Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Archive for August 27th, 2008

This just in: Barack Obama to be deified on Thursday

Posted by sanityinjection on August 27, 2008

Check out this photo of the stage they are building for Obama’s big acceptance on Thursday night at Invesco Field in Denver:

Obama's Temple?

Obama's Temple

 

Ummm…is this really such a good idea? Your nominee is already battling accusations that he’s an egomaniacal celebutante with a Messiah complex, and so you decide to build him his own Greek temple? What’s next, a laurel wreath for his head? How about a thunderbolt staff or a pair of winged shoes?

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=5660266

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Thoughts on the Democratic convention, at the midpoint

Posted by sanityinjection on August 27, 2008

Nothing much of importance usually happens on Day 1 of a convention, and this one was no exception. The one thing that sticks out my mind was the image of Michelle Obama and her daughters on stage with their beaming father on a giant video screen behind them. Looking at this handsome, young, charismatic family, I was reminded of nothing so much as JFK, Jackie, Caroline and John-John, only recast with darker skin. If I were the Obama people, I would try to use a photo of Obama and his family together in every ad. It’s an attractive image that counteracts the usual GOP critique that the Democrats don’t support “family values”.

Day 2 was a little more interesting. Governor Schweitzer of Montana is a pudgy redneck with goofy mannerisms who surprised me by blowing the roof off the place with an old-fashioned stump speech that really fired up the crowd (which had just finished ignoring Obama’s brother-in-arms, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.) 

The TV cameras kept going to Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama for reax all night, especially during Hillary’s speech. The Hillary tribute video was well done – I especially liked that they got some real rock music in there instead of the usual insipid crap. Chelsea Clinton continues to be droolworthy, although it’s a little scary how much her voice is starting to resemble her mother’s. (Hillary has many fine qualities, but dulcet tones are not among them.) I liked watching Bill’s face and seeing what was either the greatest acting job ever or genuine love and pride for his wife.

The most enduring image from Day 2 was during Hillary’s speech when she paid tribute to two Democrats who recently passed away, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and the chair of the Arkansas Democrats, Bill Gwatney. Jones’ son and Gwatney’s wife were sitting in the VIP box on either side of Bill Clinton. When the crowd acknowledged them, they stood up and briefly took each other’s hands in front of Clinton. That image of the white, Southern woman holding hands with the strong, well-dressed young black man, I thought encapsulated the whole idea of unity that Obama supposedly represents. Again, if I were the Dems, I’d get that shot into as many ad pieces as possible.

What we haven’t heard much of at all so far is specifics about what Obama wants to do as President. We know he’s going to calm the seas and make the lion to lay down with the lamb, but some actual policy proposals might be nice, too. I would assume we’ll be hearing more on that front in the second half of the convention.

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Are you better off than you were 8 years ago?

Posted by sanityinjection on August 27, 2008

That’s the question that always gets asked around election time. The assumption is that if voters feel they are better off (generally, but specifically in an economic sense) than they were when the incumbent took office, they will vote for the party in power. If not, they’ll vote for the other party. This conventional wisdom was firmly established in 1980 when voters punished President Carter and the Democrats for the oil shocks and general economic malaise of the late 1970s.

In 2008, the assumption is that the voters will similarly punish the Republican party for the status of the economy. But according to Investor’s Business Daily, looking strictly at incomes, Americans are in fact better off economically than they were when George Bush took office:

http://ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=304643903414901

Of course, this will not be a compelling argument to someone who has lost their job or had their home foreclosed. Yet there does seem to be a fair amount of evidence that although certain sectors of the economy are struggling, and high oil prices are a challenge for everybody, viewed as a whole things are not nearly as bad as the media would have us believe. Our current oil crisis, in real terms, pales before the oil shocks of the 70s, and our economy is far more robust than in the days of “stagflation”. We have had only one quarter of negative growth – not enough to be technically a recession.

The truth is that the President has much less of an impact, and deserves far less of the credit or blame for economic success or failure, than most people realize.

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Journalists: Being unbiased doesn’t have to mean being an ass.

Posted by sanityinjection on August 27, 2008

Superb column this week from Editor & Publisher’s Mark Fitzgerald castigating his fellow journalists for being too boorish to rise during the National Anthem like everybody else:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/newspaperbeat_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003842759

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