- Tabulaw: What Congress Does When it Runs Out of Numbers
Congress recently passed a bill that created section 139D of the tax code. But there was already a 139D. No problem—they just kept the existing one. So there are two section 139Ds. Given my work on codes, this makes my head feel all explodey inside.
- New York Times: G.O.P.’s No-Tax Stance Is Outside Political Mainstream
The concessions that the president is offering to Republican leaders aren't just to the right of what the country wants, they're to the right of what Republicans want. But they're not far enough to the right for Eric Cantor and company, who are willing to cooperate on absolutely nothing. I'm left wondering why somebody unwilling to cooperate would be a member of a legislative body.
- The Atlantic: Sarah Palin Movie Debuts to Empty Theater in Orange County
What if they made a documentary about Sarah Palin, and nobody came? Seriously. Nobody. Just the reporter, all alone in the theater.
- Public Policy Polling: Barbour, Bryant lead in Mississippi
Forget the point of this poll—the real news is that half of Mississippi Republicans think that interracial marriage should be illegal. Oh, and Sarah Palin is leading that bunch by a wide margin. Small government what now?
- New York Times: Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food Prices and Hunger Fears
Don't use food as fuel for cars. This isn't a hard concept.
- Entertainment Weekly: Glenn Beck’s Fox departure—Where will his audience go?
The New York Times reported a month ago that Fox was giving Glenn Beck the boot. Now it's official. Beck's audience has collapsed, a peril of the sky's continuous failure to fall, and he's got to find a new home.
- Wolfram MathWorld: Pi Digits
The first thirty million digits of pi are almost uniformly distributed. That is, 1 occurs with the same frequency as 2, 3, 4, etc. That's consistent with randomness, but hardly evidence of it.
- Ludolph Van Ceulen’s Headstone
This Dutch mathematician devoted his life to calculating pi. By the time of his death, in 1610, he had calculated the first 35 digits, a feat that by modern standards is a pathetic waste of a life, but for the time was an amazing accomplishment. He had the numbers inscribed on his headstone.
- Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages
If you ever want to know anything about spices, I see no reason to look any place other than here.
- New York Times: Palin’s Popularity Declines Among Republicans
"[Sarah Palin's] ratings are now in the range of Al Sharpton and Pat Buchanan in the years before they ran for president, rather than those who were considered viable candidates."
Sarah Palin has marked the Fifth District with crosshairs, sending supporters to the map by telling supporters “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”
Must we continue to pretend to be surprised by acts of violence on the part of the angry right?
Kate Snow, interviewing Sarah Palin for ABC News, provides this deadpan nugget:
As to whether another pursuit for national office, as when she joined Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the race for the White House less than a year ago, would result in the same political blood sport, Palin said there was a difference between the White House and what she had experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House, she said, the “department of law” would protect her from baseless ethical allegations.
“I think on a national level, your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we’ve been charged with and automatically throw them out,” she said.
There is no “Department of Law” at the White House.
This woman is the gift that keeps on giving.
With Gov. Sarah Palin stepping down, it would be tempting to draw some conclusions. After all, no officeholder at the level of governor quits mid-term without a scandal or a nomination for a higher seat. But that’s thinking like a rational, experienced political operative. Palin, on the other hand, operates in her own little universe. She doesn’t think like you and me. In her mind, she may well believe that she’s a shoo-in for the presidency in 2012, and that the best path to the presidency involves resigning from the governor’s office. Really, there’s no telling what she’s thinking. But fight that urge to connect this effect to a cause. It’s an exercise in futility.
The McCain advisor who Fox News relied on for their claim that Sarah Palin thought that Africa was a country is, in fact, a serial hoaxer. Supposed McCain policy advisor “Martin Eisenstadt” is an invention of Eitan Gorlin. He cleverly mixes barely-plausible claims with true statements, so the media and bloggers (including yours truly) take the bait. He’s behind a few other rumors that came out during the election, all of which I’m pleased to say that I investigated and rejected as implausible at the time. Honestly, I can’t help but like the guy. I have to give credit to Sourcewatch—they’ve had him pegged the whole time.
Sarah Palin thought that Africa was a country, not a continent. I just can’t say it enough: the McCain should have jettisoned Palin around 6:00pm of the day she was announced. That woman is dumber than a sack of hammers.
It’s official—Sarah Palin is now the top drag on McCain’s campaign, with an NBC/WSJ poll showing that she’s voters’ #1 worry about supporting McCain.
The McCain/Palin campaign held a rally in Virginia Beach yesterday. They claimed 25,000 attendees. Awkwardly, it turns out the building only holds 16,000. More awkwardly still, the fire marshall says there were only 12,000. Facts be damned, Gerry Scimeca wrote in the RPV’s newsletter this afternoon:
For Virginians looking forward to the right kind of change this November, just the ticket we need came to the Old Dominion Monday as John McCain and Sarah Palin hosted more than 55,000 of their closest friends for two hugely successful rallies. Appearing together in Virginia Beach, they drew an estimated crowd of over 30,000. Afterwards, Governor Palin moved on to the Richmond raceway and hosted an audience of over 25,000.
This is nothing new for the RPV. They told the same lie a month ago, claiming “over 25,000” people at a rally in Fairfax attended by just 15,000, long after the real number was known.
And, for the record, the RPV newsletter remains just awful. In the latest issue, they complain about somebody registering to vote as Mickey Mouse. Unless somebody can gin up a driver’s license with the name “Mickey Mouse,” and present it with a straight face, it’s tough to see how that would contribute to “steal[ing] the election.”
It’s not for nothing that I called the RPV a “Mickey Mouse operation” last month. On the other hand, Jim Gilmore’s name doesn’t appear once in this week’s edition of the newsletter, with just two more issues due out before the election. I guess they know a dead horse when they see one.