Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Steele

Monday!

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* Oy: Florida federal judge voids entire health care law. Somebody wake up Anthony Kennedy, he’s got a coin to toss.

* RT @daveweigel: BREAKING: Florida Court rules Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential hopes unconstitutional

* TPM has your GOP-led voter suppression watch.

* ‘Pay China first’: don’t they deserve at least that much?

Can someone sketch me out an even moderately plausible scenario in which a moderate Republican governor who broke with his party on civil unions and cap-and-trade and then joined the Obama administration wins both the GOP nomination and the presidential election in 2012? Easy: unemployment stays above 9%.

Nearly half of Palin’s GOP backers may vote third-party if she isn’t nominated.

* Adults With College Degrees in the United States, by County. The Research Triangle really stands out. A poster at MetaFilter has a not-necessarily-illuminating comparison to the county-by-county election results from 2008.

* Nabil Fawzi, the Arab Superman. Via io9.

* xkcd learns to cook.

* IKEA Model Kitchen Demonstrates Jevons Paradox.

* And at last, some good news: the Michael Steele puppet will (almost certainly) come out of retirement.

Friday Fridays On

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* Man arrested after threats to Rep. McDermott. Man arrested after threats to Sen. Bennet. Hedge fund manager arrested after threats to 47 government officials. And then there’s this. It’s been a tough week.

* I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation’s military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack. I bet you’re wrong!

* Climate change makes the sun rise earlier in Greenland. It’s either totally true, or someone trolling the climate debate really effectively.

* Speaking of really effective trolls: Ladies and gentlemen, the Washington Times.

* The Assange hook is weird, but the overall point is right. Two spaces after a period: just don’t do it.

* Everyone is talking about the Joseph Conrad / Ford Maddox Ford science fiction novel I’ve had sitting on my shelf all semester. It’s available for free at Project Gutenberg.

* In nuclear silos, death wears a snuggie.

* Writing as an act of faith. Via Steve.

* Flowchart of the day: Should I work for free?

* Tweet of the day, by a mile.

Take out the vowels in Reince Priebus’ name and you get “RNC PR BS.”

It’s the only thing that makes losing Michael Steele any easier.

* If you’re ask sick of people talking about astrology as I am, you might enjoy Adorno’s “Theses against Occultism.” Via Vu.

* And I think I’ve done this one before, but what the hell: alternate universe movie posters.

Thursday Is The Cruelest Month

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Friday Morning Time Slip

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* Ambrose Bierce, inventor of the emoticon. Via @unrealfred.

* Joni Mitchell v. Bob Dylan.

* How to tell time on Mars. Via MeFi, which highlights Kim Stanley Robinson’s scheme in the Mars trilogy:

And then it was ringing midnight, and they were in the Martian time slip, the thirty-nine-and-a half-minute gap between 12:00:00 and 12:00:01; when all the clocks went blank or stopped moving.

* Statistics about TV in America. Also via MeFi.

* Nobody wants Reagan on the $50.

* Another case for Diane Wood.

* Michael Steele has acknowledged a four-decade-long Southern strategy, which seems like a big admission for a sitting RNC chair to make.

* Independent Weekly asked me to write a short piece about campus green initiatives in the Triangle for their Green Living Guide this year. Here it is, minus the sort of necessary if impolitic critique of consumer “choice” that was the subject of John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark’s talk last night. (Video of the talk will be up soon.) Like Foster and Clark my opinion is that these sorts of initiatives may be morally praiseworthy, and even efficacious at the margins, but that they are ultimately fundamentally incomplete, something akin to reupholstering the deck chairs on the Titanic.

* I’ll just say it: I don’t think people should try to pay their doctors with chickens.

* Functional immigration law or rational climate policy? Apparently we can’t have both.

* And the only thing that can stop this asteroid is your liberal arts degree.

Monday

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* A Joint Terrorism Task Force raided a Christian dominionist militia group in three states last night, allegedly for threats made against Islamic organizations.

* At least 37 people are dead in a Moscow subway attack.

* ‘Obama Recess Appointments Could Help Grad Unions.’

* Burying the lede: this article is nominally about Michael Steele’s attempts to buy himself a plane with RNC money, but check out this body paragraph: Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

* Reuters reports on junk food addiction.

They also bought healthy foods and devised a diet plan for three groups of rats.

One group ate a balanced healthy diet. Another group received healthy food, but had access to high-calorie food for one hour a day. Rats in the third group were fed healthy meals and given unlimited access to high-calorie foods.

The rats in the third group developed a preference for the high-calorie food, munched on it all day and quickly became obese, Kenny said.

The rats in the experiment had also been trained to expect a minor shock when exposed to a light. But when the rats that had unlimited access to high-calorie food were shown the light, they did not respond to the potential danger, Kenny said. Instead, they continued to eat their snacks.

* And today’s mandatory link: screenwriter apologizes for Battlefield Earth.

Monday Night Linkdump #2

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* Our friend, UNCG’s Own™ Jillian Weise, had a piece in the New York Times Magazine this week on going cyborg.

* Duke’s Own™ Alexis Pauline Gumbs is profiled at Race-Talk.

* Academia links: Ph.D. Supply and Demand. Ian Bogost on the future of the humanities. Losing the liberal arts.

* ‘Obama To Wait For Next Bruce Springsteen Album For Word On Economy.’

“If Mr. Springsteen puts out an E-Street Band project with one rave-up and several tracks containing an overarching theme of redemption, the president will certainly take that as a strong indicator of economic recovery,” said press secretary Robert Gibbs, adding that an album cover featuring an American flag would be “extremely promising.” “However, if he records a stark, haunting, Nebraska-esque exploration of blue-collar life, then it is time to lower interest rates and take immediate steps toward drastically reevaluating our current strategy.” The president has reportedly eschewed the supplementary Mellencamp Little Pink Housing Index used during the Reagan administration, as economists now widely believe it conveys a derivative, shallow view of the American fiscal landscape.

* Have I mentioned lately that Rachel Maddow is your president now?

* ‘”Tea party” polls better than GOP.

* The Conan O’Brien Contract Game. Grab your contract, but avoid the Jay Lenos!

* Daniel De Groot at Open Left, calling for fortitude in the fight against the filibuster, remembers how the elected Senate was won.

* ‘The Americanization of Mental Illness.’

* And some China superpower revisionism from The Diplomat.

Quick Links Part Deux

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* ‘Intellectuals and Their America,’ in Dissent. What’s the matter with progressives? Obama vs. OFA. All links via Bérubé.

* Against declinism. Via Yglesias, who concurs. For whatever reason Matt and Fallows have chosen to overlook the urgency of Peak Oil and ecological crises, material realities that are independent of either ideological pessimism or the business cycle. Decline is not only possible—it’s inevitable, and imminent, to the extent we don’t reorganize our society along ecologically rational lines.

* Related: ‘China overtakes U.S. as world’s biggest car market.’ ‘China produces most of the world’s rare earth metals, and soon it will need all that it produces.’ Both links via MeFi.

* Soon we may not have Michael Steele to kick around anymore.

* Because the networks and the newspapers won’t fact-check GOP talking points, it falls to Steve Benen to compare Bush’s response to the shoebomber to Obama’s response to the underpantsbomber. See also: yesterday’s moment of Zen.

TDS on CRU

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Jon Stewart had a so-so bit on the CRU hack last night, but I was annoyed to see him make the same mistake the right-wingers keep making regarding “hide the decline”: this idea that some sort of global cooling is happening but being masked by data manipulation. (This is a purely Limbaughian fantasy, last seen pouring out of the logorrheic mind of Michael Steele.) The opposite is actually the case: the problem is that post-1960 tree-ring data suggest temperatures that are lower than the real temperatures. The “decline,” that is to say, is in the theoretical temperatures as extrapolated from post-1960 tree-ring data, and not in the temperatures that were actually recorded.

Maybe it’s less funny that way, but Jon really shouldn’t feed the trolls if he can help it.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

Infinite Politics Thursday

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Infinite linkdump Thursday, just politics.

* The Mark Sanford story grows stranger by the day, with 19 South Carolina politicians now on the record calling for his resignation. (TPM reports that Senators DeMint and Graham have gone to Sanford to prevail on him to resign.) Today he backed off a pledge to release his travel records, which suggests more trouble may be brewing for him.

* Who could have imagined that Exxon-Mobil would lie about its continued support for climate-change “skepticism” advocacy groups?

* Highlights from the first day of the Al Franken Century.

* Democrats can now “hijack elections at their whim”: just another responsible, measured, and most of all empirically provable claim from RNC chairman Michael Steele, truly our country’s finest elder statesman.

* But it’s not all craziness: Michele Bachmann is facing criticism from the GOP for her weird lies about the Census.

* What caused the financial crisis? Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone (via MeFi) points to bubble economies nutured and created by giant investment firms, pointing the finger especially at Goldman Sachs. An Oklahoma lawmaker says it was “abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery.” I report, you decide.

* Malthusianism and world history: a chart from Conor Clarke.

It’s clear these growth trends can continue forever.

* Ezra Klein has a new Washington Post column on the politics of food.

Why Not Her?

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Will the 2010s be the Sarah Palin Decade?

According to Pew, the Alaska governor’s popularity among Republicans, as measured by her net approval-minus-disapproval ratings, is +56, with former Gov. Mitt Romney and former Speaker Newt Gingrich a bit further back, at +39 and +33 respectively, and Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele trailing far behind that trio with a +14 and 58 percent of Republicans having no opinion or unable to identify him.

This dynamic has been predicted before.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 29, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Late Night Late Night

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Late night!

* Still more logic puzzles, via the comments.

* My father directs our attention to a disturbing provision in North Carolina state law.

* I mean, we just went from winter to spring. In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that’s a good climate change. I don’t want to stop that climate change, you know. Yglesias uses this inanity to try and make a serious point, but man. That’s the second-stupidest thing ever said about climate change.

* Michael Pollan or Michel Foucault?

Written by gerrycanavan

June 7, 2009 at 6:40 am

We must go forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

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We must go forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom! More on today’s No More Apologizing! campaign from Michael Steele, who instructs us to imagine what Ronald Reagan might have to say about all this looking backwards. The Washington Independent notes this is the seventh attempt to reboot the GOP since November.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Good Morning, World

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Good morning, world.

* Michael Steele wants you to know that Republicans are done apologizing for the ruinous policies of the last eight years. Love it or lump it, chumps, they’ve turned the page.

* “Calling Utopia a Utopia,” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

To define science fiction as a purely commercial category of fiction, inherently trashy, having nothing to do with literature, is a tall order. It involves both denying that any work of science fiction can have literary merit, and maintaining that any book of literary merit that uses the tropes of science fiction (such as Brave New World, or 1984, or The Handmaid’s Tale, or most of the works of J.G. Ballard) is not science fiction. This definition-by-negation leads to remarkable mental gymnastics. For instance, one must insist that certain works of dubious literary merit that use familiar science-fictional devices such as alternate history, or wellworn science-fiction plots such as Men-Crossing-the-Continent-After-the Holocaust, and are in every way definable as science fiction, are not science fiction — because their authors are known to be literary authors, and literary authors are incapable by definition of committing science fiction.

Now that takes some fancy thinking.

* And Sarah Conner‘s showrunner says goodbye.

Good shows are cancelled every year; smart shows, worthy shows, shows which move their viewers to write blogs and have viewing parties and create action figures and bury executives’ email accounts under thousands of messages. I miss Deadwood and The Wire and Arrested Development but thank God that I still have Rescue Me and The Office and a recently renewed Party Down written by ex-T:SCC writer John Enbom.

Bad shows are cancelled, too. And certainly there are those who did not like what we did and had their own vision for what a Terminator TV show should be. It’s easy to look at low ratings or cancellation as “failure” and for those who believe we’ve gone about this all wrong I’m sure today’s news will only serve to confirm a world view that I would never try to change. We’ve written the show as best we can, executed it to the best of our abilities, and sent it out in the world knowing that we worked out asses off to do something that wouldn’t be a waste of anybody’s forty-three minutes.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 19, 2009 at 2:38 pm

More on Specter

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The netroots blogs are already talking about a primary challenge to Specter, despite apparent party-boss promises to the contrary. Right now most of the talk centers around the Employee Free Choice Act, which Specter recently decided he opposed back when he was still trying to protect his right flank from Pat Toomey. There’s been speculation that Specter’s reference to EFCA in his statement earlier today referred only to voting against the bill itself, and that he’d vote to invoke cloture—but it’s looking now as if he won’t vote for cloture either. In that case put money on the idea of a “miraculous compromise” on EFCA that modifies the language just enough to give Specter cover to flip-flop back. A Ned-Lamont-style primary challenge backed by Labor and the netroots would otherwise be almost inevitable, Rendell’s promises notwithstanding, and unlike Connecticut Pennsylvania has a “sore loser” law that would prevent a Liebermanesque run as an independent.

P.S.: Don’t miss Steele’s response to all this invoking the ugly specter of Arlen Specter’s mama.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 28, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Line of the Day

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Line of the day goes to Josh Marshall, writing about the Arlen Specter switch:

Late Update: Needless to say, this is quite a coup for the GOP, likely engineered by Michael Steele as a way to smoke out enemies.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm

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