Biden Won

This confirms my feelings.

Forty-six percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Democrat Joe Biden won the debate, compared to 21 percent for Republican Sarah Palin. Thirty-three percent said it was a tie.

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0 Responses to Biden Won

  1. zak says:

    I don’t think Palin’s SOP for debates worked well for her on a national stage. She basically said she wasn’t necessarily going to answer the questions the moderator asked, and she followed through on that promise.

    Seems that strategy works better in Alaska

  2. VeryBadMan says:

    “After the debate, 66 percent see Palin as knowledgeable about important issues – up from 43 percent before the debate. But Biden still has the advantage on this – 98 percent saw him as knowledgeable after the debate. That figure was 79 percent before the debate.”

    What is up with the 2 percent?

  3. fdeblauwe says:

    Have a look at the analysis I performed of the words used by Palin and Biden in tonight’s debate. Just as for the 1st debate, I produced “bubble graphs” showing length and number of words and sentences and “word clouds” displaying which words were used more by each debater. You can find it all at my Word Face-Off blog:

  4. zestypete says:

    Zak, I didn’t see the debate, but this quote from Palin explains her thinking when it comes to promising anything (from NY Times):

    “There hasn’t been a whole lot that I’ve promised, except to do what is right for the American people,” she said. “I don’t believe that John McCain has made any promise that he would not be able to keep, either.”

    So, just to be clear Sarah – can I call you “Sar” by the way? – neither you nor your doddering fellow candidate have promised anything, so you can’t let the American Peoples down by not keeping the promises you didn’t make, yes? Apart from doing right my them, of course. What does that mean, by the way? Hey look at that shiny thing over there, IS THAT PUTIN’S HEAD RISING UP OVER THE HORIZON!?! AAAAARGHHHH!

    The whole thing makes my teeth sweat.

  5. zestypete says:

    UPDATE: I have now managed to stomach 6 minutes of the debate on CSPAN. I can’t listen to it any more because the all of the lies and spin are making my feel ill.

    I don’t know why Palin wastes time with complete sentences. She should just shout “Soccer mom! American people! Fear! McCain! Reform! Maverick! Soccer mom! You betcha!” She’s the closest we’ve seen to Stacy Flick (from Election, good film if you haven’t seen it) in real politics – terrifying.

  6. douglas newhouse says:

    This election is over Jon–you need to start to focus on Obamas first hundred days and where it will take us–get over McCain/Palin its yesterdays news–

  7. Fentex says:

    One does wonder how Obama is going to live up to expectations. He’s being portrayed and supported with nigh messaniac hopes.

    One hopes, assumming he wins with an authorative margin, that he finds a supportive Congress and Senate helping him immediately assert positive policy.

    One hopes for things like a “nothing to fear but fear itself” like speech and immediate dismantling of State mechanisms for imposing fear (the unwarranted eavesdropping, gitmo, no fly lists etc)

  8. Rick Turner says:

    Has anyone been noticing this “John McCain knows how to win a war” theme that Palin dug up again? Let’s see…John McCain’s war was Vietnam… Did we win that one? What did John do in that war? Do you learn to win by getting shot down and sitting in a cell?

  9. M says:

    I’m with douglas newhouse and Fentex. I’ve started wondering exactly what Obama is going to do to and how he’s going to do it. What a legacy to inherit. Seems like the next prez is going to need fairy dust AND super powers to right some of these wrongs. Four years isn’t long enough.

  10. len bullard says:

    If there was a loser, it was the MSM that once again was wholely predictable. CNN In The Tank, MSNBC in the Tank, and so on. It was clear that their minds were made up but it was also clear they were running to find a way to criticize without being able to disguise their shock that Palin had pulled it off so well.

    Palin did not flub and Biden landed no punches. One problem of the post debate analyses was the talking heads tried to grade her in the terms they understand, as another talking head. So MSNBC Rachel focused on Palin’s style which by talking head standards for delivery would not be good. Other analysts realized quickly that Palin had done the real job of connecting with the voters and that Biden came across as personable but wonky, the ultimate insider. All the talk is about Palin and it was mostly admiring.

    If it comes down to who had to cross the most distance to do the job necessary, Palin won. She stopped the cycle of ‘is she good enough’ and pushed it back to McCain vs Obama next week.

    But the fun story from yesterday was the blowup between O’Reilly and Barney Frank. That was amazing.

  11. Dan says:

    Yeah I won’t argue about the MSM. One of the networks (or maybe it was CNN) had a roomful of “citizens” with touchpads to show their reactions. A guy in the front row was this massive-bellied bewhiskered hick wearing a godawful baseball hat, a t-shirt with some hideous slogan on it, and suspenders. I’d almost swear he was a plant. So the moderator (slim sophisticated-looking young black man) asks the guy for his reaction, and of course he talked about how great Palin was.

    “And you are from where?” the moderator asked. The guy looked taken aback. “Idaho,” he said.

    The moderator then went on to the next person, but did not ask where she was from.

    The moderator might as well have said, “And which mouthbreathing redneck illiterate state are you from?”

    If the guy wasn’t a plant, I want to know what truckstop he was at when the network people kidnapped him from the cab of his Superliner.

  12. Dan says:

    I just remembered, it was definitely CBS.

  13. Rick Turner says:

    Len, you are out of your mind. Palin wouldn’t answer direct questions time after time. She was evasive. She adopted some sort of Joe SixPack’s wife persona and talked like someone who hasn’t had a decent conversation with intelligent people ever in her life. She got her facts wrong time after time. She was so far away from presenting as presidential, it’s just not funny that she’s an election and a death away from the big red phone. All the talk in your part of the universe may be about Palin and mostly admiring, but a quick spin around the Internet doesn’t back you up unless you go strictly with red state types.

  14. len bullard says:

    And here’s the shocker, Dan: that is the average American.

    Love it or leave it, but those are the people who will decide this election. Kerry and Gore didn’t get that and lost.

    Sophistication is explaining with a straight face why their network boss eats paddlefish eggs at $330 an ounce while telling Americans that the credit crunch is to be blamed on them for not paying their mortgages.

  15. Jon Taplin says:

    Len-Look at the polls. You keep trying to argue with the facts–that you know America and we don’t. Truth to tell, there are a lot fewer of those pissed off rednecks out there than you think.

  16. len bullard says:

    The polls said Obama was going to win California by ten points. Polls are tricky that way and Obama may be peaking too early if you buy Dick the Dik’s analysis at Fox. There was palapable unease at MSNBC and CNN. She scares these people.

    Truth is, neither of us know what is going to happen here. I still think Obama will win, but then be unable to govern effectively because the forces driving the win are unmanageable and he’s made too many promises he can’t keep.

    Palin had the distance to cover and that she did do. Is that enough? I doubt it. Still, there are two more debates and then the privacy of the voting booth gives a lot of ground cover.

    The entertainment value of the election is still secure.

  17. Uh…the ‘plant’ could have been my husband…or his brother…or his father. I and my pissed off redneck husband are voting for Obama. Whenever you’re ready you can stop confusing ‘redneck’ with stupid.

  18. VeryBadMan says:

    If the “average American” is “a massive-bellied bewhiskered hick wearing a godawful baseball hat, a t-shirt with some hideous slogan on it, and suspenders”, then the dumbing down of America has reached a critical stage. If, as len believes, this is so, the standard has dropped so low that it is unavoidable that we are in a steep decline and are destined to become a second (or lower) tier nation.

    I hold a much higher opinion of the average American and believe we can pull ourselves out of this slide- that we can pull up out of this plane crash.

    That is not the average American in the America I live in. That is raw disappointment, disaffection, and dislocation. It is ALIENATION.


    Palin demonstrates NO humility, but rather wears her humbleness like an ermine robe. You are wearing her crown of horns.

  19. Hugo says:

    Hi zak. Ms. Sarah did not, even “basically”, refuse to answer to the American Peeps. I’m sue you realize that you effectively are accusing her of no less than this particular nonfeasance, this specific breach of her gubernatorial oath. The lady from Alaska is sworn to the care and keeping not only of her state’s constitution but of our collective one also. Since Gwen functioned, arguably quite poorly, as something like the People’s Moderator General, Gwen was our surrogate, so that the stubborn unresponsiveness with which you charge Governor Palin would be tantamount to an official’s abridgement of the People’s constitutional right to know.

    Palin would be subject this day to removal from office.

  20. Right, no one wearing Dockers and a golf shirt or, God forbid, a suit could possibly be disappointed, disaffected, dislocated, and alienated. Oh wait! That describes a huge chunk of the Christian right.

    All of you non-racists need to turn that shining light of yours onto the appearance of the ‘Average American’. You may not like the way we look, dress, or talk, but you err in assuming 1) we’re all stupid and 2) we’re all “red”.

  21. VeryBadMan says:

    Thank you, Amber. I am very sorry that you were offended by what I wrote. I was saying len, specifically was disappointed, disaffected, dislocated, and alienated.

    My point was that the man Dan described is not an average American, but perhaps I’m wrong. (I don’t believe in the whole concept of an Average American.)

    Perhaps len is an average American.

    Perhaps alienation is the state of the “Average American.”

    If so, we are in a spiritual crisis.

  22. @VeryBadMan

    I wasn’t that offended. I wear my redneckedness with pride. Personally, I’m a Gen-X slacker who dresses sloppy 1) because I can (ahhh freelance!) and 2) because I’ve got more important things on my mind than whether my shoes match my handbag.

    But maybe you’re right. There is no Average American.

    My point is that you shouldn’t judge a person’s intelligence (or lack thereof) by what they’re wearing or by whether they’re drinking wine from a bottle or a box. Man I hate that. Ranks right up there with judging them on the length of their hair (are you hippies hearing me?).

    Nor should you mistake lack of a formal education with lack of intelligence, lack of insight, or with being uninformed about the world at large. Lots of rednecks when asked “which newspapers do you regularly read” could provide a coherent answer, they may not read newspapers with your preferred editorial stance, but they aren’t all reading USA Today (or only USA Today) either.

    So, feel free to continue to rail against the madly oblivious, the uninformed, the narrow minded among us. Just don’t assume that sloppy dress (or bad taste in beverages) means sloppy thinking. This blog (and its audience) are way too smart for that.

  23. VeryBadMan says:

    Amber, did you watch the Richard Trumka video?

  24. No. Why? (I don’t have much time for TV and when I do it usually ends up being SpongeBob or Sports…you can tell who owns the remote in my house.)

  25. VeryBadMan says:

    It is here on this blog. Up above. It is well worth watching. And Amber, doesn’t everyone dress sloppily these days?

  26. Oh! Hold on. Watching it now. Here’s some backstory (some of which is in another comment somewhere on this blog)…My Dad is a retired Teamster (smart guy, no formal education). Lifelong labor guy who looks a lot and thinks a lot like some of the folks we’ve been discussing in these comments. When Obama got the AFL-CIO nod, he said “well they feel like they have to go with a Democrat and look at their choices…” (continue to racist/sexist baiting of his tree-hugging hippie throwback of a daughter).

    Well, we’ve got a bet. He told me last December that there was no way Obama would be President for the one bad reason. I told him “see me next November.” I’m looking forward to serving him crow for dessert at Christmas.

  27. Ken Ballweg says:

    I’m curious Amber, how did you happen to find such a wonkey blog as this (not Jon’s input as much as the commenters of which mea culpa, and see Hugo (so good to have you back big guy))?

    At times it feels like a virtual “Cheers” here “where everybody knows your name” and you opinion and biases. Maybe this thing gets a broader read than I’ve assumed.

    Thanks in advance for a reply.


  28. I’m a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction…

    See, there you go again. Redneck and ‘policy wonk’ aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Doggone (heh, heh) if I can remember how I found it though. I’m a political/news junkie (Granny’s doing). It was probably a link on some other wonky blog or online newspaper I read.

    I enjoy the comments and I depend on this blog for coherent conversations about issues that I don’t have nearly enough time to research (so I really hope you all aren’t a bunch of bald-faced liars). I know a bunch of you regular commenters are friends/work colleagues. So, at times I feel it necessary to inject a dose of main street into the wonkiness just so you all don’t get too isolated or cliquey. It’s also why most of my comments tend to be opinions, anecdotes, or humor rather than fact-based analysis.

    And yes, the blog does probably get a wider read than you assumed. I know I’ve given it some props on my blog, which is mostly about knitting but digresses into politics, education, and other wonkiness at times. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bunch of us knitters (and we’re not all tea drinking, Bronte reading, blue-haired old ladies sitting in rocking chairs either) who pop in here for enlightenment regularly.

  29. VeryBadMan says:

    Amber, would your dad would get something out of that video? I would like to think that Mr. Trumka is a regular American. Can we use that phrase- Regular Americans? It sounds so much better than Average Americans. It is a discouraging thought that anyone would aspire to being average, although I have been encouraged my whole life to be more mediocre.

    Ms. Palin publicly revels in the thought of her averageness. (It is, of course, utter and iniquitous nonsense- she wants to be VPOTUS… with MORE powers.) I am reminded of a line of Bob Dylan’s:

    One who sings with his tongue on fire
    Gargles in the rat race choir
    Cares not to come up any higher
    But would rather drag you down in the whole that he’s in

  30. len bullard says:

    “Palin demonstrates NO humility, but rather wears her humbleness like an ermine robe. You are wearing her crown of horns.”

    Want some respect, VBM? Sign your real name to your posts like others do.

    Trolls don’t count.

  31. @VeryBad…doubtful. He’s old and pretty closed minded…and unwired. He and my mom live in a pretty rural part of Nevada and they don’t have internet service at their house (only at my mom’s office). The closest my dad gets to a computer is the remote. He even leaves the satellite radio we got him for Christmas on the same channel all the time.

    I know I don’t like Average American. I know I don’t like that ‘elite’ is now pejorative unless it’s in front of ‘athlete’. I don’t like that smartness is considered something to be reviled rather than admired. (And that’s a huge concern when it comes to creating the new economy…the smart guys who did DARPA and Apollo were REVERED for thinking too much. We’re seeing a slight geek resurgence now, but even out here in geekland, there’s a lot of signal to noise w/respect to true genius vs. people with a lot of time on their hands.)

    Still, I’m not sure if Regular American quite captures what we’re trying to name (probably because I haven’t given enough thought to the qualities we are trying to name). Maybe we (and that is a huge, broad, brotherly love we) need to ‘take back’ what it means to be “American” and stop letting the worst in the world and in our own country define it for us.

    American: Independent and creative but not merely for our own personal gain. We know the difference between liberty and license.

    American: Red and yellow, black and white bringing the best of all worlds to the table and leaving the dogs to fight over the scraps.

    American: Informed respectful citizen of a democracy that may not agree with what others say but will defend to the death their right to say it.

    American: Producers and savers, not borrowers and spenders. More steak than sizzle.

    Something like that.

  32. Rick Turner says:

    That’s all right, Ma…

    And that’s the whole problem with the Joe SixPack, WallMart Susie, RedNeck (yes, cliches all) mentality. It’s the anti-intellectual thing that drags kids back from excelling in school because they don’t want to be nerds. It’s that, “A good beatin’ was good enough for my pa to whup on me, so it’s good enough for my kid…” thing. That “don’t be uppity” thing. That distrust of someone smart because they might know more than you do.

    And all Americans better get the hell over that crap, because that’s the mentality that elected George Bush the Younger, now nearly universally understood to be the WPIAH…Worst President In American History. He was being called that by a majority of polled college history professors two years ago. Now? No contest…

  33. Rick, I still think I love you!

    What kills me about the whole WPIAH thing is how this Ivy league WASP convinced so many of ‘my peeps’ he was one of them. I was never fooled. Did my best to point out the obvious. Can’t win them all, but we sure as hell need to start winning some, eh?

  34. VeryBadMan says:

    There has been a great deal of social engineering to divide us all up into segments- fragmentation. It serves an important function for the markets. Also for crowd control. (See Bacon’s Rebellion.)

    It is all mega oversimplification. Whatever being an average American is now, it will be less tomorrow. And less the day after that, for a long time.

    This is a broken hearted age.

  35. VeryBadMan says:

    len, I see you.

    I don’t need any respect. That is mau mauing.

  36. @VBM,

    Where you see a downward spiral, I see a relatively large trough in a generally upward trend. I’m such a naive, glass is half full kind of person. If we can keep the good guys from being assasinated this time maybe we can see some real and lasting change…at least until we forget…again.

  37. len bullard says:

    That’s ok, VBM. It’s easy to be the bad man in a mask in a comic book.

  38. VeryBadMan says:

    Amber, what we call our standard of living is going down, of that there is no doubt. Maybe that will be best for us. Maybe we will trend upward in a spiritual sense, along the lines of your definitions of Americans.

  39. VeryBadMan says:

    Len, if YOU want respect, stop posting nonsense. Your own blog is very good.

  40. len bullard says:

    “”I think she’s very good,” Hillary Clinton said, praising Palin on Ryan Seacrest’s Los Angeles-based radio show Friday morning. “It’s amazing: she’s been thrust into the national spotlight with very little preparation and I think that, all things considered, you saw a very composed and effective debater last night.”

  41. VBM, our standard of living is going down. But I think (because it was a standard based on the accumulation of debt) that it needs to go down. The “Leisure Class” was bad enough, but too much of the working and middle class are behaving like the leisure class and it appears that everyone (including the LC) is borrowing the money to do it. I believe this is in line with Jon’s thinking as well.

    I’m hoping that the downward trend in our standard of material living will bring about a new respect for non-material things…intelligence, patience, thoughtfullness (both consideration and just plain old ‘think before you act), creativity, beauty and quality (in Robert Pirsig’s sense of the words), etc.

    There I go being a hopeless idealist again.

  42. VeryBadMan says:

    I’m with you, Amber.

  43. len bullard says:

    It isn’t hopeless, Amber, but it is simplistic.

    The greatest con of the last century is that we are free. The newest con is that somehow we will change that with the wisdom of crowds. In some ways it is the most democratic ideal but by the founders’ express intentions, it is why we are a Republic.

    They thought the common man to be idiots somewhat as the people here do. Idiots don’t own slaves. It was a pretty good con until the Civil War. They almost had it working again except they quarreled among themselves and that led to WWI. Then the Great Depression, and then we needed another Big Push, so WWII was a good answer. At the end of that one, America had most of the world’s gold, but then we needed Volkswagens AND Porsches.

    What’s a pirate nation to do when the rest of the world catches on and hoists their own Jolly Rogers?

    What is out of control is not our lifestyle but that we elect representatives who don’t represent us. And when we think we are, we find out just how quickly after the election we becomes them and then it goes right back to the same pursuit of accumulation and exclusion.

    I know of no way to keep a long tail from forming as long as it is possible to communicate wealth among free people. The Soviets thought they had the answer but it turned out to be just another mediocrity. Some Indian tribes did it by giving away all they owned once a season.

    As long as you want central air and a phone system, someone will have a lot more money than you do, and they will be sending their children to schools with children just like they would like themselves to be if they had been them to begin with.

    Randy Scouse Git.

    The irony is we said we wanted the rest of the world to be like us. It looks like it’s happening in most of the world. May having be as good as wanting.

    Then there is Africa.

  44. Jon Taplin says:

    Len- What makes you think we are still a republic?

    What makes you have such a low opinion of a country of voters who seems to be about to defy your wishes?

  45. Rick Turner says:

    Africa is home to one of the biggest die-offs since the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1917. It’s on a scale that comes all too close to the waves of Bubonic Plague in Europe and England. Want a good read? “Justinian’s Plague”…the story of how the plague came to Europe. But in Africa it’s called HIV/AIDS, and I guess you could say the monkeys have come home to roost given that the current theory is that the virus jumped from simian to human via butchering for food.

  46. len bullard says:

    Jon, are you still beating your wife?

    What make me think we are still a Republic? On paper, the Constitution. In fact, not much else.

    People guilty of high crimes have been running this country for eight years legally. Now a man who teaches mob intimidation to kids and who’s coffers are filled with illegal constributions is about to do the same. Meanwhile, a woman who really did live the American way and became a State Governor is pilloried because she has the temerity to even be on the ticket without having attended an Ivy League school.

    I don’t have a low opinion but again as the Chinese said of Nixon, this election is the epitome of what our system produces. It’s a show. It’s bread and circuses.

    And it is our way.

    Keep in mind, you have your job because a friend of Ronald Reagan who’s Dad went to prison for tax evasion sold his empire to Rupert Murdoch, so in the sense that we all end up working for the pirates, I can only say, ARGH, Matey!

    And read TV Guide.

  47. Mason Dixon says:

    Some people just talk in circles, Jon. The hopeful are hopeless, the helpful are helpless, and round and round and round. It’s depressing. Eventually, one craves a point, but it’s always on the horizon, ‘no, not that one, the one behind you, you poor, unseeing fool! I hope you can handle all your dreams not coming true instantly, the disappointment you’re going to feel when the “reality” sets in of a human being not accomplishing everything he promised. I hope you can reconcile that!’
    It’s exhausting. It just doesn’t ever ring true. It’s the same thing that bugs me about Sarah Palin. She’s trying to hide something in her phony concern. I can see it in her wink. She’s fools gold.
    In any case, I welcome the simplistic and the idealist and the hopeless. It’s, in the end, just more interesting.
    Thank you, Amber. I’m with you, too.

  48. Len said…
    Meanwhile, a woman who really did live the American way and became a State Governor is pilloried because she has the temerity to even be on the ticket without having attended an Ivy League school.

    Hey Len, she ain’t getting pilloried because she has the temerity to be on the ticket with no Ivy League she’s being pilloried because she’s on the ticket with no qualifications at all. She has limited education, no world travel/life experience that would qualify her for the job, apparently does not read the news (or even take an interest in the news until recently). You don’t have to be Ivy League to be President (or VP) but you need some relevant combination of education, experience, and (I hope…again) intellect. Three strikes. She’s out.

  49. RyanMcN says:

    @VBM(upthread a little way)

    Interesting you should mention segmentation of the market. Don’t know if you meant it in the way I’m thinking, but segmentation analysis of consumer spending data has been a key component of marketing for quite a while. (One of the names for standard 60 or so segments is where the term Yuppie came from and all… Another that always got a raised eyebrow from me was ‘Shotguns and Pickups’)

    Reading you post gave me a odd thought. Since these segments are typically used to tailor marketing campaigns, I have to wonder if regional differences and for lack of a better term ‘tribalism’ might be reinforced by the constant barrage of advertising we deal with.

    To me it almost feels like society has lost the kind of common thread that can keep a strong discussion going on the direction we should take as a whole – that as a whole we’re too busy self-identifying with those in our own little segment, and trying to drown out all those who aren’t.

    Maybe trying to break these self-reinforcing feedback loops in society is part of the way out of the mess we find ourselves in.

  50. Ryan,

    Yup! And that will be the only way we avoid the “long tail effect” that Len mentions. I for one would love to see the loops broken if only because I don’t like being reduced to a stereotype (does anyone?).

  51. VeryBadMan says:

    Ryan, good post. Breaking the feedback loop, as you succintly put it is certainly essential in order to find any peace, any freedom.

  52. Jon Taplin says:

    Ryan- Bingo!

    The trick now is for us to concentrate on how the society can regain a common thread to rebuild this broken country. I think the First 100 Days of an Obama administration are going to be as important as FDR’s 100 Days in 1932. Tomorrow we should start tackling our thoughts on that.

    We might even get Len to join us once he’s tired of throwing his Rush Limbaugh stinkbombs into the room.

  53. Hugo says:

    Gawd, Jon, flush with victory from the recent vindication of every one of your very earliest and even of your very most dire warnings of peril to our political economy, now here you are finding fresh and ever more succinct ways to prescribe the very most essential cure for our ills.

    I used to relish ribbing you, and now I can find nothing that you cannot do.

    My compliments to our host!

  54. Chris Weekly says:

    @Amber: Thanks for reminding me of Pirsig-defined “quality” (from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). It’s precisely that sort of quality that has been so sorely missing of late in our national leadership.

    @Ryan: Good thought.

    @All: I’ve spent more time in fear over the last couple months than I’d like to admit. Apocalyptic literature combined w/ this blog’s dire warnings coming to pass like clockwork don’t help. Adding fuel to the fire, I”ve come across another chilling meme: an October Surprise (in the form of US or Israel attack on Iran) resulting in the immediate end of middle eastern oil. Anyone care to comment?

  55. len says:

    @amber: “I don’t like being reduced to a stereotype (does anyone?).”

    And neither did Palin, so as she said, she answered Katie Couric flippantly about the reading because Couric was blithely stereotyping her as an Alaskan rube without having done her own homework to find out that Palin was dealing with major investment firms in the oil industry and read the same news journals a New Yorker does. You put too high a premium on the education, the punch tickets, and not nearly enough on experience and character. With all the money spent in Alaska digging up dirt, they found nothing. Why is it you can’t give her credit for her accomplishments? There is something inherently corrupt about that.

    Jon: Good one but I’m afraid you are about to see stinkbombs coming out of Chicago the like of which you’ve only had nightmares about. The connections are coming out. Rezko may be making a deal with the FBI. The tapes of the training camps are coming out and they have all the reek of Hitler Youth.

    @ryan: You can’t break the feedback loops without damping the signal first. Either you turn down the power, reequalize the signal, or turn off the source. Unless you reequalize, one and two are the emergency measures but by the time you can do that, you can lose the speakers (usually the high-end). Without controls in the system, you can’t do any of that.

    So this discussion comes down to the control classes or rerouting the signals.

    A big piece of the credit crisis is the subprime mortgages. To understand the controls, you can look at the banking system which is where most of the attention is focused. But inside that is the connection between HUD which holds foreclosed assets and the non-profits which resell these. At the heart of that, you will also find ACORN and other organizations that forced the banks through litigation to issue the subprimes. And one of their lawyers was Barack Obama.

    Call it a stink bomb if you like, but I’m not the one who made it stinky.

    Multiple uncoordinated controls over a process are the recipe for chaos (unpredictable output). Having only one is a recipe for tyranny. For that reason, most of these systems are designed to be third order systems, meaning a process organization, a controlling organization, and an oversight organization that tunes the process. In this model, the equalizers (oversight to tune the signals) failed or became corrupt.

    Rick can explain this better, but tuning a system means tuning it to the room as well. That means sampling the environment for sensitivity and compensating for that. It is one reason for the long setup time for the big boxes of the main PA and the foldback that irritate the hell out of the 3:30 drunks in a bar.

    The October Surprise is likely to be the results of a comprehensive investigation into Obama’s associates, dealings and background. A Federal lawsuit has been filed to get his legal birth certificate. I haven’t looked into that but someone believes he has used a bogus certificate. BTW, he also lost his license to practice law apparently, because of all things, failure to pay traffic tickets. It’s like Capone’s taxes: sometimes it’s a little surprise, not a big one that does the trick.

  56. Hugo says:

    I’ll try, Chris. First, the apocalyptic news. Then, the bad news.

    The geopol situation in the third and fourth week of August, centered on or about August 19, was a window on a picture far more desolating that any to which you allude in your post.

    But hey, that’s over, the Planet didn’t die, Vlad revealed himself as the neofascist (not neocommunist) that he is, and we’re all free to mock distinguished female public servants as though we all were born in Dalton, Georgia, and knew what women are good for.

    And ain’t it great even to HAVE an economy, and a household budget, to worry about? Compared to late August, the shit that’s going down now, or may go down soon in the Middle East, looks like our happy homeland in 1974. So don’t be surprised if the surprises October brings include instead a sudden outburst of gleeful lunchbreak streaking, a Pet Rock craze or two, the joyous waging — even in the arena at Caesar’s Palace — of the ongoing Battle of the Sexes (in the original War without End), a bit of nostalgic pole sitting goldfish swallowing barnstorming and general celebration of the public art of the Human Fly, a Snake River jump that hits the mark, and maybe even a Hollwood film as sublime as “The Godfather, Part Two”.

    Sure, sure, we may get nuked this month, but personally I doubt it. And even if we should lose both San Francisco AND Scranton, and access to their gorgeous fractal terraforms for a hundred years or so, still, at least the whole billiard ball won’t go from a cirulean 2 to a Scratch 8. Who knows, if Randy Newman can keep his own fine record as a seer (no, Taplin’s not the only one in Los Angeles), we’ll even save Australia just for the fun of it. And, I’d remind you, that means we can expect Dame Edna back by Christmas. What could be more 1974 than a human disco ball?

    No, Chris. God doesn’t play dice with this nation. The fundies are right about that one. And God’s Chosen don’t play loose with our elections. We play loose with theirs. Were it otherwise, there’d be hell to pay.

    I advise you to exchange your funk for Da Funk. Try to shake yer bootay, and try also never to forget Otto Von Bismarck’s concession that there is indeed “a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.”

    And that, I ask you to note, from a man accustomed to making his own providence.

  57. Hugo says:

    Chris, let me ad that Len’s well worth listening to on the matters of concern to you.

    For my own tiny part, I was just afraid all that stinky stuff Len recites would have come out earlier, when the Clinton shop was hot after it. And neither was I the one who made it stinky, any more than Len was. I just have the odd fortune of knowing some of the stinkhounds. Please bear in mind that if one happens to be one of the hounds, or one of those who keeps or rides to hounds, it’s best to leave the stink to a registered October drag hunt. Otherwise the stink clings to you as though it were your own.

    Me, they couldn’t pay to do that kind of dirty work, nor even that kind of play. But they do pay others.

    I’d rather go mountain biking any day.

  58. Chris Weekly says:

    Let me get this straight. I wrote expressing concern about the possibility of war in Iran, and your reply was [paraphrased] “Don’t worry, god thinks we’re special”?

    That is precisely the kind of “thinking” that precipitates jihad and allows elections to be appropriated.

    I have no time for your ostrich posture in metaphysics or politics, but thanks anyway.

    Anyone have a rational take on the likelihood of war in Iran?

  59. len bullard says:

    If the current trends continue, it will happen some time in the next eight years. This depends on the evolution of thinking in the Middle East about the costs of a local nuclear arms race given falling budgets as the world begins to cure itself of the addiction to oil.

    Iran is pushing for nuclear armaments. Iran’s neighbors say that if Iran goes nuclear, so will they as quickly as possible. That makes them not just a threat to the small states but to the bear to the north.

    The question is what will trigger it. Hitler faked the radio attack to justify Poland. Someone could do something similar but it is more likely the Israelis will take out the nuclear facilities they can hit although the ones that should be targeted are underground. That would make it necessary to put in ground forces and then its a question of which countries would contribute to that.

    No gains for anyone here. War is mostly about booty. In a nuclear exchange, there isn’t much left to boot.

    Cooler heads may prevail. The theocrats in Iran are not suicidal despite the rhetoric from their president generated for internal consumption. If so, then inspectors can verify the program is for energy. If not and they continue on an armaments program, some country will take them out and the question is who, when and how will that escalate.

    Suitcase nukes are the bigger worry. Set one of those off and it’s WWI and the Archduke all over again.

    The hopeful perspective is that military professionals don’t like nuclear weapons. They are by definition terror weapons and have few really justifiable tactical or strategic applications that can’t be achieved with other non-nuclear systems. That was why Reagan and Gorbachev could ramp down their stockpiles and production. At that point, most experts considered them a waste of resources and too much like keeping gasoline next to the fireplace. Iran wants them for leverage, but any sophisticated government figures out quickly that they offer no leverage at all, just a resource drain.

    So this one is up to the majlis.

  60. Hugo says:


    Not at all, Chris! PLEASE don’t take it that way! My objectives were, first, to validate the obviously excruciating sense of dread that you’ve been experiencing and, next, to let you know that the pre-game Israeli-Persian War will not happen (think post-game), and then to help you to lighten your heart, if possible, with the little more perspective I’d hoped to offer you in the first and second points. That’s all.

    As to my poetic references, the literary custom of referring to modern geopolitics in religious terms (just as religion continues to borrow martial metaphors) goes back, as you can see, at least to Bismarck. The famous English saying embellished by Bismarck was used also for the climactic line of “Henderson the Rain King”, which great novel won Professor Bellow the special recognition of the Nobel Committee. Besides, it’s still good advice: there’s no playing dice with us. Yanks don’t only make their own fortunes, they make their own fortune. It’s what the country’s for. Otherwise we’d just found another.

    Therefore we’re not going to let tiny Israel, our own semi-rebellious creature, queer one of our presidential elections. Of COURSE everyone’s read and heard FOR MONTHS the hothouse election rumors to the effect that, that since some moonlighting undergraduate stringer for Kos evidently figured it would behoove the blood-dripping Republican fiends to get Israel to initiate hostilities just before our Election Day, then ipso facto in fever that now passes for thought in a post-rational Internet reality, THAT MUST BE THE PLAN!!!!!

    Trust me, Sy Hersch, it ain’t the plan, man. Plan is multi-pronged and built around a hit from which Iran will not be hitting back. The question is whether other, opportunistic nations will seize upon the strikes as pretext. The degraded Chinese have been Janus-faced as Eternally they Be as One with All in Harmony, and Vlad made his own move too soon — a point for which I gave you injudiciously precise coordinates.

    Now you can either do your homework on August and what it means not for October but for another day soon, or else you can take a vacation. It’s your call, Chris. I recommend the break, Chris, the rest to be taken only with the necessary relaxation. I really do wish this for you. And, again, I recommend 1974-5. It was goofy-good fun, when I was there, and I just think you’d enjoy it.

    That’s all.


    Hugh de Ste.-Victoire

  61. Hugo says:

    No, Len, it is not up to them. It will be up to such men as Obama and Perry and Gates, if Ralph Stanley really is singing from The Jordan this time.

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