Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Like Economists For Obama. Which I take as evidence that (a) I was right and (b) that there are more reality-based economists than I thought.
I was also interested (though not surprised) to read what a Bush tool Mankiw is.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
It's a little jarring to hear John McCain and Sarah Palin complain about "elites." We are, after all, talking about two wealthy and powerful Republican politicians. And yet, complain they do.
In the second part of his interview with the members of the Republican ticket, NBC's Brian Williams inquired about exactly who the "elite" are.
"Oh, I guess just people who think that they're better than anyone else.... So anyone who thinks that they are -- I guess -- better than anyone else, that's -- that's my definition of elitism," Palin replied. [...]
Ms. Palin obviously disdains those who think they are "better than anyone else." Which is another way of saying she thinks they are inferior -- that she is therefore better than these elitists are. But then ... she fits the definition of an elitist... so then....
Reminds me of the infamous self-referential Epimenides paradox*:
Epimenides was a Cretan who made one immortal statement: "All Cretans are liars."
Of course, if pre-Socratic Epimenides had been prescient enough to say "all Republicans are liars," the world of philosophy would have had to evolve with one less paradox to ponder.
*More accurately, the Liar Paradox.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The return of the Friedman Unit
(A) Put Cheney, Bush, Rummy, Feith, Wolfowitz in glass boxes on public view in the Hague for a little Eichmann-in-Jerusalem action; or
(B) Force every pundit, columnist and TV meat puppet who helped put and keep (i)Bush in office and (ii)our military in Iraq to be silenced forevermore.
On the moral culpability scale, (A) is the winner. But if you think in terms of minimizing future evil, I think you have to go with (B), because the A-list folks will be neutered come January; but our idiotic pundit class will live on to poison all attempts to move to a rational plane. To wit: Tom Friedman is unrepentant, will have his bully pulpit for years to come, and is just as stupid as ever.
Update: Speaking of unrepentant asshattery, and about culpable media pressing on regardless, Judith Miller is going to Fox News.
You can't make this stuff up.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Going for the sympathy vote?
Apparently it wasn't:
I think we are about to find out if there is a point at which schadenfreude becomes too guilty a pleasure.
Update: Just realized what McCain now reminds me of:
After 8 wonderful years of President Chance the Gardener, the Republicans now offer us Ruprecht.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Those wacky cosmic tumblers
The McCainiacs have to be kicking themselves -- they thought that the "success" of the surge would turn their biggest liability into a decisive plus. In fact, all the surge has done is demote the Iraq issue in the minds of voters.
George Will, 10/9:
The success of the surge in Iraq, for which McCain justly claims much credit, is one reason why foreign policy has receded to the margins of the electorate's mind, thereby diminishing the subject with which McCain is most comfortable and which is Obama's largest vulnerability.I stand by my scare quotes, and would argue with Will's gloss, but on the whole we are in some strange times when George Will and I agree on anything.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Why it won't work
The fundamental requirement for a negative campaign to work is that you have to define your opponent before he or she does it. Obama has already effectively defined himself -- the first debate really sealed that deal. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression and all that.
The McCainiacs have to be kicking themselves -- they thought that the "success" of the surge would turn their biggest liability into a decisive plus. In fact, all the surge has done is demote the Iraq issue. People have already made up their minds that McCain's worst issue is the one that is most important to them. Had they seen it coming, they would likely have run a very different campaign. But their inability to see things coming is what the election is really about, isn't it?
Unless bin Laden gives McCain a helluva present in the form of an October Surprise, I don't see how anything McCain can do now will erase this lead.
Friday, October 03, 2008
And then there is the bad kind:
Old flame cited as part of McCain's Latin experience
Sen. John McCain's senior foreign policy advisor cites a steamy romance 50 years ago with a Brazilian babe among the things that illustrate the candidate's decades-long interest in Latin America.
Speaking at an Americas Conference panel discussion Friday on the next U.S. president's Latin American policy, McCain advisor Richard Fontaine started out by mentioning an old Brazilian flame of McCain's, who recently emerged in the press.
If looking out your window at Russia makes you a Kremlinologist....