Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘spin

Introduction to Spin

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Tuesday Links

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* After he had obtained the signature page from his committee, Plaintiff inserted an additional, two-page section into his thesis without the knowledge or consent of his committee members. That section, entitled “Disacknowledgements,” began: “I would like to offer special Fuck You’s to the following degenerates for of being an ever-present hindrance during my graduate career….” It then identified the Dean and staff of the UCSB graduate school, the managers of Davidson Library, former California Governor Wilson, the Regents of the University of California, and “Science” as having been particularly obstructive to Plaintiff’s progress toward his graduate degree. Plaintiff later explained that he had not revealed the section to the members of his committee because he feared that they would not approve it. Today in Landmark First Amendment Cases.

At right, your chart of the day.

* Alan Moore v. Before Watchmen: “If DC want to soil themselves in public and kill the reputations of a number of otherwise possibly halfway-decent writers and artists, then I’m certainly not going to stop them. And I shall take my fun and my pleasure however it comes.”

* Great moments in spin: Any credit for today’s stock market gains should go to the Republican President we may or may not elect several months from now.

* Fast Food Nation, ten years later.

* I don’t even need to click a link labeled “Is this a picture of UFOs shooting laser beams at an airplane?” to know that yes, that’s absolutely what it is.

* A few weeks ago, Mitt Romney stuffed his foot in his mouth after proving to the common folk at a NASCAR race that he was a fan of the sport because he has “some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.” This week, he somehow crammed the other foot in there by repeating almost literally the exact same thing about the NFL.

After 244 years, Encyclopedia Britannica will cease production of its iconic multi-volume book sets.

* And it’s that time again.

Some Sunday Links

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* Decadence watch: Please be advised we are between five and nine years away from President Tebow.

* The Non Sports Fan’s Guide to Maybe Enjoying the Super Bowl. A List of Things to Say to Sound as if You Understand the Super Bowl, Dummy. Go… Giants? I think I have that right.

* The set list from last night’s fantastic Mountain Goats show in Saxapahaw. And from Vu, an interesting New York Magazine read on Mountain Goats superfandom from 2009.

* The headline reads, “No kidney transplant for dying East Bay dad who is illegal immigrant.”

* Death, Debt and Climate Change.

There were 2900 temperature records set in the United States in January. Exxon Mobil reported yesterday that its quarterly profits had increased to $9.6 billion on revenues of over $70 billion. It’s 60 degrees on February 1 in New York City. These facts are connected. I continue to think that one reason Bloomberg evicted OWS was that he lost patience with waiting for it to get cold enough to drive the Occupiers out.

I have proposed that “debt is death.” It sounds a bit melodramatic. You can in fact map connections between the debt-financed globalized industries, direct violence caused by their expansion, and the indirect but nonetheless deadly violences of climate change.

* Ben Valentine considers statue porn. This and the last two via zunguuzungu’s always essential Sunday Reading.

* The strange case of Michael Swango, serial killing doctor. Via Neil.

* Then Republican governors saved the economy.

* SNL takes a visit to President Gingrinch’s Moon Utopia.

* And just for the Hunger Games fans: a speculative map of Panem. Via io9.

Thursday Night Links

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* We’ve been having some fun on Twitter mocking this overwrought defense of Columbia’s obscenely overpriced MFA program. (Key quote: “It’s for people whose genitals still work, dammit.”) HTMLGiant, via @zunguzungu, has perhaps the definitive takedown.

* Speaking of definitive takedowns, Alex Reid has the last word on digital learning badges.

SCOTUS has issued a temporary stay in the execution of Duane Buck, pending certiorari.

* The Obama disaster has officially reached the “pointing fingers” stage.

“The Citbank incident, and others like it, reflected a more pernicious and personal dilemma emerging from inside the administration: that the young president’s authority was being systematically undermined or hedged by his seasoned advisers,” Suskind writes.

Yeah, that must be what happened.

* Dateline 1937: Science proves blondes can’t drive.

* And, just for fun, one of the weirder stories I’ve read today.

…thanks to an eccentric New York lawyer in the 1930s, this college in a corner of the Catskills inherited a thousand-year trust that would not mature until the year 2936: a gift whose accumulated compound interest, the New York Times reported in 1961, “could ultimately shatter the nation’s financial structure.” The mossy stone walls and ivy-covered brickwork of Hartwick College were a ticking time-bomb of compounding interest—a very, very slowly ticking time bomb.

One suspects they’d have rather gotten a new squash court.

Pelosi

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I will be a very happy Leftist if it is Nancy Pelosi, not Rahm Emanuel, who emerges as the hero of health care reform following tomorrow’s likely passage through the House.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Fair and Balanced

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TPM has a astounding video of Fox lying about NY-23 over the course of days. Well done, fellows! Sounds like somebody will getting another Peabody soon.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 3, 2009 at 1:39 am

Off-Year Election Predictions and Random Speculations on the Future of the GOP

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Off-Year Election Predictions! The three elections tomorrow that will dominate spin in the press about whether America loves or hates Barack Obama are, of course, VA-GOV, NJ-GOV, and NY-23.

VA-GOV: It seems pretty over for Deeds, and pro-Democrat spinners will be well-advised to focus their attention elsewhere. “You know, Virginia’s still in the South” and “Virginia always votes against the White House” are the best Democrats have here, with a big helping of “And Deeds ran a lousy campaign, largely against Obama” for flavor.

NJ-GOV: The polls are close, with the most recent showing a slight edge to Chris Christie, but I really think between Daggett and a superior get-out-the-vote operation Corzine will manage to eke out the win here.

So (if I’m right) that’s 1-1, and it all comes down to NY-23. This is a crazy three-way race, with the Republican, Dede Scozzafava, suddenly pulling out over the weekend (though she’ll remain on the ballot) and then, even more surprisingly, tossing a strong endorsement behind the Democrat, Bill Owens. The Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman, has the support of national popular-in-Republican-circles like Sarah Palin behind him, but doesn’t actually live in the district or know all that much about it, and will likely be hurt by straight-ticket Republican voting by people who may not have even heard Scozzafava’s dropped out.

I won’t presume to insult Nate Silver by calling the race when he called it a coin-flip, but I will note that either way the results of this very unusual House race in a small district in upstate New York will likely determine who “wins” the spin war in the national press and thereby determine the tenor of electoral coverage going into 2010—which is as good an indictment of contemporary journalism as any I think you’ll see this week.

It will be very interesting, win or lose in NY-23, to see what lessons the GOP takes from the Hoffman ascendancy as we go into 2010 and 2012, and, indeed, what effect running hard to the right will have on their chances if that’s how they decide to go. The conventional view is that running away from the center hurts a party’s electoral prospects, but I’m not at all convinced the American electorate is quite so rational in its decision-making. It could just be that the pendulum swings back and forth between whatever two parties happen to exist at the moment, regardless of the content of their positions. As I wrote back in May:

More and more I think there’s only two possibilities: Either the GOP is in fact in a death spiral and will actually disappear as a national party within the next decade, or the GOP has realized that in a two-party system you don’t actually need to say you’re sorry; you can just sit back and wait for your opponents to have bad luck, then go crazy once you’re back in office. After that incumbency will protect you for a good, long while, and even to the extent it doesn’t you can accomplish long-term goals in a very short timespan with party unity, weak opposition, and a compliant, mendacious press.

Jury’s still out. NY-23 will be an interesting first data point.

Instapolls

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It’s been said before, but Kos is absolutely right: these instapolls have been a tremendously important bulwark against the neverending bullshit of the pundit class. They’ve been so devastating, in fact, to the fine art of pro-Republican spin—an art which went a long way towards giving us eight years of Bush—that I genuinely wonder whether we’ll see them again in 2012. I sure hope we do.