The Phony Campaign

2007-09-12 Update

It's over a week since we looked at the phony numbers! What's the haps? It's been another period of solidly increasing phoniness across the board, is what:

Query StringHit CountChange
Since 9/4
"Hillary Clinton" phony386,000+74,000
"John McCain" phony304,000+64,000
"John Edwards" phony293,000+32,000
"Ron Paul" phony258,000+52,000
"Barack Obama" phony249,000+40,000
"Fred Thompson" phony218,000+65,000
"Mitt Romney" phony215,000+47,000
"Rudy Giuliani" phony180,000+36,000
"Dennis Kucinich" phony122,000+28,500
"Dave Burge" phony61+8


  • Hillary widens her lead. News stories like this help, as the phrase "funneled phony donations from contributors" appears.

  • But McCain "surged" into second place. Over John Edwards?! I don't buy it myself, but the Google doesn't lie.

  • Ron Paul also edged past Obama into fourth.

  • And after moving past Guiliani last week, Fred Thompson has leapfrogged Romney into sixth place. But (please note) things like this count.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 10:44 AM EDT

URLs du Jour


  • Reductio ad absurdum: sometimes it happens quickly, but in Merrimack, NH, it takes two years.
    A New Hampshire teenager's yearbook photo has been rejected, because she's holding a flower. Merrimack High School student Melissa Morin's senior photograph featured her and a small red flower. School officials, however, said the picture is not going to make it in the yearbook because props aren't allowed. […]

    The policy stemmed from a 2005 controversy in Londonderry, where a student posed with his gun. A judge ruled in favor of the school, but Merrimack officials said they didn't want to face similar scuffles.

    As a wise man once said: "Sailing the ship of policy to avoid controversy guarantees it will run aground on the rocky shore of ridicule."

    Well, actually, it wasn't a wise man, it was me.

  • But it's not just in New Hampshire.
    Under a new school rule, students at Hobbton High School [in Newton Grove, North Carolina] are not allowed to wear items with flags, from any country, including the United States.

    The new rule stems from a controversy over students wearing shirts bearing flags of other countries.

    Surely some other state can give NH and NC some competition in the coveted "dullest school administrators" competition?

  • Radley Balko has a good piece at Politico excorciating the GOP for being weak on federalism, specifically with respect to federal raids on marijuana clinics in states that have legalized medical pot. Fred Thompson is the lone Republican hope:
    Thompson is the only candidate yet to take a public position on the raids. While he's right to note his impressive pro-federalist voting record in the Senate, he also voted for a number of bills strengthening the federal war on drugs.

    And while Thompson's campaign essays rightly decry the federalization of crime and the soaring U.S. prison population, they're curiously silent on the war on drugs — a leading cause of both of these troubling trends. Thompson's campaign did not respond to inquiries about his position on the DEA raids for this article.

    In response to the recent request for blogospheric Fred-questions, I submitted:
    How does your enthusiasm for Federalism apply to the War on Drugs?
    … it'll be interesting if I hear anything back on that.

  • I spotted the New York Times using my favorite euphemism for aging boomers: "New Social Sites Cater to People of a Certain Age" (emphasis added). Also amusing was the reporter's apparent cluelessness in passing along this quote from "Martha Starks, 52, a retired optician in Tucson":
    "They don't even know who Aretha is — she's the queen of soul!" she said.
    Martha not only remembers Aretha from the 60s, she also remembers Steely Dan from 1980. Hard times have befallen the soul survivors.

    [UPDATE (2007-09-30): Ms. Starks wrote me to confirm my guess about the NYT's reporter:

    ... during two different conversations, the reporter couldn't even PRONOUNCE Aretha correctly!
    Ah, kids these days!]

  • In the same vein, the Torch points out how modern-day University administrators are probably too young (or, more likely, too humor-impaired) to remember the line from 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!" Specifically, failure to have a well-rounded Pythonesque background can cause one to write ever more idiotic speech codes.

Last Modified 2012-10-17 3:09 PM EDT

Purple Cane Road

[Amazon Link]

This is the year 2000 entry in James Lee Burke's series about Louisiana police detective Dave Robicheaux. As usual, Burke is an unequalled master at putting the reader into a scene, showing the vivid colors, smells, and textures. Also as usual, he puts all the characters in the book through several assorted flavors of Hell; no modern fictional detective suffers from this treatment more than Dave Robicheaux.

In this outing, Dave is trying to assemble evidence to provide clemency for Letty Labiche, a woman on death row who has (apparently) killed a cop that used to abuse her. But soon he and his colorful sidekick Clete run into a lowlife who claims he has information on the foul-play death of Dave's mother years ago. Various other characters appear: the colorful but ficticious Louisiana governor; the Louisiana attorney general; a sociopathic hitman who develops a connection to Dave's daughter Alafair; a dirty cop who used to have a relationship with Dave's wife Bootsie. Everything is resolved at the end, with many of these people becoming deceased along the way.

I notice that they're bringing out a movie based on In the Electic Mist with the Confederate Dead, a previous book in the series. (They've shortened the title to In the Electric Mist.) Dave is played by Tommy Lee Jones, which (to my mind) is just about perfect casting; I've "seen" Dave Robicheaux as Tommy Lee Jones since I read the very first novel long ago. (A previous attempt at a Dave Robicheaux movie, Heaven's Prisoners had Alec Baldwin as Dave; this wasn't as bad as it sounds, but it wasn't great. It's your go-to movie for seeing Teri Hatcher in the altogether, though.)

Last Modified 2012-10-17 2:52 PM EDT