Reaction from Wingnuttia

Free Republic provided my morning chuckle with
this post:

The President of the United States is the most powerful political figure in the world, but as national executives go his powers are actually quite restricted. Obama will become President, but he won’t be dictator or king, let alone deity. He still has to work with the House and the Senate, and he still has to live within Constitutional restrictions

Does the phrase “unitary executive” mean anything to this person? How
about suspending Habeas Corpus? Signing statements?

I’m sure sites like Free Republic and Liberty News Forum will prove bountiful reservoirs of
schadenfreude
in the coming days. I lost the links in yesterday’s celebratory haze,
but I’ve seen people saying that McCain lost because he’s not a True
Conservative™, or because he was dragged down by Bush, who’s not
a True Conservative™. It’s all very reminiscent of the
argument
that “if you deconverted, that means you were never a True
Christian™ to begin with”. Evidently conservatism can never
fail, it can only be failed (I think put it
that way).

Also,
impeach-barack-obama.com
has already been set up.


In other election news, Sean Tevis has apparently
lost
by 4%.

Michelle Bachmann, the McCarthyite from Minnesota, has been reelected.
Boo.

Elizabeth Dole lost, apparently in part because of backlash against
her “godless” ad.

And the California amendment banning gay marriages has also passed,
also by a 4% margin. I wonder what this means for
existing gay marriages.
Will they now be retroactively annulled?

And Alaskans have elected a felon to the Senate. The speculation du
jour is that when Stevens is sent to prison, the governor will appoint
a replacement. That governor is, of course, Caribou Barbie herself,
Sarah Palin. and if she’s entertaining presidential ambitions, she
might appoint herself to the Senate. The obvious question that this
raises is, will she be able to provide Jon Stewart with
fodder
for The Daily Show?

Based on her interview with Katie Couric and her general performance
during the campaign, I think we can safely say yes.

More Election Blather

I plan on updating this post throughout the day with whichever inane tidbits I run across. This is what would be called liveblogging if it were more coherent. I’m putting this all in one post so you don’t have to delete a whole bunch of posts today.


Yeah, I voted. Got in line at 9:55. Got out around 10:45. The lines were shorter than I remember them being last time. I think there were more machines this time, and I saw them wheel another one in while I was waiting in line.


Places allegedly giving away free stuff to voters: Starbucks (“Coffee for people who don’t like coffee”). Krispy Kreme. Chick-Fil-A (but not the one where I just had lunch. Bastards.)

And toys in Babeland is offering a choice of either a Maverick sheath or a Silver Bullet vibrator, for free, to people who have voted. You have to get it today in either New York or Seattle, though.


The Comedy Central webmasters have set up www.{thedailyshow,colbertnation,indecision2008}.com with JavaScript links instead of ordinary ones. Why do they hate tabbed browsers?


It’s raining here right now. Don’t let it stop you frokm voting: remember, if you catch pneumonia while voting, Obama’s health care plan will pay for your treatment.


More free food: California Tortilla.


Now I remember the other reason I don’t listen to AM talk radio, aside from the prevalence of insane wingnuts: the ads.

Right now, the Sean Hannity show played four minutes of commercials, cut back to Sean long enough for him to say that the evil libruls are intimidating voters and his show was the best source of election coverage, then cut back to commercial.


The Dow is up 3.24% so far today. This means the economy is recovering. Since voters trust the Democrats more to fix the economy, this is good news for McCain. Expect California and Hawaii to vote overwhelmingly Republican once the implications sink in.


Daily Kos’s Electoral Scoreboard is showing an Obama landslide in New Hampshire. Presumably this represents the twelve and a half residents of Funny Name, NH who make a point of voting at midnight on election day, the better to harvest attention from the quadrennial media swarms.


I think I’m having the political-news equivalent of a sugar crash, so instead here’s a hardware project that Randall Munroe certainly won’t endorse.


Hey, Florida, can I ask a favor?

The Election, Explained

Right now, Five Thirty-Eight
gives McCain’s win percentage as 3.3%. Or, to put it in gamer terms,
he has to roll a natural 20, and then he has to roll 5 or 6
on 1d6 (or 3 on 1d3).

As for Palin, from her interview and debate performances, she reminds
me of nothing so much as a verbose
Eliza:
you ask her a question, her internal
regexp
parser picks out a few keywords, and she spits out a string of
preprogrammed phrases, with possibly a few pattern substitutions.

Of course, the original Eliza was designed to be terse so as to hide
the simplicity of the algorithm. Palin goes on for minutes, making her
more of a cross between Eliza and
Dissociated Press.

Campaigns Interpret Regulation as Damage

The idea behind election finance reform is a noble one: elections tend
to go to whichever candidate wields the most money and can buy the
most votes; so let’s even out the playing field, and give less-rich
candidates a chance.

There are a number of problems with actually achieving any change,
though. For one, campaign finance reform has to be enacted by
politicians whose own reelection campaigns are likely to be hampered
by it.

Another is that any reform is unlikely to address the core problem.
John Gilmore is
quoted as
saying that “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around
it.” In other words, let’s say you’re trying to move pr0n from point A
to point B. But some site in the middle doesn’t like pr0n, so it
intercepts your data packets and drops them on the floor. From your
point of view, it looks as if that site has a broken cable or a power
outage or something. But the Internet is failure-resistant, so your
data packets find a different path, avoiding the affected site
altogether.

And so it is with campaign contributions.

Continue reading “Campaigns Interpret Regulation as Damage”

So☭ialism

In light of the right-wing hordes calling Obama a socialist for daring to raise taxes on the rich, I’m amused by dKos’s compilation of times when McCain has expressed the same sentiment:

Not to mention this quotation that I found a long time ago, but which
seems especially apt right now:

The US treats its socialism like a Catholic priest
treats masturbation: it does it very rarely, with a great amount of
guilt, and tries its very hardest to ignore the relief that it
brings.

— Electric Angst

Aiding the Terrorists

Remember the 2004 election, when partisans from both major parties
were arguing that Osama bin Laden wanted the other guy to win? Well,
this time around,
wonder no more:

“Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election,” said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the “failing march of his predecessor,” President Bush.

The Web commentary was one of several posted by Taliban or al-Qaeda-allied groups in recent days that trumpeted the global financial crisis and predicted further decline for the United States and other Western powers.