Images in trackbacks maybe not a good thing April 3, 2003 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Holy trackback, Batman! I like Howard Dean as much as the next guy, but is it a good idea to allow images embedded into trackbacks?
posted by PrinceValium to Bugs at 2:24 PM (48 comments total)

No, probably not a good idea

also, the photo kind of sucks and doesn't add much to the trackback

(btw I like Dean a lot, but he's short, and usually US presidents are pretty tall -- like, the taller guy wins the elction. Dean does not look good if you believe in that precedent. I mean, we all remember the short Democrat who got nominated a few election cycles ago, right? *shudder*)
posted by matteo at 3:17 PM on April 3, 2003


hell, I didn't know trackbacks also transmitted the img tag. look for this being abused in 5...4...3...2...

what would keep someone from spamming the comments with a banner ad for "hot _______ action"?
posted by mkelley at 3:30 PM on April 3, 2003


Not to mention its in the wrong thread.
posted by skallas at 3:44 PM on April 3, 2003


btw I like Dean a lot, but he's short, and usually US presidents are pretty tall -- like, the taller guy wins the election.

Hey, when I mention this, I'm received with stares, maybe it's because of my own height.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:06 PM on April 3, 2003


like, the taller guy wins the elction.

That rule only works if the guy who wins the election actually takes office. So, all bets are off.
posted by soyjoy at 9:22 PM on April 3, 2003


That rule only works if the guy who wins the election actually takes office.

How the Electoral College Works -- And Why It Works Well

Give it up already.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:33 PM on April 3, 2003


Golly, that hook in your mouth must hurt, Steve...
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:45 PM on April 3, 2003


Chill out on the Dean posts, we that like him don't need the backlash from the people who don't see his appeal. I still can't believe anyone is getting behind the little nutjob congressman Dennis what's his name.
posted by jbou at 10:01 PM on April 3, 2003


Steve_at_Linnwood: How the Electoral College Works -- And Why It Works Well

I stay out of this whole election thing... and I never bring it up. I'll keep my own opinion out of it, because in this case, it's irrelevant.

Speaking as someone with a unearthly number of graduate and undergraduate credit hours in spatial statistics, and years of experience in the field.... That is a very short-sighted and naive article.

There are a number of statistical errors and assumptions that are damning... but one huge flag should be raised for anyone reading this article. The first line of an article titled "How the Electoral College Works -- And Why It Works Well" is; "The Framers of our Constitution...".

(EXTRA, EXTRA! 18th century yeoman farmers make scalable, fair, and perfect system of tabulating votes, that will remain "the best way to do it" forever and ever!)
posted by cadastral at 10:37 PM on April 3, 2003


Regardless of whether or the system is perfect, it is the current system.

Continuing to insist that Gore won, is an ignorant position.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:10 AM on April 4, 2003


Great! So it went from "the system that works best!" to "the only system we have."

I'll take a pass on this so-called democracy.
posted by dogmatic at 2:17 AM on April 4, 2003


"Continuing to insist that Gore won, is an ignorant position."

Dude, he won. Straight up. Not in some weird contrived sort of way. Not in some spatial statistical way. He won straight up, fair and square, no doubt about it. One person - one vote - he won. Everyone knows this. What part of "more votes" do you not understand? He won. Now and forever. History will remember it. He. Won.

The only reason you trot out this Electoral College drivel is because it allowed your man to lose and still be president. Everyone knows this, even you.

Give it up already.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:09 AM on April 4, 2003


As much as I'm surprised to find myself agreeing with Steve_at_Linnwood and the Cato Institute, there is a mathematical & statistical advantage to the electoral college. Here's an article from Discover magazine (from November '96) explaining one researcher's analysis of the system.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:18 AM on April 4, 2003


Discover can babble on all it wants. He still won. Everyone knows this.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:27 AM on April 4, 2003


Steve,

really, tell us the truth, please:

are you trying to say that if Gore's brother was Florida governor, and if the Supreme Court had 5 Democrat Justices insted of 4, you would have been REAL quiet and nice, not screaming bloody murder about "5-4" and complaining about Dems stealing a rigged election? Because I don't really see where your sense of superiority is coming from

(remember that many of your Republican buddies are still complaining about JFK stealing the 1960 election, btw).

(I also remember many Republicans whining about Clinton winning in '92 with only 34 % of the votes of something, and therefore "not having a mandate". God knows what they would have said had Clinton actually lost the popular vote)
posted by matteo at 7:04 AM on April 4, 2003


Yeah, the trackback photo surprised me, too. I headed over here immediately to see if this was a new feature that Matt had announced. I think it's kind of cool, and if it's abused, I'm sure the power-that-is will get rid of it.

Electoral college? What thread is this?

And I'm actually all for getting a little spammy when it comes to Dean. He's decidedly the underdog because he's not a multi-millionaire like the other Dem candidates. He's going to need our help to get elected, and I think the more his name is out there, the better it is for his campaign. I'd rather have someone see his name and say, "Oh yeah, the presidential candidate that keeps coming up on Metafilter. That pisses me off." than "Who?" I personally believe that he's the only candidate that may be able to beat Bush. So, as long as people can come up with new links (and at the risk of pissing people off) if it helps at all in getting this guy in office, I say KEEP POSTING!
posted by UrbanFigaro at 8:08 AM on April 4, 2003


Democracy: Not the best government, just the government we deserve.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:39 AM on April 4, 2003


And I'm actually all for getting a little spammy when it comes to Dean.

Hm, wonder what reaction we would get if I made the same comments about a Republican candidate?
posted by jmd82 at 8:39 AM on April 4, 2003


btw I like Dean a lot, but he's short, and usually US presidents are pretty tall -- like, the taller guy wins the election.

This isn't true, President Bartlett can't be more than about 5'7".
posted by vito90 at 9:25 AM on April 4, 2003


One person - one vote - he won.

The point you insist on missing is that we don't elect presidents that way. To claim that Gore should be president based solely on the popular vote is disingenuous. The Electoral College is the one who chooses the President and they chose Bush. If you don't like it, argue for the abolition of the Electoral College or for proportional voting in the E. C. or whatever. I might even agree.

In any case, even the popular vote was essentially a tie. The difference between the number of votes received by Bush and Gore is about 0.5% of the total number of votes cast, which is well within the margin of error for the country as a whole. (According to this report, the margin of error was as high as 6.4% in some places. Although in some places it was as low as 0.2%, on the whole it must have been well over 0.5%. The report considers 1-2% to be "adequate.") So even a claim that Gore won the popular vote is statistically dubious -- the sampling methods in place in November 2000 simply do not allow us to unequivocally make that determination. (And yes, counting votes is samplng. There will always be a small number of votes not counted.)
posted by kindall at 9:46 AM on April 4, 2003


"To claim that Gore should be president based solely on the popular vote is disingenuous."

All I said is he won. I'm not making any claims about whether he should be president. And the fact is, he won. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter what the Electoral College comes up with. He won. More votes = win. Simple. I'm right, you're wrong. Deal.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:11 AM on April 4, 2003


Hey, this thread should be taken to metafilter.metatalk.metafilter.com. You know, the discussion area for topics that were once specific to Metafilter itself, whose scope then crept back to general discussion?
posted by tomharpel at 10:48 AM on April 4, 2003


Hm, wonder what reaction we would get if I made the same comments about a Republican candidate?

If it were a candidate other than Bush, it would probably make for some interesting discussion.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 11:26 AM on April 4, 2003


Simple. I'm right, you're wrong. Deal.

That sums up so much of this place.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:36 AM on April 4, 2003


And matteo, trying to lump me in with everything my so-called "Republican buddies" have ever said, lumps you in with some pretty nasty crap too. I am not responsible for any statements except those I make myself.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:41 AM on April 4, 2003


If it were a candidate other than Bush, it would probably make for some interesting discussion.

Thats right, how nieve I am...Bush sucks, end of story. Duh.
posted by jmd82 at 11:58 AM on April 4, 2003


steve,

you haven't answered my polite question, as usual

also, I don't have political ads in my blog's front page (you do), I don't rehash party talking points (you do), my blog doesn't endorse candidates (yours does, and your candidate also managed to get his ass kicked in the biggest Republican win in recent memory, ah the irony)

unlike you I'm neither a party activist nor a partisan true believer ( I only believe in Doubt and in Reason ) so you can't really lump me in anywhere.
better yet there's only a group you can lump me in: the group of those who think that You are preachy, holier than thou, you spin your own comments--and you absolutely have to have the last word when people call you on your spin even if it takes twenty comments a thread. On occasion, like here, you throw tantrums full of a lot of fucks and fuckings in all caps
posted by matteo at 12:18 PM on April 4, 2003


Let me preface this by saying: y6y6y6, I'm more or less on your side. But ....

More votes = win.

In the 2002 Super Bowl (Patriots and Rams), the Patriots went 160 fewer yards, and made 11 fewer first downs, than the Rams, but scored more touchdowns or field goals (20-17). I would say that the situation is exactly the same as the distinction you're drawing with the 2000 election.

The votes are important, the votes get you towards the end zone, but the votes aren't scoring. The way the system is set up, winning the presidency (and please don't hide behind distinguishing "winning" from "should be President") is based on winning the states. Parsing it any other way hurts your argument.

Like I said: I'm on your side here, more or less. But the way you're going on makes me not want to be on your side.
posted by claxton6 at 1:36 PM on April 4, 2003


claxton6 - No. Your metaphor is quite weak. I remain correct. Gore won. Everyone knows this and it is well established. Stop trying to prove otherwise lest you make a fool of yourself. Gore had the most votes and no rhetorical shenanigans will make it not so.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:55 PM on April 4, 2003


y6y6y6 - No. Your argument is non-existent. You are wrong. Gore lost. Everyone knows this and it is well established. Stop trying to argue otherwise lest you make more of a fool of yourself. Bush had the most electoral votes and no rhetorical shenanigans will make it not so.
posted by daveadams at 2:09 PM on April 4, 2003


as a non-american, and vaguely on the left, can i just observe that this repeated "he didn't win" stuff seems, from here, hugely childish. the election was amusing - we all laughed at the stupid janquis for a while - but it was a long time ago. continuing to complain about it is both annoying and irrelevant.

the impression i am getting - the impression you're giving the rest of the world - of "the american left" is a bunch of self-obsessed navel gazers more concerned about internal politics and pedantic point-scoring than what is actually happening. re-hashing what happened in florida yet again won't save iraqi lives and it's no longer even vaguely entertaining.

in short, you're coming across as a bunch of whining kids that are having a thought time facing reality. stop it, you're embarrassing yourselves.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:15 PM on April 4, 2003


No, jmd82, you misunderstand. Let me rephrase:

If it were a not-very-well-known Republican candidate running against a very powerful Republican incumbent during war time, it would probably make for some interesting discussion.

Honestly, do you think that talking about whether Bush will be on the ballot for the next presidential election would make for interesting discussion?
posted by UrbanFigaro at 2:23 PM on April 4, 2003


Gore won. Everyone knows this and it is well established.

Did you not even read kindall's post, y6? Neither party won on the primary vote, because their tallies were indistinguishable. The margin of error in the counting process was larger than the difference between the two totals.

Also, what happened to being a polite, reasonable MeFi contributor? I don't mean that as a snark: I'm surprised to see you being all pissy, when you've gone to such lengths to raise the level of your own debate and to improve the site in general.
posted by sennoma at 2:50 PM on April 4, 2003


"The margin of error in the counting process was larger than the difference between the two totals."

Well, you just made that up. Gore won. He had more votes. Why is this hard to understand? Why is everyone being so defensive? Just accept that he won and let it go. As Mr. Cooke says, it happened a long time ago. He won. It's in the history books. Stop getting all worked up over it.

"what happened to being a polite, reasonable MeFi contributor?"

I think I'm being very polite. Why this ad-hominem attack? What did I do to you? Gore won. How is that unreasonable?
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:15 PM on April 4, 2003


Well, you just made that up.

Nope, the margin of error was indeed bigger. The winner of the popular vote was, in fact, indeterminate.

Gore won. He had more votes.

That's not how you win. Gore "won the popular vote." Gore did not win.

Why is this hard to understand?

Because it is not true.

Why is everyone being so defensive?

Because you are lying to us.

Just accept that he won and let it go.

I... SEE... FIVE... LIGHTS!
posted by j.edwards at 3:28 PM on April 4, 2003


y6, you sound like a jackass. the system that elects our president isn't based on a simple majority of votes cast. if it had been, you'd be right. it's not, so you're wrong.

worse, you make the rest of us who probably agree with some of your politics look as stupid as you're being. can't you go side with the scientologists or something, so they look bad instead of us?
posted by anildash at 3:59 PM on April 4, 2003


the impression i am getting - the impression you're giving the rest of the world - of "the american left" is a bunch of self-obsessed navel gazers more concerned about internal politics and pedantic point-scoring than what is actually happening. re-hashing what happened in florida yet again won't save iraqi lives and it's no longer even vaguely entertaining.

That's not an impression, it's reality.

I think the DNC's plan is, over the next few decades, to lull the Republicans into a false sense of security, brought on by the inept left. Then, in 2044, BAM! come back strong and get 2 more seats than the Green Party.
posted by Mick at 4:07 PM on April 4, 2003


anildash:

. . .the system that elects our president isn't based on a simple majority of votes cast.

Hmm, I thought that was the problem with our system. I stand corrected!
posted by mark13 at 4:11 PM on April 4, 2003

Electoral Vote: Winner: 271
Main Opponent: 266
Total/Majority: 538/270

Popular Vote:
Winner: 50,456,062
Main Opponent: 50,996,582

Notes: George W. Bush received fewer popular votes than Albert Gore Jr., but received a majority of electoral votes. One electoral vote was not cast.
Results of the 2000 election from the Federal Register. The math is simple and is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by sennoma at 4:13 PM on April 4, 2003


"the system that elects our president isn't based on a simple majority of votes cast"

This doesn't change anything. He won.

Bush is letting the economy fail as he pursues a poorly concieved war in the Middle East which will damage our credibility, fuel hatred of the US, and place our country further in debt. And Gore won. It seems simple to me.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:20 PM on April 4, 2003


This doesn't change anything. He won.

I finally understand. y6y6y6 is parodying the "you're either with us or against us" ultra-patriots, and doing a damn good job of it.
posted by j.edwards at 4:28 PM on April 4, 2003


Slow day, y6?

Folks (implicitly: rational folks), please let him be. There is nowhere this can go.

Or, what jedwards said.
posted by gleuschk at 4:30 PM on April 4, 2003


So, how about them images embedded in trackbacks, huh? I'm still wondering how that works, visits from friendly neighbourhood efts aside....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:28 PM on April 4, 2003


"Slow day, y6?"

Yeah. PHP 4.3.1 bug driving me nuts. And my teeth hurt. No clean drawers. Laundry calling to me....... Fucking laundry.

But I reeled in Anil. That's a good day. Gold star on the calendar right there.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:52 PM on April 4, 2003


Wow! A 2000 election fight. It is the evergreen flame war. OK, I'll bite:

What stinks isn't that Gore won the popular vote. The problem was that the Supreme Court, supposedly dominated by 'strict constructionist' jurists, interfered with a completely orderly, Constitutional election, thereby illegally deciding it.

Here was the likely sequence had the judges refused to hear Bush vs. Gore:

The Florida courts were going to order some kind of recount. Possibly Gore would have won that recount, nobody knows.

Had Gore won these recounts, the Florida legislature would have refused to certify the electors; they already voted this before the Supreme's decision. The election would have then been decided in the House of Representatives - the new one, I think. This is all provided for in the Constitution. The whole business of the states selecting electors is in a kind of try/catch block for those of you who like a geeky metaphor. It occurred to the Framers that they had best plan for a case when the states could not agree on a slate of electors.

Since the whole process is outlined in the Constitution, and does not require intervention of the courts to work, the decision to even hear Bush v. Gore was weak...the constitution says little about how states must pick their electors. Decades of case law support broad latitude, and counting all the votes is regarded widely as the main value that should be defended. The point is, there was a very flimsy basis to interfere with the Florida courts interpretation of Florida election law and the powers of the Florida legislature to dispute that interpretation by brute force. It ain't pretty, but it is all Constitutional, and the whole thing has been done before. The Republic survived fine.

Now in the 18th century, things went more slowly anyway. In those days they didn't inaugurate a POTUS until March. It took time to assemble electors and communicate results... In 2000, the spectre of even one day's delay in deciding the results induced a full media crisis and nonstop drumbeat of anxiety. Probably it would have done us good to see that we could run the country fine with no 'real' President for a few weeks. But it was deeemed to be intolerable.

In my opinion, the full Constitutional process would have ended with a Bush victory anyway, but James Baker and his crew didn't wan't to take the risk. Also 'the votes have already been counted 3 times' and 'Gore is trying to steal the election' are easier talking points than the lungful of civics lesson above. So the Bush team sought relief in the courts, and won.

Bush's presidential victory is tarnished not by lack of votes but by ad hoc termination of the legal process. What with Gore's dismal performance (losing even his home state, a humiliating defeat not suffered even by Carter, Mondale, or Dukakkis) and eventual concession, I don't think the 2000 election is a good warhorse for Democrats to ride. Also it makes the left look petulant and bitter....if that's the best they've got then they are lost.
posted by crunchburger at 8:38 PM on April 4, 2003


Look, as a Democrat I'm just confused now. Can we establish whether or not Gore actually won so I know whether or not to blame Ralph Nader for everything? [/sarcasm]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:54 PM on April 4, 2003


Thanks for the well-written description, crunchburger. I was hoping someone would write one, and I wasn't gonna tackle it.
posted by Vidiot at 10:53 PM on April 4, 2003


Thanks, crunchburger. That's a great summary.
posted by sennoma at 11:35 AM on April 5, 2003


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