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Daily Digest: Who Wants Obama's Waffles?

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, April 24 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • Who wants waffles? Seminal food site discovered that an eager customer at Glider’s diner in Scranton, PA got his hands on Barack Obama’s uneaten waffles three days ago and put them up for auction on eBay. The bidding reached $20,100 before diner patron John Oakes took the listing down, fearing bad publicity for the diner. “We put it up there because we figured people are nuts and they might go crazy with it. And guess what? They did,” Oakes said.

  • We somehow missed this the other day: techPresident contributor Colin Delany discovered that, thanks to a progressive Google bombing campaign, if you Google a phrase like “Barack Obama Muslim,” the first hits debunk the claim that Obama is some kind of Muslim Manchurian Candidate. Delany isn’t sure if the Obama campaign was involved, but he writes that it’s “another measure of the subtlety of the ways campaigns can interact with the public via the ‘net.”

  • YouTube news and politics editor Steve Grove has stood at the crossroads of politics and the web for the whole of the 2008 campaign, launching the YouChoose ‘08 channel on YouTube, interviewing presidential candidates as they’ve come through Mountain View, working on the YouTube/CNN debates, and running last year’s Spotlight series of candidate/voter interactions. He’s also been posting videos of his own commentary under the Citizentube moniker, and now he’ll be blogging as Citizentube too. We’re excited to see more of him in the space. Also, we somehow missed this profile of Steve from earlier this year. Check out that cute picture!

The Candidates on the Web

  • John McCain is criticizing the North Carolina Republican Party for planning to release a new TV ad highlighting Barack Obama’s connection to Jeremiah Wright under the guise of opposing Democrats Bev Purde and Richard Moore for Governor. McCain himself sent a letter to the NC GOP Chairman, writing, “the television advertisement you are planning to air degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats. In the strongest terms, I implore you to not run this advertisement.” A commenter on a post from the Politico’s Jonathan Martin thinks this could be a win-win situation for McCain: “Was there ever any doubt that it would air? This way McCain still looks clean and comes away with the higher ground while the negative ad does its damage to the Obama camp. Best of both worlds. Brilliant move from the GOP. An excellent example of politics 101.” I guess that’s politics 101; here’s hoping for a politics 2.0.

  • You may remember a moment earlier this year when an internal Obama spreadsheet “leaked” to the press showing complicated math that argued that Obama could win the nomination by taking a pledged delegate lead and fighting through June (sound familiar?). In a wonderful “Plouffe piece,” the New Republic’s Noam Scheiber profiles Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and exposes the truth about that leak: it wasn’t a leak after all.

  • Congressional Quarterly’s Eric Pfeiffer writes that, despite the Hill’s fear of social media, a handful of congressional offices are dipping their toes in the blogging pool. Among others, Nancy Pelosi’s office, led by Director of New Media Karina Newton and New Media Advisor Jesse Lee, has been producing a blog called The Gavel, John Boehner’s office has a blog and a Twitter account, and Mitch McConnell has been reaching out to bloggers for a while. Come in, Congress, the water’s fine!

In Case You Missed It…

Yesterday Liza Sabater wrote about getting Lost In Hillaryland while driving down to Philadelphia to volunteer for the Obama campaign. She wrote about how after the mini-adventure of the day, her oldest son came to the same conclusion as Joe Trippi: that Obama was going to lose. The observation was the most interesting part of the whole trip because it lent credit to her recent thinking about “politics as interface”.

Micah Sifry suspected that the “Hillary raised $10 million online overnight” report that the Washington Post ran yesterday was too good to be true. Now the Clinton campaign has clarified its post-PA fundraising numbers. Peter Daou, the campaign’s internet director, makes clear that the $10M was a projection that the campaign put out midday and hit sometime last night. Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has probably pulled in $6.5 million since Tuesday, and most of that was before it started an email push in response to Clinton’s claims.

Alan Rosenblatt just has to share with you the satire of the satire… It’s Raining McCain - Slayer Style!

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.


wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.


The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.


tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.


friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO