September 30, 2008
It seems like the press is now convinced on two topics — the economic bailout that has cost us one trillion in a day — and everything about Sarah Palin. Because I am no economics professional and am too young to have a bank account, I have become more or less obsessed with Palin and her press craze.
Very early this month, I found a small blog offering that John McCain’s campaign should ask Palin to step down as running mate, in what seemed like a drunken tone, which I had very little interest for mostly because the blog’s credibility and links were nothing less than bogus.
I then started seeing more and more blogs pop up with this topic, along with the occasional webzine posting a opinion piece with similar views to the original blog. But I was extremely surprised to see the story go all the way to CNN’s Jack Cafferty File, a very prestigious, and to me, credible opinion blog. So as I sifted through the hundreds of comments, some (let us say) “interesting” points came up. This is one that I will center my analysis around — written by “erica”:
If he [John McCain] has half a brain he will – but I think we know how much brain he has, based on the fact he chose her in the first place.
I originally noticed this comment because it was so overly partisan that it triggered dozens of follow up arguments, but after staring at it for quite a long time, I saw something different in it — it was completely true…without the “brain” comments.
In truth, McCain made a smart decision, but a very important one in his acquisition of Palin. And many can agree that it has not paid off.
In my perspective, Palin was chosen in the most part for a nation-wide press boost and to collect outer right conservatives who otherwise wouldn’t support McCain. It is widely disputed if they intended to also herd in former Hillary Clinton supporters, but that is completely off topic.
In short, for whatever reason John McCain choose Sarah Palin, he cannot avoid the fact that he has chosen her. He also cannot avoid the fact that he has backed her up and called her “the best running mate I could have chosen” multiple times. So this now brings me to a revised version of the comment I saw.
John McCain is now feeling his Sarah Palin press fire burn out in the midst of the economic crisis, and although he and his staff know that Palin does not have a good chance of coming out of the debate (or really any public appearance) with an increase in the polls, he has chosen her. He cannot replace her.
He simply can’t. Sending Palin into a debate that now seems impossible to win and hard to stay alive would prompt any political writer, commentator, strategist, blogger — anyone to think that it would be a good campaign move to replace her. But he can’t.
Palin, in her VP beginnings, was a literal press flame although she barely ever choose to enter the media. And I, as well as many liberal and conservatives alike thought it she could carry that media flame all the way to the White House. As a Democrat and teenage citizen of the US, I was terrified by her, but as a political strategist I strongly thought that she could eventually carry her stardom all the way. But I forgot one thing — she had to debate. I stand corrected.
The McCain campaign has found themselves in a trap. Their favorite baseball was hit as a home run, but instead of clearing their fence to their friendly neighbor’s yard, it was hit too hard, landing in the haunted house that Joe Biden lives in.
In more simple words, Palin was a genius idea that worked, perhaps too well. The conservatives just didn’t look far ahead enough politically and tested all available traps to see that this could happen. Palin started off brilliantly, but then she made some mistakes and the press as well as many others have exploited them. Hence her “Bridge To Nowhere” claim that everyone from Bono to Keith Olberman have capitalized on. Her two failed interviews that are now legendary on youtube, being smashed to pieces by comedian Tina Fey. But most of all, it is the few information that has been given out, most of it called lies.
So as Palin limps into the debates, there is a very low chance she will make it out. And there is literately nothing John McCain can do about it.
September 5, 2008
And as the second chapter in the saga of the Republican convention comes to a close, all anyone can talk about was what everyone originally thought was a mire introduction to the grand closing — John McCain’s speech.
But it was instead the main figure of the entire convention, and the talking point on both the web and television, creating many side stories as well. Why? Palin’s speech was powerful. So powerful, in fact, that not only did it spark very heated initial reactions, but later provided so much aftershock that it seemed apparent to me to write about it.
Putting my strong political opinions aside, I must give Palin credit — that no matter how completely false and utter lies she used, it was hard (even for me) to shake of her speaking passion, mostly credited to how zoned in she was. And because of this, I know for a fact that many gullible Americans have fallen “victim” to her transcending speech, ignoring her factual mistakes and instead focusing intently on her valiant, confident speaking power.
And right now, no matter how many people (including me) stress the comparison between the top of each party’s ticket, because of her star power, Palin has gained the public centerpiece of not only the Republican party, but the image of politics in general. And, strangely, this is not because of the higher possibility of her being commander and chief in the near future, because — as my sister would say — John McCain is like a “dinosaur”, but rather because of her instant celebrity status and overall image that is so different.
By different, I don’t mean because of her gender, but rather her breed. She is a new breed of politician, far away from your raging and shouting, sweaty middle aged point maker, but rather someone who we have not seen yet — a setting of mind that many teachers know to loathe. She uses her stature and newly-found political ego to her advantage, acting like she knows for a fact that each and every single thing she says is true, in the most convincing way I have ever seen this done among politicians.
Simply put, she’s a giant black whole for your brain, in the form of a person who would most likely be the farthest away from that status — a small town governor of the second-least populated state in the US.
So — as a word of caution, not a political recommendation –please vote on what you believe, not what you have been convinced to know.
August 14, 2008
Times have changed. Five years ago the war in Iraq was supposed to be already over, Time.com claimed that the internet was too crowded (no, really?), and above all, gas prices were nearing an all time high at an outrageous $1.72 per gallon. So you could imagine how the garage wars around your neighborhoods were going, with one guy whipping out his 2003 Acura NSX, which (at the time) was one of the fastest cars in the world, and bragging about his 5.2 0-60 time.
But sadly, times like that are far away from us now. The cars have gotten better and more expensive, and in a sense so has the oil. Ok, maybe not better, but you get the point. The grass will always be greener on the other side — like always — and now everyone wishes instead of buying that flashy Corvette, maybe they should have hung onto their good old 50 MPG VW Rabbit.
Enter the hybrids. Victor Wouk’s genius creation turned hybrids and other green cars away from their hippie image, and suddenly they were as popular as bell bottoms in the late sixties. With streets flooded with brand new Prius’s, and a new EcoGeek community rapidly forming, it was suddenly cool to be an environmentalist again.
Meanwhile, truck and performance companies like GM started their downfall. No one wanted a new Chevy Tahoe anymore, and despite valiant efforts to “green-a-tize” these gas-chugging trucks, GM’s popularity and credibility took a giant blow. Toyota and their squeaky clean factories dangled Detroit’s credibility right in front of them, mass producing their trademark cars at a fraction of the price it took Ford and GM to. So GM rallied back, trying the most sensible thing to do — fighting fire with fire — and creating a green car of their own. But what they came out with? It makes me think to myself: “What the are these idiots thinking?!”
As you can see in the pictures, what GM failed to do here was make a car that could sell. In short, they sent Chuck Norris to a black-tie formal. What I mean by that is they planted themselves in a market that they had never experimented in, and because of that they couldn’t hold back, planting a sports car with gigantic shiny rims and a futuristic muscle tone to compete with a Prius. And that’s not going to sell. Sorry for offending anyone, but the average tree-hugging Prius driver would not exactly fair well with a high-performance electric sports car with bigger rims than Ice-Cube could ever dream of.
So its not going to sell. Plain and simple. GM went way too far with a good idea and tried for something new, inventive and sportsy for a car that is their future’s last ray of hope. So would I drive it? Well, first of all I can’t drive, but if I had a choice between a Prius and the Volt when I turn 16 in a world of horribly high gas prices, I would take the Chevy in a heartbeat. But I’m afraid that this wouldn’t be the choice of the average middle aged driver looking for a fuel-efficient car. So what do I think? GM just made a big mistake.
July 31, 2008
After sifting my way through all the hype about the Chevy’s new bad boy Camaro, I’m not as excited about everyone else. Sure — the thing has performance, with a 6.2 Lt. V8 and a furious 422 brake horse power. But as far as everything else, its just your average fast Chevy — a roadster’s guns with a muscle car’s looks. I’m not saying the car is ugly — but it just doesn’t deserve all the hype, or its huge price tag. Please — just get a Challenger.
July 28, 2008
In today’s automotive world there’s two types of cars that gain the viewers interest — green cars, (plug ins, hybrids, fuel efficients) and fast, giant engined, roadsters and supercars. Chrysler’s problem is they have neither of those assets on their resume, and its hurting them. Their main selling point they advertise is their Chrysler 300, which in my opinion is a poor try at a Bentley or Rolls Royce without the engine. This car is exactly what no one will want: a poor imitation of a more beautiful car, and not low enough miles per gallon to be fuel efficient. Finally, it isn’t fast enough to even come close to a Bentley, so the supercar aspect is thrown out the window. The only thing that Chrysler really have going for them is their dodge Viper, which is their fastest, and most beautiful car by a longshot. Besides that, their Dodge trucks are failing, their Jeep model isn’t doing much else besides exciting a small group of off-roader’s, and their PT cruiser is far from attractive — it is more or less an ugly, tall and distasteful bug. Don’t tell Chrysler, but their screwed.
July 23, 2008
With today’s economy problems, many sports car enthusiasts have already given up their golden dream of once owning a 200+ Ferrari, rolling down Beverly Hills while blinded by cell phone camera flashes by awestruck, sidelined civilians that own beat-up Honda Civics. And now, they themselves have become part of the crowd, the daring ones maybe getting a hold of a Nissan 350Z or a low-end Mustang. But when they are standing on the sidewalk with their buddies, staring at a beautiful red Corvette cruising by, they would just laugh and imagine the driver’s face after filling up day after day. But little do they know that the driver of that supercar won’t be pulling in for gas anytime soon, for their 430 brake horsepower beast gets 27 to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. No joke. That’s why I’m calling the Corvette Z51 the ultimate car. There is no other car in the world today that has the satisfaction and looks of a supercar, the performance (ziltch to 60 in 4.25 seconds), outstanding efficiency, and above all – a price that won’t make you keel over. The Z51 packs a better punch as cars twice its price ($56,185 as tested). So why haven’t people taken the bait yet? I don’t know. With a car so good looking you’d swear its Italian, performance so good you’d swear it was Italian, and a price tag that is everything but Italian, you’ve got one thing for sure – I’m saving up for my 16th birthday already.
July 20, 2008
I live in one of the biggest cities in the world, and dumb, reckless drivers in everything from a Ferrari F 430 to a Ford F150 are a common sight. I’ve seen accidents, been in them, and stayed long enough for the drunk bar battle after them, and it not exactly fun. Everyone should be careful where they drive and how they drive, but now-a-days, the sad truth is that you have to expect that everyone else is an idiot and will crash into you on the road. But recently, after flying to Canada, I experienced the good life — careful driving. Even driving though a big city like Vancouver, everyone is nice enough to let you pass first, and everyone goes to the Yukon to speed on the ice fields if they want to, not on the side streets. So, after doing some research, I found an answer to why this is. No, its not because Canadians are nicer (there are some bad apples..’eh?) they just have the time. Yes, they aren’t rushing. They ACTUALLY leave their house on time and get to where they want to go early. The Yankees down in the lower south seem to enjoy leaving 10 minutes after their appointment starts so they can work up a temper on the way and crash into someone at 120 miles per hour. So, please…take my advice, if you speed a lot, stop watching Need For Speed and move to Germany, and if you get more than 3 accidents a week, move to Canada.
July 19, 2008
BMW has officially made a supercar. Their new brilliant M1 concept has been announced, due to come out in 2011. It’s mistakable for a Ferrari but has the signature dual BMW grill in front which makes it very unique. It’s beautiful exterior shines in the day and glistens by night, but it’s no match in my view for its interior. Normally, the interior for supercars like Lamborghini and Ferrari are very limited, but this is one of the few exceptions. It’s only weakness is its performance, which is a sort of fast 451 brake horse power, and an ok 201 top speed. These are amazing for a car, but in the world of supercars, BMW could certainly do better. In fact, the M1 is slower in all ways compared to the ugly Nissan GTR. If only someone made a car with the looks of an M1 with the black hole of an engine that they stick into the Bugatti (I’m not saying the Veyron isn’t beautiful, but not as nice as the new M1). Well, until then, I will still be on the search for the ultimate car, and when it comes, someone please tell me…
July 18, 2008
Right after reading a four car performance test on Car and Driver including the Nissan GTR, a Corvette Z06, a Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR, and a Porsche 911 GT2, I was continually flattered by the outstanding performance the GTR offered at such a low price. In fact, it costs over $126,000 less than the Porsche, which by the way I am not a fan of. Out of those four cars, it scored the highest final performance score. But, sadly, leave it to Nissan to make a really powerful car as ugly as they possibly can. Its silver makes me cringe while the black grill saved the car from sitting next to VW mini-van in beauty rankings. To blame Nissan even more, it looks like they had one of their designers try draw an Audi blindfolded.
Even with all this performance for such a low price, I just wouldn’t buy it. Why? If you saw it pass you on the freeway, would you turn your head? No, you wouldn’t. But what if you saw the tricked out Dodge Viper ACR zooming past you on a freeway? Well, that Viper got about 20 less performance points than a GTR while tested at over fifty thousand bucks more. But the worst problem with pricing that I have ever seen is the Porsche. Some people call it the poor man’s Lamborghini, but in this case, it more expensive than a base Gallardo. Well, I guess that’s the buyer’s decision which one to get…
July 18, 2008
As most may have guessed the most popular car with the candidates today is a hybrid, but its not a Prius (maybe they read my article). Its actually a Ford Escape hybrid, which is the car of Obama, Clinton and Christopher Dodd.
But something I got a kick out of were the cars that Romney and McCain drive. They seemed to have taken the republican spirit and sacrifice MPG and global warming hecklers for the good stuff. Romney’s toy is a 1962 Ford GT Convertible Mustang with over 400 horses. But McCain may just have topped it with a 3.6 Liter Cadillac CTS V-6. Good stuff. Maybe he has his employees drive a fleet of Prius’s or something to make it up to America.