Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Shelby

Tuesday Night!

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* Hard to say which is more shocking: that a male worker born in 1973 retiring at age 70 can expect to live a full year less than the expected length of retirement for a worker born in 1912, or that Richard Shelby apparently has evidence that by 2025 “America will be burned … and a lot of us will be dead.”

* Catholic Church approves iPhone confession app. Not an Onion hotline…

* Paul Campos tries to read Laurence Tribe’s mind.

* The Tea Party Movement has driven out Colorado state party chairman Dick Wadhams. Because I am an adult, I will leave the man’s absurd name out of this, and just bid him adieu…

* Behold the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator.

* Wolverine or 2 Batmen: a duckrabbit for our time.

* Academic Cliche Watch: “I want to argue that . . .”

* Fox News draws ever closer to its Fort Sumter moment.

* HuffPo’s Achilles Heel: Search engine optimization won’t work forever.

* Provocative claim of the day:I find myself slightly gratified that one consequence of the now-dying post-Thatcher free-market consensus is that it made nuclear power development in the Anglosphere more or less economically impossible.

* And a quick note on how beer commercials work.

Beer commercials are designed around certain dominant themes, but the people who sell the beer would prefer that the dominant themes be misunderstood. What are beer commercials about? The two central premises are these: 

1. Beer—cheap, common, domestic beer—is a rare commodity that drives men mad with the desire to have it, at any cost.

2. Women are the great obstacle between men and the fulfillment of this desire.

Taken literally, this is baffling. Beer is cheap and easy to find. The only cost should be $6.99 for a six pack, at any convenience store. And rather than hiding from women to drink their beer, many single adult heterosexual men seek out female company when they’re drinking. “Drink our beer and avoid contact with women!”—who could possibly be the target for that pitch?

But it makes perfect sense if the target audience is—and it is—16-year-olds.

The girls aren’t really girls; they’re Mom. And Mom is the first hurdle in the thrilling obstacle course that makes up the world of the teenage beer drinker.

America Loves Tuesdays (And So Do I)

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* The Obama method: One way to deal with that kind of bad-faith opposition is to draw the person in, treat them as if they were operating in good faith, and draw them into a conversation about how they actually would solve the problem. If they have nothing, it shows. And that’s not a tactic of bipartisan Washington idealists—it’s a hard-nosed tactic of community organizers, who are acutely aware of power and conflict. It’s how you deal with people with intractable demands—put ‘em on a committee. More on the summit idea from Benen. I’m willing to be proven wrong, but I must say that I am deeply skeptical that this method, however effective on the local scale, can work on the national stage. In fact I have come to think that Obama’s (frankly naïve) belief that bipartisanship is possible, much less good or necessary, will stand as the first cause of most of his presidency’s eventual failures. After 2009, he still thinks this. When the mortal enemy who has proven himself beyond redemption time and time again is finally on the ground, don’t help him up! Finish the job.

* The headline reads, ‘Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal “Synthetic Organisms,” Molecular Kill-Switch Included.’ What could possibly go wrong?

* You really can’t please everyone: ‘Is Barack Obama killing too many bad guys before the U.S. can interrogate them?’ As Matt explains, the problem here seems to be that the Foreign Policy author believes torture is not only a regrettable necessity but is, in fact, an affirmative moral good.

* Can the EPA actually regulate carbon effectively? It’s looking more and more like they’ll have to, so hopefully the answer turns out to be yes. Related: all about cap-and-dividend, the carbon-control system no one talks about.

* DC giving Superman to Chris Nolan? If they won’t give him to me, I guess that makes as much sense as anything else. Nolan, take note: The Death of Superman, Red Son, All-Star Superman, and any number of other perfectly good stories are just sitting there waiting to be adapted for the screen. Please, don’t use the Lex Luthor, Evil Real Estate Agent thing again.

* GOP extremism from A to Z.

* Today in horror clichés: the mirror scare.

* And our long national nightmare is finally over: Shelby has called off the shakedown.

Quick Monday Morning Links

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* Two from Kevin Drum: How Obama’s advisors are screwing things up and how bad practices in climate change science are screwing things up. The second link, I think, suffers from the misperception that there is some sort of rational discussion about climate change taking place in some imagined Habermasian public sphere; what’s actually happening is that denialism has become a plank of the Republican party platform. “Good science” can’t overcome the primal need to be a good member of the tribe.

* Between the blanket refusal to discuss Shelby’s blanket hold and their deafening silence about an embarrassing Palin story that would have been shouted from the rooftops had it happened to Obama, can we finally stop talking about liberal media bias?

* Shades of The Wire: New York City police cop to juking the stats. (Thanks Michele!)

* Comcast, tired of being known as the worst company in the world, is changing its name.

* Travel beautiful Dagobah: minimalist Star Wars travel posters.

Friday Night Links

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm