Re: I loathe election season

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Well I don't like posts which quote things without linking them.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:18 AM
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I don't like posts without bad puns in the title, yet I persist in reading.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:23 AM
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1: Off NPR.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:42 AM
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3: this?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:44 AM
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4: Yes, that's the piece that I heard this morning. I swear I've heard/read this conundrum in a few different forms over the past few days, but maybe it's NPR recycling the same clip.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:49 AM
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It reflects poorly on me, like so much, but lately when I hear liberals complaining about campaign financing or counter-majoritarian structural disadvantages, I want to yell (at the television; I am very mild in person) "Fuck you! Be more persuasive! Fuck you! Get more votes! Stop asking me for money! At least poor people in the Third World know how to work for a living!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:57 AM
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I kind of feel the same way. Not that all that stuff is unimportant, but left wing political movements have been successful under much less favorable structural circumstances.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:00 AM
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Stop asking me for money!

We're listener supported public radio, bitches. Pay-up lawyer-money man.


Posted by: Opinionated NPR | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:00 AM
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And lady.


Posted by: Opinionated NPR | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:01 AM
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Really? I think the system is so wholly corrupted by corporate money that left wing movements never had a chance in hell.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:01 AM
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10 to 6 and 7.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:02 AM
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I endorse 10 wholeheartedly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:03 AM
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But campaign finance regulations are new. When FDR was running for president, the campaign finance laws we have now weren't restricting what could be said about him.

Oh, modern media is a different world from a newspaper/radio world. But endless amounts of plutocrat money screwing with the political process has been around as long as there's been democracy, and sometimes the good guys win anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:07 AM
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I think the usual phrasing is, "... and I approve this message."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:07 AM
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14 to 12.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:08 AM
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The only way left wing movements will have any success is if they acquire a large amount of economic power, which is, obviously, a problem.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:09 AM
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The system in the past was corrupted in its own way, too, but structurally a lot of things have changed so we can't make straightforward historical comparisons, anyway. You can't compare the 1930s with the present day without a fair bit of hand-waving. And, fwiw, old-school left-wing movements often made progress not through campaign financing and advertising, but through direct action: strikes, demonstrations, the smashing up of shit, and so on.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:10 AM
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When FDR was running for president

The societal, economic, and political differences between the 1930s and the 2010s is so enormous you may as well be talking about the moon.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:11 AM
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18: On the economic front, I think it may be too soon to say that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:14 AM
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Of course, neither of our countries actually has a left-wing political party, so it's all a bit moot. It's right-of-centre free-market-liberal plutocrat philistine fuckwits versus completely batshit insane system smashing death-cult useful idiots.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:15 AM
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I hate arguments that assert that somehow now is a magically different time than all of history, and I can't think of any refutations of 13 that don't amount to "No! Now is a magically different time because the evil forces have been so nefarious and plotted for so long!" But it is what I believe.

That, and that the left-wing movements were on the ascent during the last century, but they ran their course in novelty and popularity and there's nothing like it up and coming.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:16 AM
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18: This is true; I just meant that we're not entering a new world of unrestricted campaign spending. That's the old world, and one we never left all that solidly. What's wrong with campaign spending now is more historically complicated than just blaming it on Citizens United.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:16 AM
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It's right-of-centre free-market-liberal plutocrat philistine fuckwits versus completely batshit insane system smashing death-cult useful idiots.

New hover text?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:17 AM
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What's wrong with campaign spending now is more historically complicated than just blaming it on Citizens United.

So you don't think there's a qualitative difference between this election and last election from the flow of money? I don't have any first-hand data, but there's a lot of hype that there's a lot more secret money flowing than there used to be.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:19 AM
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I want to be on Team CBISSDCUI. I think this might be their year.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:20 AM
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18: The differences are so profound that subject/verb agreement just flies out the window.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:20 AM
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26: They didn't have central air, except in movie theaters, so windows were open more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:22 AM
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I think the system is so wholly corrupted by corporate money that left wing movements never had a chance in hell.

No one wins all the time,* but don't more than half a billion people in Western Europe and North America enjoy welfare-state benefits that, if not bringing about the secular City of God, at least reflect successes of left-wing movements of the 19th and 20th centuries?

* Except Batman.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:24 AM
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24: Oh, there's some difference. I just don't think that it's historically unprecedented or enough to justify despair. There are all sorts of better reasons for despairing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:24 AM
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re: 28

Oh sure, but in the UK at least, that's about to substantially come to an end. Also, left-wing movements of the 20th century were, of course, somewhat more proactive than just voting for the least-evil party in a 2 party system every 2 - 5 years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:26 AM
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New hover text?

If you want to attract new readers from The Corner...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:26 AM
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28: Straight question: Are Europe and Canada as corrupted by corporate money as the US? (I really don't know, but I didn't think so.)

Less straight questions: How recently were these successes established? Aside from health care reform, what is the most recent left wing success in the US?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:26 AM
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32: Getting Huffington turned into a Democrat?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:27 AM
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There are all sorts of better reasons for despairing.

THERE SURE ARE


Posted by: OPINIONATED CLEVELAND BROWNS FAN | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:28 AM
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re: 32

In the UK, at least, most of the big successes were the first 50 years of the 20th century, with some minor incremental tweaking and some backsliding too over the remaining 50 or so. It's probably not really something you can generalize to the US. Europe came out of a catastrophic war, and there were clear incentives for changes. And a fucking lot of hardened killers around, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:29 AM
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what is the most recent left wing success in the US?

LBJ 40 years ago.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:32 AM
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Are Europe and Canada as corrupted by corporate money as the US?

The ongoing scandal with Sarkoz, the rumors about Chirac and ELF-Aquitaine (and Saddam Hussein, if third-hand scuttlebutt is anything to go by) and the Blair gov't selling peerages suggest that the EU ain't clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful.

Aside from health care reform, what is the most recent left wing success in the US?

The election of an African-American president over a notionally-daunting war-hero/soccer-mom combo?

More seriously, I'd like to say the various moratoria on capital punishment, but American liberals don't care as much about the not-killing-people stuff as they used to. Maybe staving off Social Security privatization?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:33 AM
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36: Expanding the war in Vietnam or the civil right/welfare stuff?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:33 AM
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I haven't watched a single gubernatorial debate, because I know who I'm going to vote for.

I really should have gone to the GBIO forum, since they do a lot of social justice organizing, but I'm not even plugged in enough to have known about it in advance.

The only race that I'm the least bit unsure about is the auditor's race.

I will solicit the Mineshaft's advice. (Perhaps this belongs in the surrogacy thread, because it's short of 1000, but it's kind of on topic here.)


The Republican candidate is against marriage equality, but has an accounting background and seems to make a lot of sense otherwise.

The Democrat held a position in the Patrick administration in our Labor Department, so she's not exactly a political rube. She claimed two houses as her primary personal residence. She has since paid the $6,000 she owed in back taxes,, but this seems bone-headedly dumb to me and kind of relevant to the role of auditor.

(If the other super corrupt Dem had won the primary, I would have voted for the Republican without question.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:34 AM
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ttaM, how is this worse than the Thatcher years? They can now mess with the NHS in a way that they couldn't then?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:35 AM
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40. Thatcher attempted to break down the welfare state piecemeal; this lot plan to abolish it wholesale by next year.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:37 AM
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re: 40

Oh much much worse. They are proposing 40% cuts to a lot of government departments. Thatcher never achieved anything like that. The most she actually achieved was 0% growth in some departments and minor cuts in others. The current administration are going to engage in the sort of cuts that will provide Chicago economists with masturbation fodder for years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:37 AM
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38: Yes, it's a sad statement when Lyndon Johnson is your big left-wing success.

The election of an African-American president

Hasn't really turned out to be a victory for left-wing anything.

staving off Social Security privatization

Best wait 'til our African-American president's bipartisan entitlements working committee gets done before submitting that nomination.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:39 AM
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42: Ans you don't think that backbenchers will get pushback from their constituents?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:39 AM
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By which I mean, that there aren't Tory supporters who won't want them to go that far.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:40 AM
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Further to 41, in answer to your obvious question, people mainly don't believe it yet, although they're not hiding their intentions. We'll see if they pull it off, but I do't see why not.

Specifically on the NHS, the proposal is to abolish the regional health authorities and place the budgets in the hands of GPs (PHC providers), so that your ability to get treatment will largely depend on how good your doctor is, how many patiets she has and how fit they are on average.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:41 AM
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"." should be "?". Sorry, neb.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:41 AM
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46.1 to 45


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:42 AM
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39: Is the election actually close? Is there a third party candidate that seems basically sane or at least delusional in innocent ways? (That tax dodging thing irks me. I'm still mad at Geithner for his, "I'm smart enough to run the U.S. economy but couldn't figure out how to pay my SS taxes like every self-employed carpenter with a high school diploma." I wish they'd just say, "Fuck you. I thought I could get away with it.")


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:42 AM
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Hasn't really turned out to be a victory for left-wing anything.

I didn't get what I wanted for Christmas but that doesn't mean the calendar skipped December 25.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:44 AM
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re: 46

I expect they'll get away with it. Their black propaganda operation on the need for cuts has been very successful; that and the constant demonisation of 'welfare' recipients [who, of course, actually account for a percentage of the deficit so small it's basically noise].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:47 AM
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like every self-employed carpenter with a high school diploma

Not that it's an excuse, but he was in a genuinely different situation than a self-employed carpenter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:47 AM
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46: How is that different from the competitive purchasing of the last Conservative Government?

That sounds like it could be really bad? We are going in that direction here, though it would be through networks known as accountable care organizations. Health policy wonks consider this an improvement over fee-for-service. They hope that it will encourage prevention and management of chronic conditions.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:47 AM
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Most recent left wing success in the United States? Obviously it depends on what you consider left wing.

If you mean, things that cost very rich Americans lots of money and benefit poor Americans, then health care availability for all Americans, subsidized for all poor Americans by new taxes on the richest Americansd (2010). Also the Dodd Frank financial regulation bll. Also the extension of unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. The stimulus Bill was also designed to benefit the working class thorugh jobs. The substantial tax increases on the rich in 1993 also qualify. The substantial tax increase on the rich due to hit on January 1, 2011 if they aren't repealed also qualify.

On the social front, we now have same sex marriage in a significant number of states. don't Ask Don't Tell is on its way out one way or another.

Compared to these triumphs, corporations spending money on candidates who may still lose, and who won't accomplish much if they don't lose, is not such a problem.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:48 AM
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re: 53

Well, it's a wholesale reorganisation that, to me at least, looks like it's clearly an initial stage for part privatisation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:49 AM
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I imagine they'll get away with it. There are various technicalities that I can't explain without risking getting friends fired which will make some of their proposals harder to implement than they think. But it's only around the edges.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:49 AM
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54: Optimism and positive spin! Hurrah! And you call yourself unimaginative!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:50 AM
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51: Fuck, fuck, fuck. My plan, if the U.S. got too bad, was to find someone from a Commonwealth country who still had the right to return to the UK (I think that Australians with British grandparents do), marry him and flee there.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:50 AM
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52: Among the differences is that the carpenter would have gotten audited in a second if he had no SS taxes paid by either himself or his employer. (I'm not at all bitter that the IRS was after me for $1,000 bucks -- from 2006 -- at the same time has his hearings.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:51 AM
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re: 58

I suppose on the positive side, our right-wing is evil rather than crazy?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:51 AM
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chris y--I'd be interested to hear some of it in e-mail, in confidence.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:52 AM
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Another depressing aspect is the abject capitulation of the LibDems, now they've got their trotters inn the trough. For decades their flagship policy has been proportional representation, now they've signed up for a referendum on IRV. The one Green MP moved an amendment to put genuine PR on the ballot for the referendum, ad not a single LD had the cojones to vote for it (it wouldn't have passed anyway).


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:55 AM
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re: 62

Yes, although a lot of the Orange Book LDs are completely on board with the basic idea of cuts anyway. You'd struggle to squeeze a fag paper between them and the more socially liberal neo-Thatcherite Tories.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:57 AM
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62: Would the PR have had some German-style minimums for getting a seat? Because I can see substantive reasons for not wanting a straight PR system.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:58 AM
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63. True. Danny Alexander in particular is a horror. Note to USAians: if this person ever comes to speak in your town, turn up and throw eggs at him.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:00 AM
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64. Yes. In practice most people have been talking about STV o the Irish model, which is already in place for many no-parliamentary elections in Britain the UK.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:02 AM
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Fuck this "n" key.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:02 AM
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50: Carter's, Obama's, and Clinton's presidencies were/have been not particularly distinguishable from those of Nixon or Bush the Elder on a policy level. I understand they have Ds behind their names, but if that's the signal criterion for left-wing achievement, well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:15 AM
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Are Europe and Canada as corrupted by corporate money as the US?

The ongoing scandal with Sarkoz, the rumors about Chirac and ELF-Aquitaine (and Saddam Hussein, if third-hand scuttlebutt is anything to go by) and the Blair gov't selling peerages suggest that the EU ain't clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful.

Depends on how you define "corrupted". Clearly there's plenty of run-of-the-mill corruption in European politics (I don't pretend to know anything about the Canadian situation). Whether it's straight up bribery/graft, trading favours/cash for access, or abusing the process to benefit themselves/friends/family, Europols are as up to their necks in it as anyone else. That said, the corporate corruption of the election process really does seem to be on another level in the US. It just doesn't cost that much money to have an election in Europe, and for various reasons above a certain threshold expenditure doesn't seem to have much correlation with chances of success. This year's figures for the UK haven't been released yet, but in 2005 the big parties spent something like £80m in total, if I recall correctly. So individual candidates don't need to whore themselves out to corporate/rich donors so much and, besides, with a parliamentary system there's less benefit to the company in buying a backbencher.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:16 AM
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in 2005 the big parties spent something like £80m in total

So about $130 million, which is less than what Meg Whitman has spent so far on her campaign to become governor of California.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:22 AM
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Carter's, Obama's, and Clinton's presidencies were/have been not particularly distinguishable from those of Nixon or Bush the Elder on a policy level

One could make a very strong case that Nixon's presidency contained more significant liberal policy victories than any of the others on this list. (Obama's presidency isn't finished, of course, but I don't think he's got a prayer of matching Nixon. (I'm not even sure he's interested in trying.))


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:24 AM
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70. What do they spend all this money on? I mean, during a general election here you can't miss it - you get mailed and leafletted by the major candidates, there are political ads on TV and every billboard - you end up feeling pretty damn saturated. So what are your pols doing with all the rest of the cash?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:30 AM
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46.2 sounds like a nefarious plan to make the NHS so awful that everyone can be persuaded that privatization is the only way to save it. That is finger-pyramid-of-evil-contemplation nefarious.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:30 AM
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"Anonymous outside interests have gone from being a relatively minor source of funding for campaign-season television ads to being the dominant player in 2010, according to figures compiled by the Sunlight Foundation.

"A new (and effective) Democratic messaging strategy -- criticizing Republicans and their conservative backers for letting outside, anonymously funded groups run ads attacking candidates -- isn't an example of a party desperately looking for a new bogeyman. It's backed up by data, freely available from the Federal Elections Committee.

"The sea change is largely the result of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, overturning a ban preventing pressure groups and corporations from running so-called independent expenditure ads for or against a candidate (these are distinct from issue ads, which only mention candidates vis-a-vis their policy positions)."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:31 AM
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73. I think that's part of it, yes.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:31 AM
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It just doesn't cost that much money to have an election in Europe

At least part of that cost is that our election process goes on and on. And on and on. I don't know about the U.K., but it is apparently impossible to have an election here without calling my house a half dozen times a week for eight weeks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:32 AM
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72: I honestly have no idea. I would guess television. But...honestly, at that rate it seems like it would be just as effective to hand out twenties at polling stations.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:32 AM
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72: A great deal of the money spent on campaigns is money spent on raising money to spend on campaigns. And much is spent on private polling and consultants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:34 AM
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I think the UK is in a unique position regarding welfare state retrenchment - the rest of Europe has cut back a lot less, though there's been plenty of changes.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:36 AM
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76. Yes, good point. It's a blessed relief that there are legal limits on how long an election campaign can be in Britain (they try to get round it, but it helps a lot).


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:37 AM
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more to 72: Also, it is more expensive in the U.S. because things are less centralized. Each candidate is on their own to a far greater extent than would be possible in a parliamentary system. There is a great deal more duplication and competition.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:38 AM
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It seems obvious to me that if oligarchs and aristocrats are spending $100 million to be elected governor they must have amazing expectations of how they can profit by being elected governor, but I guess there's more people out there who say "This business tycoon's life of ruthless money-grubbing means at least she can't be bought by special interests!"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:40 AM
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79. Certainly. They're having mass industrial action in France because the government wants to raise the retirement age to 62. If they tried what they're trying here, shit would get seriously burned down, probably including the Elysee palace with Sarko inside. For some reason British workers have no sense of self-preservation.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:41 AM
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On the social front, we now have same sex marriage in a significant number of states. don't Ask Don't Tell is on its way out one way or another.

These both seem like awfully rosy views of the situation.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:45 AM
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Vote for me and I'll introduce the Smearcase Get a Pony Act of 2011.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:47 AM
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France has a different set of unwritten political rules than most wealthy democracies. The unions get to use massive civil disobedience going far beyond merely striking to make life very difficult for a government when it's going against a majority of the public. But if the majority supports the government, the authorities get to crack down. France has a very low rate of unionization - this is about political institutions and political process, not what is normally understood as union power. In the case of the UK, as far as I can tell there isn't a majority of the population strongly opposed to the Cameron-Clegg 'reforms', so even if Britain had that sort of political system, the unions couldn't do much anyways.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:48 AM
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85. That's got you the Smearcase vote sewn up then.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:48 AM
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84: Also, that's not an issue that breaks down cleanly into left versus right. Or even Republican versus Democrat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:49 AM
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84: On the social front, we now have same sex marriage in a significant number of states. don't Ask Don't Tell is on its way out one way or another.

Seriously, it's not that the situation is good, or acceptable, on either one of those fronts. But if you look back to 1990, there was same sex marriage nowhere, and gays were explicitly forbidden from serving in the military. Neither was really a live issue for most people in the country. Things aren't good, but they've gotten very much noticeably better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:50 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:50 AM
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88: It breaks about as clean as any issue, doesn't it? Almost all Republicans strongly oppose gay marriage, and almost all Democrats are extremely wishy-washy -- right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:53 AM
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This thread could now turn into a nasty argument about the relative merits of economic class politics vs. identity politics, so I'm going home.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:53 AM
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88 - I get what you're saying, but every Republican in the Senate voted to filibuster repeal of DADT. There are many homophobic dicks who are Democrats, but being a homophobic dick is currently one of the core values of the Republican Party.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:53 AM
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85: I don't think my cat would get along with a pony. You're going to have to do better than that.

FWIW the gay stuff is not my #1 priority, but it's a lot more straightforward to follow/easier to chime in about than many of the things that get discussed here. And five states hardly constitute a resounding victory and DADT seems to be getting mostly lip service, no?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:54 AM
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95

This thread could now turn into a nasty argument about the relative merits of economic class politics vs. identity politics, so I'm going home.

There isn't any economic class politics in the US or UK anymore, so I don't see that argument going very far.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:54 AM
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94.1: A pony and a cat saddle?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:55 AM
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Yes, it's a sad statement when Lyndon Johnson is your big left-wing success

Why? On the domestic side he really was excellent, making this a much better country. I'm not just talking civil rights, look at poverty stats for example. Unless you're counting the right wing backlash that followed against him. Also a point for Ginger's view that personal corruption for specific wealthy and powerful individuals or companies doesn't necessarily imply subservience to the interests of the wealthy and powerful as a class, see also Rangel, Charles.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:56 AM
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re: 95

There still exists a substantial minority of people with some sort of class consciousness and awareness of what's going on. Mass socialist movements are only a few decades gone. I don't know if that's true of the US?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:56 AM
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95 - Sounds like someone doesn't realize that raising marginal interest rates on the top income tax bracket is Pol Pot-style class warfare!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:56 AM
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89: Granted, yes. I always assumed it wouldn't happen in my lifetime. It's frustrating now that it's stalled, and that it hasn't happened (or has unhappened) in the places it should be a given, but yes, ok, it's huge progress. Somehow "significant number of states" rubbed me wrong.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:57 AM
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re: 95

Of course there's no _effective_ class politics anymore, so it probably amounts to the same thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:57 AM
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Oh, there's some difference. I just don't think that it's historically unprecedented or enough to justify despair.

Back from teaching. Apo's link in 74 pretty much confirms why I think Citizens United/not passing DISCLOSE was actually a big disaster and not a little disaster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:58 AM
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96: That would be totally cute. You can count on my vote.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:58 AM
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DADT seems to be getting mostly lip service, no?

I hate saying this without sounding as if I'm satisfied with the speed with which things are moving. I'm not, it should be faster, no one in power is showing a lot of courage here. But it seems clear to me that consensus has developed across the middle of the political spectrum that DADT is absurd, and that the question is when and how it gets repealed rather than whether repeal is a good idea. What's slowing it down is that moderates don't care much, and rightwing loons are determinedly obstructionist, rather than any real doubt about the eventual outcome.

(Again, not enough. But from a 1990 perspective, very different.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:59 AM
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Methodologically, the reasoning described in the OP also sucks because it assumes change can only be explained institutionally, or in other words, that everything must be in equilibrium before exogenous changes. What about just escalation in campaign finance over time, arms-race style?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:00 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:01 AM
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Mass socialist movements are only a few decades gone. I don't know if that's true of the US?

Has there ever been a mass socialist movement in the U.S.? I don't think so.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:02 AM
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107: Define "mass."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:04 AM
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I believe the US mass socialist movement lasted from roughly 1905 to 1925, the careers of Eugene V. Debs and Robert LaFollette.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:05 AM
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109: Also, there was Upton Sinclair's EPIC movement (which comes to mind largely because some recent book about it is advertising on political blogs). Sinclair took 37% of the vote running for governor of California.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:05 AM
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109: The U.S. Socialist movement was ... in Wisconsin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:06 AM
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111: Don't forget about Poland South Bend!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:06 AM
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(CT, IA, MA, NH, VT, D.C. = 5% of the U.S. population with the option of gaymarrying. MA is 2% of that.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:09 AM
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5% of the U.S. population

A p-value of 0.05 is the standard level for statistical significance in pharmaceutical trials!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:11 AM
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Maybe staving off Social Security privatization?

The non-bombing/invasion of Iran.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:17 AM
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There is also the non-bombing/invasion of Peru. But that might be considered reaching for a point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:21 AM
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All Citizens United did was restore the campaign finance system of 1996, instead of the finance system of 2004. If you think that's a sea change of world historic proportions, then I don't know what to say. There's slightly less regulation of third party groups, but it's not like the regulation we had was particularly effective, and the finance system really has been largely democratized in the interim by other fundraising technologies. Nothing in the link in 74 suggests otherwise. Blaming Citizens United for much of anything is a total red herring in my view (for one thing, one of it's major beneficiaries was liberal interest groups). I mean, I think the opinion was wrongly decided, but come on.

This is a bleak year for democrats because the economy is horrible and because the Democrats haven't done all they should have done to boost demand. Full stop.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:23 AM
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I'm not even sure the most effective opposition to action against Iran came from the left, rather than the military.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:23 AM
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115: "Sure, we got creamed. But we didn't allow a single one of the interceptions or blocked punts to be returned for a touchdown."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:27 AM
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Blaming Citizens United for much of anything is a total red herring in my view (for one thing, one of it's major beneficiaries was liberal interest groups).

Can you name one? Or is this just like how everyone says the decision benefits "corporations and unions" (unsaid: corporations have hundreds of times as much money money to spent on elections as unions)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:30 AM
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117 is awfully blustery and uses intimidating language. What was passed in 1996 that was repealed by CU?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:32 AM
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corporations have hundreds of times as much money money to spent on elections as unions

Surely "hundreds" is an understatement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:36 AM
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Unions, largely, but also environmental groups and folks like Emily's List. Plus, the decision makes it somewhat easier for the rich liberals whose money forms so much of the financing of the Democratic party to get their money to the candidates. We have plenty of shadowy funding sources, too.

The bottom line is that there's essentially no evidence at all that Citizens United has lead to a RELATIVE change in the financial strength of Democratic candidates compared to Republicans.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:41 AM
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They're having mass industrial action in France because the government wants to raise the retirement age to 62.

One strives in vain to sympathize.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:43 AM
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Sweet! Here comes a tidal wave of Emily's List and environmental moolah! What could be more lucrative?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:44 AM
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The bottom line is that there's essentially no evidence at all that Citizens United has lead to a RELATIVE change in the financial strength of Democratic candidates compared to Republicans.

Here's some.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:49 AM
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A p-value of 0.05 is the standard level for statistical significance in pharmaceutical trials!

So, scientifically speaking, it's possible that gay marriage isn't possible for anybody!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:50 AM
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One strives in vain to sympathize.

I hear they might also lose their three hour lunch.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:50 AM
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121 -- Citizens United repealed portions of the McCain-Feingold bill that were designed to regulate spending by thir party groups, including corporations, in the period before an election. McCain-Feingold didn't exist in 1996, and so the rules we have now are more or less Identical to what we had in 1996, when political ads were bought largely by third party groups to avoid the finance restrictions enacted in the 1970s. Sure, this means that you can transfer money for ads more directly to candidates or state parties than you could in 2004 or 2008, as opposed to the more byzantine methods of tranferring money that arose under McCain-Feingold, but unless you think 1996 looked a lot worse than 2004 the effect of Citizens United isn't a particularly big deal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:51 AM
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There is also the non-bombing/invasion of Peru. But that might be considered reaching for a point.

The non-invasion of Iraq would likely have been the single most important accomplishment of the Gore administration - but yes, nobody on the left would have seen it that way.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:55 AM
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One strives in vain to sympathize.

I sympathize. The French worked and fought for that shit. They earned it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:58 AM
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I've got to go teach, but everything says CU overturned 100 years of national policy on corporate spending, not that it merely returned us to the Clinton years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:59 AM
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131 is exactly fucking right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:59 AM
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PACs are listed here, indexed all kinds of ways:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/index.php?cycle=2010&party=A

Organized labor, trial lawyers, and the entertainment industry give generously to mostly democrats. They're less generous than energy and defense PACs which give to mostly republicans. Other industries are pretty evenhanded in which party they support.

The real problem is that slogans and 30-second ads mattter so much. Any action which can't be summarized in a few small words is too complex to matter politically. As long as that stays true, we the electorate will get the politicians we deserve.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:02 AM
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127: This joke was on The West Wing once and I found it hilarious and told it to people until I realized nobody else thought it was funny: three statisticians go hunting for turkeys, and they're out in the woods or wherever turkeys are (maybe it was some other animal...turkeys are farmed aren't they? it's possible this is why nobody thinks it is funny when I tell this joke) and they see a turkey or whatever and the first statistician takes aim, fires, and hits about ten feet to the left of the turkey. Which, for the purposes of the joke, doesn't get the hell out of there or anything. The second statistician takes aim, fires, and hits about ten feet to the left of the strangely immobile turkey. The third statistician jumps up and down excitedly yelling "I got him! I got him!"

I always put a lot of animation into the role of third statistician but it doesn't seem to redeem the joke much.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:04 AM
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Nothing in 126 suggests that things are getting relatively worse for Democrats (and I wonder how much of the total increase in spending numbers are being driven by enormously expensive Srnate races in California and Florida driven by personal expenditure of the candidates; 2008 had few close Senate races in states with expensive media). Also, notably, here, at least, Fiorina will lose and Meg Whitman probably will.

I'm not at all Pollyanna-ish about the influence of corporations on politics, but very little of that influence arises from a quid-pro-quo based on financing of campaigns, which is why campaign finance reform is and has always been a joke. Direct financing of candidates can be dangerous for corporations, which is why (relative to available resources) US corporations don't spend that much on it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:05 AM
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130: That's an interesting perspective! Maybe Obama's greatest accomplishment is that we aren't at war with Spain.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:05 AM
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I've seen people argue both Halford's and Heebie's side about Citizens United. I think there is just some ambiguity about what is directly overturned and what the language could be interpreted as implying in later decisions. If only we knew some laywers


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:06 AM
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Also, I basically agree with 131, although from my perspective the things the French are arguing for are comically luxurious.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:08 AM
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135: Turkeys are both wild and farmed. Hunting wild turkey is a biggish thing in certain regions. Your joke isn't funny because a statistician would look at not just the mean, but also the standard deviation. And because your zipper was down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:09 AM
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Hunting farmed turkeys is also popular with vice presidents.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:10 AM
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For myself, I think that gerrymandered politically homogeneous districts are a much bigger problem than commercials, and the impetus to make districting commisions nonpolitical is basically zero.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:10 AM
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142: Me also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:11 AM
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135: Yes, Mister Smearcase, there are wild turkeys that are hunted.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:11 AM
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From Table 3 in the Wesleyan Media Project's report mentioned in the article in 126:

Top 10 Interest Group Spenders (9/1-10/7)
Republican Governor's Association (R) $11.8M
Chamber of Commerce (R) 9.1M
American crossroads (R) 5.5M
Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (R) 5.0M
60 Plus Association (R) 3.8M
American Future Fund (R) 2.5M
Bay State Future (D) 2.2M
Americans for Job Security (R) 1.9M
Citizens for Strength and Security (D) 1.9M
Club for Growth (R) 1.8M


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:12 AM
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My understanding isn't detailed, but as far as I know Halford's pretty much right. The main holding of CU was that Congress can't ban independent expenditures in relation to an election by corporations or other organizations. I'm pretty sure such independent expenditures were unregulated before McCain-Feingold (although I find campaign finance law confusing enough that I could be mistaken -- I'm googling around trying to freshen up on it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:12 AM
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Ok technically Aaron Sorkin's joke. Now that it isn't funny.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:13 AM
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140,141: I guess there are other plain salt of the earth folks here after all


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:13 AM
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At least among the top ten, that's a 41.4M to 4.1M advantage to the GOP. Maybe it gets more even down the scale, but I suspect this is a structural difference.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:16 AM
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149: Am I missing something or is your addition off?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:18 AM
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Nope. My addition was off. Sorry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:21 AM
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150: If by "addition" you mean "pants", then yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:25 AM
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very little of that influence arises from a quid-pro-quo based on financing of campaigns

This is the key, I think. The support of Capital provides structural advantages that are entirely separate from paid media. Citizens United is a significant boost for Big Money, but the creation of Fox News and other hard-right media is more important. And the right-wing infrastructure extends far beyond Fox, and even far beyond the media.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:27 AM
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Unrelatedly, what in the world is she talking about?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:28 AM
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130: The greatest failing of the Gore Administration, on the other hand, was the illegal detention of Mohammed Atta and some of his associates in August 2001. Left bloggers took up Mr. Atta's cause immediately, and after Atta converted to Christianity, the religious right joined the battle as well. Ultimately the scandal led to Gore's impeachment by an aliance of left-wing and right-wing Congressmen, and the Liieberman Presidency.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:40 AM
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So, Halford, the people currently challenging Mont. Code section 13-35-227 as unconstitutional under Citizens United are going to lose, right? Because it only struck down some new provisions of federal law.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:42 AM
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146 - Legislators have been fitfully trying to restrict the ability of corporate money in American elections for literally a hundred years, since the Tillman Act of 1907. It's like tax law -- there is a lot of money and effort expended on finding loopholes. (And as Nixon demonstrated, you can make your own loopholes by just ignoring the law.)

142, 143 - It's not at all clear to political scientists what the outcome of gerrymandering is.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:43 AM
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I actually suspect the cuts are going to be a bit of a damp squib. The Tories are committed in advance to the current NHS and DFID budgets. They have a number of expensive pet projects at Education that require substantial spending. Transport seems to have got away with a lot (HSR and Crossrail are still in there). Defence has got away with 8%. Justice and a few others have got big cuts, but they don't amount to much budget. I get the impression a lot of the Tory spending ministers have been eaten alive by their permanent secretaries (one of the nice things about having a government run by career officials). I mean, Michael Gove is hardly a Robert Gates-like figure of technocratic mastery.

DWP (Social Security) is mostly pensions in payment and there are limits to what they can change there. I think they're going to be deliberately nasty to the unemployed in order to cover for the failure of the broader agenda. Also, they seem to have been trailing the idea that the cuts might be "slowed down" in view of the world economic situation.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:46 AM
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156 is right, of course my 146 should have said that neither Congress nor state legislatures can ban such independent expenditures, and so CU overrules any relevant state law as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 10:50 AM
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Agree as to 156 and 159. (The rules for federal elections are the same as in 1996; some state law restrictions may be invalid in state elections, depending on your state). OTOH, I'm not aware of any evidence suggesting that state law reforms of the type that would be struck down under CU have been particularly effective at preventing corporate influence. Locally, California has fairly extensive campaign finance regulation, but the Legislature is probably more corporate-controlled (within the parameters of being dominated by Democrats) than the federal House or Senate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:00 AM
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the Legislature is probably more corporate-controlled

Which was the original reason for the Progressives to push for the initiative process. Didn't that turn out well?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:08 AM
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We have a special history wrt corporate control, and the overturning of our statute from 1912 is a big damn deal. And I'm sure you'll enjoy the whackjob who will replace Sen. Tester in the 2012 election.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:10 AM
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We'd probably be better off if Montana was run by Big Copper again than by whatever tea party bozos its crackpot residents (not you, CC) want to vote for.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:15 AM
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Turkeys are New World birds -- they were domesticated by precolumbian peoples and have been living wild in the Americas for centuries. They ended up named after the faraway country of Turkey because of their resemblance to guineafowl, west/north African birds that the English bought through Turkey and referred to as Turkey-cocks. It would be nice if there were a third fowl in Asia Minor named after Mexico or something, but the semantic chain is pretty fragmented. (Other onomastic link between Turkey and Mesoamerica: turquoise, as in the Camper van Beethoven song.)

All of this suggests tasty Thanksgiving dinner fusion possibilities...

Is Whitman in fact trailing Jerry Brown? I had kind of assumed the worst there.


Posted by: lurkey | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:16 AM
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heh- lurkey knows turkey. Wasn't Turkey Lurkey one of Chicken Little's friends?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:20 AM
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Mini-Ask The Mineshaft: Should I keep election judging? I am going to work the general election this year, not least because I need the money, and there will probably not be an election to work next year, unless somebody dies or something, so my next opportunity will be 2012. It just gets me down, going in year after year, taking it all really seriously, despite my philosophical opposition to the whole process, and seeing all these morons vote for the wrong people. My justification in the past (frequent readers will remember that I've been an election judge since 2002) is that its a concrete way to make sure that, as flawed as the system is, at least my little part of it will be protected. Especially when I've worked in my home precinct, which is heavily Native American, Hispanic and Somali, I've felt like it's important to be the sane, responsible person looking out for the voters. But it just seems so futile. My rotten borough is always going to elect Democrats (and occasionally a Green) but there aren't nearly enough voters here to make up for all the rabid fundie psychopaths in the deep suburbs. And I really fucking hate dealing with the old people who make up the bulk of my fellow judges. They never listen or take direction! Grrrrr. It makes me so angry.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:24 AM
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Drove past a large flock of wild turkeys yesterday. Fall season started on Sept. 1, and they weren't in a very safe place.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:25 AM
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And I'm sure you'll enjoy the whackjob who will replace Sen. Tester in the 2012 election.

Please be the blue guy. Please be the blue guy. Please be the blue guy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:26 AM
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166: I'd think the aspect that is supporting otherwise underrepresented groups might counterbalance the depressing part for me, but only you know you. Sorry that that's not helpful. Either way, though, I think you're making a good decision.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:27 AM
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163 Reminds me I experimentally tried using shaving cream and it went fine but I am still basically convinced that everyone (except for Cryptic Ned) has been brainwashed by Big Foam. Here is some hard-hitting investigative journalism on the topic.

(If you wish to mock my views on shaving cream, know that in addition to the satisfaction you take from it, Bave finds it very amusing also.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:27 AM
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163 -- If Big Copper was going to be employing people too, that would at least be a trade-off. What we're going to get is conversion to a rotten borough for CA and Eastern money.

166 -- The voters still need you, especially with the other people serving.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:30 AM
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And I really fucking hate dealing with the old people who make up the bulk of my fellow judges. They never listen or take direction! Grrrrr. It makes me so angry.

They'll retire soon, and then you can bend the new wave of election judges to your will. I'd keep doing it if it doesn't drive you too batty: while each individual sane responsible person looking out for the voters can't do much, if you're not doing it who else will?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:30 AM
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170 from the link: There are many thing that are true - the state is a parasite on society, private property would solve most social problems, rock music is tedious and stupid - but are nonetheless not generally known or applied.
Shaving cream is the corrupting welfare state of the face!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:34 AM
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166: When I screwed-up and started the spoken ballot for the blind (on a machine without a speaker), it would have taken forever to fix if there wasn't one youngish person working there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:34 AM
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If Lew Rockwell thinks shaving cream is a parasite on society, I guess it must be useful in some way, and probably essential. I'll have to give it another try.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:35 AM
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172: They'll retire soon

You'd think so, wouldn't you? No, they basically work until they die or get institutionalized. At a previous polling place, we had one guy well into his 80s who could only work the first five hours. And he was really decrepit. Couldn't do anything.

It's not so much that they're senile, even, but that they willfully break all the rules. THIS IS NOT 'NAM, THERE ARE RULES!!!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:35 AM
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Interesting link! I was disappointed that he didn't suggest using unfluoridated water.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:35 AM
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Foam bad, gel good.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:37 AM
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but that they willfully break all the rules

Old people! Those darn anarchists!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:37 AM
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I shave the parts of my neck and cheeks that aren't covered with beard using nothing but water and have done so for maybe 15 years or so without a single cut. And I am not lightly bearded.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:39 AM
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using nothing but water
...and a razor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:39 AM
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Where I vote, sometimes the PTA or whoever sells donuts right next to the voting machines.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:40 AM
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179: But they're not breaking the rules conscientiously, they're just doing it because they think they know better than everyone else because they've always done it that way. They're breaking the rules from a position of authority, you might say. Plus, they often say racist stuff, which irritates me to no end.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:41 AM
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Although I think Ken Blackwell tried his best to push Ohio to Bush in 2004, I was amused thinking of the people like my father (sadly, a Repub poll watcher) being part of a conspiracy. He is one of those aged election workers, and I don't want to dis' Nat because he has at least been doing something about it, but folks like my father are literally begged every election to come back for one more since no one else will do it. Reason #Nthy-nth to have an Election holiday in the US.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:43 AM
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I'm trying to come up with a worse source for male beauty tips than the Mises Institute/Lew Rockwell, but I'm not coming up with much. I guess "Men's Rights Drum Circle Leaders of America" would be a worse choice, but I don't think that group actually exists.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:43 AM
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186

157. gerrymandering

The paper does not address corruption or incompetence. Also silent on the effects of having a legislature composed mostly of hacks in safe seats beholding to someone above them, instead focusing on "policies" that are ignored by both voters and politicians whenever it's expedient.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:43 AM
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182: In this state, no one is allowed within 6 feet of the ballot counter, except the person voting and any persons assisting them, and the ballot counter judge (if there is a problem).

Also, no one is allowed in the polling place room except for voters, their children or other people accompanying them, election judges & other officials, designated poll watchers and challengers, the media, service animals and maybe like one other type of person that I am forgetting.

Also, the two people who are absolutely not allowed to assist a voter? Employers and union officials.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:45 AM
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185: The Rainbow Family?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:45 AM
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184: I know, that's the worst part: we really NEED them! Oh, it is so frustrating. Some old people are okay, but it really is one of the things that gets me down about election judging: I wind up hating all old people for several weeks after each election.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:47 AM
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188: That sounds like the voice of sad experience.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:48 AM
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176: I am seriously curious as to the old people's motivation, Nat. Is it, like, a singles event? Or just a sad excuse to do get out of the house? What's going on with the tide of election elderly?

Also, I've heard that turkeys sometimes drown in the rain, because they look up, out of curiosity, and their beaks or what have you are shaped just so. I haven't looked it up because I very much want it to be true.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:49 AM
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175: Oh um. Who is Lew Rockwell, then? Beyond someone I googled up to agree with me about shaving cream? Curses, my one ally gone, except for narrow regions of apo. Bave will be pleased, if he is reading.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:50 AM
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190: Well, for example.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:51 AM
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187: The snacks are further than that from the actual voting machines. You just have to walk past the snacks to get to the voting places. In 2008 they sold me a coffee and a brownie for a $1, so I'm not complaining.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:51 AM
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With real milk for creamer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:52 AM
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Ah, Smearcase. You have such a world of crackpot Internet libertarian losers to learn about! I envy your innocence.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:53 AM
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Posted in the wrong thread:

Also, I basically agree with 131, although from my perspective the things the French are arguing for are comically luxurious.

I am reminded of the UPS strike, when I heard (on NPR, naturally) wishy-washy supposedly liberal commentators cautioning that strikes by people who were generally making decent paychecks (a distortion in any case) hurt the labor movement and so were unworthy of sympathy. Unlike, presumably, the whipped-dog acquiescence that's gotten us so far in the past generation. Strikers who unite to fight for things that seem luxurious? Those are your fucking friends, people.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:53 AM
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191.1: Chance to be out in public and have people talk to them.

191.2: Not true about turkeys or old people.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:53 AM
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191: Civic mindedness, mainly. And many of them work only in their home precincts (in MN, you can work in any precinct in the state, so long as you are a legal MN voter) so they wind up doing a lot of neighborhood catching-up and stuff. Around here, at least, it skews probably 80-20 in favor of older women. So it's like a little kafeklatsch/excuse to get out of the house/chance to make a few extra bucks. (The last couple of elections, almost no one at my precinct has volunteered. It's not much money, but it's something.)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:54 AM
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192: A defining quote from the Lewster:

The larger the government, the more our livings standards are reduced. We are fortunate as a civilization that the progress of free enterprise generally outpaces the regress of government growth, for, if that were not the case, we would be poorer each year -- not just in relative terms, but absolutely poorer too. The market is smart and the government is dumb, and to these attributes do we owe the whole of our economic well-being.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:54 AM
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200: It's true! Look at how well the Pope lives!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:57 AM
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Oh crud. He is like Mr. Beyond the Valley of Ayn Rand. Fine. I'm going to start using shaving cream to shave, to style my hair, to put on top of desserts. This frou frou Whole Foods bullshit I bought is probably made of quinoa and free-range water, anyway so I'm sure it's edible.

Sorry, truly not intended as the world's lamest threadjack. I biked that damned path last night, had trouble sleeping from the extra energy and back pain, am loopy. I promise to add value in the next thread.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:57 AM
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sad excuse to do get out of the house?

Because all those here are hoi oligoi darting from one fabulous engagement to the next, looking so:
http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/2010/10/on-streetrue-saint-honore-paris.html


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 11:57 AM
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202: All your contributions to unfogged are valued, Mr Smearcase!

And, I don't using shaving cream either!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:03 PM
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Also, I'm more or less your ally, Smearcase. I shave in the shower, with just water and a razor unless I have some shaving cream I want to use up. Doesn't seem to make much difference either way.

Also also, I always see wild turkeys where my mom lives in VT (and think, "meat").


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:03 PM
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196 gets it right, and I say that as someone who had his home page set to antiwar.com for a brief time in 2005.

I don't use shaving cream either. As long as I've have facial hair around the more sensitive areas, I've found it completely unnecessary.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:07 PM
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biked

I rewrapped my handlebars, which had historical foam. So much better-- the squishy foam actually absorbed a fair amount of energy. Much more rigid riding with the cork wrapping.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:09 PM
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I aways thought shaving was just a marker, so that one could see the shaved vs unshaved part of the face. I don't know about this mushy skin tone crap. Get the boy some Aqua Velva


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:10 PM
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207 could plausibly be about shaving.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:11 PM
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I shave the parts of my neck and cheeks that aren't covered with beard

Isn't eliminating the need to shave the whole advantage of a beard? I feel like people who grow beards over most of their faces but still shave other parts of their faces are missing the whole point. A little trimming of a beard from time to time is understandable, but getting anywhere near a razor is madness. Especially since necks are the most pain-in-the-ass part to shave. Cheeks are easy.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:15 PM
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Semi-OT: Obama to appear on Mythbusters. (Although the a-hole writer had to throw the little dig in about "For a president under siege". Fuck you MSM and your narratives.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:16 PM
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I don't want a beard that stretches from my shirt collar to my eyeballs, thanks.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:17 PM
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211: Disappointed! I thought Obama was going to bust the shaving cream myth!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:18 PM
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Cheeks are easy.

Huh, I would have figured that the contortion and peering into the mirror would be a hassle.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:18 PM
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213: Racist!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:19 PM
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212: I've always been happy my beard has a clearly defined lower edge. I'm clean shaven and all, but I'm glad that I don't have to put thought into determining where the beard stops and the chest hair starts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:19 PM
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I will henceforth picture apostropher as the Looney Tunes monster.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:20 PM
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216: I'm glad that I don't have to put thought into determining where the beard stops and the chest hair starts.

Why Italian men wear gold chains.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:21 PM
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216: Even gladder not having to put thought into determining where the beard stops and the pubes start, I'm guessing.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:22 PM
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211. The whole Archimedes heat ray takes on new significance because of the Las Vegas Death Ray


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:25 PM
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219: Even gladder since I'm half Italian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:25 PM
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||
Evidence that the nation has a pre-9/11 mindset: Chandra Levy murder trial starts today.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:30 PM
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Chandra Levy murder trial

I didn't even know they had made an arrest.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:38 PM
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222: Chandra Levy? She's still dead?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:38 PM
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224: And here you've been faking orgasms to her all this time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:40 PM
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225: I feel so dirty.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:43 PM
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And here you've been faking orgasms to her all this time

I deny that assumption.


Posted by: Gary Condit | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:46 PM
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Other things I didn't know:

Following his congressional career, Condit moved to Arizona. In February 2005, he started two Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop franchises with his wife and children in Glendale. In March 2006, Baskin-Robbins revoked the franchising agreement, claiming the Condits owed them $14,221.29. Among the corporation's complaints was that the Condits continued to use the Baskin-Robbins name after the franchises were revoked.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:49 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:51 PM
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228. I guess there weren't too many in AZ that liked "Sweet Intern" flavor. He should have opened his franchise in DC.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:52 PM
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I thought the Gary Condit trial ended because he died. That must have been one of those Enron or Worldcom assholes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:52 PM
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231: there never was a Gary Condit trial; some other dude got arrested (eventually) for the murder.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:54 PM
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211: Archimedes? That's the myth that Obama decided to bust?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:58 PM
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231: The Enron big asshole died, meaning that his wife got to keep a bunch of money that would have been taken if he'd lived long enough for the appeal to go through.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:59 PM
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232: Aside from Teh Creepy, there was never any evidence against him, was there?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 12:59 PM
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231: Enron, though it's understandable that your subconscious would confuse Mr. Condit with Mr. Lay.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:00 PM
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232: Ingmar Guandique--a *gasp* illegal immigrant. Jury questionnaire includes:

# Would the fact that a witness is currently incarcerated cause you to automatically reject or disbelieve his testimony?
# Do you know anyone who has belonged to a gang or been a target or victim of gang violence?
# What is your opinion about people who are members or affiliated with Mara Salvatrucha/MS-13?
# What is your opinion or impression of people with extensive or visible tattoos?
# Are you aware of holding any negative feelings or opinions towards people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity?
# Have you, or any member of your family or close personal friend ever worked for, or been a member of any group or association that takes a stand on U.S. immigration policies?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:00 PM
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Being reminded of Chandra Levy brings to mind the photo of her that they plastered all over everywhere.

Modern life tip: be sure to have a recent flattering photo of yourself for your grieving relatives to give to the media, otherwise they will run your driver's license photo, or that one with your ex conveniently blurred out.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:01 PM
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238: Related modern life tip: Try to have some relatives who will grieve enough to look for a photo of you without a Night Train bottle in hand.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:03 PM
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237- real question. Do they think she was targeted because she interned at Bureau of Prisons, or just random violence?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:04 PM
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Modern life tip: be sure to have a recent flattering photo of yourself for your grieving relatives to give to the media, otherwise they will run your driver's license photo

To be extra sure, send your preferred photo to the local news media before embarking on your crime spree.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:05 PM
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I remember wondering how we knew for sure that Ken Lay was really dead. Seems I wasn't alone.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:09 PM
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Fuck it -- from now on I'm only comparing things to the Nazis.

Halford's argument is of course total bullshit. The regulations of 2004 were passed to restrain a rising tide of money. His argument is like arguing the same institutional arrangements that restrained the Nazis in 1925 would still be sufficient to restrain them in 1933. Corporations are stronger and unions are weaker than in 1996, and the class consciousness of the corporate elite is stronger than ever.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:20 PM
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Especially since necks are the most pain-in-the-ass part to shave.

And the butt-ugliest part of your face if any hair grows there.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:33 PM
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I originally used shaving cream but found no difference after I stopped. OTOH, I'm still a slave to the system in using expensive razors; maybe that makes up for it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 1:40 PM
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I use shaving cream, the cheap stuff, and Atra razors. I use fewer than ten blades a year, so I figure I'm shaving on the cheap.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:04 PM
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I just bought a 12-pack of Mach 3 cartridges last night for $26. That'll probably last 9 months or so, which seems reasonable given that there's nothing that would just dissolve my facial hair without burning off my face as well.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:13 PM
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So just slapping some Nair on the cheeks doesn't work?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:15 PM
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Moby maybe you could experiment with waxing your face?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:19 PM
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248: Would you mind trying it and reporting back? Actually, liveblogging it might be even more interesting.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:24 PM
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Moby, Jesus and TLL are not your friends.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:30 PM
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What a friend we have in Jesus;
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to wax off
Every single facial hair.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:36 PM
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I don't know any hymns about Tassled Loafered Leeches.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:37 PM
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So I'll cherish these old tassled loafers,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will leech in my old tassled loafers,
And exchange them some day for a crown.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:41 PM
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||

Apparently there's a sterling example of why we have the analogy ban in Waiting for Superman.

Guggenheim seems to believe that teachers alone can overcome the effects of student poverty, even though there are countless studies that demonstrate the link between income and test scores. He shows us footage of the pilot Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier, to the amazement of people who said it couldn't be done. Since Yeager broke the sound barrier, we should be prepared to believe that able teachers are all it takes to overcome the disadvantages of poverty, homelessness, joblessness, poor nutrition, absent parents, etc.

From NYRB.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:42 PM
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You get to the waxing parts in the second verse, I think.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:42 PM
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It is the cross I bear. Not to be confused with cross-eyed bears.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:42 PM
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Maybe I'll just take this thread to 1000 before the other one gets there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:43 PM
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251: Not that I'm about to try, but didn't the Romans pluck their faces smooth?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:45 PM
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259: Wikipedia doesn't think so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:48 PM
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Wikipedia also doesn't buy my theory that the honey bees were being killed by unusually active ants with the newly evolved ability to lead six feet into the air.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:54 PM
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Or that "leap" should be spelled "lead."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:54 PM
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I don't have hair on my cheeks, but if the special Nair-type stuff for sensitive areas is strong yet gentle enough for sensitive areas (which I don't know and don't want to find out because it reeks!!!) surely it would be cheek-appropriate, no?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:54 PM
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It's like that prank where somebod replaced the hand sanitizer with Nair in the sex addict's group therapy room.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 2:57 PM
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You know who appears to have the inside scoop on hair removal? This guy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:05 PM
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265 arguably NSFW!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:07 PM
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263: If it reeks too much for use on sensitive areas, surely it wouldn't be cheek-appropriate, no?



Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:09 PM
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Who thought that Chuck Yeager couldn't break the sound barrier? Flat Earthers?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:09 PM
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255: Also, everybody paying attention knew the sound barrier could be broken, as it had been repeatedly broken by artillery shells since the late 1800s, by rockets in the early 1900s, and by unmanned test vehicles prior to Yeager's flight. Actually doing it was hard, but the only people saying it was impossible were ignorant of supersonic aerodynamics. Control above Mach 1 was known to be very tricky, but again the only people saying it was impossible were those outside the field.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:11 PM
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267: I've smelled the regular kind when I was a child and my mother used it. Maybe technology has improved. I'm not willing to test. If any of the rest of you try, I'll be far enough away that I won't smell it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:14 PM
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269: I thought the issue was specifically that Chuck Yeager couldn't do it, as his enormous balls would deform into the approximate shape of a parafoil and cause the X-1 to plummet to Earth?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:17 PM
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265 arguably NSFW!

Yeah, I suppose so. If you work at the sort of uptight place that frowns on T-rections.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:18 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:32 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:34 PM
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271: I hadn't considered that angle. The real miracle is that he could walk, let alone fly.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:36 PM
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272: It's a recession or I'd try to find a more dino-porn accepting employer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:46 PM
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||

The worst part yet in job-applying: I have to write a "Personal Statement" in which I "summarize past or potential contributions to diversity."

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:49 PM
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277: Can you count exposing people to Herpy.net?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:49 PM
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When I was a kid I saw an episode of Speed Racer where there was an experimental engine that could go 300 miles per hour, but if you used it, there was a chance that you could go insane. This deeply impressed me as likely at age 8, so at that time I would have been skeptical of Chuck Yeager's ability to break the sound barrier. Sure, he'd already done it like 40 years before, but he'd probably gone completely mad as a result, which surely doesn't count.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:50 PM
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278: That's a fun idea. But if it's really supposed to be diversity, I should probably make sure the other people in the department aren't already doing that. I'll email them to ask.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:51 PM
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Maybe I can play up my rich Kentuckian cultural heritage, which no one in academia will have ever encountered before.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:53 PM
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280: You've been to Canada. That must count for something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:53 PM
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A colleague from outside the US whose native language is not English once asked me, while working on one of these, "is it okay to say that I intend to work with colored students?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:57 PM
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Just make sure to let them know that you keep a big jug with "XXX" written on it near you at all times.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 3:58 PM
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A pr0n jug?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:04 PM
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Unless you were kin to the guy who got BSE from eating squirrel brains, you may not have enough of a compelling story on heritage alone.

This sounds even worse than the teaching statement, though, and I say that as someone whose only experience working on a teaching statement was for someone writing about being a black lesbian teaching at a community college serving especially diverse populations.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:06 PM
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"I will personally -- personally -- use the Physics lab to cook up squirrel and possum in a manner the likes of which you have never seen."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:09 PM
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This is for a school that doesn't ask for a teaching statement. Also, it's a school in the US where roughly 50% of the students are of Asian ethnicity and another large fraction are Hispanic. I'm not really sure what they're looking for in this statement.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:10 PM
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"I am personally diverse. I'm both Scotch, and Irish."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:10 PM
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289: "... And, I suspect, somewhat Welsh as well."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:12 PM
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289: What a coincidence! I am Irish and enjoy Scotch.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:13 PM
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||
Gah, still in HD, for no good reason, though getting food poisoning yesterday was part of it. The weather is supposed to be awful everywhere for the next while. What to do? Sent email to former next-door-neighbor, asking if she'd let me crash on a couch if I showed up tomorrow on her doorstep in Utrecht, but I've got no other ideas--being in a place I don't know, in shitty weather, isn't all that exciting a prospect. Booo.

Let this be a lesson about subletting one's apartment for a time that one will actually need it.
|>


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:14 PM
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||
Oh, hey, she replied with a yes. Utrecht, yea or nay? What says The Mineshaft?
|>


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:15 PM
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Fuck yes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:15 PM
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I'm with the Stormcrow. What could possibly go wrong that would not make an entertaining story for those of us playing along at home?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:16 PM
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277: Surely there are any number of things you have done "because [you're] a feminist."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:17 PM
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Utrecht! Why not? Maybe stop at Köln on the way.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:17 PM
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296: Such as gone to Utrecht.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:18 PM
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296: Yes, it's clear that the word "laydeez" needs to be involved somewhere.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:18 PM
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297: What would I do (in terrible weather) in Köln? Because one route does go through there...


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:19 PM
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297: Also stop at motherfucking 's-Hertogenbosch, it's fucking charming I tell you, charming. A regular motherfucking Bruges--nice cathedral, take the canal tour, the one that takes you under the city.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:21 PM
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300: Eat Broetchen. Drink beer. Maybe go look at the Cathedral.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:24 PM
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300: I've enjoyed it as a tourist, including escaping rain by hanging out in the cathedral for a while. There are some nice museums. Other than touristy things, I don't know. But an internet-acquaintance of mine lived there for a few years and loved the place.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:26 PM
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277- Remember to specify that some of your best friends are Latino or Asian. Maybe, apropos of 154, you could say something about being called "the first Asian teacher in Kentucky".


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:27 PM
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"I would happily teach students of any race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. I might even consider teaching Republicans, if you paid me well enough."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:30 PM
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How far is Utrecht from Aachen? Aachen is nice.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:31 PM
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||
Crazy! I just got a call from Google Maps, confirming that our business had changed locations. I guess there's real people behind that monolithic facade after all!
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:32 PM
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305: "Libertarians, however, can go scratch."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:35 PM
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Dude, you are living a life of total freedom. Just get on a bus for Istanbul or somewhere cheap and warm. That's got to be more fun that messing around in cold wet expensive Northern Europe.

Or, if your friend in Utrecht is cheap and warm, go there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:37 PM
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Aachen is nice.

IT WILL ALWAYS BE AIX-LA-CHAPELLE TO ME.


Posted by: OPINIONATED CHARLEMAGNE | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:39 PM
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310:

Il aurait dû caresser
Longtemps sa barbe fleurie
Oh Oh sacré Charlemagne
Sacré Charlemagne

Au lieu de nous ennuyer
Avec la géographie
Oh Oh sacré Charlemagne
Sacré Charlemagne


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:42 PM
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310: Heh. That's right. I meant to say, Aachen is Aix-citing!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:44 PM
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Qui a eu cette idée folle un jour d'inventer l'ecole?


Posted by: France Gall | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:45 PM
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The Roman ruins under and around the Dom. I was in Utrecht last winter, but the weather was kind of shitty, and I didn't really get out much.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:48 PM
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Amsterdam is also all of 45 km up the road/railway.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:50 PM
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Just get on a bus for Istanbul or somewhere cheap and warm.

This is a good point--Istanbul is apparently going to be 20c/70F and sunny the next few days--but gah, ~40hr train/bus... and then what would I do there? No, I think that would only make sense if I wanted to stay somewhere a week or two. And I've already been 'on vacation' for almost a month. So -- cold and expensive Northern Europe.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 4:55 PM
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You could go to one of them fancy European churches, get on your knees and pray to God that He crushes and humiliates Andy Pettitte tonight. Then go somewhere to watch the game at whatever ungodly hour it is there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:00 PM
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Dammit, now I'm going to have this song in my head for days.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:00 PM
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Also stop at motherfucking 's-Hertogenbosch, it's fucking charming I tell you, charming. A regular motherfucking Bruges--nice cathedral, take the canal tour, the one that takes you under the city.

I can't believe there's a city name that actually starts with "'s-" ... the Wikipedia entry does make it sound charming. And I suppose if you're underground the weather is irrelevent.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:01 PM
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I say go for Utrecht. I generally find Germany somewhat creepy and bland, and the Netherlands comforting and fun. But that's probably just me.

You're pretty close to Burgundy, too. You could hang out near Dijon and drink good wine for a few days.

I am getting very jealous.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:11 PM
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316 Why would anyone take a forty hour bus/train ride in Europe these days? Easyjet et. al. makes flying significantly cheaper than the train over long trips and only slightly more expensive than a bus trip. If you've got 150 Euros or so to blow on travel and a youth hostel card, go online and see what's available in warmer climates.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:14 PM
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You could go to one of them fancy European churches, get on your knees and pray to God that He crushes and humiliates Andy Pettitte tonight. Then go somewhere to watch the game at whatever ungodly hour it is there.

I'm looking at departures around 6-8am, (2-4 EST), so we're really talking about offering thanks for the humiliation that will have taken place, and begging for more to come. But I like the overall idea!


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:17 PM
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And don't bother with Cologne, it's got a nice Cathedral and some decent museums, but that's it. Save it for a weekend trip some time. Also don't go on any winery trips, the folks there are currently way too busy with the harvest. If you really insist on something close by, try Alsace if you haven't been there. Both Strasbourg and Colmar are pretty great places to visit.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:19 PM
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321 gets it right. Ryanair says you can get from Frankfurt to Marrakesh round trip leaving today for 230EUR. Get out there and do it!!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:21 PM
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You're misreading the website (I think); the first leg of the trip is €239, and then €199 to get back. Damnit, stop tempting me with thoughts of warm weather. I'm liking the Utrecht idea.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:32 PM
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Barcelona seemed to be possible for under 125 EUR round trip. But I just looked at the two easiest possibilities.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:34 PM
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A colleague from outside the US whose native language is not English once asked me, while working on one of these, "is it okay to say that I intend to work with colored students?"

We interviewed a professor from Taiwan who said it wouldn't be hard to move his family here, because "My wife is very...what is the right word, I don't know...obedient".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 5:55 PM
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"is it okay to say that I intend to work with colored students?"

Just during the last year, one of the local dance parties--the one that specializes in hip-hop--changed its name from "Strictly Black Music" to "Strictly Urban Sound".


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:02 PM
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327: I think "subservient" is probably more common.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:03 PM
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Also, it's a school in the US where roughly 50% of the students are of Asian ethnicity and another large fraction are Hispanic. I'm not really sure what they're looking for in this statement.

I have never made anyone write a diversity statement and likely never well. But if this were me, I'd be looking for some proof that they a) weren't going to come out with resoundingly ignorant and student-crushing ethnic stereotypes on a regular basis,* and b) were going to hold the Hispanic students to academic expectations just as high as those for the Asian students.

*e.g., No Vietnamese prostitute jokes to the young Asian female students.

Since it's not me, they probably just want to make sure you can say the right phrases. Probably impossible to truly screw up.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:06 PM
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Easyjet doesn't seem to operate in Germany except for flights to the UK, but you could fly from Geneva to southern Spain, Portugal, or southern Italy for under 150 Euros round trip, which I'm sure you'll find very helpful.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:08 PM
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Note that these are for right now, you could book for November for under 100SFr (c. 65 Euros) round trip.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:10 PM
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"summarize past or potential contributions to diversity."

"Potential" is a loophole you should take advantage of. You could potentially get gender reassignment surgery, convert to radical Islam, and gay marry a Sasquatch.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:16 PM
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Yes, after careful consideration, I'm sticking with the Utrecht plan; possibly with a detour to 's-whatever. I appreciate all the other suggestions, though! We can now return to discussing Weighty Matters of State.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:17 PM
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Get the boy some Aqua Velva

You might as well just save a few bucks and splash your face with bourbon. Does the same thing and it smells better. And a shot during takes the sting out of it.

France has a different set of unwritten political rules than most wealthy democracies.

Namely, killing some bitches if the shit goes down wrong. </McManus>


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:18 PM
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330.1: Really? You think "contribute to diversity" just means "demonstrate that you're not an appalling racist"? I can't even think of how to write something along those lines that wouldn't sound weirdly defensive.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:18 PM
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FWIW, I had the exact same take as Witt. I don't know what else they would really want.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:23 PM
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I can't even think of how to write something along those lines that wouldn't sound weirdly defensive.

Maybe they need a weirdly defense hire?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:25 PM
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"I will contribute to diversity. I absolutely will not suggest that young Asian women are Vietnamese prostitutes" probably isn't the best way to go.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:27 PM
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"In fact, I was delighted to learn that the campus would be full of young Asian women!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:31 PM
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"I will hire prostitutes of all races."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:31 PM
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336: Actually, yeah, that may be all they're looking for, and it may be a defensive move on their part. If they hire you and you turn out to be a raging racist, they can defend their own hiring procedures by pointing to your statement and saying, "Nuh-uh, see his statement? We exercised due diligence. We had no idea he was going to be an ass. It's not our fault."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:32 PM
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But seriously, the other thing that came to mind is that the NSF likes proposals that contain outreach, and especially likes it be aimed at minorities, and has a lot of buzzwords like "broadening participation", so I wondered if this was some sort of screening for proposal-writing ability. More likely, though, it's a university-mandated thing that the department doesn't care too much about but the university needs to have checked off.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:33 PM
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Surely you encourage the increased participation and visibility of members of historically underrepresented groups within your discipline. And you respect the value of different backgrounds and viewpoints that help students challenge and learn from one another to be able to achieve personal success. Just keep writing until you're ready to say HAHAHAHAHA and then delete the sentence before that, I guess.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:39 PM
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336: That's because you aren't an appalling racist, and (it sounds like) haven't done enough of your own hiring. You aren't imagining how bad some of other responses are likely to be.

I am trying to think how to anonymize some examples here. Let me put it this way: It's not unheard-of for people to apply for jobs that focus on ethnic diversity by citing an absolutely egregious example of their own racism. "I'm so excited about your program! In my previous job I always spent extra time helping the Chinese students. I loved helping them because they worked so much harder than the American students I taught during the day."

For American, read: African-American.

Eh, that's not very good. Just think of something so ugly and implausible that you wouldn't believe it was true if it were a fictional plot point in a movie. Like a high school history teacher not grasping the offensiveness of quoting the Vietnamese prostitute line from Full Metal Jacket.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:41 PM
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On a more serious note, as an on-paper applicant I would really be as generic as possible on this question. Tone and attitude are impossible to convey on paper; better to be as safe as possible.

But in an in-person interview, unless I didn't trust the interviewers, I'd get a lot more concrete. "Well, I was worried that the Call for Proposals for our one-day undergraduate conference was not getting a diverse enough selection of presenters, so I made in-person visits to the Spanish House, Muslim Students Association, and Chinese Students Association. Then I made sure the proposals were anonymized so that our conference organizers couldn't see the presenters' name, race or gender when they were making decisions."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:46 PM
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345: Wow.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:47 PM
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Me love you longtime!


Posted by: Stereotypical Vietnamese Prostitute | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:47 PM
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On a more serious note, as an on-paper applicant I would really be as generic as possible on this question.

Be the Kirkland of diversity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:51 PM
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and gay marry a Sasquatch.

An Israeli Sasquatch?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:53 PM
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350: That's why, diversity goals aside, Sasquatch should be Bigfoot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 6:59 PM
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Essaer, another alternative is to just ignore the directions and write a "normal" personal statement, maybe with a couple of generic sentences at the end of your intent to broaden participation and the like.


Posted by: BA | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:06 PM
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Just keep writing until you're ready to say HAHAHAHAHA and then delete the sentence before that, I guess.

Wow, this would have been good advice when I was writing my job cover letters.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:08 PM
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Diversity is just too broad a term. Are we talking racial diversity, ethnic diversity, religious diversity, sexual diversity, gender diversity, social-class diversity, economic-class diversity, geographic diversity, educational diversity, etc.? In my experience the term usually gets used as short-hand for racial, ethnic, and sexual diversity. I have heard people say that we won't be truly diverse until our organization exactly matches the diversity of the US. When I hear this (and when I can't keep my mouth shut as I should) I ask them if they have read Borges. Diversity of snark, represent!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:16 PM
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Given the school's location, I could go with "just as Veronica Mars learned that reaching out to the PCH Bike Club often got her out of trouble, I would reach out to the community to find potential future scientists to solve our problems."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:29 PM
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You're applying at Neptune High!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:30 PM
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More like Hearst College.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:36 PM
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Where white women rob banks to free Symbionia?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:48 PM
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358: I don't think that was quite the plot of the episode Patty Hearst guest-starred in, but it did involve her faking her own kidnapping.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 7:59 PM
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I LIKE A LOT OF DIVERSITY IN MY MEDICATIONS! ESPECIALLY HISTORICALLY UNDERREPRESENTED MEDICATIONS LIKE OXYCONTIN! NOW GIVE ME MY BENEFITS CHECK!


Posted by: OPIATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:05 PM
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I should be asleep, since I'm getting on a train in 3 hours, but I feel bad about the threadjack (not really), so here's me offering some overly combative statements about the original thread:

1. Those of you complaining about how the US hopelessly dominated by corporations should really look at the history of left-wing movements in countries with even greater inequality; Brazil, for example.

2. That said, the US is fucked. I've said it before and I will again, but the problem is elections, period. Electoral representative democracy requires a level of civic knowledge & attentiveness that is just not in the cards here. Selection by lot, full-time citizen juries, and political trials--that's the way forward.

3. Halford is right about people overstating CU. Remember how Obama blew the top off all previous fundraising records in '08; even more money would have been on his side in a post-CU world (if he hadn't intentionally worked to shut down independent groups, for complicated reasons). The Republicans are raising more money for the same reason they're going to win; the underlying conditions. Think of what's-her-name spending $12mil to raise $14m--that's not coming from corporations. The main thing about election financing in the US is that it's a total clusterfuck, with an unknown proportion of bribery vs. shakedown, and the regulation system has never had much obvious impact on overall results.

4. Even if we're not willing to get rid of elections, election law just doesn't deal well with the existence of political parties; moreover, the Constitution itself, as interpreted, makes it hard to deal rationally with the existence of parties. This didn't end with the White Primary cases; look at the open-primary stuff.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:22 PM
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Returning upthread in response to Flippanter et. al and their lack of sympathy for the French protests, I think that our friendly strictly honest media is misrepresenting what the French pension 'reform' is about. Currently the French get a full pension at age sixty-five, but are allowed to retire up to five years earlier with a lower one. The 'reform' would change that to sixty-two and sixty-seven. Or in other words, the lazy French have a system with the traditional Social Security retirement ages.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:25 PM
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I think my threadjacking was worse, and I don't even have thoughtful comments on the OP like x. trapnel. Sorry, heebie!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:35 PM
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361.2: Does that mean I don't have to vote?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:40 PM
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And for more French news, apparently Serge Dassault was literally buying votes for himself. Libe got SMS's between a senior Dassault employee and some local guy who was given 100,000 Euros to use to 'persuade' other locals to vote for Dassault and friends. For those not familiar with France, Dassault is one of the richest people in France, simultaneously one of its two biggest press owners and its top defense contractor. The other top press magnate is the owner of France's biggest construction company, specializing in huge public works projects around the world. He was given France's main TV channel by Chirac in the eighties in a sweetheart privatization deal. Both are family firms and both have very, very close ties with the French right.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:43 PM
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355: oh, dude, I have to know if you're applying to my alma mater. Find a way to e-mail me, won't you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:44 PM
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Or, did the school just have a giant, extremely stupid brush with racism?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:45 PM
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Following up on 317, the Rangers have added 4 runs and now lead 6-0 in the top of the ninth. Oops, make that 7-0. And Cliff Lee has a no-hitter going? Awesome. This is exactly what I would have prayed for, if I were the praying type.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 8:54 PM
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367: Oh shit. Is that why I have to write this? (I have no idea how to email you, but I'm pretty sure the answer to 366 is yes. Feel free to email me at the address linked here if you don't know or can't figure out my real email address.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:02 PM
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Sent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:29 PM
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361: What are "political trials"?


Posted by: Cryptic need | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:42 PM
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368 - When the Yankees bullpen poops...


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-18-10 9:43 PM
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The French are really different, part whatever: on Monday tons of cars, bus stops, etc. destroyed, the majority of train and plane traffic stopped, traffic in Paris shut down, all refineries down, many major fuel depots blocked, one fifth of gas stations in the country have no gas, with that reaching a majority in the Ile de France and Normandy, a couple buildings burnt down, and the unions are promising more of the same for today (Tuesday). Polls taken Monday night show seventy one percent of the population supporting the protests. What would it take for Brits or Americans to express overwhelming support for that sort of massive left wing disruption of the country?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 1:39 AM
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361: What are "political trials"?

"Apophasis refers to an investigation into serious threats to the Athenian democracy, especially treason and bribery, although there is some evidence for it being used for lesser offenses. This investigation involved several branches of the Athenian government: the Assembly, the Areopagus, and the People's Court. ..."


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:29 AM
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re: 373

There was fairly broad public sympathy for the Poll Tax riots, I think, and you could probably make the case for a few other similar things, but yeah, you wouldn't get 70+% support even then.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:31 AM
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Although I was in Paris during the transport strike a couple of weeks back, and there was much less disruption than if there'd been a similar strike in London. So they must have more workers prepared to scab, or less union members are a % of the operating workforce.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:34 AM
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Oudemia or Alameida can tell you more about the Athenian version than I can, obvs. But my version would be much better, because it would have none of the flaws, and more ponies.

||
On the ICE from Frankfurt to Utrecht. I really love these ICE trains. I also love how seamlessly Ubuntu invites me to use my phone's net connection through USB. I'm a simple man, with simple tastes.
|>


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:37 AM
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Oudemia or Alameida can tell you more about the Athenian version than I can, obvs. But my version would be much better, because it would have none of the flaws, and more ponies.

||
On the ICE from Frankfurt to Utrecht. I really love these ICE trains. I also love how seamlessly Ubuntu invites me to use my phone's net connection through USB. I'm a simple man, with simple tastes.
|>


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 3:37 AM
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I'm a simple man, with simple tastes.

... which include double-posting. Goddamnit. Maybe my phone's net connection isn't all that awesome after all.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 4:10 AM
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Although I was in Paris during the transport strike a couple of weeks back, and there was much less disruption than if there'd been a similar strike in London. So they must have more workers prepared to scab, or less union members are a % of the operating workforce.

The latter; French unions are simultaneously very politically powerful and extremely small. The US actually has a much higher percentage of unionised workers than France, as do pretty well all other European nations.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 4:41 AM
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377. The Athenian democracy was essentially run by a standing mass meeting, with functional roles selected by lot on a basis of fairly rapid rotation. The exception was for senior military commanders, who were elected for a set period.

There were three systems of checks and balances:
* Firstly, the law courts, where cases were heard by large (in the hundreds), salaried juries selected by lot and if they didn't like the law passed by the assembly they could overrule it;
* Secondly, all office holders were essentially investigated for potential malfeasance on the expiry of their term. Penalties could be horrific;
* Thirdly, the system of ostraciscm, whereby any annual hatefest was organised and the winner was thrown out of the country for 10 years. Nominations were by write in, with no upper limit.

Out of that lot, I would favour replacing the upper legislative chamber with short term juries selected by lot and investigating all office holders for propriety in office. The rest is really not practicable in modern countries, or barbaric.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:10 AM
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any


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:11 AM
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re: 381

You could probably combine the use of a lot based upper chamber, with a more highly devolved local democracy that made more use of direct rather than representative systems.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:15 AM
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Perhaps with a process of delegation to pass views up the way.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:16 AM
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What I'm basically in favor of is the juries & the law-giving quasi-juries, rather than the Assembly (which was closer to Locke's 'Federative' power than to a modern legislature). Perhaps one day I'll actually write a blog post on this, rather than intermittently threadjacking.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:20 AM
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Somebody should write a paper called Democracy and Accountability in the Age of Communication or some such, which would derive a set of constitutional principles appropriate to the on line era and present them in a way that they could be grafted onto different countries' traditions with minimum effort and disruption (the disruption would happen, and welcome, in the process of getting them accepted.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:34 AM
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330

... were going to hold the Hispanic students to academic expectations just as high as those for the Asian students. ...

So liberals believe Hispanics and Asians should be held to the same standards but blacks and whites should be held to different standards?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:37 AM
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* Thirdly, the system of ostraciscm, whereby any annual hatefest was organised and the winner was thrown out of the country for 10 years. Nominations were by write in, with no upper limit

We should totes do this.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:43 AM
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388. Right. Send Obama back to Kenya.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:49 AM
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Yes, Shearer. That's exactly what liberals believe. Or at least, that's the wording in the contract we sign with Mr. Soros.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 5:50 AM
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391

388: Speaking as the only person here who has ever been the subject of an ostracism vote (and won)... I don't think that would work well in a 300m population, because the vote would be so fragmented that a relatively small group could vote out their particular hate figure, even if he was popular with the rest of the country. You'd need a minimum threshold.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 6:59 AM
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392

391: Is there a secret or some tips you have for the rest of us? Just in case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:06 AM
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393

What was the context of the ostracism vote?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:17 AM
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394

A balloon debate?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:22 AM
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395

Rugby players in the Andes?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:23 AM
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396

Of course I lost mine, and was forced to move to the Sassenach darkness ....


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:24 AM
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397

The US actually has a much higher percentage of unionised workers than France, as do pretty well all other European nations.

About eight percent, mostly public sector. And even those private sector workplaces which are unionized are mostly ex state owned companies.

And since I was a bit confused by various reports on retirement age, I looked it up. It turns out the age sixty thing is true, sort of. You have to have at least 40.5 years of pension contributions to do so. Under current law that will slowly rise to 42. This gives you a pension equal to half of your salary (being on unemployment counts, being on welfare or a student doesn't). If you don't have the 40.5 you have to wait until you do or you retire at age 65, whichever comes sooner. In other words, most folks without higher ed who have been in the labour force continuously since leaving school have a de facto retirement age of 60, college educated folks wait until 65. A few fields, e.g. transport workers, have lower retirement ages. Until 1997 the number was 37.5 years and it has been going up slowly ever since under laws mostly pushed through under the Socialist Jospin government.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:25 AM
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398

397. The current arrangement as you state it seems fair enough. Within reason number of years worked is more important than birth date, and I'd think 40 years contributions was not unreasonable, topping out at 60 or 65 or whatever.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-10 7:35 AM
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399

392: the secret to winning, in my case, was that the hostile vote was split between the moderates who wanted ostracism and the extremists who wanted ostracism plus actual corporal punishment, and so neither one actually got more votes than the "leave him alone" option.

397: 8% refers to France, right?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-20-10 3:59 AM
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