The Phony Campaign

2007-08-15 Update

Big change at the top today. Today's standings and 3-day trend:

Query StringHit CountChange
Since 8/12
"Hillary Clinton" phony391,000+14,000
"John Edwards" phony349,000-85,000
"John McCain" phony302,000+5,000
"Barack Obama" phony280,000+11,000
"Ron Paul" phony266,000-1,000
"Mitt Romney" phony240,000+16,000
"Fred Thompson" phony209,000+10,000
"Rudy Giuliani" phony186,000+3,000
"Dennis Kucinich" phony129,000+7,000
"Dave Burge" phony56+1

The big news here is, obviously, the sudden disappearance of 85,000 hits for John Edwards, causing his seemingly-safe lead to vanish like a snowflake in July. What's the opposite of ballot-box stuffing? Ballot-box sucking? Whatever it is, I accuse Google of it.

As I fearlessly predicted, Obama's shown a big gain. Given his recent fact-challenged pronouncements, I'm guessing we'll soon see him in third place.

Romney has the biggest gain, though. Probably needs to muss his hair a bit.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 9:51 AM EST

URLs du Jour


  • I enjoyed a couple articles provided by the Weekly Standard today: an all-too-infrequent appearance of Larry Miller, reflecting on what gullible idjits we all are; and (since the Salad Womenfolk are major Food Channel junkies) Victorino Matus on celebrity-chef culture. The words "Bam" and "Yum-o" appear in the latter, not so much in the former.

  • As we pointed out a couple days ago, scientists who are sympathetic to "intelligent design" are not treated kindly in American academia; however, if you're an English philosophy prof with similar ideas, you can get a NYT column from John Tierney devoted to you:
    Until I talked to Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University, it never occurred to me that our universe might be somebody else's hobby. I hadn't imagined that the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the heavens and earth could be an advanced version of a guy who spends his weekends building model railroads or overseeing video-game worlds like the Sims.
    It's OK, I guess, until you start referring to that guy as "God."

    If you find that intriguing, you'll want to check out Tierney's online followup, and especially see Robin Hanson's "How To Live In A Simulation". (One recommendation: "keep the famous people around you happy and interested in you." Hey, that's why I blog!)

Last Modified 2012-10-17 3:45 PM EDT


[Amazon Link] [3.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

The hero here is named Kale. He's developed attitude problems due to a horrific tragedy in his life, and I'm not talking about being named after a vile vegetable. He winds up being sentenced to house arrest, with an ankle monitor making sure he doesn't leave the premises. His mom cuts off XBox, and other similar timewasters, so Kale becomes a voyeur. (It was either that, or—ewwww!—read some books, I guess.) At first he concentrates on his pretty new neighbor, but then attention shifts to the weird neighbor who cuts his grass just a little too often. Hijinks ensue!

This is supposed to remind you of Hitchcock's Rear Window, but the unfortunate corollary to this is that it will also remind you that Rear Window was a much better movie.

I, for one, would never have expected you could get away with saying "shit" so many times in a PG-13 movie.

Shia LaBeouf, who I liked quite a bit in Transformers, plays Kale, and he's fine here too. But his mom is played by … Carrie-Anne Moss! I don't know about you, but I found that more Disturbia-ing than anything else in the movie. At one point, pretty neighbor observes to Kale: "Your mom is hot!" Duh—way too hot to play a mother!

Last Modified 2012-10-17 3:22 PM EDT