Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Michele Bachmann

Some More Tuesday Links

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* I wrote a short blog post for HASTAC compiling some recent thoughts and links on “openness” in the university system, which are likely no surprise to anyone who follows this blog but which I include here for the sake of completeness regardless.

* It’s cute that Josh Marshall thinks Bachmann just making sh!t up means her run at the GOP nomination is over. Of course, what this actually means is that it’s now an open question whether Gardasil causes mental retardation in young girls.

* Elizabeth Warren announces for Senate tomorrow.

* Here comes Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

* The Trash|Track Project asks: Why do we know so much about the supply chain and so little about the removal chain? Via Melody.

* And via longform.org: On Gender-Identity Disorder and the DSM.

The DSM work group assigned to gender identity disorder, a panel of specialized field experts, has already bowed to some external pressures. It has made clear that it intends to change the name of the diagnosis from “disorder” to “dysphoria”—which describes a passing mood rather than a fixed state. The work group has also made public its plans to not only preserve the core GID diagnosis, but to retain an even more controversial entry: GID in children.

… The second argument in favor of keeping GID in the diagnostic manual is where things get ethically murky. The removal of the diagnosis may also remove insurance coverage for transsexual adults who are being treated with hormonal or surgical reassignment. As of now, a diagnosis of mental illness is the only mechanism that transsexuals have for medical insurance to cover mastectomies, testosterone injections, and genital reconstruction surgeries (though very few insurance companies cover any sort of gender reassignment, because it is most often considered “cosmetic”).

Megan Smith, a Nebraska-based psychotherapist and an advocate for the removal of GID from the DSM, claims that the insurance argument is the one she most often encounters. Smith believes keeping the diagnosis for the sake of insurance coverage is “unethical and unscientific.” Smith argues, “I don’t believe it’s our obligation as mental health professionals to change psychiatric evaluations in order to play ball with insurance companies.”

Thursday Roundup

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* In sum, nobody — and I mean nobody — was talking about how weak the presidency supposedly is before Barack Obama was inaugurated: neither in the domestic nor foreign policy realm. Greenwald is debating Scott Lemieux from Lawyers, Guns, and Money, whose posts on the subject are here and here.

* Over my friend Traxus’s objections, Elizabeth Warren will run for Senate. Sorry bro.

* In CounterPunch: Who Will Save Libya From Its Western Saviours?

* “The man sitting in front of you is not a so-called statesman, but a completely normal person”: Mikhail Gorbachev at 80.

* Chart of the day: paid vacation in the developed world.

* Never forget: Economic contraction is a policy choice.

* Tom Coburn forgets how dog whistles are supposed to work.

* Peter Singer: The Troubled Life of Nim Chimpsky.

* Coco Chanel, Nazi spy?

* And two months from now it will have always been appropriate for lawyers to call themselves “Dr.” Looking forward to it.

Wednesday 2!

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* “If banks wrote down all underwater mortgages to market value and refinanced the homeowners into 30-year, fixed-rate loans at current market interest rates, that would pump $71 billion into the national economy”—and create one million jobs. But the banks won’t do it.

* NPR has scientifically determined the top 100 SF and fantasy books of all time. Don’t get me wrong: I’m very fond of Lord of the Rings, and I love Hitchhiker’s Guide, but they’re really not the very best the genre has to offer…

* Cyclops as Magneto, Wolverine as Professor X? That really doesn’t seem right. Via TNC.

* Why does Obama keep making these terrible jokes about his wife? It’s embarrassing, and about three decades out of date to boot.

* Redefining pedophila as a sexual orientation? I find it’s very hard to have any sort of open mind on this.

* Another reality TV suicide.

* And I admit I didn’t see this coming: Bachmann Staffer Arrested for Terrorism in Uganda in 2006.

Monday Links

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Tuesday Night Links

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* Scenes from the class struggle in Hogwarts: it costs at least $42,752 a year to get a proper wizarding education. UPDATE: Want more about the cost of attending Hogwarts? Misopogon at Dog Eat Crow World charges bravely into the weeds.

* Scenes from the class struggle in Cambridge: Reddit co-founder arrested for what amounts to an attempt to steal JSTOR. Reddit thread. MetaFilter thread.

* Contrarian watch: Naked Capitalism says Elizabeth Warren is too good, and too important, for the Senate. This all may be so, but I want her to run anyway.

* One down: Wis. Dem State Senator Wins Recall In Landslide.

* I’ve been trying to steel myself to the idea of a Mitt Romney primary win, despite my worry that he alone could actually beat Obama in 2012. (And maybe if Romney won he’d do something on the environment. It’s possible, right? UPDATE: Ugh.) Nate Silver puts an Obama-Romney race down at even odds. But TPM says I don’t need to worry: Mitt has already maxed out his donors. Chait concurs.

* The knives come out for Bachmann. More here, here, and here.

* Was Rupert Murdoch behind the CRU hack? Grist speculates. I’d also really like to know if there’s any truth to these several-years-old reports of a “black ops” room at Fox News. Related: Parliament determines News Corp. deliberately obstructed the investigation into the hacks.

Ron Howard’s planned Dark Tower megaseries has collapsed.

* And a truly great find: An NPR adaptation of A Canticle for Leibowitz from 1960.

Debt Ceiling Alignment Chart

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Earlier today @rortybomb asked for a D&D alignment chart on the debt ceiling fight. I thought this was a pretty great idea, and had some free time. Here goes:

Thursday Night Links

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Wednesday (Nothin’ But) Links

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Random Monday Links

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Lies Michele Bachmann Told Me

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Behold, the Mother of All Saturday Linkdumps!

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* Polish President Lech Kaczynski has apparently been killed in a plane crash in western Russia, alongside much of the leadership of the country. Updates at MeFi.

* Yesterday Stevens made it official. The timeline. A shortlist. The politics of shortlists. An offbeat shortlist. How about Cory Booker? Why Obama shouldn’t shy away from a confirmation fight. Why Glenn Greenwald is lukewarm on frontrunner Elena Kagan. Why the GOP may use the SCOTUS hearings as another excuse to freak out about health care. Or maybe just another excuse to flip out period. Still more at MeFi.

* Totally independent of anything anyone anywhere has said or done, threats against members of Congress have increased threefold in recent months. It’s a funny coincidence that means absolutely nothing.

* George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

* Everything old is new again: Gingrich says Republicans will shut down the government if they take over.

* Tony Judt on crisis, neoliberalism, greed, the end of history, and the need for a new New Left.

For thirty years students have been complaining to me that “it was easy for you”: your generation had ideals and ideas, you believed in something, you were able to change things. “We” (the children of the Eighties, the Nineties, the “Aughts”) have nothing. In many respects my students are right. It was easy for us—just as it was easy, at least in this sense, for the generations who came before us. The last time a cohort of young people expressed comparable frustration at the emptiness of their lives and the dispiriting purposelessness of their world was in the 1920s: it is not by chance that historians speak of a “lost generation.”

If young people today are at a loss, it is not for want of targets. Any conversation with students or schoolchildren will produce a startling checklist of anxieties. Indeed, the rising generation is acutely worried about the world it is to inherit. But accompanying these fears there is a general sentiment of frustration: “we” know something is wrong and there are many things we don’t like. But what can we believe in? What should we do?

* Full with polls: The IRS is more popular than the tea partiers.

* “Kind of a Glenn Beck approach”: On male studies. More at Salon.

* Another great segment from the Daily Show about blatant Fox News dishonesty, this one on the lies they’re telling about the START treaty. But the quote of the day on this comes from who else but Michele Bachmann, who calls for the U.S. to commit to nuclear retaliation in the event of a devastating cyber attack.

* Matt Yglesias on Treme‘s battle between realism and sentimentality.

* Comic book cartography. Their link to the principles of Kirbytech from my friends at Satisfactory Comics is pretty great too.

* Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole which itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe? I’m surprised there’s even debate about something that is so trivially true.

Negative Twenty Questions, John Wheeler’s analogy for quantum mechanics.

* Of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65, half are alive now. Welcome to the elderly age.

* Multicellular life found that can live entirely without oxygen.

* xkcd’s version of hell is now fully playable.

* Chris Christie working overtime to destroy public universities in New Jersey.

Outsourcing TAs?

* In Washington, D.C., you’re not a rape victim unless police say so. Via Feministe.

* HIV-positive Michigan man to be tried as bioweapon.

* Are we still waiting for the other shoe to drop on Greece?

* The Texas miracle? Wind power in an oil state.

* Two from Krugman: Building a Green Economy and Al Gore Derangement Syndrome.

* Somewhat related: Tim Morton on hyperobjects.

Hyperobjects are phenomena such as radioactive materials and global warming. Hyperobjects stretch our ideas of time and space, since they far outlast most human time scales, or they’re massively distributed in terrestrial space and so are unavailable to immediate experience. In this sense, hyperobjects are like those tubes of toothpaste that say they contain 10% extra: there’s more to hyperobjects than ordinary objects.

* The Illinois Poison Control Center has a blog. MetaFilter has highlights.

* And Gizmodo has your periodic table of imaginary elements.

Tabdump #4

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* How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.

* George Costanza’s Frogger Record Shattered.

* ‘Scientists say dolphins should be treated as “non-human persons.”‘

* If you missed it, more on the Californication of America from Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and Steve Benen.

* In defense of baby selling? You couldn’t write a better parody of free market ideology if you tried.

* Today’s lesson in irony is especially schadenfreudelicious.

* Behold, chess boxing. More here.

Wednesday!

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Wednesday!

* In Galileo’s time, science was clashing with religion; today, Robinson believes, we’re living in a “Galilean moment” again, in which climate change means science has become politicised. This time, though, the clash is with capitalism. “There are cultural forces in our society which say, you can save the world or else you can make a profit, and they’ll say sorry, we have to make a profit. So we have a strange religion now.” As his global-warming-themed trilogy, which ends with 2007′s Sixty Days and Counting, shows, a major theme for Robinson is ecological sustainability, and he stresses today his belief that “the climate crisis is an emergency.” Another interview with Kim Stanley Robinson, this one focusing on his new time travel novel, Galileo’s Dream.

* Fun graphic analysis of Choose Your Own Adventure novels, including Inside UFO 54-40, the only CYOA with an impossible-to-reach ending.

* The rhetoric of Google’s suggested searches. Via Ezra Klein, who summarizes:

For instance: the most popular searches beginning with “how 2 …” are “how 2 get pregnant” and “how 2 grow weed.” Searches beginning with “how might one” tend to be about music or, weirdly, Andrew Jackson.

More titillatingly, people asking “is it wrong to” tend to have something sexually indecent in mind. The top results are “sleep with your cousin,” “sleep with your stepdad after your mom has died,” and “like your cousin.” Searches beginning with “is it unethical to” tend to be about white-collar crime and animal rights.

One notes, at least in my geo-targeted region of the world, the top suggested result for “is it wrong to” is actually “is it wrong to sleep with your sister.”

* Yesterday’s Daily Show had a pair of fantastic clips: one on the Berlin Wall and another on Sean Hannity flagrantly lying (with video!) about the size Michelle Bachmann’s health-care protest.

* Chart of the Day: Rock Music Quality vs. U.S. Oil Production.

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

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Remember remember the fifth of November.

* Happy Guy Fawkes Day! Michele Bachmann has her party primed and ready to go; how are you celebrating?

* Ezra Klein, with an assist from the CBO, tackles the Republican health care “plan.”

The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan. And amazingly, the Democratic bill has already been through three committees and a merger process. It’s already been shown to interest groups and advocacy organizations and industry stakeholders. It’s already made its compromises with reality. It’s already been through the legislative sausage grinder. And yet it saves more money and covers more people than the blank-slate alternative proposed by John Boehner and the House Republicans. The Democrats, constrained by reality, produced a far better plan than Boehner, who was constrained solely by his political imagination and legislative skill.

This is a major embarrassment for the Republicans. It’s one thing to keep your cards close to your chest. Republicans are in the minority, after all, and their plan stands no chance of passage. It’s another to lay them out on the table and show everyone that you have no hand, and aren’t even totally sure how to play the game. The Democratic plan isn’t perfect, but in comparison, it’s looking astonishingly good.

* Will New Hampshire become the first state to break the streak on marriage equality? Allow me to repeat myself: I’m pessimistic but hopeful; minority civil rights shouldn’t be subject to popular vote.

* But I think what makes [Inglourious Basterds] Tarantino’s best film, actually, is not just that he’s finally found an argument to put his obsessive film-nerd intertextuality in service of, but because it’s a good argument: by making his movie a deconstruction of the WWII-movie genre,**** he makes it about the ways that cinematic project retroactively placed coherent meaning (“the good war”) on a thing which was actually unthinkable and nonsensically violent and destructive. And because they did it by transforming history into myth, by reveling in fantasies of the past as meaningful and coherant, he can avoid getting bogged down in the nitty gritty of actual causes and causation, making a virtue of his total inability to bother with any of that stuff. Tarantino’s movie, in other words, has much more in common with Slaughterhouse Five than the movies it was actually responding to, but while Vonnegut insisted on the horrible subjective experience of violence’s senselessness, I think Tarantino’s movie is (on some level) about how an objective truth can be imposed on our subjectivities, how we come to believe that the war was, in fact, a good one.

* How polluted is China?

* Will anti-intellectual habits and authoritarian administrative practices kill Wikipedia?

Written by gerrycanavan

November 5, 2009 at 3:18 pm

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

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