Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘stimulus package

Saturday Night Links!

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2020 at 8:42 pm

Wednesday Links!

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* SFFTV 13.2 is out! It’s a great issue with some really great essays on wast and District 9, monster theory and Monsters, race and Arrival, and feminism and Ex Machina, but I want to put a special plug in for my co-editor Dan Hassler-Forest’s great essay on the nostalgia industry, Stranger Things, and Twin Peaks: The Return.

* Meanwhile, David Agranoff reads Extrapolation 61.1-2.

* And ICYMI: GSV #8: TBSF! And a little bit of viewer mail: Harrison Bergeron Is Black.

2020 Locus Awards Winners.

* Medical Humanities and the Fantastic: A Symposium.

* CFP: American Game Studies (deadline: August 1). How America Understands Poverty (deadline: October 1). Announcing The 11th Annual Imagining Indigenous Futurisms Award: Call for Emerging Writers. Queer Intersectionalities in Folklore Studies.

* Podcast alert: Marquette University’s COVID Conversations. And it’s a bit more flippant but I’ll never say no to Griffin Newman talking Muppets.

* Regarding Marquette’s Decision to Open for Face to Face Instruction for Fall 2020.

* Elsewhere on the Marquette beat: My terrific colleague Cedric Burrows talks about the racist origins of ordinary phrases.

* A 1997 interview with Octavia Butler. Toward a Waking Maturity: Octavia E. Butler Shapes A Liberated African Future in “The Book of Martha.” Behold Octavia Butler’s Motivational Notes to Self.

* Colson Whitehead is the youngest writer to win the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

El Nuevo Normal: The Coronavirus Crisis and Latin American Apocalyptic Fiction.

Will Dystopian Times Inspire Utopian Art?

* Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure. Who will ensure the safety of Black, LGBTQ+, People of Color, and Persons with Disabilities when Campuses reopen? Reopening schools safely can’t happen without racial equity. Black Study, Black Struggle. College football’s leaders are answering the wrong questions. Colleges are flimflamming students and parents about reopening. College Leaders Must Explain Why—Not Just How—to Return to Campus. College Leaders Have the Wrong Incentives. What do college students think of their school’s reopening plans? College students fume over having to pay full tuition for dubious online learning. The Summer of Magical Thinking. Lurching Toward Fall, Disaster on the Horizon. A Semester to Die For. CDC documents warned full reopening of schools, colleges would be ‘highest risk’ for spreading coronavirus. The main source of opposition? The faculty. Rush back to campus is sowing distrust at universities. Principles of Academic Governance during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Georgia Tech Professors Revolt Over Reopening, Say Current Plan Threatens Lives Of Students, Staff. Priorities. Boston University Gives PhD Students A Choice: Come Back To Campus Or Lose Your Health Insurance And Salary. Baton Rouge economy faces $50M loss if LSU football season is canceled or fans are excluded.

The Closure.

What can the humanities offer in the Covid era?

ICE Makes International Students Choose Between Risk of Coronavirus and Risk of Deportation. Long thread reading Harvard’s lawsuit. White House Rescinds Rules on Foreign Students Studying Online.

* “Does tenure matter anymore?” University Paid $504,000 to Get Rid of Professor. City University of New York lays off 2,800 adjuncts in wave of austerity.

* In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. This Isn’t Sustainable for Working Parents. American Passports Are Worthless Now. The Republican coronavirus meatgrinder. ‘One Of Worst Parties In Power In Entire Democratic World.’ ‘I Can’t Keep Doing This:’ Small Business Owners Are Giving Up. Giant corporations may be the only survivors in the post-pandemic economy. Pay Restaurants to Stay Closed. How Many Have Closed Already? Covid-19 Is Bankrupting American Companies at a Relentless Pace. A Record 5.4 Million Americans Have Lost Health Insurance. 32% of U.S. households missed their July housing payments. Looming evictions may soon make 28 million homeless in U.S., expert says. Out of Work. The Story Has Gotten Away from Us. COVID-19 sent US into ‘depression’ and economy won’t be fully restored until 2023. Americans Are in Denial. There Is No Plan (For You). Trump’s incompetence has wrecked us. Where are the calls for him to resign? We are in the midst of a world-historic failure of governance. Why isn’t anyone in charge acting like they are responsible for it?

Coronavirus spread threatens to overrun school reopening plans. Israeli Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster That Wiped Out Lockdown Gains. U.S. Pediatricians Call For In-Person School This Fall, Then Take It Back. DeVos blasts school districts that hesitate at reopening. There Is a Way to Reopen Schools This Fall. Do We Have the Will to Make It Happen? Reopening schools safely is going to take much more federal leadership. One in Four. N.Y.C. Schools, Nation’s Largest District, Will Not Fully Reopen in Fall. Los Angeles and San Diego Schools to Go Online-Only in the Fall. Milwaukee Proposing Reopening with No Students in School Buildings. Evers once again gives up in advance. A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention. The Toll That Isolation Takes on Kids During the Coronavirus Era.

* Hospitals full in Houston. Hospitals full in Florida. Texas and Arizona. Young Americans Are Partying Hard and Spreading Covid-19 Quickly. Coronavirus is spreading so fast among Wisconsin 20-somethings that the CDC came to investigate. The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus. The Hidden Racism of Vaccine Testing. California’s slide from coronavirus success to danger zone began Memorial Day. It takes a special kind of inattention to human suffering to not notice how unfortunate it is that people have been left to face death alone. Is air conditioning helping spread COVID in the South? I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of dads suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Inside the body, the coronavirus is even more sinister than scientists had realized. July and August must be a period of intense preparation for our reasonable worst-case scenario for health in the winter that we set out in this report, including a resurgence of COVID-19, which might be greater than that seen in the spring. One to two months. Five years. Americans Are Sick of the Pandemic. The Pandemic Is Not Sick of Us. U.S. States Graded on Their Covid-19 Response. Zero COVID Deaths in Vietnam. How Iceland Beat the Coronavirus.

Are We Facing A Post-COVID-19 Suicide Epidemic?

Generation Z Is Bearing the Economic Brunt of the Virus.

* The end of New York.

* How has Wisconsin screwed up unemployment so completely? Workers are pushed to the brink as they continue to wait for delayed unemployment payments.

* The Meltdown Crisis. The Myopic Fantasy of Returning to “Normal.” Resilience Is the Goal of Governments and Employers Who Expect People to Endure Crisis.

* gimme that stimmie

* Damn, that is an American airline.

* A version of the election-stealing scenario I’ve been bleating on about for months that doesn’t even require state legislatures to do anything actively.

The Working Dead: Reviving the Crowd as a Protagonist.

* Fake Nerd Boys of Silicon Valley.

* Eight go mad in Arizona: how a lockdown experiment went horribly wrong.

* Starship Troopers and American decline.

Setting Fire to Wet Blankets: Radical Politics and Hollywood Franchises.

* Resistance Is Not Futile: On Jeff VanderMeer’s “Dead Astronauts” and Fighting the Good Fight.

* Teaching Shakespeare Under Quarantine.

* Is Unschooling the Way to Decolonize Education?

* Hamilton and Revolution. And Ishmael Reed, from the archives: “Hamilton: the Musical:” Black Actors Dress Up like Slave Traders… and It’s Not Halloween.

Masking and the Self-Inflicted Wounds of Expertise.

* The blog started “innocently enough” and just “got out of hand.”

Illiberalism Isn’t to Blame for the Death of Good-Faith Debate. From Thomas Jefferson’s own family, a call to take down his memorial. ‘The Flag is Coming Down’: Lawmakers Vote to Change Mississippi State Flag. Reddit bans r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse as part of a major expansion of its rules. Going too far.

* This was shocking, and I didn’t remember it at all: The Real Mud on Golden Girls.

The whole point in Wisconsin right now is to make anything but one-party GOP rule essentially illegal.

* Centering Blackness: The Path to Economic Liberation for All. Jacobin’s racial justice reading list. Wisconsin Schools’ Racial Inequality Worst in U.S.

How North Carolina Transformed Itself Into the Worst State to Be Unemployed.

According to establishment pundits and politicians, countries have “national interests” they carry out in the international arena. But “national interests” is just another phrase for ruling-class interests. The old socialist argument is true: workers of all countries have more in common with each other than their respective countries’ ruling elites.

* Climate change hasn’t forgotten about you: World could hit 1.5-degree warming threshold by 2024. South Pole warmed three times the global rate in last 30 years. Scientists’ warning on affluence. Climate Realism, Capitalist and Otherwise. Collapse of civilisation is the most likely outcome.

How to grow liveable worlds: Ten (not-so-easy) steps for life in the Planthroposcene.

* Took ’em long enough: Washington football team retires racist name.

* This ‘Equity’ picture is actually White Supremacy at work.

* Today in hell world.

* What Happens When You’re Disabled but Nobody Can Tell.

* The invention of the police. How Police Abuse the Charge of Resisting Arrest.

* She Said Her Husband Hit Her. She Lost Custody of Her Kids.

* Remembering the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit.

Why Animal Studies Must Be Antiracist: A Conversation with Bénédicte Boisseron.

* ‘You Could Literally See Our Shit From Space’: The Broken Bowels of Beirut.

* Hate to get owned this bad by a tweet.

* A Ranking of Every Movie with “Night of” in the Title.

Watching The Next Generation in a Time of Pandemic and Uprising. The Talk Doesn’t Exist in Deep Space Nine. The Sexist Legacy in Star Trek’s Progressive Universe.

Astronomers have discovered a vast assemblage of galaxies hidden behind our own, in the “zone of avoidance.” My sci-fi novel just got a title…

* This Is How Many People You’d Need to Colonize Mars, According to Science.

* How Not to Deal with Murder in Space.

* Harry Potter fan sites decide to stop giving J.K. Rowling attention.

* A Timeline of Recent Allegations in the Comic Book Industry.

A Megachurch Reels After Learning Pastor Let His Professed Pedophile Son Work With Kids.

* Gimlet Media Sued for Not Making Podcasts Accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Kung Fu Nuns Of Kathmandu.

* Yes please.

* A short story about Serena Williams.

* Ban cars.

Second tribal leader calls for removal of Mount Rushmore. Want to tear down a monument to racism? Bulldoze LA’s freeways.

Banning the N-word on campus ain’t the answer — it censors Black professors like me.

Big Scrabble’s decision to eliminate offensive words has infuriated players like never before.

Why Is the Public Corruption Unit Prosecuting Ghislaine Maxwell?

The Life-Threatening “Ride” That Action Park Actually Decided to Abandon.

* Thanks Obama.

* A Long-Hidden His Dark Materials Short Story Is Now Getting Released.

* Love to learn old stuff about Jim Henson.

* Transporter. Words. Znurg. Two. Satire. Tin Man. Allies. Doctors. Mondays. Elon Musk. Pirates.

* Please scream inside your heart.

* And it took the end of the world, but the Far Side is back. Same joke but Clone High.

 

Written by gerrycanavan

July 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

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6 Mistakes That Cost Democrats Dearly?

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Via @zunguzungu, here’s the list from Paul Jay of the Real News Network:

6. Not investigating Bush and Cheney for criminal actions while in office.
5. Bailing out bankers and not the banking system.
4. Not using the GM/Chrysler bailout as an opportunity to build a green economy.
3. Not defending the public option for health care reform.
2. Not bringing a promised new mindset to US foreign policy.
1. Allowing Republicans to rebrand themselves as populist behind the skirts of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

As I mentioned in the strikes and gutters post I tend to think that most of these didn’t “cost” Democrats dearly in the sense that they could have won the midterms if they’d done all six. The primal mistake is still #0: the too-small stimulus.

That said I wish they’d done all of these, because they were the right things to do and because the tiny window 2009-2010 was the best chance we’ll have for a good while. #6 diminishes the country and arguably makes Obama a party to Bush’s crimes; #5 and #4 were huge missed opportunities that will cost the country dearly in the long run; #3 was a big mistake in its own right as well as part of the larger health-care-reform supermistake that offset most concrete improvements in the health care system to 2014 and beyond; #1 would probably have helped us in some important races at the margins of the wave (though the centrality of Palin and the Tea Party definitely saved us elsewhere).

Only #2 seems truly irrelevant to the midterms. People don’t care that the U.S. has spent the last few decades waging a endless series of little wars and open-ended occupations; they seem to like it that way. The most terrible thing about contemporary U.S. politics is that Broder’s atrocious plan to win re-election by starting a war with Iran would actually work.

Strikes and Gutters, Ups and Downs

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Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you. It was obviously a tough night for Democrats but on some level it was always going to be—with unemployment at 9.6% and millions of people underwater on their mortgages the Democrats were doomed to lose and lose big. On this the stimulus really was the original sin—if it had been bigger and better-targeted the economic situation could have been better, but it wasn’t and here we are. Unlike 2000 and 2004 I think this election stings, but it doesn’t hurt; a big loss like this has been baked in the cake for a while.

Remember that as the pundits play bad political commentary bingo all month.

As I mentioned last night, overs beat the unders, which means my more optimistic predictions were 2/3 wrong: Republicans overshot the House predictions and Sestak and Giannoulias both lost their close races in PA and IL. But I was right that young people can’t be trusted to vote even when marijuana legalization is on the ballot. Cynicism wins again! I’ll remember that for next time.

I was on Twitter for most of the night last night and most of my observations about last night have already been made there. A few highlights from the night:

* Who could have predicted: Democrats are already playing down the notion that they’ll get much done in a lame duck session. They’d rather punt to January particularly the big issues, like tax cuts. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Don’t even bother. On taxes, the outline of a compromise is there, having been floated by Vice President Biden: the rates might stay in place for a larger number of wealthier Americans. The Estate Tax, which jumps up to 55% in January, will probably be restored at a lower rate. Capital gains taxes will also be higher, but not as high as they’re slated to be. Supporters of the START treaty are very worried. Gee, maybe Obama shouldn’t have appealed DADT after all.

* Last night’s big Dem winner: implausibly, Harry Reid. Second place (of a sort): Howard Dean, whose entire happy legacy as DNC chair was wiped out in one fell swoop last night—and then some. Fire Kaine, bring Dean back.

* Last night’s big Republican losers: the Tea Party, and Sarah Palin specifically. The crazies cost them the Senate.

* An upside: most of the losses last night were from bad Democrats, especially the Blue Dog caucus, which was nearly decimated. The progressive caucus only lost three seats and now constitutes 40% of the Democratic House caucus.

* Most of the progressive online left is saddest to see Feingold lose, I think.

* Personally happiest to see Tancredo lose in Colorado. That guy’s completely nuts.

* At least losing the House means we don’t have to deal with individual Senate egomaniacs anymore.

* Weird proposition watch: Denver votes down UFO commission. Missouri prevents a feared pupocalypse. Oklahoma bans Sharia law, thereby saving freedom forever.

* The most important proposition, and the most important victory for the left, was probably California’s Proposition 23 on climate change, which went down. Quoting the HuffPo article: “California is the world’s 12th largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and its global warming law, passed in 2006, mandates the largest legislated reductions in greenhouse gases in the world.” This was a big win.

* Sad statistic of the night: “Meg Whitman’s personal spending on her campaign: $163 mil. Natl Endowment for the Arts 2010 budget: $161.4 mil.”

* And Republican gains are bad news for higher education. This is probably especially true for state universities in North Carolina, where Republicans now control the state legislature for the first time in a century.

Anything I missed?

When Obama Failed

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My own answer to the question of how things got this bad has less to do with whether Obama should have been more liberal or more centrist than with his and his party’s apparent inability, or perhaps refusal, to offer broad and convincing arguments about their central beliefs that counter those of the Republicans. This problem goes back to the Reagan years. It is a failure that many Democrats and liberals hoped Obama could change—something he seemed capable of changing during the campaign but has addressed rather poorly once in office.

Of course, the fact that unemployment is still 9.6%, in part because of a too-small stimulus package that was itself an early attempt at unnecessary policy compromise with the GOP, doesn’t help either.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 9, 2010 at 11:39 am

Obama Contrarianism Contrarianism

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Jaimee says this article about Green Recovery provisions hidden in the stimulus bill made her feel better about Obama (and about the future) than she’s felt in months, and though it’s setting the bar even lower I tend to agree.

For starters, the Recovery Act is the most ambitious energy legislation in history, converting the Energy Department into the world’s largest venture-capital fund. It’s pouring $90 billion into clean energy, including unprecedented investments in a smart grid; energy efficiency; electric cars; renewable power from the sun, wind and earth; cleaner coal; advanced biofuels; and factories to manufacture green stuff in the U.S. The act will also triple the number of smart electric meters in our homes, quadruple the number of hybrids in the federal auto fleet and finance far-out energy research through a new government incubator modeled after the Pentagon agency that fathered the Internet.

The green industrial revolution begins with gee-whiz companies like A123 Systems of Watertown, Mass. Founded in 2001 by MIT nanotechnology geeks who landed a $100,000 federal grant, A123 grew into a global player in the lithium-ion battery market, with 1,800 employees and five factories in China. It has won $249 million to build two plants in Michigan, where it will help supply the first generation of mass-market electric cars. At least four of A123’s suppliers received stimulus money too. The Administration is also financing three of the world’s first electric-car plants, including a $529 million loan to help Fisker Automotive reopen a shuttered General Motors factory in Delaware (Biden’s home state) to build sedans powered by A123 batteries. Another A123 customer, Navistar, got cash to build electric trucks in Indiana. And since electric vehicles need juice, the stimulus will also boost the number of U.S. battery-charging stations by 3,200%. (See how Americans are spending now.)

“Without government, there’s no way we would’ve done this in the U.S.,” A123 chief technology officer Bart Riley told TIME. “But now you’re going to see the industry reach critical mass here.”

The Recovery Act’s clean-energy push is designed not only to reduce our old economy dependence on fossil fuels that broil the planet, blacken the Gulf and strengthen foreign petro-thugs but also to avoid replacing it with a new economy that is just as dependent on foreign countries for technology and manufacturing. Last year, exactly two U.S. factories made advanced batteries for electric vehicles. The stimulus will create 30 new ones, expanding U.S. production capacity from 1% of the global market to 20%, supporting half a million plug-ins and hybrids. The idea is as old as land-grant colleges: to use tax dollars as an engine of innovation. It rejects free-market purism but also the old industrial-policy approach of dumping cash into a few favored firms. Instead, the Recovery Act floods the zone, targeting a variety of energy problems and providing seed money for firms with a variety of potential solutions. The winners must attract private capital to match public dollars — A123 held an IPO to raise the required cash — and after competing for grants, they still must compete in the marketplace. “They won’t all succeed,” Rogers says. “But some will, and they’ll change the world.”

The investments extend all along the food chain. A brave new world of electric cars powered by coal plants could be dirtier than the oil-soaked status quo, so the stimulus includes an unheard-of $3.4 billion for clean-coal projects aiming to sequester or reuse carbon. There are also lucrative loan guarantees for constructing the first American nuclear plants in three decades. And after the credit crunch froze financing for green energy, stimulus cash has fueled a comeback, putting the U.S. on track to exceed Obama’s goal of doubling renewable power by 2012. The wind industry added a record 10,000 megawatts in 2009. The stimulus is also supporting the nation’s largest photovoltaic solar plant, in Florida, and what will be the world’s two largest solar thermal plants, in Arizona and California, plus thousands of solar installations on homes and buildings.

Obama made headlines today (and garnered some well-deserved praise) with a call for an additional $50 billion in stimulus money for infrastructure spending. This is a strategy for November that could stem the bleeding, especially as the Republicans double-down on their strategy of deliberately tanking the economy. I just don’t know why we’re only reading about it now, in Time, two years after the fact. Why isn’t he touting this aspect of the stimulus? It’s the best and most important part.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 6, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Closing! All! My! Tabs!

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* Al Gore is coming to Duke this April.

* Arbitrarily defined political, social, and religious positionalities correlate with a measurement that doesn’t mean anything to prove people like me are smarter than everybody else. Science!

* For the doctors in the audience: A transit map of the human body.

* John Roberts, radical. Via MeFi.

For the past few years, I’ve been giving Roberts the benefit of the doubt, hoping that he meant it when he talked about the importance of putting the bipartisan legitimacy of the Court above his own ideological agenda. But, while Roberts talked persuasively about conciliation, it now appears that he is unwilling to cede an inch to liberals in the most polarizing cases. If Roberts continues this approach, the Supreme Court may find itself on a collision course with the Obama administration–precipitating the first full-throttle confrontation between an economically progressive president and a narrow majority of conservative judicial activists since the New Deal.

* This note shows that the aggregate fiscal expenditure stimulus in the United States, properly adjusted for the declining fiscal expenditure of the fifty states, was close to zero in 2009. While the Federal government stimulus prevented a net decline in aggregate fiscal expenditure, it did not stimulate the aggregate expenditure above its predicted mean. In other words, the federal stimulus primarily covered shortfalls in state budgets; it wasn’t new spending.

* Congratulations, Senate Republicans, on another historic benchmark.

* Another day, another set of outrageous lies from Fox News.

* Another academic career ruined by Facebook?

* Health care, they say, by Easter. Thirty-six Senators now support the reinserting the public option through reconciliation; here’s how they can bring it to a vote. Meanwhile, in the House, Pelosi only needs 216 votes. It’s still being reported that the House will act first.

* Steve Benen has a list of the additional Republican ideas that Obama now wants in the health care bill. I’m certain they now hate these ideas too. Quick, call a summit!

* On Nicole Kidman’s pre-existing conditions.

* When Sartre wrote for Hollywood.

* What Smith and [Stanley] Fish are doing is asking a stupid question — where are the Orders of the Cosmic Dictator? — and failing to note that there seems to be no evidence of a cosmic dictator, and his orders are merely pretenses put up by institutionalized frauds. And then they run about in circles, flailing their arms and screaming at the people who point out that there are no orders.

* How to resign from the Catholic Church.

* Lost landscapes of Detroit.

* A History of Obama Feigning Interest in Mundane Things.

* Globalization, as seen through your taco.

* Rejoice: marriage equality in DC tomorrow.

* And please, leave Indy alone.

Nothing Can Save Us Now

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* In the spirit of Lost 1967, Lost the Sitcom.

* The stimulus worked; it just wasn’t big enough.

* Terrible people saying terrible things: How the GOP’s deregulatory health-care solution would just make things worse.

* By the time you read this, the 39-year-old Ford will either be a serious candidate for the Senate seat (with his eye on the White House) or a footnote in New York’s long history of oddball and carpetbagger campaigns. But more interesting than Ford himself are the characters egging him on: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, pollster Douglas Schoen, and Joe Trippi, the Internet-politics whiz who ran Howard Dean’s and John Edwards’ presidential campaigns. These men and others represent a kind of perpetual, recurring dream in American politics that some sort of Brand X candidate or third party, transcending all known partisan divides, will emerge. Ford was merely the latest vessel for this fantasy. Via Ezra Klein, who posits Evan Bayh as the next vessel after Ford.

* Breaking: Voters don’t make rational decisions. (Via Barker.)

Human groups are unusual among primates in that our leaders are often democratically selected. Faces affect hiring decisions and could influence voting behavior. Here, we show that facial appearance has important effects on choice of leader. We show that differences in facial shape alone between candidates can predict who wins or loses in an election (Study 1) and that changing context from war time to peace time can affect which face receives the most votes (Study 2). Our studies highlight the role of face shape in voting behavior and the role of personal attributions in face perception. We also show that there may be no general characteristics of faces that can win votes, demonstrating that face traits and information about the environment interact in choice of leader.

Wednesday Wish-I-Had-a-Snow-Day Links

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* The Virginia House of Delegates is tackling the real issues.

The House of Delegates is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would protect Virginians from attempts by employers or insurance companies to implant microchips in their bodies against their will.

The link goes on to explain how this is also protection from the Anti-Christ. It’s a two-fer.

* Somewhere, a research assistant is getting chewed out: Bernard-Henri Lévy was caught quoting a fictional philosopher in his recent book on Kant.

* ‘They are unembarrassed’: Rachel Maddow on GOP legislators who slam the stimulus in one breath and take credit for its spending the next. It’s an amazing segment; her list of hypocritical cash-and-trash Republicans seems to go on forever.

* Sherrod Brown should be on TV more. (Thanks, Kinohi!) There’s more on the Becker vote here, here, and here; this seems to have gotten people pretty riled up. Related: Obama should get angry more.

* North Carolina wants to change its history curriculum so that high school U.S. history starts in 1877. They’d miss the Civil War and slavery, but at least they’d still get to cover the Wilmington Race Riots of 1898, the only successful coup d’etat in U.S. history.

* 12 Successful SF Authors Who’ve Written Racy Fanfic. The winner? Joanna Russ of The Female Man fame.

* Gay advocacy groups cut off New Jersey Democrats.

* Being bored and having a low IQ can kill you.

* Daily Kos joins the Fire Tim Kaine caucus.

* Is American fiction dead? Is global literature? Is The Catcher in the Rye really unfilmable?

* How Palin can win the 2012 GOP primary.

* And while you may have forgotten about Peak Oil, Peak Oil has not forgotten about you.

Thanksgiving Eve

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* Bill Simmon has links on how to argue with your relatives about climate change over Thanksgiving. (If you have a smartphone, just queue up How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic and wait.) As I wrote over at Bill’s place, Matt Taibi’s recent piece on Sarah Palin—describing how she uses her endless interpersonal conflicts to generate political capital that is totally independent of anything so mundane as “ideas” or “positions”—really opened my eyes on how this Climategate nonsense is doing its work. Climategate shifts the field of debate from statistics and facts, which only a small minority are qualified to discuss, to the field of interpersonal relations and “bad behavior,” on which we can all have an opinion. It’s being pushed as a “huge scandal” precisely because it remakes climate change into a moral question about how smart people sometimes turn out to be arrogant jerks. That this moral question is totally irrelevant to the facts isn’t a bug, it’s the whole point.

* Also on the climate front: Obama will go to Copenhagen to commit to 17% under 2005, California introduces its cap and trade plan, and (via Alex G.) rich nations are not following through on promised climate change funds for developing nations. Surprise surprise.

* Elsewhere on the arguing-with-relatives front: Steve Benen has your charts that show the stimulus worked.

* BLDGBLOG goes inside Yucca Mountain.

* Another second-hand report on a recent Žižek talk, this one on ecology. There’s even more ecologically informed theory at Australian Humanities Review.

* History’s first entry in the things-that-make-me-kind-of-like-Bill-O’Reilly file.

* One of America’s most loathsome politicians may be about to stage a comeback.

* Stephen King may write a sequel to The Shining. Cynical-C says this must be stopped; maybe I’m getting soft, but it sounds to me like it actually could be decent.

* And, via How the University Works, UC Davis student activists have extracted limited concessions from the administration. The crisis, of course, remains ongoing.

Monday Misc.

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* Three Mile Island may still be leaking. More at Infrastructurist, which gives the story a strong pro-nuclear slant not really supported by the facts.

* When it rains too much, sewage gets in your drinking water. The stimulus package could have been devoted entirely to infrastructure and green economy programs and that still would have been just a start on the sort of spending that is necessary.

* John Marshall says the public option is now so tiny it is no longer worth fighting for. I like Josh, and I see his point, but I really think this takes too short-term a view; the point is to get any public option in, so that it can subsequently be improved and expanded using the filibuster-proof reconciliation process. And even in the short-term, the progressive left is sufficiently invested in the public option that its loss would be widely understood as (another) demoralizing defeat—which is something we just don’t need right now.

* HASTAC is part of a big Obama administration science and math initiative today.

* The terrifying story of a man trapped in a twenty-three-year coma.

* And via Tim Morton, the Danish journal ReThink has a new section on climate change, with pieces from Morton and Latour among others. Check it out.

You’re Doing It Wrong

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The Obama administration has rejected South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s bid to waste $700 million in stimulus spending on debt repayment, as derided previously.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 17, 2009 at 12:23 am

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Again, Four More

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Again, four more.

* My working assumption has been that the GOP’s biggest names—Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney, god-help-us Sarah Palin—would sit out 2012 to take on the winner of the open Democratic field in 2016. (I’ve actually thought for a while that 2012’s Bob Dole would be Newt Gingrich; someone who’ll lose handily but won’t get creamed.) But that assumption may have been wrong; Bobby Jindal’s bizarre grandstanding over federally funded unemployment benefits in a time of deep economic crisis suggests he may try for 2012 after all. Like Steve, though, I don’t quite grok the strategy; prolonging misery and screwing up the economic recovery of his home state helps him how, exactly?

* Climate questions for Barack Obama.

Q. You favor a strong push to develop the technology needed to capture and sequester carbon from coal-fired power plants. Many argue that the surest way to bring this technology to market is to impose a nationwide moratorium on the construction of new coal-fired plants that don’t capture and store their carbon emissions. Would you support such a moratorium?

* Wil Wheaton has seen Watchmen.

* Unless DVR usage is significant, I would not get too used to Dollhouse.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 21, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Busy Day Today

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I have an unpleasantly busy day today, and the open tabs are already building up. Here’s a few links just to relieve the tension.

* Lieberman saved the stimulus? I guess the people who said we should be nice to him despite everything he’s done may have had a point.

* Four Tennessee state representatives, all Republicans, have signed up to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, aimed at forcing him to prove he is a United States citizen by coughing up his birth certificate. Good lord. How many times do we have to do this one?

* George Will v. climate science. Spoiler alert: Science wins. More (including charts!) from Nate Silver. I did a post like this over the weekend, if you missed it.

* Relatedly, from Marginal Revolution: What if all the smart people are in one party?

* Do not attempt to eat the world’s hottest peper. That’s just common sense. (Via Neil.)

Written by gerrycanavan

February 16, 2009 at 6:04 pm