Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘meat

Weekend Links

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* CFP: My friend Alexis Lothian is planning a special issue of Ada on feminist science fiction.

* Sunday map-reading: an index of maps from fantasy novels.

* Study: The U.S. has had one mass shooting per month since 2009.

image001* reclaimUC vs. administrative bloat.

The UC administration constitutes a parasitic bureaucracy that grows and expands by consuming those elements of the university that remain outside of it. It can only survive by extracting tuition from students and wages from university workers. In return, it does not grow the university—it grows only itself.

* Relatedly: MOOCs and university management troubles.

* So basically every college is lying to U.S. News, I guess?

Proponents of the current craze ought to think carefully about the human costs of technology before enthusiastically proclaiming the end of a system that could leave hundreds of thousands of people without work, students cheated out of a quality education, and that would further contribute to the creation of a world where virtualization is always and everywhere, without qualification or questioning, heralded as an unequivocal good.

* Ban double majors! That’ll solve it.

Year-by-Year Comparison of College and University Endowments, 2007-12. Results of the 2012 Faculty Salary Survey.

* Obama administration vs. fair use? My god, why?

* In short, I am tempted to declare the transition from the Cold War to the War on Terror the greatest example of “first as tragedy, then as farce” in world history.

* When they almost domed Winooski, Vermont.

* Film and television news! Is Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood the greatest television show ever made? Imagining Sisyphus Happy: A Groundhog Day Retrospective. The “gentleman’s F” and the scourge of deliberate mediocrity.

* Animal news! How owls swivel their heads. Depressed Groundhog Sees Shadow Of Rodent He Once Was. Burger King admits it has been selling beef burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat.

* All about the North Dakota energy boom. Via Kottke, here it is visible from space.

nodak-oil-fields-sat

Hillary Clinton currently leads the three named Republicans (Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and by eight points, Texas Gov. Rick Perry) in a 2016 presidential test heat. In Texas.

* Oregon Is The Only State Left That Hasn’t Imposed Any Restrictions On Abortion.

* Michael Chabon on Wes Anderson’s Worlds.

The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.”

There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher’s heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises “adolescence.” The feeling haunts people all their lives.

Of course, on the Cornell box angle, Jaimee was there first.

* Great animated short from Disney: Paperman.

* U.S. carbon emissions drop to lowest level since 1994. In part because at this pace the U.S. won’t get back to full employment until 2022.

* Some iPad and iPhone puzzle game recommendations. I’ve been obsessed with Flow and Hundreds lately myself.

* And tempered glass can just randomly explode for no reason. The more you know!

Saturday Pre-Epic-Road-Trip Links

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Tuesday Mo(u)rning Links

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* Utopian for Beginners: An amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented.

* Uncomfortable metaphor watch:

The two spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, have been orbiting the Moon since their launch in September 2011 to create a gravity field map of its surface.

But, with not enough fuel to carry out further experiments, the American space agency opted for a “controlled descent” to avoid the risk of obliterating astronaut Neil Armstrong’s footsteps on the Moon.

Questions They Might Ask You at Your MLA Interview.

* Great moments in attendance policies.

* Fill-in-the-Blank Generic Gun Massacre Cartoon. Joe Scarborough, communist. Obama speaks at Sandy Hook Vigil. The formula is simple: The more batshit malevolent the gun cult gets, the more power they exert. Our Moloch. On politicizing tragedy:

What that means in practice is that in the aftermath of contemporary gun tragedies, we don’t see new gun legislation. What we do see is a spike in gun sales. After the shooting last summer in Aurora, Colorado, gun sales went up. After the Giffords shooting, there was a surge in purchases of the very Glock semiautomatic that wounded her. Certainly, the firearm industry and lobby will confront some bad P.R. in the coming weeks, but they can likely find succor in an uptick in business. Following the Newtown shooting, Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners for America, suggested that these massacres might be avoided in the future, if only more teachers were armed.

As Pratt’s sentiment should make clear, the United States has slipped its moorings and drifted into a realm of profound national lunacy. Ponder, for a second, the fact that I cannot walk into a C.V.S. today and purchase half-a-dozen packages of Sudafed, but I can walk into a gun dealership and purchase a .50 caliber rifle of the sort that U.S. snipers use in Afghanistan. In fact, I can buy six or ten—there is no limit imposed by law. Should the gun dealer think it fishy that I might want to acquire a weapon capable of downing a small aircraft (much less six of those weapons) he may report the purchase to the A.T.F. But in most states, he’s not required to.

You are terrible: The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is a price that is paid for protection of the Second Amendment. You are terrible: Huckabee Blames ‘Tax-Funded Abortion Pills’ For Newtown Massacre. You are terrible: Can you imagine being in the shoes of the one who feels his power slipping away? You are terrible: If we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.

Unless I am missing a very subtle parody of libertarianism,  McArdle’s plan to teach children to launch banzai charges against mass murderers is the single worst solution to any problem I have ever seen offered in a major publication.

I mean really.

Support the creation of local organizations to act as “neighborhood watch” for schools. Had George Zimmerman been at the front door instead of some mechanical card reader those children would still be alive. Perhaps it’s time we start asking for volunteers to protect our children. It will require security checks, but isn’t that worth it? This dovetails with the union problem; the unions will fight this measure tooth-and-nail.

No, Really, Regulate the Bullets. Race, Class, Violence and Denial: Mass Murder and the Pathologies of Privilege. What makes America’s gun culture totally unique in the world, in four charts. But maybe this chart is the only one you need.

preschoolers-guns

Dreams in Infrared: The Woes of an American Drone Operator.

Leaked IPCC Draft Report: Recent Warming Is Manmade, Cloud Feedback Is Positive, Inaction Is Suicidal.

* I’m sorry to say I’ve followed Ricky Gervais pretty far down the “obnoxious asshat” rabbit hole, and even I can’t imagine how his staring in The Muppets 2 could possibly turn out good.

* When Stoker wrote Whitman.

Popular Mechanics makes 110 predictions for the next 110 years.

2012 to 2022

Drones will protect endangered species. Guarding at-risk animals from poachers with foot patrols is expensive and dangerous. This summer rangers in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park previewed a savvy solution: Hand-launched drones armed with cameras and GPS provided aerial surveillance of threatened Indian rhinos.

Digital “ants” will protect the U.S. power grid from cyber attacks.Programmed to wander networks in search of threats, the high-tech sleuths in this software, developed by Wake Forest University security expert Errin Fulp, leave behind a digital trail modeled after the scent streams of their real-life cousins. When a digital ant designed to perform a task spots a problem, others rush to the location to do their own analysis. If operators see a swarm, they know there’s trouble.

Vegetarians and carnivores will dine together on synthetic meats. We’re not talking about tofu. We’re talking about nutritious, low-cost substitutes that look and taste just like the real thing. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has already invested in Beyond Meat, which makes plant-based chicken strips so convincing they almost fooled New York Times food writer Mark Bittman.

Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete. Invented by University of Michigan engineer Victor Li, the new composite is laced with microfibers that bend without breaking. Hairline fractures mend themselves within days when calcium ions in the mix react with rainwater and carbon dioxide to create a calcium carbonate patch.

* The east coast of 2057.

* Catfood forever! Catfood for everyone!

* And Republicans are still planning on rigging the Electoral College. Or you could just try being popular. You could, just once, try that…

Thursday Afternoon

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* Reminder: Don’t eat beef in the United States. The Kansas City Star reports. Via MetaFilter.

Maps of Earth Showing Where Severe Weather is Most Likely to Kill You.

* A map of the United States as 50 states of equal population.

electoral10-1100

* Deep poverty: Americans living on two dollars a day.

* Life without Parole: Four Inmates’ Stories. The School-to-Prison Pipeline Gets Its First-Ever Airing in the Senate.

* Actual headline, or log-line for the next Stephen King novel? “USF researchers find 19 more graves at Dozier School for Boys.”

The state agency in Wisconsin that oversees for-profit colleges is considering a proposal that would require those institutions to meet certain performance standards—much like a controversial federal rule—in order to be allowed to operate in the state.

* The average American in the year 1900 had an I.Q. that by today’s standards would measure about 67. Since the traditional definition of mental retardation was an I.Q. of less than 70, that leads to the remarkable conclusion that a majority of Americans a century ago would count today as intellectually disabled. Given that IQ tests are definitely objective and reliable and are definitely a meaningful indicator of intelligence, this is indeed the only possible conclusion!

As many as one million working-age men died due to the economic shock of mass privatisation policies followed by post-communist countries in the 1990s, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

* Kevin Drum notes they’ve chosen the worst possible filibuster reform. No one could have predicted!

*Something something “A good start”: Law school applications are collapsing.

Did the Zipingpu Dam Trigger China’s 2008 Earthquake?

* Big Catholic? Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova leave the Big East.

* Honest internship ad. A non-defense.

* And today in “hilariously missing the point:” The CW is Planning a Hunger Games-Based Reality Show.

Monday

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* As I discuss in my presentation for SLSA next week, Octavia Butler predicted it: Huntington’s mutation can improve learning before symptoms arrive.

* How to fight a nuclear war: Jimmy Carter had a plan.

* Stuyvesant, Harvard, people are alike all over: the psychology of cheating.

* “In Plain View”: How molesters get away with it.

* Meta poll-of-polls analysis shows the Romney campaign is in serious trouble.

What Erikson and Wlezien did is rather remarkable: They collected pretty much every publicly available poll conducted during the last 200 days of the past 15 presidential elections and then ran test after test on the data to see what we could say about the trajectory of presidential elections. Their results make Romney’s situation look very dire.

For instance: The least-stable period of the campaign isn’t early in the year or in the fall. It’s the summer. That’s because the conventions have a real and lasting effect on a campaign.

But the most surprising of Erikson and Wlezien’s results, and the most dispiriting for the Romney campaign, is that unlike the conventions, the debates don’t tend to matter. There’s “a fairly strong degree of continuity from before to after the debates,” they write. That’s true even when the trailing candidate is judged to have “won” the debates. “Voters seem to have little difficulty proclaiming one candidate the ‘winner’ of a debate and then voting for the opponent,” Erikson and Wlezien say.

Massachusetts looks to be reverting to the mean, too.

* Underselling it a bit: “Potentially unsafe” rat meat is being sold illegally in London marketplaces. Remember, it’s only potentially unsafe. Who among us can really know anything for sure?

* Also at io9: George Dvorsky takes the recent rheseus monkey brain-implant study as a hook for another ride on the what-could-possibly-go-wrong merry-go-round about uplifting animals.

* The Los Angeles Review of Books visits the comics.

* And just because it’s Monday: Ben Folds vs. the Fraggles.

Weekend Links

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It used to be that families first signed up for education loans when their child enrolled in college, but a growing number of parents are seeking tuition assistance as soon as kindergarten. Though data is scarce, private school experts and the small number of lenders who provide loans for kindergarten through 12th grade say pre-college loans are becoming more popular.

As for what may have driven her to do it, the prosecutor argued in her opening statement that whatever horrors Harris had endured at the hands of her father should have little bearing on the crime itself. A Daughter’s Revenge. Not for the faint of heart.

* More nightmares: Aleksander Hemon records the death of his young daughter.

* To conclude, a projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30%, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends.

* A study concludes the recent earthquake spike in the U.S. is almost certainly manmade.

* Corporations Hoard Cash Overseas In Anticipation Of Congress Giving Them A Huge Tax Break. It’s like they can see the future!

* Olson noted that the IRS relied on computers to audit all but the highest-income brackets. “We’re getting to a situation where the only people who will get face-to-face audits are the 1 Percent,” she said. “For the majority of taxpayers, the IRS has become faceless, nameless, with no accountability and no liability.”

* Moorhead, MN, police steal $12,000 tip from waitress.

* Learning literally nothing from history: The Obama Administration has approved the expansion of a pilot program that allows poultry producers to hire their own regulators. Via LGM.

* And I may have done this one before, but why not again? The Collective Snapshot.

Big Monday Links

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(some links stolen from the great zunguzungu)

* It’s bad enough that I’ll never be asked to reboot Back to the Future—but it’d be utterly intolerable if the gig goes to two guys I went to high school with. Jon says it’s all a big misunderstanding but you know he’s just trying to throw me off the scent.

* There is no fresh start: The Return of Mad Men and the End of TV’s Golden Age. A metafictional reading of the series. And for fun: The Foreign Language of Mad Men: Do the characters really talk like people from the ’60s?

Let us start with the obvious: in the entire decade or so of airport security since the attacks on America on September 11th 2001, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist.

* Arundhati Roy: “Capitalism: A Ghost Story.”

* In his novel “2066: Red Star Over America,” Han, China’s premier science-fiction writer, depicts a disturbing future. It is the year 2066. China rules the world while the U.S. festers in financial decline and civil war. A team has been sent to America to disseminate civilization through the traditional Chinese board game Go. But during the critical Go match held at the World Trade Center, terrorists strike. The seas around New York rise, the Twin Towers crumble and the U.S. is plunged into pandemonium. You had me at “Go.” Via io9.

* Do professors get paid too much for too little work? Obviously. More here.

* Related: “College Professors Demand Right to Be Mean.”

* Facebook asserts trademark on word “Book.” Can’t see that being controversial.

* It must be an election year, because suddenly the Obama administration is talking about the environment.

Extreme weather events over the past decade have increased and were “very likely” caused by manmade global warming, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change said on Sunday. “Scientists at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Research used physics, statistical analysis and computer simulations to link extreme rainfall and heat waves to global warming,” Reuters reports. “It is very likely that several of the unprecedented extremes of the past decade would not have occurred without anthropogenic global warming,” said the study. Why didn’t anybody warn us!

Government spending is good in a recession? Why didn’t anyone tell us!

* Why is horseracing even allowed? Via MeFi.

Rules: This is a very specific contest. Don’t tell us why you like meat, why organic trumps local or why your food is yours to choose. Just tell us why it’s ethical to eat meat.

* If They Directed It: The Hunger Games. I don’t think anything I’ve written on Twitter has gotten as many retweets as my brief reading of series as a utopia.

* Imagining The Wire Season Six.

* On not calling Rich Santorum “crazy.”

* Jeffrey Jerome Cohen writes up his visit to the wonderful conference I was at last weekend, ICFA 2012.

A highlight of ICFA was China Miéville’s talk “On Monsters.” I am a fan of Miéville’s work; The City and the City is one of my favorite books. His narratives are always beautifully written as well as philosophically challenging. Besides possessing an astonishing vocabulary (he sends me to the dictionary, and makes me wonder how they ever gave me a PhD), he is a writer widely read in theory — though his books never turn into allegories for lit crit. They always trace problems, and stay away from anything easy. Miéville brought up Quentin Meillassoux and speculative realism, for example, during his paper (dismissively: he is not a fan of SR or object oriented philosophy, which surprised me). China’s presentation started off as straightforward account of how the uncanny might be broken into various subcategories: the ab-canny, the sur-canny, the sub-canny, the post-canny, the para-canny, and onwards. His account began seriously but spiralled into a proliferative joke. His point was that classification is not analysis, and that such a “taxonomic frenzy” (as he called it) mortifies: “the drive to translate useful constructs into foundations for analysis is deadly,” because it violently takes away the potency and possibility of the terms it organizes. What was interesting to me, though, is that China’s talk performed something, um, para-canny (right beside itself, there but unseen) that I’ve also learned from studying medieval encyclopedists: taxonomic frenzy might produce a desiccated system of emplacement in which everything gets filed into a cabinet and drained of its vitality. Or it might actually be so creative in its proliferative energy and so limned by the necessity of its own failure that it undermines its own rigidity in the very process of articulation, becoming an envitalizing and innovative act — an act of writing — rather than a system of deadening inscription. China’s multiplication of canniness had a power that he walked away from, I think: why abandon your monster like that?

* Honoring the 20th anniversary of Apollo 18 the only possible way: interactive fiction.

* This American Life: What kind of ideology?

* “He Was a Crook”: Longform.org remembers Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary for Richard Nixon.

* Haiti: Where did the money go?

* Support for Afghan War falls. Support for NC anti-gay amendment rises.

A recent Elon University poll found that 58 percent of North Carolinians oppose the amendment, with 38 in favor of it. That poll surveys adults statewide, while the WRAL News poll includes the results only of likely voters.

Despite the broad amendment support in the WRAL News poll, only 37 percent of voters said same-sex couples deserve no legal recognition in North Carolina, according to the poll.

So you have no idea what you’re voting for and won’t bother to find out. Got it.

* Because the 2012 campaign hasn’t been tedious enough: 2016.

* Trayvon Martin and the history of lynching. The Corporations Behind the Law That May Let Trayvon Martin’s Killer Go Free. On Trayvon Martin as innocent victim.

Why Obama’s Healthcare Law Is Constitutional. Absolutely everything you need to know about health reform’s Supreme Court debut. What the Supreme Court Could Do About Obamacare, Explained. Legal experts: Court won’t strike down ‘Obamacare.’

* If I didn’t know better I’d say this little video has some sort of message.

* MLA Job Information List data back to 1965.

* Infographic of the night: Doomsday Predictions Debunked.

* The headline reads, “UC review backs use of pepper spray on protesters.” Huh! I really thought they’d give themselves hell.

Referring to pepper spray, he wrote: “A few focused applications on the crowd that blocked the officers near the row of bushes would likely have cleared that area very quickly, with few additional baton strikes.”

You’re a university, for Christ’s sake. My god.

* What could possibly go wrong? Has Obama put us on a permanent war footing, even in peacetime?

* And what could possibly go wrong? Tacocopter could be the unmanned future of food delivery. Some should have read more Jenny Rhee.

Honestly, Meat Is Gross

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Gerald Zirnstein grinds his own hamburger these days. Why? Because this former United States Department of Agriculture scientist and, now, whistleblower, knows that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls “pink slime.”

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

Friday Links

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* Television without Pity surveys the 10 most promising new shows of the fall, including the precrime-centered Person of Interest from J.J. Abrams starring Lost‘s Ben, the time-travel-centered Alcatraz also from J.J. Abrams starring Lost‘s Hurley, the parallel-universe-centered Awake, and the doppleganger-centered Ringer with Sarah Michelle Gellar playing twins. Of these only Awake and Alcatraz seem potentially promising.

* Procedural requests from the judges on the 6th Court suggest ACA opponents may not actually have standing to oppose the mandate.

* A majority of Americans now support gay marriage. This is happening faster than I thought it would.

* Jaimee has a book review in this week’s Independent Weekly.

* And not available online, but still interesting: The New Yorker has a piece this week on cruelty-free meat grown in test tubes.

Last Night in London Links

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* Once again xkcd shows off its uncanny knack for reading my mind: “There are two or three songs out there with beeps in the chorus that sound exactly like the clock radio alarm I had in high school, and hearing it makes me think my life since junior year has been a dream I’m about to wake up from.”

* Zissou, Simpsonized.

* So that settles it, we’re never leaving: Oilfield With Estimated 1.8 Billion Barrels Of Oil Identified In Afghanistan.

* Wheat beats white for the first time ever.

* Also in food news: I guess I’m the last to know they’ve been cloning meat and milk for sale in the U.S. Gross.

* More on the future of renewable energy in North Carolina, in Independent Weekly.

* I think this study comes as close to proving that men are scum as any could: Men are more likely to cheat if they earn less money than their female partner, but they’re also more likely to cheat if their partners are financially dependent on them…

* If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.

* France urged to repay $23 billion in compensation to Haiti. Sounds like a good start.

* Your moral coward of the night: Harry Reid.

* Your morally odious moron of the night: Ross Douthat, who apparently believes violence, intolerance, and discrimination are essential and praiseworthy components of America’s liberal tradition.

* And I really can’t believe I’m getting sucked into this nonsense, but all right: Photos of Stuff the Same Distance from the World Trade Center as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”

Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac?

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Have I done this one before? Via Twitter.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Wednesday Roundup

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* Skepticism fail: James Randi jumps the shark. Ugh.

* Health care reform continues its endless slide into oblivion. Steve Benen counts the five senators still not on board: Ben Nelson/Olympia Snowe from the “center,” and Feingold, Sanders, and Burris from the left. Meanwhile, Crooks & Liars and Firedoglake still argue the Liebermanized bill is worse than nothing, while Yglesias singles out Harry Reid for praise:

…the fact of the matter is that there’s almost no precedent for the legislative mission he’s been asked to accomplish of turning 59 Democrats, one loosely Democrat-aligned Independent, and two slightly moderate Republicans into 60 votes for a package that’s simultaneously a dramatic expansion of the welfare state and a measure that reduces both short- and long-term deficits.

Fair enough. But it’s Reid’s total rejection of reconciliation as even a theoretical alternative that has left us in this mess in the first place. Reid gets no special praise from me.

* io9’s 20 best SF films of the 2000s. Totally forgot Spider-Man 2 and Eternal Sunshine were from this decade; it’s been a long ten years.

* And meat-eaters finally win a round: “Meat may be the reason humans outlive apes.”

Thursday

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Oh, Thursday.

* Water discovered on Moon.

It’s not a lot of water. If you took a two-liter soda bottle of lunar dirt, there would probably be a medicine dropperful of water in it, said University of Maryland astronomer Jessica Sunshine, one of the scientists who discovered the water. Another way to think of it is if you want a drink of water, it would take a baseball diamond’s worth of dirt, said team leader Carle Pieters of Brown University.

I can’t wait to drink bottled moon water. Delicious.

* NeilAlien has some good links about the Kirby heirs’ attempt to reclaim their Marvel copyrights in the wake of the Siegel heirs’ successful lawsuit against DC.

* Naomi Klein interviews Michael Moore about who hates America more.

* For every newly converted vegetarian, four poor humans start earning enough money to put beef on the table. In the past three decades, the earth’s dominant carnivores have tripled our average per capita consumption; in the next four decades global meat production will double to 465 million tons.

* Salon on the end of oil and the era of extreme energy.

* Moammar Gadhafi vs. the World Cup.

Late Night Friday

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Late night Friday.

* As expected, Waxman-Markey passed the House earlier tonight, despite the usual deranged opposition. (Voting breakdown from FiveThirtyEight.) Ezra and Matt pour over a chart that demonstrates just how little this will cost, despite what Republicans are claiming, while Grist considers whether cap and trade has ever actually achieved its stated goals. I’m disappointed with the bill and terrified about what the Senate will pass.

* MoveOn will target Kay Hagan for her opposition to the public option. Good.

* Froomkin’s last column at the Washington Post takes the media to task for completely failing us over the last few decade.

And while this wasn’t as readily apparent until President Obama took office, it’s now very clear that the Bush years were all about kicking the can down the road – either ignoring problems or, even worse, creating them and not solving them. This was true of a huge range of issues including the economy, energy, health care, global warming – and of course Iraq and Afghanistan.

How did the media cover it all? Not well. Reading pretty much everything that was written about Bush on a daily basis, as I did, one could certainly see the major themes emerging. But by and large, mainstream-media journalism missed the real Bush story for way too long. The handful of people who did exceptional investigative reporting during this era really deserve our gratitude: People such as Ron Suskind, Seymour Hersh, Jane Mayer, Murray Waas, Michael Massing, Mark Danner, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau (better late than never), Dana Priest, Walter Pincus, Charlie Savage and Philippe Sands; there was also some fine investigative blogging over at Talking Points Memo and by Marcy Wheeler. Notably not on this list: The likes of Bob Woodward and Tim Russert. Hopefully, the next time the nation faces a grave national security crisis, we will listen to the people who were right, not the people who were wrong, and heed those who reported the truth, not those who served as stenographers to liars.

* But I think Ezra Klein makes the point more strongly:

I think that analytically honest political commentators right now should be struggling with a pretty hard choice: Do you try to maximize the possibility of good, if still insufficient, outcomes? Or do you admit what many people already know and say that our political process has gone into total system failure and the overriding priority is building the long-term case for structural reform of America’s lawmaking process? Put another way, can you really solve any of our policy problems until you solve our fundamental political problem? And don’t think about it in terms of when your team is in power. Think of it in terms of the next 30 years, and the challenges we face.

* Posthumously cleared after twenty-five years. Via MeFi.

* We had to lie about Sotomayor because we’re still mad about Robert Bork. Right. Of course.

* More on how Obama forced Mark Sanford to shirk his responsibilities and flee the country. This is politics at its worst.

* I’m with Joe Strummer: If you don’t like Springsteen you’re a pretentious Martian from Venus. Via Shankar D.

* And of course we’re still coming to terms with Michael Jackson:
Web grinds to a halt after Michael Jackson dies. Secret library of 100 songs could be released. Google mistakes the explosion of searches for an attack. Spike in SMS traffic outpaces 9/11. Will Bruno face a last-minute edit? (Some of these via @negaratduke.)

Monday Late Night Politics

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Monday late night politics.

* Strange things are happening in South Carolina, where Governor Mark Sanford has been missing for four days. Reports are that the governor has made contact, but the governor’s office won’t confirm that’s true. (UPDATE: The governor’s office is now saying that Sanford is on the Appalachian Trail, a mere 2000 miles long.)

* Waxman-Markey Watch: In the comments Alex drops an A-bomb to describe one of the key antagonists on this bill, Colin Peterson. Apparently the bill is unlikely to be debated this week. Yale e360 had a roundup of opinions on Waxman-Markey that’s worth reading, with Climate Progress providing a roundup of the roundup. Krugman (also via CP) had a recent column on the bill, too, coming out in favor of it.

* Mexico has decriminalized small amounts of drugs. Good.

* ‘Eco-Friendly Meat Could Begin With Mini-Cows.’ Gross.

* Dystopia is now: Bill Simmon takes a good, hard look at reports that Lancaster, PA, will soon be putting in so many security cameras that it will take a volunteer Stasi comprised of local busybodies to watch them all and determines that this may be the least worst alternative for our privacy-robbed future. Frankly I think Bill’s got this one wrong: open-source surveillance is a police state, just one with slightly better branding. Call me Sisyphus Q. Luddite if you must but I don’t think panoptic surveillance is some historical inevitability; it can and should be resisted, not embraced.

* And Ta-Nehisi Coates calls for a reality check regarding Martin Luther King. (NB: He’s already walked the post back.)

Written by gerrycanavan

June 23, 2009 at 2:49 am