Daily Archives: September 23, 2008

Photo Break: Red-bellied woodpecker

Birdblogbirdblogbirdblog…!  Say it ten times really really fast, then check the story behind the photo below the break.

Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker

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Google to Apple: Overcharge THIS

Google’s new smartphone, the G1 Android, is being released today.  I’m closer now to buying a smartphone than I’ve ever been, but I’m still probably going to put it off.

The Upside: It’s much cheaper to own than Apple’s iPhone, both for the equipment and for the plan.  It’s got a big ol’ screen, a trackball, and a slide-out keyboard, which I think I might like better than the iPhone’s virtual keyboard.

The Downside: It only works on T-Mobile, which not only isn’t my plan (and I’m perfectly happy with AT&T), but also has a slow data network compared to other carriers.  Not something you’d want in an Internet-capable phone.

Despite it’s low price tag, I think I’ll wait until the Google phone branches out to other providers.  Besides, as I’m sure it pains the makers of the iPhone to recall, it can only get cheaper.

UPDATE: Wired is not impressed.

Sarah Palin is SO last week

You know, last week I semi-complained that my blogging, like the day-to-day news, was being overwhelmed by Sarah Palin.  It now appears Joe Biden has finally had it with being relegated to C-SPAN again, and has decided to wrest the news coverage away from Gov. Palin…by any means necessary.

Well…Bravo Zulu, Senator.  Job well done.  You’re now constantly in the news and dominating my blog.  You’re also doing so by repeatedly falling flat on your face.

I actually feel somewhat badly for Sen. Biden.  It’s not pity, it’s genuine sympathy.  Biden has been trying to get himself elected to national office for twenty years, and now he’s closer than he’s ever been in his long life, after repeated bad luck in the national primary process.  Now that he’s finally cleared that hurdle thanks to Barack Obama and Caroline Kennedy, it turns out he’s still a problematic candidate, even in front of a national general-election audience.

I’ll probably have to live two or three more decades before I can imagine what that feels like.

History lesson

OK, the history buff in me couldn’t resist posting briefly on this.  From Ben Smith at Politico (emphasis mine):

Joe Biden’s denunciation of his own campaign’s ad to Katie Couric got so much attention last night that another odd note in the interview slipped by.

He was speaking about the role of the White House in a financial crisis.

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric. “He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'”

As Reason’s Jesse Walker footnotes it: “And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, ‘Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?'”

When the stock market crashed in 1929, Franklin Roosevelt had just barely taken office as governor of New York.  He didn’t become president until 1933, and didn’t appear on television for the first time until 1939.  (Moreover, who had TVs then?  A call for calm in a television address following the market crash in 1929 would have reached roughly as many people as, oh…say, a streaming podcast following the Kuwait invasion in 1991.)

File this under the existing meme:  Joe Biden, the gaffe that keeps on gaffe-ing.

Somebody hasn’t stopped running for prez…

Have Joe Biden and Barack Obama actually bothered talking to each other in the last couple of days?

In the space of 24 short hours, we’ve seen:

Caroline Kennedy’s BlackBerry must be smoking with hate email from the Obama campaign these days.  “Thanks a million for the yeoman vetting process, lady.”

It’s hardly unusual for running mates to disagree.  Eight years ago Joe Lieberman was forced to “evolve” his positions on a number of issues (affirmative action, the content of Hollywood output, etc.) in order to make sure he didn’t make things too difficult for Al Gore.  Much was made in 1980 of the differences between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush on supply-side economics (“voodoo economics,” according to Bush during the primaries).

John McCain and Sarah Palin are famously on opposite sides of the fence regarding drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an issue near and dear to the Alaska governor’s heart for years.  However, the difference between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin is that with the latter, you get the clear impression that they have at least discussed the matter between them, even if they haven’t come to a meeting of minds yet.

Points of disagreement between Obama and Biden, on the other hand, always seem to come as a surprise to them both when asked about them by reporters or voters, and you’re invariably filled with dread at what the next conversation between the two of them is probably going to be like.

Nice job. Really nice job.

Congratulations are due to Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama and his campaign.  They’ve managed, as CBS News reports, to turn an anti-Iran rally into an anti-Obama rally.

Politics and diplomacy were not a good mix at Monday’s protest rally against Iran at the United Nations.

Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin didn’t participate in the “Stop Iran Now” rally and there were a lot of hard feelings about it.

It was a simple sign that read “We Want Sarah. Shame On The Rally Organizer.”

Howard Webber from Brooklyn held it.

“As important an event as this is, you needed a unity of Democrats and Republicans to show Ahmadinejad that we’re not going to accept a nuclear Iran.”

Buddy Macy of Little Fells, N.J., felt much the same way.

“I’m so disappointed, upset,” Macy said. “She would have brought 10,000-20,000 more supporters of Israel. People who were curious were stopped because of partisan action.”

The brouhaha started after Clinton pulled out after she learned Palin was invited. Three organizations supporting the rally threatened to pull out unless Palin was disinvited. She was but organizers didn’t stop there.

They were furious Monday about the political signs brought by some at the rally, like an anti-Obama sign that said, “Jews Against Obama & Ahmadinejad.”

If Howard Webber’s sign is any indication of general sentiment in the crowd, then the shame is that the organizers are being blamed.  Earlier Democratic maneuvering and blackmail really didn’t give them much choice in the matter.  Gateway Pundit does have a slightly encouraging update:

Iranian activist Banafsheh Zand Bonazzi was at the rally and mentioned that there were several pro-Palin signs in the crowd but that there were not many anti-Obama signs.

It would’ve been pretty difficult to keep the Palin dust-up out of the rally, but at least what there was turned out to be affirmative (pro-Palin) rather than negative (anti-Obama), especially since even though Obama certainly didn’t help matters by stonewalling the organizers in their search for a speaker, Hillary was the one who got the ball rolling in the first place.