Re: I failed to include a kitten.

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Looks good to me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:30 PM
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1: Aside from the email typos I keep turning up. D'oh.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:37 PM
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You might make it shorter by saying that people blame the president for things they don't like and that this effect is stronger the less you like the president.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:40 PM
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The Republicans want to paint The Spill as Obama's Katrina, but it's really Obama's 9/11 - something he had plenty of warning about, but chose to ignore.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:48 PM
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Analogies are politicalfootball's banned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:49 PM
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This is Ok. Correct Theory, Comrade!

For now.

SCOTUS Wipes Out 600 NLRB Decisions because until March this year, there were only two board members. Obama finally got around to recess appointments after 15+ months.

This shows a lack of executive or mangerial experience, but I also think it shows a lack of an executive mentality.
It is a necessity, a personal need, for an executive to get "her people" into critical or downstream positions asap, like yesterday. Executives knows those folk can break or make you.

Obama apparently doesn't give a fuck. As negotiator-in-chief he doesn't want to (or didn't, until his second year, he is starting to pay attention now) piss the Senate off with difficult appointments or recess insults. Or maybe he thinks he can talk his way out of trouble, or shift the blame elsewhere. Rahm has always been good at that.

But apparently he had no underling telling him "these jobs have to be filled", i.e., no one who cared for Obama with gut executive instincts. This is very very bad, I would hire a whipsmart personnel person November 6 of election year to have names ready in February.

Also, dozens of federal judgeships not yet nominated as we move into the midterms. Yglesias says he is not God, leadership and charisma can only go so far. Well, Obama also seriously sucks as an executive.

Most incompetent President ever.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:50 PM
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nah, i sort of like the 'Obama's Katrina' metaphor

by allowing let-the-rich-plunder conservative policies and incompetent bush appointees to stick around in office, obama has had a disaster occur that is very much like NOLA under Bush.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:52 PM
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Bob knows his way around the executive suite, you see.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:53 PM
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Cigars in that humidor. Bar over there. Help yourself.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:55 PM
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But the security guard comes around at 4:50am, so we gotta go sit in the restroom then.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:56 PM
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I Googled "Obama's 9/11" to see if I had made an original observation. Not only had I not done so, but
Thomas Fucking Friedman may have originated the idea.

But the absolute hell of it is, Friedman is right.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:58 PM
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It seems that all of the agencies are riddled with Bush political appointees, and if Obama chooses to allow this rather than risk a fight over cleaning house then he bears responsibility for the consequences. This wasn't the first time something serious was fucked up due to Obama's controversy-aversion and it won't be the last.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 8:59 PM
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Two moreovers? I don't think I can take any more. Over.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:01 PM
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8: Prickly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:02 PM
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13: Right? I also go crazy with prepositions in e-mail, apparently. Sorry, e-mail recipients!

In my defense, I tapped the original out in like five minutes, so, uh, yeah.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:05 PM
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14: what, it doesn't read as unironic confirmation?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:08 PM
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16: Nope. East coast elitist crushing a regular middle American


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:10 PM
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I'm so non-elitist that I don't end my sentences with a period


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:11 PM
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17: but I care very deeply about the miniature people


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:12 PM
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Anyway, I might join the Fifth (Fourth? Sixth?) International or the Tea Party, depending on which is more supportive of defenestration for the enemies of the people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:22 PM
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Or maybe a bowling league.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:24 PM
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defenestration for the enemies of the people

Huh. Moby's in bed with Big Window.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:26 PM
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Anyhoo, this whole situation is so fucking appallingly horrible in every way I've decided to check out wholesale and just stare at this little whirligig job I got from the dime store. Hah hah, look! You blow on it and it sparkles!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:28 PM
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...I've decided to check out wholesale...

I keep meaning to see if Costco is worth it for me, but I never do. It's just over the river and I never go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:31 PM
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One muses from time to time (i.e., not just to be a jerk provocative) that "Obama's Katrina" and "Obama's 9/11" may be rather more damning as to the capacity of liberal democracies to assess and address risks, particularly remote but catastrophic risks, than as to any particular politician or party, contra the treatment of the "liberal democracies cannot defend themselves effectively" argument, as in The Anatomy of Antiliberalism.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:37 PM
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Or maybe a bowling league.

It's about time.


Posted by: Robert Putnam | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:39 PM
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So who's Obama's Osama?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:40 PM
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25: it's sure damning as to a certain poverty of metaphor and embarrassingly short-term frame of reference. Which is not to say that we shouldn't analogize everything to the failures of the Bush administration. Maybe the BP spill is Obama's coke-n-whores-n-lobbyist-parties-at-MMS? Except oh wait.

Anyhow why focus on the extraordinary, impossible cost and implacable, unknowably destruction when we can riff on optics.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:41 PM
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Prickly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:41 PM
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29: And unknowably.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:43 PM
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Dammit.

Everybody can tell what I'm really upset about, can't they.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:44 PM
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31: Just sit on one of those donut shaped inflatable things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:45 PM
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28: I'd rather riff on appearances than confront my own middle-of-the-night suspicion that only a dictatorship more thoroughly powerful and studiedly brutal than any that history contains could rescue humanity from the coming-like-Christmas crises of climate and agriculture.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:54 PM
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33: Eh, why worry? We'll just eat the baby boomers. They have it coming anyway. Soylent Green is...delicious!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 9:57 PM
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34: No, those people are all gristle Birkenstocks and thinning ponytails.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:00 PM
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I'm sticking to artisanal plankton.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:05 PM
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It doesn't need to be a dictatorship, it could just be a supervillain.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:05 PM
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That's your solution to everything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:08 PM
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37: "[A] supervillain"? I don't expect everyone to have spent a childhood reading issues of Detective Comics in the basement while Mommy and Daddy fought, but Ra's al-Ghul was in a movie, for God's sake.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:10 PM
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dictatorship more thoroughly powerful and studiedly brutal

ALL DICATORSHIPS ARE BENEVOLENT


Posted by: GRAND LEADER OF HUMANITY | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:16 PM
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if only we had an evil scientist who would sell us too-cheap-to-meter renewable energy for one billion dollars


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:17 PM
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Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi are kind of the exception to that rule, because they don't have any jobs if the oil jobs go away.})

A bit too flippant. I think that the environmentalist left sometimes has a tendency to discount the fact that real communities will end up getting hurt through environmental policies. It's not just jobs, in many cases it's a way of life and local culture, no more and no less than a subsistence peasant farming community getting wiped out through industrialization.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:26 PM
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Or, as a case may be, a subsistence peasant farming community getting wiped out by... farming?

Analogies: ask for them banned!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:27 PM
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43: Great Leap Forward?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:30 PM
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44: That was going to be the name for my professional pogo squad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:31 PM
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8: However Bob got there, he's right. The guy is, near as I can see, an incompetent. He's supposed to be the chief executive, as in execute stuff, do something, solve problems, make stuff happen, and all like that.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:31 PM
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There comes a point in every thread where I am reading a comment and I stop and say "wait, who is this?" and look down at the attribution before I finish the comment. And sure enough, nine out of ten times it's mcmanus.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:35 PM
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47: sure he's crazy, and racist, and sexist, and a troll, and probably a republican playing us all, but has he got a gimmick or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:37 PM
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Meh, who isn't crazy or a troll from time to time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:39 PM
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Don't make me break out my "mcmanus is crazy" file, because then that makes me a kind of crazy, too.

Seriously, he's a Republican in real life. I'm willing to wager as much as five dollars on it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:41 PM
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maybe thats because the environmental left doesn't appreciate the culture of mississippi.

and i would certainly like a thread that had more discussion of the radicalization of the proletariat viz-a-viz the conservative movement though avoiding the institutional/elite focus that unofged usually has


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:42 PM
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was that 'great leap foward' a pun(?) on the dual meanings?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:44 PM
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finding greater humor in something is a private skill that is thus never noticed and appreciated, and thus uncultivated. whereas finding alternative interpretations of larger text chunks such as a book is -done-.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:45 PM
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50:You are a silly and malicious person.

This story has been bugging me for a week. Even without pictures, I can't shake the mental images of dolphins struggling in shallow waters to escape the toxic Gulf without understanding what is happening to them.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:45 PM
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52: Mao was the punniest leader of any major nation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:46 PM
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54.1: Just prickly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:47 PM
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54: back atcha, coach.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:47 PM
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dolphins are bastards, though.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:53 PM
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Orcas are real assholes. Dolphins, well, some are good and some are bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 10:55 PM
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really, all mammals kind of suck. i only support uplift of birds. instead of beating up other males, male birds dance and have, um, peacocky feathers.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 11:00 PM
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really, all mammals kind of suck.

By definition, they all suckle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 11:03 PM
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It only now occurs to me that this means that dolphins suckle.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 11:05 PM
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Don't they? I haven't looked or anything, but they must have nipples.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 11:06 PM
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Googling "dolphin bra" doesn't help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 11:11 PM
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They have significant blubber. You don't see nipples on the fatties.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 11:35 PM
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also, whoever says linux is easy to use (as in, not memorizing hundreds of command line things and knowing location/purpose/how to edit/etc of dozens maybe hundreds of obscure files) should be picked apart by hungry penguins


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-17-10 11:39 PM
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Mother dolphins feed their babies for a long time - 18 months to 3 years, I heard yesterday. Woman on the radio was saying it's calving season and they are waiting to see baby dolphins dying from drinking contaminated milk.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 1:53 AM
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And Obama's Osama must be Tony Hayward?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 1:55 AM
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67: (T_T)


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 4:52 AM
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69: sounds like a growing agreement that Obama's Osama 's Obama.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 5:08 AM
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Your momma's Obama's Osama.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 5:13 AM
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The post is good, but there's a missing category -- I want to call them Hilary voters for identification, but it's got nothing at all to do with Hilary. But there's a class of centrist/right-wing Democrats who just can't stand Obama: not critiquing him from the left, or not only from the left, but from any direction they can pick up something that will stick. Those are weird conversations, because while I'm not crazy about him myself, the attacks on him get really improbable -- it feels like defending Clinton against the press war against him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 5:33 AM
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Based on sound evidence (I saw a guy on the bus reading a Hebrew edition of Giuliani's bio), I think Obama should watch the Jewish vote, in addition to the Hillary voters.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:23 AM
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After Obama's concession to the "drill, baby, drill" crowd, my first reaction to the oil spill was "Serves you right, you stupid fucker."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:34 AM
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I asked on another thread without a response, so I'll try again: Could civil forfeiture laws be used to seize BP's assets associated with their over 700 serious violations of environmental law?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:34 AM
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75: I doubt it. Mostly that kind of thing happens to people without a hold army of lawyers. (If you want a more definitive answer, ask an easier question.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:38 AM
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74: Me too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:42 AM
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The post is good, but there's a missing category -- I want to call them Hilary voters for identification, but it's got nothing at all to do with Hilary. But there's a class of centrist/right-wing Democrats who just can't stand Obama: not critiquing him from the left, or not only from the left, but from any direction they can pick up something that will stick.

There's something Northern about this group, because I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist down here.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:45 AM
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||

Also, I need to vent:

THIS FUCKING REF! (of my paper). Interspersed with some excellent points that I need to address, are points where 1) He says things like "Are the parentheses necessary around that comment?" or "Add 'we recall' before restating the theorem on P. N, and even more frustrating 2) Explain X, where X is so trivial that he did not address it in the very paper I'm generalizing. It's not worth describing what makes X so fucking trivial, but it's infuriating. Especially because he also wants me to keep an eye on the length.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:51 AM
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I'd rather riff on appearances than confront my own middle-of-the-night suspicion that only a dictatorship more thoroughly powerful and studiedly brutal than any that history contains could rescue humanity from the coming-like-Christmas crises of climate and agriculture.

This will not happen! There will probably be an increase in horrible authoritarianism as various environmental crises get worse, but the authoritarianism won't save us. An authoritarian government will just let regular people choke/get cancer/starve/cannibalize each other but use state violence to secure all the best stuff and continuing power for themselves. The probable dictator will, however, tell people that only authoritarianism will save them.

I mean seriously, I would be down with a genuinely benevolent despot in an emergency situation, but history hasn't provided a lot of those. Hadrian, maybe. Hadrian was all right.

The political elites are too removed from regular people for an authoritarian government to have any pluses. A popular leader from outside the ranks who rose to dictatorship would not hold power for very long, or could only hold limited power in a small area. The dictator of Rhode Island!

and i would certainly like a thread that had more discussion of the radicalization of the proletariat viz-a-viz the conservative movement though avoiding the institutional/elite focus that unofged usually has

This is a good point, except for talking about some crazy blog called "unofged".

What's happening everywhere is the collapse of the liberal model--the loss of the belief in a civil society in which everyone compromises and leaders have some kind of accountability. Also implicitly the loss of belief that political leaders can reign in international capital (BP, the banks). We--people who are enmeshed in the liberal model, who have thought it through and believe it or who work for institutions which support it--tend to miss this change.

The liberal model no longer works. It no longer works both because international capital is more powerful and much nimbler than it used to be thanks to modern communications and shipping and because the organizing that created political accountability has fallen apart. We got the liberal consensus in part because politicians were afraid of unions and socialism--it was better to have the eight hour day and checks on capital than to live in the USSA. Those old social formations are gone, mostly, and their ghosts no longer keep politicians in line.

So obviously, ordinary people are going to "radicalize"--ie, create new political formations based on protecting what they believe are their interests. Some of these political formations will be dumb and useless; some will be effective but harmful (ie the tea party).

You see this in anarchism--there are a lot more anarchists, globally, than there were ten years ago. But they're a much more diverse bunch, and they're much less tied to the concerns of the regular left such as feminism and anti-racism (and generally don't consider themselves "left" even if they are feminist or anti-racist). This is because radicalization/new social formations are happening everywhere and for real, not just as an outgrowth of the academic left. The old social formations--which were often awesome and I wouldn't cry if they revived--can't meet the needs of regular people any more.

The old left needs to understand this or it will be absolutely overwhelmed. But the liberal left is strongly attached to the economic infrastructure of the liberal consensus--the grants and fellowships and non-profits and respectable magazines and degree programs in teaching and so on. Those things are not useless or terrible; they're just suitable to different social and economic conditions.

The liberal consensus was [not going to last! not radical enough!] perfectly helpful and suitable in different social conditions. It's really important not to get into that "old left was terrible and reformist! New social formations will be radical and awesome!" thing that anarchists and radicals tend to do. The point is to have ideas suited to the times, not to win a radical-off competition.

Anyway! Liberals, radicalize your tactics or everyone will be tea partiers!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:53 AM
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"THIS FUCKING REF! (of my paper)." should read "THIS FUCKING PEER REVIEWER!"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:55 AM
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Hadrian was all right.

Hey, Hadrian, leave those Scots alone.
All in all, your just another brick in the wall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:56 AM
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Nobody knows what the hell they're on about at Unofged.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:56 AM
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Aaah. "your" s/b "you're." I'm going to do actual work now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:57 AM
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79: Ref Vent!!!

I got a comment that was roughly "the author claims tha AOM modulates the beam when in fact it merely shifts the frequency." AOM is Acousto-Optic Modulator you stupid motherfucker.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:58 AM
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Sure, Obama sucks. But is there anyone here who's seen a better and more effective president in her or his lifetime? Which is to say, isn't it possible that the problem is structural rather than idiosyncratic?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:19 AM
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80
I mean seriously, I would be down with a genuinely benevolent despot in an emergency situation, but history hasn't provided a lot of those.

Cyrus? Napoleon? They certainly left legal systems better than they found them, at least.

Cincinnatus sounds like a really cool guy until you read and find out that the crisis he saved the Romans from was a peasant revolt itself (or maybe slave revolt, I don't know).


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:20 AM
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86: Yes, but everyone goes on defending Obama as in individual and pointing toward the possibility that someday, without significant systemic change, we will elect someone who will be so competent and so principled that they will fix everything. Or suggesting that if Obama were more personally awesome, he could somehow fix things. As to whether Obama would really fix everything if he could or whether he's just a neo-liberal politician like everyone else, I can't say. But he certainly won't fix everything; no one will until there are popular organizations as a counterweight to the elites.

That's where the tea party comes in, I suppose. Awful popular organizations.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:23 AM
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But is there anyone here who's seen a better and more effective president in her or his lifetime?

Eisenhower? Johnson?

But yes, the problem is probably structural.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:32 AM
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88: Agreed.

Obama is obviously politically skilled, and the worst dirt they've got on him is maybe-shady-but-definitely-legal political horsetrading. Republican leaders are completely insane, incompetent at at least some important things, and marginalized down to levels not seen in decades. Here and there it almost seems like circumstances are conspiring to highlight the important of the left-wing agenda - an economic crash that quite clearly began while Bush was in office and began in the financial sector itself, an oil spill, etc. (Yes, obviously those things are horrible, insert boilerplate disclaimers here. I'm just saying they are consequences of, or exacerbated by, conservative policies, so they should provide a perfect excuse to change those policies.) All things considered, we should be in the middle of a revolution.

And yet despite all that, this is what we get? Health care reform that strengthens the current system and happens to subsidize a few people as an afterthought? More than a year and a half to repeal DADT? Unemployment at 9 percent and everyone being grateful it isn't even worse? Again, no offense to Obama, he definitely has done a lot and I accept the arguments that he couldn't have done much more. But if this is the best we can do, then what's going to happen when the Republicans are a bit more competent or a Democrat with genuine skeletons in his closet gets elected? No, it's not Obama's fault, but this country is fucked.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:33 AM
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re: 82

I used to always envisage the wall like some sort of cage around us; Romans on one side, foaming at the mouth raving savages on the other side -- like cartoon Tasmanian devils.

Historians, the spoilsports, keep telling us, "well, it was more a customs frontier, for tax purposes." Bastards.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:35 AM
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75: Could civil forfeiture laws be used to seize BP's assets associated with their over 700 serious violations of environmental law?

Maybe. But only for violations that are criminal, which I doubt many (if any) of these over 700 environmental law violations are. And it's not as broad as assets that are "associated" with the violations, it's instrumentalities and proceeds, so between that and the subset of offenses that could support civil forfeiture, I don't know how big a dent you could make.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:36 AM
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89: On the subject of which, it looks like the campaign finance reforms working their way through congress are being systematically weakened, to the point where there are explicit exceptions made for the NRA.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:38 AM
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But is there anyone here who's seen a better and more effective president in her or his lifetime?

Better? No, but that's a particularly low bar to clear. Effective? Well, IMO Reagan completely broke the country and poisoned the minds of a majority of two entire generations. So in the same way that Stalin was the most effective Soviet leader, I'd have to give that nod to Reagan.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:41 AM
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This purports to be a list of offenses that trigger forfeiture. One is "ocean dumping"; there's also "false or fraudulent statement to government agency."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:45 AM
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86:You betcha, like all of them.

Look their goals and values were the opposite of mine, but Reagan and Bush got it done.

There is no way Bush & Cheney would have allowed MMS to go uncontrolled for 18 months. I mean, there was money to be made there as everywhere, looting and rapine available in every little dep't and bureau, those nickels and dimes add up, and graft comes through attention to detail. If not personal attention, then a trusted subordinate with clear direction.

1) I think Obama is everyone's nightmare Senator become President, and worse than most, because Obama has always seen himself as negotiator, conciliator, conflict resolver in chief. This is middle management shit, utterly disfunctional in a CEO or COO, where Bush's "Decider" model is essential.

2) I think somebody told Obama, or Obama himself decided, or Rahm had too much influence, that "three big things and no more" is what a President can do in a term. I don't think Obama gives a flying fuck about MMS ot NLRB or FCC. I can imagine someone trying to get thru Rahm during the healthcare debate in order to get MMS reformed or a board member appointed and Rahm just telling them to get out of his face, the Pres has important work to do.

And that's ok, but then you have to delegate the small shit to somone who really does give a fuck, and this Obama has pretty obviously failed to do. This is a huge fucking fail, in breadth as bad or worse as I have seen in my lifetime.

What do you think, Johnson or Haldeman or Atwater or Rove doesn't get their guy on the Labor Relations Board? Doesn't have Judges ready to go?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:45 AM
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Right, it's a very, very low bar. But by my lights, there have only been two genuinely good presidents -- FDR and Lincoln -- in the nation's history. And if I had been alive during the Roosevelt and Lincoln administrations, I almost certainly would have thought both of them sucked: abuses of civil liberties, intermittently terrible economic policies, giving away the store to the opposition, etc. Which is to say, it's a structural problem and Obama's as good as I'm likely to see in my lifetime. Does that make me happy? No. But it certainly does keep me from directing too much anger his way.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:47 AM
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97 to 94.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:48 AM
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Shorter Ari: I'm not terribly disappointed by someone new, because my expectations were very, very low.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:49 AM
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95: right, there are some possible bases for criminal liability, and supposedly DOJ is looking at them (esp. under the Clean Water Act; the ocean dumping statute doesn't look to me like it'd apply), but from what I can tell from a little googling the "over 700 violations" figure refers to a series of OSHA citations (at a single BP facility!), and those aren't criminal.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:53 AM
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Ari disappoints me. (Actually, I rather like Obama's presidency.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:57 AM
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95: That's promising. Too bad Obama lacks the resolve to go all out against BP.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:59 AM
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There is no way Bush & Cheney would have allowed MMS to go uncontrolled for 18 months.

Right, they did that for eight years.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 8:59 AM
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I'd like to know what those OSHA violations were. I used to work for BP [sub-contractor, rather than working directly for them], and the plant I worked at was vast. I mean 'size of a small to medium sized town' vast. If you couldn't find hundreds of tiny safety violations in a place that size, I'd be surprised. I bet you could go into any major enterprise and do the same. On the other hand, if those were hundreds of serious life-threatening violations, that's a completely different thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 9:00 AM
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Which is to say, it's a structural problem
I think this let's him off too easily. I still like him, but one f my hopes when he was elected was that he would be more willing to stretch the rhetorical playing field. Instead, we still get crap like off-shore drilling promises that mysteriously fail to soften right wing attacks.
Obama's as good as I'm likely to see in my lifetime.
This, unfortunately, is true. Unless you manage to upload your mind.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 9:00 AM
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Although I do think we are structurally fucked. Data point #1--nearly 50% of world's military spending.

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes ... known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

-- James Madison


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 9:02 AM
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104: fair amount of info here. It is indeed a huge facility, but a substantial number of violations were systemic and serious.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 9:08 AM
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I am genuinely upset about Obama's failure to fill positions by any means necessary. One thing that I'd been holding in his favor was that I expected, and understood from other data points, that he was actually interested in keeping the Federal agencies functioning usefully, and restoring them to functioning where Bush had screwed them up. I can't make the failure to make appointments make sense, and I don't see a good excuse for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 9:17 AM
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103
Right, they did that for eight years.

I think you misunderstood bob. From Bush's POV, that conduct you're linking to isn't uncontrolled. That was the goal. For Obama, though, it wasn't.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 9:21 AM
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108: Yes, I think he has been slow to adapt to the tactics deployed against him on that front. Very disappointing. Recent info on US Attorneys:

He said that through June 9, Obama had nominated 72 individuals as U.S. attorneys, with 51 confirmed by the Senate and two having withdrawn. Bush had made 83 nominations by the same point in his first term, with 75 confirmed and two having withdrawn. And at the same point of his first term, President Bill Clinton had nominated 83 U.S. attorneys with 81 confirmed.
Actually better than I feared, but still deficient, especially considering the nature of many of the incumbents.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 9:26 AM
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52: Mao was the punniest leader of any major nation.

ROTFLMAO

Obama has also granted clemency to, or pardoned, unless that's the same thing, zero people so far, which I think breaks the old record for this amount of time in office. Although I guess the concept of "clemency" doesn't make sense in a rational economic model, so refusing to use it is a moral imperative like jury nullification.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 9:33 AM
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I don't even see the case that Obama is better than Clinton. He had a much better political environment, and he's achieved epsilon more than Clinton managed. If Clinton were president now, what would have unfolded differently?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 10:11 AM
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72 to 112?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 10:13 AM
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Obama has also granted clemency to, or pardoned, unless that's the same thing, zero people so far, which I think breaks the old record for this amount of time in office.

Clinton and W both made it through their second calendar year before granting any clemency (pardons are a subset of clemency grants; the other primary form of clemency is commutation of sentence).


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 10:27 AM
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I failed to include a kitten

Here you go.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-10 7:42 PM
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