Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘reconciliation

Saturday Night Tab Closin’

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* If it’s possible to miss the point of Pale Fire any worse than this, I don’t want to know about it. Via PCEgan.

* I second both Steven Chu’s call to paint our roofs white and Atrios’s call for “Green Recovery” government stimulus to pay people to do this work.

* Learned helplessness watch: Congressional Democrats, obviously feeling the heat from my persistent calls to use reconciliation to get around Republican filibusters, have now taken reconciliation off the table altogether. Idiots.

* At least Elaine Marshall is ahead in Carolina.

* Speaking my language: Dreamlands, one of the temporary exhibits currently at the Pompidou Center in Paris, highlights Kandor-Con from artist Mike Kelley, with these observations:

The comics present a different image of the Kryptonian city on each occasion, and Kelley sees in this a complex allegory, the diversity of representations signifying the instability of memory. The installation Kandor-Con includes architecture students who continuously design new Kandors, feeding them to a Superman fan site. For the artist, the inability of the original draughtsmen, the new designers or the hero’s internet fans to fix the form of Kandor once and for all illustrates “the stupidity and ridiculousness of technological utopianism.” The capital of the planet Krypton, says Kelley, is “the utopian city of the future that never came to be.”

You had me at “Bonjour.”

* I was kidnapped by lesbian pirates from outer space! A comic, via MetaFilter.

* Added to my Netflix queue: Brick City, a documentary about Newark said to be “a real-life version of The Wire.” Also via MeFi.

* And added to my torrent queue: The Yes Men Fix the World (legal!). Via Boing Boing.

Finally Delivering on the Campaign Promises Made by John McCain

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Eric Alterman on Barack Obama and kabuki democracy. Via MeFi. There’s a lot of the usual excuse-making here, some of it legitimate—but if you can’t come to terms with the fact that Obama and Reid repeatedly and unnecessarily choose filibuster-vulnerable legislative strategies that require the good will of Republicans for success, you’ll never understand why progressive legislation always fails. The word “reconciliation” doesn’t even appear in the article.

Up Too Early Central Timezone Blues

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* The paper on ecological debt I’m giving at the Debt conference at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies today is pretty indebted to Naomi Klein’s recent work on the subject, which can be found at YouTube, Democracy Now, The Nation, and Rolling Stone. I may try to put this talk up as a podcast at some point.

* The oil spill disaster in the Louisiana has turned out to be much, much worse than originally thought: “a river of oil flowing from the bottom of the Gulf at the rate of 210,000 gallons a day that officials say could be running for two months or more.” The final devastation will likely be worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster. The White House says BP will pay the costs of cleanup. Related: Obama Administration Learns That Oil Leads to Oil Spills. At least they’ve quietly reinstated the federal moratorium on offshore drilling as a result of all this. Hope it stays that way.

* Can reconciliation work for climate like it worked for health care? Ezra Klein says not really.

* Ten states, including my beloved North Carolina!, are now considering Arizona-style document laws.

* Speaking of North Carolina, here’s the Independent Weekly voting guide for Durham County. The primary is Tuesday, May 4.

* It turns out the measurement fallacy Cory Doctorow was speaking about in my class’s interview with him has a name: Goodhart’s Law.

* Grad School Necessary To Maintain U.S.’s Global Position. Take that, The Simpsons.

* Republican consultant on Republican 2012 presidential field: “We Have Real [Expletive] Problems.”

* Calling out the real judicial activists.

* Socialphobes of the world unite! Against the telephone.

The telephone was an aberation in human development. It was a 70 year or so period where for some reason humans decided it was socially acceptable to ring a loud bell in someone else’s life and they were expected to come running, like dogs. This was the equivalent of thinking it was okay to walk into someone’s living room and start shouting.

* Books: still greener than e-readers.

* I can’t believe I forgot to celebrate Explicit Legal Pants Day. The rest of the post, on heterosexual privilege in Mississippi, is good too.

Inevitable District 9 sequel coming in two years.

* I’m so old I can remember when the GOP was against involuntary microchip implantation. It was like a week ago.

* And YouTube has the trailer for the feel-good movie of the year.

Mostly Non-Health-Care Links

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* ACORN will disband as a result of the O’Keefe hoax.

* Via Twitter I see NBC News is reporting (no link yet) that the Senate parliamentarian has rejected the GOP challenge to the health care sidecar. Tough luck guys.

* Arundhati Roy: When a country that calls itself a democracy openly declares war within its borders, what does that war look like? Does the resistance stand a chance? Should it? Who are the Maoists? Are they just violent nihilists foisting an outdated ideology on tribal people, goading them into a hopeless insurrection? What lessons have they learned from their past experience? Is armed struggle intrinsically undemocratic? Is the Sandwich Theory—of ‘ordinary’ tribals being caught in the crossfire between the State and the Maoists—an accurate one? Are ‘Maoists’ and ‘Tribals’ two entirely discrete categories as is being made out? Do their interests converge? Have they learned anything from each other? Have they changed each other? Can’t let a link to Roy without a link to her fantastic piece on dams, “The Greater Common Good.”

* “I am chaotic and lazy”: an interview with Magnus Carlsen, the #1 chess player in the world and youngest-ever chess grandmaster. Via Kottke.

* Climate change may be killing the scent of flowers. Two thousand scientists sign letter to Senate demanding climate change action.

* Long profile of David Simon and Treme in The New York Times. Via Occasional Fish, a dissenting view.

* New College Graduates To Be Cryogenically Frozen Until Job Market Improves. It was a good idea when Philip K. Dick thought of it and it’s a good idea now!

* And at 81 years old, James Randi has come out of the closet.

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

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?

Saturday Night

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* The House vote on the Senate bill should be this week, with the final reconciliation markup beginning on Monday. I consider myself fascinated by the self-executing legislative trick the Democrats may use to “consider the Senate bill passed” without actually having to take a vote on it.

More on SAFRA, the student loan reform package that may get passed alongside health care.

* Here’s Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow on the campaign to convince people, contrary to the facts, that everyone killed the public option.

* More from Chris Hayes, whose “The Breakdown” podcast is now a weekly listen, in Time: In the past decade, nearly every pillar institution in American society — whether it’s General Motors, Congress, Wall Street, Major League Baseball, the Catholic Church or the mainstream media — has revealed itself to be corrupt, incompetent or both. And at the root of these failures are the people who run these institutions, the bright and industrious minds who occupy the commanding heights of our meritocratic order. In exchange for their power, status and remuneration, they are supposed to make sure everything operates smoothly. But after a cascade of scandals and catastrophes, that implicit social contract lies in ruins, replaced by mass skepticism, contempt and disillusionment…

* Howell Raines: One question has tugged at my professional conscience throughout the year-long congressional debate over health-care reform, and it has nothing to do with the public option, portability or medical malpractice. It is this: Why haven’t America’s old-school news organizations blown the whistle on Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News, for using the network to conduct a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration—a campaign without precedent in our modern political history? More on this at Crooks & Liars.

* And “a debacle for public education”: Steve Benen has your full report on history education, Texas-style.

* McCarthyism: History lessons must tell students that Joe McCarthy’s suspicions were later “confirmed.”

All right, that’s it, I give up.

Friday Night Links

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* The Devil is living in the Vatican, says the Pope’s chief exorcist.

* Texas state School Board unpersons Thomas Jefferson.

* Can soccer ever fix tie-breaking?

* Google’s bike maps “‘filled with potentially fatal flaws.’”

* The public option is dead again. Glenn Greenwald, as we might expect, is pissed. I’m really not sure what the argument for caution is supposed to be here, as the public option remains at least ten points more popular than the rest of the bill. Why not pass it through reconciliation while we’re doing everything else? What bad thing will happen if we do?

* Adding student loan reform to the health care bill, on the other hand, is probably both good policy and good politics.

* Josh Marshall and Ezra Klein give reason to hope November might not be the Democratic bloodbath we’re all expecting.

* And here comes A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas?

Spring Break Goes By Too Fast

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Thursday Night Links

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* I hadn’t heard Barry Hannah died. I never met him, but he was very much at the center of the Southern U.S. MFA scene. How sad.

* Students are striking in California again today, as anyone who is Facebook friends with my friend PJ knows very well. Good luck folks.

* Should soccer ban the paradinha?

* Actually existing media bias: As if by magic, reconciliation is suddenly “controversial.”

* Apocalypse soon: Arctic seabed methane stores destabilizing, venting. Climate Progress agrees it’s time to panic.

* A link somewhere took me back to Ze Frank’s Young Me / Now Me today, and it’s still one of the most compelling sites on the Internet.

* Obama made his health care pitch to House progressives today, apparently pledging to return to the public option in the future. Raul Grijalva, who’d previously pledged to vote against the bill from the left, said he found the pitch “pretty compelling”—which is a very good sign.

* Currently watching: Tom Dowd and the Language of Music, about a research assistant on the Manhattan Project who went on to become the sound engineer and producer behind some of the best musicians of the 20th century. It’s great stuff.

The Tortoise and the Hare

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

Wednesday Afternoon Legitimate Complaints

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* NASA reports that the Chilean earthquake has shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds and moved the figure axis of the Earth about 8 centimeters. Google has set up a donation tool for earthquake relief; my Chilean friend Ignacio also recommends a donation to Cruz Roja Chilena. The country is still suffering dramatically; while writing this post I received a news alert about a tsunami warning just issued for the coast, following a huge aftershock.

* DCist profiles the first few couples to file for same-sex marriage licenses in DC. Congratulations, folks!

* Bunning’s temper tantrum had consequences.

* Related: Nineteen senators I would sincerely like to see become unemployed.

* Obama calls for an up-or-down vote on health care: “At stake right now is not just our ability to solve this problem, but our ability to solve any problem.” Mr. President, I have some bad news…

* Rachel Maddow, national treasure.

You are not making serious arguments, and you do not believe what you’re saying. It’s disproven by your record. In the case of Orrin Hatch, you are flat-out lying about the history of the tactic that Democrats are going to use to pass health reform. Doing that, lying about what’s been done, lying about the record, lying about this tactic is not actually a substitute for making an honest argument against health reform.

For the Washington Post to print something like this is bizarre. For these established, supposedly mainstream senators to try to get away with this is an insult to everyone they’re addressing, and to the media, in particular. And for us all to just let this slide and call it ‘politics,’ is to surrender to cynicism profoundly.

* Attackerman: Jewish Narnia Is Called Marvel Comics. More in this at MeFi.

* ABC, let Jon Stewart host This Week.

* Finally, a profile of Rahm Emmanuel sourced by someone other than Rahm Emmanuel:

…Emanuel is not the would-be savior of this presidency. For one thing, there really isn’t that much daylight between him and his boss, or between him and his top White House colleagues. Had things gone even more his way, it’s possible that he would have squelched a few more of what few bursts of idealism and principle survived Inauguration. But people looking for the reasons why the Obama presidency has not lived up to its promise won’t find the answer amid the minor rifts between key players. Nor will they find the answer in how well or poorly this White House has played the game of politics. The fact is that after a campaign that appealed so successfully to idealism, Obama hired a bunch of saboteurs of hope and change.

Rahm was simply their chief of staff. And now, this hypercompetitive bantam rooster is attempting to blame others for what went wrong. That’s evidently so important to him that he’s trying to take a victory lap around the wreckage of what was once such a promising presidency.

Emanuel’s greatest “victory” before this one, of course, was the one upon which he earned his reputation: Getting a bunch of conserva-Dems elected in purple states in 2006, winning the party control of the House while at the same time crippling its progressive agenda. This is what Emanuel is all about. For him, victory is everything — even if you have to give up your core values to win, and even if you could have won while sticking to them.

* OK, I think I finally see the source of all our problems: Americans are totally indifferent to the suffering of others and think nothing bad will ever happen to them. Consider a survey by Yale climate change research scientist Anthony Leiserowitz. The survey asked Americans, “Who will be most harmed by climate change?” Respondents said that climate change would mostly affect:

• Plant and animal species: 45 percent
• Future generations of people: 44 percent
• People in developing countries: 31 percent
• People in other industrialized nations: 22 percent
• People in the United States: 21 percent
• Your local community: 13 percent
• Your family: 11 percent
• You personally: 10 percent

* And Roger Ailes: Judas!

AILES: Well, I don’t think they’re whining over nothing and I think they have — look, there’s legitimate complaints that they could have. And I’ve had this dialogue with David Axelrod, who I like very much and, there are legitimate areas. I mean, Chris [Wallace] said that, that’s his words, that’s what he believes, and he had reason to believe that. But I don’t think its helpful to say that.

Hypocritastic

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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.

Still OoT But With Unexpected Hotel Wifi Links

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* Ripped from the pages of Infinite Jest, a playable version of Eschaton. (via)

* Via Pete Lit, federal government to use its immense buying power to benefit society.

By altering how it awards $500 billion in contracts each year, the government would disqualify more companies with labor, environmental or other violations and give an edge to companies that offer better levels of pay, health coverage, pensions and other benefits, the officials said.

This looks to me like perhaps a first case of the end-runs Obama will have to make around our broken legislative institutions if he hopes to avoid a failed presidency. Another good sign: the final embrace of sidecar reconciliation to finish the job on health care.

* Of course, that headline in the New York Times gets it wrong, as Steve Benen has been desperately trying to explain to anyone who will listen: Democrats don’t need to pass health care via reconciliation because health care already passed through the regular order. Regardless, the Republicans are promising a full-on freakout if reconciliation is used; what might they do?

* “Pentagon fesses up to 800 pages’ worth of potentially illegal spying, including peace groups and Planned Parenthood.” Hey, thanks for admitting it! Of course we won’t prosecute you; you were just protecting the homeland!

* Eliza Dushku to ruin another Joss Whedon production.

* The pornography of infinity: China Miéville on J.G. Ballard.

* J.D. Salinger v. Raiders of the Lost Ark.

* Wikipedia’s list of landings on other planets. Did the Soviets think there was life on Venus? They certainly seem to have thought there was something there. Via Boing Boing.

* Secret origins of the cellar door line from Donnie Darko.

* FantasySCOTUS.

* Really good reading of the U.K. version of The Office that focuses on Gervais’s critique of celebrity culture to explain, among other things, how David Brent could possibly have won a promotion on a 5-2 vote of the company board or been hired by a consulting firm—as well as why the U.S. version, in dropping this thematic angle, will always be intrinsically inferior.

* If I were a Brigham Young student, here’s the process I would have to undertake to grow my beloved beard.

* Students at the University of Mississippi want Admiral Akbar as their new mascot. I wholeheartedly endorse this effort.

* Also Via MeFi: Personal pop-culture rules. “No Robin Williams” and “anything involving dinosaurs” are two I think I follow.

* And Matt Yglesias selfishly takes a stand against one of our most-beloved cultural institutions. No special rights for late-in-the-alphabet people!

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