Tuesday, 6 December 2005


Apropos the previous post, now I’m leaning towards this model from Westinghouse, which has the twin virtues of being slightly bigger than the Samsung and about $150 cheaper at retail; it also looks pretty comparable in person, seems to be getting good reviews at AVSForum, and has all the same inputs—well, except it has DVI-HDCP instead of HDMI, but I can live with that.

On the other hand, it may be prudent to hold out until March, when the digital tuner mandate kicks in for 25-inch and larger TVs, although it’s unclear how many of these TVs will include CableCARD too—the newer sub-$1000 models seem to be only including over-the-air ATSC (digital TV) tuners, since apparently slapping a PCMCIA slot in a TV is more expensive than you’d think.

What a gas

The president’s poll numbers appear to be recovering as of late, and there are two major competing theories to explain the change. Charles Franklin appears to attribute the change to the new PR pushback from the White House, which we might term the Feaver-Gelpi thesis (see also Sunday’s NYT), while Glenn Reynolds says it’s the gas prices and the Mystery Pollster suggests good economic news in general.

It may be the most simplistic thesis, but I think the “pump price” explanation is probably the most plausible; unlike other information, gasoline prices are unavoidable information for most voters and not subject to partisan spin, unlike the presidential pushback on Iraq and news of the general economic recovery—both of which can be spun negatively in a way that falling gasoline prices really can’t. In a noise-filled informational environment, I suspect clear “pocketbook” signals like gasoline prices are much stronger cues for presidential support than the world of competing, ideologically-based claims over Iraq and interest rates.

Update: Al Qaeda appears to put some stock in the pump price explanation as well.

What's really the matter with Kansas

Professor Paul Mirecki of the University of Kansas was apparently brutalized in roadside beating, allegedly in response to anti-Christian comments that came to light after he waded into the intelligent design controversy in the state by offering a course in the subject. The whole story doesn’t sound entirely plausible to me, but stranger things have happened, and there’s certainly no shortage of nutbars out there with an axe to grind…

þ: PoliBlog.

Not at Vaught

I’m pretty sure dressing like this young woman (NSFW) would get you kicked out of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. And Lafayette County.

Britons, watch your wallets

New British Tory leader David Cameron is calling for “compassionate conservatism” in the United Kingdom. If the American example is anything to judge by, that will include useless pandering to segments of the electorate who won’t support the political right anyway and a Nixonian commitment to reviving the New Deal’s economic policies.