Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘John Paul Stevens

The Sad Truth

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…is that Lieberman and Ruth Marcus are probably right that whoever Obama picks will slide SCOTUS to the right. This is why I’m not all that worried about the GOP scuttling the first pick, who will probably be a slightly-left-leaning centrist; because they’d be unlikely to shoot down two nominees in a row, the second pick could be an actual progressive.

But then again I’ve always been a dreamer.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 11, 2010 at 11:55 am

Behold, the Mother of All Saturday Linkdumps!

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* Polish President Lech Kaczynski has apparently been killed in a plane crash in western Russia, alongside much of the leadership of the country. Updates at MeFi.

* Yesterday Stevens made it official. The timeline. A shortlist. The politics of shortlists. An offbeat shortlist. How about Cory Booker? Why Obama shouldn’t shy away from a confirmation fight. Why Glenn Greenwald is lukewarm on frontrunner Elena Kagan. Why the GOP may use the SCOTUS hearings as another excuse to freak out about health care. Or maybe just another excuse to flip out period. Still more at MeFi.

* Totally independent of anything anyone anywhere has said or done, threats against members of Congress have increased threefold in recent months. It’s a funny coincidence that means absolutely nothing.

* George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

* Everything old is new again: Gingrich says Republicans will shut down the government if they take over.

* Tony Judt on crisis, neoliberalism, greed, the end of history, and the need for a new New Left.

For thirty years students have been complaining to me that “it was easy for you”: your generation had ideals and ideas, you believed in something, you were able to change things. “We” (the children of the Eighties, the Nineties, the “Aughts”) have nothing. In many respects my students are right. It was easy for us—just as it was easy, at least in this sense, for the generations who came before us. The last time a cohort of young people expressed comparable frustration at the emptiness of their lives and the dispiriting purposelessness of their world was in the 1920s: it is not by chance that historians speak of a “lost generation.”

If young people today are at a loss, it is not for want of targets. Any conversation with students or schoolchildren will produce a startling checklist of anxieties. Indeed, the rising generation is acutely worried about the world it is to inherit. But accompanying these fears there is a general sentiment of frustration: “we” know something is wrong and there are many things we don’t like. But what can we believe in? What should we do?

* Full with polls: The IRS is more popular than the tea partiers.

* “Kind of a Glenn Beck approach”: On male studies. More at Salon.

* Another great segment from the Daily Show about blatant Fox News dishonesty, this one on the lies they’re telling about the START treaty. But the quote of the day on this comes from who else but Michele Bachmann, who calls for the U.S. to commit to nuclear retaliation in the event of a devastating cyber attack.

* Matt Yglesias on Treme‘s battle between realism and sentimentality.

* Comic book cartography. Their link to the principles of Kirbytech from my friends at Satisfactory Comics is pretty great too.

* Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole which itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe? I’m surprised there’s even debate about something that is so trivially true.

Negative Twenty Questions, John Wheeler’s analogy for quantum mechanics.

* Of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65, half are alive now. Welcome to the elderly age.

* Multicellular life found that can live entirely without oxygen.

* xkcd’s version of hell is now fully playable.

* Chris Christie working overtime to destroy public universities in New Jersey.

Outsourcing TAs?

* In Washington, D.C., you’re not a rape victim unless police say so. Via Feministe.

* HIV-positive Michigan man to be tried as bioweapon.

* Are we still waiting for the other shoe to drop on Greece?

* The Texas miracle? Wind power in an oil state.

* Two from Krugman: Building a Green Economy and Al Gore Derangement Syndrome.

* Somewhat related: Tim Morton on hyperobjects.

Hyperobjects are phenomena such as radioactive materials and global warming. Hyperobjects stretch our ideas of time and space, since they far outlast most human time scales, or they’re massively distributed in terrestrial space and so are unavailable to immediate experience. In this sense, hyperobjects are like those tubes of toothpaste that say they contain 10% extra: there’s more to hyperobjects than ordinary objects.

* The Illinois Poison Control Center has a blog. MetaFilter has highlights.

* And Gizmodo has your periodic table of imaginary elements.

After Stevens

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After Times and Post profiles teasing his retirement the world is abuzz about John Paul Stevens. Gawker and Bloomberg, Lost-style, have your candidates, whom Republicans coquettishly pretend they might not filibuster. Glenn Greenwald says anyone but Cass Sunstein. Dylan Matthews likes Diana Wood, but wants a real liberal more. And Eric Alterman just wonders if Obama will screw the Left again.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 5, 2010 at 9:18 am

3/16.2

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* Update from yesterday: running marathons will also kill you. Don’t do that either!

* Update from two weeks ago: a New Jersey appeals court has ruled Tea Party supporters in New Jersey can try to recall Robert Menendez despite the fact that no recall procedure exists for federal legislators under the Constitution.

* NBC polls puts health care support at 46-45. Some day, I suspect, this bill may actually pass.

* Related: By this time next week we’ll have seen huge headlines about health care. These headlines will either read “Democrats do it!”, followed by various Republicans and their apologists complaining that what the Dems did wasn’t nice, or “Democrats — losers again”, followed by Republicans going bwahahaha.

And it’s up to a handful of Democrats to decide which headlines we get. They’re out of their minds if they don’t choose door #1. (via)

* Also related, some breaking news: Major legislative breakthroughs are always controversial!

* If you ever watched the This American Life TV show, you might remember Mark Hogancamp, who built a replica World-War-II-era village in his backyard as a means of dealing with being brutally assaulted outside a bar. His story is now a feature-length documentary. (via)

* Wow: Two sources at the Science Times section of the New York Times have told me that a majority of the section’s editorial staff doubts that human-induced global warming represents a serious threat to humanity. So this is why we can’t have nice things. (via)

* More actually existing media bias: CNN hires goat f**king child molester.

* FantasySCOTUS: Who will replace Judge Stevens if he retires?

* And Greensboro in the news! An “equipment failure” caused preview clips for adult programming to appear on two channels dedicated for kids in North Carolina, a spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable Inc. said today.

Wednesday

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Wednesday!

* Reports that Justice John Paul Stevens has hired fewer-than-usual clerks for the 2010 Supreme Court term are now confirmed: he’s only hired one clerk, signaling a likely retirement in the near future.

* Seinfeld nostalgia is in full effect; FlowingData has your map of character connections.

* How to Talk to a Wingnut: Decoding Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

* Today’s must-read op-ed: Bob Hebert on Texas’s apparent execution of an innocent man. Even more striking than the fact of the terrible error is the look at the basic cognitive biases at work in the criminal justice system:

When official suspicion fell on Willingham, eyewitness testimony began to change. Whereas initially he was described by neighbors as screaming and hysterical — “My babies are burning up!” — and desperate to have the children saved, he now was described as behaving oddly, and not having made enough of an effort to get to the girls.

In short: “If he were innocent, they wouldn’t have arrested him.”

* Behind the scenes of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

* Harlan Ellison and Terminator.

* And the Hartford Courant has your photo of the day. Our public servants hard at work.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm

A Political History of the Supreme Court, 1937-2009

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From Kottke, a political history of the supreme court, 1937-2009. A look at the right end of the chart shows how long it will take for the right-tilting Court to become more progressive through Democratic appointments, especially since the four youngest members of the Court are Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 18, 2009 at 3:57 pm

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