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Archive for October, 2012

The Most Trusted Name In News!

[ 48 ] October 24, 2012 |

Would not drawing a paycheck from CNN miss it if it went away?

This is real

[ 99 ] October 24, 2012 |

Or perhaps I should say “real.”

. . . and to cleanse the palate:

From Sociological to Merely Geographic Long Island

[ 48 ] October 24, 2012 |

So Brooklyn would be getting an NHL team if Gary Bettman wasn’t determined to ensure that the NHL not exist by 2015. If Sonia Sotomayor can somehow step in and save the league, the move makes sense; a visit this year confirms that Nassau Colosseum should have been demolished about five years ago.

Why, I’m Beginning to Think That the Links Between Misogyny and the Anti-Choice Movement Might Not be a Coincidence

[ 90 ] October 24, 2012 |

Understanding consent is not only contrary to Republican values, it’s contrary to the very will of God!

The latest entrant into the Republican rape insensitivity bake-off is Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who said tonight that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” He, of course, joins fellow Senate candidate Todd Akin, with his now-canonical “legitimate rape” comment, and Rep. Joe Walsh, running for election in Illinois, who claimed there was no reason a woman would ever need an abortion to save her life or preserve her health. The trailblazer was Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle, who failed to unseat Harry Reid in Nevada two years ago, and famously said that if a hypothetical teenager was raped and impregnated by her father, it was an opportunity to turn “a lemon situation into lemonade.”

Here’s why this is happening: The newer crop of Republican candidates and elected officials are, more often than not, straight from the base. They’re less polished than their predecessors; they’re more ideologically pure. As a result, they’ve accidentally been letting the mask slip and showing what’s really at the core of the right-to-life movement.

Right: as awful as these comments are, they at least have the advantage about being honest and revealing about the motives and implications of the forced pregnancy lobby.


Related
: “It’s starting to look like God is intending that we stop invoking him in political debates.”

The disposition matrix

[ 211 ] October 24, 2012 |

Pursuant to LGM’s official policy* of not criticizing the administration until after the election, I’ll merely link to this article rather than comment on it.

*Joke#

#Sort of^

^Yes Romney would no doubt be just as bad on the issue of targeted “disposition.” (I almost reflexively wrote “even worse,” but what would “even worse” look like?).

Pursuant to my previous post

[ 51 ] October 23, 2012 |

Here is what I learned today:

If you don’t feed a certain person before an event, all he’ll want to talk about is food. He will ask you questions about local cuisine, to which you will respond that if he’s never had a Korean BBQ beef and kimchi burrito — like the one you had last Tuesday which was so delicious the very memory of it just pains you — he ought to try one while he’s in town. He will say, “That sounds delicious, I love California fusion. Where can I get that?” You will tell him where he can find that food truck, and he will relay that information to someone wearing a black suit whose job, it seems, is to keep a running list of food this certain person wants to eat.

And that will be it.

You will have been in a room with some Pulitzer Prize winners and a certain person and what will you have done? You will have recommend a Korean BBQ beef and kimchi burrito. Moreover, one of his staffers will come up to you afterwards and congratulate you on your recommendation, because a certain person “really does love fusion.” Moreover, you won’t be able to write about it specifically until you receive some clearance from a certain person’s people, even though all you talked about was food.

When you express via email that you’re not sure why your conversation about food needs to be cleared — because apparently you’ve forgotten all your technology was removed from your person before you were allowed to be in the same room as a certain person — you are informed by everyone you know via multiple technologies that a certain person is now a vegan and your conversation with him and his subsequent behavior may lead to future awkwardness.

But a certain person’s people are fine with this post as it’s written so you post it.

What Happened to Barack Obama? Um, He Had to Win Reelection

[ 73 ] October 23, 2012 |

The class of writers like John Cook with a sad because Barack Obama isn’t the adult standing above the fray he was in 2008 shows a lot of naivete about politics. Why is Obama using terms like “Romnesia?” Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because the Republicans have shown for the last 3 1/2 years how trivializing politics into soundbites can be tremendously effective in destroying the president? Because unlike in 2008, when a schmuck like John Edwards would have walked all over John McCain, Obama is in the fight of his life? Because the American public is silly? I can think of lots of reasons that Obama would act like, gasp, a politician.

That we have those who take themselves very seriously complaining about this in late October just before the election shows that there’s a class who is paid to write about politics but actually don’t understand how politics work.

The Decline of Civilization

[ 112 ] October 23, 2012 |

If it hasn’t already started, I’d say this might be the time.

I don’t care that the review said it was less terrible than you’d expect. There are lines that should not be crossed.

Texas History: The More You Know, The More You Want to Run Away

[ 39 ] October 23, 2012 |

I had a fairly good sense of violence against white opponents of secession in Texas during the early period of the Civil War, including the massacre of German settlers as they attempted to flee to Mexico. I was somewhat aware of the hangings at Gainesville, in the north part of the state near the Oklahoma border. But I didn’t know the extent of the violence in North Texas in 1862. Nasty, awful stuff.

The Hack Gap Revisited

[ 79 ] October 23, 2012 |

Republican operatives are plunging ahead with nonsense about how Romney was just fine in the two debates he lost, now tied to the idea that he will cruise to victory when he’s still clearly behind. I agree that this is what’s going on:

In recent days, the vibe emanating from Mitt Romney’s campaign has grown downright giddy. Despite a lack of any evident positive momentum over the last week — indeed, in the face of a slight decline from its post-Denver high — the Romney camp is suddenly bursting with talk that it will not only win but win handily. (“We’re going to win,” said one of the former Massachusetts governor’s closest advisers. “Seriously, 305 electoral votes.”)

This is a bluff. Romney is carefully attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum, in the hopes of winning positive media coverage and, thus, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Over the last week, Romney’s campaign has orchestrated a series of high-profile gambits in order to feed its momentum narrative.

On one level, this makes sense; there does seem to be some evidence for a bandwagon effect. Mitigating this, however, is the possibility that Republicans may convince themselves of their own bullshit. My favorite recent example is Karl Rove’s decision to waste resources in New Jersey and California in the last weeks of the 2000 election, which could very well have squandered the gifts he was handed by Florida’s ludicrous electoral system and St. Ralph. Alas, as Chait points out Romney’s current gambits aren’t really sacrificing anything but are merely taking advantage of journalists who need to have “the race is tightening” stories.

Final Debate Thoughts: Horses and Bayonets

[ 50 ] October 23, 2012 |

Some thoughts over at the Diplomat on the debate, and on what a Romney administration Navy might look like:

However, the Romney campaign has given little indication as to how it will pay for these increases.  Unless it can reallocate funding from the other services, an increase in the size of the Navy will require a larger defense budget.  The Romney campaign has committed to this, but increasing the budget puts Romney’s other fiscal goals in jeopardy.  Indeed, Lehman’s account of Romney naval policy is notable for its failure to make any choices; new frigate, more submarines, more carrier air groups, LCS, and so forth.  Responding to Cavas’ “Is there any program right now that you would cut?,” Lehman said “I wouldn’t single out any program at this time. I think there’ll be a hard look at all the programs. But that’s not something the campaign is undertaking at this point, and won’t until after the election.”

One more point; Romney walked into the “horses and bayonets” point as if he and his campaign hadn’t been telegraphing the punch for several months. It’s hard to understand how he and his campaign didn’t appreciate that Obama would be able to come up with some kind of response; I suspect that they’re still living in a universe where any suggestion of defense cuts is essentially political poison. There’s no reason whatsoever to think that’s the case right now.

Former law school career services employee admits to falsifying employment data, says she was ordered to do so

[ 17 ] October 23, 2012 |

A former assistant career services director at Thomas Jefferson School of Law has admitted in a sworn statement to fabricating graduate employment data, and claims she was ordered to do so by her boss, the director of the of the office. Law School Transparency broke the story this afternoon:

Grant alleges that her fraud was part of a deliberate scheme by the law school’s administration to inflate its employment statistics. She also claims that her direct supervisor, Laura Weseley, former Director of Career Services, instructed her on multiple occasions to improperly record graduate employment outcomes and justified the scheme because “everybody does it” thus “it is no big deal.” TJSL could face sanctions from the American Bar Association as severe as losing accreditation.

Grant was Assistant Director of Career Services at TJSL from September 2006 to September 2007, during which she was tasked with tracking and recording employment outcomes of recent graduates. Grant is a licensed California attorney and made her sworn declaration on August 2, 2012 in connection to the class action lawsuit filed by Anna Alaburda, et al. against TJSL in 2011. (Complaint; Original Story.)

Specifically, Grant admits that she “routinely recorded currently unemployed students as ‘employed’ if they had been employed at any time since graduation,” which is a violation of both ABA and NALP reporting guidelines. Graduates should only be recorded as employed if they are employed as of February 15. Exhibit B, A handwritten note by Karen Grant from a meeting with Laura Weseley on Oct. 16, 2006.

TJSL denies both Grant’s allegation that she was ordered to falsify data, and that the data Grant submitted was false. In an email to LST, Rudy Hasl, the school’s dean, also questioned Grant’s motivations:

“The law school stands behind the accuracy of the data that we submitted to the American Bar Association.” Sources report that Grant was terminated in 2007, though when asked for clarification, Dean Hasl would not comment on internal personnel matters beyond suggesting that LST “do a due diligence analysis … including the reasons for her departure from the School of Law.”

I’ll have more on this story shortly.

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