In No Particular Order....
Note 1: On Thursday's Larry King episode, Ben Stein took a stab at graciousness but -- damn it -- came up just shy. He started out okay, complimenting the efficiency of the Obama campaign. But sadly, that wee moment of sanity goosed his fight-or-flight adrenals, kayoed his nervous system and caused him to say the Obama team had run the most brilliant campaign since Nixon in 1972.
Nixon. In. 1972.
Imagine, Obama's team can be mentioned in the same breath as those who composed the Canuck Letter to destroy Edmund Muskie. David Axelrod's strategies can revel in being as effective as Nixon's squadron of USC boys who sabotaged Democrats through "rat fucking." David Plouffe can take the same pride in his efforts as those who planned the break-in of DNC headquarters leading to Nixon's resignation as the most disgraced public official in American History.
Note 2: Considering the money his campaign blows on make-up, it is astonishing to see McCain on the stump. He's been pancaked into looking like a long-time fugitive whose face has been digitally aged to approximate his current appearance. A fugitive on an Un-Wanted Poster. Even Cindy, standing icily behind him looking like someone who can hang up on you in person, seems to glance at her husband as if he's someone who seems only vaguely familiar.
Note 3: As has been the case for 40 years, the most insightful and incisive coverage of the Presidential race comes from Garry Trudeau. Only Doonesbury boils things down without the crushing repetitiveness of all other media. And for Trudeau's most dazzling trick, he keeps the strip just as up-to-the minute as everyone else.
Oh... and he's a lot funnier.
Outside the Doonesbury oasis of thought, following the campaign coverage is a zero sum game. Or maybe a once-in- three-weeks sum game. That's about the frequency of actual news amid the exhausting accounts of campaign stops, the blizzard of polls that drip toward obsolesence the minute they come out and the tortuous man-on-the-street interviews with the small town Democrat for Obama, the same small town Republican for McCain, the same small town attention junkie who's undecided and the same small town rebel who won't vote because the whole thing is fixed anyhow.
(Dumb people were so much more pleasant before they got cynical, no?)
Note 4: If McCain loses, can Sarah Palin go back to Alaska and be happy? She'd miss those outfits, those private jets, those SNL appearances, wouldn't she? When you think about it, her situation is just like the Dalai Lama's situation. (No really. Hang in. This is brilliant) After years of hanging out with Brad Pitt and Richard Gere and all of those demi-zen actress, would the Dalai Lama really be happy if China relented and he had to move back to Tibet?
Whatever the case, it's nice in a We-Are-The-World kind of way to muse over how Sarah Palin and the Dalai Lama share common concerns.