Friday, February 15, 2008

Darn ear-worms

A few days ago, in this post, I linked to a couple of old campaign ads on YouTube.

Warning: It's been quite some time, and I still find the "I like Ike, You like Ike, Everybody likes Ike (for President)" ditty wafting up through my brain.

I'm hoping it's just a bizarre side effect of the cold meds or something.

Creationist "science"

Bonnie Goldstein has a must-read over at Slate showing the peer "review" process at a creationist journal that passes itself off as science. Among the helpful things in the style manual is how to cite biblical references correctly in your science papers, instructions regarding use of pseudonyms (if you'd rather your home institution didn't know about your publishing), and a reminder that the submission must support a Creation/Flood model or it won't be accepted.

Pssst. Guys? Here's a hint. If you decide on what the answer is going to be before you ask the question... it's not science.

If you want to have a journal called "Distorted Facts Forced To Fit Bronze-Age Legends," that's one thing. Not as catchy, I'll grant you.

Anyway, go have a look. It's really pretty funny.

So I'm not the only one...

It looks like someone else is noticing the increasing air of unreality coming from Camp Hillary.

Perhaps good spin is an oxymoron, moral if not linguistic. But good spin is clever and forward-leaning pitches of actual realities, facts. The word in the sense we use it today actually came into being in the early 90s and to a great degree around the '92 Clinton campaign, which had such mastery in its practice. But this Clinton campaign has been doing it in a weird parody mode. Not sharp 'spins' on favorable realities, but aggressive pitches of complete nonsense. So now you have Penn successively saying caucus wins don't really count, small state wins don't really count, medium state wins don't really count, states with large African-American populations don't really count, all building up to yesterday's gem: "Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn't won any of the significant states -- outside of Illinois? That raises some serious questions about Sen. Obama."

Clinton is ultimately responsible for putting her political fate in this fool's hands.

I think it's significant that we're hearing a great deal about how Hillary values loyalty in her staff, sometimes above all else. That's understandable, given what she's been through, but in this case, competence would be a higher virtue. Pretending everything's fine and she's well on her way to the nomination isn't going to work. Not when the momentum, the fundraising, and the number of wins keeps favoring her opponent. As for the strategy of getting enough superdelegates to go over the top,
The super delegates who are gettable for Clinton by loyalty, conviction or coercion are already got. And enough's been seen of both candidates for everyone to be more than acquainted with them. The ones who remain -- who make up roughly half the total -- are waiting to see who the winner is.
If they haven't signed on with Hillary by now, what's the likelihood that they're going to if Obama enters the convention with more elected delegates, more cash on hand, and better polling numbers against McCain? Not very much. If Hillary's going to salvage her chance at the nomination, she needs to do something quickly. There's still time. But the clock is ticking.

[h/t: Andrew Sullivan]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

No side effects here...

So I'm on medication for whatever-this-is, my temperature is going up & down & all over the place, at the moment I feel relatively normal... And have an attention span of about 3 minutes.

Seriously, firing up The Sims feels like it would take too much effort and thought commitment. Checking the same dozen-or-so news sites and blogs every few seconds is getting old... hmmm... Oh well, I'll think of something.

Someone gets it...

I'm currently dealing with a sinus infection of some type... Just when I think I'm almost over it, it knocks me on my butt again. So either I'm going to be even more erratic than usual in posting, or I'm going to be stuck home from work with just enough energy to think that I can put two sentences together coherently.

At any rate... Misty Irons has a post worth reading on her blog.

To say that homosexual people are all about the baser impulses of sexual attraction, minus any of the nobler feelings, is essentially saying they are less human than the rest of us. In other words, it is saying they are incapable of human love.

I think the reason the idea of homosexual love makes some Christians uncomfortable is that it doesn't provide much basis for their negative reaction to homosexuality. It would seem more justified if homosexuality were about people who are of a fundamentally lower moral quality. But to say that there are people who are capable of the exact same kind of sexual attraction as everyone else, except that they find themselves attracted to people of the same sex for reasons even they can't explain, is a more disturbing idea. It turns a part of your universe upside down. How can something as sacred and sublime as love take on this orientation? How could God allow this to happen? What is he doing? What does it mean? Why am I feeling so freaked out by it?

As much as Christians like to talk about "the homosexual agenda" and their righteous anger over "perversion," at its root this is really about the deep issues regarding our own personal faith, isn't it?
Exactly. It's always about their own personal faith, and how to justify it, which is why it makes them so uncomfortable. If you're doing something that doesn't affect me much at all, I probably won't feel the need to institutionalize hatred of it. But if it's something that makes me uncomfortable regarding my own issues, I'm going to persecute it for all it's worth.

And she is exactly right, of course. To define it strictly as a matter of lust is to make gays less than, not equal to, not fully human, and thus fully deserving of whatever mistreatment they receive. Being gay isn't solely about lust any more than heterosexual marriage is just about sex.

Nice to see that at least a few people get that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is this supposed to help?

Andrew Sullivan calls this cringe-inducing, and I tend to agree; John Aravosis over at Americablog is pointedly not commenting, and I can respect that decision.

Let's see... Lyrics that sound like they were slammed out by an enthusiastic 15 year old in about an hour... a jazz background that's competently done but carefully chosen not to be too out there (but you just know, somewhere, a consultant insisted it was hep, and yes, I suspect that word came up in discussion)... argh.

Granted, the standards for political jingles aren't particularly high. But some, while clearly products of their time, have stood up pretty well. This one won't be remembered by November, let alone in 50 years.

Reality Disconnect

Watching Hillary's speech from last night has an oddly surreal feeling to it. It's not just that she didn't congratulate Obama--tacky, tasteless, not unexpected--but that she's inside her own reality bubble. She's in some odd parallel-universe Hillaryland, where everything is fine. There wasn't anything original there, and not much that felt reality based. Certainly based on that speech, you'd never guess she'd just lost 8 states in a row.

Listening to Bush often produces a "what world is he living in?" sensation... I'm getting that with Hillary as well, and I haven't before. I've had a variety of reactions to her speeches--some have been very good, some left me cold, whatever--but I've never before had the feeling I'm watching someone who doesn't realize they're losing.

It's not inevitable, of course. A lot can happen, Obama can blow up or melt down, a negative attack can score home, shenanigans with superdelegates is always a possibility. Standing between a Clinton and power is always a dangerous place to be.

But ignoring problems won't make them go away. And things that go away by themselves often come back by themselves.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Disregard previous post

It appears that Obama did indeed deliver a thumpin'. As of 9:10 Central, CNN's reporting at least 60/40 splits in all 3 states voting today--76/24 in DC.

And the media is starting to notably not buy into Hillary's explanation of why none of this matters (8 consecutive states since Super Tuesday is a little hard to brush off) and point out the remaining challenges from here.

But never fear--these are Democrats. They can be counted on to shoot themselves in the foot at least once during a campaign.

Drinking the Kool-Aid?

The voters are doing their thing in the "Potomac Primary," and the media is full of Hillary lowering expectations and how this is Obama's chance to pull into the lead.

Meaning, of course, if he delivers anything less than a thumpin', it's going to be a "moral victory" for Hillary.

I'm afraid the media are being played by the Clinton spin machine... Again. But I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Update: smell the irony

Pam Spaulding has posted on the Washington mess, and points out something quite relevant.

Gee, Huck...

If you have the 2000 general election Tivo-ed, you can refresh your memory as to how that can happen. Can I assume you were supporting Al Gore then?

I didn't think so.

How can he be so shocked, shocked, that the Republican Party can be engaged in election shenanigans?

More blatant than ever

So the vote counting has stopped in Washington State, because with a lead of 242 votes (and 1500 ballots left to count), John McCain has it so locked up there's no point in counting the remaining ballots.

I'm no Huckabee fan, but he's right to be outraged. Anyone who cares about the state of American democracy should be outraged. (They should have been outraged most of the last several years, but that's another rant.)

It's a basic principle that all the ballots are counted. Particularly when the leader's lead is narrowing as the remaining ballots are counted. Simply saying we have enough to know how it's going to end--not good enough. If the difference is greater than the number of outstanding ballots (a 10,000 vote lead and 1,500 ballots left to count), that's one thing--even if all the ballots are for one candidate, it won't change the outcome. But this isn't that situation.

It's no surprise that the power brokers of a party are willing to steal an election. (The Democrats aren't immune in this regard, of course.) But usually they at least try to cover it up. Not unlike the brave man who finally confronted Joseph McCarthy:

"Have you no shame, sir? At the end of the day, have you no shame?"

The answer: Evidently not.