Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Ted Kennedy

But I Haven’t Left Yet

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* Lebron has hurt everyone, but especially the weak heart of my beloved Cleveland. Nate Silver tries to put a number on the damage he’s done to his reputation playing Hamlet.

* A federal judge has unexpectedly struck down the parts of the Defense of Marriage Act that define marriage as being between a man and a woman. There’s more at MeFi, including a link to a post from Jack Balkin that suggests this could actually be a kind of right-wing Trojan Horse designed to undermine the juridical basis for New Deal government.

* Worst lemon-to-lemonade analogy ever.

* Science proves I was right all along when I said my high school started too early in the morning.

* Žižek blogs about BP. You know what’s coming.

The lesson is simply that, while market mechanisms may work up to a certain level to contain ecological damage, serious large-scale ecological catastrophies are simply out of their reach – any pseudo-scientific statistic talk about “sustainable risks” is ridiculous here. More than two decades ago, a paparazzo caught Senator Ted Kennedy (well known for his opposition to the off-shore drilling in search of oil) in the midst of the sexual act on a lone boat off Louisiana shore; during a Senate debate a couple of days later, a Republican Senator dryly remarked: “It seems that Senator Kennedy now changed his position on off-shore drilling…” So maybe, we should return to Senator Kennedy’s position: the only acceptable off-shore drilling is the one he was engaged in.

More Žižek here.

* Of all sad words of mouth or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been”: 55% Of Likely Voters Think Obama’s A Socialist.

Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?

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Last seen reminding state agencies how they can and should legally discriminate against homosexuals, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is already promising to file a legal challenge to tonight’s health care bill. This of course leads us to another exciting round of “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?” Tonight’s contestant is Randy E. Barnett of Georgetown Law, writing in the Washington Post. Barnett appears much more agnostic on the specific legal questions involved than previous contestants like Erwin Chemerinsky, focusing instead on the aggressive radicality of the Roberts majority:

But what if five justices think the legislation was carried bleeding across the finish line on a party-line vote over widespread bipartisan opposition? What if control of one or both houses of Congress flips parties while lawsuits are pending? Then there might just be five votes against regulating inactivity by compelling citizens to enter into a contract with a private company. This legislation won’t go into effect tomorrow. In the interim, it is far more vulnerable than if some citizens had already started to rely upon its benefits.

If this sounds far-fetched, consider another recent case in which the smart money doubted there were five votes to intervene in a politicized controversy involving technical procedures. A case in which five justices may have perceived that long-established rules were being gamed for purely partisan advantage.

You might have heard of it: Bush v. Gore.

Of course I worry about this, because I think Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas would overturn health care in a heartbeat, on whatever spurious ground presented itself. But while I don’t always agree with him, I think Kennedy has integrity, and I don’t think he would go along with it. (Have to admit, though, I’ve never been more sad to have to say “no relation”…)

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.

Friday Links

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* Good job numbers suggest the recession could be bottoming out. Of course, you can’t please everyone.

* BREAKING: Ben Bernanke is kind of a douche.

* Ted Kennedy may be gone, but John Kerry still won’t support the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound.

* In a new piece in Vanity Fair, Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater/Xe, turns out to have been CIA. Via MeFi. What’s next for this real-life Bond villain?

For the time being, however, Prince contends that his plans are far more modest. “I’m going to teach high school,” he says, straight-faced. “History and economics. I may even coach wrestling. Hey, Indiana Jones taught school, too.”

* New Jersey to pave million-year-old dinosaur footprints to put up parking lot. Okay, actually condos.

* Can humans reproduce in zero gravity?

This finding casts into doubt the science fictional notion that human beings can survive in zero gravity or in the microgravity environment of large asteroids.

* Could a super-advanced civilization live inside the acretion disk, the super-dense area around the black hole at the center of a galaxy?

* The headline reads, “Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex.”

Copenhagen Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to city hotels warning summit guests not to patronize Danish sex workers during the upcoming conference. Now, the prostitutes have struck back, offering free sex to anyone who produces one of the warnings.

* Sarah Palin goes birther.

The other thing that struck me about her interview was her contention that she didn’t go after Obama enough during the election, and namely, that avoiding the birther thing was a mistake. I suppose she could have gone completely off the deep end during the campaign, and certainly it seems she wanted to but was held back by McCain, but good god, who in their right mind thinks she wasn’t enough on the attack? She accused Obama, through implication, of being a terrorist. She did so in a way that maximized the anti-Muslim insinuation, even though neither Barack Obama nor Bill Ayers (who is the excuse for this rumor-mongering) is Muslim, making the whole thing not only racist but incoherent. She went out of her way to imply that anyone who was not white or lived in a city was not a Real American. She red-baited Obama. She did everything but tell jokes about his mom. Her entire campaign strategy was to attack Obama. I fail to see how she could have done more, honestly. There aren’t enough hours in the day.

* And science proves Rousseau was right: God created man in his own image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.

Shall Never Die

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The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die: Sen. Ted Kennedy has died.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 26, 2009 at 12:57 pm

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DNC Day 1 Wrapup

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Michelle Obama finished speaking not too long ago. She’s been called Barack’s secret weapon, and she clearly is—that was one of the better-delivered political speeches I’ve ever seen, especially given the difficult dual contexts of rehabilitating Michelle’s public image and winning over still-suspicious Hillary voters. She was quite literally perfect.

I was almost too nervous to watch the Ted Kennedy tribute and speech; contrary to the way I saw it described on television, it seemed to me that Kennedy was extremely frail and liable to collapse at any moment.

But perhaps the most serious news tonight is the revelation of an apparent assassination plot: at first it seemed to be merely two meth addicts with rifles, but now “at least” four people are under arrest

Written by gerrycanavan

August 26, 2008 at 3:08 am

Kennedy in Durham

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Ted Kennedy has reportedly undergone successful brain surgery right here in Durham at Duke Medical Center.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2008 at 10:09 pm

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