.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Picture of the Day - Sums up the Texas Gov race nicely

From the Rick Perry/Sarah Palin rally last Sunday.

The party of "no, but..."

According to the WaPo, the Dems are going to try to redefine the Republicans as outside the mainstream by setting up a series of fairly popular half measures and forcing Republicans to offer alternatives when they vote against them.

We'll see how it goes....

(Then, of course, there's the broader question of whether this is what they should be doing during their time governing....)

They even scream about the weather

The WaPo has a pretty pointless piece on this Accuweather guy that screams. Okay, I admit it, I clicked the link to listen...

...but what struck me was how much his delivery sounded like one of those screaming CNBC announcers, or many of the right wing radio hosts... How do you deliver the weather and sound like Jim Cramer or Rush Limbaugh....?

...and then it occurred to me. It's the style that sells. The medium is the message. There are people who crave this sort of disbelieving, "I can't believe this is happening to us," screaming energy.

I've had a weird kind of meta moment on part of America, and it's making me strangely sad.

Harold Ford, Tennessee resident

I don't know the intricacies of residency/eligibility election law in NY State, but the fact that Harold Ford has never once paid taxes in NY, instead preferring to declare himself in Tennessee, would seem to be (at least a political) problem.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vandehei speaks the beginning of the truth

Normally I try to avoid these "narrative" articles, where the author presents a narrative and then uses it to selectively generate quotes from both sides of the asserted "truth," but I link this one on Sarah Palin because no one else in the major media has written the beginning of this truth so clearly.

The media loves Sarah Palin because she generates traffic. She is treated more "seriously" than she should be because the mere mention of her name generates revenue. She is the news equivalent of showing nudity during TV's sweeps week.

The extension Vandehei doesn't make is that this self profiting sensationalism by the media also serves to overrepresent the crazy political positions that Sara Palin and her supporters assert. Because of the traffic they generate, the "Tea Party convention," 600-1,000 people gathered in a ballroom, get days of front page coverage while much more impacting organizations, national union meetings or even the RNC meeting in Hawaii, get far less press.

This significantly impacts the political discussion. By overrepresenting what is, for the most part, a fringe position. It changes the political discourse, tilting the results of elections and changing the policies and laws of this country.

In their pursuit of "buzz," the media is collaborating to make this country far more "conservative" than it really is.

Afterthought. How differently would all of this be treated if the "tea party folks" weren't white and christian? Imagine if this were a black or Latino organization calling for "secession," or was carrying weapons or signs implying violent action against the government?

Think the media would cover nationwide gatherings of black men, some carrying guns, as the "heart of America?"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

WaPo poll

The new WaPo poll headlines with Palin and tea Partiers, but I found this one very interesting. Although the gaps are narrowing, the public still prefers him to Republicans even on supposed Repub "core issues" like budget deficit, economy, and terrorism.

In the far more interesting raw data,

5. Who do you trust to do a better job handling [ITEM] - (Obama) or (the Republicans in Congress)?

2/8/10 - Summary Table*
Obama Reps
a. The economy 47 42
b. Health care reform 46 41
c. The federal budget deficit 45 43
d. The threat of terrorism 47 42
e. Creating jobs 48 41

On Palin
, Palin's Fav/UnFav is 37/55 with strongly fav at 18 and strongly unfav at 38. But more troubling to her, the "qualified" number is actually falling pretty substantially.

24. Regardless of whether or not you'd vote for her, do you think Palin is or is not qualified to serve as president?

Is qualified, Is not qualified
2/8/10 26 71
11/15/09 38 60

71% would be a pretty big "unqualified" number to be running against an incumbent President.

Related: Gallup says Obama would beat an unnamed (generic) Republican 44/42 (with self identified "independents" leaning Republican.)

And, as of right now, Mitt Romney is repositioning as a moderate.

But remember, there's a whole lot of distance before any of this 2012 stuff matters. At this point, it's just chatter.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


In a world of e-books, what exactly does a publisher do to justify their significant money?

Thought for the Day

Saying that climate change doesn't exist because it's cold outside your window right now is roughly akin to looking outside at night and claiming that the sun no longer exists.

And, yet, they get on national TV.

Fox "News"

There's talk of a Rubio/Crist debate, not a surprise, but maybe we should wonder about the agenda when FoxNews wants to broadcast that state Senate seat debate nationally.

Thought for the Day

With hard economic times, and all the political rancor, is anyone excited about the Olympics? ...anyone?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Palin's hand says it all

I had noted the funny bit that Sarah Palin had written notes on her hand to answer pre-submitted questions, but what I hadn't noted is just what that crib sheet said.

It had three items.

Cut Taxes.
Lift American Spirit.

Seriously! Sarah Palin can't remember "cut taxes" or to talk about her "signature issue" of "energy?"

And, more broadly, Sarah Palin can't remember 3 things?

And, who is so badly planned that they have to cross out a mistake when writing prep notes on their hand?

Let's just couple this with the tanning bed in the governor's mansion and be done with her as a serious person.

As Andrea Mitchell pointed out, "If Mitt Romney had notes on his hand, (or had a tanning bed) wouldn't we take it pretty seriously?"

Monday, February 08, 2010

Running scared

After getting schooled by Obama on network TV at the Republican House retreat, Republicans try to make up reasons to back out of Obama's offered televised "discussion" of healthcare.


If by some freak occurrence, John McCain loses his reelection primary and his Senate seat, will they stll have him on the Sunday shows?

Picture of the Day

(Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wears eye protection goggles as he visits an exhibition of Iran's laser science, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. (AP/Ruzbeh Jadidoleslam)

Quote - Ignorance that defines a movement

"The tea-party movement has no leader, and ... neither did the American Revolution," thundered talk-radio host Phil Valentine, who spoke before Palin at the (Tea Party) gala dinner.

Ignorance that defines a movement

Sarah Palin is very obviously using the her convention appearance to start her run for President.

I say, "go, baby," as there's not a surer way to guarantee an Obama reelection.

(I mean, she wins Iowa with 30%, loses NH, wins South Carolina with 40%, and runs really well in Florida, and she's the Repub nominee.)

Quote from a FoxNews appearance (of course) Sunday.
"I have no idea how conventionally people [run for the White House]. How they open a door that perhaps isn't even open. ... I don't know how any of that stuff works. I'm just appreciative of having some good information at my fingerprints now."


It always struck me as odd that people would get so excited to watch Superbowl commercials.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Thought for the Day

Remember when criticizing the President ("in a time of war") was treason?

They cover her seriously

Sarah Palin gets caught reading notes off her hand during a Q&A in which the questions were pre-submitted.