Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘ACORN

Friday Night

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* You will have to forgive a bit of political incorrectness, but I think it important. #### happens to be a beauty and enhances her fine looks with a careful attention to her grooming and clothes. What not to say in a letter of reference.

* Giving women in academia genuine equal opportunities.

How Washington Could Make College Tuition Free (Without Spending a Penny More on Education).

The Right Not to Work: Power and Disability.

We reexamine prospects for constituency control in American politics with original data describing nearly 2,000 state legislative candidates’ perceptions of mass opinion in their districts and recent advances in public opinion estimation that allow us to determine actual district level opinion with precision. Actual district opinion explains only a modest share of the variation in politicians’ perceptions of their districts’ views. Moreover, there is a striking conservative bias in politicians’ perceptions, particularly among conservatives: conservative politicians systematically believe their constituents are more conservative than they actually are by over 20 percentage points, while liberal politicians also typically overestimate their constituents’ conservatism by several percentage points. A follow-up survey demonstrates that politicians appear to learn nothing from democratic campaigns or elections that leads them to correct these shortcomings. Electoral selection has a limited impact on whether the chosen representative is congruent with the majority of her constituents. These findings suggest a substantial conservative bias in American political representation and bleak prospects for constituency control of politicians when voters’ collective preferences are less than unambiguous. Via @chrislhayes.

* How many people do you know who have been shot?

* Why ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Is A Major Step Back For Witches and Women. The Sad, Century-Long History of Terrible ‘Wizard of Oz’ Movies.

* If you want to know why we need to educate men not to be sexually aggressive, look no further than what happened when Zerlina Maxwell went on television to say that we need to educate men how not to be sexually aggressive.

Everything we write will be used against us. Every claim on or lament against society that we write will be received in the same way as accounts of rape — as lies. We don’t care anymore.

* At TNI: Here comes 56 Up.

* At n+1Sadomodernism (The Work of Michael Haneke).

* The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble.

Conservative Media Star James O’Keefe Pays $100,000 Settlement For ACORN Pimp Sting. ACORN reinstated and refunded, no harm done, right?

How Did Gallup Blow the Election?

* And today in symbolism: John Brennan Sworn in as CIA Director Using Constitution Lacking Bill of Rights.

Wednesday Morning Links

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* “Professor Furedi, how do you get around learning outcomes?” a young lecturer asks me in a breakout session. I have just spent 10 minutes explaining the corrosive influence of learning outcomes on education to my audience at the recent Think Festival in The Hague. Nevertheless, I am caught off guard by my blunt questioner. That is probably why my reply is a bit more candid than I had intended it to be. “I just make them up and ignore them,” I say.

The good folks on the most-excellent BBC Radio/Open University statistical literacy programme More or Less decided to answer a year-old Reddit argument about how many Lego bricks can be vertically stacked before the bottom one collapses.

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Chris Hayes: ‘The Time For Choosing Sides On Climate Change Is Now.’ To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios.

* American Kafka: A former death row inmate with intellectual disabilities has languished in the Texas prison system for over 30 years despite having no valid criminal conviction.

The Sublime Sci-Fi Buildings That Communism Built.

* Teaser trailer for Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color.

* Dan Harmon vs. television.

49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.

* And Bill O’Reilly explains how Christianity is not a religion. The War on Christmas is confusing, y’all.

Too Many Linkdumps Lately – 2

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Saturday, Is It?

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* Wearing a revealing prom dress? That’s a paddlin’.

* Do corporations have an obligation to increase shareholder value over all other considerations? Turns out the answer is “not really”—and corporate personhood is actually on the side of angels here:

Oddly, no previous management research has looked at what the legal literature says about the topic, so we conducted a systematic analysis of a century’s worth of legal theory and precedent. It turns out that the law provides a surprisingly clear answer: Shareholders do not own the corporation, which is an autonomous legal person…

More at MeFi.

* California Attorney General Jerry Brown has seen the unedited tapes of the James O’Keefe hoax that brought down ACORN and has determined they were dishonestly edited.

* Phil Jones and the Climate Research Unit have been cleared (again) in the Climategate stolen email “scandal.”

* Slate has the four craziest lies about health care reform.

* Didn’t Joss say Dollhouse was over and that the story wouldn’t continue in any form? Now there’s talk of comics.

* Questions with too many answers: “Why America hates Duke basketball.”

* I Can Hold My Breath Forever.

Politics Thursday

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* I’m shocked, shocked to find Mitt Romney caught being disingenuous about health care reform. Jonathan Chait has more lying liars on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, while Scott Lemieux explains another reason why even a radically activist Roberts court would be reluctant to declare the mandate unconstitutional:

But let’s say that Bush v. Gore vindicates the strongest form of legal realism and that we will soon see that Supreme Court justices are purely political actors. Would striking down the individual mandate ultimately advance conservative policy goals? Almost certainly not. On the one hand, it would be easy for Congress to get around the decision by simply structuring the tax differently and constitutionally, restoring the status quo. But what if Congress can’t? In some ways, this would be worse for conservatives — unless Congress was also willing to repeal very popular regulations (which even conservatives concede is a non-starter), the result will be the bankruptcy of insurance companies and a paved road to socialized insurance.

* Rachel Maddow had a pair of very striking pieces on right-wing incitements to violence last night.

* The health care reform reconciliation sidecar goes back to the House for technical reasons. It’s expected to be about a few hours delay. Incidentally, Steve Benen has issued marching orders on what we’re supposed to call the new program: ACA, the Affordable Care Act.

* The latest support for my theory that the GOP can’t hold its perma-No in the wake of Obama’s health care victory comes from Bob Corker (R-TN):

“This is so unlike the health care debate,” said Corker, noting that some of his Republican colleagues have made misjudgments on that point over the last month. “I don’t think people realize that this is an issue that almost every American wants to see passed. There’ll be a lot of pressure on every senator and every House member to pass financial regulation.”

* On the other hand, Republicans are apparently planning another Bunning-style freakout, this time starring Tom Coburn. In other Senate obstructionism news, the Republican objecting to any Senate committee business continuing past 2 PM was North Carolina’s own Richard Burr. Here’s still more on the breakdown of Senate procedure from Donkeylicious.

* How the Times‘ bias killed ACORN.

* And an amazing story from local alt-weekly Independent Weekly: N.C. eugenics survivors seek justice.

At 82 years old, Agnes is not sure she’ll live to see when or if the proposed compensation is paid. She appreciates the efforts being made in North Carolina to reconcile its eugenic past by acknowledging what she and thousands of others in our state went through. “It’s nice to know there are people out there that really care about your rights.”

Elaine, Agnes, Willis and Nial wonder why the American values of equal protection and individual liberty did not apply to them, and there are no simple answers to give them. They were caught within an ideological framework that said it’s acceptable to toss aside ethics and trample over the most basic of human rights if someone is perceived to not meet certain social expectations.

Now in her mid-50s, Elaine Riddick is one of the younger survivors of North Carolina’s eugenic sterilization program. From her apartment on the 32nd floor of an Atlanta skyrise, she has a beautiful view of the entire city. She says she has been able to obtain some measure of peace, which she attributes to her faith in God and finally letting go of the self-blame that she carried for years. Her adult son, Tony Riddick, whom she describes as “brilliant,” still lives in Winfall and owns his own computer electronics company.

Elaine has a loving boyfriend who, she says, takes good care of her and has a positive relationship with her son and siblings. Still, sometimes the cruelties from her past come back to haunt her. “Sometimes I think, what is happiness? Am I really happy? I don’t think I will ever be happy, because of what they took from me.”

Elaine was sterilized without her consent (or even knowledge) after giving birth to a child at age 14. She had been raped.

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.

Thurs. 2

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* The median wealth for single black women aged 36 to 49 is $5. The comparable number for single white women ages 36-49 is $42,600. For single white men 36-49, it’s near $70,000. For married or cohabitating white women (18-64), it’s $167,500…

* What liberal media? Sex scandals only matter when they involve Democrats.

* What liberal media? For some inscrutable reason people are still taking ACORN fraud James O’Keefe seriously.

* A reminder that suburbia doesn’t “just happen.” It’s not the market; it’s deliberate policy. We can change it.

* As every progressive blog has reported today—I’m assuming it was marching orders from Comrade Klein—support for health care reform is going back up.

* And another good sign: Bernie Sanders: I’m Prepared To Introduce Public Option Amendment.