Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Harry Reid

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

All the Tuesday Links

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* Mars. 

* “For Unpaid College Loans,Feds Dock Social Security.”

Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism Advisory Board member and University of Nebraska at Omaha Criminology professor Pete Simi had extensive long term contact with alleged Wisconsin mass killer Wade Michael Page when he was conducting a multi-year study of the hate rock music scene in Southern California.

* The wisdom of markets: ‘Crude-oil futures bounced up over $1 at one point Monday after a false Twitter rumor exposed the oil market’s knee-jerk fear of Mideast turmoil.’

* Romney v. Reid, part 1000: “I don’t really believe that he’s got any kind of a credible source.” They’re his tax returns; if it’s within the realm of possibility that Reid has “any kind of a credible source,” isn’t that logically a concession the claim is true? TPM explains how it could be, though I still think it probably isn’t.

Louisiana School Forces Students to Take Pregnancy Tests, Kicks Out Girls Who Refuse Or Test Positive. Naturally, the school also forces any young man suspecting of fathering a child to let’s not ruin a young man’s life over one mistake.

* The brightest timeline: New Arrested Development Season Starts Shooting Today.

* The darkest timeline: Papa John Warns: Pizza Prices Will Rise Under Obamacare.

Ohio man brings bag full of knives, guns and ammo to ‘Dark Knight’ screening – tells police it’s for self-defense.

Residents in Richmond. North Richmond and San Pablo. Are advised to shelter in place. Go inside. Close All windows and doors. Turn off all heaters. Air conditioners and fans…

* Joss Whedon will write and direct both Avengers Reaveng’d and help develop the Marvel TV series. This is reasonably promising, and yet I can’t help but agree with @HitFixDaniel: “I’d rather have Joss Whedon direct *literally* anything original than do an “Avengers” sequel. *ducks*”

* Save the arcade industry the barcade way.

* For my SF academics: UC Riverside’s Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize Ursula Le Guin, Ray Harryhausen and Stan Lee. As if you need another reason to go!

* The last alignment chart you’ll ever need: all Gary Oldman edition.

* The last missing piece of the puzzle: Witness claims there were actually two UFO crashes at Roswell in 1947.

Science Proves Luke Skywalker Should Have Died In The Tauntaun’s Belly.

* And don’t say it unless you mean it: speaking on Attack of the Show about Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, David Tennant says he’s still got the costume.

Tuesday Links Quickly

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Tuesday!

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* 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.

* Universities Reshaping Education on the Web. All hail MOOCs! What could possiblygowrong and we’re already onto the next fad.

[Point] My Year Volunteering As A Teacher Helped Educate A New Generation Of Underprivileged Kids. [Counterpoint] Can We Please, Just Once, Have A Real Teacher?

* Ouch. John McCain: I Didn’t Pick Romney Because ‘Sarah Palin Was The Better Candidate.’

* 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.”

Hindsight is 20-20

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Harry Reid has joined the Canavan caucus.

“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.”

Written by gerrycanavan

May 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Thursday Night Links

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* 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?

* How Dan Harmon Drives Himself Crazy Making Community.

* And the headline reads, “Body suit may soon enable the paralyzed to walk.”

Monday Night Links

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* It’s been a few hours, so that must mean it’s time for some debt ceiling revisionism. Hooray! I feel so much better.

* At least the maniacs at Red State hate it.

* 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.

* And Europe’s still in even worse shape. Ugh.

Thursday Night Links

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* Sabotage accomplished: S&P warns there’s a 50 percent chance it will downgrade US credit rating within 3 months. This is really, really bad.

* One of the stranger features of the debt ceiling debate is the fact that Republican intransigence is the only thing saving us all from Obama’s neoliberalism. Ezra Klein tries to lay out the thinking, such as it is. And Matt Yglesias hopes the whole thing really is kabuki theater:

It’s generally wise to assume that the White House isn’t blind to that obvious potential political problem. Part of what they’re thinking is that a 2011 agreement to long-term spending cuts is the best way to avoid the need to reduce spending during the election season. How’s that? Well, it’s because the fiscal consolidation plans being discussed are for trillions of dollars worth of cuts over a 10-year horizon. Since you’ve got that horizon, it’s not strictly necessary for any of them to come between September 2011 and November 2012.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid continues his tireless life’s work stabbing his party in the back.

* What do we lose if we default?

* On the lighter side: the FBI has announced it will investigate NewsCorp. for alleged 9/11 hacking.

* Fall science fiction TV premiere dates.

* And Fox’s Eric Bolling can’t remember a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil between 2000 and 2008. This man is paid a salary to be a pundit.

Learn to Negotiate the Harry Reid Way

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If they pull a knife, we’ll pull an agreement to never use a gun no matter what:

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.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Harry Reid vs. the Filibuster

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Wednesday!

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* 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.

* Luck and the Ph.D.

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.

* At least the U.S. government finally managed to cook up a map that can Americans feel good about their carbon use.

* The data shows the Supreme Court has been successfully captured by corporations. Via LGM.

* 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.

Strikes and Gutters, Ups and Downs

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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.

* Last night’s big Republican losers: the Tea Party, and Sarah Palin specifically. The crazies cost them the Senate.

* 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.

* At least losing the House means we don’t have to deal with individual Senate egomaniacs anymore.

* Weird proposition watch: Denver votes down UFO commission. Missouri prevents a feared pupocalypse. Oklahoma bans Sharia law, thereby saving freedom forever.

* 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?

Big Monday Links

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* Lost Back to the Future audition tapes. You win this round, SNL.

* Then and Now with Goofus and Gallant.

* zunguzungu has some final thoughts on the Rally to Restore Sanity taking Andrew Sullivan’s glowing endorsement as his departure point.

Americans who want to emphasize that “politics isn’t all there is to life” are people who don’t feel very keenly the sting of injustice or the anxiety of uncertainty or the horror of what this country does in our name. When you lose your job because of politics, or can’t afford to go to school because of politics, or are denied full citizenship because of politics, or die because of politics, the idea that “politics isn’t all there is to life” will be cold comfort to you.

But what if, for example, you look out into the world and see not a basic normality of everyday justice and brotherhood and comity and happy cookies but, rather, a massively inequitable system getting both steadily worse and more deeply enmeshed into our everyday reality? An America which has, for example, rendered it normal to be conducting military operations in multiple theatres for no publicly acknowledged or agreed upon purpose? Where 10% unemployment is normal? Where immigrants are presumed guilty until documented innocent? What if you think things actually are completely fucked up?

* On not being obliged to vote Democrat. We voted last Thursday, straight ticket as always, but I confess I didn’t take much pleasure in it.

* What happens after Republicans win tomorrow? For one thing, Virginia’s climate witch-hunts will go national. Via Boing Boing.

* What happens after Republicans win tomorrow, Nevada edition: Angle victory means return of Yucca nuclear waste dump.

* Should the left try to use our democracy’s systemic biases towards military spending to drive a progressive spending agenda? Ezra and Matt take aff and neg. I give the decision to Ezra—let’s take our victories where we can get them.

* Corporate synergy, the Fox News way.

* UN Convention on Biodiversity: Climate-related geo-engineering activities [should not] take place until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and appropriate consideration of the associated risks for the environment and biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural impacts.

* Cornell President David Skorton wants to save the humanities.

* How can this many colleges charge over $50,000 a year for tuition? That’s completely insane.

* From the campus newspaper: What’s Duke’s policy towards undocumented immigrants?

* Another great Strange Map: an alternate New York City with a filled-in East River where Manhattan and Brooklyn merge. Via Kottke.

* And rest in peace, Ginny Sack.

Saturday Night

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We finally moved into our new apartment today. Everyone is exhausted. Here are some links.

* You had me at interactive map of Middle-Earth. Via MeFi.

* Kottke celebrates the metaphysics of Pac-Man.

* 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.

Last Night in London Links

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* 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.”

* Zissou, Simpsonized.

* So that settles it, we’re never leaving: Oilfield With Estimated 1.8 Billion Barrels Of Oil Identified In Afghanistan.

* Wheat beats white for the first time ever.

* 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.”

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