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Crackpot Hack of the Day

[ 5 ] June 22, 2008 |

Maureen Dowd. (See also.)

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We’re # 2876 #4456!

[ 0 ] June 22, 2008 |

Although perhaps owing to anti-French sentiments after 9/11, we’re down 1580 since 1990. We remain just ahead of “Hecht” and “Dong.” djw’s surname is the most common, coming in in the top 200. All LGM surnames in the top 5,000 are on the decline — read into that what you will…

[Via Movering.]

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Nino’s Urban Legend

[ 0 ] June 21, 2008 |

The problem with apparently including cut-and-pasted segments from Sean Hannity transcripts to introduce your Supreme Court dissenting opinions is that your demagoguery may turn out to have a certain lack of factual basis.

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A Test

[ 40 ] June 21, 2008 |

In re: perennial media darling Sam Nunn, Pierce says: “I thought I was rid of this walking blight a decade ago.” I’ll say this: I’m confident that he won’t, but if Obama picks him as a VP candidate I seriously, seriously misjudged him. The FISA cave is bad, but I never expect much from the Democratic leadership on civil liberties and in terms of choosing between the viable candidates in the Democratic primary it’s neither here nor there. But Nunn is appalling on the merits, and even if he could gain some votes in Georgia, in any election in which Georgia is close its electoral votes would be superfluous anyway. He shouldn’t receive more than a second’s consideration.

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[ 13 ] June 21, 2008 |

A few months ago, I foolishly claimed that Pat Oliphant could never get away with open racism comparable to his misogyny. I was certainly mistaken. (Latter link via Ez.)

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Professor Values

[ 0 ] June 20, 2008 |

Whenever I’m lost for something to blog about, Conservapedia never fails to satisfy. In the past, I’ve learned wonderful things about kangaroos and assorted other crap, but what I truly love about Conservapedia is that I learn so much about myself. The site has helped me realize that I am, indeed, a liberal. Now, as I prepare my tenure file, I realize that I have throughout assimilated the Professor Values required for lifetime confinement to the Ivory Tower.


Professor values refer to the common value system embraced by a large percentage of professors, just as Hollywood values refers to the common value system of many in Hollywood.

An extremely high percentage of professors disagree with conservative principles. Professors’ common value system typically includes atheism, censorship, socialism, unjustified claims of expertise and knowledge (for example, the dogmatic promotion of the theory of evolution), liberal beliefs, liberal grading, liberal bias, anti-patriotism, lack of productivity, bullying or discouraging conservative students (for example, homeschoolers), and promotion of sexual immorality. In a Zogby poll, 58% of Americans said that the bias of professors is a serious problem, while 39% said it is a “very serious” problem. The survey demonstrated further that “an overwhelming majority also believe that job security for college professors leaves them less motivated to do a good job than those professors who do not enjoy a tenured status – 65% said they believe non-tenured professors are more motivated to do a good job in the classroom.” One study in 2008 found that “Texas university professors overwhelmingly favor Democratic candidates in their campaign contributions.”

Professors block the granting of a tenured professorship to anyone who:

* criticizes the theory of evolution
* criticizes feminism and/or abortion
* opposes the homosexual agenda

Professors wear white armbands to protest an award of an honorary degree to a conservative.

With the exception of wearing a white armband to graduation — I prefer red clown shoes — I’m happy to report that I have exceeded my highest expectations on each of these metrics.

For the true connoisseur of Professor Values, however, the list of crimes committed by professors is also especially fantastic. You’ll be stunned, for example, to learn that Louis Althusser killed his wife! And the Shining Path was founded by a philosopher! And a professor once dropped his pants at a county fair! No, really!. (Somewhat surprisingly, the list fails to mention the case of Dick Pervo, the professor of New Testament studies who was arrested for loading child pornography onto his office computer at the U. of Minnesota.)

The tenure review committee is sure to be disappointed that I have never killed anyone, nor have I founded a Maoist militia, nor have I trafficked in lewd images or exposed myself to a crowd of children at a 4-H gathering. But I started drinking long before I was 21, and I used to smoke copious amounts of grass, and I also shoplifted — a lot! — during my misspent youth. If it weren’t for academia, I’d be in jail by now!

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I Defend SATC!

[ 0 ] June 20, 2008 |

I have to give it this: the combination of its success and the California same-sex marriage ruling does seem likely to lead to much pleasure for connoisseurs of gold-plated wingnuttery. I assume that Caitlin Flanagan‘s article about the national menage a trois epidemic is forthcoming.

Until today, I was also blissfully unaware of the beloved wingnut phrase “stuck on stupid.” I think “idiotarian” was less irritating.

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There’s a King in town.

If there’s one writer today I’ll drop anything to read, it’s Matt Taibbi. Ever since his fantastic skewering of Tom Friedman’s “The World is Flat,” I’ve been a devotee. His latest is on John McCain, and is just as good. I’d quote the good bits, but that would involve cutting and pasting the whole thing. You can read it here.

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The I-Pod Candidate?

[ 34 ] June 20, 2008 |

Taking on Johnathan Cohn on his own terrain (and I think Cohn’s emphasis on presidential ability rather than short-term political tactics is sound), Brad Plumer makes a case for Sebelius as VP pick. This is the bottom line:

Sebelius’s biggest strength is the fact that she’s the most competent executive of any of the rumored Democratic veep candidates, save for possibly former Virginia governor Mark Warner (whom the Democrats need to win a Senate seat anyway). The fact that, as governor, she erased a $1.1 billion budget deficit in her first year of office without raising taxes, and later steered a large education-funding package through a fractious legislature, would suggest that she’s perfectly capable of heading up the executive branch–and doing it well.

There just aren’t a lot of people with both executive and foreign policy experience,and the person who best fits that profile (Richardson) has other weaknesses. The other thing to add is that I don’t think her less-than-inspiring State of the Union response should be much of an issue. Most people look bad giving them, and if making a dreary entrance on the national stage was a disqualifying factor the Dems would have been stuck with Paul Tsongas in 1992.

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Democracy Works!

[ 36 ] June 20, 2008 |

Players vote Derek Jeter most overrated player in baseball. (Actually, the title is misleading, as while the #1 pick is unassailably correct, Slappy Rodriguez and Wright are bizarre choices, and J.D. Drew would be a better fit for a most underrated list.)

I’m surprised by the outcome, though. I think the biggest reason that explains the paradox of how Jeter is both at times annoyingly overrated and was screwed out of an MVP award in 2006 is the prejudice against on-base players as opposed to RBI men, but one suspects that the hard sell of the New York media — which, not content to celebrate the many virtues of a first-ballot HOFer, has invented a number out of whole cloth — alienated a lot of voters even as it attracts attention.

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Presidential Statement of the Day

[ 14 ] June 20, 2008 |

Richard Nixon, remarks to reporters, 19 June 1969:

Mr. Hoover does enjoy my complete confidence, and there has been no discussion with regard to his tenure as far as the future is concerned.

I should add, further, that with regard to the controversy on electronic surveillance, that I checked personally into the matter as to whether or not that surveillance which had been discussed had been conducted by him and the FBI, by themselves, or whether it had been, as is supposed to be the case, always approved by the Attorney General.

I found that it had always been approved by the Attorney General, as Mr. Hoover testified in 1964 and 1965. As far as this administration is concerned, our attitude toward electronic surveillance is that it should be used very sparingly, very carefully, having in mind the Fights of those who might be involved, but very effectively to protect the internal and external security of the United States.

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[ 0 ] June 20, 2008 |


That didn’t take very long at all.

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