Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi

Thursday Night Links

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* How to defend Obama’s record, from the man himself: “I think the key is not to get too bogged down in detail.” Geez, you said it.

* Americans hate everyone in Washington, but they hate Republicans a lot more. See, I am in the mainstream.

* But next time will be different! This time for real. We promise.

* The Daily Show has heroically managed to find humor even in the monstrosity that is the Super Congress. More important superhero coverage from Colbert, as well as cutting-edge coverage of NorthDakotagate.

* The heroism that dare not speak its name: The Married Lesbian Couple Who Saved 40 Teens From The Norway Shooter.

* Tracing the connection between climate change and earthquakes.

* Wikipedia is dying.

* So is the stock market.

* So is the income of the average American.

According to newly released tax data, “U.S. incomes plummeted again in 2009, with total income down 15.2 percent in real terms since 2007.” 2009′s average income of $54,283, which is the latest available data, “was at its lowest level since 1997 when it was $54,265 in 2009 dollars, just $18 less than in 2009.”

* So is everything in Texas.

* At least Congress finally cracked a solution to funding the FAA.

* Self-parody watch: Fox goes after Spongebob.

* Welcome to Nigeria, “the World Capital of Oil Pollution.”

* Watchdogs Demand Investigation Into ‘Brazen’ $1 Million Pro-Romney Donation. Unfortunately I’ve just gotten an email from 2016 that explains how the Supreme Court will find this all perfectly legal.

* Chris Christie, liberal hero?

* And there’s always five of everything: multiple universes discovered? Plus flowing water on Mars. It’s a good day to be a nerd.

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:

All Health Care All the Time

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* The chart at right is from the L.A. Times.

* Chomsky: “If I were in Congress,” he said, “I’d probably hold my nose and vote for it, because the alternative of not passing it is worse, bad as this bill is. Unfortunately, that’s the reality.”

* White House talking points on the “immediate impact” of the bill.

I am a self-employed single mother. I cannot afford health care for myself and my children. I made $38,000 last year and I expect to make less than $35,000 this year.What does this health care reform mean for me? Will I be able to get coverage for my children and myself in this first year?

* The Republicans’ next move? Parliamentary nonsense. Via Kevin Drum, who wrote:

This is mind-bogglingly convoluted. It means that anything that ever had even the smallest and most roundabout effect on wages would be ineligible for reconciliation. Using logic like this, I doubt that any budget bill ever passed has met reconciliation rules.

* What if reconciliation fails?

* As noted in the comments, McCain has vowed obstruction today, obstruction tomorrow, obstruction forever.

* With repealing health reform the right-wing fetish point of the day, it’s worth observing that it’s literally not possible for Republicans to win enough Senate seats in 2010 to pass anything over Barack Obama’s veto.

* Bad health care predictions.

* More Pelosi triumphantalism.

And let’s also note that while health care reform was the biggest lift, Pelosi has also passed an economic recovery package, a Wall Street reform bill, student loan reform (twice), and cap-and-trade. All, by the way, in 14 months.

They tend to name buildings after leaders with records like these.

* From Ezra Klein: The Five Most Promising Cost Controls in the Health-Care Bill.

* And from the Firedoglake caucus: Six Big Flaws Need Fixing to Make New Law Meaningful Health Care Reform

Health Care!

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* With Stupak’s relent, it was in the bag.

* Accordingly, Obama’s numbers are inching back up in Gallup. I’ve said this before, but I’m with Bill Clinton: Obama’s numbers should jump up significantly as soon as people realize the magnitude of what he, Reid, and Pelosi have accomplished. As ari says in the link, whatever else we might want to say about Obama, and whatever else (good and not-so-good) he goes on to do, as of tonight he is the best president since LBJ and perhaps since FDR, and Pelosi is one of the greatest Speakers of the House of all time. It’s been said many times, but why not once more: that the bill is not all we might have wanted doesn’t make this not a victory.

* Lessons from the health care fight from Tom Schaller and Al Giordano. Here’s Al:

The US left (if such a thing has even existed in recent decades) for once in a lifetime did not fall for the orgy of petty bickering that led to so many previous epic fails, and what we see now is a convergence of forces, from the grassroots up, that can be defined as A. Pragmatic, in its multiple expressions in favor of advancing the ball down the field, and in rejecting the calls for “all or nothing” that had so defined many squandered US progressive political efforts over the past 30 or 40 years, and, B. Disciplined, including in the miraculous appearance of organizing to insist on discipline in the ranks of anyone who traffics in the term “progressive” to promote themselves.

* Republican speechwriter David Frum is devastated.

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us….

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

* And so is NRO’s Mark Steyn.

I try to be a sunny the-glass-is-one-sixteenth-full kinda guy, but it’s hard to overestimate the magnitude of what the Democrats have accomplished. Whatever is in the bill is an intermediate stage: As the graph posted earlier shows, the governmentalization of health care will accelerate, private insurers will no longer be free to be “insurers” in any meaningful sense of that term (ie, evaluators of risk), and once that’s clear we’ll be on the fast track to Obama’s desired destination of single payer as a fait accomplis.

If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It’s a huge transformative event in Americans’ view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing. Their bet is that it can’t be undone, and that over time, as I’ve been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people.

You say this like it’s a bad thing…

Pelosi

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I will be a very happy Leftist if it is Nancy Pelosi, not Rahm Emanuel, who emerges as the hero of health care reform following tomorrow’s likely passage through the House.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm

3/16

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* News that a Mississippi high school has canceled prom rather than allow a lesbian couple to attend has caused a “lesbian prom pictures” meme to ripple across the Internets.

* Inside Higher Ed has an article concerning (another) recent spate of suicides at Cornell.

* Saudi Arabia may not worry about Peak Oil, but they’re definitely nervous about Peak Demand.

* If David Brooks had a point, he might have a point. More from Taibbi and Chait.

* More Congressional procedure! Just because “deem and pass” happens all the time doesn’t mean it’s not tyranny when Nancy Pelosi does it. Ezra Klein is right when he says we should simplify Congressional procedure, but I think our friends in the GOP would be the first to tell us we can’t just unilaterally disarm.

* Avatar will be rereleased with an additional forty minutes à la Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, bringing its total running time to three days.

* But what the world needs most, of course, is another Battlestar Galactica sequel. I’ve fallen off watching Caprica, but from what I hear it’s at least good enough to Netflix—but I’m really not sure what’s left for a third series, except (perhaps) something pre-apocalpytic set on contemporary Earth using the BSG mythology as its starting point. Still, and it’s just a crazy idea: why not something new?

Monday Night

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* Health care update: With only 219 “no” votes on health reform, maximum, momentum shifts toward passage. Pro-Life Dems Start Breaking In Pelosi’s Direction. InTrade Betting on ‘Obamacare.’ “I believe we have the votes.”

* Virginia’s Attorney General flirts with birtherism.

* With his celebrity fueled by a Time cover story, best-selling books, cheerleading role at protest rallies and steady stream of divisive remarks, Beck is drawing big ratings. But there is a deep split within Fox between those — led by Chairman Roger Ailes — who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network. More here on the more than 200 companies that won’t advertise on Fox due to Beck.

* ‘Man Arrested for Tattooing 1-Year-Old.’

* Florida Vampire to Run for President. The best part:

He recently switched his party affiliation from Independent to Republican so he can run with the G.O.P.

* Attention citizens: Gay Marriage Could Lead To Men Marrying Horses.

* There is literally no way to make money selling news.

* And sitting is bad for you. Don’t do it!

The Friday Before Spring Break Is The Third Greatest Friday in the World

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* Whenever I heard a word like “neuromarketing,” I reach for my gun.

* Neoliberalism! Greece told to sell off islands and artworks.

* Is Obamacare now a favorite to pass? My sense for a while now has been that both mainstream pundits and bloggers are (for different reasons) deeply exaggerating the extent to which health care is embattled. With the Senate having already cleared the highest hurdle, there isn’t any reason not do the Senate bill + sidecar reconciliation, no matter what happened in Massachusetts or what might happen in November. And Pelosi’s a good Speaker; I’ve never really doubted she could get the votes on this when she needs them. I don’t know that Obama will still get the ten-point popularity bump I was expecting when health care finally passes—they really let Republicans and Firedoglake diehards brand reform negatively—but I think it’ll pass.

* Mesofacts: those facts you don’t keep up with precisely because their rate of change is neither so fast as to be important nor so slow as to be newsworthy. Examples include the current population of the Earth, the number of known extrasolar planets, and the current suckiness of Pittsburgh.

* Glenn Greenwald is on fire talking about neo-McCarthyism in the media this morning. He already said it once:

I’ve seen some attempts to criticize Holder based upon clients he has represented while in private practice, most notably his defense of Chiquita Brands in a criminal case brought by the DOJ arising out of Chiquita’s payments and other support to Colombian death squads. Attempts to criticize a lawyer for representing unsavory or even evil clients are inherently illegitimate and wrong — period. Anybody who believes in core liberties should want even the most culpable parties to have zealous representation before the Government can impose punishments or other sanctions. Lawyers who defend even the worst parties are performing a vital service for our justice system. Holder is no more tainted by his defense of Chiquita than lawyers who defend accused terrorists at Guantanamo are tainted by that. 

* Noah Baumbach to work again with Wes Anderson?

* Bull Durham sequel in the pipeline?

* And Funny or Die has an advocacy ad about financial reform reuniting the SNL presidential impersonators. (They got someone shockingly famous to replace Phil Hartman’s Reagan…)

Closing! All! My! Tabs!

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* Al Gore is coming to Duke this April.

* Arbitrarily defined political, social, and religious positionalities correlate with a measurement that doesn’t mean anything to prove people like me are smarter than everybody else. Science!

* For the doctors in the audience: A transit map of the human body.

* John Roberts, radical. Via MeFi.

For the past few years, I’ve been giving Roberts the benefit of the doubt, hoping that he meant it when he talked about the importance of putting the bipartisan legitimacy of the Court above his own ideological agenda. But, while Roberts talked persuasively about conciliation, it now appears that he is unwilling to cede an inch to liberals in the most polarizing cases. If Roberts continues this approach, the Supreme Court may find itself on a collision course with the Obama administration–precipitating the first full-throttle confrontation between an economically progressive president and a narrow majority of conservative judicial activists since the New Deal.

* This note shows that the aggregate fiscal expenditure stimulus in the United States, properly adjusted for the declining fiscal expenditure of the fifty states, was close to zero in 2009. While the Federal government stimulus prevented a net decline in aggregate fiscal expenditure, it did not stimulate the aggregate expenditure above its predicted mean. In other words, the federal stimulus primarily covered shortfalls in state budgets; it wasn’t new spending.

* Congratulations, Senate Republicans, on another historic benchmark.

* Another day, another set of outrageous lies from Fox News.

* Another academic career ruined by Facebook?

* Health care, they say, by Easter. Thirty-six Senators now support the reinserting the public option through reconciliation; here’s how they can bring it to a vote. Meanwhile, in the House, Pelosi only needs 216 votes. It’s still being reported that the House will act first.

* Steve Benen has a list of the additional Republican ideas that Obama now wants in the health care bill. I’m certain they now hate these ideas too. Quick, call a summit!

* On Nicole Kidman’s pre-existing conditions.

* When Sartre wrote for Hollywood.

* What Smith and [Stanley] Fish are doing is asking a stupid question — where are the Orders of the Cosmic Dictator? — and failing to note that there seems to be no evidence of a cosmic dictator, and his orders are merely pretenses put up by institutionalized frauds. And then they run about in circles, flailing their arms and screaming at the people who point out that there are no orders.

* How to resign from the Catholic Church.

* Lost landscapes of Detroit.

* A History of Obama Feigning Interest in Mundane Things.

* Globalization, as seen through your taco.

* Rejoice: marriage equality in DC tomorrow.

* And please, leave Indy alone.

Crazy Busy Links

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Today was busy and tomorrow’s very busy, but after that I get a breather. Here are some links.

* With the upcoming retirement of the space shuttle and Obama’s quiet cancelation of the planned return to the Moon, America essentially no longer has a manned space program. (Via MeFi.) For a nerd I’m actually pretty bearish on space and think there’s probably nothing up there for us—but all the same this makes me really sad.

* Where are all the aliens? Maybe they killed themselves through geoengineering.

* Related: the UFO that mined uranium in Argentina during the 1970s has returned.

* Hard times in academia: college endowments lost $58 billion dollars last year, about 19%.

* How to Report the News. This is perfect.

* Pelosi for president: “You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”

* How Obama will double exports in five years: the magic of inflation. When you put it that way it sounds a lot less impressive.

* And Republicans have voted 0-40 against another one of their own ideas.

Misc.

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Misc.

* Ezra Klein argues Nancy Pelosi is playing three-dimensional chess.

* “Tea Party” is now a registered party in Florida. Excelsior! The sky’s the limit.

* John Hodgman now has a daily podcast.

* 40 House Democrats are now threatening to vote no on the health care conference bill unless Stupak is removed.

* Number of Ph.D.’s hired last year to “develop” carrot sticks for McDonald’s: 45. Is this on the usual job list? Interviews at MLA?

* Also at Harper’s: Number of U.S. universities that have a Taco Bell Distinguished Professorship of Fast Service: just one. That’s the tragedy.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 9, 2009 at 8:24 pm

#hcr

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As anyone on the Twitter knows, health care reform passed the House tonight, albeit with a terrible last-minute abortion amendment supported by 64 Democrats desperately in need of a primary challenge. MetaFilter’s “welcome to the mid-twentieth century” snark aside, it’s a pretty good day to be a Democrat. 218 to pass + 1 for good measure + 1 surprise Republican vote; if Harry Reid does his job half as well as Pelosi we’re in good shape.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2009 at 8:23 am

Friday Friday

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Friday!

* The ping-pong match in the press over the public option continues. Nobody can figure out whether or not Pelosi has the votes, whether or not Obama supports an Olympia-Snowe-style trigger, or just what will happen with the cloture vote in the Senate. Ezra Klein compares the likely House and Senate bills, which leads Matt Yglesias to suggest a best-of-both-worlds approach. Meanwhile a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll shows that public support for the public option remains steady at around 60%, which would be important if the Senate were a properly representative body.

* Lots of buzz today about Neill Blomkamp’s next film after District 9, described by SCI FI Wire as a balls-out sci-fi epic.

* ‘A Mid-Atlantic Miracle’: Keeping public university costs down in Maryland.

* A judge has ruled the war crimes case against Blackwater/Xe will go forward.

* ‘Living on $500,000 a Year‘: Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tax returns. John Scalzi compares Fitzgerald’s income and lifestyle to a writer’s today.

* Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for president? This would take “fair and balanced” to a whole new level.

* And your entirely random chart of the day: The Population of Rome Through History. Via Kottke.

Health Care

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All that’s left of health care reform is a collection of piece-of-shit, weakling proposals that are preposterously expensive and contain almost nothing meaningful — and that set of proposals, meanwhile, is being negotiated down even further by the endlessly negating Group of Six. It is a fight to the finish now between Really Bad and Even Worse. And it’s virtually guaranteed to sour the public on reform efforts for years to come.

Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone on health care reform and total system failure in American politics. I’m more hopeful than others that the “trigger” compromise may actually provide the necessary political cover to get a postdated public option enacted—but not that hopeful. In any event it’s out of our hands now. We heard from Pelosi and Reid today; we’ll see what Obama has to say tomorrow.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 9, 2009 at 3:13 am

Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings

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Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.

* Swine flu in NC! PANIC!

* Another article on Homeland Security’s use of science fiction writers for brainstorming.

* Test your knowledge of literature with the Amazon Statistically Improbable Phrase Quiz. Via MeFi.

* New Yankee Stadium homerun theories.

* ‘The Making of Rushmore.’

* Two from Steve Benen: on the improbable discovery of Democrats at Liberty University and a roundup of recent misogynistic attacks on Nancy Pelosi.

* And our friend Tim Morton has a new video on YouTube: The Mesh.

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