Election update: Clegg 2, Murdoch 0

We had our second debate last night, and it went pretty well the way it was expected to—Gordon Brown and David Cameron apparently decided that they didn’t want to be Nick Clegg’s best friend any more. Clegg’s (and the Lib Dem’s) dramatic surge in the polls following the first debate seems to be holding up. Much of the commentary, in fact, has been along the lines of “the gloves are off” kind of thing. Still, though, it was interesting and depressing for an American used to the brain-dead logorrhea that passes for political discourse in the US to listen to three politicians who, frankly, knew their stuff. The only American politician who comes close, in fact, is Obama. What a depressing thought. The mood was more confrontational, of course, since both Cameron and Brown felt pressured by Clegg’s continued improvement in the polls. But Clegg, by common consensus, held his own. (The set was even more bizarre than last week’s, if such a thing is possible.)
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Qwest/CenturyTel merger: do you, Triceratops, take this Brontosaurus to be your lawfully wedded wife?

It was announced yesterday that Louisiana-based CenturyTel is buying Qwest, marking the second major takeover in ten years for the Denver telco. I have some history with the US West iteration of the company, having worked there from 1997 until the ill-fated Qwest “merger” in Summer 2000.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of USW’s PR group, which remains the best large corporate communication division I have ever seen (and in that role I got to do some interesting, groundbreaking work). I’ve continued to watch the company fairly closely through the years, especially as the unfortunate Nacchio affair unfolded (and am proud of the repeated stompings we here at S&R have administered to that amoral cur along the way). I have hoped for the best over at 1801 California for a number of reasons. Continue reading

Lily Dale: Getting a read on a reading

By Jared VanDyke

Part four of a five-part series

Rev. Bonnie White, spiritual artist and medium, pegged my age without asking.

“Oh,” said Bonnie. “A digital recorder. How does it work?”

With all the enthusiasm a nerd of my generation carries, I explained the workings of my recorder. I spent two minutes dissecting my device’s memory, extraction methods, sensitivity, and ease of use, all for a woman who just smiled and nodded. Her over-worked and liver-spotted hands ran over my toy’s plastic case, waiting with that ever-patient smile for me to finish yammering.

“So,” said Bonnie. “You were born with the chip, huh? Your whole generation is like that. Some days I wish I had it too.”

Shit. Continue reading