Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘fifty-state strategy

Tuesday Night Links!

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* I have another review at LARB this week, this time on Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era. Check it out!

Now, the humans in Liu’s fictions are not saints: there are always dire moments of backlash, too, moments of denial and cowardice and greed and the familiar madness of crowds refusing to face unpleasant truths. All of his major apocalyptic works thus far translated into English face this sort of ordinary and expected human failing as well. But what reads as genuinely, horrifyingly utopian for us in this moment is Liu’s insistence, across his career, that humanity does in fact want to survive — that, faced with a crisis that upends everything we know and threatens to impoverish and immiserate every human being alive and who will ever be alive, the human race will choose collective life over species death. This remains the most fantastic novum in anything Liu has written, an almost inconceivable shift in the priorities of our elites who, like the traitorous Escapers fleeing the invading Trisolarians in The Three-Body Problem, won’t even pretend to try and save the rest of us. “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear,” a defiant, furious Greta Thunberg recently challenged the United Nations. “How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight?” The adults of Supernova Era got it done in one. In a moment of intergenerational struggle defined by environmental protest groups like Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, and by the school climate strikes sparked by Thunberg and other young people around the globe, Supernova Era offers a tantalizing glimpse into another universe with an entirely different field of ecological politics, one where parents and grandparents won’t simply let their children and grandchildren suffer and die without a fight.

* And if you thought *I* was hard on The Testaments The Booker Prize — what happened?

* Help make Milwaukee socialist again!

* Do you hear the people sing? Chile’s people have had enough.

* Are Baby Boomers A ‘Generation Of Sociopaths’? Suicide is Gen Z’s second-leading cause of death, and it’s a worse epidemic than anything millennials faced at that age. ‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations.

Image and Text #33 is all about Black Panther. Wakanda, Worldbuilding and Afrofuturism for a World Without Violence.

CFP – “Reading Comics at the Threshold.”

The world’s top economists just made the case for why we still need English majors.

Are Liberal Arts Colleges Doomed?

* CUNY Contract Deal Means Big Raise for Adjuncts.

Maryland’s Giant Global Campus Is Restructuring. And Professors Were Asked to ‘Recompete’ for Jobs.

* How Swarthmore shut down the frats.

Trump Education Official to Resign and Call for Mass Student-Loan Forgiveness.

Fredric Jameson: How to adapt to cultural change.

* The rise of eco-horror.

* Every prediction that has been made about climate change has turned out to be a drastic undershoot of the true severity of the crisis. Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows.

* Hundred-year wildfires two or three times every week. A ‘high-end and dangerous’ Santa Ana wind event will dramatically escalate California’s fire risk starting Tuesday night. PG&E CEO Says It Could Impose Blackouts in California for a Decade.

* Zeitgeisty!

* The return of MOOCs, this time for climate change. Or because of incredibly poor planning, whatever, the point is MOOCs.

The UN’s Devastating Climate Change Report Was Too Optimistic. Images reveal Iceland’s glacier melt. An unprecedented climate change lawsuit against American oil giant Exxon Mobil is set to go ahead in New York. Kentucky’s Leaders Are Siding With the Coal Industry, and Its Poorest Residents Are Paying a Price. Amazon rainforest ‘close to irreversible tipping point.’ Humans are rapidly turning oceans into warm, acidifying basins hostile to life. US air quality dropped during Trump presidency after years of improvement, leading to thousands of premature deaths. Climate Activism Will Have ‘Terrible Consequences,’ Warn Richest People Alive. ‘Collapse OS’ Is an Open Source Operating System for the Post-Apocalypse. A New Video Game Tests Whether You Can Survive the Climate Apocalypse. How to Halt Global Warming for $300 Billion.

* The end of the Internet. The Real Threat to Journalism Is Not Donald Trump.

* Coca-Cola, no!

* The Great Unraveling.

* No one working at Newsweek can tell me why it still exists.

* Why lowering the voting age would make for a better democracy.

* Today in the scooter scam. You Lost How Much on Scooters? The madness of WeWork. San Francisco is losing residents because it’s too expensive for nearly everyone. Life in a dayspa — with 95 roommates. admin/admin.

Disability activist sues Minneapolis, scooter companies over sidewalk access. A report from the street.

Poor kids spend nearly 2 hours more on screens each day than rich kids.

* School surveillance.

On the Origins of the Professional-Managerial Class: An Interview with Barbara Ehrenreich.

* Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.

* UWM study finds over half of gun violence perpetrators and victims had elevated blood lead levels as children. The final five percent.

* How aristocrats ate prestige TV.

* “Bulletproof Emmett Till Memorial Unveiled After Repeated Vandalism.”

* CA 1, NCAA 0.

* An oral history of the Chuck E. Cheese robots.

Hollywood’s New Self-Censorship Mess in China. Quentin Tarantino Holds Firm, Won’t Recut ‘Once Upon a Time’ for China.

* Biden’s just so bad at this. So bad at this! Bartenders for Bernie. Can Elizabeth Warren win it all?

* This is fine: In court hearing, Trump lawyer argues a sitting president would be immune from prosecution even if he were to shoot someone. Impeachment is too important to leave to Congress — it’s going to take mass mobilization. John Roberts will save us!

* Being President Supervillain.

Criminal misconduct by US border officers has reached a 5-year high.

* Taking the fight to every state.

* The recession returns to Wisconsin, which it never really left in the first place. Save me, Foxconn!

HUD officials knowingly failed ‘to comply with the law,’ stalled Puerto Rico hurricane relief funds.

* In the richest country in human history.

* Life in occupied Kashmir.

The Empire of Patrolmen.

* Orcs, Britons, And The Martial Race Myth, Part I: A Species Built For Racial Terror. I have an entire day in my Tolkien class devoted to this question, around the Gorbag/Shagrat passages in TTT and ROTK, just because it’s such a threat to the pleasure of the fantasy by the end of the semester.

* Tolkien’s lessons for Trump.

* Of course Mordor would be in Florida.

* The Evolution of Dragons in Western Literature: A History.

* The Fallen Worlds of Philip Pullman.

* Fantasy literature alignment chart.

* Benioff and Weiss explain at length how they don’t know anything about making shows. Five seconds later: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss Are No Longer Making Star Wars Movies.

* The Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand Transgender People. Its ignorance could lead to a legal catastrophe.

* Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!

* There’s a very good chance the government isn’t hiding aliens. I can’t believe they even got to Snowden.

Mass. Dem’s Bill Would Make It Illegal To Call Someone ‘Bitch.’

Hunt told the Boston Herald that he filed the bill after being asked to do so by a constituent. “Any time a constituent approaches me with something that is of concern to them, I follow through with it,” he said. “In this instance, someone asked me to file a bill that they deemed was important and I thought it was a good exercise to let that bill go through the process.”

I think I’ve found the one flaw in your legislative strategy.

* Can’t get good help these days: Hitman hires hitman who hires hitman who hires hitman who hires hitman who tells police.

Can You Really Be Addicted to Video Games?

* How YouTube radicalization works.

* We Are All Clowns: A Defense of Joker.

Disney Is Quietly Placing Classic Fox Movies Into Its Vault, and That’s Worrying.

* In honor of the return of Homestuck: How ‘Homestuck’ Defined What It Means to Be a Fan Online.

* The Evil Dead Cabin (Morristown, TN).

My Daughter and I Were Diagnosed With Autism on the Same Day.

* If we can put a man on the moon. Media and and social class: a guide. Scams. Dreams.

* One-page dungeon.

* Which words were first recorded in print the year you were born?

The 2010s Broke Our Sense Of Time.

* Ian Bogost wants that goose off his lawn.

* The origins of Kirby.

* We did it! U.S. Military Will Stop Using Floppy Disks to Operate Its Nuclear Weapons System.

* 271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book.

* Nothing gold can stay.

* And imagine going back in time.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 29, 2019 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Dean the Baptist

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I think it’s safe to say the “Dean the Baptist” meme has taken root. Here’s Ari Berman in The Nation:

Indiana is a good example. When Dan Parker became chair of the state party in November 2004, his first order was to slash his staff in half after Democrats lost the governor’s mansion. Indiana, like so many states, had been written off by the national party–the last Democratic presidential contender to carry it was Lyndon Johnson. But Dean gave Parker the money to hire three field organizers and a full-time communications director, the first the state had ever had. (When Dean came in, thirty states had no such important position.) In 2006 that staff worked on three competitive Congressional races long before the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) arrived. The party picked up all three seats that year and elected a record number of Democratic mayors in 2007. By the time the Democratic primary rolled around this past May, Hoosier Dems had been revitalized, and Obama–to the surprise of many–invested heavily in the state, visiting forty-nine times. On November 4 Obama won Indiana–a state John Kerry lost by twenty points–by 26,000 votes. “We’re a poster child for the fifty-state strategy,” Parker says.

If Indiana was ignored by the national party, then a place like Alaska–5,000 miles from Washington–didn’t exist. Dean was roundly mocked, including in a New York Times Magazine profile, for visiting and investing in the Last Frontier. “The idea that you’re going to put money in a place like Alaska seemed insane,” Dean says, “because you could take the same amount of money and maybe win a House seat in California with it. That was the thinking here. The problem is, that’s a totally short-term strategy.” The DNC’s investment increased the size of the Alaska party staff from one to four. More important, “it made Alaskans proud to be Democrats again,” says state chair Patti Higgins. When opportunity struck, as Dean predicted, Democrats were ready. “It doesn’t look so dumb now that Ted Stevens got indicted [in July] and today we have a Democratic senator from Alaska,” Dean says. “But without a voter list and a party that knows what it’s doing and is well trained and staffers that are up there for four years, we don’t win that seat, plain and simple.” Not only did former Anchorage mayor Mark Begich knock off Stevens; Democrats ran their strongest challenge yet to Alaska’s lone Congressman, Don Young, who’s held the seat for thirty-five years, and polls showed Obama leading in the state before John McCain tapped Sarah Palin as his running mate. Now the party is focused on ousting Palin from the governor’s mansion in 2010. When I spoke to Higgins, she was heading to a press conference to denounce Palin, who was campaigning in Georgia that day, as “AWOL from Alaska.”

More from Matt Yglesias. That fifty dollars I gave Dean for America? I don’t regret it.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 29, 2008 at 1:10 pm

We Got Our Country Back

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Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen links to the latest of the Howard Dean retrospectives.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean said at the National Press Club that President-elect Barack Obama “was right in 2004, when he said there are no red states and no blue states; there are only American states, and we all share the same values.”

“You cannot be a national party if you are willing to write off entire parts of our country,” Dean stated. “Based on that pretty straightforward idea, we changed the way our party ran campaigns and reached out to voters.”

In a memo, the DNC touted Dean’s strategy, which was often maligned at its inception.

Like a lot of people my age, Dean was both the first candidate I ever gave money to ($50) and the first Democrat I ever really believed in. While I see more clearly now than then that he probably couldn’t have beat Bush in ’04—though I remember some pretty good arguments with Shankar on this point—in terms of both organizational strategy and campaign aesthetics he helped pave the way for the Obama movement. And while the fifty-state stategy he instituted as chairman of the DNC was certainly lucky in our choice of nominee—though we likely still would have won with Hillary, it would have been on a much more traditional playing field—it’s fundamentally the right strategy, the winning strategy, as the increasingly regional Republicans are about to learn the hard way.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 6, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Midday Politics Links

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As warned, it’s a busy kind of week. Here’s what I’m reading about:

* Obama returns again to North Carolina tomorrow morning in Raleigh.

* The N&O looks at North Carolina’s answer to the butterfly ballot, the straight ticket vote that doesn’t vote straight ticket. This is a very foolish way to design a ballot, but it has a long history in North Carolina, and it’s fairly well-marked both on the ballot and in the polling place. I’m hopeful this won’t be determinative of the outcome here.

* Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

* A PEW Research poll puts Obama up an improbable sixteen points nationally, up 19 among those who have already voted. The RNC has taken to the airwaves in a bid to retain Montana. In Ohio, 22% of the population has already voted, favoring Obama 56%-39%. McCain is only up three points in Arizona. In short, things are looking good.

* Another article looks back to Howard Dean as one of the forces (both before and after “The Scream”) who made Barack Obama’s candidacy (and, one hopes, landslide victory) possible.

* And another classic for the Palin files: forget “diva,” a top McCain adviser says Palin is a “whack job.” More at Washington Monthly, which makes the key point: “To blame Palin is to blame McCain. If the campaign is her fault, then the campaign is his fault.”

Electoral College Watch

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Open Left has a map with Electoral College projections from aggregated state-by-state polling that looks pretty good to me, this far out.

That’s 242 EVs (Obama) to 206 EVs (McCain) with 90 toss-ups. The toss-up states are Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska-02, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. It’s pretty hard to imagine that Michigan won’t go to Obama in the end, so put those 17 EVs in his column. Now he’s at 259, and with Wiconsin a pretty obvious get as well he’s already at 269.

(This is why some people in the media are salivating over the possibility of a 269-269 tie, by the way; it’s not impossible.)

I think there’s actually a fairly sizable chance he could take Nebraska-02, even though that hasn’t ever happened, putting him at exactly 270 and in the White House—but let’s, you know, play it safe and campaign the hell out of Ohio, Missouri, and Virginia all teh same.

I’ve been an Obama-blowout-booster for a while now, and despite the difficulties of the Democratic primary I still am. I think Obama has a decent chance of crossing 300 EVs, including a victory in North Carolina if everything really comes together for us.

Obama’s people, for what it’s worth, agree; he’ll be fielding campaign staff in all fifty states.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 10, 2008 at 7:58 pm