Cascade Range: The Three Sisters
Ancient History: The Peopling of the World

Joint New York Times/Atlantic Monthly Death/Washington Post/AP Spiral Watch

Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times:

Bayh, Kaine and Dodd Are Out; Obama’s Announcement on Saturday: As Mr. Obama sought to capitalize on the anticipation building around the disclosure of his new political partner, his campaign was reveling in the collection of tens of thousands of cellphone numbers, with people rushing to sign up to be notified of the announcement through a text message...

In email, Mark Nickolas of points out that the campaign claims three million people have signed up to receive the text message.

And Mark Ambinder of The Atlantic Monthly:

Marc Ambinder: Says an Obama aide:  "It's [McCain's] Bush grocery scanner moment - but far worse."... [T]he word "John McCain" means a lot of different things, but rich isn't one of them.... If McCain's gaffe had been somehow age-related, then they'd have an easier time...

John McCain and his wife spend more money--$270,000--on servants in a year than the average American's house is worth. There may be 4,000 households in America today richer than John and Cindy McCain. There may not.

To say "'John McCain' means a lot of different things, but rich isn't one of them" shows an extraordinary degree of ignorance about America, and about John McCain.

And Ron Fournier of AP:

Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence: In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.... The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack...

To whom Lindsay Beyerstein has the only possible response:

Majikthise : Ron Fournier: If Obama were confident, he would have picked a ficus tree:

Because nothing says confidence like picking a VP who adds nothing to your ticket. A photosynthesizing running mate would have been a decisive break from the status quo, not to mention a source of fresh air. By picking a ficus tree, Obama would have signaled his readiness to win the entire election by himself.

Of course, such a bold selection by Obama would have telegraphed arrogance to many observers, especially Ron Fournier.

In that last, Lindsay is referring to:

Kevin Drum Steve Benen: In March, for example, Fournier wrote an item -- whether it was a news article or an opinion piece was unclear -- that said Barack Obama is "bordering on arrogance," "a bit too cocky," and that the senator and his wife "ooze a sense of entitlement." To substantiate the criticism, Fournier pointed to ... not a whole lot. It was basically the Republicans' "uppity" talking point in the form of an AP article...

Meanwhile, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post says that John McCain pays no attention to what his chief advisors tell him--and that that is a good thing:

From Matthew UYglesias:

Matthew Yglesias: Jim Lehrer and Ruth Marcus talk about John McCain’s lobbying ties to the Georgian government:

JIM LEHRER: Yes. What about the McCain lobbyist who lobbied for Georgia and is now McCain’s number-one foreign affairs adviser? Is that going to come up to bite McCain more, do you think?

RUTH MARCUS: So the Obama campaign hopes. I look at this on two different levels. On the substantive level, anybody who knows Senator McCain knows that he would have the same views on Georgia no matter what lobbyist came to talk to him. He feels this one in his bones. And he wasn’t going to — this is not a shift in position because some lobbyist came and whispered in his ear.

Matt is dumbstruck by:

[T]he extraordinary... benefit of the doubt that John McCain... get[s] from the press.... Normally reporters are ruthless about the motives behind politicians’ decisions, but everything McCain does is above question.... [I]t’s possible that America’s interests vis-à-vis Russia are identical to Georgia’s interests, but that doesn’t seem very likely to me....

His commenters:

El Cid Says: August 18th, 2008 at 6:01 pm.... I am surprised she didn’t go on to mention that those were awesome, America-serving bones, the kind of bones that not just any politician would have, not the kind of ordinary politician to get involved in some cheap banking scandal in the 1980s, but a towering, magical figure, a Leader whose bones cry out to us of honor, truth, and Maverickness.

Nell Says: August 18th, 2008 at 6:01 pm: “Whispered in his ear”? How about: was employed as his major foreign policy advisor?

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

Don't trust them. Don't patronize their advertisers. Don't believe them. Listen, instead, to people with substantive expertise and knowledge trying to convey that knowledge rather than the ignorant trying to score points with their owners, editors, and sources.