It turns out Karl Rove isn’t just an evil strategic genius. He’s an evil telepathic strategic genius, as he demonstrates in an Obama-bashing WSJ column today:
Mr. Obama has not been a leader on big causes in Congress. He has been
manifestly unwilling to expend his political capital on urgent issues.
He has been only an observer, watching the action from a distance,
thinking wry and sardonic and cynical thoughts to himself about his
colleagues, mildly amused at their to-ing and fro-ing.
He knows how to deceive the electorate, debase public discourse, win elections, and read minds. Is there anything Karl Rove can’t do?
P.S. If you’re looking for a less mendacious take on the Clinton-Obama race, Time’s Joe Klein has a comprehensive — and depressing — look at what Pennsylvania hath wrought.
I think I’ve said this a hundred times, as have many others. But this article in Thursday’s Times
is a good moment to revisit the point. As Patrick Healy explains, it is
simply a fallacy to claim that winning a state’s Democratic primary
means you’re more likely to win that state in the general election or
that your opponent can’t win it. …
That’s not to say there isn’t a difference between the two as general
election candidates — at least in their current incarnations. There
is. It’s just not this big state nonsense.
In other news, I’m stopping at Borders after work and buying the new issue of FHM. :)
Thanks to the intervention of Comcast corporate in Philadelphia, it appears our long
national apartmental nightmare may soon be over. (Knock on wood!) A team of cable techs is scheduled to come over at around 3:00 PM today to replace the entire series of tubes wires that runs from the cable "tap," over to the "lockbox," up to the attic, and down into our apartment, nothin’ but net. (Er, scratch that last part. There’s been very little "net" to speak of in recent weeks!)
There are no guarantees, but the hope is that this re-wiring will fix our long-standing, worsening, intermittent connectivity problems (about which, details after the jump). And, crucially, they’re doing it free of charge — contrary to the company’s ridiculous standard policy of holding apartment dwellers financially responsible for necessary repairs to the wiring outside the four walls of their apartments. (More on that, too, after the jump.)
I mentioned the "corporate intervention" angle, and that’s probably the most interesting aspect of this saga. It all started with my offhanded expression of bloggy frustration on April 3, after the cable guy never showed up for an appointment that I’d left work early for. (The phone rep had written down my area code wrong, so the tech couldn’t reach me by phone to confirm that I was home, so he never came.) That post triggered an e-mail from Frank Eliason in Philly (Comcast’s corporate home base), who filed a "corporate complaint" on my behalf. (Frank also commented on a later blog post.) Frank’s complaint, in turn, spurred a full-court press by the local Knoxville office to get my problem fixed, which culminated in today’s appointment.
What’s interesting is, Frank’s intervention isn’t an isolated incident. It’s part of a broad Comcast initiative, of which Frank is the point man, to improve the company’s image by reaching out to bloggers, Twitterers, and others who use their online platforms to say nasty things about Comcast. The Philadelphia Inquirer had a front-page story about this effort in Saturday’s paper, which revealed:
Under siege for customer-service woes detailed on Comcastmustdie.com and other blogs, the Philadelphia cable giant has gone on the offensive, trawling the Internet for Comcast chatter. Eliason’s assignment is very specific: If someone has a Comcast problem and is talking about it online, he contacts that person and offers help.
If Eliason thinks it’s an emergency that could spiral into unpleasantness, like an expletive-loaded blog bomb, he gets on the phone and cuts through the corporate red tape. …
Eliason’s blog spotting is part public relations and part acknowledgment that the Internet is playing a broader role in defining company brands. Technology companies woke up to this fact after "Dell Hell" postings by blogger Jeff Jarvis in 2005.
Ha! The arm of
Sauron Jeff Jarvis is long!
Of course, it goes without saying that one shouldn’t have to pose a P.R. threat in order to get good help from a company that one pays upwards of $100/month to. Nevertheless, this is a smart thing Comcast is doing.
Moreover, I give credit where credit is due: in contrast to my dismal experiences* with Comcast’s customer service last spring, almost everyone I’ve dealt with this time around — not just the corporate people, but the techs and phone reps, too — has been professional, courteous, and competent (wrong-area-code lady being an obvious exception). That, too, is apparently symptomatic of a broader effort by Comcast to, well, stop sucking at life, basically.
More on that effort — and on my issue — after the jump.
*The linked post, incidentally, was Instalanched, but triggered no response whatsoever from Comcast corporate. That was last June. So they’re clearly getting better at the rapid-blog-response thing.
A Phoenix man says he caused the red light display that mystified thousands of people as it floated across the north Phoenix sky Monday night.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said he used fishing line to attach road flares to helium-filled balloons, then lit the flares and launched them a minute apart from his back yard. He said he believed turbulence created by a passing jet caused the balloons to move around.
Best! Prank! Ever!
P.S. But what about the Florida UFOs? Was this a coordinated, two-state prank?
UPDATE: Apparently the Florida lights were caused by sky lanterns released from an Asian wedding.
Or, you know, aliens. One or the other.