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Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Time Event
7:12a
Not Dead Yet . . . .
My my my . . . . seems the post-convention bounce to McCain was just a bounce.

Obama back up to a 5 point lead nationally, ties in the key battleground states with Indiana now slightly in the Obama camp. Hmmmmm . . . .

Mind you, I don't bother to discuss this with Wussycrats. The same folks who paniced when Palin didn't puke on stage at the RNC and who began sobbing in despair and telling all the newly registered voters not to show up because the game was lost, blah blah blah all have excellent reasons why the McCain bounce last week meant we were finished but the Obama rebound doesn't really mean anything.

Perhaps, as so many people tell me, I don't understand how the world works. But I find I do live an overall happier life.

The thing I hate most about the Wussycrats is their, and I hate to say this, elitism. Their despair is based on the idea that Americans are morons. It is captured best by the statement: "Most Americans aren't ready for a black President."

When I point out that many millions of Americans, including millions of them hard-working honest etc. supposed racists have already voted for Obama, the response is "Oh, but those were Democrats."

Ah, because white Democrats have evolved some sort of special receptor in their brain that lets them accept the "black President" neurotransmitter. I wonder if it is related to the so-called "monogomy gene", which effects receptors for the "cuddle hormone" oxytocin? Perhaps that's why Democrats also favor tree-hugging and gay marriage, whereas Republicans have trouble keeping their comitments about curbing spending and want to ban gay marriage as a means of prottecting the market for anonymous bathroom hook ups.

Mind you, I will happily admit that for some people the issue of "I trust people who are visually more like me and share what appear to be my values" has a much higher threshold than for others. But human beings are a very complicated bunch, even if modern demographic groupings encourage us to think of them as single issue clones of one another. But the notion that this is a show stopper becuase "most white Americans" (unlike liberated me!) are "not ready" for a black President is -- I submit -- as idiotic as postulating that most Americans are not ready for a woman President. Becuase it didn't matter if you ran a crappy campaign that burned through money like an Internet start up in 1999 and had a staff that preferred to focus on undermining each other than on winning the election. The only reason why your candidate lost was because she was a woman.

Hmmmm....maybe the genetic connection isn't with the cuddle gene. Maybe it is with the "I refuse to take responsibility for reality" gene.
8:10a
As always, comforted with others smarter than myself agree with me.
Thanks to cellio for this link to a piece by noebl prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. It is always nice to find that actual professionals agree with my basic intuitions on the eocnomy -- including the pyramid scheme line (I usually say "Ponzi scheme" but I won't argue with a nobel prize winning economist). Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
2:48p
Eternal User Question: Secuirty v. Convenience v. Corporate Policy
In the amazing further sideshows that the internet makes possible in our political process, we have the hacking of Sarah Palin's Yahoo! email account (some details here.

Perversely, it raises some actual policy questions -- although not about Palin specifically. Rather, it raises the problems for users generally and their trade offs as we blur the lines of work and home and our need for security.

Alaska spent a couple of million dollars to build a more secure email system. Palin opted to do a lot (but not all) official email on her personal Yahoo! account. Opponents say this was a deliberate move to avoid Alaska's FIOA. In that case, Palin decided to use a less secure system to keep her stuff out of the public eye. We will savor the irony even as we deplore hacking.

Defenders argue that Palin was trying to avoid violating the Alaska government policy on personal email use (including email relating to political activity). Sure, some public business gets mixed into that, and probably a fair number of emails could have been sent just fine via the Alaskan email system. But who wants to take chances and who keeps track for any given email, especially when you are dealing potentially with hundreds of emails that combine personal, political and governmental business?

I'm actually rather sympathetic to Palin on this one. Proving motive here is damn difficult, and even if she made a conscious decision to put emails that should have gone on one system on another to avoid Alaska's FIOA, I'm not feeling the outrage. My actual thought is that anyone with a Yahoo! or Gmail or other web accessible account (which means anyone) ought to feel a chill that someday that tasteless joke someone forwarded to you that you failed to delete is going to pop up on some website and cost you your job.
10:29p
Ummmmm....you do know you can't do that, right?
So McCain's response to the current economic crisis would be to fire the Chair of the SEC.

Problem, the SEC is an independent agency. It's commissioners do not serve "at the pleasure of the President." They are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to staggered terms of set length. They cannot be fired, only impeached.

The President does have the power to select the Chair of the Commission, so President McCain could "demote" Chairman Cox to being merely a Commissioner. But he could not "fire" him.

I am not being impressed by readiness to lead on Day 1 here.

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