Showing posts from August, 2008

transcript and word cloud of Obama's acceptance speech

Obama sealed the deal last night - see my initial thoughts on his nomination acceptance speech at City of Brass. I plugged the text of the speech transcript into wordle and got this result: The main theme of the speech is clear from the cloud: the promise of America. It's worth noting that Obama uses that word to refer to an ideal, a description of the American Dream, which put simply is that anyone can succeed here if they work hard. It's not a mere litany of government handouts, as others have insinuated , but rather an appeal to the idea of America, its immigrant roots, and it's fundamental character. And it's also worth noting that Obama drew a sharp distinction between himself and John McCain, firmly establishing the fundamental case for why Obama-Biden is indeed an agent of change, whereas John McCain would be in all respects a Bush Administration third term. As Obama forcefully said, "change doesn't come from Washington; change comes to Washington&q

BODS: Barack Obama Derangement Syndrome

Barack Obama is " morally depraved " and a " liar ". He actively desires to dump unwanted babies in the toilet . His flip-flops matter while McCain's flip-flops don't. And, of course, the liberals- Dolchsto├člegende classic, He actively wants us to lose in Iraq .

The end of the Nation State

Josh Trevino argues that Russia's incursion to Georgia represents the end of the Western order (ie, NATO), and that the blame may be layed squarely at the feet of the Kosovo issue as precedent. Daniel Larison argues the opposite, that Russia's action is inherently limited and far from representing a Soviet resurgence, is really a natural reaction to the provocation of the Western order (ie, NATO). Neither of their analyses are without their own bias, but despite being polar opposites they still labor under the same inherent assumption that the natural order of things is for sovereignity to be defined as the nation-state level, a concept that some historians argue dates to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The concept of Westphalian sovereignty itself seems to be fundamentally flawed, however. Except in truly immigrant-majority societies like the US (the "melting pot" or "salad bowl" analogy), the tendency (especially in Europe) seems to be towards self-r

I'd rather be wrong than right

John Edwards admitted to an extramarital affair in 2006 yesterday. John Edwards was, and remains (in a fantasy, never-gonna-happen now, daydream sorta way) the best candidate for Vice president to Barack Obama. The fact that he was caught by the National Enquirer cheating on his (sick) wife - a political tradition of sorts , just ask John McCain - has ended his political career, even though none of the political media or leftwing blogger elite will admit yet that this is so (though notably, Edwards' name did mysteriously vanish from all left-sphere Veep speculation.) Now, the LA Times (media) and The Moderate Voice (blog) are weighing in on the scandal, lambasting the rest of the media/blogsphere for failing to cover the issue. I must note that I was one of the few political bloggers - and the sole lefty political blogger, who favored Edwards for Veep - to take the story seriously. I also diaried it at DailyKos and was predictably flamed into oblivion. Did the media and

Why isn't Obama leading?

The left is not used to winning. This is probably why we as a whole are particularly susceptible to concern trolling from right-wing punditry. The latest such to make the rounds is that Obama should be destroying McCain , and instead isn't leading by the margin you'd expect were the hype about the " Obamessiah " to be grounded in reality. Of course, were McCain not weak, his campaign strategists would not be trying to base an argument on how strong Obama is. In 2004, the Bush campaign attacked Kerry directly and via surrogates, and had strict message discipline about Bush's own inevitability (a similar confident stance by Obama today is characterized as "arrogant" by the right-wing today). In contrast, Kerry attempted to concern troll Bush by asking (more legitimately than McCain does now) why Bush's lead, as an incumbent wartime president, was not significant 1 . In fact, McCain's entire strategy hinges on tearing Obama down - and his camp