Costume of the year

28 Oct

Who’s looking forward to seeing a lot of Wicked Witch of Delaware’s out there there this weekend?  Christine O’Donnell is to 2010 Halloween as Sarah Palin was to 2008 (and 2009 for that matter).  Guestimate how many will be at the rally to restore sanity; I put the under over at 2,500.  The over is a good bet.


04′ as the Example?

19 Oct

Ben Smith reports that Obama has “surrendered” on outside spending.  Leaving aside the use of the word surrender, Smith cites democratic operatives like Clinton campaign bigwig Harold Ickes and consultant Steve Rosenthal as the arbiters of campaign success:

“When you’re in a fight — and we’re in a real fight — you want as much help as you can get from any quarter,” said former Clinton aide Harold Ickes, who recruited megadonors led by George Soros to give some $200 million to Democratic efforts in 2004. “It doesn’t seem to me that there’s been much encouragement from the White House for outside help.”

“We need to set up something on our side again for 2012 that will basically do what we did in ’04 and what Rove and his crowd did in 2010,” [Rosenthal] said. “We can’t go into 2012 and be caught with our pants down, the way we were in this election.”

The irony of course is that the real lesson of 2004 is that big Democratic outside groups failed.   Why would we want to set up something that will basically do what we did in ’04?  So we can lose again?  Why replicate a failing model?  Beyond protecting the brand and controlling the message, the reason it was so important for Obama to consolidate control in 2008 was because farming-out key pieces of your political operation to outside groups is a terrible strategy.  It does not work.

Irony Alert: Brooklyn Liberals

17 Oct

Park Slope Food Co-op

I’m proud to be a BKLYN liberal, but having been away from the borough for a few years it may be a bit easier to step back and see the ideology of the area for what it is.  But when I opened the Washington Post this Sunday to read Nancy Goldstein’s advice for President Obama to help him regain touch with “reality” I couldn’t stop myself from gasping, then laughing.  A lot.  Goldstein, one of the Posts’ pundit finalists, says President Obama should drop the line that his administration has, “stepped in and stopped the bleeding” because this is a painful reminder that he is “closed off to reality”.  Goldstein’s prescription to regain touch with the truth of the economic hardship Americans are facing: a few hours at her Brooklyn food co-op.

Now I can only assume that Goldstein is referring to the Park Slope food co-op, a mere 3 blocks from where I grew up.  I can say with utter confidence that this is among the last places I would recommend the President visit for a re-acquaintance with reality.  The co-op may be great, but it’s about as far from a representative portrait of the American experience as you can get.

Her point is that the technology of EBT cards has made it harder to tell who is using unemployment or food benefits and that visiting the co-op would give the President a modern view of the depression era breadline that he’s closed off to in his  bubble.  Certainly there is a great deal about the American experience to be learned from seeing the day to day lives of Brooklynites.  But I think if the President spent much time at the co-op, he’s probably more likely to come away thinking that the country is overrun with baby carriages and yoga mats than he is to pick up a message about the struggle of working families.

Certainly I take issue with Goldstein’s basic assumption that the President is out-of-touch with the hardship of American life.  I would challenge her to find a speech he’s given any time over the last 3 years where he hasn’t focused heavily on the economic struggles many are facing. Including the Des Moines speech she criticizes.  But that’s besides the point.  Mostly I’m just struck by the irony of somebody chastising the president for being out-of-touch from the checkout aisle of the park slope food co-op.  Can you think of a worse way to make that point?

Yo! Valley

11 Oct

Bon Appetit’s blog passes along this amusing promo for the Yeo Valley organic dairy farm.  They take a page out of Zach Galifianakis’s guide to rural life.


Dilemma of the Day.

5 Oct

Here’s the scenario.  A blogger in Alaska get’s her hands on embarrassing private and revealing emails between Todd Palin and Senate Candidate Joe Miller (and others).  The blogger posts this exchange landing a major scoop.  In the process, the blogger makes a technical mistake (I assume) and fails to adequately redact Todd Palin’s email address opening it up publicly to the world wide internets for all to see.  Multiple internet nerds  catch on to the mistake.  So do I.  In a lucky twist, Todd’s email handle is let’s just say, amusing.  It’s not outrageous, but something many would find easy to mock.

So here’s the question: is it ethical to publish the email address or not?  So far I have resisted because it’s his personal email address and that’s not really news.  And it’s a little mean spirited to put out into the open.  On the other hand it’s already out there and it’s really only a matter of time before somebody else does it.  In fact a few commenters already have posted it if you look for it.  Most have resisted.  And like I said it’s funny, it would probably get some attention.  Plus if his wife really is going to run for office, this is a pretty  minor incursion on his privacy all things considered.

But it is an incursion none-the-less.  Publishing it only perpetuates all that is wrong with our celebrity obsessed political culture.  What does it matter that the husband of a television commentator’s email handle is amusing?  Doesn’t he deserve the privacy of having an email address that the whole world doesn’t know even though he’s a public figure and even though I’m amused by it?

So I guess I’ve answered my own question.  I’ll keep it to myself for now.  Though I expect it’ll be out there before I even publish this post.

Now leave me alone so I can bask in the glow of self-satisfaction.

We’ve been inside your house.

5 Oct

I’ve always said, the best kind of advertising is that kind that makes you fear for your life…

“The Chilean division of security company ADT created an under-door advertisement intended to trick people into thinking that someone had broken into their houses. The ad was a spring-loaded, collapsible box that could be slid under the door, whereupon it popped up, giving the impression that it had been placed there by someone who had slipped the lock.  Copyranter reports, On the box was the ADT logo and the line: ‘Breaking into your apartment is easier than you think.'”

(H/T (@Scottbenressler Via Boing Boing.)

True Cost

30 Sep

Tom Coburn is single handedly holding up the food safety bill because of the potential $1.6 billion cost of implementation.  How does that stack up against the cost of inaction?

(via GOOD)

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