Posts Tagged ‘Harry Reid’
That’s how much Mitt Romney would pay in income tax under the Ryan budget. Did we just find Harry Reid’s source?
* A refreshingly honest business model: For-Profit College Recruiters Taught To Use ‘Pain,’ ‘Fear,’ Internal Documents Show.
* Snoop the Dogg is no more. I am Snoop the Lion, and I come to you now at the turn of the tide.
* And so begins my biennial worrying about whether Wes Anderson’s next movie will (1) be good (2) be any different than the others. The Grand Budapest Hotel sounds like yet another intricate dollhouse, and I generally don’t care for Johnny Depp, so that’s two strikes. At least it isn’t family friendly.
* Harry Reid promises filibuster reform if Dems win the election. So he must think Democrats will lose the Senate…
* Breaking: The Newsroom Is Incredibly Hostile Toward Women.
Aaron Sorkin was on “Fresh Air” Monday afternoon, and he told Terry Gross that he “like[s] writing about heroes [who] don’t wear capes or disguises. You feel like, ‘Gee, this looks like the real world and feels like the real world — why can’t that be the real world?’” Yes, a fantasy land where male privilege goes unchallenged, forever, and bosses can spend meetings riffing on the attractiveness of their dates’ legs (as MacAvoy did in “Fix”), where the male gaze is the only gaze, where men have ideas and women are interrupting. Tell us more about this magical place.
* Penn State Plane Gives Warning: Take Down Paterno Statue “Or We Will.” This could get ugly. Uglier.
* How much Force power can Yoda output? “At current electricity prices, Yoda would be worth about $2/hour.”
“If there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it’s tonight,” Reid said on the floor. “These two young, fine senators said it was time to change the rules of the Senate, and we didn’t. They were right. The rest of us were wrong — or most of us, anyway. What a shame.”
* If the Hill’s reporting is accurate, this is major news, demonstrating the depths of the Democrats’ desperation to win me back: Reid triggers nuclear option to change rules, prohibit filibusters. I can’t find anything else about this yet. I assume this is some sort of procedural bluff, but if not—or if the bluff is called—that’s huge. UPDATE: TPM says it’s big, but not titanic.
* Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is coming to TV. My guess is the whole series takes place at Brakebills; we’ll never hit the second half of the first novel.
* Steve Jobs was a good man who loved and was loved, and earned every accolade he’s garnered. But he doesn’t deserve a hagiography, and I doubt he would have wanted one. Apple wasn’t built by a saint. It was built by an iron-fisted visionary.
* Against Tranströmer: But most healthy of all, a decision like this, which we all understand would never have been taken by say, an American jury, or a Nigerian jury, or perhaps above all a Norwegian jury, reminds us of the essential silliness of the prize and our own foolishness at taking it seriously. Eighteen (or sixteen) Swedish nationals will have a certain credibility when weighing up works of Swedish literature, but what group could ever really get its mind round the infinitely varied work of scores of different traditions. And why should we ask them to do that?
* And the headline reads, “Body suit may soon enable the paralyzed to walk.”
* Congress to the unemployed: drop dead.
* Congress to grad students: drop dead.
* Every schoolchild knows that big cuts to defense are the trigger that will bring the GOP to its knees when the Super Congress brings its recommendations in a few months, so it’s no surprise that the Pentagon actually gained money in this round of negotiations.
Rather than cutting $400 billion in defense spending through 2023, as President Barack Obama had proposed in April, the current debt proposal trims $350 billion through 2024, effectively giving the Pentagon $50 billion more than it had been expecting over the next decade.
Wait, what? Let me start over.
* Today Biden told House Democrats that Obama would eventually have done the thing he obviously should have done from the start if he had literally no other option left. What a comfort.
* The White House: “…members of Congress would likely recoil at the gamesmanship involved in shelving the committee’s recommendations and therefore feel compelled to place well-intentioned lawmakers on the committee.” Reid: “This absurd mess shows the system works.” McConnell: “That was awesome! Let’s do it all again!”
* I’ve been informed it’s forbidden to be cynical about Gabriel Giffords’ return to the House no matter how transparent and manipulative it seems. Please be advised.
* Taibbi: The Democrats Take a Dive.
A few moments ago, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the Senate to announce an agreement on rules reform. But the meat of the agreement was not on which rules will be reformed. It was on the process by which rules can be reformed: Reid and McConnell agreed that the rules cannot — or at least should not — be changed by majority vote.
“As part of this compromise,” Reid said, “we’ve agreed that I won’t force a majority vote to fundamentally change the Senate — that is the so-called ‘constitutional option’ — and he [McConnell] won’t in the future.” In other words, Reid and McConnell have agreed that the Senate’s rules will not be decided by a 51-vote majority. That was what the constitutional option was about, and that’s what Reid explicitly rejected in his speech. “Both McConnell and Reid feared what would happen if they were in the minority,” explains a Reid aide.
This agreement is merely a handshake, of course. Either Reid or McConnell could turn around and change the rules with 51-votes at some future date. But note the tone Reid is taking: It’s not that he’d prefer not to use the constitutional option at some future date, or that he won’t do so as long as the Republicans don’t abuse the rules. It’s that he simply won’t. The long-term effort to reform the filibuster didn’t take an incremental step forward today. The minority is not on notice that further abuse could lead to more significant reforms. Rather, Reid and the Democrats agreed that the only way to free the Senate from needing a supermajority to get anything done is to muster an even larger supermajority to change the rules. That is to say, both parties have codified the supermajority requirement.
With the House now in Republican hands, ending or amending the filibuster is mostly just a theoretical concern anyway. (Anything that can get through Boehner’s caucus and past Obama’s veto pen can almost certainly get 60 votes.) I guess we should be happy Reid didn’t give away more.
* The University of Wisconsin at Madison has just received a $20 million grant for humanities development from the Mellon Foundation and the state government. Just to put this in perspective, that’s almost enough money to hire 80 assistant football coaches.
Many of those who embark on a PhD are the smartest in their class and will have been the best at everything they have done. They will have amassed awards and prizes. As this year’s new crop of graduate students bounce into their research, few will be willing to accept that the system they are entering could be designed for the benefit of others, that even hard work and brilliance may well not be enough to succeed, and that they would be better off doing something else.
* “When it’s all going to be said and done, Harry Reid has eaten our lunch.” Hard to disagree with this assessment.
* The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected that the United States will lead the world into catastrophic global warming over the next twenty five years. Obama’s EPA is doing what it can, but without carbon pricing there’s really not much hope.
* The obvious trouble with this “plan to restore airport sanity” is that it’s a call for racial and ethnic profiling. I’m as frustrated with security theater as anyone, but this isn’t a solution—it just shifts the costs.
* And Banksy swears Exit Through the Gift Shop was real. He swears, y’all.
Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you. It was obviously a tough night for Democrats but on some level it was always going to be—with unemployment at 9.6% and millions of people underwater on their mortgages the Democrats were doomed to lose and lose big. On this the stimulus really was the original sin—if it had been bigger and better-targeted the economic situation could have been better, but it wasn’t and here we are. Unlike 2000 and 2004 I think this election stings, but it doesn’t hurt; a big loss like this has been baked in the cake for a while.
Remember that as the pundits play bad political commentary bingo all month.
As I mentioned last night, overs beat the unders, which means my more optimistic predictions were 2/3 wrong: Republicans overshot the House predictions and Sestak and Giannoulias both lost their close races in PA and IL. But I was right that young people can’t be trusted to vote even when marijuana legalization is on the ballot. Cynicism wins again! I’ll remember that for next time.
I was on Twitter for most of the night last night and most of my observations about last night have already been made there. A few highlights from the night:
* Who could have predicted: Democrats are already playing down the notion that they’ll get much done in a lame duck session. They’d rather punt to January particularly the big issues, like tax cuts. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Don’t even bother. On taxes, the outline of a compromise is there, having been floated by Vice President Biden: the rates might stay in place for a larger number of wealthier Americans. The Estate Tax, which jumps up to 55% in January, will probably be restored at a lower rate. Capital gains taxes will also be higher, but not as high as they’re slated to be. Supporters of the START treaty are very worried. Gee, maybe Obama shouldn’t have appealed DADT after all.
* Last night’s big Dem winner: implausibly, Harry Reid. Second place (of a sort): Howard Dean, whose entire happy legacy as DNC chair was wiped out in one fell swoop last night—and then some. Fire Kaine, bring Dean back.
* An upside: most of the losses last night were from bad Democrats, especially the Blue Dog caucus, which was nearly decimated. The progressive caucus only lost three seats and now constitutes 40% of the Democratic House caucus.
* Most of the progressive online left is saddest to see Feingold lose, I think.
* Personally happiest to see Tancredo lose in Colorado. That guy’s completely nuts.
* The most important proposition, and the most important victory for the left, was probably California’s Proposition 23 on climate change, which went down. Quoting the HuffPo article: “California is the world’s 12th largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and its global warming law, passed in 2006, mandates the largest legislated reductions in greenhouse gases in the world.” This was a big win.
* Sad statistic of the night: “Meg Whitman’s personal spending on her campaign: $163 mil. Natl Endowment for the Arts 2010 budget: $161.4 mil.”
* And Republican gains are bad news for higher education. This is probably especially true for state universities in North Carolina, where Republicans now control the state legislature for the first time in a century.
Anything I missed?
We finally moved into our new apartment today. Everyone is exhausted. Here are some links.
* How to message: why are we still talking about the “Bush” tax cuts?
* Barack Obama, middle school civics teacher. “I think I’ve been pretty clear on my position here,” he said. “And that is, is that this country stands for the proposition that all men and women are created equal, that they have certain inalienable rights; one of those inalienable rights is to practice their religion freely. And what that means is that if you could build a church on a site, you could build a synagogue on a site, if you could build a Hindu temple on a site, then you should be able to build a mosque on the site.”
* And Harry Reid is still promising a climate bill 2.0.
* Once again xkcd shows off its uncanny knack for reading my mind: “There are two or three songs out there with beeps in the chorus that sound exactly like the clock radio alarm I had in high school, and hearing it makes me think my life since junior year has been a dream I’m about to wake up from.”
* So that settles it, we’re never leaving: Oilfield With Estimated 1.8 Billion Barrels Of Oil Identified In Afghanistan.
* Also in food news: I guess I’m the last to know they’ve been cloning meat and milk for sale in the U.S. Gross.
* More on the future of renewable energy in North Carolina, in Independent Weekly.
* I think this study comes as close to proving that men are scum as any could: Men are more likely to cheat if they earn less money than their female partner, but they’re also more likely to cheat if their partners are financially dependent on them…
* If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.
* France urged to repay $23 billion in compensation to Haiti. Sounds like a good start.
* Your moral coward of the night: Harry Reid.
* Your morally odious moron of the night: Ross Douthat, who apparently believes violence, intolerance, and discrimination are essential and praiseworthy components of America’s liberal tradition.
* And I really can’t believe I’m getting sucked into this nonsense, but all right: Photos of Stuff the Same Distance from the World Trade Center as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”