On calling certain other people liars

Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!

If the internet has reduced your brain to a stimulus/response meme generator, the most exciting part of Tuesday night’s debate was Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” remark. It was weird! He kind of misspoke! Let’s put it on that “walk into Mordor” thing! For my money, however, the strangest moment in the presidential debate was when moderator Candy Crowley corrected Romney regarding Obama’s use of the word “terror” after the attack on the US consulate in Libya. He did say that in the Rose Garden the day after the attack. What Romney claimed was not factually accurate, or strictly correct or, you know, true. But was he lying?

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Could Romney be winning?

Nate Silver, who writes the FiveThirtyEight blog in the New York Times. You’d never seen him, had you? I’m going to keep picturing him as Mike Sebba.

If you’re like me—and god help you if you are—you still kind of can’t believe that Mitt Romney won last week’s debate. Clearly he did, if “winning the debate” means “making people like him way better based on what they saw.” Nate Silver, scrupulous author of the FiveThirtyEight polling blog, says there is “some evidence” to suggest that Romney surged as much as six points after his wide-eyed frenzy in Denver. For those of us who insist that “winning the debate” should mean “making convincing arguments supported by evidence,” this news is incredible. He lied his ass off. The American people are smarter than that. And yet, if you believe the incredibly credible Silver, Romney continues to “rocket forward” in predictions.

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People think Romney won, press tells people

Mitt Romney touches a black person.

I watched last night’s debates on PBS, so it’s possible my perception was warped by the atmosphere of measured consideration. I had also just come from yoga and spent the first 20 minutes seeing each candidate as a big turkey leg, but other than that my memory is clear: Barack Obama looked composed if a little sluggish, and Mitt Romney was frantic. He talked over moderator Jim Lehrer and did that breathy puff-laugh he does when he can’t believe people are still asking him questions. Then I watched the post-debate commentary and learned that Romney actually won.

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Friday links! Low expectations edition

A sea creature meets some girls on vacation.

The picture above will be forever known as the Alleged Stingray Photobomb, and sadly it is posed. I should have known; something that beautiful doesn’t just happen, at least not to the likes of us. With the internet, as with all things, you’ll be happier if you lower your expectations. Today is Friday, and I’ll probably string together a half-assed narrative from uninteresting links before I show up late to yoga and fart. See how that works? If I can keep that idea firmly implanted in my head, anything short of disaster will feel like a pleasant surprise. The events you anticipate do not exist. There is only the world that happened, and now it is gone. Won’t you wish it a disappointed farewell with me?

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Behold the terrifying future of journalism

Don’t try to understand it. It makes no damn sense at all.

Miracle Mike Sebba sent me a link to this page of “unskewed polls,” which purport to show actual public opinion by correcting poll results for “massive over-sample of Democratic voters.” That phrase comes from the Examiner.com article that comes up when you click on the Reuters/Ipsos poll link. It’s also in the Examiner article you get from the NBC/WSJ link, the Examiner article from the NY Times/CBS News poll, and every other poll link on the page, all of which point to Examiner articles by one Dean Chambers. Mr. Chambers also appears to be the sole writer at QStar News. He’s a whole damn network.

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