Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Maddow

Friday Links! Tons of Them! Not All of Them Depressing!

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* The kids are all right: the editorial in the Marquette Tribune today is anti-edX, anti-robo-graders.

* MOOC as intellectual neocolonialism. Why online education is mostly a fantasy. The MOOC monster will never be satisfied.

* “I can’t tell you how disappointed I am,” said State Sen. Alberta Darling at Tuesday’s hearing. “Here we have accounts of tuition being squirreled away at the same time you raised tuition. What was your intent?” Scenes from the war on higher education in Wisconsin.

* Depression and graduate school.

* On “disruption.”

Perhaps it is the self-aggrandizement the authors seem to share with the ballooning employer-fix-it crowd, but when I encountered this perennial theory in The Innovator’s Prescription, I finally realized that everything I learned as a bartender at HBS was true: things do work out perfectly when we all nod in agreement, sketch it out on cocktail napkins, and congratulate each other for being in each other’s presence.

Hundreds of Chicago Students Walk Out of Standardized Test. Chicago Public Schools cancels district-mandated standardized test for kindergartens and first graders.

What does the ubiquitous cheating in reform-era education mean? It means that reformers are so dumb they can’t even set up arbitrary benchmarks for success; they literally fail their own tests despite having written the questions and answers themselves. Imagine a panel of fish oil salesmen riddled with arthritis and clearly suffering from memory loss and you get some idea. What the cheating proves is that these people are liars and cheats, but more than that, it proves that the systems of accountancy and auditing promoted by the liars and cheaters are themselves a lie. The reform is doubly fraudulent.

US schools weigh bulletproof uniforms: ‘It’s no different than a seatbelt in a car.’ Well, maybe it’s a little different. Can we agree it’s a little different?

In short, it’s time to cash out of capitalism. Here at http://stocktips.gerrycanavan.com we’ve been rating capitalism as a DON’T BUY for years.

Workplace Safety and the Gilded Age Theory of Risk. Hundreds of thousands of Bangladesh’s garment workers walk out in protest over factory deaths. Yglesias shrugs.

* Surprise! The Hostess bankruptcy was union-busting.

A 2010 report produced by a Dallas investment house found that aside from the richest of the rich, among the remaining 90 percent of NFL players, nine in ten of them would be insolvent within ten years of retirement.

* UCLA professor let his students “cheat” on a game theory midterm. I can’t decide if he should have flunked the Lone Wolves or given them A+s.

* Matt Weiner says Mad Men season six is structured by the Wikipedia entry for Dante’s Inferno.

The spectacle has to be shaped carefully so that suffering takes on the qualities of an elevating narrative the audience can feel part of, an affirmative allegory of capitalism in which hard work and energetic competition show us the most worthy, the winners. Jacobin vs. the Oscars.

* Rachel Maddow vs. Alex Jones.

May the curse of labor be cursed, may the ineluctability of production become its sorrow.

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever.

* And I hate it when politicians break kayfabe. As my friend @mikemccaffrey put it: “Can you please identify the president who assaulted your democracy in this lineup?”

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Sunday Night!

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* Flights of inspired genius that made me wish I had more Twitter followers: #tweetsfrom2112 (1, 2) and #cabininthe2012GOPprimary.

* Rachel Maddow and conservatism, the new liberalism.

* The New Jim Crow: How the War on Drugs gave birth to a permanent American under caste.

* Adding Monsters to Thrift Store Paintings.

* …But for every Romney action, there is an equal and opposite Romney reaction.

“I wanted to increase the work requirement,” said Romney. “I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.”

Let Jamison Foser have the final word: “If you think rich stay at home moms are awesome and poor stay at home moms lack dignity, it isn’t motherhood that you respect.”

* Tough times for the Romneys during their college years.

“We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time.

* CNN has interviewed women in all branches of the armed forces, including the Coast Guard, who tell stories that follow a similar pattern — a sexual assault, a command dismissive of the allegations and a psychiatric discharge.

* How 25 National Magazine Award Nominations Went To 25 Male Writers.

* A Short History of Neoliberalism (And How We Can Fix It).

In 1942, as part of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government acquired 70,000 acres of land in Eastern Tennessee and established a secret town called Oak Ridge.

* Save money next tax season with these space-related tax breaks.

* And a little NostalgiaFilter: What if Google had launched in the 80s?

(thanks zz)

Tuesday Night

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* Following up on today’s diappointing Supreme Court news: Obamacare’s Supreme Court Disaster. Well, That Could Have Gone Better. Brian Beutler says it wasn’t as bad as it looked. So does Ian Millhiser. The battle over a limiting principle. Medicaid as sleeper issue. Kennedy, Roberts Likely To Determine Fate Of Mandate. Lyle Denniston says it’s all Kennedy. Klein reads Roberts. Kerr reads Kennedy. Even more at MeFi.

* Rachel Maddow: 4,000 days of war in Afghanistan?

* An interview with the creator of You Can’t Do That on Television. Via MeFi.

* The headline reads, “Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible.”

* Look on the bright side: The speaker of the North Carolina House says the state’s coming anti-gay Amendment One will probably be struck down in a mere twenty years.

* More Scott Pilgrim? Maybe someday.

* Life in the Retreat at Twin Lakes after the Trayvon Martin shooting.

* And are these the rules of Roadrunner and Coyote? I choose to believe.

1. The Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “meep, meep.”
2. No outside force can harm the Coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time.
3. The Coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic.
4. No dialogue ever, except “meep, meep” and yowling in pain.
5. The Road Runner must stay on the road — for no other reason than that he’s a roadrunner.
6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters — the southwest American desert.
7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.
8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy.
9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.
10. The audience’s sympathy must remain with the Coyote.
11. The Coyote is not allowed to catch or eat the Road Runner.

Wisconsin, Unions, and Citizens United

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Really good segment from Rachel Maddow last night on the long-term strategy behind Scott Walker’s targeting of the right to organize.

School closings continue in Wisconsin. Governor says he won’t be “bullied.” Stay tuned: the next step is “recall everyone.”

Because the recall statute allows elected officials to serve for a full year before they are subject to recall, Walker himself is immune until January of 2012. Eight of Walker’s Republican allies in the state senate have served at least one year of their current term, however, and thus are eligible for a recall petition right now. If just three of these Republicans were to be replaced with Democrats, the state senate would flip to a Democratic-majority body. 

Even More Links for Wednesday

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“With the lame duck, the 111th Congress may even surpass the 89th [of President Lyndon Johnson] in terms of accomplishments,” said Norman Ornstein, a congressional expert at the American Enterprise Institute. Obama’s spin on this (naturally) is that his approach works; my sense is that the 111th Congress was successful despite his efforts at compromise, not because of them, and that it could have done even more had he proved more willing to get bloody. One of the big disappointments from the lame duck, the failure of DREAM Act, is still a clear win in political terms; it hurts Republicans badly, perhaps permanently, with America’s fastest-growing demographic. I believe the technical term for this is “making them eat shit”; it’s the next best thing to actually achieving your policy goals.

* Is this Obama’s second act? It feels like it. Maybe it’s just the rosy afterglow of the Spider-Man shout-out.

* Of course, every time I start feeling better about Obama, he goes and does something like this.

* Another way to fight climate change without Republican interference: use the executive branch’s purchasing power.

* 100% of returning Democratic Senators want to fix the filibuster at the start of the next Congress. That’s great news. I can’t wait to hear the excuse when they don’t.

* Rachel Maddow and #mooreandme.

* On the science tip, it turns out placebos work even when you know they’re fake.

* And austerity is your word of the year. Second place: pragmatic. Third place: moratorium. 2010 really hasn’t been great.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (and Several More)

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* Between the tax compromise and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, I think Obama did a tremendous amount to help his chances for reelection this week. Rachel Maddow rightly calls the DADT repeal the president’s victory:

Politically, the thing to not lose touch with here is that this is the President’s victory. This is something about which the President took a lot of criticism, a lot of abuse, a lot of skepticism from his otherwise most loyal supporters. He continually insisted that this was possible that it would get done.

Guilty as charged. I confess I also love the sweet sound of right-wing screams, especially when their own caucus collapsed in the face of this “generational change.” Even Richard Burr voted the right way!

* It looks like Harvard and Yale will return ROTC to their campuses in light of the repeal. Frankly I’d prefer to see the trend going the other way—we need tighter restrictions on military recruiting, not loosening of the few restrictions that already exist—but I suppose this was unavoidable.

* Seen on Facebook: Obama wants to let gays vote. That’s why I’m voting Tea Party.

* Watch out Texas: bad news coming.

* Aside from the matter of actual violence, drugs, and squalor, there was the fact that in the 1970s New York City was not a part of the United States at all. It was an offshore interzone with no shopping malls, few major chains, very few born-again Christians who had not been sent there on a mission, no golf courses, no subdivisions…

* The message to Nicky Wishart and his generation is very clear: don’t get any fancy ideas about being an engaged citizen. Go back to your X-Box and X-Factor, and leave politics to the millionaires in charge. Via MeFi.

* And still more trouble for Britain: There are a growing number of grassroots organisations campaigning about the over-professionalisation of childhood football. Give Us Back Our Game launched four years ago. “The game has been taken away from children by over-competitive coaches and parents,” says founder Paul Cooper. It has several offshoots, including Football Football, an initiative to revive inner-city football. Then there’s the Children’s Football Alliance, which champions “mixed ability” football, and the Don’t X The Line campaign against over-the-top parental behaviour at children’s football matches. Also via MeFi.

* Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is evolutionarily novel, so the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to consume these substances.

* And Fringe announces its move to the Friday night death slot with style.