Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Irrelevant news; "managing the economy"

Breathtaking news! From Reuters: WASHINGTON - In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.

That's a great story, hard-working journalists of Reueters, but I have a few questions. When was the Electoral College repealed and replaced by a nationwide popular vote? If it wasn't, why does it matter who leads in the popular vote? Shouldn't Al Gore be just ending his two terms of office—he won the popular vote in 2000 pretty easily?

Another question—what does it mean to say McCain would manage the economy better? How would one person "manage" the transactions of millions of people? Isn't managing the economy (wrongly in my opinion) left to the Federal Reserve Board?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mediocre minds think alike; do I have a soul?

For some reason I can't fathom (probably either masochism or an utter lack of a social life) I watched a little bit of Bill O'Reilly's show last week. His guest was a local—and incidentally awful—newspaper columnist named Ruben Navarette of the (San Diego) Union Tribune. O'Reilly asked Navarette if he was a Democrat or Republican and then Navarette responded that he wasn't sure if O'Reilly was a Democrat or a Republican either. Hmm... Let's unravel this mystery, Mr. Navarette. O'Reilly takes the conservative side of about 95% of the issues facing our country. On this basis, I'm going to assume he's a Republican. Yes, he calls himself (a little too often) an independent, but that don't make it so. Anyone who doubts he's a Republican should contrast his rough interview with Hillary Clinton with his softball interview with John McCain. If you haven't seen them they're probably available on YouTube (what isn't nowadays?)

Just to prove stupidity is bipartisan,incidentally, check out this comment to me on Amazon.com in response to my negative review of Keith Olbermann's recent book:

If after that, you still are of the same opinion, knowing (or maybe not knowing anything at all) that each of his comments come from the facts of the incidents of their time, then you Sir, are not interested in the truth, but merely intent on living in your world of denial and self deception. You'er not outraged by the bush crime family, because 1) you aren't paying attention, or 2) have no soul.!

I pay pretty good attention, so it must be option 2. I have no soul! Well, that's literally true, as I don't believe there is such a thing as a soul. But it's safe to say my correspondent meant to make a much harsher point than that metaphysical claim.

To give the devil his due, Olbermann has not yet claimed to be an Independent.