Posts Tagged ‘Michele Bachmann’
* 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.
* 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.
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.”
* 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.
* 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.
* Peter Singer: The Troubled Life of Nim Chimpsky.
* And two months from now it will have always been appropriate for lawyers to call themselves “Dr.” Looking forward to it.
* “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…
* Redefining pedophila as a sexual orientation? I find it’s very hard to have any sort of open mind on this.
* And I admit I didn’t see this coming: Bachmann Staffer Arrested for Terrorism in Uganda in 2006.
* And if liberals say the world is warming, it must really be cooling: Rick Perry’s daft climate change conspiracy theory. 2012 is going to be a long year.
* 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.
* 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.
* And a truly great find: An NPR adaptation of A Canticle for Leibowitz from 1960.
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:
* Rortybomb: Why is the Obama Team Embracing Hooverism?
* Where was David Foster Wallace going with The Pale King? Two thoughts in the L.A. Times.
* Paradigm shift? All My Children and One Life to Live will survive as Internet shows.
* And the Chicago Tribune is very proud to announce that it tells the truth about climate change 75% of the time. Well done, sirs. Well done.
* If my Internets are any guide, the most-linked article of the day by a mile: Jose Antonio Vargas’s “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.”
* Also in Rolling Stone: Matt Taibbi voyages into the heart of darkness Michele Bachmann.
* Also in change we can believe in: Obama will reduce U.S. troops in Afghanistan to the level they were at when he took office. Yes we can!
* More from the Mother Jones special report on work in America: Harrowing, Heartbreaking Tales of Overworked Americans.
* The headline reads, “Ocean Life on the Brink of Mass Extinctions.”
* Of course you had me at Muppet Game of Thrones.
* Life imitates the Onion: Sarah Palin has quit her bus tour halfway through.
* How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.
* ‘Scientists say dolphins should be treated as “non-human persons.”‘
* 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.
* 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.
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.”
* Chart of the Day: Rock Music Quality vs. U.S. Oil Production.
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.
* Will anti-intellectual habits and authoritarian administrative practices kill Wikipedia?