Archive for September 12th, 2008|Daily archive page

Campaign developments

While it is impossible to say how much Palin’s selection has to do with it, new polls do seem to confirm that McCain has pulled even with or gained a slight lead over Barack Obama since the conventions ended.  The New York Times reports that Obama’s campaign is preparing to respond to recent McCain charges and to more strongly criticize the GOP candidate.

Obama has been put on the defensive in the past week by having to counter charges that his “lipstick on a pig” comment was a dig at Palin–a charge that even McCain surrogate Mike Huckabee thinks isn’t true.  It seems obvious to me that Obama was saying that just because McCain is now talking so much about change doesn’t mean that he would be able to deliver it: McCain is just changing the packaging, in other words.  “Lipstick on a pig” is an old expression and McCain used it himself to criticize a policy of Hillary Clinton’s earlier in this election cycle.

Obama has also had to respond to a McCain ad that implies that, while in the Illinois Senate, Obama supported a measure that would have taught kindergarteners “about sex before learning to read.”  The ad is very dishonest.  The measure in question included a parent opt out and all material would be age-appropriate; students in kindergarten would learn about inappropriate touching, not sex.  FactCheck.org has said, in no uncertain terms, that the ad is off base.

For information on what Obama has said about education matters, see my blog post here.

Gibson’s Palin interview

Charlie Gibson of ABC news has gotten the first and, so far, only interview with Alaska Governor and GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.  This is important since it is our first chance to see her answering tough questions, as opposed to giving prepared remarks.  Gibson apparently spend a full day with her and the interview itself is being released in installments.

Slate magazine thinks Gibson did a good job, though he didn’t closely follow their suggested questions. They say Palin was “flummoxed” by his question on the Bush Doctrine, which required her to be able to identify it. Apparently, the governor’s views on foreign policy are close to those of President Bush: she would be willing to launch a preventative invasion of another country–which is different from a preemptive invasion.  In another article, Slate correspondent Fred Kaplan characterized the governor’s answers as very shallow:

But it was painfully obvious—from the rote nature of her responses, the repetitions of hammered-home phrases, and the non sequiturs that leapt up when she found herself led around an unfamiliar bend—that there is not a millimeter of depth undergirding those recitations, that she had never given a moment’s thought to these matters before two weeks ago.

And why should she have? As governor of Alaska, nothing in her line of duties has compelled her to pay attention to such matters—and that is precisely the point.

The Telegraph has collected some excerpts on foreign policy questions here.  A longer transcript of the first part of the interview is available here.  Readers may also want to view some video clips of the interview, as some have accused Gibson of being condescending or sexist in his questioning.  Readers are encouraged to inform themselves and to make up their own minds.

The Earth has been destroyed

Those of you who have been monitoring the International Earth Destruction Advisory Board’s Earth Destruction Alert level, mentioned in my previous blog entry, know that the Earth has been destroyed. The IEDAB has incremented their Geocide count to 1 and we are in condition red:

Current Earth-Destruction Status

The IEDAB indicates the following:

It is our duty to inform you that as of 7:35:05am UTC on September 10, 2008, the Earth has been destroyed.

The destruction of Earth was first reported by Mr Jonathan Barber of Wisconsin, United States, who spotted that his home-made seismic Earth Detector had ceased to give readings at around 8:00am (2am local time). Several other amateur geocide spotters noticed this at the same time but Mr. Barber was the first to place a telephone call to the IEDAB’s Geocide Hotline (+44 115 09Ω 4127, ask for Other Dave) at which point IEDAB officials performed an emergency check of their own instrumentation and verified Mr. Barber’s report, as well as fixing the exact time of geocide.

Evidence is still being collated, but preliminary results suggest that the Earth was destroyed pre-emptively by scientists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, before the commencement of their experiments to locate the Higgs Boson, as a precautionary measure to ensure that the experiment itself could not result in the destruction of the Earth.

Whatever you do, don’t panic! The IEDAB has a helpful FAQ that I’d suggest you consult. Also, no doubt more news will be forthcoming shortly. I would also anticipate that there will be a memorial service for the Earth. I’ll forward information as it becomes available.