Unclear politics

Apologies for linking to Real Clear Politics in my last post; I though it was a left-leaning site, or at least neutral, because the Guardian has a link to the RCP poll aggregator on its US politics page.

I discovered my mistake when I read this post on the site, via Annsnewfriend’s Weblog (which, I hasten to add, I visited purely randomly while tag surfing). RCP’s Republican sympathies are embarrassingly obvious if one even glances at the homepage – they link to a Bill Kristol column today – which once again proves that posting while tired/drunk/stoned is inadvisable.

I toyed with the idea of changing the link to some other poll site, but I had a feeling that that would be dishonest, though of course no one would have noticed.

Readers will have noticed a veritable tsunami of posts recently, which is partly due to my reawakened interest in US politics, what with the election, and the financial meltdown and everything, but mainly because I have had a bit more free time recently, and it’s been raining a lot. I’ve even managed to sneak in a reference or two to Second Life. I doubt that I’ll be able to keep up this pace, but I’ll try.

St. Louis Vice

Well, the VP debate turned out a little dull; no amusing videos of Republican gibberish to link to today. Palin performed reasonably competently (here’s how she did it), but Biden still scored a solid victory, by focussing on the key issue that is concerning the electorate – the economy, stupid – and tying McCain firmly to the Bush administration’s responsibility for the crisis. Mike Madden at Salon has a good summary of how it went down. For light relief, read Fox News’ take on the event.

The polls are looking good for Obama; with a month to go what could go wrong?

In other news, the $700-billion financial rescue plan finally passed in the House – McCain and Palin can always hope that this means that the economy will be completely fixed by election day.

Looks familiar

Whiling away the time until the Palin-Biden debate starts streaming over the web, I came across the news that the Republican VP candidate has at least two doppelgängers on the grid. Or so the creators of these avatars would have us believe, since, to my eyes at least, neither of them resemble her more than they look like any other woman with dark hair and glasses.

A slightly more convincing Barack Obama is out there too, though the way he moves is more “heavily medicated” than “presidential”.

Here’s a better Obama, with McCain thrown in too, along with their grandmother and mother respectively.

L$700 Billion Question

What effect will the financial crisis have on virtual worlds like Second Life? Given that the economic underpinnings of the Linden dollar are flimsy enough to make CDOs look like Krugerrands in comparison, I fear that the grid may not survive the looming depression.

Others are more optimistic, seeing spaces like SL as a escape from the harshness of the real world, where we will all be able to forget our worries in the perfect sunny landscapes of the grid, in the same way that our great-grandparents sought refuge from the bleakness of life in the 30’s by flocking to the cinema to lose themselves in dreams of Hollywood.

Time will tell I guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up one morning to find that Second Life has disappeared. I wonder if the bailout bill covers L$ deposits?

“All of ’em!”

The more clips I see of Sarah Palin, the more I am convinced she is putting on some sort of act to lull the Democrats into a false sense of security. I mean, someone who is running for the second-highest office in the land, who has a degree in journalism, yet cannot name a single newspaper that she reads? Is that even remotely credible?

I’ve read several commentators speculating that the GOP strategy is to create low expectations ahead of the VP debate, so that even a mediocre performance by Palin will seem like a triumph. They may also be hoping to win the sympathy vote by casting Biden as some sort of liberal intellectual elitist bully if he makes her look completely stupid by pulling a mean trick like stringing more than two coherent sentences together.

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