Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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Richard Ben Cramer: Displayed Humanity Toward Politicians

Richard Ben Cramer “excelled at the finely drawn profile, from baseball stars to Irish revolutionaries to American politicians”.

Cramer died on January 7, aged 62.

His 1992 book, What It Takes: The Way to the White House, is simply a joy to read.

In this discussion from the PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill talks to Joe Klein and Chris Cillizza about Cramer.

Joe Klein on what he learned from Cramer:

“Well, one of the things I have learned is that cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre, that if we are going to do this fairly — we have gotten to the point where writing a positive story about a politician is a very tough thing to do, especially for young reporters.

“And we need to be more humane and balanced and respectful of the people who seek to lead us.”

 


Getting It So Wrong: The Republicans And The Presidential Election

I still find it remarkable that Republicans running Mitt Romney’s campaign seemed to genuinely believe that he was winning.

This November article from The New Republic looks at what happened. Read: The Polls That Made Mitt Romney Think He’d Win.

Gwen Ifill of the PBS NewsHour commented on the same bizarre feature of the presidential election in this video piece reviewing 2012:


Here in Australia it’s possible to find people who genuinely believe that the Gillard government is going to be re-elected. Many blogs supportive of the ALP promote the argument that Tony Abbott is unelectable. Equally, there are Coalition supporters who cannot contemplate the possibility. As in the US, one side is going to be very wrong later this year.



Palin and Biden on Saturday Night Live

The NBC program, Saturday Night Live, has developed a cult following for its portrayal of Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Here’s their take on last week’s debate: