Thursday, June 21, 2012

UVa Coup Stories from The Hook


All this stuff is kinda making me miss C-ville...

Wahoo Coup Update: Sullivan Reinstatement In The Works?


Sounds like Dragas may have shot herself in the ass after all...

BoV Insanity at UVa

Here's a statement--printed in the Daily Progress and e-mailed to all UVa faculty and staff--from Helen Dragas, the leader of the coup that is trying to oust UVa president Sullivan. Initially this seemed like a fait accompli, but apparently UVa is fighting back, the vice rector of the Board of Visitors (a co-conspirator of Dragas's) has resigned, and there's going to be another BoV vote on the matter on Tuesday (according to the Mystic).

My favorite part about this PoS statement, to paraphrase: yes, I f*cked up...but perhaps future BoVs will learn from my mistakes.

That's some astounding BS right there.

Dragas needs to be yanked off the BoV immediately and told that she's not welcome on the grounds from here on out.

We've got a big problem here in the OD, and I expect it's not unique to us: our university BoVs are generally made up of business types who know not a damn thing about universities, nor about running them. I'd say that this was a disaster waiting to happen...but it hasn't been waiting. The influence of incompetent BoVs, composed almost entirely of non-academicians, is already dragging us down and has been for some time. This ridiculous episode is just one particularly poignant and obvious instance of the problem.

Off to Berkeley

Off to Berkeley for a week-long meeting/workshop. Never been, nor to San Francisco.

Any advice about what to see/do would be appreciated.

JQ is going along, and we're staying a couple of extra days to travel and see some big trees. Hoping to make a bigger trip for gawking at trees next year, but looking for cool hikes and big trees not crazy super far from Berkeley, if anyone knows about such stuff. Looks like Yosemite isn't going to work out, incidentally. Kinda too far for a day trip, no hotels left, and we can't lug our camping equipment with us.

Wes Clark Embarrasses Himself

I would have put the odds of Wesley Clark hosting a reality show at 0. (Well, I never really put odds lower than 0+e...)

But damn. Here it is.

And what's even more humiliating? He's going to have a Palin on there.

F'in sign of the apocalypse.

I give up.

(via Sullivan)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obamacare Simply Explained

GOP More Conservative That Dems Are Liberal

at Political Mojo

(via Drum)

Silver: Obama Has A Tenuous Advantage


Leggo Turing Machine


(via Metafilter)

New NSA Docs Contradict 9/11 Claims


Well, basically all of this goes against the conservative story to the effect that Bush couldn't have done anything to stop 9/11.

Nixon: Worse Than We Thought


The Costa Rican Stone Spheres

Didn't see any of these, but DA's comment made me look this up.

Pretty cool.

GMU and the Right Wing

Monday, June 18, 2012

Back From Costa Rica

Wiped out.

God, what a place.

Quite possibly, up to now, my favorite place on the planet.

Pura vida, you awesome Ticos.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Off To Costa Rica

JQ and I are off to Costa Rica for a week.

Try not to tear the place up while I'm gone.

Comparing Fox and MSNBC Prime Time

Tod Kelly watches and compares/live-blogss the prime time lineups of Fox  and MSNBC.

The verdict is about what you'd think--or about what I thought, anyway:

Fox: utterly insane, the propaganda wing of the GOP

MSNBC: loony as shit, except for Maddow, who is too reasonable and interesting to be on cable news.

I don't even know where Fox is on my dial. I only watch MSNBC on the rare occasions when I catch either Chris Matthews or Maddow. Yeah, I've got a soft spot for Matthews. Maybe because he's a Tar Heel. So sue me. Maddow's pretty good, but still a little partisan or something for my taste. But good. No doubt about that.

I basically just avoid all cable news on account of its being f*cking stupid. Fox: wall-to-wall conservative douchebaggery, the mouthpiece of the fever swamps. MSNBC: loony, boring and embarrassing to liberals. CNN: just plain shit. Far less shitty than the other two, mind you...but still just embarrassingly stupid. But stupid and fairly objective is light-years ahead of stupid and partisan. I'll give 'em that... OTOH, they maintain decent objectivity only in the sense of a kind of he said-she said balance. That is, they pretend that both sides are equally bad. Crap, but crap I can still respect in a kind of way.

Kelly points out something that I've marveled at before: every single newscastress on Faux news looks the same. All bleach-blonde-bombshell types. It's no secret that conservative guys seem to, let us say, not get out of the house enough. If you think that Anne Coulter is hot, you've got some serious problems. Michelle Malkin...well, she so flat-out batty--screechy, spittle-flecked, wild-eyed, bugshit crazy--that it pains me to admit that she'd be really hot if she were even vaguely sane. But, at any rate, any even vaguely hot conservative woman will go far in America. Palin, Laura Ingram, that witchy woman...what was her name? Anyway, Fox capitalizes on the fact that its viewers don't know any women, and sticks a cartoonish blonde on screen at every opportunity.

Anyway, I think the Kelly pieces are worth a glance. One ends up skimming much of the Fox stuff, and the Ed Shultzy / Laurence O'Donnelly bits in the MSNBC piece. We know what they're like, and there's no need to hear all the gory details. But props to Kelly for sitting through and transcribing all that.

Winner: MSNBC, by a Maddow.

Far too close for comfort for anyone who wants to defend MSNBC. If you're not leaving Fox totally in the dust, you've got some serious soul-searching to do...

"The Private Sector's Doing Fine"

What do you do if someone says something weird, and you are interested in learning the truth, and the truth about what they think?

You ask: "Hey, did you mean that?"

So, if the GOP cared about the truth here, they'd ask:

"Hey, you said the private sector's doing fine. Did you mean that?"

Whereupon Obama would say:

"No, of course not. If you look at what I was talking about, I meant that the private sector's doing better than the public sector. And that's true."

If, however, you're only interested in scoring political points and tricking people into voting for make this.

Obama doesn't think that the private sector is doing fine, and everyone who knows anything about politics knows that. I know that the Dems often pounce on such things, too, but GOP irrationality and mendacity has gone so far over the top that I'm disinclined to emphasize the Dems' comparatively rather minor sins.

Consider, e.g., "corporations are people my friends." Now that's a quote one can honestly disseminate with some justification. Yes, they're forensic persons. But yes, it matters that R-Money is so enthusiastic about it.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Florida's Stand Your Ground Laws

At the Tampa Bay Times.

(via Metafilter)

Dubya: The Least-Popular Living Ex-Prez

Very Bad News From Michigan: Romney Leads Obama

God help us.

They tried to steal the election of 2000, and now it looks like they may very well buy this one.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Mitt Romney Is A Big Fat Liar

A lying SoS even by the standards of American politics, as it turns out.

Intrade Odds of Obama Re-Election Down to 52.9%

But if you read the comments, you'll lose a lot of faith in Intrade...

Monday, June 04, 2012

A Message From Teachers on National Teachers' Day


(Via Metafilter)

The Weak Case Against Salt

Mann and Ornstein Still Ignored By the Media

At the Plumb Line, via Drum

I Fought the Law; The Clash et. al.


Oh Clash, how I miss thee.

The greatest band of all time, IMHO, and I love this cover.

I love the Bobby Fuller version just as much. Used to hear that as a kid. I recently discovered that it was not the original! That, as it turns out, is The Crickets' version.

The Stray Cats' version and Green Day's also deserve nods, I think.

(Not so much, IMO, The Dead Kennedys')

Nice work, Sonny Curtis.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Obama and the "Kill List"

GOP's Anti-Obama Jihad Began The Night Of His Inauguration

We're dealing with dangerous radicals here.

I applaud Obama for trying to bring out their better nature, and trying to treat them as if they were rational and well-meaning. But too many of the current crop simply aren't. I agree with him that the fever will (probably) eventually break. But, until then, we have to be clear about what kind of people we are dealing with.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

CNN Poll: Obama 49% Romney 46%

Too early to matter much, too close for comfort, but I'll take it.

Signs of the (Inevitable Zombie) Apocalypse: Maryland

Dude ate his housemate

WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THE IZA IS UPON US!!!1111

More Support for Gun Rights, Gay Marriage


(via Reddit)

Woohoo! Both good things in my view. As somebody somewhere once said, approximately: I'm all for a country full of heavily-armed, married gay people.

I'm basically a libertarian who doesn't believe those crackpot fantasies about the inerrant perfection of the free market...

Obama: GOP "Fever Will Break" During His Second Term


You've just gotta love this guy. While obliquely acknowledging that the GOP has gone insane, he appeals to their historical inclination to be more reasonable, and holds out hope for a return to that tradition.

Sadly, I really don't think we can expect rationality and principle alone to drag American conservatives back to sanity. Although those are real forces, they are not most efficient when slugging it out toe-to-toe with self-interest. It is up to the rest of us to administer a figurative slap to the face of conservatives, to help self-interest work in the service of reason, and to lower the probability that their irrationality will be politically effective. If the GOP were consistently winning, the realities of governance might very well force them to be more reasonable. And if they were consistently losing, that would bring them back to something resembling their senses post-haste. But now, when they are threatened with something like permanent minority status, and in full campaign mode all of the time, rage, fear mongering, demonization of their opponents, lying and obstructionism are alluring.

If the GOP were winning all the time, I think we could expect better behavior from them--but we can't count on it, and there is no chance of them winning all of the time. If, however, they start to lose pretty frequently, I expect this to be pretty effective in bringing them back to their senses. Whether one more loss will do the trick...well, of that I'm less certain.

But, anyway: we know what we need to do.

Though there was little doubt that the President knew what was what here, it's good to hear him say it explicitly.

MO National Guard Looted Joplin Wal-Mart



Sorry: the source article at STL Today. (info from the Post-Dispatch)

In their defense, apparently an employee told them that the stuff (e.g. an electric guitar) would be thrown away.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Godawful Jobs Report

Signs of the (Inevitable Zombie) Apocalypse: Miami Face-Eating


And so it begins...