Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Breitbart

Radicals

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A TPM reader responds to the latest nonsense.

Professor Bell was a HERO who dedicated his life to desegregating the United States. From his job as the only black lawyer in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in the 1950’s, to his work alongside Thurgood Marshall bringing hundreds of desegregation actions in Mississippi, right up to his leaving Harvard, Professor Bell lived what he preached. That his life’s work was radical or provocative says more about how far we have left to go. If its radical to be appalled that Harvard Law School had no women law professors and only five black male law professors among hundreds of professors, then the world could use a lot more radicals.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2012 at 11:48 am

I Give Up

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So this is the dumbest fake scandal yet, right?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Alas, Weiner

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Not looking good. I’m revising down my odds that this is a traditional smearjob and revising up my odds that he’ll resign / not run for mayor / get redistricted out of existence / be really embarrassed / etc. Even if the original Tweeted picture wasn’t actually his—and who knows there—this is not at all good for him. And I like Weiner, at least most of the time, so I find this a real shame. He would have been a good mayor for New York.

Of course the real loser here is poor Jon Stewart, who just can’t catch a break with this thing.

UPDATE: I mean really.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Wednesday Wednesday

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* A brief history of profanity in the New Yorker.

* Sasha Volokh (last seen arguing that sacred libertarian principles demand that we allow asteroids to destroy civilization) has a new entry in his ongoing project to discredit libertarianism: prison vouchers.

In this Article, I invite the reader to indulge in a thought experiment. What would the world look like if, instead of assigning prisoners to particular prisons bureaucratically, we gave them vouchers, good for one incarceration, that they were required to redeem at a participating prison?

You know what? Let me stop you right there.

* Rand Paul is also pioneering new frontiers for liberty.

* Via MetaFilter, the Egyptian military is defending “virginity tests” performed on arrested protestors from Tahrir Square.

“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said.

Let me stop you right there.

* Prominent Republican governors are throwing in the towel on scorched-earth opposition to health care reform. Here’s why:

For those who oppose the PPACA, or believe it to be unconstitutional, doing anything to support the law can be problematic. However, refusing to prepare the exchanges is a real risk. It’s unlikely the law will be repealed soon. Should it not be found unconstitutional and thrown out entirely, the exchanges will still stand. The PPACA clearly says that if a state doesn’t have an exchange, then the federal government will create and run one for it. It’s going to take some time to set one up, and if 2014 rolls around and states don’t have an exchange ready, then it will be the feds, not locals, who will dictate terms.

* The House GOP hopes you don’t like eating food.

* Salon takes a trip to the race war raging inside Matt Drudge’s head.

* The fools in the national press corps are still talking about Anthony Weiner’s weiner. The story would be completely irrelevant even if it weren’t almost certainly a lie.

* And even right-wing nutjob Donald Trump… oh, forget it.

Nothing Ever Happens on Memorial Day

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Tuesday Night Links

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* Closing Pandora’s Box: Obama should use Osama Bin Laden’s death to declare victory and end the legal war on terror.

* The right is already embracing deatherism.

* The snap polls are mixed in the immediate aftermath of bin Laden’s killing, but Steve Benen and Josh Marshall seem right (and Ezra Klein needlessly paranoid). Here’s Josh:

The Republican critique of the president has been that he’s a hesitant and vacillating figure, one who fundamentally misunderstands the nature of power politics and the threats the country faces. In the days just before bin Laden’s death, commentators on the right were having fun with a line from one of Obama’s advisors that on Libya Obama was “leading from behind.” Indeed, that looked to be the one-liner the Republicans planned to use to capture or bumper-stickerize their broader critique of the president’s foreign policy.

But that critique, regardless of its merits, simply doesn’t fit with what we know about how this operation unfolded. Whatever gilding of the lily may have happened on the margins, we know with some confidence that the president was presented with three choices: bomb the compound from the air, send in a commando team or wait for more evidence that bin Laden was there.

His advisors were split, with some supporting each option. But Obama himself opted for the most aggressive and riskiest option. And it worked. That simply doesn’t sound like the caricature Republicans have been trying to paint. It simply doesn’t. And presidents, inevitably, are judged both by results and results that are intuitively graspable and simple to understand. Here both measures apply.

* Meanwhile, William J. Dobson declares final escape from the Carter gravity well.

* If all that’s not full-throatedly partisan enough for you, have this:

President Obama revealed the entire Bush team to be the incompetents and dolts we always knew they were, and in doing so single-handedly destroyed the myth that Democrats are soft on national security. What will Republicans do with that?

Already, the Republican Party, with miserable choad Andrew Breitbart in the lead, is showing signs that it doesn’t believe Bin Laden is dead. These “deathers”—most of whom were probably birthers just over a week ago—are symptoms of a deep-seated rot in the Republican Party. They are people committed to gut feelings and scare tactics over facts. The real reason George W. Bush was so uninterested in catching Osama bin Laden was because the Qaeda leader was a useful concept for conservatives, a fright mask to slip on when the American people needed to be put back in their place. Dick Cheney wore the Bin Laden mask at every opportunity, hinting at secret disasters that were always right around the corner if Democrats ever took a leading role in government again. Bush would tell spooky Bin Laden stories to get what he wanted from the American people. So now Republicans are trying to dig Bin Laden out of the grave and wheel his corpse around, Weekend at Bernie’s–style. It’s the only trick they have left.

* Canadian election news: the conservatives win a majority, but an apparent structural shift to the NDP seems promising in the long-term. How a couple of college kids got elected to Parliament. More from TPM.

* And in education news: Kevin Drum reports on the education reform backlash, with a bit more in the New York Times from David Eggers and Ninive Clements Calegari.

Adjunct Nation and Academic Freedom

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zunguzungu: The difference between this story and Cronon’s is obvious: Cronon is important, and has the clout to make himself heard, so his career is safe. Don Giljum, on the other hand, does not have “academic freedom” because he does not have job security.

Bring the Hammer Down

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Shirley Sherrod will sue Andrew Breitbart. Good! I hope she has a good lawyer, working for cheap, whose plans for discovery are ambitious.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 29, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Stonehenge! Where the Demons Dwell!

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* Rachel Maddow on fifty years of race-baiting from the right. See also Tim Wise:

The pattern is familiar. In every generation whites have hyped fears of black anger, black bigotry and the supposed desire of African Americans to exact revenge on whites. From fears about slave rebellions, to claims that integration would lead black children to knife white children in the hallways and rape white girls, to paranoia about Obama’s secret plan for “white slavery,” the cult of white victimhood has long had its charter members. Sadly, nowadays the cult has the attention of the media and a white public already anxious about changing demographics, the presence of a black president and economic insecurity. Unless the targets of their race-baiting (including the President) show the courage to push back and expose them for the venal fear-pimps they are, their methods will only get more extreme, their lies more bold, and their ability to inflict lasting damage on the nation more definitive.

* Shirley Sherrod says she might sue Andrew Breitbart, who is still lying about the entire mess. I don’t know if she has a case, but I hope she does and I hope she wins.

* Debunking the moon landing debunkers the Darryl Cunningham way.

* Lost Kafka writings have resurfaced, but the legal bureaucracy (legendarily immune to irony) is preventing their publication. There really ought to be some word for things like this.

* Sorry, local independent bookshops: Amazon has a new Amazon Student program that includes a free Amazon Prime membership for a full year.

* A “Woodhenge” has been discovered in Ohio. A wooden monument has also been uncovered near the real Stonehenge, which we visited just today. It’s clear that the aliens who ruled over prehistoric Earth loved wood. But why? Why?

* The headline reads, “Stone age dildo unearthed in Sweden.”

* Could the public option return?

* According to NASA, 2010 is on course to be the planet’s hottest year since records started in 1880. The current top 10, in descending order, are: 2005, 2007, 2009, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2004, 2001 and 2008. Climategate! Al Gore! It snowed one time in Washington, D.C.!

* And UNC has pledged to end all coal use by 2020. Sounds like a good start.

Lies and Lying Liars

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Shirley Sherrod, who never should have been fired in the first place, has now been offered a new job at the Department of Agriculture, working on civil rights. Gibbs has also apologized on behalf of the White House.

There’s been a lot of interesting commentary today on the Sherrod moment and what it says about right-wing domination of mass media, as well as about conservative media more generally. Kevin Drum and Steve Benen are begging “grown-up Republicans” to finally speak out against the race-baiting, though frankly I wouldn’t hold my breath. Sherrod too has gone after Fox directly for its racist slant on the news. Of course there’s plenty to be said about Andrew Breitbart and his striking refusal to even pretend to apologize. But the most important questions it seems to me have to do with the rot at the core of “conservative journalism” so-called. As Yglesias puts it:

At some point conservatives need to ask themselves about the larger meaning of this kind of conduct—and Andrew Breitbart’s—for their movement. Beyond the ethics of lying and smear one’s opponents, I would think conservatives would worry about the fact that a large portion of conservative media is dedicated to lying to conservatives. They regard their audience as marks to be misled and exploited, not as customers to be served with useful information.

It’s been this way for a long time. Most of the political conservatives I know don’t seem to be aware of this, and those that are just don’t seem to care. The fact is some of these people we can’t win back; we have to accept they’ll always hate us, and just dedicate ourselves to winning enough of the rest that we stay in power and they stay out.

Belatedly Closing Some Tabs

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* When Breitbart says “Jump!”, the Obama administration asks how high. Humiliating. They should reinstate Shirley Sherrod tomorrow and call Breitbart and Fox out by name. More links and discussion at MetaFilter.

* Surprising: The generic Congressional ballot again favors the Democrats. Steve Benen says caveat emptor. Could this have something to do with their bizarre new “rehabilitate Bush” strategy?

* How Roger Ebert destroyed film criticism.

* How the universe might handle time travel paradoxes.

* Climate change whip count. Doesn’t look good.

* Sarah Palin has a 76% favorability rating among Republicans. If the economy hasn’t significantly recovered by 2012 she could really be president, folks.

* Constance McMillen has received $35,000 from her Mississippi school district. I thought the damages might be higher.

* Arizona, desperate for me to like it again, has disabled all its speed cameras.

* Friends don’t let friends commit confirmation treason.

* Rumors of the next Superman film.

* The Catholic Church’s official impotence index.

* And Glenn Beck says he’s going blind. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.