The Good, the Bad, and the Insightful – October 16, 2008

Today was excellent.

The Good

The New York Times’ The Caucus points out that Joe the Plumber isn’t even a licensed plumber.

The Edge of the American West has the election picture to end all election pictures. Check it out.

The Independent’s blog Open House has a nice post on the 10th anniversary of Augusto Pinochet’s arrest.

The New York Times’ blog Campaign Stops has an excellent discourse about the disconcerting lack of issue coverage during the election.

The Economist’s blog Democracy in America has found that McCain has a tell.

The Bad

After finding out that Joe the plumber isn’t licensed, Matt Yglesias says, “Who cares?”

It seems that Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber,” may not be a licensed plumber. Which to me once again raises the issue of whether or not it really serves the public interest to have so many occupational licensing rules. Like most people, if I needed to hire a plumber, I’d probably look for a recommendation. I don’t have any real confidence that these licensing schemes are tracking quality in any meaningful way, just preventing a certain number of people from earning a living and raising the general cost of plumbing services for everyone else.

The Insightful

Stanley Crouch writes succinctly how Obama won the debate. The whole damn thing’s a money quote:

Had Barack Obama had MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow as trainers, he would have put up a more entertaining fight last night. Neither pretends to be objective; their criticism and satire of John McCain are so effective because they are backed by the cold steel of hard facts, so many of which perforate McCain’s claims and his campaign’s advertisements. Devastation born of actuality.

Initially, I thought Obama needed more snap in his jabs but he, perhaps in a slow and naturally easy way, left McCain the bloodier. Unlike his opponent, he didn’t go for a knockout or a knock down. There seemed confidence in letting the points build up.

So however dull Obama initially seemed, he slowly slowly wove an invisible web of authority and pulled into it some of McCain’s accusations as though they were equal in irritation to flies but no more important. By the end something truly unexpected happened: of the two men, Obama came to seem older.

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  1. By the end something truly unexpected happened: of the two men, Obama came to seem older.

    I see what he means, but the word I would use would be mature. McCain is simply infantile!

  2. Simply true. Have you read that Rolling Stone article on McCain? It’s simply wonderful — or frightening, depending on your point of view.

    Here you go!

  3. Yeah, read it, Brett – blogged about it a few days ago.

    And it should be on election flayers all over the country!!




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