Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘bipartisanship is bunk

All the Tuesday Night Links, and It’s Really Tuesday This Time, or Maybe Wednesday, Who Can Say

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* I put up a MetaFilter post on the Daniel Tosh rape threat incident that got so much attention today, which is a relatively decent read as Internet comment threads go despite expectedly high rates of rape apologism and mansplaining. Two more good pieces on the subject: zunguzungu’s (…) and Student Activism’s “Goddamn it, Louis.” Here’s Aaron:

The phrase “rape culture” describes the way people don’t get too upset at the thought of a woman being raped. They might even laugh at it. It might seem funny, such a funny word. But nothing about this is just a joke. It’s about devaluing the sanctity of certain people’s security in their person, about refusing to feel bad about it, about taking a pride in it, even. Saying “wouldn’t it be funny if a violent act happened to this person” is almost the definition of how that works. If a terrible thing happened to a person, you say, I would not grieve. I would laugh. Their pain is not worth my empathy, or yours. Their pain makes me stronger, bigger, more important. Their pain is worth nothing.

* The important questions: Could the SHIELD helicarrier actually fly? Could Batman really fly? What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light? The last one (the first post of Randall Monroe’s new What If? blog) is absolutely not to be missed.

* Call it Kotsko’s Law: Any political ideology putting itself forward as a brave new path beyond the stale opposition of left and right is always going to be either boring old liberalism or else a new variant on fascism.

* Teasing Wes Anderson’s next.

* Tomorrow’s headlines today: here’s the next set of challenges to Obamacare, and it’s even more weaselly and ridiculous than the last round.

* digby:  I think we may actually be coming to the point of debating whether or not to repeal the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act. And it will fail, of course. At first. The country isn’t there yet. But it will represent one more step in the disintigration of America’s moral fabric (which wasn’t that strong to begin with.) Like torture, it’s in the political ether now, no longer completely taboo. This is how this sort of thing is mainstreamed.

* You can’t believe they didn’t have it already: Obama Offers Health Insurance To Seasonal Firefighters.

Mitt Romney says he wants Sesame Street to start running advertisements.

Suppression vs. Turnout, the 2012 War. Relatedly: Ed Kilgore catches us up on Post-2008 Demographic Changes.

Yelping with Cormac McCarthy.

* U.S. Sees Hottest 12 Months And Hottest Half Year On Record: NOAA Calls Record Heat A One-In-1.6-Million Event. Really astounding coincidence! But you know you can’t predict the weather.

* Confirmed: fracking can pollute.

* It’s the 21st century – why are we working so much? The Politics of Getting a Life. Both via MetaFilter.

* And the worst idea ever put forth by anyone, ever: Let’s Draft Our Kids. Thank you for your submissions. The contest is now closed.

Let’s Make a Deal, It Doesn’t Matter What

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Links

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* Teju Cole has expanded his White Savior Industrial Complex tweets into a full piece at the Atlantic.

* Erik Loomis vs. the MLA. Also on the Erik Loomis tip: Notes from a Changing Climate.

* Procedural reasons SCOTUS may punt on health care. Personally I’d be very surprised if we don’t get a definitive ruling this summer.

* “Which dystopian novel is it where thousands of surveillance robots constantly monitor us from the stratosphere?” Send in the Drones.

* Pop! Goes the Law School Bubble.

* Wired profiles James Erwin, whose Reddit comments landed him in Hollywood.

* A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)

* Illinois has run out (!) of financial aid.

* Is the Portal to Hell Opening Up Under Wisconsin Right This Very Minute? Single-serving website in 3… 2… 1…

No One Could Have Predicted

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‘Ordinary People Hate Partisanship, and Elites Hate Ideology; Hence the Elite Is Constantly Attempting to Misrepresent the Latter as the Former’

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The other day I was listening to an NPR call-in show about Occupy Wall Street, and I heard the kind of infuriating caller you often get on these programs, who lamented extremism and polarization and said that we need to work together with Wall Street to solve our problems, blah blah blah. But positions like that are only tenable in the wake of the elite campaign to efface all conflicts of interest or ideology, and replace them with the illusion that there is some technocratic compromise that would equally benefit the 99% and the 1%. Barack Obama’s latest move on behalf of that campaign is his bizarre argument that the democratic socialist Martin Luther King “would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there”. But this is no time to shrink from a bit of demonization. The best thing leftists can do to combat this sort of nonsense, then, is to help draw out and clarify the implicit class ideology of the protestors, rather than condemn them for not drawing political demarcations in the way we would prefer; as the young Marx put it, “We do not say to the world: Cease your struggles, they are foolish; we will give you the true slogan of struggle. We merely show the world what it is really fighting for, and consciousness is something that it has to acquire, even if it does not want to.”

As if to respond to Alex’s concerns about the Matt Taibbi piece linked yesterday, Peter Frase argues we must reassert the difference between partisanship and ideology.

Monday Morning Links

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* The line on Obama’s jobs plan from establishment bloggers is that Obama’s new mode is “no compromise.” We’ll see. At the very least we could get another wonderful debt ceiling clash out of all this, allowing my beloved debt ceiling alignment chart another chance to go truly viral.

* Two David Graeber interviews at Louisville’s Radical Lending Library and Democracy Now! (at ~23 minutes).

* The questions we don’t ask: Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields. Thanks for the link, Fiona…

* And the questions we do: A class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday against a prominent Baltimore medical institute, accusing it of knowingly exposing black children as young as a year old to lead poisoning in the 1990s as part of a study exploring the hazards of lead paint. (via)

* And Netflix utterly determined to destroy itself. Unbelievable.

Quote of the Day

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“Obama is on the ropes; why do we appear ready to hand him a win?” said one senior House Republican aide who requested anonymity to discuss the matter freely. “I just don’t want to co-own the economy by having to tout that we passed a jobs bill that won’t work or at least won’t do enough.”

Putting aside the spectacle of top Republicans once again admitting (in private) that they’re deliberately sabotaging the economy just to hurt Obama, there’s an even bigger issue at stake here. One of the things Matt Yglesias has had right for a long time is the growing institutional crisis in Congress, which increasingly has the lockstep partisan logic of a parliamentary system coupled with the procedures and myriad veto points of a presidential system. The worst-of-both-worlds result is a situation in which the minority party not only benefits from the failure of the majority party’s agenda but has the power to ensure that failure by preventing any legislation from being passed at all.

You just can’t run a government this way—at least, not for very long.