Back from one of those vacations I’m always afraid to announce online, since those warnings about robbers somehow finding out where you live and robbing you while you’re away have made me paranoid over losing our Precious, Precious Junk. 🙂

Another lesson in the need for precision on the Web last night. During the John Edwards/Dick Cheney Vice-Presidential Debate, Cheney asked the folks at home to go to FactCheck.com, a nonpartisan UPenn site which he claimed would defend his tenure at Halliburton. Now, there’s one problem. It’s actually FactCheck.org. According to reports, FactCheck.com, during the debate, was apparently owned by one of those domain name resellers that only shows a page asking you to buy the domain name. Not long after the debate, suddenly it was redirecting people to GeorgeSoros.com, a site that is not very friendly to the current Administration. So, the first site many saw when heading to read Cheney’s defense was one encouraging folks to think of the dangers of re-electing Bush.

In the meantime, while it’s refreshing to see a candidate ask people to go to a nonpartisan site to check up on his record, it’s not necessarily wise to send folks to a site where you don’t control or can’t predict the content the next morning. (If you have trouble getting to the site, it looks like it’s suffering the /. effect many times over. )

As for the debate, my impression watching it was that it was pretty even. Cheney’s decent performance didn’t surprise me, as it shouldn’t anyone who saw him dismantle Lieberman in the 2000 debate. I think NC folks know Edwards isn’t quite the master orator/miracle speaker he’s usually made out to be in a national press, but he is very good, and the debate worked out well for him.

Unfortunately, both VP candidates also managed to show their debate weaknesses as well. Cheney finds it hard not to look like a James Bond villain, which makes it more obvious when he prevaricates, which he proceeded to do a lot, immediately. Edwards, on the other hand, relies a bit too much on what seems to be “unnatural” charm — as opposed to Clinton’s more natural interaction — which always puts me in mind of an enthusiastic puppy. Not good when you’re 50 and look 30, and you’re trying to defend your absentee record in the Senate.

Anyway, debating season has been almost as entertaining as it could be so far, without Al Gore involved, and I’m looking forward to the next two. It’s all about the “strategery” now. 🙂