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Daily Digest: The Blimp is Up

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, December 14 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • The Ron Paul Blimp is up! Ron Paul supporters have raised $200,000 to fly a blimp with the phrase “Who is Ron Paul? Google Ron Paul” written on the side. It’s officially airborne and being tracked using GPS. There has been a slight change of plan, though: the blimp was originally scheduled to fly over Boston on Dec. 16, the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party and the day Paul supporters will once again try to break fundraising records. But bad weather and logistical problems have pushed it further south. It’s currently in North Carolina and will fly to Columbia, South Carolina tomorrow.

  • In an interview with PBS’s NOW, techPresident’s Zephyr Teachout compares Ron Paul’s campaign to Howard Dean, and in the process gives one of the smartest analyses of the Paul campaign to date. Kudos to NOW for giving Zephyr the chance to get in depth about how the media gauges seriousness, the relationship between online and offline activism, and Ron Paul’s ambitious supporters.

  • Have you ever come across a total jerk in the media and wanted to find out more about him? If so, Dickipedia has come to the rescue. The site, created by the 23/6 folks (who also produce the hilarious SwiftKids for Truth videos), is in the process of cataloging the world’s dicks and writing up Wikipedia-like entries about them. A typical entry starts with a brief biographical line, like “Michael Moore (born April 23, 1954 in Flint, Michigan) is a filmmaker, a political antagonizer, an author, and a dick.”

  • Campaign Circus is YASVSTAVOAATC (yet another spartan video site that aggregates videos of and about the candidates). Looking for a complex site that offers several points of entry and interaction? Go elsewhere. But if you want a site that lets users add videos by and about the candidates and pulls them all together in a nice package, check it out.

The Candidates on the Web

  • Chris Dodd stopped by Google earlier this week for a speech to employees and, as is customary, a brief chat with YouTube politics and news editor Steve Grove. Dodd is polling very, very low in Iowa and nationally, but that hasn’t stopped him from being a forceful and articulate candidate (the Iowa Independent even thinks he won yesterday’s Democratic debate). Check out the spitfire round of questioning Grove calls “Constitutional or Not.” It’s kind of like Jeopardy for constitutional experts.

  • TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington has been conducting interviews with the candidates, focusing on tech sector-specific policies like H1B visas, Internet taxes, and Net neutrality. In his interview with Mike Gravel, they discussed these issues, but they also talked about whatever else happened to be on Gravel’s mind. It’s an amazingly entertaining interview. Whatever you think of Gravel, prepare to be entertained by quotes like this: “We have the most corrupt tax system in the world and I don’t understand when American corporate officers whether in [Silicon Valley] or anywhere else in the United States hear me talk about wanting to deal with corporate income taxes don’t flood my campaign with contributions. Are they retarded or something?”

In Case You Missed It…

In an all-GOP edition of the week’s favorite videos, Fred Thompson takes a stand, a satiric Mike Huckabee ad manages to insult just about every Republican in Iowa, we see a quieter, God-fearing Chuck Norris, Rudy giggles, and Ron Paul gives a dazed performance in his own Christmas video.

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

First POST: Reminders

Why the RNC hasn't managed to reboot how Republican campaigns use voter data; new ways of using phone banking to get out the vote; how the UK's digital director is still ahead of the e-govt curve; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Patient Zero

Monica Lewinsky emerges with a mission to fight cyber-bullying; Marc Andreessen explains his political philosophy; tech donors to MayDay PAC get pushback from Congressional incumbents; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Front Pagers

How Facebook's trending topics feed is wrecking political news; debating the FBI's need for an encrypted phone "backdoor"; democratizing crisis data; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Tracking

Questions about whether Whisper is secretly tracking its users' secrets; the FBI's continued push against the new wave of encrypted phones; community service, high-tech-mogul-style; and much, much more. GO

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