Hog is dead--long live Hog!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Whoops

According to Rasmussen, women don't like the Palin choice:

Palin is the right choices
Men - 43%
Women - 37%

More likely to vote for McCain
Men - 38%
Women - 33%

Palin favorability
Men - 58%
Women - 48%

Looks like the gambit to woo Hillary voters has instantly backfired. Then there's this: voters are now evenly split on whether they're more likely to vote McCain because of Palin (35%) or less likely (33%), a number that will almost certainly go down when they learn more about her.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Rove Tactics Bite Back

Rove, doing his character-assassination thing, said this about Virginia Governor (and potential Obama veep) Tim Kaine just over two weeks ago:
"With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he's been a governor for three years. He's been able but undistinguished. I don't think people could really name a big, important thing that he's done ... [Kaine] was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it's smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa, or Gilbert, Arizona; North Las Vegas, or Henderson, Nevada. It's not a big town."
Wasilla is roughly the size of Florence, Oregon.

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Eyeballs

Yes he can ... get people to tune in:
NEW YORK (AP) - Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention was seen by more than 38 million people.

Nielsen Media Research said more people watched Obama speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final "American Idol" or the Academy Awards this year. Obama talked before a live audience of 80,000 people in Denver.

His TV audience nearly doubled the amount of people who watched John Kerry accept the Democratic nomination to run against President Bush four years ago. Kerry's speech was seen by just over 20 million people.

Obama's audience might be higher, since Nielsen didn't have an estimate for how many people watched Obama on PBS or C-SPAN Thursday night.

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Experience

Just sayin.
Barack Obama
Education: Columbia, Harvard law
South Side Chicago Community organizer, 3 years
Constitutional law professor, 8 years
State legistlator, 8 years
US Senator, 4 years

Sarah Palin
Education: BS, U of Idaho (journalism)
Wasilla (pop. 7700) city council, 4 years
Wasilla mayor, 6 years
Alaska governor, 2 years
Let us dispense with the equivalency argument, shall we?

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Heading to Denver

Posting will be ever less frequent here at moribund Hog. I'm off to Denver, but Blue Oregon will get all my love. Kari's set up a Twitter account so that we can inform you not only of actual happenings (about which CNN, FOX, NBC, The Weather Channel, etc. will also, simultaneously be informing you), but those of a transitory, personal nature. I had vowed not to blog comments like, "Hey look, it's David Wu." But apparently that's what Twitter's for.

In any case, follow the fun at Blue Oregon.

Random meta comment: this is my 1,0001st post on Hog. Alert Guinness.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Darkness Falls

Okay, I'll admit it: I'm worried. This just isn't good:


It's a snapshot in time, admittedly, and those lines haven't quite touched yet, admittedly. And then there's this, which still bodes somewhat well:



But still.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

History by Conventional Wisdom

This Georgian invasion has gotten me to thinking.
1985 - Cold war forever. The balance of power rests on the broad shoulders of bipolarism, MAD, and the nuclear arms lining launching stations from Minnesota to Minsk. A grand, theatrical sense of the sweep of history--and not just a little doom-pervades society.

1995 - Pax American, post-history. Democracy has triumphed, the roles of states is now in question. Newly-formed EU suggests a pan-global democratic united countries. Globalism means riches for everyone! Go NAFTA! In the halls of the Pentagon, strategists remain gloomy and create flowcharts demonstrating the next great states to arise, and the military expenditures the US will make defeating them. No one pays attention.

2005 - Globalism metastasized. States now irrelevant as the power centers shift to chaotic extra-governmental terrorist networks. Huge militaries are useless in the face of IEDs. The US's grand empire has lasted less than two decades.

2008 - The return of something akin to cold war? Russia's again invading Georgia. China looks hungrily at global domination. IEDs and neocon dystopia appear the quaint manifestation of gentle times, when we let the crazy old cranks run the country. Time to get serious again--the Reds are on the march.
Well, just a thought...

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

By Which I Eliminate McCaskill

The DNC just sent out additional speakers for the Convention. Among them, Claire McCaskill and Michelle's brother (and OSU hoops coach) Craig Robinson. Since there's a separate spot for the Veep candidate, I am going to go ahead and boldly predict that McCaskill will not be Obama's choice. I applied this same logic to Hillary. We could also eliminate Robinson, though the veepstake handicappers had him down as something of a longshot to begin with.

Many people regard me as dull-witted; let this exercise of raw intellect dispel the impression.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Aggressively Fatuous

I missed the opening ceremonies to the Olympics last night (wedding), and so when NBC announced they were coming back to show clips, I made sure to be in front of the set. But back in the studio, Jim Lampley was sitting next to--was it, yes, oh no--Jimmy Roberts. Roberts has achieved special status in the pantheon of American sports journalists for being the most sentimental, and yet at the same time, substance-free, of all commentators. NBC rolls him out for their treacly and imbecilic athlete bios, always heavy on mental or physical barriers, always free of humanity. When Lampley turned to him for a report on the opening ceremony, he put his most appropriate foot forward (paraphrasing) saying,: "Well Jim, there's no way to capture that stunning spectacle in words ...." before going into his usual fluff piece, full of his over-emphasized narrative piffle.

There's a word for this, and I'd love it if Roberts' commentaries were cited in the dictionary as an example:
fatuous (adj.) - foolish or inane, esp. in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly
Roberts is the Homer Simpson of commentators, relying on heavy emphasis to sell his terrible prose, as when Homer lectures Lisa about something he doesn't even vaguely understand.

Ah, the Olympics, when NBC's coverage always threatens to overwhelm the actual drama with corporate sacharine, Jimmy Roberts handing out the packets of Splenda...

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Sophisticated Counter-Attacks

This is interesting: rather than get caught in a back-and-forth with Swift Boaters, lefty activists are planning to hit them where it will hurt--in the donors. Tom Mazzie is heading the effort, and his first strike will be letter mailed out to ten thousand conservative donors:

The warning letter is intended as a first step, alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.

The biggest obstacles are the laws that protect the identify of donors to bottom-feeding smear groups, though:
Indeed, anonymity is a potential obstacle to the group’s efforts. Outside political groups organized as 501(c)4 entities, including Accountable America, do not have to disclose the names of their donors.
It may not work, but it's interesting to note that the donors clearly don't want to be known. If Mazzie can figure out how to expose them, it would be a powerful disincentive.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Extra More

One of the things we'll lose with the departure of our dear Shrub--and I regard this as both a good and bad thing--is his wholly bizarre speech habits. Such as:
The first thing, obviously, that can make a difference is conservation. What's interesting, however, is that people are plenty wise about how to conserve. You're making the choices about whether you want to drive a little extra more or not drive extra more.
His father had a similar lack of facility with words, so I suspect this is a defect in the hardwiring of the brain, not necessarily textbook stupidity. But still, his presidency has been marked by textbook stupidity, so we shouldn't overlook the symbolic import of his verbal manglings. As the Bush years recede into memory, I expect that his speech and actions will come to be recalled as identical habits of an incompetent. It's unfair, but then again, some sources say Nero had his high points too and no one's crying much about the injustice to his memory.

More recent gaffes you may have missed

"I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office." (June)

"Should the Iranian regime—do they have the sovereign right to have civilian nuclear power? So, like, if I were you, that's what I'd ask me. And the answer is, yes, they do." (July)

"These immigrants have helped transform 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 people." (July 4)

"A lot of times in politics you have people look you in the eye and tell you what's not on their mind." (April)
Perhaps this is why McCain's hanging around in the polls--he sounds like such a vast improvement over the current Republican.