Thursday, November 25, 2010

Streams Of Consciousness


Someone at the DCCC told me they hire the same media consultants to make their ads-- and steer hapless candidates to those firms as well-- not because DCCC employees have ownership stakes in them but because they make the best ads anyone has ever made. Problem is that objectively, their ads are-- at best-- mediocre. They don't motivate people to vote for a candidate. They're just a giant money suck-- with millions and millions of dollars in commissions and rake-offs for the usual suspects. A recent U.S. Senate candidate told me today that he begged the DSCC not to waste money on more useless TV ads when he desperately needed the money for a GOTV operation. They ignored him; he lost. Above is a well-made ad that accomplishes what it sets out to do. It's done professionally, not by some clowns more concerned with 15% commissions than with winning elections.

Who's Hack Of The Year?

If David Broder is the 4th worst hack, I'm at a loss to imagine who numbers 3, 2 and 1 are. I know Jonah Goldberg, Peggy Noonan, Laura Ingraham and Marty Peretz already got their numbers but did George Will already get one? Do Palin's twitter and Facebook ramblings make her eligible?
He has a simplistic understanding of politics and no understanding of the electorate except as an abstract concept. His hatred of partisanship is actually a thinly veiled disdain for popular rule itself. He defines extremism as principled adherence to any sort of ideology. When he wants to understand what The Voters are thinking, he asks a think tank academic. Despite his disdain for the fiery populists that the idiot voters repeatedly send to our sadly broken Congress, he remains convinced that The American People are a wise and noble breed who long for sensible, bipartisan moderation in all things.

And then sometimes David just up and writes something truly insane, like his recent column about how President Obama needs to start a good old-fashioned war to get the economy humming again.

What Do Doctors Know?

I don't have much faith in what Republican politicians routinely call the "best health care in the world." They're good at broken bones and stopping bleeding. Beyond that... it gets dicey. And a study released today in the New England Journal of Medicine, says that efforts to make American hospitals safer over the past decade have largely failed. I always get the feeling that going to a hospital is a possible death sentence.
Researchers found that of 2,300 patient admissions in 10 randomly selected hospitals 588 patients "were somehow harmed as a result of medical procedures, medications, or other related causes... [and that] 63 percent of the incidents were avoidable."
"Of 588 harms that were identified, 245 (41.7%) were temporary harms requiring intervention… and 251 (42.7%) were temporary harms requiring initial or prolonged hospitalization," Landrigan and his colleagues wrote. "An additional 17 harms (2.9%) were permanent, 50 (8.5%) were life-threatening, and 14 (2.4%) caused or contributed to a patient's death."

...The results of the study show that "harm resulting from medical care was common" and that there is "little evidence that the rate of harm had decreased substantially" from 2001 to 2007, the researchers said in their report. They added that their findings "validate concern raised by patient-safety experts in the United States and Europe that harm resulting from medical care remains very common."

Republicans Aren't That Unique

In fact, they're just like Conservatives in the U.K.-- same bunch of piggish social parasites.
David Cameron was under pressure tonight to evict a new Tory peer from the party after he suggested that welfare changes would encourage "breeding" among the less well-off.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats denounced the "shameful" remarks by Howard Flight, who was rewarded with a peerage by the prime minister last week after helping to raise millions for the Conservative party in the runup to the election.

Downing Street was forced to distance itself from a second Tory peer in a week after Flight warned that plans to remove child benefit from higher-rate taxpayers would deter the middle classes from having children.

His remarks followed the claim last week by a former Thatcherite cabinet minister that most people were better off in the recession. Lord Young of Graffham was forced to resign as Cameron's enterprise adviser after suggesting that most voters had never had it so good as during the "so-called recession."

Flight told today's London Evening Standard: "We're going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it's jolly expensive... But for those on benefits, there is every incentive. Well, that's not very sensible."

This is the second time Flight, a former Tory deputy chairman, has fallen foul of the party leadership. He was barred from standing as a parliamentary candidate by Michael Howard in 2005 after suggesting that Tory spending cuts did not go far enough.

And this post can only end one way, my favorite campaign commercial of 2010:

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At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I saw the GM spot today, and it best exemplifies why I love and hate advertising. The reality of the GM crash and recovery is irrelevant... this ad goes right for the heartstrings and sells the story of the defeated everyman reborn.

And like it or not, every politician lives for getting votes first, then maybe serving the people if they can find the time. That's on either side of the pond, whatever the party.


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