Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Scott Brown

Three for Sunday Night

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* Cory Booker, surrogate from hell. But what does it profit a man to gain a Senate seat and lose his soul?

* This Elizabeth Warren thing is breaking my heart. She would have been a decent candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2016, but I can’t see that happening now unless she can provide some evidence she’s really Cherokee. Really sad.

* Ignatiy Vishnevetsky: Anderson, it seems, has finally and thoroughly gone up his own ass—and yet the film happens to be one of his best and most inviting works. Moonrise Kingdom—deftly orchestrated but deliberately uncomplicated—is easily Anderson’s sweetest, most sincere movie, and the only one, aside from Rushmore, where the director’s stylistic and thematic conceits are perfectly in sync. It may be the twee-est, archest film of a director frequently accused of tweeness and archness, and it may veer closer than any of Anderson’s other films to outright kitsch (e.g. the brownish, Jean-Pierre Jeunet-style color grading)—but there is a grace and a beauty to the way all of its fussed-over parts click together.

Monday Reading™

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* Well, that’s one way to do it: Tennessee Tea Party ‘Demands’ That References To Slavery Be Removed From History Textbooks.

* Russian scientist claims to have evidence of life on Venus.

by the 1960s, the American Mariner probes and their Soviet Venera counterparts had revealed Venus was just about the most inhospitable place imaginable, an acidic world with surface temperatures of about 900 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures nearly 92 times that of Earth.

That’s why the new paper by Russian astronomer Leonid Ksanfomaliti, due to appear in the Russian publication Solar System Research, seems to sit slightly outside the scientific consensus. He says that photos taken in 1982 – presumably either by Venera 13 or Venera 14, both of which visited Venus in March of that year – depict a “disk”, a “black flap”, and, perhaps most boldly, “a scorpion.”

Well, it checks out.

* Why a white knight won’t save the GOP from the Mitt-Newt trainwreck.

* Speaking of which: Gingrichmentum!

* Brown and Warren agree to ban third-party ads in Massachusetts. What’s the force of this, if the ads are genuinely third-party?

* Gay rights victories in New Jersey and Washington State.

* Evidence of cooperative play between dolphins and whales.

* …it is now possible to recognize that there are four discrete corridors of cisnormative resistance toward trans people’s readiness to transition.

First corridor, pre-adolescence: “You don’t know any better. You’re too young to understand”;
Second corridor, during adolescence: “It’s a confusing time. Wait until after puberty’s done”;
Third corridor, late development: “You should wait until you’re totally sure. You’ll never pass”; and
Final corridor, maturation: “You’re having a mid-life crisis. What about your kids, spouse, and career?”

* Someone on Facebook just told me Object Lessons from Duke’s Own™ Robyn Wiegman is now out.

* How fluctuations in the academic job market affect time-to-degree.

* And some recent notes on mental health and the Ph.D., via here, via Twitter.

‘I Set Out to Prove They Were All a Bunch of Cheaters’

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 11, 2011 at 9:17 am

Some More Tuesday Links

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* I wrote a short blog post for HASTAC compiling some recent thoughts and links on “openness” in the university system, which are likely no surprise to anyone who follows this blog but which I include here for the sake of completeness regardless.

* It’s cute that Josh Marshall thinks Bachmann just making sh!t up means her run at the GOP nomination is over. Of course, what this actually means is that it’s now an open question whether Gardasil causes mental retardation in young girls.

* Elizabeth Warren announces for Senate tomorrow.

* Here comes Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

* The Trash|Track Project asks: Why do we know so much about the supply chain and so little about the removal chain? Via Melody.

* And via longform.org: On Gender-Identity Disorder and the DSM.

The DSM work group assigned to gender identity disorder, a panel of specialized field experts, has already bowed to some external pressures. It has made clear that it intends to change the name of the diagnosis from “disorder” to “dysphoria”—which describes a passing mood rather than a fixed state. The work group has also made public its plans to not only preserve the core GID diagnosis, but to retain an even more controversial entry: GID in children.

… The second argument in favor of keeping GID in the diagnostic manual is where things get ethically murky. The removal of the diagnosis may also remove insurance coverage for transsexual adults who are being treated with hormonal or surgical reassignment. As of now, a diagnosis of mental illness is the only mechanism that transsexuals have for medical insurance to cover mastectomies, testosterone injections, and genital reconstruction surgeries (though very few insurance companies cover any sort of gender reassignment, because it is most often considered “cosmetic”).

Megan Smith, a Nebraska-based psychotherapist and an advocate for the removal of GID from the DSM, claims that the insurance argument is the one she most often encounters. Smith believes keeping the diagnosis for the sake of insurance coverage is “unethical and unscientific.” Smith argues, “I don’t believe it’s our obligation as mental health professionals to change psychiatric evaluations in order to play ball with insurance companies.”

Tuesday Night Links

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* Scenes from the class struggle in Hogwarts: it costs at least $42,752 a year to get a proper wizarding education. UPDATE: Want more about the cost of attending Hogwarts? Misopogon at Dog Eat Crow World charges bravely into the weeds.

* Scenes from the class struggle in Cambridge: Reddit co-founder arrested for what amounts to an attempt to steal JSTOR. Reddit thread. MetaFilter thread.

* Contrarian watch: Naked Capitalism says Elizabeth Warren is too good, and too important, for the Senate. This all may be so, but I want her to run anyway.

* One down: Wis. Dem State Senator Wins Recall In Landslide.

* I’ve been trying to steel myself to the idea of a Mitt Romney primary win, despite my worry that he alone could actually beat Obama in 2012. (And maybe if Romney won he’d do something on the environment. It’s possible, right? UPDATE: Ugh.) Nate Silver puts an Obama-Romney race down at even odds. But TPM says I don’t need to worry: Mitt has already maxed out his donors. Chait concurs.

* The knives come out for Bachmann. More here, here, and here.

* Was Rupert Murdoch behind the CRU hack? Grist speculates. I’d also really like to know if there’s any truth to these several-years-old reports of a “black ops” room at Fox News. Related: Parliament determines News Corp. deliberately obstructed the investigation into the hacks.

Ron Howard’s planned Dark Tower megaseries has collapsed.

* And a truly great find: An NPR adaptation of A Canticle for Leibowitz from 1960.

Financial Reform Has Passed the Senate

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 20, 2010 at 11:49 pm

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.

Douchebags of Liberty – 2

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“We’re all in favor of the catastrophic care coverage and coverage for children,” [Sen. Scott] Brown told Good Morning America.

We are? Really? Gee, Scott, I wish you’d said something earlier! So much unpleasantness might have been avoided.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 26, 2010 at 8:54 am

Monday Night Links

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* On Cooling the Mark Out: Some Aspects of Adaptation to Failure. (Via R. Vu.)

* Science proves naps are great.

* Science proves 3-D movies hurt your brain.

* Should we clone Neanderthals? OBVIOUSLY. (Please don’t.)

* Time to renew my campaign to steal Duke’s copy of Action Comics #1. I just need to find ten to twelve other guys to help me do the job.

* Science proves economic growth no longer possible for rich countries.

* Mapping the mind of Tommy Westphall.

* BREAKING: Newsweek editors are surprisingly unprofessional in their private emails to each other.

* The public option is really popular! But you can never have it.

* Five Republican Senators put country over party. That list includes Scott Brown, socialist stooge.

* The Republican Party’s obituary has been written before, but demographics simply aren’t on their side.

* Turkish temple predates agricultural civilization. (Via Kottke.) There’s no doubt this thing was built by aliens:

Most startling is the elaborate carving found on about half of the 50 pillars Schmidt has unearthed. There are a few abstract symbols, but the site is almost covered in graceful, naturalistic sculptures and bas-reliefs of the animals that were central to the imagination of hunter-gatherers. Wild boar and cattle are depicted, along with totems of power and intelligence, like lions, foxes, and leopards. Many of the biggest pillars are carved with arms, including shoulders, elbows, and jointed fingers. The T shapes appear to be towering humanoids but have no faces, hinting at the worship of ancestors or humanlike deities.

Wake up, sheeple!

* And some friends of mine have work forthcoming in Drawing Is a Way of Thinking: The Comics of Chris Ware, available now for pre-order from Amazon. Check it out.

If Only Our Side Had a Charismatic Speaker with a Bully Pulpit Who Could Call Attention to Tactics Like This

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Scott Brown was sworn in today. So naturally Richard Shelby found tonight the perfect time to place holds on all remaining Obama nominations. Like any good fiscal conservative, he wants pork for his state.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 4, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Haven’t-Actually-Left-Town-Yet Quote of the Day

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It is remarkablethat a 51% majority in a statewide election is a national landslide, and that while a 59% majority in an elected governmental body is an impotent minority, 55% of an appointed body can overturn the very basis on which our democracy has proceeded for a century.

Four for Thursday

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* James Fallows takes a swing at the Senate health care math I’ve been angry about for months.

* More on today’s terrible Citizens United SCOTUS decision from Emptywheel.

* AMC picks up Walking Dead pilot. First good news I’ve heard all week.

* Jon Stewart and John Oliver ease the pain.

The Day After

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* Hoping that lemming-like Congressional Democrats have worked through their little collective freakout over the course of the day and can get back to work with their historic majorities in both houses tomorrow. Seems like maybe they have. Just this once, you idiots, do what the GOP would do. Just shut up and pass the bill.

* Of course, it’s easier to blame the Left, which, having given up everything and gotten nothing all year, is obviously to blame for everything. It’s not like the Democrats ever wanted to actually do anything with their power anyway.

* Dow drops 200 on Brown’s win. Eagerly awaiting Fox’s mea culpa.

* The bill that the Senate Democrats passed did not substantially restructure the system of private insurance, nor the health care delivery system. It did not include a public option. It did, rather, about the minimum that you could do if you want to prevent people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health care. You can’t require insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions unless you’re willing to put a mandate into place (otherwise, everyone’s premiums would rise substantially). And you can’t put a mandate into place without having some reasonably generous subsidies (otherwise, a lot of folks would go broke.) The Senate’s bill was about the least radical way to achieve something approaching universal coverage that can be imagined. It was nevertheless a bill that I think would do a tremendous amount of good for tremendous number of people, and so I’ve advocated for its passage. But with the possible exception of Wyden-Bennett (which not identifiably left or right although much more radical than what the Congress is considering), virtually any attempt to achieve universal coverage would be further to the left of this bill. Post-Partisanship Epic Fail.

* BREAKING: The Senate is still broken.

* If I’m understanding Steve King right, God crashed the economy, killed Ted Kennedy, nominated a weak Democrat who couldn’t campaign as his replacement, and finally put Scott Brown in the Senate all in order to stop health care reform at the last second. Sort of a roundabout way to use your omnipotence, but then again He’s always worked in mysterious ways.

* Or maybe God, knowing the House could pass tomorrow health care tomorrow if it wanted, actually doesn’t want climate change legislation. Because he’s sick and tired of our screw-ups and wants us gone, I guess.

* At least Glenn Beck’s having a bad day too. More: He’s paranoid about Palin pulling a Leno.

Assorted Late Night Links That Have (Almost) Nothing to Do with Massachusetts

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* Conventional wisdom already says Obama is now president of Haiti. At least these people waited a whole week before unilaterally declaring Haiti a U.S. colony.

* Mediocre director contracted to ruin Spider-Man franchise. More here.

* Fox News, in a desperate bid for my attention, openly advocated on behalf of Scott Brown today. But even this behavior pales in comparison to O’Reilly’s bizarre nostalgia last Friday for those halcyon days when it was okay to make fun of Arabs.

* FiveThirtyEight on the branding of Scott Brown. What they predict, of course, has already happened.

* Why Massachusetts doesn’t matter. An hour or so ago I tweeted: “Bright side of Coakley loss: Democrats will finally have to face the fact that nothing good will ever get through the Senate.” It sounds like Biden at least has already figured this out.

* Timo at Bitter Laughter has carefully crafted a post perfectly calibrated to pull me in. The Duck Tales reference just seals it.

* U.S. military rifle scopes have Bible verses inscribed on them. Oddly, this is not a joke.

* But Obama’s not looking backwards: “FBI broke law for years in phone record searches.”

* Absurdity watch: New Orleans prosecutors are charging prostitutes as sex offenders. Via MeFi.

* Passport photos of famous artists. Also via MeFi.

* And the NBC late-night feud has been digitally recreated by Taiwanese newspaper Apple Daily. I think this should clear everything up.

Keeping Things in Perspective

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Glad to see Drudge isn’t letting the Brown victory go to his head.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 20, 2010 at 12:23 am