Quantifying American Arrogance

As a scientist, I’m always looking for ways to quantify the seemingly unquantifiable. I think it’s safe to say that Americans are, whether justifiably or not, arrogant. But what portion of Americans are arrogant? A recent CBS poll finally revealed the answer:
[Palin Poll]
That’s right, 76% of Americans think they can decipher the capricious whims of Sarah Palin. The best I could manage was something about the industrial revolution and a puppy.

In other news, by CBS News math, 52 + 24 + 14 = 100. Furthermore, showed their financial prowess by ritualistically setting more than $732,000 on fire.

Thoughts on the Democratic Convention

My favorite two moments: 1) When Michelle Obama said, “Who names their kid Barack Obama?” 2) During the Hillary Clinton video, there was a clip of Bill Clinton speaking with the caption “Hillary’s husband”, like we wouldn’t know who it was.

Other thoughts:

  • I’m very curious to know what America’s opinion of Michelle Obama is compared to Hillary Clinton.
  • Mark Warner is no Barack Obama, although I liked how he pointed out that an Obama presidency will recognize science again.
  • Hillary’s appeal to her supporters was very compelling.
  • Bill Clinton is infectious, no matter what he’s talking about.
  • Joe Biden is the right guy for this ticket.
  • Cut out about the first 10 minutes of Obama’s speech, and it was unbelievable. But that 10 minutes happened, so it was merely good.
  • McCain’s advanced internets techniques

    I’ll give McCain one thing: he’s a fast learner. It was only earlier this year that he became aware of the internets, and then he said he’d learn how to use email.

    Apparently he learned all about blogs also, and that people can leave comments on them. He also discovered that he could set up a reward program for everyone that made positive comments about him!

    Later, he used the interwubs to search for information and came across Wikipedia. It had all sorts of good information about Georgia (formerly of the USSR) that he could use for writing speeches!

    I can’t wait until he finds YouTube!

    Experience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

    Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton has only held elected office for seven years compared to about ten for Barack Obama, she is championing herself as the experience candidate. Recently she’s been touting her role in foreign policy during Bill’s presidency. FactCheck.org breaks it down, it doesn’t sound all that impressive.

    One also wonders if “experience” is a useful quality for a president. Electoral-vote.com takes a look at that question, leading off with this comparison:

    How good Are experienced presidents, anyway? Suppose you had to choose between two Presidential candidates, one of whom had spent 20 years in Congress plus had considerable other relevant experience and the other of whom had about half a dozen years in the Illinois state legislature and 2 years in Congress. Which one do you think would make a better President?

    If you chose #1, congratulations, you picked James Buchanan over Abraham Lincoln.