Friday, November 28, 2008

Obsessive

Let's hope this doesn't become a regular event following jury trials.

Backhanded Much?

This is not much of a compliment.

Monday, November 24, 2008

So Painful

So I'm watching the Big Bang Theory right now. Great show. Really very creative and funny. And I think this is actually a pretty funny episode. But I can't enjoy it. Why?

Halfway through the episode, the sound went kaffluey. Define "kaffluey"? Gladly. Kaffluey is a word meaning that the laugh track and all dubbed sound effects stayed at the same volume, but the dialog dropped to half volume. In other words, in order to hear the dialog, I've had to turn up the volume so that the laugh track is almost deafening.

As if laugh tracks weren't annoying enough as it is...

UPDATE: Stayed true for the first couple of minutes of How I Met Your Mother (but seemed even worse). Then a split second camera freeze and all was well!

Zap

Sweet.

Common Sense?

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking isn't all that common. Maybe it will resurge someday?

Let's hope so.

No Clinton for SecState?

So it turns out appointing Hillary might be unconstitutional? That's simply fascinating. Who knew there was an emoluments clause?

See also.

$873 Million for Facebook

Quite a judgment over a little bit of spam. Just a couple of questions, though. First off, the nerdy, lawyerly side of me wants to know how they got jurisdiction in California over a Canadian. CNET is obviously not catering to the lawyerly. It was a default judgment, which makes me wonder if the defendant thinks he can collaterally attack the judgment on jurisdictional grounds if Facebook seeks a to seize assets in another jurisdiction.

And then there's this:
Facebook doesn't expect to necessarily collect the money because "it's unlikely that Geurbez and Atlantis Blue Capital could ever honor the judgment rendered against them," Max Kelly, Facebook's director of security, wrote in a blog posting on Monday. "We are confident that this award represents a powerful deterrent to anyone and everyone who would seek to abuse Facebook and its users."
Someone explain to me how it's a deterrent if you're already giving up on collecting? And isn't it just possible that Geurbez knew they wouldn't and couldn't collect, so he just didn't show up?

Flying WiFi

Popsci has tried out Virgin Air's in-flight wifi. Sounds pretty comparable to what I've experienced on the Bolt Bus between New York and DC. Beats the alternative—i.e. no wireless—but not always by very much.

It's a Crappy Job

But someone's got to do it.

Just incredible what it takes to keep NY humming. This is not a job I could handle with sanity.

Arrrrr

I know who I'm rooting for. Do you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gross. And Dumb.

I gotta say, if I was going to beg on my knees, I would have sacked up just that once and flown coach.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'll Say it Again...

I'm a broken record
James Carville once declared that the name for candidates who rely on the youth vote is "loser."

Okay, I'm Pro-Guns and Everything, But...

This is a little intense for me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Super Mayor

I think this is what Americans want form every mayor.

Seriously, nice work. Certainly better than former Mayor Barry would have done...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This is 60 Minutes

Watched the Obamas on 60 Minutes. TigerHawk does a pretty good job summing things up. In particular, I agree with this:
One thing I like about Michelle is that she pops Barack's balloon a little bit, at least when he runs a victory lap to being Mr. Modern on the home front. He claims that doing the dishes "can be soothing," and she says "when have you been soothed by doing the dishes?" It is important for people in power to have spouses that straighten them out.
I also laughed pretty hard at the "I don't tell my mother-in-law what to do" exchange.

Michelle impressed me with her explanation of why they're waiting to get a puppy. Recognizing that they should wait until they've settled into a routine sometime in late-Spring seems like the sign of a very mature parent. Good for her.

And please note that the President-elect apparently makes his tuna salad the same way I do—chopping pickles into the mixture. It's the only way to go.

Cool... and Not

Is it possible for something to strike you as cool and disturb you at the same time?

Apparently, it is.

Sound Familiar?

Okay, so Randazzo says it better than I do, but I think this is the right idea.

The Great Depression II

A very interesting discussion of what a modern Depression would look like. Worth a read.

I'll Say It Again

They don't vote:
Exit polling suggests that there was no statistically significant increase in voting among either group. Black voters made up 11 percent of the electorate in 2004 and 13 percent in 2008, while young voters comprised 17 percent of all voters in 2004 and 18 percent four years later.

The surge in young and African American voters is not entirely the stuff of myth, however. Although their percentages as a portion of the electorate didn't increase measurably, Obama did seven points better among black voters than Sen. John F. Kerry did in 2004 and scored a 13-point improvement over Kerry's total among young voters.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Amazing

You'd think that fire would be a great equalizer. And Oprah, apparently, tried to treat it that way. But something just struck me about this statement:
"I don't have kids, so the most important thing for me is my dogs," Winfrey said. "And so we already had a plan for getting the dogs out and going to the Four Seasons in Westlake because they take dogs."
The concern for family and pets is so normal, and shows the equalizing effects of fire and the same needs that everyone have for an evacuation plan.

Of course, then things get weird. What's Oprah's plan? The Four Seasons in Westlake. For most people it's getting to the nearest high school that has cots set up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Screw Al Gore

He wants to kill our descendants.

Awesome.

Me want.

Hmmm.

Am I the only one who thinks that this kind of thing should be classified?

Wow.

Just wow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sounds Like Common Sense

I'll reserve final judgment until I have time to read the whole decision (should be sometime in January), but it seems to me that this makes sense. Human lives should outweigh marine mammals.

Um.

Wtf? This cannot be sanitary. Giving birth in an inflatable pool in the open kitchen of an apartment in Astoria, Queens? I mean, yikes.

Some people are just stupid.

Ain't Over Yet

Yes, P.J. is right. We blew it:
None of this is the fault of the left. After the events of the 20th century--national socialism, international socialism, inter-species socialism from Earth First--anyone who is still on the left is obviously insane and not responsible for his or her actions. No, we on the right did it.
But that doesn't mean it's time to give up. It's just time to figure out how to get it back.

Still read the whole thing, P.J. is pissed. And funny.

I Disagree

Ed Kilgore has some interesting thoughts on the state of the Republican Party. I concede that I should take his ideas with a grain of salt if only because he writes for a journal called The Democratic Strategist. But I think he significantly misstates the current choices facing Republicans. He may do this intentionally to limit those choices and maintain the GOP's current stagnation, or he may just be an idiot. I'll let you decide. But let's take a look.
For those Democrats who were settling down with a bag of popcorn to watch an orgy of ideological strife among Republicans, it's beginning to become apparent that the war may be over before it began. Sure, there's plenty of finger-pointing and personal recriminations over tactics and strategy, some of it focused on the McCain-Palin campaign, and some looking back to the errors of the Bush administration. There's clearly no consensus on who might lead Republicans in 2010 or 2012. But on the ideological front, for all the talk about "movement conservatives" or "traditionalists" at odds with "reformers," it's a pretty one-sided fight.
I'd love some definitions. Or citations. Or something to tell me what Kilgore means by these three categories. Movement conservatives, of course, are usually set at odds with the "Old Right," which I would call traditionalists. Kilgore seems to think that they're the same thing, which confuses me. And then there are reformers. I suppose this is like reformed judaism? In other words, conservatives who don't think we need to appeal to the old ways?

Okay, so how do we classify someone like me? I'm a libertarian conservative. I believe very strongly in small government, period. Low taxes, little interference in our lives, social liberties, civil liberties, etc. Am I a movement conservative? Well, based on my understanding of the definition, no. Am I a traditional conservative? I'd again argue, no. Am I a reformer? Probably not? I don't know.

The problem is, Kilgore paints a fight between "moderate/liberal" Republicans and... something else. But the term "moderate Republican" doesn't mean anything precisely because you cannot contrast it with anything. The mistake here is the characterization. The battle isn't about moderation, it's about direction. It's between small-government conservatives (often not among those considered "moderate") and big-government "conservatives." It's between fiscal conservatism and social conservatism. On this scale, you can see quite readily where I fit. One more quote:
Karl Rove's famous strategy for building a permanent Republican majority, which relied on strategic public-sector activism deisgned to attract Latinos (immigration reform); seniors (Medicare Rx drug benefit); and married women with kids (No Child Left Behind), was based on the recognition that there simply wasn't a majority for hard-core small government conservatism.
No, there isn't. Never has been. Hopefully someday will be. But Rove's "famous strategy" failed. Why?

Rove's strategy was predicated on the idea that small-government conservatives would always vote Republican, so he could safely expand the role of government to win these other constituencies without losing the base. Well, he was wrong. He lost the small government conservatives as Republicans violated the premise of the Reagan Revolution. Reagan brought social conservatives in because he convinced them that their ideals were best protected by protecting everyone from the government.

He succeeded, and the social conservative movement took over, abandoned those beliefs, and decided to use government to their advantage.

And the rest of us left the party.

So don't listen to Kilgore. This isn't about moderates vs. traditionalists. This is about sticking to the principle of small government.

[Apologies if this post is a bit disjointed. I'm still working through some of these thoughts, and should have more in the coming days and weeks to clarify my position. In the meantime, this post gets at the same idea, but a little more effectively.]

Worth Remembering

From Thomas Sowell:
But the ignorance of Ph.D.s is still ignorance and high-IQ groupthink is still groupthink, which is the antithesis of real thinking.

Marriage Rights

The fight over Proposition 8 is irrelevant and a waste of time. Both sides are utterly and completely wrong. No, I don't believe that the Proposition should have been passed, but neither do I think it was opposed effectively.

The gay lobby has been fighting for the wrong thing all along.

Consider this:
When people speak of marriage as a 'right,' they really are not speaking of a right to marriage, but a 'right' to a marriage license. Yet true rights (such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion) are not -- and by their nature cannot be -- subject to licensing.
If marriage were treated as a right, it would not be subject to licensing.

In the normal scope of things, activities that are licensed -- cutting hair, flying planes, driving 18 wheelers, practicing law, medicine, etc. -- are not rights at all, but occupational choices that require training, which are regulated by the state.
So how should the gay lobby approach these issues? Well, for one, don't stand on top of police cars...More generally, I'd advise against direct confrontation with police of any kind.

Okay, so that's a bit of a joke. But grow up, people. Massive protests of this kind are not going to help your cause. In fact, in many cases it can even reduce support where it previously existed.

Take a breath, calm down, and rethink your strategy.

Ten years ago, states did not recognize gay marriage. Then several state supreme courts handed down decisions recognizing a constitutional right to it. Result? Many states now have constitutional bans against gay marriage. We have quite obviously moved in the wrong direction, from the perspective of the gay lobby.

Maybe that's a result of strategic errors?

Look at the polling, people. Gay marriage is trending towards acceptance. It sucks for the old gay couples who've waited their whole lives to get married, but it's time to stop suing and let popular opinion catch up with you. Give it ten years, and the whole thing will be mooted.

Or, you can keep pushing as you have, and keep the (still) majority of people opposed to gay marriage pushing back and erecting ever higher roadblocks to your agenda.

And in the meantime, react violently to the passage of Prop 8. Definitely call your opponents bigots. For sure attack their religious convictions. That's sure to win additional support.

More thoughts here.

Heresy!

This is precisely the kind of crap that pisses me off:
The result was an industry that became brain dead.

Nothing typified this more than statements like those of Bob Lutz, G.M.’s vice chairman. He has been quoted as saying that hybrids like the Toyota Prius “make no economic sense.” And, in February, D Magazine of Dallas quoted him as saying that global warming “is a total crock of [expletive].”
Friedman is making a point about the sorry state of Detroit automakers. He has some very good points to make. Even concedes that part of the problem is "overly generous labor contracts," which is as far as liberals will generally go to acknowledge how destructive unions can be.

But his evidence of a "brain dead" industry is one executive's denial of global warming? Isn't it slightly more "brain dead" to accept science-by-consensus and condemn those who dare to question it? Admittedly, Lutz's method wasn't exactly intellectually stimulating. But still, this is the evidence that they're unworthy of help?

Friedman's next piece of evidence, of course, follows a similar course:
And please, spare me the alligator tears about G.M.’s health care costs. Sure, they are outrageous. “But then why did G.M. refuse to lift a finger to support a national health care program when Hillary Clinton was pushing for it?” asks Dan Becker, a top environmental lobbyist.
This time, it's revenge! Okay, not really. Friedman is a bit more nuanced than that. It's more "why should we care about their high healthcare costs when they could have done something to shift that burden to the government years ago?"

Well, okay. But does Friedman think that universal healthcare would be free to GM? That's crazy. It's got to be paid for somehow, and it's most likely going to come out of corporate taxes. And what are the chances that Friedman would be more sympathetic if GM was currently complaining about excessive corporate taxes? Slim to none.

Just to be clear, I don't think we should be bailing out the auto industry. I think there's a mechanism in place for that, and it's called bankruptcy.

But Friedman's arguments are crap.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Romanette

Oh, John. Silly, silly John.

No, seriously, I didn't know that either.

I'd Be In Trouble

My mom still sometimes wonders aloud if she can put me up for adoption.

Guess it's a good thing I don't live in Nebraska.

False Principles

We see it everywhere, but the latest example comes from the Democrats in Congress. Once again something espoused as a principle comes crashing down in flames when it is deemed inconvenient.

"Pay as you go" was treated as sacredly as any Democratic issue in the 2006 elections as a means to condemn the loose spending and tax-cutting of the Republicans who had been in power. Once the roles shift, however, it becomes handcuffs that need to be shed.

Similarly, Republicans were the party of small government—until the social conservatives came into power and decided they could use the government to advance their moralist agenda.

And regularly we see people praise the Constitution. That is, until reading it literally precludes a desirable end. Then it's defenestration time.

What happened to people who believe in something beyond utilitarian principles?

Boston Legal

Complicated issue, to be sure. But Boston Legal last night had one of the most mature treatments of abortion that I've ever seen.

Really remarkable what that show accomplishes.

That being said, Jerry shouldn't be so self-satisfied with his victory. He may have dodged a conviction for aggravated assault, but would likely still face a civil suit for assault and battery—and there, he'd have to overcome a preponderance of the evidence, rather than merely assert a reasonable doubt.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trust Me

Read it.

Redefining the Presidency

Um. What the hell?
President-elect Obama has said that "the one thing I can say with certainty is that we are going to need a stimulus package passed either before or after my inauguration."
Since when does the President-elect play a role in legislation passed before his inauguration?

Right Again

Interesting:
Despite widespread predictions of record turnout in this year’s presidential election, roughly the same portion of eligible voters cast ballots in 2008 as in 2004.

Between 60.7 percent and 61.7 percent of the 208.3 million eligible voters cast ballots this year, compared with 60.6 percent of those eligible in 2004, according to a voting analysis by American University political scientist Curtis Gans, an authority on voter turnout.
Hmmm. I swear I heard somebody predicting that before the election. Who could that have been? Oh well. Since nobody reads this blog (and certainly didn't before the election), nobody knew it.

What's interesting here, then, is the massive lines and waits reported at polling locations across the country. Maybe it's about time that we had a serious national discussion about our inability to conduct an election smoothly? Maybe?

Ain't TV Grand?

I get the distinct feeling that Rummy and W were watching The Unit.

Some Right, Some Wrong

An interesting piece, written by a Brit, claims that Obama's cult of personality is largely similar to the one that surrounded Princess Diana. The point is not without merit, but what really caught my eye was this:
I was in Washington DC the night of the election. America’s beautiful capital has a sad secret. It is perhaps the most racially divided city in the world, with 15th Street – which runs due north from the White House – the unofficial frontier between black and white. But, like so much of America, it also now has a new division, and one which is in many ways much more important. I had attended an election-night party in a smart and liberal white area, but was staying the night less than a mile away on the edge of a suburb where Spanish is spoken as much as English, plus a smattering of tongues from such places as Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan.
I live on 14th Street, which, for those unfamiliar with DC geography, is one block East of 15th Street. It's true, from what I understand, that 15th Street used to be a hard line between black and white, and in some places still acts as such, if only because the projects were built along 14th Street. But by in large, this is a pretty silly image of DC. In the past decade, even the blackest, "segregated" pockets of DC have been touched by pockets of gentrification.

In fact, what's interesting is quite the opposite from the point above. What's amazing in DC is that if you go 2 blocks in some direction from just about any wealthy, white neighborhood, you'll find yourself in a poor, black neighborhood—and vice versa.

And sure, it's a form of segregation that the black residents primarily live in poor neighborhoods while the white residents don't—but that's not the same thing as claiming a line of segregation can be drawn through the middle of the city.

ObamaDay?

I don't really understand this idea. I mean, it makes sense to make inauguration day a national holiday on some level—but not an Obama-holiday. As Professor Reynolds suggests, why not wait until he's actually done something?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Everybody Makes Mistakes

Oops.

Chris Matthews: Idiot

So Chris Matthews thinks it's his job "to make this presidency work, because America needs a successful presidency."

So, when he and others spent the last 8 years tearing down the current Commander in Chief... a successful presidency then would have been, what, bad for the country?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Um, No

I'm sorry, but everyone knows that bacon would be a Republican.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Now Hear This

I may not have been right about everything, but I was right about turnout. Turnout for the major party candidates was down over 4 years ago. Young people did not turn out any more than they usually do. And in order for the popular vote to be as close as it was, a lot of those undecideds must have broken for McCain.

It wasn't enough, but in a year where Republicans really ought to have been lucky to get a single vote, it's pretty remarkable.

We hear the rhetoric of Obama uniting the country, and the liberals I'm surrounded by certainly proclaim it—but now let's see if they actually perform it. This is still a very divided country.

MORE: Ilya Somin reaches similar conclusions.

White House CoS

So apparently the job has been offered to Rahm Emanuel.

I'm very mixed on this idea. I like Emanuel's effectiveness, and respect his principles. But I think Congress will be poorer without him, and I think a President Obama will be significantly stronger with him—both of which concern me quite a bit.

I'm going to have to do some thinking on this one.

One Last Thought...

...before I go to bed.

Earlier tonight, CNN was looking at exit polls, and I heard a remarkable statistic. Apparently, if you look at voters who identified race as their primary issue in this election, and compare them with all other voters, the percentage of the vote for and against Barack Obama were nearly identical. This was pointed out before we knew who was going to win.

This is remarkable. This means, in a nutshell, that race had zero effect in this election. If Obama had lost, it would not have been because of race. Likewise, that he won had nothing to do with race.

Martin Luther King, Jr., eat your heart out—we're a hell of a lot closer to that dream than you might ever have actually imagined.

And, in all honesty, Oprah Winfrey had a lot to do with this outcome. Not because of her stumping for Obama—that almost hurt her seriously. No, because of what she's done before this campaign.

Oprah is the first post-racial public figure in this country. She came into the living rooms of the women of America and presented herself not as a black woman, but as a business woman, and a damn successful one. She has never hidden from her race—in fact she's proclaimed it proudly—but that's not what she focused on. She taught many Americans how to see through (not past, through) the color of someone's skin.

And tonight, the country collectively took that one step further.

Remarkable.

A New New Deal?

Before you jump on board, you might want to learn a little. This piece helps set the story straight on what actually caused the Great Depression, and what government-led attempts to fix the crisis actually wrought.

Hope for Change

Like InstaPundit, I really hope he's right.

Sore Winners

I will update this over the next few days as I see and hear more. Feel free to add your own to the comments. Feel free to also provide examples of sore loser Republicans, but I haven't seen any yet.

Examples of Democrat gloating:
  • [Redacted] is wondering if John McCain would still joke that rape can be enjoyable.
  • Palin in 2012??? don't hold your breath
  • [Redacted] is going to sleep well for the first time in 8 years.
  • ..McCain concedes: PRICELESS.
  • Kentucky... the asshole of America
  • [Redacted] is unable to adjust to not being angry at government anymore. For now...
  • I feel okay about wearing red white and blue again...
  • [Redacted] finds it interesting that the majority of America's best educated voters, along with the wealthiest, voted for Obama!!
  • [Redacted] is looking forward to President Obama taking out the trash in the White House.

Paul Begala

CNN: Anderson Cooper just commented on the fact that McCain was cheered in Obama's speech while Obama was booed in McCain's. Paul Begala said (paraphrased) "Look, nobody likes to lose. On the campaign trail there were some people in the crowds, particularly at Palin speeches, who were rude. But I didn't think this was rude tonight. You're at the Biltmore, you want to see your guy win, you're disappointed. That's all there is."

Absolutely right, Paul, and it shows that you are gracious in victory. I raise my glass.

DC Tonight

Since the major networks all called the election for Obama, there has been a constant chorus of cheering and honking outside my window.

Remarkable.

I may not love the outcome, but I do love this country.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy New Election!

It looks like this one's pretty much over--which means it's time for the next one to begin!

I expect the first candidates to start announcing sometime next week.

All that's left to say about 2008 is: let's hope no one gets a shot off at Obama between now and January.

What a shitshow that would be.

Doomsday?

An interesting post of election day scenarios from Reader's Digest. In particular, note Scenario 3:
Obama, as Ronald Reagan did in 1980, attracts the passionate support of all those in his own party, nails down the late-deciding swing voters, and proves a magnet to first-time voters, many of them young Americans going to the polls for the first time. In addition, Obama attracts record numbers of African American votes, and minority support across the spectrum. The election returns offer further proof of the accelerated erosion of support for the Republican Party in New England and the Eastern seaboard, as well as among onetime "Reagan Democrats" in the Midwest. Conversely, it offers a rejuvenation of Democrats' fortunes in the bellwether western states such as New Mexico and Nevada, and demonstates Democratic Party inroads into previously difficult terrain ranging from Virginia to North Dakota. McCain even loses his home state of Arizona. The geographic map that emerges on Wednesday makes the Republican Party seem like a regional party, with appeal only in the deepest South and pockets of mountain West. Worse still, the returns reveal a demographic ghetto as well: The GOP has become the party of social conservatives and older whites—exclusively. Its future as a national party is called into doubt. That's the Republican doomsday scenario.
It's funny, but this isn't really the doomsday scenario for the Republicans I know. Maybe that's because most of us are libertarians who'd like to see the GOP collapse and a new party take its place.

I'm not saying the Libertarian party, as they're a bit whacky at times. Maybe the Federalist Party?

Another Undecided Voter

Evan Coyne Malone pretty much says it all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More on Polling

Here.

D-Triple-C

Just got a call from the DCCC.

They want money to fight Republican efforts to discourage African American voters from turning out, and to make sure that I turn out. Why they don't know that I'm registered Republican, I don't know.

Even better are the particular allegations made. Republicans apparently are encouraging a higher-than-normal police presence at the polls to catch people with outstanding warrants for their arrest, and Democrats are concerned that his will deflate turn-out among their constituency.

Is that really something they want to publicize?

It's Almost Over!

Election day, t-minus 1. Time to get out some thoughts that have been rattling around my head.

Polling
The polling in this election has been unbelievable. Everyone has commented on the way polls seem to oscillate wildly, yet most still generally believe that Obama will walk away with it. I'm not so sure.

I'll concede that it's very unlikely that McCain can pull out a victory. And that victory would likely come from somewhere near his colon. But it's possible. Why?

Every poll either queries registered voters, or relies on some calculation of "likely" voters. I submit that the estimation of who's likely to vote and who isn't is wrong. The common wisdom currently suggests that we'll see a surge primarily among two groups: youths and african americans. The latter is probably right—blacks have finally achieved the top, with an african american as a major party nominee—but the former is unbelievable to me. It seems that every few years (most recently in 2004), we're told that the young people are energized, and passionate about this election. I don't buy it.

I didn't save the link, because I didn't anticipate starting this blog today, but I read this morning that young voters make up 17% of eligible voters in states that offer early voting. They've turned out thus far as something around 8% of the early electorate. That's 47% of eligible young people turning out, which is slightly higher than typical (around 45%), but not much. And, if you think about it, early voting is more likely to appeal to young voters who lead busy, social lives, and would appreciate the flexibility of voting over a period of time rather than on one date.

If the youth do not turn out as expected, then every poll of "likely" voters is wrong. And since the youth overwhelmingly support Obama, this represents a serious drop in expected support for the Democratic ticket.

Another key element is the undecided vote. Ordinarily, undecided voters who break late go to the challenger. The closest thing to a challenger in this election is Obama, since his campaign has had a large degree of success in linking McCain to the incumbent administration. The problem here is the nature of this election. Purely anecdotally, I know several voters who were undecided until a few days ago. By in large, these are people who traditionally (or even recently) have voted Republican, but are upset by the current behavior of that party. When forced to choose, however, these people were never really going to vote Obama. Everyone I know who is voting Obama made up his mind long ago. Everyone I know who has been struggling with it seems to be coming down for McCain, though holding their noses to do it. (See e.g. Mike Rappaport).

If undecideds do break for largely for McCain, this becomes an entirely new election. If they stay home, things will stay pretty much as they appear.

For more on this, with particular reference to the "spiral of silence," a British polling issue, read Daniel Finkelstein's piece for TimesOnline.

Media
The performance of the Media in this election has been embarrassing. No two ways about it.

The best summary of their poor performance that I've seen is probably Douglas MacKinnon's blog post on the subject for the NYT. He points to a Politico piece from last week, asking why McCain has been "hosed" in the press, drawing particular attention to the conclusion "So what?"

I remember reading that last week, and thinking very similarly to MacKinnon:
“So what?” Those two cavalier words alone speak to the larger problem. Who cares if “80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election” will vote for Barack Obama? Journalists, their editors, management, the candidates and the American people should care.
I agree. We should all care. The press has consistently given Obama a pass on what should be major points of contention. They've also done his dirty work for him, conducting opposition research not just on Republican agents, but the now-famous Joe the Plumber, whose only sin was to be home when Obama came to his house.

The performance of the media has been shameful. Let's just hope that if Obama does win this thing, they pull an about-face and take their responsibilities more seriously.
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I may have more comments as the day progresses, and as news coverage comes out tomorrow. Even though no one is reading this, check back for more!

Welcome

Now that the election is drawing to a close, I finally feel comfortable spinning up a new blog. I've blogged before, and those who know my identity probably know what those blogs have been. Otherwise, I'm going to tend not to reference any of my previous works for the sake of anonymity. I have no desire to have blogging affect my career prospects.

Though I've previous focused on politics, or very briefly on personal issues, this will be more of a general purpose blog. I'm sure I'll comment fairly often on political issues, but I'll also bring in legal questions, television (I watch a lot), and general topics from my day-to-day life.

Welcome to the Columbian Exchange!