Friday, August 29, 2008

Leave it to the AP

The AP has really outdone most of the rest of the traditional media in boosting McCain. In his analysis of the Palin pick, Ron Fournier (who leads their pro-McCain work) admits that Palin is "less experienced" than Obama. Yet the AP's headline leaves no room for such details:

"Analysis: Palin's age, inexperience rival Obama's"

(And at least she's not a Muslim terrorist, they might as well add).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This just in...

Fla. deputies Taser Plop-Plop the unruly emu

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Bay County Sheriff's deputies were forced to use a Taser to subdue an escaped emu named Plop-Plop. The large female bird escaped from a farm last weekend and on Monday, she holed up with some horses and goats in a pen.

When deputies arrived, the emu "went kind of crazy," said Sheriff's deputy Randolph Grob.

The deputies didn't want the bird to hurt itself or them, so the used the Taser stun gun to immobilize Plop-Plop.

The emu was brought to the Bay County Animal Control Center, where she has made a full recovery. The bird's owner is expected to take her home soon.

Information from: The News Herald,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the media fallout on Edwards

There's a been a lot of talk about the traditional media's decision to ignore the Edwards affair story (until now, when he admitted it). They didn't have facts to prove that the story was true, and, they say, they were not going to devote significant resources to the issue because Edwards (especially after January) was not a big enough figure in the political world.

NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt wrote this back on Aug 9:
“Edwards isn’t a player at the moment,” said Richard Stevenson, who directs the newspaper’s campaign coverage. “There are a lot of big issues facing the country. The two candidates are compelling figures, and we have finite resources.” He said he agreed that Edwards was “fair game for journalism of this sort, but this hasn’t seemed to me to be a high priority for us at this moment.”

That seemed at least a fair argument, even if you don't totally agree.

But then the Times last week put out a big expose further advancing the Edwards story ("Lawyers’ Ties Hint at Extent of Hiding Edwards’s Affair"). So, actually, they are going to devote significant resources to the issue. Go figure.

Who wants to be awoken at 6am?!

Here's one more twist regarding the Obama campaign's cell-phone-mining trick (where they will text you the announcement of the VP candidate):

It's going to come in the morning! The announcement will likely be around 7 or 8 or 9 ET in the morning, if you believe past history and/or Tuesday's NYT. Which means for all those people in the more Westerly time zones, they'll get the text message early!

I mean, we'll all want to know about it as soon as it happens, but woken up for it?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Veep time

An announcement is expected from Obama "any day now", according to Chris Cillizza, who has been following the veep stuff extensively at Here's his latest forecast on who the picks might be.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Live from Megabus!

Greetings from somewhere on the Mass Pike!

The wireless on the way up didn't work, but on this bus it seems to be working sort of okay (the bandwith, as expeted, is rather low).

Many U.S. airlines are going to be introducing wireless soon, too. The good news, as the Chicago Tribune notes, is that "Many airlines also are blocking applications that enable calling over the Internet, such as Skype. They say instant messaging and texting allow good communication without the disruption of a voice call."

The most notable thing on the bus up here was the Europeans (and maybe some Quebequois). They've been out in force in New York all summer and I guess they've discovered the buses, which cost little more than a couple cappuccinos surely do on the continent. My only gripe with the Europeans in New York has been the cigarette smoke everywhere, but that wasn't an issue on the bus.

Looking out the window, I couldn't help but notice the signs of a struggling economy in Connecticut. The movie theater just east of Hartford is no more; same with that SportsPlex place a bit further up I-84.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Something fishy

Ron Suskind's book says that the White House told the CIA to make forged evidence of a Hussein / Al Qaeda link.

It's getting a medium amount of attention this week. It may not get more unless Suskind shows documents. Or, until White House folks are questioned under oath.

In the meantime, Dan Froomkin notes on that the White House's denial was really a non-denial denial. And that should make us all pretty suspicious.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bayh the way...

There's apparently a lot of 'chatter', as they say, about Sen. Evan Bayh being a top possibility for Obama's veep pick.

Chris Cilliza at reviewed the case for Bayh and the case against Bayh.

So some people think he helps out on the 'electability' front. But basically he's a DLC hack, a conservative Democrat on many issues, especially Iraq. As TPM noted, in Feb 2003 he joined Lieberman and McCain as the 3rd Senator to be a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

At, John Nichols argues against the notion that Bayh would do anything to help the ticket, be it in Indiana or Ohio or anywhere. "Few serious observers suggest that adding Bayh to the ticket would guarantee Indiana for the Democrats this fall. But to avoid embarrassment, Bayh and Obama would be forced to concentrate on the state -- drawing attention and energy away from more serious battlegrounds." And: "The parts of Ohio that decide presidential elections have no record of looking to Indiana in general, or Bayh in particular, for leadership. If Obama really wanted to carry Ohio -- and Michigan -- he would pick a populist with a better record than his own on trade issues."

UPDATE: You can join the Facebook group "100,000 Strong Against Evan Bayh for VP".

Caffeine Doesn't Make You Have to Pee

Apparently not. The NYT reports that:
It was long thought that caffeinated beverages were diuretics, but studies reviewed last year found that people who consumed drinks with up to 550 milligrams of caffeine produced no more urine than when drinking fluids free of caffeine. Above 575 milligrams, the drug was a diuretic.

So even a Starbucks grande, with 330 milligrams of caffeine, will not send you to a bathroom any sooner than if you drank 16 ounces of pure water. Drinks containing usual doses of caffeine are hydrating and, like water, contribute to the body’s daily water needs.

Or, you could have twelve 12-ounce Diet Cokes (at 47 mg caffeine each) and you'd still only have to pee the same amount as if that was all water. Which, come to think of it, would be a lot, but you get the point.