While working on this blog I come across all sorts of information. I would like to share more of it than can be squeezed into a couple of posts a week, yet not so much as to overload readers’ psyches, so periodically I will have posts that combine a little of this and that.
UPDATE ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (this section was rewritten July 7, due to my misstatement of Silver’s “odds”)
I mentioned Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeightblog in my previous Smatterings and his picking the winner of all but one state in the 2008 presidential election. Even though the cable chatter often makes this seem a close race, Silver has consistently given Obama a “chance of winning” in the 60s percentage-wise.
After the jobs report that came out yesterday (tepid for the third month in a row) Silver reduced Obama’s “winning chance” from 68.9% to 66.9%, but still a solid advantage.
Speaking of winning chances, yesterday I checked some Vegas odds on the race at an online site called Bovada. A $100 bet on Obama will net you $58.82 if he wins. Romney gives you better odds if he wins, your $100 netting $140, but you get a better payoff because he appears less likely to win.
IT’S EVEN WORSE THAN IT LOOKS
That’s the title of a book by two well respected centrists, Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein. One reason I judge them as centrists is because other centrists, like former Republican Senator Chuck Hegel and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker have praised the book. It takes one to know one, as they say. However, since the book blames a right moving Republican party for the lion’s share of our congressional gridlock, the authors are obviously liberals to those they criticize, if not socialists or, in the case of Representative Alan West, communists.
This weekend Mann and Ornstein are slated to be on UpwithChrisHayes, my favorite political discussion show which is on MSNBC on both Saturday and Sunday from 8-to-10 ET, which makes it 5-to-7 my time and one reason why I record it. Another reason is it allows me to watch it in segments during the rest of the week, instead of watching a number of programs that are not nearly as illuminating.
Being on MSNBC, it is no surprise that most of the guests are liberals, though there is often a conservative in attendance and Hayes does a good job of keeping the conversation flowing as opposed to verbal head butting.
I’m not sure which day the authors will be on, but that’s another reason to check the program out on both days this weekend.
OBAMA CELEBRATES FOURTH OF JULY IN FRANCE
Not really, but that was the story that went through conservative social media like the Colorado forest fire. It is worth examining, as Ezra Klein did on MSNBC, as it illustrates the eagerness of the right to immediately circulate anything that smears Obama, accuracy be damned.
According to Klein, the Hollywood Reporter had a piece about the European branch of the Obama campaign having a fundraiser in Paris for American x-pats on the 4th. Seeing that, Ben Shapiro wrote about the Paris fundraiser in the conservative Breitbart.com, ending with: “That also may be the only place Obama can still find cheering throngs.”
Shapiro didn’t say Obama was in France, but apparently Andrew McCarthy of the National Review thought he did when he wrote the following :
“Final Jeopardy – Category is OBAMA: The answer is: Fundraising in Paris….with a link to Breitbart. Carl Rove saw that and ever the eager beaver when it comes to smearing Obama, tweeted it to his legions of followers, who replied with responses such as: “Fitting. Comrade Obama to celebrate the 4th in socialist France.”
And Lars Larson, a conservative talk show host, ran with it like “wrong way Corrigan”: “What would you expect the president do on our day of independence? Perhaps give a speech or visit wounded warriors. At least something in America. Not this president. Not Barack Obama.”
Well, actually, on the 4th Obama was meeting with active duty U.S. service members who are becoming naturalized U.S. citizens at the White House.
I agree with conservatives that our media tend to reflect liberal biases, but at least they also have a journalistic tradition of checking the facts. And they do seem embarrassed when they get the facts wrong.
Not so with the parade of verbal henchman listed above beginning with McCarthy who is further taken to task in the article below.
- How’s Obama spending the Fourth? (salon.com)