Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann

Olbermann v. Gore

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Oy. More here and here.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

All the Things That Happened Today

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* Sad news: Terrorist attack at Moscow’s busiest airport.

* Rumors are swirling that the Wachowskis may pull a Lucas.

* Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult.

* SOTU 2011: “How We Win the Future.” Warning: climate change may not exist in the future.

* No composting either.

* Will big-name Republicans sit out 2012?

* The problem with regarding the photography of suffering as ‘pornography.’

* Killjoys keep debunking the “twin suns in 2012” Betelgeuse supernova story. Can’t I have just this one thing?

* Soccer science! As game theory predicts, legitimate falls far outnumber fake falls, Wilson reported at the meeting. Only 6% of the 2800 falls were highly deceptive dives. Players were two to three times as likely to dive when close to the goal, where the payoff was huge: Statistics show that there is an 80% chance of scoring from penalty kicks. Almost none of the highly deceptive dives resulted in free kicks against the diver. And referees were most likely to reward dives that occurred close to the goals—perhaps because the players were farther away and the deception harder to detect, he noted.

No. Just no.

* James Kochalka is Vermont’s first cartoonist laureate.

* Headline of the day: Man admits mailing hundreds of tarantulas.

* I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it appears the Bush administration may have broken the law.

* Genghis Khan: history’s greenest conqueror?

Unlike modern day climate change, however, the Mongol invasion actually cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

So how exactly did Genghis Khan, one of history’s cruelest conquerors, earn such a glowing environmental report card? The reality may be a bit difficult for today’s environmentalists to stomach, but Khan did it the same way he built his empire — with a high body count.

Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world’s total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests.

For certain values of “green”… Via MetaFilter.

* And also via MetaFilter: Vermont vs. corporate personhood. Republicans vs. the Internet. Rahm Emanuel gets Chicago’d. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The United States of Shame. Teacher salary? Damn you North Carolina!

Good Night and Good Luck

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 21, 2011 at 11:23 pm

World’s Greatest Trick Play Ever – Links

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* Olbermann lives. The Nation calls it a victory for “bold progressives.” Our first!

* is a classic SF magazine cover a day.

* Breaking news: Democratic party leaders are completely worthless.

Look, if Democrats can’t repeal a policy more than two thirds of the American people, including a majority of conservatives want gone then they can’t expect people to vote for them.

* Climate scientists to get serious in opposing the nihilists who just took over the House.

* Hard to believe an obvious lie would gain traction in conservative circles.

* Alas, Ireland.

* The Supreme Court has turned down its first challenge to the Affordable Care Act. But don’t get too excited; it was on procedural grounds.

* Der Spiegel on the end of America.

The United States of 2010 is dysfunctional, but in new ways. The entire interplay of taxes and investments is out of joint because a 16,000-page tax code allows for far too many loopholes and because solidarity is no longer part of the way Americans think. The political system, plagued by lobbyism and stark hatred, is incapable of reaching consistent or even quick decisions.

The country is reacting strangely irrationally to the loss of its importance — it is a reaction characterized primarily by rage. Significant portions of America simply want to return to a supposedly idyllic past. They devote almost no effort to reflection, and they condemn cleverness and intellect as elitist and un-American, as if people who hunt bears could seriously be expected to lead a world power. Demagogues stir up hatred and rage on television stations like Fox News. These parts of America, majorities in many states, ignorant of globalization and the international labor market, can do nothing but shout. They hate everything that is new and foreign to them.

Sounds about right.

* World’s greatest trick play ever.

* And scientific proof that 30 Rock is funnier than S#*! My Dad Says. On this there can be no debate.


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MSNBC has caused a stir by suspending Keith Olbermann indefinitely without pay for making political donations to Democratic candidates (lated amended to “without prior permission”). The Wall Street Journal reported that Nation editor Chris Hayes was also being punished for donations (these made before Hayes was even under NBC contract), but Hayes denied this. Joe Scarborough made similar donations, as has Pat Buchanan—but as with most such things, it’s okay if you’re a Republican.

It’s likely that the Comcast merger was a factor.

Late last year, Comcast — the nation’s largest cable provider and second largest Internet service provider — inked a deal taking over NBC Universal, the parent company of MSNBC. Comcast moved swiftly to reshuffle MSNBC’s top staff. On September 26th of this year, Comcast announced perhaps the most dramatic shift, replacing longtime MSNBC chief Jeff Zucker with Comcast executive Steve Burke. Burke has given generous amounts to both parties — providing cash to outgoing Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) as well as to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and other top Republicans. But as Public Citizen has noted, Burke has deep ties to the Republican Party. Public Citizen’s report reveals that Burke served as a key fundraiser to President George Bush, and even served on Bush’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology:

Comcast – the country’s largest provider of cable TV and broadband Internet services – has increased its political giving along with its mergers and acquisitions. CEO Brian Roberts was a co-chairman of the host committee at the 2000 Republican Convention. Comcast Cable President Stephen Burke has raised at least $200,000 for Bush’s re-election campaign. […] Comcast’s political giving has increased along with its mergers and acquisitions. The company was a “platinum sponsor” at the 2000 GOP convention, and Roberts was a co-chairman of the host committee at the Philadelphia event. Burke was appointed to the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology in 2002.

Why would Comcast be interested in silencing progressive voices? Historically, Comcast has boosted its profits by buying up various telecommunication and media content companies — instead of providing faster Internet or better services (overall, American broadband services are far slower than in many industrialized nations). Many of these mergers, as Public Citizen and Free Press have reported, have been allowed by regulators because of Comcast’s considerable political muscle. Comcast’s latest regulatory battle has been to oppose Net Neutrality — a rule allowing a free and open Internet — because the company would prefer to have customers pay for preferred online content.

More on that here. There’s also rampant speculation on Twitter and elsewhere that Comcast may be attempting to curry favor with the incoming GOP-run Commerce Committee, which still has to approve the NBC merger.

I don’t watch Olbermann, but I won’t watch Maddow clips online until he’s back.

Friday Night in Arlington

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* Travel the galaxy from the privacy of your couch with these retro Star Wars travel posters. (Thanks, Fiona!)

* Rally for Sanity Watch: Liberal and left activist groups will be out in force trying to swell their ranks. I wonder how they’ll feel after Stewart says they’re half the “problem.

* Rally for Insanity Watch: 1, 2, 3.

* Here come the Dollhouse comics.

Between a solid science fiction and crackpot that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the science fiction.

* Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach will co-produce “a screwball comedy about an escort, a theatre director and a private detective.” Something called Moonrise Kingdom is said to be Wes’s next directorial project. I’m already excited.

What Is This Country For If Not To Take Care Of Its People?

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 25, 2010 at 8:54 am