Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Jon Corzine

Wednesday Night Links

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* David Graeber in the Baffler: Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit.

* Brian Thill: “Drone-Strike the Jobless.”

It would be foolish indeed to have invested so much in these technologies only to watch them molder as mere weapons of war-force and terror. Like all modern technological artifacts, at rest they are value-neutral; it is only the uses to which they are put that defines them. In sum, to strike the jobless from the common ledger is, in its way, to aim for benevolence. The enormous costs to build, upgrade, and maintain ready fleets of drones of all manner and variety will be more than offset by the broad economic health benefits to be derived by purging the state of significant portions of its jobless population. In fact, if we might be permitted a moment of utopian thought, the likely growth in demand for these services (offered perhaps to interested parties along subsidized or graduated rate scales) will necessitate a process of vigorous hiring and training for remote-pilot operators, which may in appropriate instances be drawn from the ranks of the jobless themselves, thereby solving the problem of joblessness even more swiftly and decisively. Rather than a salaried position, however, these hires might best be negotiated as much needed ‘work experience’ and accordingly organized as internships of various types. This internment might even provide a stepping-stone toward their being struck themselves in turn more quickly. Remote piloting centers that will happen to have fallen victim to inflated overhead or health care costs, or the vagaries of local real estate crises, might themselves be recast as new targets for drones whose home bases are elsewhere.

* Wisconsin postmortems from Josh Eidelson, Doug Henwood, and LGM,

* Earth Is Headed for Disaster, Interdisciplinary Scientific Review Concludes. NB: That’s the actual headline. More climate apocalypticism via MetaFilter.

* Three Ways Climate Change Could Impact The Game Of Baseball. NB: Each of these will tend to increase people’s enjoyment of baseball. Forget I said anything!

* Voter Fraud Extremely Rare In Florida: ‘More Likely To Get Hit By A Bolt Of Lightning.’

* Florida Governor Rick Scott Officially Defies Justice Department, Vows to Continue Voter Purge. Someone should really tell him there’s actually no crisis!

* The last days of MF Global.

* Michael Hardt on WUNC’s The State of Things.

* Mom Locked Up For Cheering Too Loudly at High School Graduation.

* The trailer for Tarantino’s Django Unchained is out. The film itself looks fine, but that final tag—”Django is off the chain”—is simply unforgivable.

* And In Focus catches Transit-of-Venus mania (and there’s only one cure).

Occupy Wednesday

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* The Occupy Oakland general strike seems to have been really pretty amazingly successful.  The view from Twitter. Another. And here’s Matt’s picture again, having gone viral through me by way of @zunguzungu and @rortybomb. Half those pageviews are rightfully mine, Matt!

* General strikes in U.S. history.

* Arguments not taken seriously that should be: A federal court is being asked to grant constitutional rights to five killer whales who perform at marine parks — an unprecedented and perhaps quixotic legal action that is nonetheless likely to stoke an ongoing, intense debate at America’s law schools over expansion of animal rights.

* When advertising works too well: the strange case of Axe Body Spray.

Women hold slightly more than half (52.3 percent) of creative class jobs and their average level of education is almost the same as men. But the pay they receive is anything but equal. Creative class men earn an average of $82,009 versus $48,077 for creative class women. This $33,932 gap is a staggering 70 percent of the average female creative class salary. Even when we control for hours worked and education in a regression analysis, creative class men out-earn creative class women by a sizable $23,700, or 49.2 percent.

In a victory for the 99 Percent last night, the voters in Boulder, Colorado voted by a three-to-one margin to support Question 2H, which calls for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.

* Legal Pain Killers Killed 15,000 People In 2008, Marijuana Likely Killed Zero.

* New Report Finds Vermont Could Save As Much As $1.8 Billion By 2020 From Shifting To Single Payer.

* Legendary Glenn Beck sponsor Goldline charged with fraud.

* Jon Corzine’s new firm likely to soon be charged with fraud. My father reminded me today that one universe over Jon Corzine never got in a horrific car accident as a result of his state police driver texting on the highway—which means he’s still the governor of New Jersey, which means he’s cruising towards a run for the presidency in 2016. In this universe he’s probably going to go to jail. It’s hard to think of another public figure whose life has hinged so completely on such a fluke event.

* In thirty years, college tuition has tripled.

* The worst part of the catastrophic implosion of the Hermain Cain candidacy is that he was the only one with a chance of stopping China from getting the bomb. None of the other candidates are even talking about this issue.

* Run, Ron Paul, run.

* And J.K. reveals she wanted to kill off Hagrid, too. You fiend!

Lame Duck

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The New Jersey state senate will vote on marriage equality this Thursday in an effort to get a bill to Jon Corzine before he leaves office later this month. Hopefully the chance to stick it to Chris Christie will be enough to entice conservative Democrats to do the right thing (if for the wrong reason). Here’s hoping New Jersey listens to the Boss.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Election Roundup

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I went to bed before NJ or NY-23 was called, so while I’m slightly disappointed to see the Republican win in NJ after all (Booker ’13?) I’m very glad to see the extremists cost the GOP that century-old House seat in NY-23.

Nate Silver goes race by race at FiveThirtyEight.com. Here’s NJ:

Obama approval was actually pretty strong in New Jersey, at 57 percent, but 27 percent of those who approved of Obama nevertheless voted for someone other than Corzine. This one really does appear to be mostly about Corzine being an unappealing candidate, as the Democrats look like they’ll lose just one or two seats in the state legislature in Trenton. Corzine compounded his problems by staying negative until the bitter end of the campaign rather than rounding out his portfolio after having closed the margin with Christie.

And here’s NY-23:

NY-23: Democrat Bill Owens prevails in a result that will be regarded as surprising; the final tally isn’t in yet but it appears as though it will be something on the order of 50-45 over Conservative Doug Hoffman. I don’t think I’ve ever hedged more on predicting the outcome of a race; the main issue is that there was a rather large discrepancy between the polling, which heavily favored Hoffman, and what I perceived to be the facts on the ground. NY-23 is solidly Republican but not especially conservative (it voted for Barack Obama last year), and Hoffman was a relatively uncharismatic candidate with poor command of the local issues.

If New Jersey was a win for the incumbent rule, then NY-23 may have ben a win for the Median voter theorem, as Owens — a conservative Democrat — was actually much closer to the average ideology of the district than the capital-C Conservative Hoffman. It was also a reminder that all politics is local (sometimes). More than 95 percent of Hoffman’s contributions came from out-of-district, and the conservative activists who tried to brand him as a modern-day Jefferson Smith never bothered to check whether he resonated particularly well with the zeitgeist of the district. In any event, this is a Democratic takeover of a GOP-held seat and they expand by one their majority in the House.

Like Kos, I’d have traded all three races for the Maine marriage-equality vote. That’s a heart-breaker, and shows again why it’s never a good idea for a society to put minority civil rights on the ballot. Another slight bright side: a civil unions bill passed the ballot in Washington state.

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November 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm

The Wisdom of Markets

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Intrade markets trending Corzine…

UPDATE: Sharply turning the other way now. Last time I could get the site to load it was dead-even at 50; looking again I see Corzine’s down to 44 from a high of 66+.

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November 3, 2009 at 11:46 pm

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The Recount Fairy?

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Is New Jersey about to get a visit from the recount fairy? Apparently both parties are bracing for this, with the National Review‘s @jimgeraghty tweeting early exits nobody should take seriously: Corzine 47, Christie 47, Daggett barely registering. Polls close at 8 PM.

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November 3, 2009 at 11:00 pm

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Off-Year Election Predictions and Random Speculations on the Future of the GOP

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Off-Year Election Predictions! The three elections tomorrow that will dominate spin in the press about whether America loves or hates Barack Obama are, of course, VA-GOV, NJ-GOV, and NY-23.

VA-GOV: It seems pretty over for Deeds, and pro-Democrat spinners will be well-advised to focus their attention elsewhere. “You know, Virginia’s still in the South” and “Virginia always votes against the White House” are the best Democrats have here, with a big helping of “And Deeds ran a lousy campaign, largely against Obama” for flavor.

NJ-GOV: The polls are close, with the most recent showing a slight edge to Chris Christie, but I really think between Daggett and a superior get-out-the-vote operation Corzine will manage to eke out the win here.

So (if I’m right) that’s 1-1, and it all comes down to NY-23. This is a crazy three-way race, with the Republican, Dede Scozzafava, suddenly pulling out over the weekend (though she’ll remain on the ballot) and then, even more surprisingly, tossing a strong endorsement behind the Democrat, Bill Owens. The Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman, has the support of national popular-in-Republican-circles like Sarah Palin behind him, but doesn’t actually live in the district or know all that much about it, and will likely be hurt by straight-ticket Republican voting by people who may not have even heard Scozzafava’s dropped out.

I won’t presume to insult Nate Silver by calling the race when he called it a coin-flip, but I will note that either way the results of this very unusual House race in a small district in upstate New York will likely determine who “wins” the spin war in the national press and thereby determine the tenor of electoral coverage going into 2010—which is as good an indictment of contemporary journalism as any I think you’ll see this week.

It will be very interesting, win or lose in NY-23, to see what lessons the GOP takes from the Hoffman ascendancy as we go into 2010 and 2012, and, indeed, what effect running hard to the right will have on their chances if that’s how they decide to go. The conventional view is that running away from the center hurts a party’s electoral prospects, but I’m not at all convinced the American electorate is quite so rational in its decision-making. It could just be that the pendulum swings back and forth between whatever two parties happen to exist at the moment, regardless of the content of their positions. As I wrote back in May:

More and more I think there’s only two possibilities: Either the GOP is in fact in a death spiral and will actually disappear as a national party within the next decade, or the GOP has realized that in a two-party system you don’t actually need to say you’re sorry; you can just sit back and wait for your opponents to have bad luck, then go crazy once you’re back in office. After that incumbency will protect you for a good, long while, and even to the extent it doesn’t you can accomplish long-term goals in a very short timespan with party unity, weak opposition, and a compliant, mendacious press.

Jury’s still out. NY-23 will be an interesting first data point.

A Few Monday Links

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A few Monday links.

* NJ-GOV Watch: As yet another ethics scandal hits Chris Christie, a poll shows him down 42-33 to Corzine. I think this particular poll is probably an outlier, but nonetheless I think Corzine may actually win this thing.

* Looking through Steve Benen’s newsfeed this morning I was struck by how many stories he’s found in the last few days about Republicans baldly misreporting clearly labeled satire as fact. Glenn Beck: Nancy Pelosi to ban Fox News! Rush Limbaugh: Obama’s nonexistent thesis hates America! Of course, they just make things up, too.

* Airlock Alpha says Battlestar Galactica: The Plan is worse than Razor. That’s too bad, because Razor really wasn’t very good. The reviewer makes a great point here:

At the same time, the most interesting parts of the Cylon story were cut out or not even considered for this film. Really!

I mean, look at this way. You had the Final Five who show up in the middle of the first Cylon war. They offer the Centurions evolutionary advancement in terms of resurrection and becoming more like their human creators, so the war ends. After the skinjobs are created, the Cylons try to simply live their lives away from the humans, but Cavil wants revenge.

When the Final Five get in his way, he kills them, and then resurrects them, depositing them all over the Twelve Colonies, giving them a front-row seat to the holocaust he’s about to unleash.

This is great storytelling by itself. Except we only get the end of this tale in “The Plan.” We don’t get to see the Final Five arrive, we don’t get to see Cavil’s betrayal. Instead, we pick up with Cavil already having deposited the Final Five in the Colonies and go from there.

It’s very odd to see them go the clip-show route when a better story really was just sitting there unused.

* And via Atrios, Detroit can’t give away land. The unemployment and outmigration numbers in Michigan are just staggering. From a policy perspective I have no idea how you fix this.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 26, 2009 at 6:02 pm

By Popular Demand

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By popular demand, Politics Thursday.

* Health care madness: Olympia Snowe says she won’t vote for cloture if there’s a public option in the bill, while Ben Nelson says he’ll support an opt-out. (By my calculations this once again makes Joe Lieberman the Most Important Person in the country.) It seems clear we’ll get some sort of health care reform, but its specific content is still really unpredictable. Fingers crossed.

* Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Daggetmentum has topped 20%, with Jon Corzine now slightly leading Chris Christie as a consequence.

* Nate Silver crunches the numbers on the marriage equality referendum in Maine and concludes it all comes down to turnout.

* When You Marry: a 1962 handbook.

* Ryan’s Facebook feed had this link to a random manifesto generator. I now feel ready for any particular revolution that comes along.

* T. Boone Pickens explains why the U.S. is “entitled” to Iraqi oil. Could anyone have doubted it?

* And an increasing number of Americans want to legalize it.

Four for Friday

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Four for Friday.

* Rabbits are terrorizing the public parks of Stockholm, so Swedish officials have decided to kill them and burn them as fuel. That’s socialism for you.

* The One Comic Joss Whedon Reads: The Walking Dead, of course. See also: The 5 Hardest Parts of Being a Joss Whedon Fan.

* The Nation looks at Corzine’s resurgence in the context of his apparent left turn.

* Some days I kind of like this Obama guy.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 16, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Daggettmentum

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The Star-Ledger has endorsed Chris Daggett over either Chris Christie or Jon Corzine for New Jersey governor. As we’ve discussed, in terms of his path to reelection this is probably the best news Corzine could have received.

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October 11, 2009 at 11:15 pm

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Still Waiting

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Still waiting.

* It’s not exactly Douchiest College honors, but Duke is #14 on the Times‘s ranking of top 200 universities worldwide.

* Bitter Laughter reports by way of Nate Silver that public option opt-out may be a compromise that can actually get through the Senate—and Steve Benen agrees it’s not a bad thing.

* Also in health care: Olbermann’s hour-long “Special Comment” from last night, which wasn’t nearly as unbearable as I imagined it would be when I heard it was coming.

* A second NJ-GOV poll—albeit one taken before Fatgateshows Corzine up, this time by three.

* Lots of talk today about this New York Times genealogy of Michelle Obama, focused on an enslaved ancestor who was raped by her owner.

* Pee before you fly. It’s funny how low-cost, outside-the-box carbon solutions—like Stephen Chu’s suggestion that we paint our roofs white—are never taken seriously. It’s like our society has a death wish.

* The literary journal is dead. Long live the literary journal.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 8, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Tuesday Night

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Tuesday night.

* First on the Threatdown: coyotes!

* Winooski, Vermont: Great Domed City of the North.

* “How Health Care Reform Won.”

* Is Metroid Prime the Citizen Kane of video games? Hard to pick Metroid Prime over, say, Ocarina of Time, just in the GameCube category alone.

* CNN, always three weeks behind the story, asks whether Obama has lost his mojo in the very moment it becomes apparent that his polls numbers are again rising.

* Also in poll news: contrary to Nate Silver’s recent NJ-GOV analysis it does seem clear that Corzine is moving sharply upward in the polls.

* “Wall Street’s Near-Death Experience.”

* And Life celebrates dumb inventions of the 1950s and ’60s.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 7, 2009 at 3:29 am

Corzinementum

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Nate Silver considers Jon Corzine’s chances of winning an election where he can’t crack 40% in the polls.

Here’s what this boils down to: there are probably a finite number of people willing to get out of bed and vote for Jon Corzine on November 3rd. And it’s a number, moreover, that wouldn’t ordinarily be enough to allow a candidate to carry the state. But the voters who don’t want to vote for Corzine have two alternatives, other than voting for Christie: they can vote for Chris Daggett or they can sit the election out. If enough of them choose one of those options, then Corzine can still win a low-turnout election.

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October 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm

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Tuesday Night Links

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Tuesday night!

* The buzzword at the heart of my dissertation got a bump today.

* ‘Good Night and Tough Luck’: a short web comic about the misery of insomnia.

* Good news/bad news: the total implosion of the global economy has caused CO2 emissions to plummet 6%, to 8.5% of 2005 levels.

* Corzine takes his first polling lead over Chris Christie in the New Jersey governor’s race.

* Osama bin Laden blurbs a few of his favorite books, including Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid and (apparently) Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. (via)

* American debt, the Chinese economy, and mutually assured financial destruction.

* The House passed a resolution of disapproval against Congressman Joe Wilson along strict party lines? You lie!

* When will the MSM break its silence on Obama’s secret rat love?

* ‘Wealthcare’: A brief history of Ayn Rand. Some talk at MeFi.

(The anti-government activist Grover Norquist has told a similar story from childhood, in which his father would steal bites of his ice cream cone, labelling each bite “sales tax” or “income tax.” The psychological link between a certain form of childhood deprivation and extreme libertarianism awaits serious study.) 

* Conservative bloggers have truly outdone themselves in their efforts to hype the 9/12 rally; Steve Benen and Media Matters have the details on “the largest event held in Washington, D.C., ever.” It’s the greatest propaganda FAIL since they tried to pass off a picture of the Promise Keepers rally as being from last weekend.

* And this interview from one of Bush’s last speechwriters has been linked by nearly every mainstream political blog I read: Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Steve Benen, Kevin Drum, Atrios, Ben Smith, Think Progress, MetaFilter, and Crooks and Liars, each with their own favorite moment from the piece. The Palin line is sort of inescapable:

“I’m trying to remember if I’ve met her before. I’m sure I must have.” His eyes twinkled, then he asked, “What is she, the governor of Guam?” 

Everyone in the room seemed to look at him in horror, their mouths agape. When Ed told him that conservatives were greeting the choice enthusiastically, he replied, “Look, I’m a team player, I’m on board.” He thought about it for a minute. “She’s interesting,” he said again. “You know, just wait a few days until the bloom is off the rose.” Then he made a very smart assessment.

“This woman is being put into a position she is not even remotely prepared for,” he said. “She hasn’t spent one day on the national level. Neither has her family. Let’s wait and see how she looks five days out.”

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