Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Monday Links

with 4 comments

* The Top 5 Facts You Should Know About The Wealthiest One Percent Of Americans.

* One of the four Italian autonomists behind the “David Graeber” persona just gave an interview to Ezra Klein explaining Occupy Wall Street.

EK: This movement is organized rather differently than most protest movements. There isn’t really a list of demands, or goals, or even much of an identifiable leadership. But if I understand you correctly, that’s sort of the point.

DG: It’s very similar to the globalization movement. You see the same criticisms in the press. It’s a bunch of kids who don’t know economics and only know what they’re against. But there’s a reason for that. it’s pre-figurative, so to speak. You’re creating a vision of the sort of society you want to have in miniature. And it’s a way of juxtaposing yourself against these powerful, undemocratic forces you’re protesting. If you make demands, you’re saying, in a way, that you’re asking the people in power and the existing institutions to do something different. And one reason people have been hesitant to do that is they see these institutions as the problem.

* Proud neoliberal, proud former Romney voter Matt Yglesias argues Obama could have made better use of the left as his stooges during the heady days of 2009-2010.

The giant puppet people protests against “globalization” in the late-1990s were, I think, always helpful to Bill Clinton.* They gave him the positioning he wanted — as a center-left mildly progressive neoliberal technocrat trying to take practical steps toward prosperity.

“Home run.”

* Talking Points Memo decides to dump its oppo research against Chris Christie a few days early.

* Cheat to win: Restrictive voting laws in states across the country could affect up to five million voters from traditionally Democratic demographics in 2012, according to a new report by the Brennan Center. That’s a number larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.

* Adam Liptak has your Supreme Court preview. What long-standing institutions of democracy and good government will five randomly selected fanatics destroy this year? Tomorrow’s news today!

* I really can’t tell whether this “No More Plan B” response to the academic job crisis is “bargaining” or “acceptance.”

* And in D.C. Comics news: The fact of the matter is that almost nothing in DC makes sense anymore, because this whole idea was so incredibly poorly thought-through. And that’s not even touching the rampant, ubiquitous misogyny.

Female characters are only insatiable, barely-dressed aliens and strippers because someone decided to make them that way. It isn’t a fact. It isn’t an inviolable reality, especially in a comic book universe that has just been rebooted. In the end, what matters is what you choose to show people and how you show them, not the reasons you make up to justify it. Because this is comics, everybody. You can make up anything.

4 Responses

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  1. Wait a second. Yglesias certainly has a conniving, realpolitik tone of voice, but his underlying argument is sound, and it’s one you and I have been making since 2009. When Obama took office he kneecapped the independent left but left the right standing, leaving room for the Tea Party but not the 99%ers — which have only now emerged after 2+ years of continuing oppression — and allowing the country to tip rightward even with a nominal leftist at its head. He preempted the FDR “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.” strategy which any effective president must use to get his base’s policies in place. Yglesias is just pointing out that he slammed shut the Overton Window — albeit with an infuriatingly smug globalist anecdote.

    Alex Chaffee

    October 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    • Ooh! Even better:

      Obama slammed shut the Overton Window, and now Occupy Wall Street is throwing a brick through it.

      (hee hee)

      Alex Chaffee

      October 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    • Well, I hope I’m not being unfair to Yglesias, but I didn’t understand him to be wishing for any alternative policy to have been enacted since 2009 — he just wishes the left were more visible so Obama would look more centrist. It’s just optics.

      gerrycanavan

      October 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      • You’d have to ask him yourself, but I think he doesn’t *just* wish that… he also thinks it would give Obama more power to enact actual leftish (though probably not leftist) policies.

        Alex Chaffee

        October 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm


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