning praise as “one of America’s finest presidents.”
* Winning has its advantages. Mike Allen:
Rather than dragging down Dems, President Obama’s health plan could turn out to be a net positive for the midterms by goosing his base, re-engaging new Obama voters, giving his party something clear to promote, and providing a blunt instrument for whacking [Republicans]. Obama’s triumph has put Republicans back on the defensive, and even some of them are wondering if they peaked eight months too soon.
* Finding common ground: I’m no Sarah Palin fan, but I fully endorse her call for Tea Party supporters to make third-party runs for office.
* The University of Michigan has become the 17th institution of higher learning to be implicated in the checks-for-degrees scandal rocking American campuses, representatives from the Department of Justice reported Tuesday.
* Coming to Comedy Central this fall: That’s My Biden.
* And the Big Picture has your record setters. Below: the world’s largest “Thriller” dance.
Halprin takes some scalps: Harry Reid and Bill Clinton both look pretty bad today, not to mention John and Elizabeth Edwards and the entire freakin’ Edwards campaign. With Democrats like these, is it any wonder Obama looked so good?
UPDATE: Ben Smith comes to the same conclusion here:
Having dug into the book — which is quite good — a bit, one disparity was hard to miss. The Edwardses, Clintons, Giulianis and others are depicted as vastly different from their public images. John and Elizabeth are a vain empty suit and Lady MacBeth; Hillary is as calculating, hard-edged, maladroit, and ideological as her critics have always maintained.
The one character who appears in the book as he’d like you to see him: Obama. Which, one way or another, explains why he won: He was either untroubled by the deep contradictions that dogged his rivals; or he was better at concealing them. (He is also the only candidate whose staffers remain with him, deeply invested in his image and unwilling to dish, which helps.)
More inside details from the book from Jonathan Martin here, including some details of its report of Biden’s being cut off from Obama’s inner circle during the campaign and McCain camp fears that Sarah Palin was mentally unstable.
* Ted Kennedy may be gone, but John Kerry still won’t support the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound.
For the time being, however, Prince contends that his plans are far more modest. “I’m going to teach high school,” he says, straight-faced. “History and economics. I may even coach wrestling. Hey, Indiana Jones taught school, too.”
* New Jersey to pave million-year-old dinosaur footprints to put up parking lot. Okay, actually condos.
This finding casts into doubt the science fictional notion that human beings can survive in zero gravity or in the microgravity environment of large asteroids.
* Could a super-advanced civilization live inside the acretion disk, the super-dense area around the black hole at the center of a galaxy?
* The headline reads, “Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex.”
Copenhagen Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to city hotels warning summit guests not to patronize Danish sex workers during the upcoming conference. Now, the prostitutes have struck back, offering free sex to anyone who produces one of the warnings.
The other thing that struck me about her interview was her contention that she didn’t go after Obama enough during the election, and namely, that avoiding the birther thing was a mistake. I suppose she could have gone completely off the deep end during the campaign, and certainly it seems she wanted to but was held back by McCain, but good god, who in their right mind thinks she wasn’t enough on the attack? She accused Obama, through implication, of being a terrorist. She did so in a way that maximized the anti-Muslim insinuation, even though neither Barack Obama nor Bill Ayers (who is the excuse for this rumor-mongering) is Muslim, making the whole thing not only racist but incoherent. She went out of her way to imply that anyone who was not white or lived in a city was not a Real American. She red-baited Obama. She did everything but tell jokes about his mom. Her entire campaign strategy was to attack Obama. I fail to see how she could have done more, honestly. There aren’t enough hours in the day.
* And science proves Rousseau was right: God created man in his own image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.
* The Vonnegut-flavored image at right is graffiti fresh from the streets of Burlington, Vermont.
* Vegetarianism, as every school child knows, is evil. I had an upstairs neighbor once who really believed this—he used to tell me all the time how vegetarians were on the fast track to full-on Nazism. Weird guy.
* Birther update: even OpinionJournal’s odious “Best of the Web” column says the birthers are nuts. In the L.A. Times, Bill Maher says birtherism is no joke. But you and I know birtherism exists only in the feverish lies of Chris Matthews and Markos Moulitsas.
* Glenn Greenwald has a must-read post on corporate interference at MSNBC and Fox News.
In essence, the chairman of General Electric (which owns MSNBC), Jeffrey Immelt, and the chairman of News Corporation (which owns Fox News), Rupert Murdoch, were brought into a room at a “summit meeting” for CEOs in May, where Charlie Rose tried to engineer an end to the “feud” between MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. According to the NYT, both CEO’s agreed that the dispute was bad for the interests of the corporate parents, and thus agreed to order their news employees to cease attacking each other’s news organizations and employees.
Most notably, the deal wasn’t engineered because of a perception that it was hurting either Olbermann or O’Reilly’s show, or even that it was hurting MSNBC. To the contrary, as Olbermann himself has acknowledged, his battles with O’Reilly have substantially boosted his ratings. The agreement of the corporate CEOs to cease criticizing each other was motivated by the belief that such criticism was hurting the unrelated corporate interests of GE and News Corp…
* Democrats facing big off-year electoral losses in New Jersey and Virginia?
* In the days leading up to Obama’s decision to run, Axelrod prepared a private strategy memo — dated Nov. 28, 2006 — that has never been published before. He wrote that an outgoing president nearly always defines the next election and argued that people almost never seek a replica — certainly not after the presidency of George W. Bush. In 2008, people were going to be looking for a replacement, someone who represented different qualities. In Axelrod’s opinion, Obama’s profile fit this historical moment far better than did Hillary Rodham Clinton’s. If he was right, Obama could spark a political movement and prevail against sizable odds. He also counseled Obama against waiting for a future opportunity to run for president. “History is replete with potential candidates for the presidency who waited too long rather than examples of people who ran too soon. . . . You will never be hotter than you are right now.”
As Palin has piled misstep on top of misstep, the senior members of McCain’s campaign team have undergone a painful odyssey of their own. In recent rounds of long conversations, most made it clear that they suffer a kind of survivor’s guilt: they can’t quite believe that for two frantic months last fall, caught in a Bermuda Triangle of a campaign, they worked their tails off to try to elect as vice president of the United States someone who, by mid-October, they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be. They quietly ponder the nightmare they lived through. Do they ever ask, What were we thinking? “Oh, yeah, oh, yeah,” one longtime McCain friend told me with a rueful chuckle. “You nailed it.” Another key McCain aide summed up his attitude this way: “I guess it’s sort of shifted,” he said. “I always wanted to tell myself the best-case story about her.” Even now, he said, “I don’t want to get too negative.” Then he added, “I think, as I’ve evaluated it, I think some of my worst fears … the after-election events have confirmed that her more negative aspects may have been there … ” His voice trailed off. “I saw her as a raw talent. Raw, but a talent. I hoped she could become better.”
Lots of attention being paid today to Vanity Fair‘s gossipy anti-Palin hit piece, in which the same McCain staffers who insisted she was the second-best possible person for the presidency now (anonymously) admit she was a “Little Shop of Horrors” and alternatively call her a “diva,” egomaniac, and “whackjob”. Here’s Bill Kristol with some pushback, and it’s worth noting that this sort of negative media attention doesn’t exactly hurt the martyr complex that fuels Palinmania on the right.
Who among us can wait for 2012?
Nate Silver sums up the consensus at the Dole Institute’s post-election symposium.
3. The Republican bench is relatively inadequate at the present time in terms of candidates for national office.
3a. On the other hand, the 2012 Presidential cycle is already being looked at as something of a lost cause. Some of the stronger candidates — both known and unknown — might want to wait until 2016 to run.
3b. In the long-term, the future of the party probably lies in governor’s offices. If the Republicans are smart, this may be their major focus in 2010-12, as opposed to the Congress and even perhaps the Presidency.
4. Sarah Palin is, for the time being, the public face of the Republican Party.
4a. This is not necessarily a good thing for the Republican Party.
Readers of my comments may remember that perennial troll (and, unbelievably, my cousin) Mike T. proposed a wager back in June regarding the results of the presidential election.
I’ll call it now, McCain will win by a much larger margin than Bush did in the 2000 election.
…I propose the bet be who will win, instead of odds that one candidate will defeat another. Also, I think the stakes should be something more interesting than a money amount. I suggest that the loser must read a book of the winner’s choosing.
I have not forgotten about this.
The natural choice would seem to be Dreams from My Father, but I worry (a) it’s too obvious (b) he’s not in a place where he would get much out of it (c) I think he might have told me (unbelievably!) he’s already read it.
At one point I was leaning towards Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, just because his nonsense assertions about ecology drive me completely up the wall. But again I wonder how much he would actually get out of reading it.
I sort of like the idea of picking A Theory of Justice, and not only because it’s so long.
The absolute best thing, I think, would be something that would teach the concept of empathy to a person that doesn’t have much. But I’m not sure what that book is.
Failing that, something really punishing.