Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘blondes

Thursday Night Links

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* We’ve been having some fun on Twitter mocking this overwrought defense of Columbia’s obscenely overpriced MFA program. (Key quote: “It’s for people whose genitals still work, dammit.”) HTMLGiant, via @zunguzungu, has perhaps the definitive takedown.

* Speaking of definitive takedowns, Alex Reid has the last word on digital learning badges.

SCOTUS has issued a temporary stay in the execution of Duane Buck, pending certiorari.

* The Obama disaster has officially reached the “pointing fingers” stage.

“The Citbank incident, and others like it, reflected a more pernicious and personal dilemma emerging from inside the administration: that the young president’s authority was being systematically undermined or hedged by his seasoned advisers,” Suskind writes.

Yeah, that must be what happened.

* Dateline 1937: Science proves blondes can’t drive.

* And, just for fun, one of the weirder stories I’ve read today.

…thanks to an eccentric New York lawyer in the 1930s, this college in a corner of the Catskills inherited a thousand-year trust that would not mature until the year 2936: a gift whose accumulated compound interest, the New York Times reported in 1961, “could ultimately shatter the nation’s financial structure.” The mossy stone walls and ivy-covered brickwork of Hartwick College were a ticking time-bomb of compounding interest—a very, very slowly ticking time bomb.

One suspects they’d have rather gotten a new squash court.

State of the Tuesday

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* Obama’s State of the Union is here. I didn’t watch, but I saw enough on Twitter to see that Obama didn’t learn his lesson the first time he announced a spending freeze. So stupid.

* Obama leads all challengers in North Carolina.

* No filibuster reform for you.

* Planned Parenthood tries to head off another moronic right-wing hoax—by calling the FBI.

Frances Fox Piven vs. Glenn Beck.

* Why Johnny can’t learn: “Sexy News Anchors Distract Male Viewers.”

* And Hemingway’s blonde jokes.

Q. Why did the blonde drive into the ditch?
A. She was overtaken with despair. No one was awaiting her arrival.

What I’m Looking At This Morning

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* While I’m certain that the neoliberal project will resume soon, I have to agree with Think Progress that what we’ve seen in Haiti thus far is not properly described as an “invasion.” Like it or not, the U.S. military is the (only) organization that has the resources to administer aid on this scale; we should be vigilant about mission creep and work hard for things like debt forgiveness, but (it seems to me) the U.S. military presence really is on the side of the angels, at least so far.

* Philip Kennicott on why the media doesn’t censor the images coming out of Haiti. Kennicott is right to raise the issue, but his explanation is pretty clearly incomplete; the article doesn’t manage to use either the word “race” or “racism” even once.

* What Bush did to Haiti. Of course, we should remember that U.S. imperialism in Haiti has a much longer history than just Bush, Clinton, and Bush.

* I’m not sure “brave” is quite the word I’d use to describe the Royal Caribbean cruiseships that are now resuming their trips to Haiti.

“I just can’t see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water,” one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic internet forum. 

“It was hard enough to sit and eat a picnic lunch at Labadee before the quake, knowing how many Haitians were starving,” said another. “I can’t imagine having to choke down a burger there now.”

Some booked on ships scheduled to stop at Labadee are afraid that desperate people might breach the resort’s 12ft high fences to get food and drink, but others seemed determined to enjoy their holiday.”I’ll be there on Tuesday and I plan on enjoying my zip line excursion as well as the time on the beach,” said one.

* Obama approval still closely tracking Reagan’s.

* Nate continues to model the MA-SEN race. As the link says, assumptions are everything right now, from the polling screen on down; nobody really knows anything about how this race will turn out. I still think Coakley’s party-ID and GOTV advantages will help her squeak out the win, but she’s been a pretty terrible candidate, and Brown an unusually strong one, in a moment that (sadly, wrongly, terribly) favors the GOP.

* Science proves blondes are less fun.

* And important reporting at Harper’s: An army sergeant blows the whistle on Guantánamo “suicides.” Via Spencer Ackerman.