Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Maddow

Early Monday

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* BP claims the Deepwater Horizon link has been partially contained. I’m partially impressed. Scientific American points out that what’s happening today will have consequences for decades. Elsewhere in oil news, the oil lobby is fighting efforts that would make them more accountable for the actual costs of their toxic industry, while elsewhere in the world the tar sand rush is on.

* Climate change: still real.

* The financial reform bill: better than you’d think?

* Libertarianism Bingo.

* Aesthetic controversy in Detroit! Can street art be moved and preserved?

* Aesthetic controversy in Scranton! The Office should not survive Michael Scott.

* Terror in Greenwich! Old-money WASPs being forced out of their homes and nonprofit boards by Jews, Catholics, and “others.”

* Popular Science remembers your cities of the future.

* Today cell phones don’t cause cancer. Live your life accordingly.

* And dueling commencement addresses: Rachel Maddow (part 2, part 3), Glenn Beck. Stay for the end of the Beck for some really intriguing anti-intellectualism that pits eggheads and their so-called “expertise” against the mighty Holy Spirit. Guess who wins.

Tuesday Miscellany

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* Lots of talk today about Arizona and its new “papers, please” immigration law, which James Doty, Andrew Napolitano, Erwin Chemerinsky and Karl Manheim all agree is almost certainly unconstitutional. Even Tom Tancredo and Joe Scarborough thinks this goes too far—though douchebag of liberty Bill Kristol thinks it’s fine. The city of San Francisco will join a national boycott. Perhaps Major League Baseball will too. There’s more commentary on this from Eugene Robinson, Rachel Maddow, Seth Meyer, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert.

* Colbert’s segment on Sue Lowden’s chickens-for-medical-care scheme was pretty great too.

* Alas, poor Durham: not one of America’s highest cities.

* Britain and China have your videos of the day.

* You can stop laughing, lawyers—now your degree is worthless too.

The Louisiana oil spill, as seen from space.

* And some breaking news: Ben Nelson is still really terrible.

Too Many Linkdumps Lately – 2

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Four for Saturday

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* This is actually the lead story on Drudge right now: “Little Girl Standing Near Obama Looks Bored.” It’s times like this I almost feel bad for the right-wing.

* Big fat leftist that I am, I’d go much further than Obama in my claims for the need for government. But at least we finally have someone in charge who admits the need for someone to be in charge.

* Relatedly, because of GOP obstruction, unemployment benefits will run out for 200,000 people on Monday.

* And the indispensable Rachel Maddow on lying liars. More and more on this from the indispensable Steve Benen.

Saturday! 2

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* You had me at “worst sci-fi/fantasy covers.”

* You might not like him when he’s angry: Obama flexes his muscles with the first recess appointments of his term. And Kevin Drum points out a nice detail:

This is pretty fascinating. Years ago, after Republicans filibustered a Carter nominee to the NLRB, the two parties made a deal: the board would have three appointees from the president’s party and two from the other party. So after he took office Obama nominated two Democrats and one Republican to fill the NLRB’s three vacant seats and got support from a couple of Republicans on the HELP committee for the entire slate. But when it got to the Senate floor John McCain put a hold on Becker, and his nomination — along with the others — died.

Fast forward today and Obama finally decides to fill the board using recess appointments. But what does he do? He only appoints the two Democrats. This is not what you do if you’re trying to make nice. It’s what you do if you’re playing hardball and you want to send a pointed message to the GOP caucus. You won’t act on my nominees? Fine. I’ll appoint my guys and then leave it up to you to round up 50 votes in the Senate for yours. Have fun.

* No wonder the intensity gap between Republicans and Democrats is starting to close.

* Rachel Maddow takes out full page ad to debunk Scott Brown’s fantasies break my heart.

* Glenn Beck tearing Fox News apart?

* “I want to know what the Vatican knew and when they knew it,” said William McMurry, who is representing alleged abuse victims in the Kentucky case. “Whether it’s letters from bishops or conversations with bishops. I want to know what [the Vatican’s doctrinal office] knew and what they instructed U.S. bishops to do. We’re trying to get what’s never been uncovered before — documents only the Vatican has. That’s the linchpin of liability.” Taibbi had an epic rant on this subject earlier today.

* What if the United States had the population density of Brooklyn, NY? For one, we’d all fit inside New Hampshire.

* Presenting the human hair additive in your food.

* And 10 great medical inventions. Below: the birthing centrifuge.

Politics Thursday

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* I’m shocked, shocked to find Mitt Romney caught being disingenuous about health care reform. Jonathan Chait has more lying liars on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, while Scott Lemieux explains another reason why even a radically activist Roberts court would be reluctant to declare the mandate unconstitutional:

But let’s say that Bush v. Gore vindicates the strongest form of legal realism and that we will soon see that Supreme Court justices are purely political actors. Would striking down the individual mandate ultimately advance conservative policy goals? Almost certainly not. On the one hand, it would be easy for Congress to get around the decision by simply structuring the tax differently and constitutionally, restoring the status quo. But what if Congress can’t? In some ways, this would be worse for conservatives — unless Congress was also willing to repeal very popular regulations (which even conservatives concede is a non-starter), the result will be the bankruptcy of insurance companies and a paved road to socialized insurance.

* Rachel Maddow had a pair of very striking pieces on right-wing incitements to violence last night.

* The health care reform reconciliation sidecar goes back to the House for technical reasons. It’s expected to be about a few hours delay. Incidentally, Steve Benen has issued marching orders on what we’re supposed to call the new program: ACA, the Affordable Care Act.

* The latest support for my theory that the GOP can’t hold its perma-No in the wake of Obama’s health care victory comes from Bob Corker (R-TN):

“This is so unlike the health care debate,” said Corker, noting that some of his Republican colleagues have made misjudgments on that point over the last month. “I don’t think people realize that this is an issue that almost every American wants to see passed. There’ll be a lot of pressure on every senator and every House member to pass financial regulation.”

* On the other hand, Republicans are apparently planning another Bunning-style freakout, this time starring Tom Coburn. In other Senate obstructionism news, the Republican objecting to any Senate committee business continuing past 2 PM was North Carolina’s own Richard Burr. Here’s still more on the breakdown of Senate procedure from Donkeylicious.

* How the Times‘ bias killed ACORN.

* And an amazing story from local alt-weekly Independent Weekly: N.C. eugenics survivors seek justice.

At 82 years old, Agnes is not sure she’ll live to see when or if the proposed compensation is paid. She appreciates the efforts being made in North Carolina to reconcile its eugenic past by acknowledging what she and thousands of others in our state went through. “It’s nice to know there are people out there that really care about your rights.”

Elaine, Agnes, Willis and Nial wonder why the American values of equal protection and individual liberty did not apply to them, and there are no simple answers to give them. They were caught within an ideological framework that said it’s acceptable to toss aside ethics and trample over the most basic of human rights if someone is perceived to not meet certain social expectations.

Now in her mid-50s, Elaine Riddick is one of the younger survivors of North Carolina’s eugenic sterilization program. From her apartment on the 32nd floor of an Atlanta skyrise, she has a beautiful view of the entire city. She says she has been able to obtain some measure of peace, which she attributes to her faith in God and finally letting go of the self-blame that she carried for years. Her adult son, Tony Riddick, whom she describes as “brilliant,” still lives in Winfall and owns his own computer electronics company.

Elaine has a loving boyfriend who, she says, takes good care of her and has a positive relationship with her son and siblings. Still, sometimes the cruelties from her past come back to haunt her. “Sometimes I think, what is happiness? Am I really happy? I don’t think I will ever be happy, because of what they took from me.”

Elaine was sterilized without her consent (or even knowledge) after giving birth to a child at age 14. She had been raped.

Tuesday Night Politics

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* I think the Obama administration may have finally found its answer to the Great Society and the New Deal: The Big Fucking Deal.

* A Gallup poll shows an immediate bump in popularity for health care now that it is law. Nate Silver considers whether the bounce will hold. The GOP is already pulling back from “repeal” talk, though they are still using dickish parliamentary procedure to try to obstruct any action in the Senate.

* Without dickish parliamentary procedure at their disposal, right-wing activists are reduced to throwing bricks through windows.

* A great post at Daily Kos analyzes how Fox News does it work: Anatomy of Fox’s Reality Distortion Field.

* Related: science proves Republicans believe weird things.

* Another poll shows independents may already be turning against Republicans again.

* The idea that “national greatness liberalism” is something new that Obama has cooked up in response to a crank like Charles Krauthammer is just totally incorrect. This has been his favored rhetoric since he first rose to prominence at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. And it was quite literally the foundation for his 2008 campaign: just listen to the first words of “Yes We Can.” It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation… Or his Nobel speech. Or any other speech you’ve ever heard him make ever.

* And Rachel Maddow for Senate? I know she’s not actually running—but yes please.

Saturday Night

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* The House vote on the Senate bill should be this week, with the final reconciliation markup beginning on Monday. I consider myself fascinated by the self-executing legislative trick the Democrats may use to “consider the Senate bill passed” without actually having to take a vote on it.

More on SAFRA, the student loan reform package that may get passed alongside health care.

* Here’s Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow on the campaign to convince people, contrary to the facts, that everyone killed the public option.

* More from Chris Hayes, whose “The Breakdown” podcast is now a weekly listen, in Time: In the past decade, nearly every pillar institution in American society — whether it’s General Motors, Congress, Wall Street, Major League Baseball, the Catholic Church or the mainstream media — has revealed itself to be corrupt, incompetent or both. And at the root of these failures are the people who run these institutions, the bright and industrious minds who occupy the commanding heights of our meritocratic order. In exchange for their power, status and remuneration, they are supposed to make sure everything operates smoothly. But after a cascade of scandals and catastrophes, that implicit social contract lies in ruins, replaced by mass skepticism, contempt and disillusionment…

* Howell Raines: One question has tugged at my professional conscience throughout the year-long congressional debate over health-care reform, and it has nothing to do with the public option, portability or medical malpractice. It is this: Why haven’t America’s old-school news organizations blown the whistle on Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News, for using the network to conduct a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration—a campaign without precedent in our modern political history? More on this at Crooks & Liars.

* And “a debacle for public education”: Steve Benen has your full report on history education, Texas-style.

* McCarthyism: History lessons must tell students that Joe McCarthy’s suspicions were later “confirmed.”

All right, that’s it, I give up.

Wednesday Afternoon Legitimate Complaints

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* NASA reports that the Chilean earthquake has shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds and moved the figure axis of the Earth about 8 centimeters. Google has set up a donation tool for earthquake relief; my Chilean friend Ignacio also recommends a donation to Cruz Roja Chilena. The country is still suffering dramatically; while writing this post I received a news alert about a tsunami warning just issued for the coast, following a huge aftershock.

* DCist profiles the first few couples to file for same-sex marriage licenses in DC. Congratulations, folks!

* Bunning’s temper tantrum had consequences.

* Related: Nineteen senators I would sincerely like to see become unemployed.

* Obama calls for an up-or-down vote on health care: “At stake right now is not just our ability to solve this problem, but our ability to solve any problem.” Mr. President, I have some bad news…

* Rachel Maddow, national treasure.

You are not making serious arguments, and you do not believe what you’re saying. It’s disproven by your record. In the case of Orrin Hatch, you are flat-out lying about the history of the tactic that Democrats are going to use to pass health reform. Doing that, lying about what’s been done, lying about the record, lying about this tactic is not actually a substitute for making an honest argument against health reform.

For the Washington Post to print something like this is bizarre. For these established, supposedly mainstream senators to try to get away with this is an insult to everyone they’re addressing, and to the media, in particular. And for us all to just let this slide and call it ‘politics,’ is to surrender to cynicism profoundly.

* Attackerman: Jewish Narnia Is Called Marvel Comics. More in this at MeFi.

* ABC, let Jon Stewart host This Week.

* Finally, a profile of Rahm Emmanuel sourced by someone other than Rahm Emmanuel:

…Emanuel is not the would-be savior of this presidency. For one thing, there really isn’t that much daylight between him and his boss, or between him and his top White House colleagues. Had things gone even more his way, it’s possible that he would have squelched a few more of what few bursts of idealism and principle survived Inauguration. But people looking for the reasons why the Obama presidency has not lived up to its promise won’t find the answer amid the minor rifts between key players. Nor will they find the answer in how well or poorly this White House has played the game of politics. The fact is that after a campaign that appealed so successfully to idealism, Obama hired a bunch of saboteurs of hope and change.

Rahm was simply their chief of staff. And now, this hypercompetitive bantam rooster is attempting to blame others for what went wrong. That’s evidently so important to him that he’s trying to take a victory lap around the wreckage of what was once such a promising presidency.

Emanuel’s greatest “victory” before this one, of course, was the one upon which he earned his reputation: Getting a bunch of conserva-Dems elected in purple states in 2006, winning the party control of the House while at the same time crippling its progressive agenda. This is what Emanuel is all about. For him, victory is everything — even if you have to give up your core values to win, and even if you could have won while sticking to them.

* OK, I think I finally see the source of all our problems: Americans are totally indifferent to the suffering of others and think nothing bad will ever happen to them. Consider a survey by Yale climate change research scientist Anthony Leiserowitz. The survey asked Americans, “Who will be most harmed by climate change?” Respondents said that climate change would mostly affect:

• Plant and animal species: 45 percent
• Future generations of people: 44 percent
• People in developing countries: 31 percent
• People in other industrialized nations: 22 percent
• People in the United States: 21 percent
• Your local community: 13 percent
• Your family: 11 percent
• You personally: 10 percent

* And Roger Ailes: Judas!

AILES: Well, I don’t think they’re whining over nothing and I think they have — look, there’s legitimate complaints that they could have. And I’ve had this dialogue with David Axelrod, who I like very much and, there are legitimate areas. I mean, Chris [Wallace] said that, that’s his words, that’s what he believes, and he had reason to believe that. But I don’t think its helpful to say that.

Two Brushes with Greatness

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* The 100th episode of the Poli-Sci-Fi Radio podcast is now online, with visits from Rachel Maddow, Matt Yglesias, Brian Wood, and Casey MacKinnon as well as yours truly. The Rachel Maddow interview (beginning at 42:50) is in particular extremely cool, with Rachel talking not just about her favorite comics but also why she doesn’t wear her awesome glasses on MSNBC and even (yes) what sort of tree she would be if she could be any tree. Her answer to this, like everything else about her, is awesome.

* Another brush with greatness: I saw a screening of The Yes Men Fix the World at Duke tonight with the actual Yes Men themselves in attendance. As promised by The House Next Door’s review from a few months ago, the film is indeed everything Capitalism: A Love Story should have been but wasn’t. (These were, in fact, the first words Jaimee said to me as we left the theater. She is wise.)

Friday Friday Night Night

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* Fox News: Don’t send your kids to college because they could catch the libralz. But if you do at least they won’t be as dumb as 30% of Texans.

* One Million Ways to Die.

* Stories to watch: activists may actually manage to bring the public option back from the death. Reid himself signaled he’s open to the idea today. Ezra Klein explains the politics at work:

No one I’ve spoken to — even when they support the public option — thinks that its reemergence is good news for health-care reform. It won’t be present in the package that the White House will unveil Monday. Everyone seems to be hoping this bubble will be short-lived.

But it might not be. The media is talking about it, liberals are organizing around it, none of the major actors feels politically capable of playing executioner, and Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson don’t have the power to do the job on their own. As of now, the strategy only has 20 or so supporters, and it’ll need at least another 20 or 25 to really be viable. But if it gets there, White House and Senate leadership are going to have some hard calls to make.

Ezra also says that as long as we’re playing make-believe it should be the Medicare buy-in we bring back.

* Rachel bestows unto Meet the Press another Maddow Bump. Will she do the same when she improbably shares a bill with me on Poli-Sci-Fi Radio this Sunday?

* I can’t help it: I love to see Wil Wheaton and William Shatner get work.

* Breaking: rich people are rich, pay no taxes.

* Iain M. Banks, Please Destroy The Culture! Via io9.

* Flowchart of the day: Does Tiger Woods owe you an apology?

* And Gynomite dramatically underestimates my level of interest in the penny’s new design. Coming Monday, my new blog, bringbacktheoldpenny.blogspot.com…

Still Fighting

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OpenLeft, bless its idealistic heart, is reading an awful lot into a throwaway statement from Kathleen Sebelius on The Rachel Maddow Show:

MADDOW: “The private insurance company writ large hasn’t done a great job. That’s why we want a public option to compete with them. These 18 Democratic senators want to bring that back into the fold. If that happened, would the administration fight for it?”

SEBELIUS: “Well, I think if it’s…Certainly. If it’s part of the decision of the Senate leadership to move forward, absolutely.”

I don’t know that she was really endorsing the idea, much less throwing any weight behind it; her statement could just as easily be taken as a disavowal. Still, if the public option does come back at the 11th hour, the antagonistic stance of OpenLeft and similar places in the progressive blogosphere towards Congressional Dems and even the Obama White House will have had a lot to do with it. Tonight they get no complaints from me.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 19, 2010 at 12:17 am

(Not-Actually-) Thursday Night Linkdump

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* People who write sonnets should be hung!

* Inside Philip K Dick’s FBI file.

* If I recall correctly, Jon and Hayden’s first screenplay was an American Pie rip-off called Gross, so it’s a little strange to see them now taking over the franchise. Congrats, guys!

* Democrats continue to stupidly chase voters they’ll never get.

* Pandagon has an update on the many lies of James O’Keefe. If accountability actually mattered to the mainstream press they’d have given ACORN’s exoneration the same press they gave the original, bogus story. I don’t think they’ve given it any.

* On filibuster reform, Chris Dodd is a bad guy and Evan Bayh is a good guy. Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!

* Related: Why the filibuster is OK for Democrats but not for Republicans.

* Meet The Tea Partiers: Male, Rich and College Educated.

* 80% of Americans hate the Citizens United. Of course, that’s still not enough consensus for Democrats to act.

* Yes, use reconciliation to bring back the public option. It’s good policy and people want it. (And then there were nine.)

* Maddow v. Beck.

* Black Man Puts His Feet On Desk, Wingnuts Furious.

* And Bill Simmon links to officially the best Super Bowl photo ever.

Three for Monday

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* The final screwing: After all it’s cost to keep him, Evan Bayh will retire. But stay calm, citizens: there’s an outside chance the Tea Party will save Harry Reid.

* Rachel Maddow’s appearance on Meet the Press yesterday has spanned two separate must-see videos. She’s that good.

* Libertarianism defined, courtesy of Iain Banks.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 15, 2010 at 10:47 am

Thursday Night Linkage

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* A majority of people want the filibuster abolished. There’s talk of actually doing something about it. But Harry Reid has declared the filibuster must live forever. America!

* /Film speculates exactly as to how Roland Emmerich will ruin Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

* From Lawrence Lessig, via MyDD, here’s how the Democrats are planning to tackle Citizens United v. FEC. Like Lessig, at first glance I’m not certain this reaction is quite up to the challenge.

* Attention: Global Warming Isn’t the Opposite of Snow.

* And New Jersey voters get what they asked for.