Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘the budget

Wednesday Night Links: 8,000 Barrels, 0.000025%, 3,387 Men, $100 Bills, and More

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Over a longer time span, say a decade, we would expect about 19 spill incidents with an aggregate spill volume of about 8,000 barrels, enough to fill about half of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.  We would expect about 1.3 of these spills to be “large,” which means that on average we would expect a “large” spill to occur about once every 8 years or so.  Clearly, based upon reported historical industry performance, spills in general and large spills in particular would not be a rare occurrence for the proposed pipeline.

* Elsevier’s behavior is so egregious that it has provoked a boycott from academics who refuse to write or review papers for its journals. But to focus on one malefactor elides a larger question: Why should academic knowledge — largely produced by academics at public and nonprofit universities and often with government grants — be turned into private property and kept from public dissemination?

Dartmouth College Cancels Classes After Sexual Assault Protesters Receive Rape Threats. More at Student Activism.

* Piranhas are a very tricky species: On Gift Horses and Trojan Horses: The Proposed Aquatics Center.

* Tumblr of the day: Little Girls Are Better at Designing Superheroes Than You.

Women Writers take heed, you are being erased on Wikipedia. It would appear that in order to make room for male writers, women novelists (such as Amy Tan, Harper Lee, Donna Tartt and 300 others) have been moved off the “American Novelists” page and into the “American Women Novelists” category. Not the back of the bus, or the kiddie table exactly–except of course–when you google “American Novelists” the list that appears is almost exclusively men (3,387 men).

“I love to paint. It is — painting has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way,” the unprosecuted war criminal said.

Mad Men’s Misery Problem And How TV Can Handle Characters Who Never Change.

Right Wing Media Exploit Boston Bombings To Attack Government Assistance Programs. West Virginia Republican: Make Kids Work As Janitors For School Lunches.

Feds spend at least $890,000 on fees for empty accounts. That’s a crushing 0.000025% of the federal budget going to WASTE.

Holding Corporations Responsible for Workplace Deaths. And then there’s Matt “Proud Neoliberal” Yglesias.

Rhode Island Becomes 10th State To Approve Marriage Equality.

* A Slavoj Žižek Text Adventure.

* Monster.com bans unpaid internships.

* You majored in STEM? And you thought you’d get a job after graduation? Why didn’t you major in something useful?

* And the new $100 is awful. Good thing I’ll never actually have one.

One One-Hundredth of One Percent

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As Politico reported, “Most Americans think public broadcasting receives a much larger share of the federal budget than it actually does,” according to a poll conducted for CNN last year. The results of that survey, which asked respondents to estimate what share of the federal budget was spent on certain programs, found that just 27 percent of Americans knew that the money for PBS and NPR was less than 1 percent of government spending. Remarkably, 40 percent guessed that the share was between 1 and 5 percent and 30 percent said it was in excess of 5 percent — including 7 percent who said that more than half of the federal budget was spent on television and radio broadcasts.

Meanwhile, Big Bird’s favorability in the state of Wisconsin is only 51%. You people are impossible to please.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Everything Is Sad on Tuesday Night

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* Oh, Carolina, you’re better than this. Durham County results: For 22359 (30%), Against 51591 (70%).

* But perhaps that’s not depressing enough for you tonight.

“I think that one of the greatest mistakes America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote,” Peterson says. “We should’ve never turned this over to women. And these women are voting in the wrong people. They’re voting in people who are evil who agrees with them who’re gonna take us down this pathway of destruction.”

* My new city becomes ground zero for the Walker recall.

Gay Teen Who Fired Stun Gun in the Air to Scare Away Menacing Bullies Expelled from School. True confession: When I was thirteen I hid a kitchen knife by the front door in case some other kids followed me home from the bus stop like they’d promised they would. I was hopeless, alone, and didn’t know what else to do.

Schools that defend bullies and punish their victims make me want to homeschool my kid.

* A Maurice Sendak profile. Spiegelman and Sendak.

* Atrios has your news from 2022.

The last time the an administration did the supposedly responsible thing, the fiscal “hawks” suddenly decided that the worst possible thing was no longer a deficit, but a surplus, and that therefore it was necessary to have massive tax cuts for rich people.

And they will, of course, do it again.

Nobody cares about the deficit. Those who claim to the most care the least.

* The Comics Crier: 36 Pages of Comics That Aren’t Comic.

* Hardt and Negri have a new electronic pamphlet out on occupation and encampment. So does Chomsky.

When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger.

The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends.

* “Spoiler,” a police procedural that takes place post-zombie apocalypse.

* And Paul F. Tompkins has a new web series on what appears to be the world’s worst website. Check it out anyway.

Thursday Links

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The State Department is infested with vegetarians. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being vegetarians and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.

The Committee on Climate Change report, with the hairy-sounding title “Statutory Advice on Inclusion of International Aviation and Shipping,” says that in 2050, the UK’s emissions reductions across the whole economy will cost 1-2 percent of the total GDP. THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH LET THE PLANET BURN

* It’s come to this: raising taxes and cutting defense spending are so unthinkable that they literally don’t even count as policy proposals.

In reality, there is nothing in any U.S. statute, federal or state, that requires corporations to maximize their profits.

* This op-ed on the difficulty of a career in academia honestly only scratches the surface of how bad it can get. In the U.S. academy, for instance, the heteronormative perspective that is usually taken up as exemplary deeply obscures the costs of the job search on gay and lesbian academics, for whom movement between states and between institutions can mean radical shifts in their basic rights.

Kathleen Lynch, professor of equality studies at University College Dublin, has argued that the idealised academic has no ties or responsibilities to limit their capacity to work. “To be a successful academic is to be unencumbered by caring,” she says.

It’s a terrible way to force people to live.

* Lukas Neville, a doctoral student at Queen’s University in Ontario, reports in the latest issue of Psychological Science that there’s more evidence of academic dishonesty in U.S. states with bigger gaps between the rich and the poor. Those gaps, he speculates, erode trust among people—something that’s been found by other researchers—and less trust means more cheating.

* Some lovely anti-education agitprop in the Atlantic that, as is typical, bears absolutely no relationship to how the academic job market actually works:

After finishing their dissertations, PhDs are hired by a college, based on publication records, the reputations of their references, and the name of their graduate programs. If they happen to have picked up a little classroom experience through a temporary position, it is rarely considered by hiring committees.

Right, that’s totally how it goes.

* Detroit photography beyond ruin porn: Dennis Maitland.

* From the archives: Vice Visits the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Via Longform.org.

* 15 writers’ bedrooms. They’re just like us!

* And 45 to go: Connecticut may be latest state to repeal death penalty.

No One Could Have Predicted

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm

No One Could Have Predicted

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Thursday Night Links

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* Sabotage accomplished: S&P warns there’s a 50 percent chance it will downgrade US credit rating within 3 months. This is really, really bad.

* One of the stranger features of the debt ceiling debate is the fact that Republican intransigence is the only thing saving us all from Obama’s neoliberalism. Ezra Klein tries to lay out the thinking, such as it is. And Matt Yglesias hopes the whole thing really is kabuki theater:

It’s generally wise to assume that the White House isn’t blind to that obvious potential political problem. Part of what they’re thinking is that a 2011 agreement to long-term spending cuts is the best way to avoid the need to reduce spending during the election season. How’s that? Well, it’s because the fiscal consolidation plans being discussed are for trillions of dollars worth of cuts over a 10-year horizon. Since you’ve got that horizon, it’s not strictly necessary for any of them to come between September 2011 and November 2012.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid continues his tireless life’s work stabbing his party in the back.

* What do we lose if we default?

* On the lighter side: the FBI has announced it will investigate NewsCorp. for alleged 9/11 hacking.

* Fall science fiction TV premiere dates.

* And Fox’s Eric Bolling can’t remember a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil between 2000 and 2008. This man is paid a salary to be a pundit.

Monday!

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* Thirteen Three ways of looking at Obama:

* What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular?
* Regardless of whether or not you think President Obama is a progressive surrounded by failing institutions, a Rubinite centrist who puts on a good show, a political neophyte who is perpetually getting rolled by his adversaries or someone who hates fighting and prefers either floating above the fray or getting the half-a-loaf quickly, the way he is losing his battles should worry you about the longer-term project of liberalism and the Democratic Party.
* And, of course: 11! Dimensional! Chess!

* In other political news, Republicans have no one.

* When words change meaning.

* When space shuttles are retired.

* Science proves your students don’t really understand their sources.

* Science proves for-profit universities are a huge scam.

* Of course you had me at 10 Spectacularly Third-Rate Spider-Man Villains.

* And Tom Tomorrow is an it-getter.

A Few Sunday Links

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‘Ludicrous and Cruel’

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Eat the Rich

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81% of Americans support a tax on millionaires.

The poll also showed solid support for other budget proposals, including eliminating funding for weapons systems the Pentagon doesn’t want (76%); eliminating tax credits for the oil and gas industries (74%); and phasing out the Bush tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 a year (68%).

Communists are everywhere! Stay vigilant, citizens!

Written by gerrycanavan

March 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

And Some Other Stuff

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* Here’s an interactive widget (link fixed) that lets you slice 100 billion out of the discretionary federal budget. It’s not easy, because this money really isn’t being wasted—so let’s not.

* On gender bias in New Yorker bylines.

* Foreclosing on Wells Fargo. Now they’re interested in talking to him. Via MeFi.

* Slate remembers Choose Your Own Adventure, including this tidbit:

The no-gender policy proved difficult to maintain when Bantam hired artists to draw covers and illustrations for the series. “In the text I was always extremely rigorous never to have anyone refer to the reader as ‘he.’ ” Packard says. “But Bantam insisted it be a boy because they had market research that said girls would identify with boys but boys would never read a book where ‘you’ was a girl. That was a big problem because most of the covers were of boys and most of the illustrations were of boys.”

It was a move that Packard believes lost readers: “I think we lost a huge number of girls to The Babysitter’s Club.

* And the headline reads, “Permafrost Meltdown May Herald Climate Catastrophe.” Enjoy your weekend.

Friday Night in London Links

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* The gods heard we were coming: Runaway Subway Blows Through Six Tube Stations with No Driver.

* If you get all your legal analysis from my friend @drbluman, you already know that the Right might be better off not even contesting the recent Prop 8 decision restoring marriage equality in California.

* Hack your brain: Researchers from New Mexico State University’s College of Business used a strip of duct tape to make a line through the middle of shopping carts in a Las Cruces, N.M., grocery store. They also posted a sign on each cart that recommended that fruits and vegetables be placed on one side of the line. Shoppers who had one of the special carts bought 102 percent more fruits and veggies than those who had regular carts. Despite the change in shopping habits, the special carts didn’t change the amount of overall money the shoppers were spending.

* Louie Gohmert’s “terror babies!” freakout on CNN is hilarious until killjoy Steve Benen reminds you that he’ll probably get a leadership position after Republicans take back the House next year.

* Great post from Matt Yglesias exposing the lunacy of trying to budget 70 years in advance:

Turn your time machine seventy years back in time and consider the fate of a member of congress in 1940 trying to eliminate the national debt by 2010.

He’d have a hard time taking account of America’ entrance in World War II, the end of the war, the start of the Cold War, the “small” Korean and Vietnam wars, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the decision to maintain a global military presence, 9/11, Iraq, etc. And that’s to say nothing of the creation of Medicare, the substantial expansion of Social Security, the creation of Medicaid, the inflation of the 1970, the Great Recession of 2007-2010, etc., etc., etc. Long story short, he’d be flying blind. In 1940, out of 35 million private homes over 10 million lacked running water. In 2010, 60 percent of households have broadband internet.

* And the BBC, reporting from the mid-1980s, discovers that college professors are using popular culture artifacts like comic books in the classroom.