Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘24

Depravity Watch 2010

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Two Iraq veterans who left the military after surviving charges of crimes against detainees are running credible campaigns for Congress. And far from minimizing the incidents, both candidates have put the accusations front and center in their campaigns, attracting rock-star adulation from conservatives nationwide in the process.

The Daily Beast on “Jack Bauer Republicans.”

Written by gerrycanavan

May 16, 2010 at 11:39 am


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* As part of my mandate to see any movie having anything to do with time travel, we saw Hot Tub Time Machine last night. It’s essentially a remake of classic 1980s bromance Back to the Future in the more contemporary bromantic mode; the plot of the film hits nearly all the same beats in the same order, all the way down to “Earth Angel” to the fistfight with Biff to the obligatory happy ending. It’s by no means great cinema, but all right, I laughed.

* Krugman: For today’s G.O.P. is, fully and finally, the party of Ronald Reagan — not Reagan the pragmatic politician, who could and did strike deals with Democrats, but Reagan the antigovernment fanatic, who warned that Medicare would destroy American freedom. It’s a party that sees modest efforts to improve Americans’ economic and health security not merely as unwise, but as monstrous. It’s a party in which paranoid fantasies about the other side — Obama is a socialist, Democrats have totalitarian ambitions — are mainstream. And, as a result, it’s a party that fundamentally doesn’t accept anyone else’s right to govern.

* Can the effort to repeal the individual mandate in the courts even count on Antonin Scalia’s support?

Reporting from Washington – Lawsuits from 14 states challenging the constitutionality of the new national healthcare law face an uphill battle, largely due to a far-reaching Supreme Court ruling in 2005 that upheld federal restrictions on home-grown marijuana in California.

At issue in that case — just like in the upcoming challenges to the healthcare overhaul — was the reach of the federal government’s power.

Conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy joined a 6-3 ruling that said Congress could regulate marijuana that was neither bought nor sold on the market but rather grown at home legally for sick patients.

They said the Constitution gave Congress nearly unlimited power to regulate the marketplace as part of its authority “to regulate commerce.”

Even “noneconomic local activity” can come under federal regulation if it is “a necessary part of a more general regulation of interstate commerce,” Scalia wrote.

But this week, Obama administration lawyers pointed to Scalia’s opinion as supporting the constitutionality of broad federal regulation of health insurance, and most legal experts agreed.

I’m apparently significantly less impressed with Scalia’s intellectual honesty than “most legal experts”; I feel pretty confident he will find a reason to vote however he wants to vote. But take this for what it’s worth.

* Relatedly, Daily Kos has an interesting post today on the backlash against state attorneys general who are using their supposedly independent offices to play partisan games.

* Change we can believe in? ‘Citing “irreversible damage,” EPA nears veto of mountaintop removal permit.’ I’ll be happier once we can finally strike that nears.

* Is Obama finally ready to make some recess appointments?

* No more long nights: 24 has been canceled.

* And nobody puts Baby in a nursing home: Dirty Dancing‘s Jennifer Gray is 50. This makes me feel ancient.

Saturday Afternoon!

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* I was going to offer this post from Matt Yglesias on Weber’s “Politics as Vocation” as a potential intervention in the argument Vu and I have been having over the last few comment threads. But upon reflection I don’t think “compromise vs. compromised” is quite what we disagree about after all; it’s really a much smaller dispute about the efficacy of adopting an aggressive negotiating posture when you’re playing Chicken with sociopathically indifferent ideologues. The bad actors will always win such a fight, because we care about outcomes and they don’t. What we we need to do, therefore, is direct our attention away from mere political affect toward structural reform, wherever possible, of the various political institutions that give these bad actors final say.

* The Wonk Room compares the original health care bill to the (presumably final) manager’s amendment, with more on the new CBO score from Steve, Ezra, and TPM. I have to say this post from mcjoan on making sure doctors don’t take away our precious guns made me smile, as did the follow-up on mandates from the comments. So did Benen’s Botax/Boeh-tax bit.

* Stupak launches another desperate bid to be thrown out of the Democratic caucus.

* More ‘Flopenhagen’ analysis from Mother Jones, MNN, Wonk Room, Kevin Drum, and immanance. One’s level of happiness/sadness and optimism/pessimism on Copenhagen continues to strongly correlate with the extent to which one thought a genuinely successful agreement was ever possible at Copenhagen in the first place.

* ‘In the Shadow of Goldman Sachs’: Trickle-down economics on Wall Street. Via PClem.

* Jack Bauer interrogates Santa Claus. Via Julia.

* Captain Picard to become Sir Captain Picard.

* And very sad news: Influential film theorist Robin Wood has died.

Wednesday Catchup

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Unexpectedly busy day yesterday. Here are some links.

* One of Flashforward‘s creators has apparently been fired, suggesting the show might get better soon. Nerds may also rejoice at the news that Brannon Braga isn’t actually involved with Flashforward at the moment, as he’s off driving 24 further into the ground.

* “Good Ol’ Gregor Brown” and other “Masterpiece Comics.”

* The future of academia? UNC Chapel Hill has made Spanish 101 online-only.

* More bad news for NJ’s Chris Christie in advance of next month’s election: federal prosecutors gave the New York Times specifics on how one of his former assistants, to whom he made a large, undisclosed loan, may have improperly helped his campaign. Lautenberg isn’t an independent observer by any means, but for what it’s worth he’s called for a federal investigation.

* Columbia has suspended its environmental journalism program. Because the environmental crisis is so 2008.

* A new book called Manthropology makes a lot of claims about the “inadequate modern male” that don’t seem right.

Many prehistoric Australian aboriginals could have outrun world 100 and 200 meters record holder Usain Bolt in modern conditions.

Some Tutsi men in Rwanda exceeded the current world high jump record of 2.45 meters during initiation ceremonies in which they had to jump at least their own height to progress to manhood.

Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle.

Also, “manthropology”? Really?

Written by gerrycanavan

October 21, 2009 at 1:40 pm

How Many Times Has The Joker Broken Out of Arkham Asylum?

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It’s becoming more and more apparent that conservatives simply take as fact anything that is broadcast on any Fox Network. First 24, now Prison Break.

Despite all that, we never tire of the specter of the Big, Bad, Villainous, Omnipotent Muslim Terrorist. They’re back, and now they’re going to wreak havoc on the Homeland — devastate our communities — even as they’re imprisoned in super-max prison facilities. How utterly irrational is that fear? For one thing, it’s empirically disproven. Anyone with the most minimal amount of rationality would look at the fact that we have already convicted numerous alleged high-level Al Qaeda Terrorists in our civilian court system (something we’re now being told can’t be done) — including the cast of villains known as the Blind Shiekh a.k.a. Mastermind of the First World Trade Center Attack, the Shoe Bomber, the Dirty Bomber, the American Taliban, the 20th Hijacker, and many more — and are imprisoning them right now in American prisons located in various communities.

We’ve been doing that for two decades. What are all the bad and scary things that have happened as a result? The answer is: “nothing.” Take note, Chris Cillizza and friends: while it’s true that ”not a single prisoner has escaped from Gitmo since it was created,” it’s also true that no Muslim Terrorists have escaped from American prisons and our SuperMax prisonhas had no escapes or serious attempts to escape.” Actually, the only person to even make an escape attempt from a SuperMax is Green Arrow, who hasn’t succeeded despite the help of Joker and Lex Luthor.

Seriously, that Green Arrow movie sounds pretty good. But how’s he going to get hold of a bow while he’s in prison, much less his trick arrows?

Meanwhile, Attackerman checks in from the Marvel Universe, where the picture is much more bleak.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm

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On Link Dumps

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I know I said I was going to cut back on link dumps, but in my defense I have been busy. I’m likely remain fairly busy (and therefore link dumping) until I get back from the inauguration, at which time I’ll be able to devote more time and energy to blogging. In theory, anyway.

Anyway, the link dump.

* Bastard Tetris: the version of Tetris that does openly what all the others just do secretly. (Thanks Jacob!)

* Things to say during sex.

* Another call for a Bush administration truth and reconciliation commission. Via Yglesias, who has more on the subject, as does Steve Benen.

* Big ups to Will Wheaton, who Twittered yesterday: Best thing I’ve heard all day: “We’re in the final 100 hours of the Bush administration.”

* Douglas Wolk has Watchmen for dummies.

* The stimulus package needs more trains. More from Yglesias.

* What’s in the stimulus for higher education? I could use a second yacht.

* Republicans continue to have trouble with the fact that 24 is not based on a true story.

* Name your child “Adolf Hitler” and you’re labeled a prat, and that’s the game.

* How many AAAAAs in KHAAAAAAAN? In honor of the late great Ricardo Montelban, Boing Boing reports. Via Bill.

* Is the world a giant hologram?

* And they’re going to make a movie out of Jericho. (Failed-)TV-show-to-movie is officially the latest trend—things used to run the other way.

Veepstakes Wednesday, Plus Haysbert

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My personal theory to explain Wesley Clark’s spectacular flameout from veepstakes contention this weekend is that Clark (a) knew he was an if not the obvious candidate for Obama’s VP and (b) he nonetheless suspected, knew, or had been told outright that he wasn’t going to get the slot—so in order to protect the Wesley Clark Brand he chose to quite publicly remove himself from consideration in such a way as to endear himself to the Democratic base in the process.

Just my theory.

But regardless of how it happened, Clark is almost certainly out, which I think ups the odds for some version of my prediction of a Virginia Strategem considerably (especially the Jim Webb version). Stepping in as a proxy for Clark in the Foreign Policy Ploy is apparently Joe Biden, who Walter Shapiro at Salon hypes today.

Personally I think a bolder choice is called for, but Shapiro could be right. If nothing else it will give right-wing trolls an excuse to call Obama “clean and articulate” in every comment thread on the Internet for the next eight years.

Elsewhere in Obamaland, the nation’s third black president, 24’s Dennis Haysbert, is taking credit for the Obama phenomenon, as well as for any other non-white-Christian-male presidents who may come along later. Is Morgan Freeman really going to stand for this?

Written by gerrycanavan

July 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm