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      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Thursday: Matthews not running for PA Senate seat :-(

Tweety has decided not to run for senate in PA.  He will stick with Hairball for now.  Damn!  There was so much material to work with in that campaign.  I could have crossed over to PA on the weekends to help monkeywrench his whole operation.  I had visions of Pennsylvania Guerrilla Women and Tweety cartoons carried by little old ladies.

But it is not to be.  What a waste.

In other news, check out BostonBoomer’s post below on Obama’s plans to overhaul Medicare and Social Security.  Now that my 401K is worth 40% less and my pensions are skimpy, I’m really looking forward to austerity measures.  Oh, I’ve only been paying into the system my entire working life and retirement is still decades away for me, but there’s no time like the present for some financial planning.  Plus fear really helps me lose weight, so, it’s all good.

Have you voted yet today for Best Liberal Blog at the 2008 Weblog Awards site?  You can do it once every 24 hours from one computer.  Doing it more than that would be cheating.  Like we would never recommend that you follow the instructions that DancesWithPUMAs found in the comment section of one of the other sites. (In the spirit of R&D, we checked it out and it works.)  You can vote multiple times from the same computer every 7 minutes but we do not want you to do this, because it would be cheating and that would make the award worthless.  But if you were curious as to how a blog no one you know ever goes to anymore is blowing out the competition, well, it isn’t because they’re popular.  Or maybe they’re popular because they cheat?  It’s a chicken-egg thing.  What they *aren’t* is honest, so approach everything you read on “the-site-who-must-not-be-named” with a high degree of skepticism.  No, no, we won’t print the instructions on the front page so don’t even ask.  You will have to contact Dances if you want to know Memzilla’s nefarious cookie cleaning secret.

For the honest ones among us, here are our recommendations:

For Best Liberal Blog, vote for The Confluence here

For Best New Blog, vote for Uppity Woman here

For Best Small Blog, vote for Nice Deb here

For Best Hidden Gem, vote for Deadenders here

For Best Food Blog, vote for Cake Wrecks here

For Best Pet Blog, vote for F**k You, Penguin here

For Best Podcast, vote for This American Life or NPR’s Planet Money here.

Monday: Stormy Monday

And, no, we’re not talking about Hurricane Ike, although we are sending good thoughts to our Floridian and Gulf Coast Conflucians today.

What we’re talking about is it the newest USA Today/Gallup poll that puts McCain ahead by 10 points over Barack Obama.  This latest poll was conducted from September 5-7, 2008, sufficient time to gauge the Palin Effect and John McCain’s speech.  Darragh Murphy said that the Republicans would finish Obama off by the end of September.  Who knew that the minions working for Obama would be so efficient in speeding things up?  The DNC must be in full panic mode, hoping and praying that Hillary can pull it out for them.  Bastards.

By the way, I finally got a chance to view McCain’s speech in its entirety on my DVR and I have to say that it took me by surprise.  McCain put his own party on notice.  There were many points in that speech when the applause in my house was louder than the tepid response he got in Minnesota.  I sometimes wonder which torture was more painful and humiliating for him.  The Hanoi Hilton or being broken by the Bushies while they trashed the tattered remnants of his own party?

It remains to be seen whether John McCain can deliver on the reform he promises.  But one thing is for certain: there is no doubt who he identifies with as his role models.  He admires Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower.  These are men of integrity, progressivism and moderation.  John McCain’s voting record in the past eight years has not reflected much of any of those three things.  But he *does* have a respectable record on election reform and objection to the earmark system.  It is regrettable that he broke to vote with the Bushies on so many other horrific bills.  Did he compromise his principles in order to survive and fight another day?

In the meantime, the PUMAs may be flexing their muscles. We are real and there are millions of us.  Millions disaffected enough to bump McCain up, whether or not we intend to vote for him.  We got the word out that the Democrats were NOT unified.  We showed up at the MSNBC kiosk in Denver and “marched and shouted slogans” (generic NPR speak for any sufficiently significant band of protestors).  I didn’t mind shouting “Rise, Hillary! Rise!” but felt uncomfortable about calling Matthews a sexist pig.  He did come out at one point and stood on the corner of the stage, a little like a contrite sinner in the stocks, as the goody townspeople hurled nasty epithets at him.  I suppose we should feel happy that Olbermann and Matthews have now been sidelined.

But *why* are they being sidelined?  What possible harm could they do now?  Exactly.  Their job is done.  They took out Hillary Clinton.  Now’s the time to bring in the less overtly vitriolic team to shore up NBC’s reputation and return to the status quo of treating Republicans with kid gloves while covering the Democrats less gently.  The whole mechanism is reconstructed as it is every four years.  The electoral map hasn’t changed significantly, except that now the Democrats are in danger of losing Pennsylvania.  Plus ça change…

We did what we could.  We got the word out as best we could.  We fought off attack after attack.  We tried to warn our own side not to fall into the trap.  But fall it did.

Lord, have mercy on me.

Borrowed Inspiration? (Updated)

I wanna hold your hand!So, Barack Obama doesn’t write his own poetic and insrpiring words. Well, few politicians do. I could swear I’ve heard some of the stuff I’ve written come out of the mouths of various people from time to time. (I don’t mind as long as I get paid. Euros only, please)

It’s not the fact that he is lifting inspiration from Deval Patrick’s speeches ( and who wrote them for *him*). No, the problem is that this is the characteristic that Obama is most noted for. He has staked almost the entirety of his campaign on delivering lines like this as if they come straight from some inner conviction. He is lauded to the point of inducing nausea in us Clintonistas for his ability to deliver stump speeches that cause grown women to faint from La Petite Mort

But it turns out that Obama is no more than than a Christian to a more poetic Cyrano de Bergerac. Just another pretty face to woo the ladies.

It certainly explains his poor debate appearances where he has to write his own material.

Update: Tweety and Andrea Mitchell are completely laughable! They are trying very hard to equate Obama’s borrowed inspiration to Hillary Clinton reciting the common verse from Isaiah, “Send me!” because Bill said it once too in a completely different context. Heck, even I’ve used that phrase. Was that the best they could do? Send me? I’d like to say that Andrea’s credibility is shot by this but, actually, it was shot a long time ago. It has now entered the realm of fiasco for Mitchell. And Tweety is just an entertainer for the Maxim set.