Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘demographics

Sunday Afternoon

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* ICYMI: Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of the Contemporary Education System.

* This is, I think, literally the first time I have ever heard of university budget cuts impacting administration. Meanwhile.

* Meanwhile meanwhile, Congress talks adjuncts and adjunctification. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good solution soon.

Tressie McMillan Cottom on race and adjunctification.

* Yo novel so staid and conventional, it’s taught at over 50 MFA programs.

* Submitted for your approval: An OCR of the MLA JIL list, 1965-2012.

* For some reason I’m seeing a ton of links to Bousquet’s “Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers” this weekend.

*  Bérubé’s last post on MLA 2014.

Harvard, MIT Online Courses Dropped by 95% of Registrants.

Inside a for-profit college nightmare.

* Inside the “longform backlash.”

How Student Activists at Duke Transformed a $6 Billion Endowment.

* “Income inequality” has proved a very successful framing for Democrats discussing a massive social problem, so of course the Obama White House is rolling out a much worse one.

* Pope Francis Is Drafting An Encyclical On The Environment.

cold* xkcd explains climate.

* Demographics is destiny: Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.

* How nonviolent was the civil rights movement?

It’s 1968, and Esquire is interviewing James Baldwin.

* Chris Christie says no to dashboard cameras.

* The coming Common Core meltdown.

* The headline reads, “Chinese restaurant owner told to pull down two gigantic 50ft naked Buddhas from establishment’s roof.”

Highly Educated, Highly Indebted: The Lives of Today’s 27-Year-Olds, In Charts.

* America’s nuclear corps are a mess. Dr. Strangelove was a documentary.

A journey to the end of the world (of Minecraft).

* Science has finally proved that sex reverses cognitive decline in rats.

This World Map Shows The Enormity Of America’s Prison Problem.

* The New York Times has the tragic story of a man with a million dollars in his retirement account struggling to scrape by on just $31,500 a month. Truly, there but for the grace of God go we.

Bucking trend, Wisconsin union membership grows.

* Fox to strand reality show contestants on an island for an entire year.

Woody Guthrie’s daughter wants to preserve Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

* The “okay, fine, let’s abolish all marriages” response to marriage equality is so strange to me. I know things like this happened during the civil rights movement — and one might argue that precisely the same thing has been happening in slow-motion to public education over the last few decades — but it still seems like such a strange, uniquely twenty-first-century temper tantrum.

* Behold, the 90s! The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG’s First 3 Seasons.

Life as a Nonviolent Psychopath.

We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow. The Marshmallow Ate Us.

* And Stephen Hawking wants to destroy all your silly, silly dreams.

Sunday Quick Links

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* Attention, Milwaukee-, Chicago-, and Madison-area graduate students! The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference deadline is November 20. The theme this year is “Animacy.”

* Surviving the post-employment economy.

* What if America had just two timezones?

* The accreditors visit Hogwarts.

* Common mistakes on the academic CV.

* All possible iterations of the statement “degrees in field Z are down X% since year Y.”

Executives Collect $2 Billion Running U.S. For-Profit Colleges. Disruptive! Innovation! Immanentize the eschaton!

* Meanwhile, the federal government is poised to OK pension-looting. How can this be remotely legal? Pensions are delayed compensation. Can your employer give you a “haircut” on your monthly paycheck because they’ve decided they want the money after all?

‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’: Lou Reed and the New York School of Poetry.

* Why we cheat.

* Also really good at self-assessment: Last Year President Obama Reportedly Told His Aides That He’s ‘Really Good At Killing People.’ Some instant nostalgia for the 2012 election, Romney-side and Obama-side.

What was supposed to be a secret letter authored by all sixteen of the current Democratic female senators urging Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016 became public this week when Sen. Kay Hagan apparently accidentally mentioned it at an EMILY’s List event.

* The demographics of the NBA. Really interesting stuff.

I just went and checked the last “lactation station” from the list. Most are locking bathrooms and/or public lounges, but this one is a locked asbestos-containing closet.

Hottest September On Record, Fastest Pacific Warming In 10,000 Years, Warmest Arctic In 120,000 Years. Probably nothing though.

* And SMBC explores the curse of immortality.

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It’s Always Mischief Night Somewhere Links

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* You can now order the special Paradoxa issue on “Africa SF.” The testimonials indicate that Samuel Delany has at least heard of something I’ve written, so there’s that…

* Those who do not study history will have their wise decision ratified by bean-counting administrators: One of the 17 University of North Carolina campuses could stop offering degrees in physics, history and political science. If you read that sentence and thought to yourself, “gee, I bet that’s a historically black college,” give yourself a prize!

MLA Reports Modest Decline in Job Ads Posted in 2012-13. The State of the Academic Job Market, by Discipline.

‘I Wish I Were Black,’ and Other Tales of Privilege.

* The Logic of Stupid Poor People.

What The U.S. Would Look Like If It Mirrored The Main Characters On Prime-Time Network Television.

-Half the population would be white men.
-Five percent of the population would be black men.
-Just 1.9 percent of the world would be Asian or Latino men.
-Overall, 57 percent of the population would be men.
-34 percent of the world would be white women
-3.8 percent would be African-American women
-And 3.8 percent would be Latino or Asian women
-31.8 percent of the population would work for the police or some sort of federal law enforcement agency.
-9.7 percent of us would be doctors.
-2.6 percent of us would be criminals.
-1.9 percent would be supernatural creatures or robots.

What they are defending is a system in which wealth is passed off as merit, in which credentials are not earned but bought. Aptitude is a quality measured by how much money you can spend on its continual reassessment.

Students whose parents pay tens of thousands for SAT tutors to help their child take the test over and over compete against students who struggle to pay the fee to take the test once. Students who spend afternoons on “enrichment” activities compete against students working service jobs to pay bills – jobs which don’t “count” in the admissions process. Students who shell out for exotic volunteer trips abroad compete with students of what C Z Nnaemeka termed “the un-exotic underclass” - the poor who have “the misfortune of being insufficiently interesting”, the poor who make up most of the US today.

* …a recent Twitter thread started by a popular feminist blogger examines a dark side of that cliché in real-life academe, one in which professors’ advances – intellectual and otherwise – feed a need for validation and flattery, and at times cross the line into sexual harassment.

By the numbers: Sex crimes on campus.

Get Ready for Big Ed.

* The New York Times spends 36 hours in Milwaukee.

A collective narrative of trying to make it on $17,000 a year: bargaining testimony from a UCSC student-worker.

Colorado Counties Ban Sale of Marijuana, Want Share of Proposed State Sales Tax Anyway.

* Obama’s going to be super-mad when he finds out about the nonsensical security state procedures his administration has been using in lieu of actual oversight. And breaking into Yahoo! and Google? Why didn’t anyone tell him!

* Ripped from the pages of Philip K. Dick! Pentagon weighs future of its inscrutable nonagenarian futurist.

Pennsylvania law protects pregnant women from unwanted belly rubbing.

* The Chronicle follows up on last year’s PhD-on-food-stamps, who is now in a TT position at Martin Methodist College.

How Not To Take The GRE With a Non-Standard-English Name.

* The richest country in history: The Number Of Homeless Students In The United States Hits A Record.

“Riots always begin typically the same way”: Food stamp shutdown looms Friday.

* Perry Anderson accidentally writes a whole issue of New Left Review.

* 20th Century Headlines, Rewritten to Get More Clicks.

How the Koch Brothers laundered illegal campaign contributions.

* They’re marketing the Veronica Mars movie as a love triangle. This is my skeptical face.

* Sesame Street parodies Homeland.

* The chart that explains the world.

Change-in-real-income-between-1988-and-2008-at-various-percentiles-of-global-income-distribution-calculated-in-2005-international-dollars-Branko-Milanovic

* What’s W.R.O.N.G. with ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’? A.L.M.O.S.T. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

* No accidents, comrade: The New Inquiry considers Cold War nostalgia and Twilight Struggle.

People Who Live Downwind Of Alberta’s Oil And Tar Sands Operations Are Getting Blood Cancer.

* BREAKING: Student Debt Is Making All Your Life Choices Worse.

Matt Zoller Seitz completes his series on video essays on Wes Anderson films. Bring on The Grand Budapest Hotel!

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 27: Princeton’s freshmen again have chosen Adolf Hitler as “the greatest living person” in the annual poll of their class conducted by The Daily Princetonian.

* Pope Francis, PR Wizard.

* The coming Terry McAuliffe landslide as proof the GOP brand is in serious disrepair.

* And it looks like they’ve finally (almost) proved that Darth Vader wasn’t always going to be Luke Skywalker’s father. Gotcha Lucas! You can run but you can’t hide.

…And More

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I’ve said this before: let’s have an academic decathlon. You choose a team based on whatever pedagogical criteria you want. You can choose students from public school or private, unionized teachers or not, parochial or secular, from charter or magnet, from Montessori or KIPP or whatever else you want. However, I choose the demographics of the students on your team. For my team, the situation is reversed: you choose the pedagogical factors for my students, but I choose the demographics. You stock your team kids from whatever educational backgrounds you think work, and mine with whatever educational systems you think don’t work. Meanwhile, I give you all children from the poverty-stricken, crime-ridden inner city and impoverished rural districts where we see the most failure. I stock mine with upper-class children of privilege. I would bet the house on my team, and I bet if you’re being honest, you would too. Yet to accept that is to deny the basic assumption of the education reform movement, which is that student outcomes are a direct result of teacher quality. 

Stunning front-page from UNC’s Daily Tar Heel today.

If you are a low-income prospective college student hoping a degree will help you move up in the world, you probably should not attend a moderately selective four-year research institution. The cards are stacked against you.

Elderly Obama And Boehner Daughters Arrive In Time Machine To Demand Climate Action.

Who among us can forget Malia’s first words to a rapidly-growing crowd in this historical meeting between present and future, “People of 2009, we come from–” words that were immediately interrupted by her younger self, surrounded by Secret Service, saying, “It’s 2013,” which led future Malia to punch future Sasha, saying, “I told you not to mess with the controls.” Malia then continued, “2013, seriously? What’s the friggin’ point?”

* Academic jobs watch: Specialist Professor, Homeland Security.

California isn’t a state in which liberals have run wild; it’s a state where a liberal majority has been effectively hamstrung by a fanatical conservative minority that, thanks to supermajority rules, has been able to block effective policy-making. Krugman is optimistic that the Republicans’ stranglehold on the state seems to be abating; I’d note that in the arena of public education at least all the worst ideas are coming from the Democrats.

* When (and how) Brad DeLong trolled David Graeber for months. Jesus.

* That’s because these workers represent what’s happening to U.S. work in three critical ways. First, precarity: Workers lack job security, formal contracts, or guaranteed hours. Second, legal exclusion: Labeled as “independent contractors,” “domestic workers” or otherwise, they’re thrust beyond the reach of this country’s creaky, craven labor laws. And third, the mystification of employment: While a no-name contracted company signs your paycheck, your conditions are set by a major corporation with far away headquarters and legal impunity. Guest Workers as Bellweather.

How to Get a Black Woman Fired.

Overwhelming Student Debt Has Parents Getting Life Insurance Policies on Their Kids.

But if Emanuel brought Byrd-Bennett in to work the same kind of charter magic in Chicago that she did in Detroit, he may be dismayed to encounter one important difference: Chicago is now in a good position to fight back. The school closings hearings were packed with engaged, motivated citizens, and the teachers union is more organized than it’s been in three decades. During its popular and successful strike, the union’s approval rating climbed while the mayor’s fell—public opinion polls showed that taxpayers blamed Emanuel for the ugliness that took place during negotiations. The CTU’s current leadership has built relationships with community leaders and organizations, forming a coalition to fight the slash-and-burn privatization pushed by the Board of Education and its corporate sponsors, and has even hosted civil disobedience trainings open to the public. This afternoon’s protest will serve as further evidence that Emanuel is indeed up against a new opponent, one strong enough that not even the best “cleaner” may be able to defeat it.

Detroit Schools Emergency Manager Gets Accolades as Children Fall Further Behind.

* Nate Silver makes your Final Four book: Louisville Favored in Final Four, but Wichita State Could Become Unlikeliest Champion.

* Zero Dark Thirty is supposedly a film about freedom. A “freedom so threatening that there are those around the world willing to kill themselves and others to prevent us from enjoying it,” as the TV sound-bite in the background puts it. The odd thing is that this freedom is never once glimpsed within the film itself. Obviously, we are constantly reminded of the imprisonment and torture of the al Qaeda suspects, but it is never their freedom we are meant to be concerned with. More tellingly, it is the American spaces within the film that leave this freedom unseen. A strange becoming-prisoner takes hold of the spaces, and of the American body itself: not unfolding, in the end, either defeat or victory, but pulling together in a constricted space the impossibility of both.

* Gen X hits the nostalgia capitalism threshold.

* And dollar tracking site WheresGeorge suggests discrete commerce zones in the U.S.

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And Some Links

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* The theme for MLA 2014 is “Vulnerable Times.”

NCAA Reform Gone Wrong.

A decade has passed since the National Collegiate Athletic Association rolled out its academic reform package. In that time, there is strong evidence that the reforms designed to open access to higher education to more athletes and punishing coaches and institutions failing at academics came at the expense of the integrity of the academy.  The landscape of the NCAA’s program is scorched with scandals surrounding admissions, academic fraud, major clustering and clever gaming of the system for the wealthiest institutions to avoid penalties. We conclude that it has significantly damaged higher education.

* Kennesaw State to add football. I’m shocked any Board of Trustees would volunteer to take on this kind of liability, knowing what we know…

* Tesla catches the New York Times deliberately tanking its review of its Model S electric car, while at the same time revealing the truly staggering amount of data they can log while you’re driving.

* Apocalypse now:  “Think of carbon as a global pollutant that affects the ocean everywhere it touches the sky,” explains Stanford University marine science professor and Hopkins Marine Station director Steve Palumbi. What does ocean acidification mean for sea life?

* Sad coda to the Oscar Pistorius story: Olympic Hero Oscar Pistorius Charged With Murder in Shooting Death of Girlfriend.

Abolish the states watch: Scott Walker edition.

Yesterday Scott Walker finally announced his much-awaited decision about how to deal with the Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act. And he managed to come up with a “solution” that simultaneously lets him express solidarity with his nullification-minded soul-mates in the Deep South while increasing federal involvement in health insurance in his state and also costing Wisconsin taxpayers some serious money! Quite the triple-gainer, eh?

Woman Says She’s Had the Same Song Stuck in Her Head for Three Years.

New Atlanta Braves Logo Features Gruesome Depiction Of Trail Of Tears.

* Can the Republicans be Saved From Obsolescence?

* And some love poetry at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Weekend Links

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* CFP: My friend Alexis Lothian is planning a special issue of Ada on feminist science fiction.

* Sunday map-reading: an index of maps from fantasy novels.

* Study: The U.S. has had one mass shooting per month since 2009.

image001* reclaimUC vs. administrative bloat.

The UC administration constitutes a parasitic bureaucracy that grows and expands by consuming those elements of the university that remain outside of it. It can only survive by extracting tuition from students and wages from university workers. In return, it does not grow the university—it grows only itself.

* Relatedly: MOOCs and university management troubles.

* So basically every college is lying to U.S. News, I guess?

Proponents of the current craze ought to think carefully about the human costs of technology before enthusiastically proclaiming the end of a system that could leave hundreds of thousands of people without work, students cheated out of a quality education, and that would further contribute to the creation of a world where virtualization is always and everywhere, without qualification or questioning, heralded as an unequivocal good.

* Ban double majors! That’ll solve it.

Year-by-Year Comparison of College and University Endowments, 2007-12. Results of the 2012 Faculty Salary Survey.

* Obama administration vs. fair use? My god, why?

* In short, I am tempted to declare the transition from the Cold War to the War on Terror the greatest example of “first as tragedy, then as farce” in world history.

* When they almost domed Winooski, Vermont.

* Film and television news! Is Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood the greatest television show ever made? Imagining Sisyphus Happy: A Groundhog Day Retrospective. The “gentleman’s F” and the scourge of deliberate mediocrity.

* Animal news! How owls swivel their heads. Depressed Groundhog Sees Shadow Of Rodent He Once Was. Burger King admits it has been selling beef burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat.

* All about the North Dakota energy boom. Via Kottke, here it is visible from space.

nodak-oil-fields-sat

Hillary Clinton currently leads the three named Republicans (Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and by eight points, Texas Gov. Rick Perry) in a 2016 presidential test heat. In Texas.

* Oregon Is The Only State Left That Hasn’t Imposed Any Restrictions On Abortion.

* Michael Chabon on Wes Anderson’s Worlds.

The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.”

There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher’s heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises “adolescence.” The feeling haunts people all their lives.

Of course, on the Cornell box angle, Jaimee was there first.

* Great animated short from Disney: Paperman.

* U.S. carbon emissions drop to lowest level since 1994. In part because at this pace the U.S. won’t get back to full employment until 2022.

* Some iPad and iPhone puzzle game recommendations. I’ve been obsessed with Flow and Hundreds lately myself.

* And tempered glass can just randomly explode for no reason. The more you know!

Monday Night Links

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* The kids are all right: Last Friday night, the Harvard College Undergraduate Council announced that the student body had voted 72% in favor of Harvard University divesting its $30.7 billion endowment from fossil fuels.

* Barbarians at the Wormhole: On Anthony Burgess.

The trope of invasion is doubly brilliant, first because the invasion plot is a mainstay of SF and second because the trope captures quite neatly what it must feel like for some literary intellectuals to be forced to confront the increasing cultural cachet of SF, to face its meteoric rise over the last thirty years from lowbrow genre to literary respectability. The genre now comfortably occupies university syllabi, best-of lists, and handsome Library of America editions — though some hardened highbrows might suspect its popularity is more a function of marketing than of quality.

For all its brilliance, Clowes’s trope of invasion makes an important mistake, failing to note that the invasion is largely moving in the other direction. After all, one wouldn’t expect Asimov’s Science Fiction to run a special issue featuring “literary fiction,” but publications like the New Yorker apparently do feel the need for a science fiction issue, perhaps trying to freshen themselves up by tapping into the unruly energies of a disreputable genre. Indeed, the lure of the so-called low genres — and SF in particular — has long proven irresistible to those who otherwise fashion themselves as literary types, at least since Kingsley Amis’s classic 1960 study of the genre, New Maps of Hell.

Clowes’s New Yorker cover is, in fact, a perfect example in miniature of the subgenre Amis called the “comic inferno” — humorous dystopias such as those written by Frederick Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth, and Robert Sheckley. This subgenre, by Amis’s account, mocks ideas of progress in its humorous rendition of dystopian futures. What is dystopian about Clowes’s comic cover is very precisely that SF cannot be ignored, that it disrupts the bourgeois regularity and comfort that informs the imagination of hypothetical readers of The New Yorker. The genre — which always bears with it the threatening knowledge that the world might change inexorably, beyond human control, or at least beyond the control of those who are humanistically inclined — cannot be ignored, because the signs of our world’s deepening state of crisis (political, technological, environmental) cannot be ignored.

* Bonus: “Anthony Burgess Answers Two Questions” by Jonathan Lethem.

Not only are student loans not a burden on the federal government, they’re a good investment. In 2012 the DOW estimated its subsidy for student lending at -17 percent. In other words, the DOE “subsidies” actually represent money coming in. Including all expenses, from loses on defaults to debt collection to program administration, the DOE will pull in more than $25 billion in profit from student lending this year alone—billions more dollars than the IRS will assess in gift and estate taxes combined, and more than enough to pay NASA’s whole budget. The DOE explains the negative subsidy through a divergence between “the Government’s borrowing rate and the interest rate at which borrowers repay their loans.” After all, no one can borrow at lower rate than the U.S. Treasury, certainly not college students and their families. Bondholders aren’t the only ones who think student debtors—including defaulters—will pay back every cent they owe, with interest. The government is literally counting on it.

* The headline reads, “Charges dropped against man arrested for wearing an elaborate wristwatch.”

* Elmo accuser wants to retract his retraction. Hostess may survive after all.

Hostess Bankruptcy Has Worked Out Well for CEO Brian Driskoll.

This is not identical to the story with the American Airlines bankruptcy, but there’s something similar about it. There the CEO gets a large payday if he can avoid a merger, regardless of the value for the enterprise.

The handwriting is on the wall. Until Republican candidates figure out how to perform better among non-white voters, especially Hispanics and Asians, Republican presidential contenders will have an extraordinarily difficult time winning presidential elections from this point forward.

JSTOR provides free access to Wikipedia editors via pilot program.

* Cory Booker to live on food stamps for a week.

My name is R______. I am six years old. I think it’s not fair to only have 5 girls in Guess Who and 19 boys. It is not only boys who are important, girls are important too. If grown ups get into thinking that girls are not important they won’t give little girls much care.

* Remixed trailer of the moment: Gotham High.

* And a new game: impressions of Sean Connery as Gandalf. Oh, what might have been!

Links for the Weekend

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* Obama makes an unexpected post-election bid for the Canavan bump: NASA May Unveil New Manned Moon Missions Soon.

* Charlie Stross visits 2512.

* China Miéville offers a brief history of the recent filmic ideology of the necessity of walls against zombie hordes.

* ORCA shrugged. More here, here, here, here. This is still, essentially, poll denialism, but it’s fascinating that the Romney campaign put so much stock in a system whose basic assumptions they’d never bothered to test.

* MetaFilter tries to hash out America’s new marijuana laws. Mexico says legalization “changes the rules of the game.”

This image posits that the juridical distinction between slave and free is isomorphic with today’s cartographies of parliamentary politics; it implies that today’s Northern liberals have inherited, and protect, the precious freedom(s) denied to so many in the antebellum world. It implies that the rupture of the Civil War was not much of a rupture—continuity is the name of the game here. It thus elides the discontinuous rupture of black political subjectivity: the image would have us believe that today’s political cartography retains the form adjudicated 162 years ago by the desires and compromises of (mostly) white men, all of whom in some fashion profited from the political and juridical de-subjectification of blacks throughout the Americas.

* Reddit gets ready for Puerto Rico by designing some 51-state flags.

* Is everyone on the autism spectrum?

* 68 Percent Of American Voters See Global Warming As A ‘Serious Problem.’ There’s a culture war and Democrats are winning. What The 2012 Election Would Have Looked Like Without Universal Suffrage. Colorado Establishment: Republicans must improve or die. I liked, and forgot to link, what Freddie said the other day:

It occurs to me: part of the problem with our political media and analysis is that they always define Republican victory in terms of political direction and Democratic victory in terms of extremity. That is, a Republican victory is seen as a repudiation of liberalism, while a Democratic victory is seen as a repudiation of extremism. One suggests a push towards the right is the mandate of an election; the other suggests a push towards the center is the mandate of an election. Just another way in which the media pursues a “heads conservatives win, tails liberals lose” narrative.

* But don’t get too excited: in times of Democratic strength their leaders just turn on them and enact the austerity measures the Republicans are too weak to enforce themselves. We saw it with Obama, and California’s about to see it with Jerry Brown.

* Senators lining up behind filibuster reform.

* Ohio seeks to just rig the vote in the face of the Republican demographic implosion. Let’s Kill the Electoral College So We Never Have to Pay Attention to Ohio and Florida Again.

* And the Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act. Prediction: pain… UPDATE: Supreme Court Appears Ready to Nuke the Voting Rights Act.

Election Links, One Last Time

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What You’re Feeling Is Relief

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2008 felt like liberation; 2012 feels like relief.

In 2016, Republicans will have won only a single presidential election since 1992; they won’t have won as the out-party since 1980. Jonathan Chait’s 2012 or Never analysis (part 2!) remains for my money the most important takeaway from this election; the demographic coalition that has propelled the GOP since the 1960s has finally and permanently imploded. However the Republicans next manage to scrape together a winning coalition, it will necessarily look very different from the coalition that went down in flames tonight. And we should all be grateful for that.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm

A Room Full of Millionaires Believes That the True Political Advantage in This Country Belongs to Children of Mexican Immigrants

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There is a real, airtight bubble in this election, but it’s not Obama’s. As a middle-aged white man, in fact, I’m breaching it. White people—white men in particular—are for Mitt Romney. White men are supporting Mitt Romney to the exclusion of logic or common sense, in defiance of normal Americans. Without this narrow, tribal appeal, Romney’s candidacy would simply not be viable. Most kinds of Americans see no reason to vote for him.

Why Do White People Think Mitt Romney Should Be President?

Written by gerrycanavan

November 2, 2012 at 6:01 pm

All the Midweek Links

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* Both In Focus and The Big Picture visit the 2012 Paralympics.

* Michelle Obama did great last night, but the story of a sick little girl named Zoey whose ability to live was saved by the ACA hits a bit closer to home.

* Who’s going to be the lesser evil in 2012 2008 2004 2000 1996 1992 1988 1984 1980 1976 1972 1968?

* On reporting poverty. Related: Melissa Harris-Perry talks poverty on MSNBC.

Mitch Hurwitz Talks to Vulture About Reviving Arrested Development.

* The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block.” These results have since been confirmed.

* The real affirmative action: Researchers with access to closely guarded college admissions data have found that, on the whole, about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America’s highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions’ minimum admissions standards.

* How many people have died because Walter White got cancer? And a Breaking Bad Fermi problem: What is a good approximation of how much money Skyler had in the storage unit when she showed Walt how she stopped counting it?

A portrait of David Foster Wallace as a midwestern author. And more. Words David Foster Wallace’s Mom Invented.

* Report: Student Debt Is Holding Back The Housing Recovery. Are you interested in student debt now, old people?

* In North Carolina, Obama’s 2008 Victory Was Ahead of Schedule.

* Getting spicy: Hacker Group Claims to Have Romney’s Tax Returns.

* BREAKING: Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans.

* BREAKING: Social Security Administration to arm illegal immigrants with hollow-point bullets to murder taxpayers. Wake up, sheeple! The truth is out there.

* Erin DiMeglio is a third-string high-school quarterback.

* And for the kids: How We Got to Mars. The lives of the cosmonauts. HTML5 Map of the Firefly ‘Verse. And a lost interview with Ray Bradbury:

The Struggle of Memory against Forgetting

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At xkcd. We only have about six years left before things start getting really ugly.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 10, 2012 at 8:01 am

All the Tuesday Night Links, and It’s Really Tuesday This Time, or Maybe Wednesday, Who Can Say

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* I put up a MetaFilter post on the Daniel Tosh rape threat incident that got so much attention today, which is a relatively decent read as Internet comment threads go despite expectedly high rates of rape apologism and mansplaining. Two more good pieces on the subject: zunguzungu’s (…) and Student Activism’s “Goddamn it, Louis.” Here’s Aaron:

The phrase “rape culture” describes the way people don’t get too upset at the thought of a woman being raped. They might even laugh at it. It might seem funny, such a funny word. But nothing about this is just a joke. It’s about devaluing the sanctity of certain people’s security in their person, about refusing to feel bad about it, about taking a pride in it, even. Saying “wouldn’t it be funny if a violent act happened to this person” is almost the definition of how that works. If a terrible thing happened to a person, you say, I would not grieve. I would laugh. Their pain is not worth my empathy, or yours. Their pain makes me stronger, bigger, more important. Their pain is worth nothing.

* The important questions: Could the SHIELD helicarrier actually fly? Could Batman really fly? What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light? The last one (the first post of Randall Monroe’s new What If? blog) is absolutely not to be missed.

* Call it Kotsko’s Law: Any political ideology putting itself forward as a brave new path beyond the stale opposition of left and right is always going to be either boring old liberalism or else a new variant on fascism.

* Teasing Wes Anderson’s next.

* Tomorrow’s headlines today: here’s the next set of challenges to Obamacare, and it’s even more weaselly and ridiculous than the last round.

* digby:  I think we may actually be coming to the point of debating whether or not to repeal the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act. And it will fail, of course. At first. The country isn’t there yet. But it will represent one more step in the disintigration of America’s moral fabric (which wasn’t that strong to begin with.) Like torture, it’s in the political ether now, no longer completely taboo. This is how this sort of thing is mainstreamed.

* You can’t believe they didn’t have it already: Obama Offers Health Insurance To Seasonal Firefighters.

Mitt Romney says he wants Sesame Street to start running advertisements.

Suppression vs. Turnout, the 2012 War. Relatedly: Ed Kilgore catches us up on Post-2008 Demographic Changes.

Yelping with Cormac McCarthy.

* U.S. Sees Hottest 12 Months And Hottest Half Year On Record: NOAA Calls Record Heat A One-In-1.6-Million Event. Really astounding coincidence! But you know you can’t predict the weather.

* Confirmed: fracking can pollute.

* It’s the 21st century – why are we working so much? The Politics of Getting a Life. Both via MetaFilter.

* And the worst idea ever put forth by anyone, ever: Let’s Draft Our Kids. Thank you for your submissions. The contest is now closed.

Demographic Suicide

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In the 2000s, Republican presidential candidates typically garnered around 30% of the Hispanic vote. A poll of Hispanic voters released today has Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 70-14.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm

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