Posts Tagged ‘Ron Paul’
”Wacky”, like its close cousin “crazy,” is a term of derision exclusively reserved for those who deviate from such conventions. And that’s the point worth making here: the real reason anyone with D.C. Seriousness, including many establishment liberals, relished mocking Kucinich is because he dissented from the orthodoxies of the two political parties. That, by definition, makes one wacky and weird, even when — as is true for the Obama assassination powers and so many other bipartisan pieties — the actual wacky and crazy beliefs are those orthodoxies themselves (we’ve seen this repeatedly with those who stray from two-party normalcy). In reality, the actual crazies are those who fit comfortably within that two-party mentality and rarely challenge or deviate from it, while those who are sane, by definition, dissent from it (just today, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, a prime co-sponsor of the indefinite detention bill passed late last year, called for a naval blockade of Iran).
Glenn Greenwald on the wackiness of Dennis Kucinich. This is a good piece, but I think Glenn overlooks here the extent to which Kucinich (like Ron Paul, whom Glenn also gives too much credit) was an unusually terrible spokesman for heterodoxy even by the standards of a mass media environment that seeks to destroy iconoclastic thinkers. You can distill Kucinich’s greatest hits into a single list in this way and he doesn’t sound that bad—but there are reasons no one took him seriously that go well beyond the fact he was saying things they didn’t want to hear.
* Maryland votes in gay marriage! 42 to go.
* Map of the night: U.S. military and CIA interventions since World War II.
* Two terrible tastes that taste bad together: Rick Santorum and for-profit colleges.
* Republic Windows and Doors has been re-occupied. Elsewhere in Occupied America: Rebecca Solnit rhapsodizes—but maybe also eulogizes—Occupy Oakland, while a group affiliated with Occupy Wall Street will host a national convention in July.
“We feel that following the footsteps of our founding fathers is the right way to go,” an organizer told the AP.
I propose we rethink that.
* The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has confirmed that scientists have found errors in a physics experiment that recorded particles traveling 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light in late 2011. But now, the agency says that one of the errors means the particles could have been traveling faster than that!
* And today’s chilling vision of things to come: “Mutated Trout Raise New Concerns Near Mine Sites.” Enjoy your weekend!
* EU copyright on Joyce works ends at midnight. Who weeps for Stephen Joyce?
* The parallel reality — the undeniable fact — is that all of these listed heinous views and actions from Barack Obama have been vehemently opposed and condemned by Ron Paul: and among the major GOP candidates, only by Ron Paul. For that reason, Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years. If Paul were not in the race or were not receiving attention, none of these issues would receive any attention because all the other major GOP candidates either agree with Obama on these matters or hold even worse views. Of course Greenwald has a point, but at the same time it’s difficult to argue with this:
But (you might say) if the result is the same–if, whatever the twisted origins of his position, Ron Paul takes is on the side of the angels on certain narrowly framed issues–does it really matter how he gets there?
Short answer: yes. Slightly less short answer: hell yes. Longer answer: of course, because his opposition to (Federal) government overreach is inseparable from his opposition to Roe v. Wade and equal protection enforcement and environmental regulation and…well, every single goddamn thing that matters to liberals except the tiny set of narrow issues on which, in stopped-clock fashion, Paul has arrived at the right position through the wrong process.
During the Montgomery bus boycott, mainstream media outlets interviewed black folks who were against it and talked about how the boycott was misguided and hurt the local economy. The day after the boycott started, the Montgomery Advertiser ran a story featuring the manager of the bus lines saying that bus drivers were being shot at and rocks were being thrown at them.
During the rest of the civil rights movement, protesters who were fire-hosed and otherwise brutalized were called “violent protesters” in the mainstream media, which again featured interviews with people saying that the protests were wrongheaded.
During the Anti-Vietnam War movement, the mainstream media portrayed protesters as out of touch, violent, and dirty. There was a picture in the San Francisco Chronicle of a guy who was throwing back a tear gas canister that had been shot at the peaceful crowd. This was shown as proof of protesters being wild, out of touch, and violent. The Black Panther Party had free breakfast programs and was beloved worldwide — but every mainstream media outlet that covered it, covered it negatively.
There has never been any strike, work stoppage, or union action that was supported by the mainstream media at the time that it was happening.
The mainstream press didn’t support the Anti-Apartheid movement and doesn’t support the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement for Palestine.
The mainstream press is always on the wrong side of history because it’s always on the side of the status quo, which is capitalist exploitation and oppression.
* And just because it’s New Year’s Even: The 40 Best Memes of 2011.
* Nemesis watch: Professor claims NYU fired him after he gave James Franco a ‘D.’
José Angel Santana said he slapped the “127 Hours’’ star with the bad grade because he missed 12 of his 14 “Directing the Actor II” classes while pursuing a master’s in fine arts.
Santana said he then suffered all kinds of drama — first from Franco, who publicly ridiculed him, then from his department, which axed him over the “D.”
“The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” Santana, 58, told The Post. “The university has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.”
It’s almost enough to make you doubt a person can be a successful professional actor while simultaneously attending four separate graduate programs and succeeding at all of them.
* Via Facebook: College bowl system loots universities. Today’s case study: the University of Minnesota.
The bloodbath began the moment the contract was signed. Minnesota was obligated to write a check for 10,000 tickets, which were supposed to be resold to fans. Never mind that even the best of teams struggle to unload such sums. For middling squads like the Gophers, it was nothing more than a way for the men in funny yellow blazers who ran the Insight to grab piles of money from a public university.
Minnesota managed to sell just 901 seats. After kicking another 900 to the band, administrators, and cherished hangers-on, the school was forced to eat $476,000 worth of useless tickets.
The contract also required the team to show up a week early, if only to burn as much school money as possible at the restaurants and retailers of greater Phoenix.
One would think school administrators would protest such gall. But one would be wrong. They were quick to see the advantages of a luxury vacation on the school’s dime. So they happily signed off.
The school’s traveling party was larded up with 722 people, including players, band members, and faculty. Airfare alone ran $542,000. Toss in hotels and meals, and the school had blown $1.3 million before the opening kickoff.
The ballsiest part of all: None of it was necessary. Minnesota and Iowa State sit less than 200 miles apart. Their teams were providing the game. Their bands supplied the halftime entertainment. In fact, the Insight offered nothing—save for warm weather—that the schools couldn’t have done better themselves.
Had the game been played in Minneapolis, the teams could have sold more tickets and put on a profitable game, since Big 10 matches typically generate $1 to $2 million—not knee-bending losses.
* Kim Jong-Un Privately Doubting He’s Crazy Enough To Run North Korea. At America’s Finest News Source.
* And Akim Reinhardt asks: How will we know what Occupy meant once it’s over?
* The Occupy Oakland general strike seems to have been really pretty amazingly successful. The view from Twitter. Another. And here’s Matt’s picture again, having gone viral through me by way of @zunguzungu and @rortybomb. Half those pageviews are rightfully mine, Matt!
* Arguments not taken seriously that should be: A federal court is being asked to grant constitutional rights to five killer whales who perform at marine parks — an unprecedented and perhaps quixotic legal action that is nonetheless likely to stoke an ongoing, intense debate at America’s law schools over expansion of animal rights.
* When advertising works too well: the strange case of Axe Body Spray.
* Women hold slightly more than half (52.3 percent) of creative class jobs and their average level of education is almost the same as men. But the pay they receive is anything but equal. Creative class men earn an average of $82,009 versus $48,077 for creative class women. This $33,932 gap is a staggering 70 percent of the average female creative class salary. Even when we control for hours worked and education in a regression analysis, creative class men out-earn creative class women by a sizable $23,700, or 49.2 percent.
* In a victory for the 99 Percent last night, the voters in Boulder, Colorado voted by a three-to-one margin to support Question 2H, which calls for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.
* Jon Corzine’s new firm likely to soon be charged with fraud. My father reminded me today that one universe over Jon Corzine never got in a horrific car accident as a result of his state police driver texting on the highway—which means he’s still the governor of New Jersey, which means he’s cruising towards a run for the presidency in 2016. In this universe he’s probably going to go to jail. It’s hard to think of another public figure whose life has hinged so completely on such a fluke event.
* The worst part of the catastrophic implosion of the Hermain Cain candidacy is that he was the only one with a chance of stopping China from getting the bomb. None of the other candidates are even talking about this issue.
* And J.K. reveals she wanted to kill off Hagrid, too. You fiend!
* At right: Hurricane Irene.
* The headline reads, “Nuclear plants in Hurricane Irene’s path.” North Carolina makes the list with Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant near Wilmington.
* Taking his anti-government ideology to its logical extreme, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) told NBC News’ Jo Ling Kent today that there should be no national response to Hurricane Irene, and that government responses should revert back to how they were over 100 years ago.
* Could Louie be the best show on TV? No joke: Last night’s Afghanistan episode really was amazing.
* The difference between strategy and tactics: The Democrats’ sad, stupid, doomed campaign to keep the payroll tax cut.
“It’s completely hapless negotiating!” says Nancy Altman, the co-director of the defend-the-New-Deal-at-all-costs group Social Security Works. “You’re taking something the other side wants and then begging them to take it. I’d expect that Republicans would eventually take it, but in exchange for some other concession. What a perfect position to be in, when you’re begging me and offering me more if only I’ll vote for something I want already.”
* And somebody send these polls results to the White House. Fast.
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:
* Some genuinely breaking news: Wisconsin’s anti-union bill was just struck down for violating the state’s open meetings law.
* …the curious thing about this report is that it dances around policy questions, but doesn’t ask a single one directly, or name a single policy that has shaped the higher education landscape. “The public” is asked to confine its thoughts to individual success; “college presidents” are asked to ruminate on the mission of college. But the two are never articulated as part of the same system, or as having a mutual set of interests that are social and organically intertwined. And this, I would argue, is because neoliberal government policies, and right-wing political demagoguery, have sold the ideology of “low taxes” and “small government” so successfully that the moral commitment of the state to nurture an educated citizenry has entirely evaporated from the equation.
* Steve Benen notes that Jon Huntsman is so liberal he could probably be a credible candidate in the Democratic primary in 2016. As I noted on Twitter the sad thing is that’s really as strong an argument against Democrats as it is for Huntsman.
* And just a little bit of awesome: your optical illusions of the year.
Ron Paul says Amtrak is fascist. It doesn’t even run on time!
Sunday morning politics linkdump. Sorry for all these linkdumps, by the way—it was a busy week. Next week should see a return to a little bit more sustained commentary (including the exciting return of debate liveblogging!).
* There have been some interesting debates about poll biases lately. Ron Fournier (grumble) at the AP covers a study that argues Obama would be further ahead were it not for racial animus, by as many as six points. FiveThirtyEight throws cold water on this, as well as looking closely at the possibility of a “cellphone effect” in the polls. If Obama does 2.8% better in polls that include cellphones, that suggests a shifting map like the one below, turning Virginia light-blue and strengthening small Dem leads in Ohio and Colorado.
* A study from political scientist Alan Abramowitz argues that Obama will win, when all is said and done, with 54% of the popular vote. That he’s naively comparing historical models with this year’s unprecedentedly diverse tickets in both camps shows how seriously we should take this analysis.
* There’s evidence of a “Palin effect” in Florida driving undecided voters to Obama.
In addition, more early-voting centers are being located at colleges and universities, a change that significantly affects student turnout. Students at the University of North Carolina and N.C. State were able to vote on campus throughout the two weeks leading up to North Carolina’s primary contest in April. At Duke University, however, students had to make their way to voting sites in the city of Durham. While turnout for Durham County was 52% in the Democratic primary, only 11% of eligible Duke students voted. This fall, however, Duke will have its own early-voting center, open for business starting Oct. 16.
* The McCain camp has successfully demanded the VP debate rules be changed to protect Sarah Palin.
* SNL mocked McCain this week. He also preemptively mocked himself with an article in Contingencies arguing (for reals) that “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.” Straight out of the Dept. of Bad Timing. Obama’s already taken aim at this.
* Will Obama raise my taxes? A helpful widget.
* And American Stranger has a long post on ideology that seems to take as one starting point my post on Slavoj Žižek, Obama Supporter. Essentially Ryan takes aim at the various binds the Left finds itself in with regard to political action, and I largely agree with what he says—though I certainly hope I wasn’t in mind as his example of sell-out “liberal ‘pragmatism’ a la The New Republic.” My point, both in the earlier post and now in this one, is simply that the U.S. President has a tremendous ability to make life better or worse for real people with real lives, all over the world, many of whom (believe it or not!) do not have cushy long-term contracts with elite universities. Naderite “Oh, they’re all the same!” negativity only makes sense to people who are inoculated by class and privilege from the consequences of that power.
The mere recognition that the perfect not be the enemy of the good doesn’t quite throw my lot in with TNR, I don’t think, and certainly not so long as we also keep in mind that the good not be the enemy of the better. Our discomfort with pragmatic compromises—and we should be discomforted by them, every time and in every case—isn’t by itself a reason not to be pragmatic.
* The most recent McCain “ad”—I doubt it’s actually airing anywhere but on cable news—is truly stunningly dishonest. It could not, in fact, be more dishonest: it concerns a bill Obama neither wrote nor sponsored, that never passed, that didn’t do what the ad claims. It’s just amazing. John Neffinger is right: Obama should hit back on this, hard, fast, and viscerally. Don’t explain, attack.
* This Kos diary runs through the different swing-state permutations to figure out what Obama and McCain each need to win.
* Everyone is talking about this “emotional child abuse” line from the judge in Palin’s sister’s divorce, but the fact is Troopergate is a massively losing issue for the left. Taser a kid, you don’t get to be a cop anymore. You can’t put lipstick on that pig.
There are better things for us to talk about—ideally things that don’t involve Sarah Palin whatsoever.
* And Ron Paul will make a speech today in Washington, D.C., urging his followers to support third-party candidates. I wholeheartedly endorse that message: Ron Paul supporters should absolutely vote for third-party candidates, starting with Paul himself in Montana.