The Phony Campaign

2007-10-10 Update

As expected, the dizzying heights of phoniness attained by Hillary Clinton last week could not be maintained.

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Hillary Clinton" phony795,000-66,000
"John Edwards" phony535,000-34,000
"Fred Thompson" phony522,000+36,000
"Barack Obama" phony504,000-19,000
"Ron Paul" phony473,000+41,000
"John McCain" phony466,000-37,000
"Mitt Romney" phony442,000+51,000
"Rudy Giuliani" phony372,000-5,000
"Dennis Kucinich" phony179,000-25,000
"Dave Burge" phony69-5

I'm slightly shocked at the increase for Fred Thompson. Surely this is a temporary rip in the fabric of reality; Mitt is much phonier than Fred.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 10:42 AM EDT

URLs du Jour


  • I will put some extra pepperoni on my pizza tonight thanks to John Tierney's column on the fading evidence linking dietary fat and heart disease. On his blog, John points out that the low-fat mythology was simply one example of a fad mechanism called an "informational cascade" where a "expert consensus" snowball develops around an initial seed of speculative theory.

  • Remember: just because this blog is called "Pun Salad" it doesn't mean your blogger actually likes salad. (Or puns.)

  • If you were looking for something to worry about, though, you might want to check this New Scientist article, which reports on an e-crime summit at Carnegie Mellon last week. "Security experts" are quoted:
    They predict voters will increasingly be targeted by internet-based dirty tricks campaigns, and that the perpetrators will find it easier to cover their tracks.
    The article is long on speculation, but remember that a lot of botnet activity is linked back to organized crime and (even more speculatively) government officials in Russia and China. Spam "works" by exploiting a small fraction of gullible recipients. Vote fraud using the same techniques could swing a close election. Now are you worried? (Link via Slashdot.)

  • Your mileage may differ, but I thought Professor Volokh's story about left-wing (satirical) hate speech being mistaken for right-wing (non-satirical) hate speech pretty funny. Before the truth was revealed, people were calling for expulsion of the evildoers, but I would imagine there was a pretty quick about-face on that.

  • I've always liked Whoopi Goldberg. Because she's politically unpredictable. (Also see this older item from Virginia Postrel.)

  • James Lileks is predictable though, in the sense that reading his Bleats is predictably worthwhile. How does he do it? Anyway, I especially liked today's throwaway comment about one of the stars of a B movie he watched.
    There is no movie on earth that cannot benefit from the presence of Claude Rains. If I could redo the Star Wars sequel I would have made Yoda look like him and sound like him. Shocked. Shocked am I to gambling find here.
    I put every movie that Lileks likes smack into my Blockbuster rental queue.

Last Modified 2007-10-10 6:02 PM EDT