Wednesday, August 9, 2006

A Great Winner and A Graceless Loser

This is a very good day in American politics: Ned Lamont has given breath and life to every Paul Hackett out there, and to every freethinking voter in America. Thanks Ned: you've delivered much more than electoral justice; you've also dealt a measure of hope.

But you wouldn't know it from the behavior of his opponent, the Bush-loving, warmongering incumbent. I just sat and watched Joe Lierberman deliver a graceless and disgusting concession speech. What should be a joyous moment (and is) for the Democratic Party and for democracy in America is being besmirched by a cheap, classless, and gutless politician who refuses to admit defeat. In that, he's just like the losing team that he so fatefully hitched his wagon to, the Bush administration in Washington. Joe, you deserved what you got, and if you're such a glutton for punishment, you'll get more of it in November. But in the meantime, you're a disgrace to the Democratic Party.

So before we get to Geek Wednesday (and there's a lot to look at there); I have some very incisive thoughts to offer from a man we haven't heard from in quite some time, Shady Acres Mike of the great state of Connecticut (note: S.A.M. was writing on Tuesday morning, long before the winner of the Lieberman-Lamont primary contest was known):

This could go either way still.  Don't forget Hartford is a "City of Clerks" and Connecticut is "The land of steady habits" (I don't know who to attribute that last one to). It's still very possible that leaping to an unknown rich guy from downstate is going to be too great a leap for the Nutmeggers. While Lieberman's last appeals and Sunday night commercials were pathetic in his johnny-come-lately distancing from Bush ("I am not George Bush"), they did appeal to the sense of continuity which will play very well in CT. 
But on the Lamont upside, CT is the Constitution State and where has Joe been in supporting the trampling of the Constitution that CT was the deciding vote in putting into law?   Lamont ran a great campaign.  He came from nowhere and ran an upbeat and mostly positive campaign that focused on what he would do differently (not just with Iraq).  It was absolutely subtle in its differentiation with Joe.  He did not beat Joe over the head. He was able to portray Lieberman with being out of touch in general with the CT Democrats without being an attack dog. 
Joe L. ran a horrible campaign with negative attack ads and then the fateful sign-up to be an independent candidate.  He looks like someone who is not a loyal Democrat and is more concerned with Joe Lieberman.  He looked like someone who has lost touch with the electorate in CT because he felt untouchable sometime after being nominated for VP.  His last response to whether Iraq was better off now hopefully will finish him ("Better.....and worse").  All of this means that Lamont has a chance and it was due to a solidly run campaign based on solid Democratic principles. 
The thing I find most encouraging about the Lamont campaign was that the so called loggers and young activist democrats were highly involved - I  know this because I have one at home.  Lamont ran a campaign based on their messages.  These messages have generally been treated as extreme left positions by the right wing media and even the main stream media mostly.  It appears now that these messages are clearly not extreme to many, if not most, Democratic voters In CT, but part of the main stream Democratic thinking and tradition. 
If Lamont wins, it provides the opportunity for the activists in the party to influence pushing the message away from the center to where it belongs.  They could then influence the Democratic party message for the rest of the 2006 elections.  The message should be: 2006 is the last chance for voters to have a referendum on the failed one party system Bush administration and their next chance to vote for checks and balances.  I think we are already seeing the influence of the Lamont campaign on Hillary and Diane Feinstein.  All of a sudden Hillary is showing up Rummy (My Goodness!) and asking for his resignation and Feinstein is skewering folks form her perch on the Intelligence Committee.  Where were they before Ned showed them the way?  Joe must Go!   
Win or lose though, there is a message here that the Democratic party better understand if they hope to take back the house in 2006 - its about Bush, stupid.

—Shady Acres Mike

Geek Wednesday
So Lieberman's website was hacked via a massive and artificial traffic slam sometime around midmorning Monday (according to Lieberman's spokesman). Now Joe is imputing the cause to Lamont or his supporters—a fairly serious charge accompanied by exactly zero bits of evidence. But that's been Joe's style for a long time now.

Now, on to the geek news that's fun and important (in its way): Apple and the WWDC

We begin with the yucks: Mr. Hodgson (of Jon Stewart fame), appeared in his role as PC (from the Mac commercials) to ask the assembled Mac developers to take a vacation. Fun stuff, even if you're still lost in MS hell.

Now here's the meat from Steve's talk at WWDC, from our perspective:

1. The Mac Pro completes the Intel-ization of the product line; the Power PC is now officially in mothballs. Now what does that mean for you? Probably that you'll find some irresistible bargains on PPC machines. If you're looking for a 2nd machine in your Mac homeland, or if you'd like to stick a toe in the Apple water cheaply, then PPC could be the way to go, especially if you're shopping for the kid(s). Check here and here for some good deals with excellent warranty and support options. On the other hand, if you're looking to get a new primary machine and would like to benefit from the reliability of the Mac hardware and its magnificent operating system, check out the Core Duo laptops, the iMac, or the $600 bargain, the Mini. You could even find some deals there on machines that will soon be trailing in the shadow of the Conroe-laden hardware that's no doubt soon to follow from Apple. If you can afford the MacBook Pro, why that would be a no-brainer. I'm taking up a collection for one myself—the donation link's near the top of my sidebar. (Hey, why not—remember the old story about the kid selling lemonade on the sidewalk, and a guy comes by and says, "how much for a glass of lemonade, son?" and the kid says, "$50,000, sir" —"$50 thousand? Are you nuts?" the guy answers—"you're not going to sell much lemonade at that price." And the kid says, "I know sir, but all I need to sell is ONE.")

2. Leopard: Steve is hiding a number of its key features, because he says the Microsoft thiefs have already absconded with enough of Tiger's look and feel and features. But the main things we learned were (a) that we'll have to wait till Spring (so much for my divinatory powers and my prediction of an early release); and (b) Leopard will have some server-esque backup and restore abilities ("Time Machine"), network-wide searching in Spotlight, 64-bit capacity across the board of Leopard-friendly development code (to which purpose the assembled geeks were given Leopard disks to examine and play with); along with an upgrade of Mail and iChat on steroids.

3. What Steve wouldn't talk about: Some of his boys got some big, big bux just before the Apple stock took off, and the government would now like to ask some questions about that. Hey, it happens, and not just among the Martha Stewart crowd or in the smoky Enron boardrooms of this world. Journalists do it, and if you don't think so, check out Chapter 8 of What Liberal Media?—a book by Eric Alterman that we'll be reviewing next week here at Daily Rev.

Steve has spoken out about the dropping of the word "Power" from his lineup: "PowerBook" and "PowerMac" have gone the way of the PowerPC chip itself. Now what needs to be done is to get PowerMoney out of his executive stable. So far, the signs have pointed ominously the wrong way in this respect: the marriage with Nike, the reports of Apple iPod slave farms overseas, and now the stock cashing fiasco. It's a good thing to go for a fair market share and to create a secure financial base to build from—the iPod is one reason why the computer lovers among us can enjoy this great Macintosh hardware and the refreshingly secure, reliable, and efficient operating system that is OS X. Just be aware, Steve, of the difference between dedication and obsession, wealth and excess, abundance and depravity, prosperity and corruption.

Incidentally, Apple stock fell immediately after the WWDC Keynote. Why? There was no "one more thing" moment at this Keynote. Everything went exactly as most pundits had called it (and when's the last time you can recall the pundits being right?): the desktop tower Macs were rolled out with their Intel chips (Xeon instead of Conroe, but the pundits are never good at details), and the Leopard OS was flashed a little in demo mode. No new iPods, no new announcements on video, audio, or artistic alliances. In short, it was the counterclimactic Keynote, compared to last year's explosive announcement of Apple's switch to Intel. Hey, stock traders have feelings, too. Or so I hear. 

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