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September 26, 2008
The Lighter Side

Of funnyman David Brooks, on Palin:

"If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she'd be your woman.

. . . .

Whew. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. Thanks, David!

Posted by AnneZook at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)
Global Voting

I checked back on The Economist's Global Electoral College.

Lots more votes in (please, tell all of your international blog friends to vote!) and McCain remains unpopular. In fact, in an admittedly fast click-through on the list, I found only four places where he's doing well.

Israel - 33% of those voting so far favor McCain
Peru - 35% of those voting so far favor McCain
Colombia - 40% of those voting so far favor McCain
Venezuela - A whopping 44% of those voting so far favor McCain.

I did a random check of about 30-35 countries and found none with a majority favoring McCain. The four listed above gave McCain the highest approval ratings I saw.

Most of the countries seem to be running around 78% in favor of Obama.

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P.S. Someone in the comments, made me realize that I should have mentioned that there are many, many countries with 0 votes registered. This includes Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan and probably other countries that the commenter seems to fear are harboring Terrorists For Obama.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:27 PM | Comments (2)
Round 'em up

Random things I've bookmarked this week:

Yesterday, James Fallows posted about The prescience of Chuck Spinney. But really about how more than one person suspected that the McCain campaign was well on its way to imploding.

And I liked the title of Good Math, Bad Math so well that I hung around to read about Economic Disasters and Stupid Evil People

I have no idea who is behind The Power of Narrative, but there's some interesting material there. Pursuant (pursuant!) to the topic du jour, that being party politics, you should read his thoughts about the USofA's political party system and why it's an illusion. (I don't necessarily agree. But it was interesting.)

Best toy I've found this month? It's xtimeline. (Thanks to Cliopatria.)

Color me so embarrassed for Denver. And not a little angry.

I have to agree with Kevin Drum. Mocking Palin isn't funny any more. She's just too unprepared for any national office, much less being an aging and infirm heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

This Clusterfuck Nation post starts with dead carp and clog-dancing, and then it gets really interesting.

Turns out I had 10 things bookmarked on The Sideshow, so I'm just going to assume y'all have the sense to have the blog bookmarked for yourselves. (One my biggest yes moments of the week came on this post. That is how you handle hard-line negotiations with that bunch.)

I'm sure I had more, but Bloglines appears to be Having Issues today.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:15 PM | Comments (2)
September 25, 2008
My $0.02

I find that I must suspend all blogging until such time as the crisis has passed and I've had the opportunity to offer my support (or otherwise) to the networks offering a slate of questionable new television entertainment.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)
Anticipation

Quite frankly, I'm not that excited about watching an Obama-McCain debate. McCain will sound lame and Obama will sound informed and intelligent. And then the righwingnutmachine will start screaming about how intelligence and education are elitist* and we should all vote for the Regular Guy.

What I want to see is the Biden-Palin debate. Even though they've had to rewrite the rules and the format to accommodate Palin's ignorance on matters of national and global significance, it should be interesting to see if they've been able to anticipate every question that comes up (Or do they get the questions in advance?) and program her with a response.

I'm working (really) at the moment, so I don't have time to go see if the "rules" of the debate are available online. (Although the likelihood of it actually taking place seems to be growing very remote.)


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* One of the things that drives me nuttiest about living in a "democracy" is the reaction to the fact that some people are smarter than other people.

Culturally, this country has a whole weird comparison/competition thing. No one is just themselves. They're only in relation to others. (I think we should address this national feeling of inadequacy.)

I mean, people think they're poor if they make $100,000 a year, if they hear of someone who makes $500,000 a year. They don't look at their own life and see that they have a roof over their head, food to eat, and money to clothe and educate their children while having enough left-over to plan for a comfortable retirement. They look at the guy who makes $500,000 and that makes their own $100,000 look inadequate.

Similarly, someone whose perfectly acceptable, above-average IQ of 120 is sufficient for their needs, can absolutely foam at the mouth upon hearing of someone else whose IQ is 150. You are not stupid because their IQ is higher than yours, okay?

Nor is intelligence something to fear. There are other factors that determine success. (Like being born into or marrying money, but that's a different topic.) Ambition, focus, and the determination to succeed are important. Belief in a cause or causes higher than personal gain is really helpful.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:29 AM | Comments (4)
Funny and Fun

This is not funny. Hee.

The Economist would like to see everyone get a vote in the upcoming USofA presidential election. You should go look (it takes a second for the app to load). You can see, country-by-country, which candidate is most popular. It's fun--they've even assigned each country an "electoral" vote, based on the country's population. (At the moment, leaving the default in place? It shows Obama (7,898) over McCain (0). That made me giggle, but it's not a real reflection of the voting, which is light right now but I hope will increase. (BTW, right now they do show the USofA voting 77% for Obama.)

More generally, the idea that the population of the world should have a vote for other country's leaders is sort of interesting. Concepturally. I'd like to see someone consider the implications.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:56 AM | Comments (2)
Wondering

Was McCain the first major politician to use the d-word in a public statement? I mean, when he said he had to stop campaigning and get back to DC to get a bailout bill passed this week because we'd be in a Depression by Monday if he didn't. Was he the first to use the word?

I do not believe this, but I did hear a news story this morning about how much trouble Spain's economy is in because of the bursting of their housing bubble. Also, France and Italy.

(Via Avedon Carol)

Posted by AnneZook at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)
September 24, 2008
Answer me this

For anyone silly enough to not be reading Avedon Carol or who didn't see/doesn't remember Kevin Drum's post last December.

Blog_CBO_Income_Inequality_2007.jpg

Is this what a pre-Depression Looks Like? 'Cause, as I understand it, gross inequity in the distribution of wealth was a big problem in '29.

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(Pardon the poor quality of the graphic. I've resized it to make it more viewable, but I lost some quality. The original post is here and well worth reading.)


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Thanks to Ahistoricality, here's another graph that's even more pertinent to my question.

Posted by AnneZook at 06:26 PM | Comments (1)
Pardon me?

Mr. Obama tries to start putting together a bipartisan solution to the crisis on Wall Street. McCain is eager to ride on the coattails of the front-runner's better-qualified staff but is even more eager to be the first to claim public credit for what was supposed to be a semi-private (i.e., part of their jobs, not their campaigns) agreement.

McCain wants to suspend his campaign, pretending that he and his staff of Washington insiders and lobbyists need to get home, because the crisis can't be solved without them?

He wants to cancel Friday's debate (an event at which, I should mention, he has almost no chance of being declared "the winner").

And he wants Mr. Obama, whose numbers seem to be improving daily, to suspend his campaign, as well?

Pardon me, but has anyone else noticed that McCain is completely imploding?

Posted by AnneZook at 02:47 PM | Comments (7)
September 23, 2008
It Was An Iceberg

It may be a gross oversimplication, but at least this talks about the current financial crisis in terms we can all understand. Basically, people wanted more safe places to invest their money than existed. So a complicated system of issuing, packaging, and "insuring" high-risk loans was created. These looked safe, but weren't. The pile reached critical mass and is starting to melt down. (Thanks to Ahistoricality for pointing me to the article.)

Those little bumps in the economy that George Bush, in his short-sighted ignorance, has been telling us to spend our way out of? That sloppy mess on the floor of Wall Street? This Administration's burning desire to spend every dollar it can beg, borrow, or steal on killing people overseas?

Turns out, we should have looked under the water. There was an iceberg, with the D-word attached to it, lurking just out of sight. Not many people have the courage to say it, but we've been "led" perilously close to the D-word, and we're not out of the woods yet. I guess we should all stop to pay tribute to The Good Life. It may be over.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:06 AM | Comments (2)
Paranoia Running Deep

Maybe I'm imagining things? But I'm thinking that this is actually a sign that ol' Jeb hasn't entirely given up his dreams of a White House run.

(Seriously. This country has had all the Bush leadership it can really afford.)

Posted by AnneZook at 09:34 AM | Comments (2)
Otherwise

Pausing in my attempt to comprehend our current financial woes, I see that the Republican vice-presidential nominee is becoming very unpopular. Anyone but me think it's an interesting coincidence that this seems to have happened a week or so after the national media abruptly decided to start fact-checking the candidates?

(So, you know, people who think Mr. Obama should lie more might want to reconsider.)

Posted by AnneZook at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)
September 22, 2008
Quickly!

It's 20 minutes until autumn. I need to get outside and enjoy the last balmy minutes of summer! But we have a financial crisis on our hands and the government may (or may not) have offered a plan to get us out of it. Jim Kunstler isn't crazy about the plan but Andrew Tobias seems to approve. I'm so confused. Are we doing the right thing or not?

Ahistoricality shares a letter to Congress, and I'm thinking I agree. I don't understand everything I read when I tried to read about the plan, but it looks pretty vague to me.

Under the heading of whatthehell?, I'd have to put this information, and now I completely disapprove and I'm rolling my eyes over the Bush Administration's persistent insanity.

Obama doesn't like it. He wants a real plan.

Even McCain is against it, although probably for the wrong reasons. (You know how I feel about that.) Krugman, as usual, is able to lay the problem out in a fashion I can understand.

Okay, I've decided. (For the moment.) I'm agin' it. It's a badly constructed plan, thrown together in the middle of a panic. It won't just make things worse before they get better. It will simply make them worse.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:24 AM | Comments (2)
September 21, 2008
I am SO in love

Bartlett advises Obama.

Mr. Obama, are you listening?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:48 PM | Comments (2)