Posts Tagged ‘politics

14
Jan
09

If I Could Just Touch the Hem of His Brooks Brothers Suit…

I swear to God, America has developed an “If I Could Just Touch the Hem of His Garment” complex with Barack Obama (for those of you not familiar with the New Testament that is a reference to the woman with the hemorrhage who said if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’s robe she would be healed. She touched it, and she was healed). Anyway, it seems the media is looking for anyone and I mean ANYONE who knew Barack or Michelle Obama at some point before he ran for public office. It is ridiculous. They will find that person who took Barack’s drivers license picture back in Hawaii and ask them dumb questions like, “Would you ever have guessed that he would be president one day?” The answer is NO. Just like guys at Yale didn’t know that the coke head doing a keg stand on their coffee table was going to be president one day (George W. Bush). I swear news outlets have entire staffs devoted to finding people that knew the Obamas back in the day. One day you are going to turn on the news and see this:

In this CNN exclusive, we have the woman Barack dated… before Michelle Reporter: So when did you first meet Barack?

Woman: Well it was at a party at Harvard. He was really quiet.

Reporter: How long were you in a relationship with President-Elect Obama?

Woman: Back then, we just called him Barry. And it wasn’t much of a relationship… actually we just hooked up that night at the party.

Reporter: I see, so… when you were “hooking up”, did you know you were sucking the future 44th president’s dick?

And this is the shit people are calling news nowadays. We have an economy in shambles, Israel is blasting Gaza, people are losing jobs… and the media wants to know “who knew Barack 15 years ago” or what dog Sasha and Maliah are going to get. I will put an end to this madness: No one really knew Barack was going to become president one day and if they say they did they are lying and the kids are getting a pitbull… or a rottweiler. Some really hood dog.

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07
Jan
09

Washington’s Bookie

Dice

Nowadays, the key to popularity in the media is to make strong, incendiary statements which generate raving support from one side and are either dismissed or viciously countered by the other side.  This is most true on the internet, where opinions seem to change even faster than the news and are supported by any number of different sources.  By being carefully discerning, one can read political commentary the reinforces all their previously held beliefs without subjecting themselves to any differing opinions.

This is especially true in the blogosphere.  Sites like HuffingtonPost.com, FreeRepublic.com, and NewsBusters.org thrive on loads of selectively biased contributors and readers to increase their web traffic.  Everyone is surrounded by those who share the same opinions and neither side is interested in reading what the other side has written.  As a result, political discourse in this country is at its most intense and its most immature.

Enter RealClearPolitics.com and, my personal favorite, FiveThirtyEight.com.  RCP is the behemoth in indepedent politics.  Its primary focus is on poll aggregation, thus giving a quantitative assessment of the most current American opinions.  It also provides its own content and links to posts from a variety of different political blogs.

FiveThirtyEight.com (the name comes from the number of eleectoral votes in Washington) also focuses on aggregate polling, but it strips away all the fat.  The site was founded in March 2008 by Nate Silver, a sabermetrician-turned-political-analyst.  Silver uses his statistical expertise culled from his experience as a baseball statistician and applies it to the political sphere.  Based on current polling data, he runs thousands of simulations to determine the probabilities of various outcomes.  In the recent presidential election, for example, Silver posted figures for the likelihood of Obama being elected, the Democrats winning a super-majority in the Senate, Obama being able to win the election if he lost key swing states, etc.

Silver, along with his blog partner Sean Quinn, regularly contributes posts outlining his methodology and keeps the political commentary to a minimum.  This approach mirrors PECOTA, a statistical algorithm developed by Silver that assigns an aggregate value to baseball players based on their stats.  While others might describe a player as having a great arm, a good eye at the plate, and an intrinsic leadership ability, Silver just sees the numbers.  Likewise, while others may talk about a candidate’s charisma and pedigree, Silver talks numbers.  If you’re in any way interested in quantitative analysis, FiveThirtyEight.com is a must-read site.

09
Dec
08

FOR SALE: senate seat

I’ve got a Democratic senate seat for sale! This is the position once held by president-elect Obama that helped propel him into his newfound glory. Do you have presidential aspirations? Want to follow in his footsteps? Then this is the position for you! You too could be an Illinois senator!

Payment options:
1) A substantial salary for myself, either at a non-profit foundation or a labor union organization.

2) Placing my wife on a paid corporate board.

3) Campaign funds. I accept cash money up front!

4) A cabinet post or an ambassadorship for Yours Truly.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime, not to be missed! Remember: “I’m just not giving it up for fucking nothing. I’m not gonna do it!!”




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