As I talked about yesterday, there’s a 1-day strike today of non-unionized government contract workers who make low wages and who SEIU ultimately wants to organize. In ye olden days of the Gilded Age, the government would use federal troops to bust strikes. The Department of Homeland Security’s response to the strike? Serve as a scab force.
First year enrollment at ABA schools:
This fall the 2010 matrics will be replaced by a new entering class. We can roughly estimate its size, because typically 95% of applicants have applied by mid-May. Since last fall law schools have been frantically soliciting applicants, when it appeared the applicant pool might be as small as 52,000-53,000. It now appears it will be around 58,500. If 75% of applicants are accepted to at least one school (this would be a historic high), and 87% of these people — the typical percentage — matriculate, that will produce an entering class of about 38,000 1Ls.
A 28% decline in enrollment over three years sounds daunting enough, but the real situation is probably worse. What these numbers don’t reflect is the extent to which schools are slashing real (as opposed to nominal) tuition, in order to fill even this drastically reduced number of first-year seats.
For example, I just got an email from an applicant who is considering a “scholarship” offer that would save him 60% of the advertised tuition price for a fairly high-ranked law school. (These price cuts aren’t scholarships in the traditional sense of income from an endowed fund that offsets the actual cost of tuition, but rather straight-up price reductions from the advertised rate).
The applicant received this offer just a couple of weeks ago, even though he had been admitted two months earlier. More telling is the fact that the applicant’s LSAT and GPA are both below the median for last year’s matriculants at this school. (Traditionally, discounts of this size off nominal tuition have been employed to lure applicants with significantly higher than average LSAT/GPA numbers). Many schools now seem engaged in the academic equivalent of a Priceline fare war, as they scramble to fill seats with steep discounts at the end of the application cycle, even as they slash admissions standards.
When law school faculties reconvene in three months or so, the $64,000 question they’ll need to pose to their administrative superiors is, exactly how much did we have to cut prices to get this 1L class in the door?
A useful reminder related to Michael Kinsley’s argument about how horrible it is to criticize people who compare gays and lesbians to pedophiles:
Oh, but, look: It’s next Tuesday now. What has happened since Kinsley made his case on behalf of the people who aren’t yet ready to accept gay people as equal? Over the weekend, Mark Carson, a gay man, was fatally shot in the face in New York City, apparently murdered by someone who was offended by seeing him walking out in public with a man. Two more gay-bashing attacks reportedly happened in New York last night. Overseas, Georgian Orthodox priests led a rock-throwing mob against a gay-rights march. And the most pressing gay-rights issue is whether people are being too easily offended by homophobia?
I’m glad to know that our addiction to oil from politically difficult places will soon be matched by relying on Western Sahara, an area with a long-standing independence movement against Morocco which nominally controls the area, for the fertilizer for our industrial food system. Hard to see how that could go wrong.
A couple of notes on the late keyboardist. First, it should be noted that he produced Los Angeles and Wild Gift, two of the best American albums of the 80s (as well as the two quite good followups.) Exene and John remember.
On the Doors…they’re become sort of like an overhyped New York roleplayer, so overrated by the media a lot of people stop giving him credit for their modest but real virtues. Christgau has the right basic idea:
Shaman, poet, lizard king–believe that guff and you’ll miss a great pop band. Ass man, schlockmeister, cosmic slimeball–that’s where Jim Morrison’s originality lies, and he’s never been better represented. Right beneath the back-door macho resides a weak-willed whine as El Lay as Jackson Browne’s, and the struggle between the two would have landed him in Vegas if he hadn’t achieved oblivion in Paris first. Compelling in part because he’s revolting, Jimbo reminds us that some assholes actually do live with demons. His three sidemen rocked almost as good as the Stones. Without him they were nothing.
Appropriately for a Doors defense, this overreaches: they were way too uneven to be great, and let’s leave the Stones out of it, please. (To begin with, Watts/Wyman v. Densmore/Manzarek’s left hand — not a flattering comparison for the latter. And it took Jagger more than a decade in the biz to achieve the level of self-parody Morrison was born with.) But it is true that at their best they were capable of nearly perfect singles — “L.A. Woman,” “People Are Strange,” “Riders on the Storm,” “Peace Frog,” “Break on Through,” inter alia…these are first-rate pop songs. No need to let Morrison’s relatively high pretension-to-achievement ratio or the fact that teenagers
are were [thanks for the obvious correction, PP] prone to thinking of them as a Great Band unduly bother you.
As I’ve noted before, I’m not really involved in the Realms of Geek, realms like gaming, role-playing and comic booking. These are realms I watch from a distance because I’m interested in how women function in them. One thing that particularly fascinates me is geek gate-keeping, that is self-professed geeky dudes, scoring–mostly women–on how truly geeky they are. There’s even a blog documenting this nonsense. (Spoiler alert: If you’re at all attractive, you’re probably not a real geek.)
Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen of “Portlandia” hardly strike me as spokespeople for MRA-inspired idiocy, so it shocked the hell out of me when I saw a short sketch from their show which showed a girl talking to man about being such a “nerd” because she’s into gaming and comic books (it’s implied that this is, like, such a lie, people). The sketch then moves on to inform us that attractive women who see a geeky film are not nerds, then shows us a sampling of Authentic Kung Fu Grip in Their Original Packaging Nerds ™. They are all, oddly enough, dorky-looking white guys. Wow. Slow clap, Portlandia, slow clap. You really kept that gate. You kept it gooooood.
Let me share two letters of the alphabet with you, Keepers of the Gate: A.) I will make sweet love to Andrew Breitbart’s still-ragey corpse if women are–with any frequency–crowning themselves with the sweaty, well-palmed coveted Crown of Geek just because they play Angry Birds or see some comic book movie. (Yes, this is an actual complaint of gate-keepers.) B.) Let’s say there are women doing this. Why do you care? Why do you care? Seriously, WHY DO YOU CARE? Why don’t you just roll your eyes and move on? That you would get so screechy and hysterical tells me that your geeky pursuits aren’t keeping you fulfilled. Now ask yourself this: If you’re not fulfilled, is that really the fault of some silly, random chick who name-checks Angry Birds?
A federal appellate panel struck down Arizona’s abortion law on Tuesday, saying it was unconstitutional “under a long line of invariant Supreme Court precedents” that guarantee a woman’s right to end a pregnancy any time before a fetus is deemed viable outside her womb — generally at 24 weeks.
The law, enacted in April 2012 despite vociferous protest by women’s and civil rights groups, made abortions illegal if performed 20 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period, or roughly 18 weeks after fertilization, even if the woman learned that the fetus had no chance of surviving after birth. At 18 weeks, many fetal abnormalities can be detected through sonograms.
In its opinion, the panel of three judges assigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco wrote that a fetus’s viability “varies from pregnancy to pregnancy,” which should be determined by doctors, not legislators.
“While the state may regulate the model and manner of abortion prior to fetal viability, it may not proscribe a woman from electing abortion, nor may it impose an undue burden on her choice through regulation,” wrote Judge Marsha S. Berzon, the opinion’s author.
Whether the Supreme Court will reject this “fetal pain” nonsense is another question, but at least the law will be void if they decide not to hear the appeal. The opinion, which thoroughly dismantles the District Court’s holding that the ban was a “regulation” that was therefore permissible under Casey, is worth reading.
Shorter Verbtim Bill Keller: “The president should announce that he has told the Justice Department to appoint an independent investigator with bulldog instincts and bipartisan credibility. The list of candidates could start with Kenneth Starr, who chased down the scandals, real and imagined, of the Clinton presidency.”
Atrios skimmed the cream from this unwitting parody, but this is almost as good:
The third reason for a special counsel is that the government has serious business to conduct, and the scandal circus on Capitol Hill is a terrible distraction. Oversight, so-called, is what we do these days instead of passing a budget, reforming the immigration system, or processing the countless government and judicial appointments awaiting confirmation. Handing off the I.R.S. problem to a special counsel and putting congressional hearings on hold would allow everyone, including journalists, to turn their attention to all that unfinished business.
Yes, if history has taught us anything, it’s that hiring Ken Starr as a special prosecutor will ensure that years aren’t wasted on partisan psuedoscandals instead of governing. And it is almost equally clear that in the absence of scandal a productive, bipartisan legislative agenda will proceed quickly through our highly functional Congress.
The whole column is amazing. It’s like the Trailblazers reflecting on drafting Bowie over Jordan and wishing that they could do it again since it worked out so well the first time. I look forward to Keller’s next column, about how Clinton v. Jones was the most prescient Supreme Court opinion in history.
Our first finalist: James Inhofe, arguing that aiding him own state is a completely different issue that aiding heathens in New York and New Jersey.
Our second finalist: Tom Coburn, who at least as of now is consistent in applying the same stupid position to disaster relief for his own state that he applied to Sandy (although whether he would vote against an aid package that didn’t have offsets, we’ll see.)
Verdict: They’re both inner-circle hall of famers!
Interesting (slightly old) piece on Isoruku Yamamoto in Japanese historical memory:
Unlike the Yushukan museum at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, the Yamamoto museum does not appear to re-write or glorify Japan’s war history. A small exhibit notes Yamamoto’s role in the attack on Pearl Harbor and the devastating defeat at Midway. The main hall is dominated by a mangled wing from the aircraft Yamamoto was flying in when he was shot down in the Solomon Islands.
Yamamoto’s legacy may be evolving, at least in the popular media. Several generally sympathetic books have been published in recent years and a well-received movie was released in 2011. The film deals largely with Yamamoto’s clashes with the Imperial Army, which initiated the war in China and pressed for a wider conflict. Indeed, Japan’s small but vocal nationalist fringe has little use for Yamamoto today, considering his lack of greater support for Japan’s war aims to be nearly treasonous.
The degree to which Yamamoto supported Japan’s expansionist policies and colonial ambitions in Asia has not been closely examined in public. Nor is it clear that the architect of the pre-emptive strike on Pearl Harbor would have been spared charges of war crimes had he lived longer.
I suspect that Yamamoto would have been tried for war crimes, although how such a prosecution would have measured up legally and historically is a different question. While some of the senior operational commanders of the IJN (Kurita, for example) avoided prosecution, many of those involved with strategic planning (Nagano) did go through the procedure. Given how well known Yamamoto was in the United States, it would have been very curious indeed if he hadn’t wound up on trial. And while Yamamoto certainly believed that war against the United States was a mistake, it’s not so clear that he was opposed to the war in China, or to the rest of the Japanese imperial project.
There’s an interesting compare and contrast to be done with historical memory of Robert E. Lee in the American South; efforts to distance Lee from the cause of slavery (as opposed to Southern secession) began almost immediately, but serious questions about Lee’s strategic and operational choices emerged in the years after the war, and have periodically re-emerged as Lee’s reputation has evolved over a century and a half. Given that there are grave questions about the wisdom of the Pearl Harbor and Midway operations, and about the strategic wisdom of the Guadalcanal campaign, I also wonder about Yamamoto’s reputation in Japan as strategic and operational commander. The debate over Lee has proceeded under far more open conditions that discussion of Yamamoto, although it’s not obvious that the openness has really helped.
I enjoyed this from the linked article:
Penn has been tagged as the egocentric villain of the campaign who sowed seeds of dissent in the Team of Rivals. [Ugh, STOP THAT. Not every group of mediocrities and much-less-than mediocrities that fights a lot is Linclon's cabinet. --ed.] One campaign staffer recalled Penn exiting his office, extracting all of the pens from a colleague’s mug, returning to his office and closing the door.
The vast majority of the former Clinton aides — many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of upsetting the powerful Clintons — believed that it was impossible for Penn to rejoin an eventual campaign.
“If you are the losing team,” Penn said, “you get blamed. Hillary told me, ‘It comes with the territory.’ ” He said that he and the candidate had a “thorough post-discussion of everything” but wouldn’t divulge specifics. He admitted, though, “You are always a little bit haunted when something is lost.”
Yes, maybe Penn is just being blamed because he happened, through no fault of his own, to be part of the losing team that by coincidence was the prohibitive favorite at the start of the race. Or because, say, of errors like failing to understand how delegates are allocated. Who can say, really? But even leaving aside the many concrete blunders of Penn’s Campaign to Insult America’s Intelligence, this brings us to the paradox of the consultant racket. You can wash your hand of responsibility of the results — plausible in a presidential campaign (as the fact that you can win a presidential election with the “help” of both Penn and Dick Morris makes clear), much less so in a competitive primary — but if this is true it’s far from clear why your services are worth millions of dollars.
I have to say, however, that it makes sense that the next institution that agreed to sign Mark Penn’s paychecks also came up with Windows 8.