Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘hypocrisy so brazen you just have to admire it

Why We Lose, Why They Win

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Republicans now hold both houses and the governorship in Pennsylvania, an opportunity they’re using to permanently alter the national electoral map in the U.S.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Gov. Tom Corbett and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi are proposing that the state divide up its Electoral College votes according to which candidates carried each Congressional district, plus two votes for the statewide winner. The system is used by Maine — which, despite the system, has never actually split its four electoral votes — and by Nebraska, which gave one of its five votes to Barack Obama in 2008.

Had this proposed system been in place in 2008, when Obama won the state by a ten-point margin, he in fact would have only taken 11 out of the state’s 21 electoral votes at the time — due to a combination of past Republican-led redistricting efforts to maximize their district strength, and Obama’s votes being especially concentrated within urban areas.

It’s Almost As If They Don’t Believe A Single Thing They Say

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Last post before I head off to panels this morning: the unbearable hypocrisy of the GOP’s debt-ceiling hysteria, in a single chart.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Some More Links

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* Smart presidents making stupid arguments:

For instance, the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste.

They call it poison. We call it life.

* From the don’t-know-if-this-is-crazy-or-awesome file: Though stem cell therapies are still in the early stages of development, some families are having their children’s baby teeth extracted and saved in anticipation of treatments that could be around by the time the child reaches adulthood, the Miami Herald reports.

* When Left-Wing Editors Fight Unions.

* When Famous Directors Lose Their Minds.

* Being Roger Ailes.

* Bomb Planted Along MLK Day Parade Route In Spokane.

* David Simon v. Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III. Discussion at MeFi.

* Last Stand 4 Children is devoted to providing all children with a quality education in spite of their teachers. See also: Billionaires for Educational Reform. (Via @mrtalbot.)

* Almost none of these “literal New Yorker cartoons” are actually “literal,” though a few are amusing nonetheless.

* Uplifting Duke/Durham story of the day: The Secret Game.

The North Carolina College Eagles were coming off their most successful season ever at that time. McLendon had just led his team to a 26-1 season. Aubrey Stanley, Henry (Big Dog) Thomas, Floyd (Cootie) Brown and James (Boogie-Woogie) Hardy were the stars on a team that ran McLendon’s fast break with great discipline.

That team was not eligible for participation in the National Invitational Tournament or the NCAA tournaments simply because they were African-Americans, but many — including the Hall of Famer McLendon — felt like the Eagles could’ve beaten anyone.

Meanwhile, Burgess and others regularly attended meetings at the local Y in Durham, as students from both sides of the tracks met secretly to discuss ways to overcome racism in the local area. During one of those meetings, the conversation turned to basketball and a bold challenge was issued: What about a secret game between the Eagles and the Duke Medical School team?

* And your couch is trying to kill you. Don’t let it!

Saturday!

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* As part of my mandate to see any movie having anything to do with time travel, we saw Hot Tub Time Machine last night. It’s essentially a remake of classic 1980s bromance Back to the Future in the more contemporary bromantic mode; the plot of the film hits nearly all the same beats in the same order, all the way down to “Earth Angel” to the fistfight with Biff to the obligatory happy ending. It’s by no means great cinema, but all right, I laughed.

* Krugman: For today’s G.O.P. is, fully and finally, the party of Ronald Reagan — not Reagan the pragmatic politician, who could and did strike deals with Democrats, but Reagan the antigovernment fanatic, who warned that Medicare would destroy American freedom. It’s a party that sees modest efforts to improve Americans’ economic and health security not merely as unwise, but as monstrous. It’s a party in which paranoid fantasies about the other side — Obama is a socialist, Democrats have totalitarian ambitions — are mainstream. And, as a result, it’s a party that fundamentally doesn’t accept anyone else’s right to govern.

* Can the effort to repeal the individual mandate in the courts even count on Antonin Scalia’s support?

Reporting from Washington – Lawsuits from 14 states challenging the constitutionality of the new national healthcare law face an uphill battle, largely due to a far-reaching Supreme Court ruling in 2005 that upheld federal restrictions on home-grown marijuana in California.

At issue in that case — just like in the upcoming challenges to the healthcare overhaul — was the reach of the federal government’s power.

Conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy joined a 6-3 ruling that said Congress could regulate marijuana that was neither bought nor sold on the market but rather grown at home legally for sick patients.

They said the Constitution gave Congress nearly unlimited power to regulate the marketplace as part of its authority “to regulate commerce.”

Even “noneconomic local activity” can come under federal regulation if it is “a necessary part of a more general regulation of interstate commerce,” Scalia wrote.

But this week, Obama administration lawyers pointed to Scalia’s opinion as supporting the constitutionality of broad federal regulation of health insurance, and most legal experts agreed.

I’m apparently significantly less impressed with Scalia’s intellectual honesty than “most legal experts”; I feel pretty confident he will find a reason to vote however he wants to vote. But take this for what it’s worth.

* Relatedly, Daily Kos has an interesting post today on the backlash against state attorneys general who are using their supposedly independent offices to play partisan games.

* Change we can believe in? ‘Citing “irreversible damage,” EPA nears veto of mountaintop removal permit.’ I’ll be happier once we can finally strike that nears.

* Is Obama finally ready to make some recess appointments?

* No more long nights: 24 has been canceled.

* And nobody puts Baby in a nursing home: Dirty Dancing‘s Jennifer Gray is 50. This makes me feel ancient.

Friday Friday

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* Orrin Hatch is today’s douchebag of liberty, with hypocrisy so brazen it offends even Mark Halprin.

* An interesting paper flagged at The Sexist reveals that young men hold shocking double standards in the way they imagine themselves rejecting sex and the way they imagine women must. There’s an almost total lack of self-reflexivity here, as characterized by one of the authors of the study:

“The gist of it is that these young men evidenced an understanding of and even a preference for nuances and diplomatic communication to refuse sex, but then when discussing rape, reversed course and began to argue that anything the least bit ambiguous was unintelligible,” Millar writes.

* Steve Benen and Kevin Drum spare a moment for student loan reform, the other Big Fucking Deal legislation passed this week. Ezra Klein, too, notes that behind the large-scale reform of health care includes a lot of medium-scale reforms that might have been big fights on their own, but which slipped by without comment—suggesting that perhaps Obama really has been playing 11-dimensional chess all this time.

* The New England Journal of Medicine warns that the war over health care has only just begun. While repeal does not seem to me to be an especially important concern—among other things I don’t think Republicans can win the presidency in 2012 or get 67 votes in the Senate when they don’t—the authors raise important points about some difficult areas of implementation that need to be handled carefully by the Administration.

* Nate Silver has your health-care post-mortem.

On balance, I think if you polled Republican strategists right now and they were being honest, they’d probably concede that Democrats are better off for having brought health care to completion after having invested so much energy in it before. The Democrats have a case they can make now — we’re making the tough decisions and getting things done — which may not be horribly persuasive to much of the electorate but is at least marginally better than the complete directionlessness they seemed to be exhibiting a few weeks ago.

On the other hand, I think if you polled Democratic strategists and they were being honest, they’d probably concede that — electorally-speaking — Democrats would have been better off if they’d found a different direction last year, focusing perhaps on financial reform and then only turning to health care if their numbers warranted it. One of the risks in undertaking health care in the first place, indeed, is that there was essentially no exit strategy: no matter how badly the electorate reacted to the policy — and they reacted quite badly — Democrats would probably have been even worse off if they’d abandoned it somewhere along the way.

* And prodigy, 13, claims age discrimination by UConn. I for one welcome our new adolescent overlords…

Hypocritastic

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Wednesday Wish-I-Had-a-Snow-Day Links

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* The Virginia House of Delegates is tackling the real issues.

The House of Delegates is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would protect Virginians from attempts by employers or insurance companies to implant microchips in their bodies against their will.

The link goes on to explain how this is also protection from the Anti-Christ. It’s a two-fer.

* Somewhere, a research assistant is getting chewed out: Bernard-Henri Lévy was caught quoting a fictional philosopher in his recent book on Kant.

* ‘They are unembarrassed’: Rachel Maddow on GOP legislators who slam the stimulus in one breath and take credit for its spending the next. It’s an amazing segment; her list of hypocritical cash-and-trash Republicans seems to go on forever.

* Sherrod Brown should be on TV more. (Thanks, Kinohi!) There’s more on the Becker vote here, here, and here; this seems to have gotten people pretty riled up. Related: Obama should get angry more.

* North Carolina wants to change its history curriculum so that high school U.S. history starts in 1877. They’d miss the Civil War and slavery, but at least they’d still get to cover the Wilmington Race Riots of 1898, the only successful coup d’etat in U.S. history.

* 12 Successful SF Authors Who’ve Written Racy Fanfic. The winner? Joanna Russ of The Female Man fame.

* Gay advocacy groups cut off New Jersey Democrats.

* Being bored and having a low IQ can kill you.

* Daily Kos joins the Fire Tim Kaine caucus.

* Is American fiction dead? Is global literature? Is The Catcher in the Rye really unfilmable?

* How Palin can win the 2012 GOP primary.

* And while you may have forgotten about Peak Oil, Peak Oil has not forgotten about you.