What's on my mind?
You're too old to dress up for Halloween, or care about whether or not other people dress up for Halloween.
If you've commented on a post lately, I finally got around to replying to them. Thank you for your patience. That is all.
This makes me sad. Not that bibliobloggers are getting together, of course, but that I won't be able to make it, as I'll be going to a wedding. Alas, 'til next year.
If Obama is "arguably the single most liberal Democrat ever" and Americans are getting ready to vote him into office with a historically strong majority, doesn't that mean necessarily mean that Americans want a really liberal president right now...what am I missing?
I know it's a sad time to be a Republican: your standard bearer for the last eight years has done such a bad job that people are now repudiating the party in droves to vote for the most liberal nominee of my lifetime. The Republicans got shellacked in the 2006 elections, and people decided that wasn't enough, and they're at it again for the 2008 elections. But continually pointing out how liberal Obama or the Democrats are only highlights how much people want to vote for Democrats and liberals and how little they want to vote for conservatives and Republicans.
A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”Collectively own resources??...Share in the wealth?!?! NOOOO!
In related news, I'm sure the conservative blogosphere will be up in arms over this development in no time. I would simply recommend caution. There's really no way of knowing what a socialist will do when cornered.
to say that something is "the most regressive it's been since the end of the first World War" means that it is more regressive than anything since then, not that it is regressive.
I don't know why gas costs so little in Sherman, TX. I just know I love paying as little as I have in 4 years. To think, all those years with high gas prices, and all we needed was a global recession.
Than showing up at chick fil a and realizing you left your wallet at home?
I really am trying to respond to them. But in between work and class, I've had basically no time in the past few days. This post right now is coming at the expense of a 25-page paper on Hebrews due later today. I promise by Thursday, things will be right as rain. Also, check out that dog!
I just overheard the couple next to me in Starbuck's discussing 2 Timothy 1:7. How liberal can you get!
But I'm holding a ticket from McDonald's with "$10000" written on it. I'm pretty sure I'm rich now.
Nick Fein, political correspondent, has got to be a years-long performance art piece by Lorne Michaels to see just how unfunny a joke can be.
Especially if it's raining.
My lovely girlfriend, reminding me of the perils of non-air travel:
me: "I hate flying so much. You think we can take a boat to our honeymoon?"
her: "No... dont u remember the titanic..."
I'm on my way into New York for work. Any advice for a poor little country boy like me?
The season premiere is here. Best quote:
"we might not be the best people..."Oh, 30 Rock, how I've missed you.
"but we're not the worst."
(in unison) "graduate students are the worst."
Focus on the Family goes into the future and sees the coming liberal-homosexual apocalypse (warning: PDF link). But don't worry, 'cause:
Of course, there are many evangelical Christians supporting Senator Obama as well as many supporting Senator McCain. Christians on both sides should continue to respect and cherish one another’s friendship as well as the freedom people have in the United States to differ on these issues and to freely speak their opinions about them to one another.In other words, "hey liberal christians, you're going to end America, but it's not that big a deal." Nice.
[Via Drew Tatusko]
Self-satirist Pat Buchanan:
The media cannot get enough of the "Saturday Night Live" impersonations of Palin as a bubblehead. News shows pick up the Tina Fey clips and run them and run them to the merriment of all.Looks like some elitist, anti-American New York lawyers are gonna have to saddle up, 'cause SNL's having Maya Rudolph back on to do the future first lady.
Can one imagine "Saturday Night Live" doing weekly send-ups of Michelle Obama and her "I've never been proud" of my country, this "just downright mean" America, using a black comedienne to mimic and mock her voice and accent?
"Saturday Night Live" would be facing hate-crime charges.
Michael Svigel wants help coming up with litmus tests for evangelicals. He's come up with seven so far, but I'm sure there are quite a few more out there:
1. At least half of all businesses you patronize have a fish symbol in the window.
2. Without hesitation you can complete the phrase, “And all God’s people said…”
3. You’ve attended or watched Billy Graham crusades even though you’ve been saved for decades.
4. You really believe FoxNews is fair and balanced.
5. You’ve done two of the four following activities: attended a stewardship seminar, attended a marriage conference, homeschooled your children, or boycotted a
6. You know the meaning of at least three of the four following abbreviations: TBN, BJU, NIV, and SBC.
7. You actually understand numbers 1–6.
Can this seriously still be a problem? How hard can it possibly be to rig up a secure electronic voting system?
Look's like it's just gonna be YouTube clips today:
I'm glad to be able to say I'm voting for the candidate who's comfortable embracing his opponents, as opposed to castigating them. I'm proud to be able to support the candidate who listens to his dissenters, and doesn't attempt to alienate them as "anti-American."
That's someone I could've gotten behind.
"I can't get too political because I don't know enough," the Detroit rapper said. "I mean, I know we are going into a recession. Pardon the cliché, but we need something to change. I think Barack would be a breath of fresh air, to get in there and actually get what's left of the Bush administration out the door."
The basic credit card business model is pretty bizarre. With a mortgage, the bank lends out money. In exchange, they charge interest on the loan. There’s a risk of default, but the basic business model is that you’re hoping most of your customers pay their bills on time. With credit cards, though, you don’t make any money off people who pay their bills on time. You’re hoping your customers won’t pay what they owe you, thus letting you start tagging them with the high interest rates and sundry penalties. But of course you don’t want your customers to default either. It’s a delicate balance.
The terrorists don't hate us, they're just testing our presidents for us.
I was born in 1983, so I think I'm just on the cusp. Which means that I am eminently lazy, and expect my every wish to be catered to upon my entrance into the professional world. Fortunately, I am in good company.
If you buy gas in this country, you pay taxes. If your state has a sales tax, you pay taxes. If you want a permit for your small business, you pay taxes. If you want to buy a house or a new car, you pay taxes. If you want to invest in the stock market (unlikely, I know) or you want to save for retirement, chances are, you pay taxes. If you have any job whatsoever, there's a little thing called FICA, and you'd better be paying taxes. There are lots of ways to pay taxes, and the income tax is merely one of them.
I've been reading a lot lately about whether or not Obama's winning by enough. That is, with all the events to go in his favor lately, why isn't his lead bigger. Better writers and poll readers than I have already taken up this question, but I wanted to respond particularly to Owen Weddle of A Reflective Christian. He recently posted on how he thinks that Obama's recently flagging lead is indicative of a larger trend:
I think this goes to show the weakness of Obama more than anything else. If Obama was a strong candidate, with the economy as it is and the relatively lackluster McCain and the fading star of Palin, then this election would have been done and over at this point. We would be comparing this election to Reagan/Mondale already (originally wrote Dukakis, but I got my insignificant losing presidential candidates mixed up!).We responded back and forth for a bit, and Owen fleshed out his thoughts on Obama:
Don’t get me wrong, I still stand by my prediction and think Obama wins this election, regardless of how many young or minority people vote. But the fact that Obama could not put away a reeling Republican party and candidate signals to me a foundational weakness with either Obama and/or the Democratic party.
If Obama was this great candidate that people have been talking about, he would be able to drastically bridge the polarization. But the reality is, he isn’t that much different from the rest of Democratic candidates, only more of a smooth talker. If he had something substantially different to say, in a nation looking for solutions with the perceived fail policies of the Republican Bush, certainly more than the 2-6 points that Obama currently has.First of all, let's get some boundary markers. Rather than cherry pick a close poll here or there, we should probably be looking at as many polls as possible. Real Clear Politics currently has it +5.2 Obama (49.3 to 44.1) whereas the slightly more inclusive Pollster.com has it +5.5 Obama (49.5 to 44.0). So Obama's leading by somewhere between 5 and 6 points nationally at the moment. This is down from his high of a little more than 8 points a week ago.
What does a 6 or 8 point lead mean? Would a better candidate be leading by more? Can we really determine whether Obama is a great or transcendent candidate merely from his position in the polls? To find an answer to these questions, I took a look at the last 10 presidential elections from 1968 to 2004. Obama has no true analogue in the last 40 years, as indeed this race has no true analogue in the last 40 years. The only candidate that comes close is Clinton, who gave the opening night address at the 1988 Democratic Convention, and was nominated in 1992, but he ran against a sitting president. The last race not to feature either the sitting president or vice-president was in
There are really only two blowouts in modern American political history: Nixon in '72 and Reagan in '84. In 1972, Nixon handed George McGovern the largest popular vote defeat by any candidate not named FDR since Calvin Coolidge: 23% margin in the popular vote and 503 elector margin in the Electoral College. Was Nixon a transcendent candidate by this measure? If he was, it was certainly short-lived. In 1960, as Eisenhower's VP, he lost to JFK by two-tenths of a percent (Eisenhower had been elected with an 11-point spread, and re-elected with a 15-point spread). In 1968, when he ran against Hubert Humphrey he won by only seven-tenths of a percent. By the time he left office in disgrace, his approval ratings hovered in the mid-20s. Nixon's massive popularity in his re-election campaign doesn't illustrate his transcendency, but it does illustrate another truth of American politics: when you're a popular incumbent, it's difficult to lose. Nixon spent his entire first term above the 50% mark, and most of it at closer to 60% give or take a couple points.
Reagan's blowout in 1984 follows a similar pattern. His first win came with a 10-point popular vote spread and a 440 electoral vote advantage (489 to 49). He didn't disappoint in 1984, as he was re-elected with an 18-point popular vote spread, and an even more dominating 525 to 13 electoral college win. After his election in 1980 against a deeply unpopular incumbent, Reagan would spend portions of his first term with higher disapproval than approval, but by the time the election came around, he had consistently high approval ratings, likely buoyed by a strongly recovering economy. While I think there's an argument to be made that Reagan was a transcendent candidate, I don't think it would have anything to do with his poll numbers.
Obama: A Transcendent Candidate?
So what about Obama? Where would an 6-point win fit in the scheme of things? As I've written above, I don't think either Nixon or Reagan's re-election are the proper comparison right now (come back in 4 years and we can have that discussion). Clinton's 1992 win was 6 points, but because of Perot's third-party candidacy, he got that 6-point win with only 43% of the public. By contrast, with no major third-party candidates this year, a 6-point Obama win would likely come with somewhere around 52% public support, which would put him behind only Nixon '64, Reagan '84, and Bush '92. None of whom could be described as political newcomers at the time of their election.
Partisanship is as high as it's been since the 50s and 60s. The last two presidential elections were exceptionally close: in 2000, the popular vote winner lost the electoral college, and in 2004, the incumbent war-time president managed only a 2.5-point win. To expect Obama, under any circumstances, to be able to pull a blowout out of nowhere seems to me to be a tad unfair.
And indeed, such expectations obscure a broader point: elections are not the time to demonstrate transcendency; elections are a time to win. And Obama's winning. For transcendency, see his campaign's recent $150 million in September, including 632,000 new donors, and 3,100,000 donors altogether, both of which are records. Average donation for September: less than $100. Sure, you can argue that he's simply taking advantage of a stellar fundraising operation on the internet, but even then, 3.1 million donors? I don't know if Obama's going to be a great president, or if he's going to heal all our national wounds, or if the economy will rebound under him, or the answer to any one of a hundred other questions. But I know that I trust him to do a better job than McCain, and right now something like 49-52% of Americans agree with me. We'll see what the final tally is on November 4.
Presidential Elections since 1964
Pop Vote Winner
Pop Vote Loser
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(9)(81)(243)(2187) = 3k+ p
The average (arithmetic mean) of k and p
Whenever we're dealing with exponents, we want to have a common base. The common base between the numbers on the left is going to be 3:
9 = 3^2
81 = 3^4
243 = 3^5
2187 = 3^7
so the left side actually looks like:
leaving our initial equation this way:
(3^2)(3^4)(3^5)(3^7) = 3^(k+p)
at this point, we can add all those powers together (2 + 4 + 5 + 7 = 18), and look at the equation this way:
3^18 = 3^(k+p)
The columns are asking us to compare the average of k and p to 18. Well, if k + p = 18, then whatever k and p are, their average must be 9 (total/# of things = 18/2 = 9 in this case). Because 9 is less than 18, B is the credited response.
Hello! How are you! I'm very tired. But in the midst of my tiredness, there's been a discussion going on about the treatment of Christian Apocrypha. Nick beat me to a summary (or at least linkfest), so check it out.
What's the over/under on days before we see a follow-up on Joe the plumber to see who he's endorsing? 3? 2? Is there any possible way not to take the under?
He just prompted the candidates to make up a number that they'll reduce oil by in their first time.
By the by, if you can't tell, I'm very excited to get to watch the debate live for the first time.
John McCain's auditioning for Dexter. More reasons for Nick to vote for him!
Americans are angry. They're angry. They're definitely angry.
McCain is narrowing the gap in the polls. They are still going back and forth and are extremely volatile and as DJ constantly reminds us, many of them are not worth a hoot anyway, but there is evidence that they are beginning to close. There is now a 3 point lead for Obama in the Gallup traditional poll of likely voters. If McCain does well tonight they will continue to tighten and the state polls will eventually follow. The last thing Republicans should be doing now is giving up or wallowing in despair.In related news, this is what it looks like when you close a gap:
There was talk that the NBA might change the rules on the "Hack-a-Shaq" during the offseason, but that didn't happen. O'Neal was asked if he was disappointed the rules weren't changed. "[The strategy] doesn't work," O'Neal said on KTAR. "You know San Antonio tried it but they went home a couple weeks after we went home.
“It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too,” Obama responded. “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody … I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”It took me a while to figure out what was so crazy about this quote. I really didn't understand why Brian had highlighted it particularly. That is, conservatives believe if you make the economy top-heavy, the wealth will "trickle down." Liberals believe if you make the economy bottom-heavy, it benefits everyone. Pretty basic disagreement, right? No special "gaffe" that would cost Obama the election, no need to be explained away.
It wasn't until I saw Jeff Wright's post this morning that I understood the problem:
Actually all of the criticisms that I have seen are directly related to Obama's policies and comments such as his statement today: "My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." When you talk about spreading the wealth around through income redistribution you can pretty much expect there to be some talk about socialism.Wealth redistribution rears its ugly head! I've covered this before, so I'll just say this: anyone who criticizes Barack Obama on account of his plans for wealth redistribution either (1) doesn't understand what wealth redistribution is, (2) doesn't understand what Barack Obama's economic plans actually are, or (3) is trying to score cheap political points without actually dealing with the facts. Is there another option I'm missing?
...but it'd be nice to have a couple thousand dollars to spend on one of these.
It's been confirmed. We should have known all along. He tried to convince us that it was Tiger Woods, and then Sarah Palin, but the ruse could only continue for so long before it was confirmed: Scott Bailey is the anti-christ.
On issues such as abortion, gay marriage and religion, college students shift noticeably to the left from the time they arrive on campus through their junior year, new research shows.While the overall result is unsurprising, I think (in my infinite wisdom) that they missed something important in the study, or rather, that its result as stated in the AP article is a bit circular. For example, one of the scientists conducting the study said:
The reason, according to UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, isn't indoctrination by left-leaning faculty but rather the more powerful influence of fellow students. And at most colleges, left-leaning peer groups are more common than conservative ones.
"If you find yourself in a peer group where on balance the attitudes lean left, you'll tend to move in that direction," Astin said.True enough, but the question is why do students tend to find themselves in left-leaning peer groups. What I think the study missed is that when you go to college, many people find themselves surrounded, for the first time, by people who are different from them. People with different backgrounds, socio-economic and otherwise, with different aspirations, with different lives. That diversity is one of the main reasons (far more than job training or preparation for the "real world," neither of which colleges or universities actually provide for most people) that I hope my children, should they exist one day, choose to go to a college far away from home, in an unfamiliar environment. It's not until you start realizing that there are lots of people out there, and that they've grown up under significantly different circumstances than you, that it starts to click "maybe the way I grew up isn't the only or even the best way to have grown up."
First, no one goes free, neither the wealthy nor the poor.There's no doubt that the current tax system is complicated, and in some cases unnecessarily so. But that's because determining things like "Total Income" isn't very easy. Do capital gains count as total income? Interest received on savings accounts? What about profitable investments, IRAs, 401 (k)s, etc.?
Second, everyone pays 10% of their total income.
Third, no tax write-offs — this is getting ridiculous and there are so many intricacies that only those who can afford tax lawyers or accountants can figure it out. Just pay 10% on total income.
Fourth, give a break to those who are under the poverty line — they pay 5%. No one, as I said, goes free.
Fifth, this might be the most radical of my proposals: when the government runs out of money and is tempted to spend beyond its means, it has two options:
1. Go home until the next year.
2. Borrow money, at interest, from “we the people,” upon vote, and pay us back in the next year.
Beyond which, under the current system, 10% is the absolute minimum tax bracket, for those earning less than $8,025 per year. If it suddenly became the bracket that everybody except those under the poverty line had to pay, the government would have significantly less revenue. Which is fine, I suppose, unless you like things like a national defense, public schools, highways, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Even if you don't think those things, it'd be pretty hard to argue that the populace could just suddenly go without them.
Finally, it's worth remembering that the government isn't like you and me. It can print money. It already borrows from "we the people" in the form of treasury bonds, which it does indeed pay back at interest. In fact, the government's ability to easily borrow money at relatively low interest rates isn't a bug in the system, it's a feature!
Scot's not an economist, and neither am I (though, if wishing made it so...); but it doesn't take an economist to see that in some cases, our tax system is necessarily complicated.
Before I say anything else, as shouldn't be too hard to surmise from my nine pro-Obama posts a day, I am a Christian for Obama, and I think this pastor's totally wrong. I think there are plenty of Christians, here and abroad, who hope and in some cases pray for an Obama victory on Election Day. And I don't think those prayers have much to do at all with what's going to happen on Election Day. However, what's truly interesting to me is the gap of understanding between Christians and non-Christians on an issue like this.
The pastor (Arnold Conrad) prayed thusly:
“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happen."Now, I can totally understand why this would spark a reaction like TPM's:
In case you missed it over the weekend, a minister who gave the invocation at a McCain rally in Iowa couched his prayer in terms I've never heard before: God's own reputation is at stake in this election, he said, because so many Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists around the world are praying for an Obama victory that if Obama wins, they'll think "their god is bigger" than the Christian god.Like I said, understandable, but that really misses the point, doesn't it? The prophets consistently understood God to be capable of this kind of defense, and indeed the entire strategy of the conquest was based on maintaining God's favor and demonstrating that the Israelite God was greater than the other gods. This is not sequestered to times of war, either, as many psalms are written as polemics against other gods, including something like Psalm 74 (the forgotten creation narrative).
It conjures up bad Japanese movies, or the fanciful musings of 10-year-old boys. Who would win between King Kong and Godzilla? Between Allah and Vishnu? Does the Christian god have an unfair advantage because he's three in one?
[UPDATE: Duane and I posted on almost exactly the same thing at almost exactly the same time]
What I just paid for gas, per gallon. Crazy.
This is my last semester in seminary. I can't tell you how excited I am to write that sentence, and how much I'll be excited when it's come to fruition. Not quite there yet, however, as I am now engaged in the coming due of all sorts of assignments. I've got a 25-page paper to write on Hebrews, a chart to make of Acts, more reading in the Apostolic Fathers, to say nothing of the chapter I'm supposed to turn in for a book to be published next yet. And I'm off to Sherman, TX, to work. All of which to say, these are very hectic times.
Igniting a new generation of racism, one cuddly Obama Monkey doll at a time.
Alias: The Plumber
Objective: Rid the world of evil
Weapon of Choice: Plunger
Special Skills: Un-wedgie-ble pants
I should be a comic book writer, right?
Surely that's a dead squirrel.
Poor little guy.
Wow, really bloody.
Such a shame...
To be fair, I feel John McCain's pain. I rarely get a natural opportunity to accuse my friends and colleagues of consorting with terrorists in the course of everyday conversation.
...to fail so spectacularly as this.
something good's finally happening with this whole bail-out thing.
What function do blogrolls serve? Are they there to indicate the totality of what we typically read? If so, mine is woefully under-representative. Are they there as recommendations for what we think others would enjoy? If so, I utilize others' far too little, as I hardly ever actually go to people's sites, preferring RSS and Google Reader instead. How should I view the blogroll?
if you check my actual blog page, rather than rss, you've probably noticed quite a few changes over the past day or so. i've gone back through the blogroll, and cleaned it up quite a bit (in addition to many, many other changes). i've tried to catch everyone, but if you think you should be on my blogroll, and you're not, let me know. otherwise, take a look around and let me know what you think!
So, if I understand this correctly: Barack Obama is in fact a radical; if not himself a Maoist, then at least someone who "fits comfortably" with people who are "more Maoist than Stalinist." But he is disguising this fact in order to infiltrate bourgeois institutions and implement his radical vision from within. A quiescent media does not press him for specifics, thereby allowing his centrist disguise to go unquestioned. Only his relationship with Bill Ayers allows us "a peek behind the curtain."
This is delusional. It would be interesting to ask, for instance, why so few of Obama's law students have come forward to talk about his attempt to transform them into Maoist cadres, or why the lawyers in his firm have not mentioned his commitment to cultural revolution, or how he has managed to conceal his desire to nationalize the means of production from, well, everyone. Was he secretly plotting to get asked, unexpectedly, to speak at the Democratic Convention, take a chance on running for President, and succeed, back when he was on the Harvard Law Review? That, plus absolutely iron self-control, might explain why no one caught a glimpse of Obama's secret radicalism: he has been concealing it for decades, the better to bore away at our bourgeois institutions.
There's only one problem with that hypothesis: if Obama were as stealthy as that, if he had lived a secret life for decades, completely concealing his inner Maoist, he would never, ever have blown his cover by getting on a board with William Ayers.
There is no valid reason in my opinion to continue using the Erasmian pronunciation of the language and as my wife studies Greek for her Greek class each day, I only become more frustrated by the fact that they’re making her speak (yes, the class is emphasizing auditory learning as well) Greek using those atrocious sounds! Let the language have its dignity! Please!Totally understandable frustration. And indeed, there's no denying the many faults of Erasmian pronunciation. Is it completely arbitrary and ahistorical? Yes. Is it remotely connected to how Greek is pronounced today? No. BUT (you knew it was coming), I will say that, unlike modern Greek pronunciation, you can tell the difference between the various vowel and consonantal sounds very easily, making learning vocabulary that much easier.
So, this is not so much about a new incident of voter suppression (though, of course, there are those). Instead, I want to take a look at the recent problems with a voter registration group in Nevada. The group in question is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). They are a nonpartisan group that works to register low-income voters. Recently, their offices were raided in the course of an investigation into registration fraud. This story has been taken to vindicate fears (usually Republican fears) of massive voter fraud, hence justifying the thuggish, suppressive activities, such as vote caging, that VSW is devoted to.
First of all, let's sort a few things out. Voter fraud and registration fraud are two different things. Adam Serwer put the difference this way:
[G]iven the hysteria on the right over this issue it's worth pointing out that registration fraud and voter fraud are two distinct things. What people refer to as registration fraud can be as simple as filling out a form incorrectly. It's certainly true that you can fill out a form for a potted plant or your dog. What is far more difficult and rare is actually getting a registration card for your plant or your dog and then showing up to vote more than once on Election Day.Actual instances of voter fraud are incredibly rare, and as Adam goes on to point out, registration fraud is kind of pointless if there's no eventual voter fraud. All of which to say, even if ACORN is absolutely guilty of massive registration fraud, there's no evidence that that would actually lead to voter fraud, or skew any election in any meaningful way. In other words, just because a bunch of "Dallas Cowboys" were registered, unless "Tony Romo" shows up on Election Day, it really doesn't make that much difference.
However, there's also a huge question as to whether or not ACORN was actually engaging in registration fraud either. ACORN released a statement explaining their perspective and defense:
The statement goes on about the situation, and what ACORN did to try and prevent any registration fraud from occurring. Now, obviously they are self-interested; but if they were truly turning in questionable applications and the employees who produced them, their self-interest really shouldn't matter: it would appear at the very least that the Nevada authorities were overzealous in the matter.
"Over the past year, ACORN has worked hard to help over 80,000 people in Clark County register to vote. As part of our nonpartisan voter registration program, we have reviewed all the applications submitted by our canvassers. When we have identified suspicious applications, we have separated them out and flagged them for election officials. We have zero tolerance for fraudulent registrations. We immediately dismiss employees we suspect of submitting fraudulent registrations.
"For the past 10 months, any time ACORN has identified a potentially fraudulent application, we turn that application in to election officials separately and offer to provide election officials with the information they would need to pursue an investigation or prosecution of the individual.
"Election officials routinely ignored this information and failed to act."
For more on the story, see:
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, all entries]
You've probably read by now about the wingnuts coming out at McCain/Palin rallies, calling Obama a "terrorist", accusing him of treason, calling for his or possibly someone else's murder, and just generally acting like fools. Whether or not you think McCain and his running mate are in any way responsible for such reactions, Ta-Nehisi Coates reminds us of the gravity of the situation (e.m.):
I don't hold McCain or Palin accountable for the incredible hatred that we've seen at their rallies as of late. Let me rephrase--I don't think they're accountable for everything they're knucklehead supporters say, anymore than Obama is accountable for every comment on DailyKos. But they should be shook by the people they're attracting. We are getting a good look at the elements of the base now. These are not people just posting anonymously in internet forums--these are people who literally believe Obama is a terrorist and showing up at rallies. These guys need to watch what they say. Somewhere, slumbering in this country, there are men who aren't clued in that this whole "terrorist" thing is mere strategy. They have guns, and all their lives they've wanted to be famous. Don't give them a reason. This is still America. We are never that far from the past.
Unlike most of the books Nick reviews, I am really looking forward to this one's review.
Because, as I read this, I worry about clarity, let me be most explicit: I do not dislike Nick's reviews, I simply am uninterested in most of the books he reviews.
I only just caught the tail-end of tonight's town hall/debate/whatever presidential thingy, so I really can't say much, except this: wouldn't the format be better served not by uncommitted voters asking questions, but by strongly committed voters asking questions? That is, why are we rewarding the low-information voters who still aren't sure, after a year or more of campaigning, months of primaries, months of the general election, the two conventions, and two debates, who after all that still aren't sure who they're voting for? Wouldn't you rather have each candidate answering the toughest questions their detractors can put on them? It would have the added bonus of demonstrating the kind of supporters each candidate has.
Do yourself a favor if you're interested in learning about why we're in the mess we're in right now (other than, you know, how it's the fault of poor people): check out these two episodes of This American Life:
i don't get why they would want to convert others to political apathy.
...and I saw fear.
The causes of our financial crisis:
Although its causes are still uncertain, the basic cause was a sudden loss of confidence in the economic future. The traditional explanation is a combination of high consumer debt, ill-regulated markets that permitted malfeasance by banks and investors, cutbacks in foreign trade, and growing wealth inequality, all interacting to create a downward economic spiral of reduced spending and production.Wait, whoops. That's the Great Depression. Nevermind, we're good.
James 2:1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor person in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the one who is poor, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
Last week, I wrote about how earmarks weren't necessarily bad (though, of course, in some cases they can be). On the other hand, McCain's plan to balance the federal budget and fix the current financial crisis simply by cutting earmarks is necessarily bad. For some review, let's look at the numbers:
Basically, McCain is promising to run a 26-mile marathon, and then when pressed on how he will accomplish such a feat, he details the first three-quarters of a mile. So, again, earmarks: not so bad. Cutting all earmarks in order to balance the federal budget: bad.
The total national debt, as I write this (Tim here: note that this was about 3 weeks ago, and the total national debt is now about a trillion dollars bigger), is $9,679,000,000,000.00 (nine and a half trillion).
The Budget for 2008 is close to $3,000,000,000,000.00 (three trillion).
Our budget deficit for this year is going to range in between $400-500,000,000,000.00 (four hundred to five hundred billion, give or take a few billion).
The total value of wasteful earmarks in 2008 (according to CAGW) will be approximately $18,000,000,000.00 (eighteen billion).In other words, when McCain talks about earmarks, he is talking about 3% of our annual budget deficit, .6% of our annual budget, and a number too small to even report when discussing our national debt.