Amusing: Microsoft’s New ‘I’m a PC’ Ads Created On Macs

This is amusing:

After dumping its $10 million contract with Jerry Seinfeld after just three ads (only two of which even aired) Microsoft has created new ad copy where regular people and a few celebrities say, “I’m a PC!” One problem with the campaign’s credibility: the ad work was created using Macs.
Flickr user LuisDS found that metadata on the creative copy of the “stereotyped PC user” and other photos appearing on Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” website revealed that they were produced using Macs running Adobe Creative Suite 3. One might expect that Microsoft would use Windows PCs running its own Microsoft Expression Studio software, which as the company advertises, “takes your creative possibilities to a new level.”

Apparently, neither Windows PCs nor Expression Studio are up to the task of taking on Apple and destroying its globe enshrouding “Get a Mac” campaign. The image of John Hodgman as a troubled PC struggling with Vista-related problems has pushed Microsoft to defend itself with a $300 million campaign to take control of the “conversation about Windows,” using Macs as needed to get the message produced.

When LuisDS checked on the photos again this morning after publishing the metadata details on Flickr last night, he found that Microsoft has scrubbed the revealing details from the work, an effort that also resulted in the 272 KB photo ballooning to 852 KB. . . .

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Dems threatened Jewish groups with loss of tax exempt status if Palin allowed to speak

NYC's CBS2 has this story:

Sources: Intense Pressure Led To Palin UN Snub
CBS 2 HD Has Learned Democrats Threatened To Attack Jewish Groups' Tax Exempt Status Over VP Nominee Invite. . . .

"This is insulting. This is embarrassing, especially to Gov. Palin, to me and I think it should be to every single New Yorker," Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, told CBS 2 HD.

Sources say the axes were out for Palin as soon as Sen. Clinton pulled out because she did not want to attend the same event as the Republican vice presidential candidate.

"I have never seen such raw emotion -- on both sides," said someone close to the situation.

The groups sponsoring the rally against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at the UN were reportedly told, "it could jeopardize their tax exempt status" if they had Palin and not Clinton or Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden on hand.

So all politicians were disinvited, most prominently, Palin.

"It's an absolute shame that this has happened," Hikind said. "To threaten organizations … to threaten the Conference of Presidents that if you don't withdraw the invitation to Gov. Palin we're going to look into your tax exempt status … that's McCarthyism." . . .

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Even the NY Times understood that this meltdown was going to occur 10 years ago

From the NY Times in September 30, 1999:

"Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits. . . .

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.'' . . .

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's."

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.'' . . .

Another article in the NY TImes from September 11, 2003:

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. . . .

These reforms were blocked by Democrats who threatened to filibuster the bill in the Senate.

The Bush administration shares some blame because it pushed the Zero Downpayment Act:

We project that the new zero downpayment program would serve about 150,000 new home buyers in the first year alone. It would be structured to assist those credit-worthy but cash-poor working individuals and families who have been excluded from purchasing their first home. . . .

The LA Times writes on May 31, 1999 that:

It’s one of the hidden success stories of the Clinton era. In the great housing boom of the 1990s, black and Latino homeownership has surged to the highest level ever recorded. The number of African Americans owning their own home is now increasing nearly three times as fast as the number of whites; the number of Latino homeowners is growing nearly five times as fast as that of whites.

These numbers are dramatic enough to deserve more detail. When President Clinton took office in 1993, 42% of African Americans and 39% of Latinos owned their own home. By this spring, those figures had jumped to 46.9% of blacks and 46.2% of Latinos. . . .

Under Clinton, bank regulators have breathed the first real life into enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act, a 20-year-old statute meant to combat “redlining” by requiring banks to serve their low-income communities. The administration also has sent a clear message by stiffening enforcement of the fair housing and fair lending laws. The bottom line: Between 1993 and 1997, home loans grew by 72% to blacks and by 45% to Latinos, far faster than the total growth rate.

Lenders also have opened the door wider to minorities because of new initiatives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–the giant federally chartered corporations that play critical, if obscure, roles in the home finance system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages from lenders and bundle them into securities; that provides lenders the funds to lend more. . . . .

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Russian Stock Market down 64 percent since July

Even if world governments didn't have the will to punish Russia for invading little Georgia, at least the world financial markets did:

Only a few months ago, Russian financiers and politicians were boasting that Russia was a financial safe haven, apparently immune from the global credit crunch. As recently as June, an International Monetary Fund mission to Russia concluded that "there are no significant negative spillovers from the global financial market turmoil."

The sudden panic shows how several seemingly unrelated events, taken together, can combine to create a potent downward spiral. The first big shock came in late July, when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made an unexpected public attack on Mechel, a leading steel company, accusing it of price-fixing. An acrimonious shareholder dispute at Anglo-Russian oil company TNK-BP added to market nerves.

Subsequently, both conflicts appear to have been resolved more or less amicably.

But the market hardly noticed, because on Aug. 8, Russia went to war with Georgia. Fearing a new Cold War, foreign portfolio investors took fright, selling the ruble and Russian bonds as well as stocks.

'A Reflex Reaction'

By the beginning of September, says Evgeny Nadorshin, chief economist at Trust Investment Bank in Moscow, the panic had spread from foreigners to locals. Fearing a further slide in the ruble, Russian investors also began piling out of ruble assets. "The times when the dollar was considered a much safer investment aren't that long ago, so many people just had a reflex reaction," he says. . . .

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Obama Heckled By African American Protestors

ABC discusses African-Americans protesting an Obama speech:

ABC's David Kerley and Sunlen Miller report: For the second time in two months, Senator Obama was heckled by African American protestors during events in Florida.

Shortly after starting his remarks before a 7,000 person rally in Coral Gables, Friday, Obama was abruptly interrupted by a group of about 20 African American protestors. . . .


Anti-gun "American Hunters and Shooters Association"

The American Hunters and Shooters Association defends itself by saying that I created a conspiracy theory about them:

Critics also like to dredge up the old John Lott, a conservative pro-gun lecturer and author, allegation that AHSA is merely front group for the Democratic Leadership Council. Lott, ever the conspiracy theorist, reasoned that because the AHSA’s internet technology consultant, DCS Congressional, was located in the same large Washington DC office building as the DLC that AHSA was just a front group. . . .

First, while I would like to take credit for what seems obviously correct, it wasn't my conspiracy theory. I was just posting investigations that others had done. For all the posts that I made see here. David Hardy has his investigation here.


Monks with Guns?

The Christian Science Monitor has this:

Rangoon, Burma - If Ashin Zawta has his way, the next time the government of Burma (Myanmar) clamps down on dissent it will have to deal with a new force: monks with guns.

"Last September the Army proved too powerful for us and defeated our nonviolent tactics," says the young monk, whose real name, like those of other activists in this story, has been changed for security reasons. "We need weapons. That is the only way we can bring down this regime."

One year after monks led thousands in Burma's largest antigovernment protests in 19 years, many activists say they are losing patience with the slow pace of change. Up against a powerful regime, they are calling for fresh tactics, from teaching human rights theory to stockpiling arms.

"The younger activists' frustrations are growing. They want to take up arms because they were so brutally suppressed last September. They have gone their whole lives without seeing change," says Win Min, an expert on Burmese political affairs at Thailand's Chiang Mai University.

While the activists-turning toward violence still form a minority, young monks have never before openly advocated violence, and this may signal a new phase in the evolution of the political opposition, says Mr. Win. . . .

Thanks very much to Richard F. Griffiths for sending me this link.



IBD sets the record straight on regulation and the financial problems

IBD dispels the "deregulation myth":

Politics: A dubious and dangerous idea seems to be gaining strength — that government caused the financial crisis by giving capitalism free rein. If anything, it hasn't done enough of that.

OK, we'll say it if no one else will: Thank heaven for Gramm-Leach-Bliley. If you've been listening to the fulminations from Congress and the campaign trail, you know that we're talking about the 1999 law that dismantled the Depression-era barriers between commercial and investment banking.

Democrats largely supported it at the time, and one of their own, Bill Clinton, signed it. Now they frame it as a Republican bill that helped send the nation on the path to perdition. . . .


Big Clinton Supporter and Fundraiser explains why She is supporting McCain/Palin

I would like to see CNN interview Obama supporters the same way.

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New piece in Philly Inquirer: McCain a Bush clone? These numbers dispute that

Here is the piece that I have today in the Philly Inquirer. It starts like this:

Does John McCain represent a third Bush term? The Obama campaign claims the two are almost indistinguishable. It was the mantra during the Democratic convention, and it is the theme of new ads Barack Obama is running. The ads claim that McCain is "no maverick when he votes with Bush 90 percent of the time."

This week Obama has begun a constant refrain that there is "not a dime worth of difference" between Bush's and McCain's views. It is a consistent theme of Democratic pundits on talk shows.

Is this the same McCain who drove Republicans nuts on campaign finance, the environment, taxes, torture, immigration and more? Where has McCain not crossed swords with his own party?

As it's being used, the 90 percent figure, from Congressional Quarterly, is nonsensical. As Washington Post congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman explained, "The vast majority of those votes are procedural, and virtually every member of Congress votes with his or her leadership on procedural motions."

Obama might want to be a little careful with these attacks, as the same measure has him voting with Democrats 97 percent of the time.

Fortunately, a number of organizations on the left and right provide useful evaluations on how congressmen and senators vote each year. These conservative and liberal groups pick the votes they care about most and figure out how often lawmakers match up with their positions. . . .

Brit Hume's Special Report lead with a story on my piece during his "Political Grapevine" segment.

My piece made it to the top section of Google News today (see highlighted line in blue).

The piece was the most emailed article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday.

It was the second most viewed article in the newspaper and the most viewed in the opinion section.

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Science Magazine prints the Obvious: Property rights work to prevent overfishing problems

I agree with Hilborn that there is nothing surprising here, but at least Science magazine and the New York Times are finally beginning to catch on to something this obvious.

Giving people ownership rights in marine fisheries can halt or even reverse catastrophic declines in commercial stocks, researchers in California and Hawaii are reporting.

The idea goes against the grain among people who believe that anyone with grit and skill should be able to get in a boat, put to sea and make a living fishing. But that approach, even with licensing requirements and other restrictions, has produced fishing efforts so intense that by some estimates, the world’s commercial stocks will collapse in a few decades.

By contrast, the researchers write in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, allocating ownership shares of a particular fishery to individuals, cooperatives, communities or other entities gives them a reason to nurture the stock. In this arrangement, scientists set acceptable catch levels, and other authorities allocate shares, species by species, region by region. . . . .

Ray Hilborn, a fisheries expert at the University of Washington, praised the new work but said: “There is nothing surprising in it. A lot of us have been arguing that various forms of catch shares or dedicated access is essential.”

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This is pretty funny: Obama outraged

From the Politico:

Obama outraged at being accused of not supporting something he doesn't support
Obama, on the trail in New Mexico, had this to say of McCain:

"And today he accused me of not supporting what the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank did with AIG despite no evidence whatsoever that that’s what I had said."

To recap, when I wrote earlier today that Obama supported the bailout, I quickly was instructed by his staff that this was not the case. He just didn't oppose it, I was told.

Now he's so adamant about not opposing the Fed's move that he's complaining about McCain's portrayal.

Where, I wonder, is the line between not opposing and, ya know, supporting.

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Richard Miniter has the identity of the person who hacked into Palin's email account

Seen Miniter's discussion here:

The hacker is David Kernell, the 20-year old son of Mike Kernell, a Democrat and elected state representative in Tennessee, according to Nashville’s largest newspaper, the Tennessean.

I predict that the same crowd that said that Palin should have been able to control her 17-year old daughter will defend the 2o-year old hacker by saying no one can control their kids. At least they will be right once.

If State Rep. Kernell refuses to cooperate with the investigation, the story will get more interesting. . . .


Can someone please explain to me why CNN and others keep on talking about Palin improperly using her email account when no one has offered evidence?

I have been listening to CNN and they keep repeating this charge against Palin, but none of the emails provide any evidence of this. This hatred of Palin on CNN's part is really gone well past any possible justification.


Democrats refuse to appear on stage with Palin, causing her invitation to be revoked

My belief if Palin was invited and the Democrats backed out of appearing, the Jewish group is obligated to go through with letting her appear. It is too bad that the the Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organization gave into this pressure. See Commentary Magazine here for the discussion.


Woman's son shoots burglar

The story from Thursday in Florida is here:

VERO BEACH — Last week Thomas Thompson II, 24, was charged with taking copper from a Home Depot store.

Early Thursday, the Vero Beach resident was fatally shot breaking into the home of a woman his pregnant girlfriend knew, said Indian River County sheriff's Detective Chris Cassinari.

Around 5:20 a.m. Thompson, armed with two knives, crawled through a window in a small home south of Vero Beach at the intersection of 47th Avenue and First Street Southwest.

A family dog awakened occupant Francis Hornsby, who found an armed man at the foot of her bed when she turned on a light.

Her screams woke her two sons, 19-year-old Austin Hornsby and 20-year-old Robert Hornsby. From what Cassinari surmises, Thompson apparently didn't know the sons were inside the home.

One son scuffled with Thompson. Finally, the other son, "in defense, fired a shotgun, killing the subject," said sheriff's Lt. Leroy Smith. Investigators haven't yet identified which son fired the shotgun. . . .



New Analysis piece up at Fox News: Reckless Mortgages Brought Financial Market to Its Knees

My newest piece can be found here:

With the government takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as well as other bankruptcies in the financial sector, there are a lot of questions. The strangest fact is that the housing sector is having such problems when the economy otherwise has been doing well. Why have there been so many defaults when the economy has not been in a recession? Defaults have been at historically high rates despite reasonable economic growth and a relatively low unemployment rate of 6.1 percent.

Some, such as James H. Carr, the CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, argue that the high default rates are a result of "unfair and deceptive practices, steering customers to high price loans . . . High upfront payments made it so that they couldn't later pay their mortgages."

Surprisingly, research done by economists a decade ago in 1998, particularly by Professors Ted Day and Stan Liebowitz at the University of Texas at Dallas, predicted the current problems and tried to warn people of a different cause. Starting during the early 1990s, mortgage-underwriting standards have been consistently weakened. Many of the names involved in the forefront of those changes, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as well Countrywide and Bear Stearns, , have been the most prominent financial entities to become insolvent. . . .

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Ohio Supreme Court strikes down local ban on carrying concealed handguns

A copy of the opinion is here.

The Supreme Court of Ohio held today that a Clyde city ordinance banning possession of firearms in municipal parks is unconstitutional because it conflicts with a general state law that permits licensed individuals to carry a concealed weapon on any public property other than at locations specified in the state statute. The Court’s 4-3 decision was authored by Justice Terrence O’Donnell.


Obama running ads in swing states claiming that he supports the right to own a gun

This is truly unbelievable.

Gun control has suddenly emerged as the toxic issue of the 2008 presidential campaign, endangering Barack Obama's appeal among Democratic blue-collar and labor union households.

The freshman Illinois senator has a long record of favoring gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C., and a raft of other gun control bills that are anathema to gun owners, hunters and sportsmen alike.

He insists now he supports Second Amendment gun rights to keep and bear arms that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld when it struck down the D.C. gun ban in June. But he refused to join 77 of his colleagues who signed a friend of the court brief to end the weapons ban and remains sympathetic to a broad range of gun ban statutes.

Yet the Obama campaign has been running ads in key states with large populations of gun owners and hunters, insisting he supports the right to own a gun. He cannot run away from his record. . . .

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Well, at least the OECD recognizes that the US isn't in a recession

The story on how bad things are in the UK is here.

Britain will be the only major economy to face the full force of a recession, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. While all the G7 economies will slow The O.E.C.D. predicts that Britain will be the only member of the G7 whose gross domestic product will fall into negative growth. Since this will take place over at least two financial quarters, Britain fulfills, what economist like to call “the technical requirements” of recession. . . .


PBS Poll on Sarah Palin

Our tax dollars at work here. Not surprisingly, most of those using this poll don't like Palin.


Police say "Homeowner Shot, Killed Intruder"

WPBF-TV has the story here:

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- A homeowner shot and killed an intruder who apparently tried to rob a residence near Vero Beach on Thursday morning, authorities said.
Indian River County sheriff’s deputies are at the home near 47th Avenue and First Street.
Authorities said the homeowner pulled a gun on the intruder, fatally wounding him.


First, bigger government is "cool," Now "paying higher taxes patriotic act for wealth"

What language will be like under a Democratic presidency:

WASHINGTON - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday that paying more in taxes is the patriotic thing to do for wealthier Americans. In a new TV ad that repeats widely debunked claims about the Democratic tax plan, the Republican campaign calls Obama's tax increases "painful.". . . .

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House Tries to rescind DC gun rules

Unfortunately, I think that this bill is much more for show than anything else. The Senate is not going to do anything with this.

WASHINGTON — The House moved Wednesday to compel the nation's capital to broaden the rights of its residents to buy and own firearms, including semiautomatic weapons.

Critics, led by the District of Columbia's sole delegate to Congress, decried the action. They said the vote tramples on the District's rights to govern itself and could endanger both residents and political dignitaries who so often travel across the city.

But the National Rifle Association-backed bill passed easily, 266-152, with supporters saying they were determined to give D.C. residents the same Second Amendment right of self-defense that has been available to other Americans. . . .

Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link.

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Obama Campaign Out of Control on Completely Outrageous Ad to Hispanics

Will the media roundly condemn this outrageous ad? Will the media condemn it as fanning the flames of racism? This from ABC:

Obama's ad features a narrator saying: "They want us to forget the insults we’ve put up with…the intolerance…they made us feel marginalized in this country we love so much."

The screen then shows these two quotes from Limbaugh:

“…stupid and unskilled Mexicans”
—Rush Limbaugh

"You shut your mouth or you get out!”
—Rush Limbaugh

The narrator then says, “John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote…and another, even worse, that continues the policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families. John McCain…more of the same old Republican tricks.”

First of all, tying Sen. McCain – especially on the issue of immigration reform – to Limbaugh is unfair.

Limbaugh opposed McCain on that issue. Vociferously. And in a larger sense, it’s unfair to link McCain to Limbaugh on a host of issues since Limbaugh, as any even occasional listener of his knows, doesn’t particularly care for McCain.

Second, the quotes of Limbaugh’s are out of context.

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Palin's email account hacked

Hackers seem to be having a lot of fun breaking the law. Here is the AP story:

Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Hackers broke into the Yahoo! e-mail account that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin used for official business as Alaska's governor, revealing as evidence a few inconsequential personal messages she has received since John McCain selected her as his running mate.
"This is a shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them," the McCain campaign said in a statement.
The Secret Service contacted The Associated Press on Wednesday and asked for copies of the leaked e-mails, which circulated widely on the Internet. The AP did not comply.


When will Obama release his grades from College?

I keep waiting for Obama to release his grades from college. Why doesn't the press ask about this? It seems strange that this isn't discussed since Obama's achievements in law school are deemed important by his campaign. If I claimed that I did well in school, it would appear that what my grades were would be an obvious follow-up question.


All categories of violent and property crime fell last year

Remember the media frenzy about the crime wave? Well, it turns out that all categories of violent and property crime fell last year.

After rising for two straight years, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation declined from the previous year’s total. The declining trend continued for property crimes, as those offenses were down for the fifth year in a row.

Statistics released today by the FBI show that the estimated volume of violent crime was down 0.7 percent, and the estimated volume of property crime decreased 1.4 percent in 2007 when compared with 2006 figures. The estimated rate of violent crime was 466.9 occurrences per 100,000 inhabitants (a 1.4 percent decrease from the 2006 rate), and the estimated rate of property crime was 3,263.5 per 100,000 inhabitants (a 2.1 percent decline).


Libertarians sue to keep Republicans and Democrats off ballot in Texas

If Barr is successful, this would probably keep McCain from being able to win the election.

Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr’s campaign filed suit Tuesday seeking to remove Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama from the ballot in Texas, alleging that the two major candidates missed the deadline for officially filing to be on the ballot.

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Who is against Evolution?: David Friedman has a must read post on this

David's post can be read here. Here is how it starts:

It's a widespread view, but true in only a narrow sense. People who say they are against teaching the theory of evolution are very likely to be Christian fundamentalists. But people who are against taking seriously the implications of evolution, strongly enough to want to attack those who disagree, including those who teach those implications, are quite likely to be on the left. . . .

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Copy of what ABC edited out of the Palin interview with Gibson

Personally, I was kind of shocked by some of the edits that ABC News made in the interview (see here). If ABC had clearly announced at the beginning of the program, I wouldn't have minded, but they didn't make it clear to anyone. People should read the transcript themselves and make their own judgment how biased these edits were.

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DC passes new gun control law, DC seems to have blinked first

You can download a copy of the new law here. Semi-automatic handguns will be allowed. Machine guns are still banned, but they have the traditional definition by saying that it must be able to fire "more than one shot . . . by a single function of the trigger." The storage provisions are now the same as those in 17 states that have so-called safe storage laws. A copy of some related research can be seen here.


New Op-ed up at Fox News: Media One-Sided in Covering Palin

I really like this piece. I hope that people find it useful. The new piece starts off this way:

Vice presidential choices aren’t supposed to make much difference. Yet, Governor Sarah Palin’s impact is undeniable and extremely large. Twelve days ago, presidential election futures markets indicated that Barack Obama had a 62 percent probability of winning the election. By Sunday, Obama’s probability has fallen to 46.5 percent, with McCain at 52.1 percent.

With the election at stake and Palin so crucial to the outcome, Democrats have sent “a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers” into Alaska. The media has also understandably descended in large numbers in Alaska. Despite Palin’s name being on the short list of potential vice presidential nominees for months, neither Obama’s campaign nor the media were prepared.

Yet, as Hillary Clinton’s own pollster has warned:

“the media is on very dangerous ground. I think that when you see them going through every single expense report that Governor Palin ever filed, if they don't do that for all four of the candidates, they're on very dangerous ground. I think the media so far has been the biggest loser in this race. And they continue to have growing credibility problems. . . . I think that the media is doing the kinds of stories on Palin that they're not doing on the other candidates.” . . .

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Obama intimidation tactics against WGN Radio -- round two

For those who can't remember what happened before, please go here. The Chicago Tribune has the new story here:

Chicago radio station WGN-AM is again coming under attack from the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama for offering airtime to a controversial author. It is the second time in recent weeks the station has been the target of an "Obama Action Wire" alert to supporters of the Illinois Democrat.

Monday night's target was David Freddoso, who the campaign said was scheduled to be on the station from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Chicago time.

"The author of the latest anti-Barack hit book is appearing on WGN Radio in the Chicagoland market tonight, and your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don't gain credibility," an e-mail sent Monday evening to Obama supporters reads.

"David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering," the message said. "And WGN apparently thinks this card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine needs a bigger platform for his lies and smears about Barack Obama -- on the public airwaves."

The Tribune-owned station was flooded with calls and e-mails about an hour before an Aug. 27 interview with Stanley Kurtz, a conservative writer who examined Obama's ties to former 1960s radical William Ayers.

A WGN producer said Monday night's response was about the same as when Kurtz was on the station.


University of Chicago Professor Questions whether Palin is a Woman

As someone who has been around academics, this is not particularly surprising.

Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman. The Republican party's cynical calculation that because she has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies (and drives them to school! wow!) she speaks for the women of America, and will capture their hearts and their votes, has driven thousands of real women to take to their computers in outrage. She does not speak for women; she has no sympathy for the problems of other women, particularly working class women.

Doesn't speak well for the state of sex education in Illinois, does it?

The thing to understand is that academia doesn't really value diversity per se. Groups that are perceived to be fairly liberal are viewed as underrepresented and helped to gain admittance, but once an individual in these groups is identified as a conservative they are no longer allowed to count as a black or Hispanic or a whatever other underrepresented group that they were being used to proxy for.

UPDATE: A friend of mine, Robert Hansen, reports that the local newspaper for Hanover, NH contains a similar story. The first line says: "Sarah Palin is No Woman."

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Obama interferes with US-Iraq negotiations

This is unprecedented as far I know of. There are actually laws against even US Senators interfere with US negotiations with foreign countries. The NY Post has this amazing discussion:

WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview. . . .

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Who do you want in the White House?

New Op-ed up at Fox News: Defending Price Gougers

The newest Fox News piece begins this way:

Understanding economics has never been a requirement to be a reporter or a politician. With gas prices moving back towards $4 a gallon over the weekend, "price-gouging" seems to again be everyone’s favorite phrase these days. With price of gasoline already being American’s greatest concern, more so than the economy or taxes, it is a message that many people will be primed to hear. Presumably that is why a majority of Americans want higher taxes on oil companies.

Yet, if political threats of price controls and price-gouging lawsuits prevent prices from rising now, it is the consumers nationwide who will suffer in the long run. In the coming weeks, as people living in the disaster area try to get everything from fallen trees removed to food, the outcry against higher prices will only get worse.

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Vegetarian Diets more likely to lead to brain shrinkage

Worried about your memory? A new study says to avoid meat-free diet:

Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage. . . .


Yet more money being spent on "smart gun" technology

Another grant and yet more years being spent on development of so-called smart guns that only allow a particular person to use them.

The Department of Justice has awarded a $254,889 federal grant to the New Jersey Institute of Technology so the Newark university can continue developing its child-proof "smart gun" technology, members of New Jersey's congressional delegation announced today.

NJIT has spent the last nine years on a "dynamic grip recognition" technology that can identify gun owners based on how they squeeze the trigger. The technology uses sensors located in the gun to identify unconscious, reflexive actions unique to each person and then decides whether the gunman is authorized to fire the weapon. . . .


Off-duty Chicago Cop Visiting Utah Shoots Man Who Stabbed Another Person

The Salt Lake Tribune had this story:

Off-duty Chicago cop shoots 'random' attacker in Orem
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 09/13/2008 04:37:40 PM MDT
An off-duty Chicago police officer shot a suspect who stabbed a man, apparently at random, outside an Orem restaurant, police say.
Both the stabbing victim and the suspect were in stable condition at separate hospitals as of late Saturday morning. They're names have not been disclosed.
About 8 a.m. Saturday, a Boise man and his girlfriend were leaving the International House of Pancakes at 850 W. 1250 South. In the parking lot, Orem police said, a 33-year-old man approached the couple and somehow startled them. The man apologized, then began attacking the Boise man with a pair of scissors, police said.
An off-duty police officer saw the attack and went to help. The officer drew his gun and ordered the suspect to drop the weapon, police said. But when the suspect made another move to stab the victim, police said, the officer fired.
The shot wounded the suspect but he tried to run away, Orem police said. The off-duty officer apprehended him. The stabbing victim suffered wounds to his head, neck and arm, police said.
Police said the suspect was a stranger to the couple and may suffer from psychological ailments.
The off-duty officer was in Utah to provide instruction, Orem police said.

Thanks to Brent Fowles for this link.

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