Posts Tagged ‘Olympia Snowe’
* Skepticism fail: James Randi jumps the shark. Ugh.
* Health care reform continues its endless slide into oblivion. Steve Benen counts the five senators still not on board: Ben Nelson/Olympia Snowe from the “center,” and Feingold, Sanders, and Burris from the left. Meanwhile, Crooks & Liars and Firedoglake still argue the Liebermanized bill is worse than nothing, while Yglesias singles out Harry Reid for praise:
…the fact of the matter is that there’s almost no precedent for the legislative mission he’s been asked to accomplish of turning 59 Democrats, one loosely Democrat-aligned Independent, and two slightly moderate Republicans into 60 votes for a package that’s simultaneously a dramatic expansion of the welfare state and a measure that reduces both short- and long-term deficits.
Fair enough. But it’s Reid’s total rejection of reconciliation as even a theoretical alternative that has left us in this mess in the first place. Reid gets no special praise from me.
* io9’s 20 best SF films of the 2000s. Totally forgot Spider-Man 2 and Eternal Sunshine were from this decade; it’s been a long ten years.
* And meat-eaters finally win a round: “Meat may be the reason humans outlive apes.”
* Via The Rushmore Academy, Richard Brody says The Darjeeling Limited is the second-best film of the decade. Coming as this does just one day after a lunchtime argument with Ryan over whether Wes Anderson is a “serious” filmmaker, I think my affirmative case has now been definitively proved.
* Matt Yglesias had a good post this morning on the way institutional pressures in the military-industrial complex drag America’s foreign policy to the right no matter who is president.
* Bad behavior from conservative Democrats in the Senate has put Snowe and Collins’s votes back in play on health care.
* UC-San Diego’s Gordon H. Hansen: Despite all this, illegal immigration’s overall impact on the US economy is small. Low-skilled native workers who compete with unauthorized immigrants are the clearest losers. US employers, on the other hand, gain from lower labor costs and the ability to use their land, capital, and technology more productively. The stakes are highest for the unauthorized immigrants themselves, who see very substantial income gains after migrating. If we exclude these immigrants from the calculus, however (as domestic policymakers are naturally inclined to do), the small net gain that remains after subtracting US workers’ losses from US employers’ gains is tiny. And if we account for the small fiscal burden that unauthorized immigrants impose, the overall economic benefit is close enough to zero to be essentially a wash. The bolded phrase represents the reason why, despite ongoing shrieking nativism from the Republican party base, immigration reform never actually occurs. (via @mattoyeah)
* And Scott Lemieux has today’s deep thought.
I am absolutely shocked that, despite a near-total lack of precedent, a wealthy professional athlete has engaged in sexual relations with persons to whom he is not married, and I hope that cable news will devote more time to these remarkably surprising and important revelations.
Tuesday night politics roundup: Steve Benen once again makes the case for health care incrementalism. Bill Clinton makes the case for not losing. The Senate probably won’t pass the Stupak amendment. Open Left, noting a PPP poll suggesting Olympia Snowe can’t win a Republican primary in Maine, predicts she’ll switch parties; Nicholas Beaudrot concurs and suggests a Mugwump caucus. Contrary to reports, the climate bill does not make Obama dictator. Paid sick leave is a good idea. The GOP is unlikely to take back the House in a context in which it draws all its support from the South. Why employment might not fully recover until 2013. How we can destroy the filibuster. Is Marxism relevant today?
* 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.
* ‘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.
* Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for president? This would take “fair and balanced” to a whole new level.
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.
* 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.
* Elsewhere in actually existing media bias: Rupert Murdoch supposedly wants to buy NBC Universal, for what I can only assume is pure spite.
* Yesterday’s bogus insurance industry “bombshell” seems to have backfired, galvanizing support for reform and making the passage of some sort of public option more likely. Olympia Snowe just cast a vote for the Senate Finance Committee bill on its way out of committee, saying, “When history calls, history calls.”
* This American Life is doing back-to-back shows on the same topic (health care) for the first time in its history this week and next. This week’s episode on the doctor- and patient-side pressure that contribute to rising costs is quite good, if perhaps a bit generous to the insurance companies; next week’s episode, promisingly entitled “Somebody Else’s Money,” will focus on the insurance companies themselves.
* At the core of the C.T.E. research is a critical question: is the kind of injury being uncovered by McKee and Omalu incidental to the game of football or inherent in it? Part of what makes dogfighting so repulsive is the understanding that violence and injury cannot be removed from the sport. It’s a feature of the sport that dogs almost always get hurt. Something like stock-car racing, by contrast, is dangerous, but not unavoidably so.
In 2000 and 2001, four drivers in Nascar’s élite Sprint Cup Series were killed in crashes, including the legendary Dale Earnhardt. In response, Nascar mandated stronger seats, better seat belts and harnesses, and ignition kill switches, and completed the installation of expensive new barriers on the walls of its racetracks, which can absorb the force of a crash much better than concrete. The result is that, in the past eight years, no one has died in Nascar’s three national racing series. Stock-car fans are sometimes caricatured as bloodthirsty, eagerly awaiting the next spectacular crash. But there is little blood these days in Nascar crashes. Last year, at Texas Motor Speedway, Michael McDowell hit an oil slick, slammed head first into the wall at a hundred and eighty miles per hour, flipped over and over, leaving much of his car in pieces on the track, and, when the vehicle finally came to a stop, crawled out of the wreckage and walked away. He raced again the next day. So what is football? Is it dogfighting or is it stock-car racing?
* And bad news, everyone: we’re post SF again.
* I’ll be posting this year as a HASTAC Scholar at the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboatory. My first post is about status update activism of the sort that is all over your Facebook newsfeed today.
* Speaking of health care, Olympia Snowe now runs your health care.
* LRB makes an impressively desperate bid for my attention with Fredric Jameson’s review of Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood alongside reviews of Inglourious Basterds and Inherent Vice.
* Kevin Carey nicely notes the difficulty inherent to blogging about a book you’re two-thirds through with. Another post or two on Infinite Jest soon. The total collapse of blogging at A Supposedly Fun Blog is one of the great disappointments of Infinite Summer, I think.
* And Gawker declares the Michael Cera backlash has officially begun.