Friday, October 31, 2008

Pssst, Palin ... Sports fans vote, too

Pity Sarah Palin. The Republican vice presidential candidate must be telling the truth when she says she's an outsider to East Coast politics. She apparently hasn't learned that sports fandom has rigid boundaries that may be invisible to outsiders but are very real.

On Thursday, speaking in Erie, Pa., in western Pennsylvania, she made the mistake of praising the Philadelphia Phillies, who the night before won the World Series.

Trouble is, that part of Pennsylvania is the Pittsburgh Pirates' territory (or the Cleveland Indians'). Pirates-Phillies tension is right up there with Tar Heels-Duke-Wolfpack tension. Some in the crowd booed at the mention of the Phillies. (Watch the video below.)

Speaking of which, Palin's due to appear Saturday in Raleigh. That is trecherous territory. She'll have to praise the Heels, Devils and Pack with equal vigor -- or maybe punt, and praise the Panthers?


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sad signs of the times for bear cubs

Poor bear cub! Poor momma bear! (See "Dead bear cub closes freeway" about a cub killed by a vehicle on Interstate 26 near Asheville.)
But at least this dead cub didn't get swaddled in Obama campaign signs like another newsworthy ursa Americanus from the N.C. mountains a week ago. (See 2 WCU students charged in dead bear incident.)
Or, as one wag said, there weren't any Obama signs left in that part of the state.
-- Posted by Mary Newsom

Friday, October 17, 2008

The jokes were on McCain and Obama

The 63rd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner was held in New York Thursday night, and those of us who saw parts of it on television were in for a treat. Dressed in tuxes, both presidential candidates got a chance to publicly and goodnaturedly crack jokes about each other, themselves and others at the charity event. And they each got in some good ones, giving us a refreshing view of their human side, and their humanity.

GOP Sen. John McCain might have been the most surprising. At this event away from the campaign trail, he wasn't stiff or forboding but funny, relaxed and genuine. Some of his zingers: "Where's Bill, by the way?" he asked of Hillary Clinton, who attended. "Can't he take one night off from his tireless quest to make the man who defeated his wife the next president?" And this: "Events are moving fast in my campaign. And, yes, it's true that this morning I dismissed my entire team of senior advisers. All of their positions will now be held by a man named 'Joe the Plumber.'" And this joke: "This campaign needed the common touch of a working man. After all, it began so long ago with the heralded arrival of a man known to Oprah Winfrey as 'The One.' Being a friend and colleague of Barack, I just called him that one."

Sen. Barack Obama got in some good ones too. They were so funny to him that he couldn't resist snickering as he told them. There was this joke: "I do love the Waldorf-Astoria," he said of the place where the dinner was held. "You know, I hear that from the doorstep you can see all the way to the Russian tearoom." And then there was this joke: "The mayor of this great city, Michael Bloomberg, is here. The mayor recently announced some news - made some news by announcing he's going to be rewriting the rules and running for a third term, which caused Bill Clinton to say, you can do that?" And this one: "Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jorel to save the Planet Earth."

They both also chucked the partisanship, and sincerely praised each other. They sounded a lot like good decent men, who were friends. Three weeks before the election, it was a wonder to watch. To read, their entire comments go to

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's on the Internet, so it must be true?

We've seen a lot of bogus things flying around the Internet about both presidential candidates. But there's one floating about now that is so far-fetched, no one could believe it's real. And yet gullible readers are lapping it up.
An e-mail making the rounds purports to quote Democrat Barack Obama on the Sept. 7 "Meet the Press" television show.
Supposedly, Obama said on the show that he wants to:
-- Change the national anthem to "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" to placate our enemies;
-- Redesign the American flag to placate our enemies;
-- Disarm America to a level that makes "our Middle East Brethren" happy;
It also quotes Obama as talking about "hatred" for America, his wife's disrespect for the flag and how they have both attended several flag burning ceremonies. This is all reported, in the e-mail, by one Dale Lindsborg of the Washington Post.
Come on, people. You're e-mailing this to all your friends, in a panic, in disbelief that this man is leading in the polls.
Here's an idea: think for yourself! Spend, oh, 10 seconds on Google and see if there really is a "Dale Lindsborg" at the Washington Post. Spend 30 seconds seeing if Obama was even ON the Sept. 7 "Meet the Press."
Are you so predisposed to one candidate or the other that you can't think critically?
- Taylor Batten

Friday, October 10, 2008

Uh, it's Obama, not Osama

Oops! In an upstate New York county, hundreds of voters have been sent absentee ballots in which they could vote for “Barack Osama” for president, not Barack Obama. The absentee ballots sent to voters in Rensselaer County did identify John McCain correctly.
Elections officials have apologized and shredded the remaining "Osama” ballots, and mailed corrected ones to the 300 or so people who got the erroneous ones.
The officials called the situation "human error," "very unfortunate" and "an embarrassment". Could it also have been a Freudian slip? These days, Obama opponents at rallies have taken to calling him a terrorist, or an associate of one. The best known terrorist, and the most despised in the U.S. is named Osama - Osama bin Laden, leader of the al Qaida terrorist group behind the 2001 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.