Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘John Edwards

Weekend Links 2

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* Your Tumblr of the Day: Kanye Wes Anderson.

* The Onion endorses John Edwards for president. Also at the OnionNation Tunes In To See Which Sociopath More Likable This Time.

* On Thursday, that story was one of President Obama continuing to hold leads in most polls of critical states. Of the 13 polls of swing states released on Thursday, Mr. Obama held leads in 11 of them.

* Justice League to get creamed in head-to-head clash with The Avengers 2.

* Scene from the future: Injecting Young Blood Can Reverse Effects of Aging. The poors must sell the olds their blood! This one I really do want dibs on the screenplay—Oh damnit.

* Coursera illegal in Minnesota?

* The bottom one percent. Via MeFi.

Thursday Evening

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* Aaron Bady has an interesting, informative, and important post on his experiences at the Occupy Oakland general strike yesterday.

* 100,000 at the strike?

* Seven weeks of Occupy, at In Focus.

* Imagine what it’s like to be a normal student nowadays. You did well—even very well—in high school. But you arrive at university with little experience in research and writing and little sense of what your classes have to do with your life plans. You start your first year deep in debt, with more in prospect. You work at Target or a fast-food outlet to pay for your living expenses. You live in a vast, shabby dorm or a huge, flimsy off-campus apartment complex, where your single with bath provides both privacy and isolation. And you see professors from a great distance, in space as well as culture: from the back of a vast dark auditorium, full of your peers checking Facebook on their laptops.

It’s no wonder, in these circumstances, that many students never really internalize the new demands and standards of university work. Instead they drift from course to course, looking for entertainment and easy grades. Nor is it surprising that many aren’t ready when trouble comes. Students drink too much alcohol, smoke too much marijuana, play too many computer games, wreck cars, become pregnant, get overwhelmed trying to help anorexic roommates, and too often lose the modest but vital support previously provided by a parent who has been laid off. Older students—and these days most are older than traditional university age—often have to work full-time and care for children or parents, or both. Those likeliest to encounter these problems are also the ones who haven’t been schooled since birth to find the thread that can lead them through the labyrinths of the bureaucracy. They aren’t confident that they will see an invitingly open door, where a friendly adviser or professor is eager to help them, and they don’t have parents hovering, eager to find that helper for them.

* How could a late entrant still shake up the Republican field? Nate Silver reports. You already know my thoughts on this.

* One-half of Floridians believe the GOP is intentionally sabotaging the economy. Gee, you think? On the one hand, I’m surprised the number is so high; on the other, I’m amazed there’s anyone who can’t see this…

* Mars 500 wraps up this week. io9 says it doesn’t prove anything.

* Corporations against DOMA.

*  A Utah man who claimed to be an illegal immigrant from Mexico to avoid going to prison is now wanted by police after he returned to the United States and acknowledged his true identity to a judge.

* If episodes of fission at Fukushima were confirmed, Mr. Koide said, “our entire understanding of nuclear safety would be turned on its head.”

* This week we celebrate 100 years of dropping bombs on people from planes.

* Two great tastes (okay, one): The Muppets on WWE Raw.

* Will John Edwards walk?

* And the headline reads, “Cash-strapped Chicago mulls easing marijuana law.” Do the right thing for the wrong reasons if you have to, just do it…

Friday Links

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* My career in academia-based standup comedy begins with this report from Inside Higher Ed. Republican professors grade like this, while Democratic professors grade like this…

* I linked to a little bit of this yesterday, but actually the entire A.V. Club interview with Dan Harmon is pretty compelling reading for Community fans.

* I’m pretty sure I could play Indiana Jones better than Tom Selleck. They really offered him the part?

* Also at Blastr: 10 great unmade Star Trek series. Brian Singer’s idea for a Federation in decline actually doesn’t sound bad.

* Chris Christie’s unblinking eye turns its ceaseless gaze to state-owned public broadcasting channels.

* I get that Gawker thinks I should find this funny, but the whole thing is just so sad.

* And WTFTracyMorgan. I mean really.

Where Have All the Republicans Gone?

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Mark Halprin, master of D.C. conventional wisdom, points out that only two GOP candidates are currently making serious efforts to run for president in 2012: Mitt Romney, a second-rate candidate whose chances have likely already been scuttled by Romneycare’s structural similarities to Obamacare, and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, a “virtual unknown.” The best bit:

And despite his years in the national spotlight, Romney remains unexpectedly unfamiliar to a large number of Americans. On a recent cross-country trip, as I read Romney’s new best seller, No Apology, which features a close-up photo of the author on the front cover, a passing flight attendant exclaimed, “No apology? Not even for his wife?” If Romney can so easily be confused with disgraced politician John Edwards, he’ll have to work harder to create a more distinct identity if he hopes to win the White House.

Via Ben Smith, who also notes another round of Obama/West Wing fanfic.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 5, 2010 at 10:21 am

Tuesday Afternoon

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* Things I didn’t know were in the health care bill: menu labeling. Great policy.

* I want to be held accountable for getting it done. I will judge my first term as president based on the fact on whether we have delivered the kind of health care that every American deserves and that our system can afford. Barack Obama at a CAP/SEIU health care forum in 2007, up against Hillary Clinton and history’s greatest monster.

The health care forum in 2007 served as a kind of epiphany for Obama. Time’s Karen Tumulty, who moderated the forum, wrote that Obama “was noticeably uncomfortable when pressed for details” about his health care plan. As Ezra Klein wrote at the time, “Compared to John Edwards, who had a detailed plan, and Hillary Clinton, whose fluency with the subject is unmatched among the contenders, he seemed uncertain and adrift.” Obama himself acknowledged that the health care forum revealed, “I am not a great candidate now, but I am going to figure out how to be a great candidate.” Now, by delivering on the basic health care principles he pronounced three years ago, Obama is already earning praise as “one of America’s finest presidents.”

* Winning has its advantages. Mike Allen:

Rather than dragging down Dems, President Obama’s health plan could turn out to be a net positive for the midterms by goosing his base, re-engaging new Obama voters, giving his party something clear to promote, and providing a blunt instrument for whacking [Republicans]. Obama’s triumph has put Republicans back on the defensive, and even some of them are wondering if they peaked eight months too soon.

* Frum: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”

* Related: No one cares what Republicans think about health care anymore.

* Finding common ground: I’m no Sarah Palin fan, but I fully endorse her call for Tea Party supporters to make third-party runs for office.

* Climate next? Let’s hope so.

* Project Kaisei is seeking to turn the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into fuel.

* Related: Werner Herzog narrates the emotional life of a plastic bag blowing across the American countryside in search of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

* The University of Michigan has become the 17th institution of higher learning to be implicated in the checks-for-degrees scandal rocking American campuses, representatives from the Department of Justice reported Tuesday.

* Coming to Comedy Central this fall: That’s My Biden.

* Airplanes do not “fly.” They are held aloft through the divine intervention of heavenly angels.

* Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

* And the Big Picture has your record setters. Below: the world’s largest “Thriller” dance.

Foolish Old Men

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Halprin takes some scalps: Harry Reid and Bill Clinton both look pretty bad today, not to mention John and Elizabeth Edwards and the entire freakin’ Edwards campaign. With Democrats like these, is it any wonder Obama looked so good?

UPDATE: Ben Smith comes to the same conclusion here:

Having dug into the book — which is quite good — a bit, one disparity was hard to miss. The Edwardses, Clintons, Giulianis and others are depicted as vastly different from their public images. John and Elizabeth are a vain empty suit and Lady MacBeth; Hillary is as calculating, hard-edged, maladroit, and ideological as her critics have always maintained.

The one character who appears in the book as he’d like you to see him: Obama. Which, one way or another, explains why he won: He was either untroubled by the deep contradictions that dogged his rivals; or he was better at concealing them. (He is also the only candidate whose staffers remain with him, deeply invested in his image and unwilling to dish, which helps.)

More inside details from the book from Jonathan Martin here, including some details of its report of Biden’s being cut off from Obama’s inner circle during the campaign and McCain camp fears that Sarah Palin was mentally unstable.

Monday Night Links

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I’ve almost got the blog looking okay, though some older posts are likely to display oddly for some time. Let’s have a few quick links.

* I have to admit to some mixed feelings about the revelation that one of 2008’s most odious mass-media obsessions, the cost of John Edwards’s haircuts, was pushed by the Obama campaign.

* Bob Herbert tackles the fierce urgency of infrastructure spending.

* There aren’t any jobs. Brad DeLong now spitballs the chance of another Great Depression at 5%. Hope the Democrats really do get that jobs bill through fast.