Houskeeping Note: New Theme

I’ve figured out the problem which was causing most themes to cause serious problems earlier in the week and am now trying out some new themes. The one used at present appears promising. I’ll give it a try today and see how people like it before deciding whether to stick with it or try some others.

Update: I’ve made a number of minor adjustments to the theme. The most significant was to change the font of block quotes. The original theme uses a light blue font. While This matches the theme better, I thought that it was difficult to read when I tested this on a lower resolution monitor. I’ve changed it to a slighter lighter gray than the main blog text which should be more readable. I’m also thinking of changing from a box around the whole blockquote to a line on the left. (I’ll have to dig up some style sheets from other themes to see how they do this, having very limited knowledge of how these things are coded).

On further update, I’ve changed the font in the blockquotes to match the main blog post text (except very slightly lighter) and went to a blue shaded area to match the blog theme instead of putting the blockquotes in box. (Actually it is still a box, but I think that shading in the box gives an entirely different look than having a box around the text). I’ve also shrunk the giant numbers in the comments among other tweaks.

There’s one thing I’d like to do but have no idea how. The old theme had the little boxes in the “Blog Stuff” area on top of each other. This theme has space between each. Anyone have any suggestions as to eliminating that empty space? Maybe I’ll be able to figure it out by comparing the style sheets in the two themes.

Palin Seen As Not Understanding Complex Issues In New Poll

A Washington Post-ABC News poll has some unfavorable news for Sarah Palin. The poll found that “53 percent of Americans view Palin negatively and 40 percent see her in positive terms.” This is her lowest approval rating in this poll. A politician might be able to recover from poor numbers if it is over matters of opinion where they can win over voters, or over vague matters of image. More seriously for Palin, she is not seen as understanding complex problems:

Perhaps more vexing for Palin’s national political aspirations, however, is that 57 percent of Americans say she does not understand complex issues, while 37 percent think she does, a nine-percentage-point drop from a poll conducted in September just before her debate with now-Vice President Biden. The biggest decline on the question came among Republicans, nearly four in 10 of whom now say she does not understand complex issues. That figure is 70 percent among Democrats and 58 percent among independents.

Even her base among the religious right is beginning to erode. The poll found that, “while Palin’s most avid following is still among white evangelical Protestants, a core GOP constituency, and conservatives, far fewer in these groups have ‘strongly favorable’ opinions of her than did so last fall.”

Palin is also losing her advantages in being seen as empathetic:

As a vice presidential candidate, Palin was seen as an empathetic figure, but the new poll shows Americans split on whether she understands the problems of people like themselves. By contrast, nearly two-thirds think Obama is in touch with the problems they face.