Berkeley Political Economy "Concentrations"
Ross Perot Likes John McCain Even Less than He Likes George H.W. Bush

Los Angeles Times Death Spiral Watch

Ezra Klein:

EzraKlein Archive | The American Prospect: A week ago, I laughed off fears that any reporters in America would be dim enough to argue that Barack Obama and John McCain, contrary to what they say and what their policies suggest, are actually quite close to each other ideologically. Today, the LA Times takes a shot at proving me wrong. Happily, the Times' editorial page isn't quite able to convince itself of this bit of tomfoolery, but they give it a go. I hereby promise to never again underestimate the media's ability to turn any campaign into an ideas free contest of personalities.

Matthew Yglesias:

Except for Disagreements, They Agree: There was a bizarre editorial in the LA Times yesterday about how Obama and McCain are really pretty similar dudes and it's awesome that they're both so centristy and the same. One could debunk this contention, but the editorial itself doesn't really argue for it. They concede, for example, that McCain and Obama have serious disagreements about:

Iraq, Iran, Health care, Taxes, Trade, Abortion rights, Gun control

That's a lot of disagreement! They also concede that the two candidates "have different plans to solve the mortgage crisis." What's more, after asserting that Obama and McCain "support the same policies" on the environment, they immediately acknowledge that they support different policies, "Obama's would reduce them to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, while McCain's would cut them by 60%" though they fail to note the difference between auctioning permits and giving them away. In the course of acknowledging disagreement about abortion, they note that Obama and McCain would appoint different kinds of judges, but they don't seem to consider the fact that the federal judiciary actually deals with all kinds of issues other than abortion. Nor do they mention Social Security, which is kind of a big deal.

One could go on like this, but I'm not sure what the point would be. Clearly, though, there's a substantial difference between the candidates and I have no idea why the press would think that obscuring that is a good idea -- conflict sells papers! And it's true!