Re: Hot Stones for the Weary Brain

1

Of course, Warren might not run. Or she might prove unready for the national stage. (She has no foreign-policy experience). But the youthful, anti-corporate passion that could propel her candidacy will be there either way. If Hillary Clinton is shrewd, she will embrace it, and thus narrow the path for a populist challenger. Just as New York by electing Ed Koch in 1978 foreshadowed a national shift to the right, New York in 2013 is foreshadowing a national shift to the left. The door is closing on the Reagan-Clinton era. It would be ironic if it was a Clinton herself who sealed it shut

I don't think this is forecasting an Elizabeth Warren Presidency. But, yes, it is a startlingly optimistic article, and I'm not sure exactly why it's wrong, but I'm sure you all will tell me.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 7:51 AM
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New York in 2013 is foreshadowing a national shift to the left.

What did the 2008 election of Barack Hussein Obama foreshadow? What did his defeat of Hillary Clinton in the primaries foreshadow?

I guess it foreshadowed that people never learn.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 7:59 AM
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2: Well, it's fairly clear that Beinart had been preparing an article about the millenials, and then the NY mayoral election results allowed him to present it as related to current news. But that doesn't mean that he's wrong about the millenials.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:03 AM
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Obama won MA by twenty three points, Warren won by eight. And while Brown was perceived as more moderate than Romney, I don't think that comes close to explaining the difference. If the Repubs nominate someone who can do a Bush 2000 style moderate persona I don't think she'd have much of a chance. Then again, they could well nominate Ted Cruz.

More realistically, as peep notes, we could see a generic middle of the road Dem like Clinton embracing a more left wing agenda. Bill himself when he came to power had four legislative priorities for his first two years - universal healthcare, a deficit reducton plan centered on tax hikes for the rich, NAFTA, and a carbon tax. It was only after the Dems got crushed in 1994 that he truly became the triangulator-in-chief. And that points to another question - can we get a good sized majority in the House in the face of natural and artificial gerrymandering and can we kill the filibuster. If the answer to either of those is no, we're not going to get a bold progressive presidency.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:16 AM
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I am just enamored of the idea that the Reagan-Clinton re-centering of the spectrum is coming to an end.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:17 AM
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can we get a good sized majority in the House in the face of natural and artificial gerrymandering and can we kill the filibuster.

What a buzzkill.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:18 AM
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I'm still fairly certain Clinton is going to be the next president.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:18 AM
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My current interest in Warren is that she is one of three committee Democrats who have said they will not approve Larry Summers, which means his nomination wouldn't come to the floor.

I'm interested if she will stick with it under pressure, and interested in whether it will cost her with the powers in the Party.

Clinton is too fucking old.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:41 AM
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My tepid support for Hillary Clinton is due entirely to the desire to see the heads of the wackadoodles on the far right explode like technicolor fireworks.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:42 AM
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7. So am I. I said here in 2008 that you couldn't put a fag paper between Obama and Clinton on policy, and I believe that was true then, but I'm concerned that she'd be less likely to do this sort of quiet retreat we're seeing now over Syria. Because indoctrinated by the State Department.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:42 AM
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It occurs to me that, given my age and general health, it's not unlikely that I will die during the tenure of the next President of the United States, especially if she serves two terms. If perchance it should be Warren, I might die happy, or at least happier than if I keel over before 2016.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:45 AM
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8.last: Clinton would be basically the same age as Reagan at inauguration.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:50 AM
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And Warren is just two years older.

The President is overrated, though. My median hope between just-barely-hopeful and polyannaish is that Hillary is elected and the base finally starts pulling her and Congress mildly farther left than Obama.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:53 AM
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Younger, that is.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:53 AM
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The thing that makes me optimistic is that i generally find "the kids are all right" appeals hard to take but he really does a lot of work to get me there. The Warren presidency may be a delight too far.

I actually don't think Hillary is a lock at all. People look like a lock because they're all we know, but Dem nominations aren't particularly predictable. Certainly a sitting Vice President shouldn't be discounted, not to mention the possibility of everyone who's not on our radar.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:53 AM
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12: Are you agreeing with bob?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:54 AM
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Because indoctrinated by the State Department

I think you have that backwards. The State Department permanent bureaucracy tends not to favor saber-rattling in the Middle East, not to speak of air strikes. That's why Cheney and Rumsfeld never trusted them and did everything possible to kneecap them.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:54 AM
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People look like a lock because they're all we know

This is very true. Far out from an election, name recognition effects are huge, but they fade once real campaigning starts. That was why Weiner looked as if he was doing well in the NYC mayoral election -- not that people were really going to vote for him, but they knew his name when the pollster called.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:55 AM
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I love Warren a lot but I hope to god the Democratic party doesn't nominate her because she would definitely lose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:55 AM
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15: I think Biden really is too old.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:56 AM
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I agree with the substance of 19, but I can't disguise my surprise at Tweety making what appears to be an electability argument.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:57 AM
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17. I defer to your knowledge, but it seemed to me that she grew increasingly aggressive during her time in office. Maybe she just got crankier as she grew older.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:57 AM
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20 was me, being lazy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:58 AM
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I think I'd like to see President Biden, if only for the articles in The Onion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:59 AM
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21: fair point, I guess. But this is less about trying to game out electability for other people than thinking about the reasons I wouldn't find her compelling if I didn't already know about her accomplishments.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:00 AM
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Would we have been better off if Ted Kennedy had been elected President at the cost of much less career time in the Senate, I wonder?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:02 AM
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Clinton would be basically the same age as Reagan at inauguration.

She's 65 now; she'd be 69 at inauguration. Churchill was that age in 1943. At the age of 70, Suleiman the Magnificent was ruling an empire and sending his army to besiege Malta, and Jean-Parisot de la Valette, Grand Master of the Knights, was defending it, in full armour, sword in hand on the walls of Birgu.

I don't think we're going to be expecting Hillary to put on full plate and mail and fight Janissaries in hundred-degree heat. She'll be fine.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:08 AM
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Jean-Parisot de la Valette didn't have to participate in town-hall-style debates.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:10 AM
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She could probably get by with a leather jerkin and a foil.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:10 AM
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29 to 28.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:13 AM
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26: That's hard to say, except we would have had to be a significantly more liberal country to have elected Ted Kennedy, and that makes that scenario more attractive, intrinsically.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:14 AM
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29: you think? I think if it gets that far she'd want the full Joan of Arc rig.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:19 AM
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Clinton is younger than Gary Busey and he's still making TV appearances.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:24 AM
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I don't think we're going to be expecting Hillary to put on full plate and mail and fight Janissaries in hundred-degree heat.

I expect her to wrestle a buffalo.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:24 AM
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I think Biden really is too old.

I was going to say that Biden is too short, but I looked it up and he's 6'. I guess he just gives the impression of shortness.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:31 AM
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conventional wisdom said the 2008 race was going to be Rudy G v. Hillary C. and it kept saying that right up until Rudy flamed out and Hillary conceded.

has conventional wisdom tech progressed so much in five years?


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:32 AM
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I don't think conventional wisdom thought that highly of Rudy G.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:35 AM
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37: Also the CW turned against Hillary long before she conceded.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:39 AM
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38: But long after it became mathematically impossible for her to secure the nomination.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:48 AM
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Still, I don't think many people thought Rudy could win a national Republican primary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:50 AM
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41

35 - He's tall where it counts.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:56 AM
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41 was me.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:57 AM
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43

I thought Biden had said in so many words he would not run for president.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:14 AM
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44

Reading Winner Take All Politics and Republic, Lost this year has made me very zen about what individual names end up on the ballot, but not very optimistic about anything.

Relatedly, this:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114567/bill-de-blasio-new-york-city-mayor-public-financing-helps-him


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:30 AM
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43: He wasn't ruling it out as recently as July.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:32 AM
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43: No.

So far, Mr. Biden has left open the possibility of running, telling GQ magazine this year that "I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States, but it doesn't mean I won't run."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323423804579020781151204004.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:32 AM
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45 & 46 pwned me while I was finding something to cite, but I think I might in any case choose to disbelieve anyone who says they're ruling themselves out of an incumbent-free election. Assuming ambition seems safer.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:39 AM
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I believe Biden and Hillary had both pretty directly said circa 2008 that they wouldn't run in 2016, and my recollection is that this was taken very seriously at the time.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:55 AM
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Unless Sherrod Brown runs, I think Clinton wins the nomination (and she probably wins even if he does run). Yes, name recognition makes me say this, but so does the Democratic bench, which isn't deep.

That said, I think Beinert is probably right that we're due for some significant political shift, but I'm not convinced by his reading of Mannheim that it's going to be a lurch to the left. I'm afraid that Beinert is too quick to dismiss libertarianism as an alternative. Moreover, I think he radically underestimates how much power the fucking boomers are going to cling to well into their dotage. The worst generation, I fear, will continue sucking the marrow from the nation, leaving it a hollow bone. Laydeez.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:58 AM
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Unless Sherrod Brown runs, I think Clinton wins the nomination (and she probably wins even if he does run). Yes, name recognition makes me say this, but so does the Democratic bench, which isn't deep.

That said, I think Beinert is probably right that we're due for some significant political shift, but I'm not convinced by his reading of Mannheim that it's going to be a lurch to the left. I'm afraid that Beinert is too quick to dismiss libertarianism as an alternative. Moreover, I think he radically underestimates how much power the fucking boomers are going to cling to well into their dotage. The worst generation, I fear, will continue sucking the marrow from the nation, leaving it a hollow bone. Laydeez.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:58 AM
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Fuck me. I blame the boomers. If only there were any ice floes left.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:59 AM
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52

Generation X is getting a head start on dotage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:00 PM
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I mean, seriously, wealthy boomers are going to live, on average, into, what, their late 80s and early 90s? And they're going to become ever-more narcissistic and ever-more unwilling to pay taxes. God, it's too horrible to think about.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:02 PM
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On the bright side, they'll probably keep Medicare safe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:04 PM
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50: I like Sherrod Brown, but I don't think his voice could survive the rigors of a Presidential primary campaign.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:07 PM
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Apparently Dana Rohrabacher arm wrestled Vladimir Putin. I suppose if we can make it through the present, the future could be bright. But I'm not optimistic.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:08 PM
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56: God will provide, but if only He would provide until He provides.


Posted by: Resigned yet hopeful Tevye the Dairyman | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:12 PM
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57: Tzom kal, Tevye, and the same to anyone else with the same plans.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:32 PM
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Agreed with 49.2 (and 50.2). While I'd love to believe that a gradual impoverishment of the 80% will lead to its rekindled commitment to a government-led correction, I'm not seeing what Beinart's calling the Reagan-Clinton complex as remotely over. Not yet.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:39 PM
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57, 58: Speaking of, happy Yom Kippur.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:41 PM
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Or whatever the customary thing to say is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:42 PM
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Anyway, I no longer send emails suggesting things done to me for which atonement would be appreciated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:48 PM
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I have, in the past, received such an email, with an explicit Yom Kippur reference. No further details will be provided, but I was impressed by the chutzpah.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:54 PM
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Speaking of the Clintonite/neoliberal Dems, I just got the following blast email from Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute:

In my new Foreign Policy article, I argue that there's more on the line in the Syria crisis than President Obama's credibility. The debate also is revealing growing fissures in the internationalist consensus that has underpinned U.S. global leadership since World War II. The article describes the main challenge as coming from Washington's pathological partisanship and the rising influence of libertarian ideas in the Republican Party. The "Paulites" are joining forces with the anti-war left to diminish America's global role, which would lead the international system rudderless. That's potentially far more dangerous than anything that might happen in Syria.

Bipartisan peaceniks -- worse than Hafez Assad!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:57 PM
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65

I'm pretty sure it wasn't me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:57 PM
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63: really??? And you won't share details? Pity, that.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 12:58 PM
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The Obama presidency should have taught anyone who didn't already know that it's not especially important who the president is, if the underlying configuration of political power isn't also changed. Put Bernie Sanders in the Oval Office, if you like. Within five years he'll be blathering the same nonsense about getting our fiscal house in order and bombing Middle Eastern countries.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:01 PM
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67 is the angrier version of what I was saying in 44.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:04 PM
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As I'm just now finishing the very long Beinart piece, I see that he finally gestures toward Occupy Wall Street, which was pretty obviously standing in the background for the first half of the piece.

It's worth noting that mainstream media has almost entirely erased the Occupy movement from its memory. You know how the MSM says things like, "There's no significant contingent challenging rising income inequality in our nation; labor unions continue to decline, youth increasingly accept the new normal, blah blah"? To my surprise, yeah, they are saying that. It's as though they've entirely forgotten about Occupy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:11 PM
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67 is only half right, I think. If history is any guide, presidents aren't likely to change the underlying configuration of political power, it's true. And so if I had my druthers that configuration is where progressive political activists would focus more of their attention. But that doesn't mean presidents aren't important. Still, this is a very old and very tired argument, so I'll leave it in peace.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:13 PM
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66: Let's just assume that if you're going to work as a mohel, certain practical jokes are just not allowed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:14 PM
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COULD YOU JUST BRING ME A LITTLE WATER FIRST, WAFER MY LAD?


Posted by: OPINIONATED OLD AND TIRED ARGUMENT | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:14 PM
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72: get your own water, boomer.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:18 PM
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70: COMITY


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:19 PM
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It's worth noting that mainstream media has almost entirely erased the Occupy movement from its memory.

I strongly disagree. They don't talk about Occupy by name, sure. But the concepts are startlingly present.

The *front page* of yesterday's Philadelphia Daily News had a 99%/1% headline. The DN is the working-class "People Paper" next to the more staid Inquirer, but it's still Phila's #2 paper. It's by no means marginal.

Here's a recent NYT link: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/the-rich-get-richer-through-the-recovery/?_r=1&

The ideas are there. They have moved out of the sphere of deviance into the sphere of legitimate controversy. That's one hell of an accomplishment, for disorganized, chaotic "dirty hippies" or anyone else.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:23 PM
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How likely is it that new presidents get say down by some CIA/military types and threatened? It is weird to me how much Obama changed on a lot of transparency, security, Mideast stuff in ways that don't seem all that easy to explain.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:24 PM
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After having worked on the Obama campaign in 2008, my disappointment with his embrace of Bush-era lack of standards on civil liberties and his lack of standing-up-to-Republicansness was personal. One of the ways I dealt with it was imagining a fantasy world in my head where there's some extremely good reason why every president has to cave on those issues these days. Like, as soon as you become president, you find out a terrible secret: the big-business privacy-industrial complex will implacably kill your kids, your friends, and basically everyone you know if you raise the income tax even a bit. Or they have control of nukes or something.

Obviously this world would be a much scarier place in the world we live in (and implies that, as annaH was saying, even Bernie Sanders in the White House wouldn't make a difference, which is why I was thinking about it), but sometimes I prefer that to the alternative of Obama just being a giant fraud. In other words I'd rather be wrong in all my political beliefs than have been wrong about his character.

Classic twenty-something who worked on the Obama campaign, I guess.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:24 PM
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76, 77: "threatened" is the wrong word. Here, read this book.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:26 PM
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I agree that the argument is old and tired, but would say it more like this: on critical issues of importance to Capital and the National Security Complex, it doesn't matter who the president is, for any values to the left of a point just to the right of Richard Nixon. Get someone to the right of that line -- or beholden to people on the right of that line (eg, imo, Romney) and all hell breaks loose.

This isn't valid for a whole suite of issues that are not critical to either Capital or NatSec.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:27 PM
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76 -- We'll see when the archives are opened whether I've been right for years that exactly this sort of thing happened in late April 2009. Whether it makes the President a fraud to have made a politically correct but morally reprehensible choice at the time depends on whether you think he was really promising beforehand to always put morality over politics.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:33 PM
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Obama is not a fraud, he's just not that far to the left. Perfectly straightforward and well-supported belief. It's a little nuts to be so resistant to that that you instead conclude that the President of the United States must not have any power.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:35 PM
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"Mr. President, here's what really happened to the Kennedeys. Don't make us do the same to you."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:37 PM
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76: Obama changed on transparency? Were you paying attention in 2008 ? Obama has never really hidden what he was about.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:39 PM
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I don't agree with 81. Time and time again Obama makes statements that demonstrate that he knows in detail what the actual problems of our society are. Yet, no suggestion of potentially fixing any of them is made.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:39 PM
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75: Hm. Okay, point taken, and indeed the coverage I heard was in discussion of the recent report about the proportion of income gains that have gone to the top 10% -- and 1% -- in recent years.

I immediately heard that in terms of Occupy's "We are the 99%", but the public radio discussion I heard (on the Diane Rehm show) went on at length about a lack of necessary skills in job-seekers, the education and retraining gap, and so on. Very little commentary on the systemic restructuring of income distribution toward the top 10% or 1%. There was some brief mention, but it was papered over for the most part.

I mean to say: the entire hour tended to *blame the 99% (or 90%)* for its failures.

I should read the Philadelphia Daily News piece, though, to see how it covers the matter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:40 PM
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Following 75, I think the other media coverage that's changed slightly is a skepticism of privatizing government function. The Chicago Tribune has made a fairly big deal about CPS school closings rapidly followed by new permits for charter schools in the same neighborhoods. I don't think that would have made headlines in the 90s, at least, during periods of intense school reform. The Post has had a front page, above-the-fold series about how DC allows private companies to buy liens on properties owing back taxes, leading to foreclosures on seniors owing less than $1,000 in back taxes. The story might have been covered previously as human interest, but I think that the stories have a different tone.

I'd like to be hopeful but agree that it will be hard to wrest power from the Boomers, who will never retire.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:44 PM
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81 -- To the extent 81 is directly to me, I'd say that in 80 I'm talking about a pretty narrow range of GWOT issues where he took very different positions after April 2009 than he had taken before that point, both as president and candidate. It's not that he doesn't have any power. It is that he could risk losing the stimulus and health care reform by publicly alienating the military/natsec folks at the wrong time. I don't like the term 'political capital' but I think it's absolutely true that attention is a highly limited commodity, and that those who advised the President to conserve it for use on the highest priorities were right on the politics.

Totally morally reprehensible to treat the guys sitting in the fucking jail for a decade now, and not only never having been charged, but designated to be released for years and years, as pawns in domestic US politics, even if it is a winning move.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:47 PM
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To be clearer: I want to see coverage that focuses on decreasing union activity bolstered by state-level union-busting, discussion of the discrepancy between capital gains tax rates and earned income tax rates, examination of the extent to which government downsizing leads to fewer and fewer prospective students finding themselves able to pursue higher education, and so on.

I want to see 99% complaints translated to policy proposals and initiatives.

Er, I realize I'm ranting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:50 PM
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87.2: Would it be morally superior to take actions with a worse expected outcome?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:50 PM
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Obama is not a fraud, he's just not that far to the left. Perfectly straightforward and well-supported belief. It's a little nuts to be so resistant to that that you instead conclude that the President of the United States must not have any power.

Willing to adjust himself to acting within the existing institutional and political dynamics around him != powerless. Take the person with the same political beliefs and instincts, put him in charge of Brazil, and I don't think he's trying to get the National Congress to bomb Syria or replace their publicly administered healthcare system with a system of subsidies, mandates, and regulations of private insurance.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:54 PM
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Superior to reprehensible? I think so.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 1:59 PM
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92

We'll see when the archives are opened whether I've been right for years that exactly this sort of thing happened in late April 2009.

I don't claim to know anything about Obama, but I am acquainted with an individual whose views I know well and whose heart, I feel very confident in saying, was pure on issues of civil liberties. He was a vocal and somewhat influential critic of executive branch overreach and the abuses of the national security state under Bush. Then he went to work for the Obama administration in a senior role with influence on the conduct of the GWOT. The very fact of his appointment reassured me that Obama was serious about taking a different path. But boy howdy did a switch get flicked in him somehow after he was inside. Suddenly the mildest criticisms of the administration provoked as "You know we're still at war?" reaction. I can only imagine what he saw or heard that caused him to say, "As much as it pains me to do this, I can't risk not deferring to the national security complex on this." (In fairness, he did contribute to reversing some of the worst excesses of the Bush administration, but not nearly to the degree that one would have expected given his well-documented views on the subject.)


Posted by: Helmut Schmidt | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:06 PM
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I'd like to be hopeful but agree that it will be hard to wrest power from the Boomers, who will never retire.

Oh, they'll retire. Hell, the self-involved fuckwits already are retiring. And they're cashing their Social Security checks while voting to privatize the program. The problem is that they'll never die.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:08 PM
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92 - Contrawise, I was very excited to see Phillip Carter, the Slate writer, lawyer, and Iraq War veteran (whom Charley may have encountered via Carter's pro bono work?) get appointed to the top Pentagon position on detainee issues. As far as I can tell, his positions never changed, but Carter left very quickly, for what he claimed were purely personal considerations.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:14 PM
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I don't agree with 81. Time and time again Obama makes statements that demonstrate that he knows in detail what the actual problems of our society are. Yet, no suggestion of potentially fixing any of them is made.

Oh, come on. That's his shtick -- he makes people feel listened to by understanding their perspective. Surely if he can paraphrase my views this well he must be on my side! He does it for Republicans too. He's clearly a smart guy, and he does understand problems (you'd have to be a freakin' idiot not to understand we have a problem with inequality -- you think Lloyd Blankfein doesn't understand that?). The question isn't whether you understand that something is an issue, it's what you'll sacrifice to actually do something about it. It's priorities, not understanding.

You want to get the real Obama, wade through some of the "The Audacity of Hope" (even the title is kind of gobbledygook). A representative passage:

"Mainly, though, the Democratic Party has become the party of reaction. In reaction to a war that is ill conceived, we appear suspicious of all military action. In reaction to those who proclaim the market can cure all ills, we resist efforts to use market principles to tackle pressing problems. In reaction to religious overreach, we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning.... And increasingly we feel the need to match the Republican right in stridency and hardball tactics. The accepted wisdom that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists these days goes like this: The Republican Party has been able to consistently win elections not by expanding its base but by vilifying Democrats, driving wedges into the electorate, energizing its right wing, and disciplining those who stray from the party line. If the Democrats ever want to get back into power, then they will have to take up the same approach. ...Ultimately, though, I believe any attempt by Democrats to pursue a more sharply partisan and ideological strategy misapprehends the moment we're in. I am convinced that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. For it's precisely the pursuit of ideological purity, the rigid orthodoxy and the sheer predictability of our current political debate, that keeps us from finding new ways to meet the challenges we face as a country. It's what keeps us locked in "either/or" thinking: the notion that we can have only big government or no government; the assumption that we must either tolerate forty-six million without health insurance or embrace "socialized medicine".

Are you a member of an "advocacy group"? A "Democratic activist"? Regrettably, he must distance himself from your irresponsible radicalism. This book came out like a year before he ran for President. Obama's background is radical, but he is not. His dream has always been to recapture the center with neoliberal/technocratic 'responsible governance'.

Look, I don't hate the guy or think he's the devil or anything. He's actually reasonably good at the 'responsible governance' stuff. It's just that's not what's needed now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:16 PM
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93 -- No, the problem is that the Ryans etc have been putting the cut-off age for when you get screwed as people born in 1955 when it should be 1961.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:18 PM
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Oh, for fuck's sake, John McCain is going to publish in Pravda a snotty piece responding to Putin?

Jon Stewart got it right: Shut the fuck up


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:20 PM
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I was born with the moon in Leo and so can't help but getting involved in old tired arguments.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:26 PM
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87.1: OK, but I just don't see the sharp distinction between Obama before the presidency and Obama after. His FISA vote in 2008 prefigured his surveillance position once he got elected. He always carefully paired any criticism of the Iraq war with a commitment to expand the war in Afghanistan, so you couldn't question his loyalty to Team America World Police. He said he would go into Pakistan to assasinate terrorists, prefiguring the expansion of the drone strikes (and the Osama hit). He said he would try to close down Guantanamo, and he did try (yeah, he retreated as soon as he got Congressional flack, but he made some kind of effort in public, so I give him credit). I think it was always pretty clear that as President he would continue to use American imperial/military power but would be smarter about how he used it -- as indeed he has been.

I guess I have been surprised by his aggressive attack on civil liberties in the area of whistleblowers, etc. That is a DC establishment thing (I was once in a room with someone thought of as a prominent liberal/left politician who went on in quite disgusting terms about how Julian Assange should be hanged).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:31 PM
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I kind of assume that Generation X is the most assholish generation, perhaps because I'm of it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:32 PM
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But are boomers that much more conservative than Gen X'rs? I guess marginally so but I don't know how much of that is attributable to just being older.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:33 PM
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94: Snark is me?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:34 PM
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I wonder if the person in 92 is the same person I'm thinking of.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:39 PM
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Yeah, he retreated as soon as he got Congressional flack, but he made some kind of effort in public, so I give him credit

Congress specifically blocked funding for prisoner transfers. Was the Obama administration supposed to raise money to release people from Gitmo by selling arms to Iran?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:43 PM
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104: And now I'm wondering if we're thinking of three different people, or just two. Or one.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:44 PM
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Hey, I gave him credit.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 2:44 PM
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105 -- Congress and the Pres are both pandering with this stuff. I think the Admin was fairly closely involved with the earlier drafts of this kind of thing, but then when the pandering value became apparent, it got out of control. The Pres has repeatedly threatened vetoes, and then backed down.

That doesn't end the question of whether he has any responsibility. The transfer restrictions typically except transfers pursuant to court order. Suppose a prisoner has a court case seeking an order for release. Suppose the government has determined that it has no need at all to continue detaining the person. In an ordinary circumstance, faced with a choice of litigating for years a position you don't care if you win (and spending $1 million a year for the privilege), or ending the litigation on terms that don't trouble you at all, well, a stipulation granting the requested transfer (while rejecting claims for money etc) would be a fine way to exit. And completely within the discretion of the Executive.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 3:12 PM
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And as for my Yemeni guy, open the cell and I'll drive him to the airport (having rented a Vespa for the purpose), and buy him a plane ticket. Via Jamaica, so there's no immigration into the US at issue. No DOD funds need to be expended.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 3:18 PM
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I heard on the BBC that the coalition government wants to privatize the Royal Mail. I nearly choked.

To whoever thinks that we are less gung ho about privatizing government functions, what do you think the political class wants to do to the U.S. Post Office?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 3:22 PM
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90, 95. No he isn't a strong economic progressive, but he's also no American version of Gerhard Schroeder, i.e. a head of the national left of center party who is absolutely determined to increase inequality. And Schroeder did that in the face of a much more moderate right wing opposition and in a political system where it is much easier for pissed off progressives to extract a political price.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 3:48 PM
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105 was great as a rhetorical point. I have no idea about the way those things get adjudicated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 4:18 PM
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"Tzom kal" is an expression I have never in my life heard. Bad Jew as always. Also I feel like I'm always pointing out that stuff sounds like Russian words for "shit" so kal, meet кал.

LB your Yom Kippur story reminds me of the Seinfeld where George's friend (James Spader maybe?) goes into recovery and gets to the whateverth step where you make amends and George keeps waiting for an apology for some slight.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 5:49 PM
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Also why wish someone an easy fast? Isn't the whole point that it should not be easy? Where's the hardcore expiation in an easy fast? Religion, you are such a silly.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 5:53 PM
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People say similar things about earning your money through hard work. I've never understood that view.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 5:57 PM
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Bad Jew: I went to an oyster bar on rosh hashanah.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 7:10 PM
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Are there rules against horrible puns?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 7:19 PM
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110: they were also thinking (and may still be) that they ought to contract out the management of their defense acquisition activities. That is, maybe Lockheed Martin (frex) should provide the personnel who will decide which weapons systems they buy (buy ALL the planes!).


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 7:23 PM
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Yes, Moby. There are.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:14 PM
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"Tzom kal" is an expression I have never in my life heard.

I've heard it occasionally, but never really learned it and always forget it when I'm trying to remember it.

I'm not sure if I'm going to fast this year. I feel much less sick than I did a few days ago, but still noticeably sick. I guess maybe I'll start fasting and see how long I can keep it up.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:16 PM
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118. I think the UK has contracted out its Air Force's refuelling planes. If the tanker doesn't show up, the contractor pays a penalty! (Alex & ajay probably have the details on this.)

On this side of the pond, I see that DoD's Office of the Secretary of Defense / Washington Headquarters Services' Executive Services Directorate is seemingly">seemingly">https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2013/sep/12/not-fax-maam-dod-out-cash-buy-new-machine/">seemingly unable to afford to replace a broken fax machine. (Probably a multifunction printer/fax/scanner.)

Hilarious!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:22 PM
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(Screwed up the html, but the link works! Should use preview I guess.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 8:23 PM
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||

And speaking of hot stones (to completely subvert, and digress from, the meaning of the OP), I'm currently looking - with my sisters - at headstone options for my recently deceased parents. Holy crap! This appears to be an industry where there is more talent than taste.

I am appalled (though strangely fascinated) by the over-the-top tackiness, but also impressed by the craftsmanship.

There is this new, or newish, process known as "laser etching," where you can have just about any photograph, design, or motif etched into a stone with unbelievable precision, as a faithful reproduction of the original. So let's say dear old Uncle Frank was devoted to his sports car, and the family has a photograph of Uncle Frankie leaning against the hood of his Ford Mustang: they can put that photo on a headstone, and in full colour, even (for an additional charge, of course). As a "personal touch" that will "honour the memory" and "bring solace" to his bereaved family.

A sunset vignette, with a couple holding hands on a hillside between two trees, while birds fly overhead? Yeah, they can do that. The profile of a wolf baying at the moon? Yeah, they can do that too. Niagara Falls, in full colour, while an eagle, somewhat improbably, takes flight in the background? Well, of course. A ginormous butterfly, whose wings almost eclipse the text which aims at recording the birth and death dates of the deceased? Do you even have to ask? They can do that for you. Some of the headstones that I have recently viewed are like the painted van version of the funereal.

I actually have photographs of the grave markers of many of my ancestors who were buried with a headstone (but many were buried without a headstone, which was expensive) in the 19th and 20th centuries, in both Canada and Ireland. I can't imagine wanting to have these photos laser-etched.

The restraint (or lack of individuality) of these earlier headstones is interesting. Basically, I think these earlier stones look better, more dignified, better suited to serve as monuments against the tides of time: there was less room (almost no room) for "personal touches," but there was, perhaps, more gravitas, even for humble, common folk.

|>


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 9:45 PM
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The restraint (or lack of individuality) of these earlier headstones is interesting.

On the other hand, if you go to some of the older cemeteries in Boston, you'll see headstones with elaborate depictions of angels and skeletons duking it out.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 10:01 PM
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I'm going to follow my yom Kippur tradition of feeling bad about however much I do, which will probably be enough observance to be hungry and not do normal things but not enough to count as fasting or spending the day in shul.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 10:05 PM
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If only there were any ice floes left.

Here you go.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-13-13 11:39 PM
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Quakers get it right, IMO.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 4:20 AM
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On the other hand, if you go to some of the older cemeteries in Boston, you'll see headstones with elaborate depictions of angels and skeletons duking it out.

I was going to say. Seventeenth and eighteenth (and indeed nineteenth) century graves not known for restraint, at least if the dead person had the money. Angels, skeletons, grieving cherubs, effigies, poetry...

I think the UK has contracted out its Air Force's refuelling planes. If the tanker doesn't show up, the contractor pays a penalty!

Yes. To a consortium that provides 21 fully crewed planes, oops, 19, oops, 11... but don't worry! They'll be there when you need them! Promise!
When the RAF doesn't need them, they're chartered out to civilian operators.
They've also contracted out recruiting for the army to profiteering contractor Capita, who are, of course, underperforming. Fortunately we are shrinking the army anyway.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 5:23 AM
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128. I used to work for Capita. That is extremely frightening information.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 5:29 AM
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121: WHS can rarely achieve anything even when they do have the money. Comprehensively crappy service.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 6:04 AM
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A sunset vignette, with a couple holding hands on a hillside between two trees, while birds fly overhead? Yeah, they can do that. The profile of a wolf baying at the moon? Yeah, they can do that too. Niagara Falls, in full colour, while an eagle, somewhat improbably, takes flight in the background? Well, of course. A ginormous butterfly, whose wings almost eclipse the text which aims at recording the birth and death dates of the deceased? Do you even have to ask? They can do that for you. Some of the headstones that I have recently viewed are like the painted van version of the funereal.

Headstones are the new tattoos. It basically is the same phenomenon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 6:17 AM
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130. Yeah, I can point to a few places in WHS that work right, but they are rare.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 6:31 AM
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Or just initials


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:02 AM
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I saw very little of this in 2008, and wondered why, but it seems to me that a material objection to Hillary in [year] is opposition, in principle and otherwise, to dynasticism in American politics. I just don't believe I can vote for a presidential candidate who shares a name and/or house with a previous president.

I am not a crackpot. Please stop stealing my mail for Area 51's Martian recycling plant.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:22 AM
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opposition, in principle and otherwise, to dynasticism in American politics. I just don't believe I can vote for a presidential candidate who shares a name and/or house with a previous president.

If it were Chelsea Clinton (or George W. Bush, for that matter), I would grant your point. But Hillary does not represent dynastic succession. While it's hardly an accident of fate that she became Senator from NY / top tier presidential candidate / secretary of state, it wasn't inherited privilege, either. One of the manifestations of the stratification of our society is that members of the cognitive elite increasingly pair off with one another - look at the Obamas. So a rule against matrimonial succession would serve in practice as an additional hurdle to the success of talented women.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:40 AM
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Noce act, what do you call yourselves?

The Cognitive Elite.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:42 AM
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Q: How many cognitive elites does it take to wreck the world economy and jam a metaphorical broomstick up the working class's rectum?
A: About 80% of them.

Q: Why did the cognitve elite cross the road?
A: You wouldn't understand.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:45 AM
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Q: Who can notice simple spelling errors before hitting post?
A: The Cognitive Elite.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:46 AM
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Cog-ni-tive man.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:53 AM
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the cognitive elite

So did this term originate with The Bell Curve, or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:57 AM
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A quick google makes it look like it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:41 AM
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141 seems to be some variant of a biscuit conditional.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:50 AM
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If a term gets coined in the ungoogled forest, does it make an etymology?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:53 AM
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So a rule against matrimonial succession would serve in practice as an additional hurdle to the success of talented women.

Flippanter, in his anti-majesty, would forbid succession of husbands and wives alike.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 9:22 AM
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It would be interesting to go through HRC's memoir and try to make an alternate history up to 2000 with her and Clinton not marrying.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 9:36 AM
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||

Family emergency (grandfather), so going on a short-notice flight, which I only just now realized gives me 5 minutes to change in O'Hare between arrival time and boarding time. Wish me luck.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:14 AM
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146: Good luck. I'm surprised you could book a 5 min connection. At least if you don't catch it, you'll have plenty of other options at O'Hare. Best to your family.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:24 AM
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Best of luck, Minivet.

You know, you might want to make clear to the connecting flight that you're flying at short notice for a (pending? you can make it sound that way) family death, so you'd really appreciate any consideration they can provide as you sprint across O'Hare from the first leg of the journey to the second.

I have the impression airlines are pretty helpful when it comes to family emergency flyers. Might could hold the flight as long as possible, waiting for you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:37 AM
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Good luck.

I had a gap like that in Atlanta last month but they were inexplicably boarding the connecting flight an hour before departure. The guy making the announcements was threatening to give away people's seats when I got to the gate (still over 30 minutes before departure). I nearly chewed him out, given how I'd gotten there as fast as I could and had had to change terminals. Eventually we left a few minutes late.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:40 AM
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147: Officially it's 35-minute. But yes, odd.

148.2: Yes, I'm planning to explain my need to the attendants and maybe the people at the starting gate as well, and try to get a motorcart waiting.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:40 AM
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Good luck, Minivet. Don't forget to use the kindly brontosaurus stance.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:45 AM
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151: Oh my god, that woman in kindly brontosaurus stance is so annoying! Surely a terse, no-nonsense approach is better, as to communicate the seriousness of the situation. A beseeching posture just seems smarmy or something. I cannot take that person seriously.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:01 AM
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Flippanter, in his anti-majesty, would forbid succession of husbands and wives alike.

Because I'm a feminist.

Also, I should think that positions in government are not so many, nor the cognitive elite so few, that my cute little principle of disqualification will deprive us of too much marriageable talent.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:14 AM
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Khan, I'm...laughing at....the...cognitive elite


Posted by: OPINIONATED ADMIRAL JAMES TIBERIUS KIRK | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:22 AM
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Mary Catherine, I'm sorry to hear about your parents.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:34 AM
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It should be either "kindly Apatosaurus" or "kindly bird."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:36 AM
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And hope everything's OK MV.

I'd like to start a yoga variant with nothing but bird/dinosaur poses. "Now gently switch from Rising Deinonychus nto Angry Screech Owl, everyone."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:39 AM
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Meanwhile, I've been following up on links from the Beinart piece linked in the OP.

This one, on Upworthy, is weird. I knew I recognized Eli Pariser's name (from MoveOn emails) -- but really I don't know whether making serious matters AWESOME for people with otherwise very short attention spans is the way to shift the ... public ... conversation.

Okay, maybe there is something to it. I dislike tending toward nay-saying at every turn.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:50 AM
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Last time I clicked on something from Upworthy, I was a full minute into the video and I still didn't know what the story I was supposed to be uplifted by was. The video just kept saying that this was a story about community and people banding together. I gave up.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 12:04 PM
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I'd never heard of the thing until today. Does it operate in happenin' spots I don't frequent?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 12:07 PM
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My science-minded colleagues at SlatePedants may object to this nomenclature, as the Brontosaurus never existed; the correct term for our gentle giant is Apatosaurus. But I think this bit of paleontological imprecision only enhances the Kindly Brontosaurus' mythological, unicorn-like aura.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 12:09 PM
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Upworthy links are heavily promoted at Slate, if that characterizes them for you.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 12:20 PM
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123: Earlier this summer I had noticed a fair number of tombstones with photographs in a Jewish Cemetery in NYC. Most seemed to date from the early 20th century; they appear to have been examples of photo-ceramic memorial portraits (more than you want to know about them here). A different process from the laser-etched tombstones you mention. (And I hope this guy's relatives are already feeling abashed--or maybe he stipulated it, in which case he's going to get laughed out of hell.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 12:27 PM
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Headstones are the new tattoos.

MINE WILL READ: "MOTHER"


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 12:31 PM
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162: Got it, thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 12:33 PM
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Does it operate in happenin' spots I don't frequent?

For me, its Facebook.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 12:52 PM
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On Flip's anti-majesty position, I'm inclined in the same direction.

Knecht at 135: One of the manifestations of the stratification of our society is that members of the cognitive elite increasingly pair off with one another - look at the Obamas. So a rule against matrimonial succession would serve in practice as an additional hurdle to the success of talented women.

Knecht makes a good argument. However, I'm not a single-issue voter. I'm not going to vote for a female candidate because she's a woman.

Knecht, I'm actually surprised: you presumably know as well as I do that highly placed female politicians who've gained their status in significant part because of their affiliation with successful male politicians are not better than any number of other female politicians. Clinton is a talented woman: yes, she did a good job as Sect'y of State; but yes, she's also captured by the very Clintonism that's outlined in the Beinart piece. She's part of that machine, because she was partner in Bill Clinton's presidency.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:05 PM
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My only problem with the dynastic argument is that people bring it up against men only when they weren't going to vote for the guy anyway, but against Hillary as if it were an absolute disqualification. From someone who would have liked to vote for Al Gore, but is on record as saying that it was too much of a problem to have a senator's son ride his inherited political position to the White House, I'm fine with not wanting to vote for Hillary on the same grounds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:11 PM
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Have I made myself clear? The dynastic objection to Hillary Clinton is not quite that she shares the family name (at least since she gave up calling herself Hillary Rodham, after intense pressure to take her husband's name, because, you know) -- but rather that she doesn't seem much different from the Bill Clinton presidency, or Bill Clinton himself.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:12 PM
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I fear I became a bit shouty there. Sorry. The so prevalent notion that Clinton is the inevitable nominee for 2016 among Dems is a bit irritating.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:19 PM
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Wenten Rubuntja's got a pretty nice laser-cut tombstone.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:21 PM
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That's an objection to Hillary Clinton, but it doesn't sound like a specifically 'dynastic' objection to Hillary Clinton. Objecting to her for dynastic reasons would be objecting to her for her family relationship to a prior politician. Objecting to her for her political relationship/political similarity to a prior politician is just objecting to her for her views -- under your objection, if you were a fan of Bill's you'd be rooting for Hillary, and the link, however you characterize it, would be a plus rather than a minus.

I don't think there's anything wrong with your reasons for disapproving of her, and I kind of share them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:23 PM
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My only problem with the dynastic argument is that people bring it up against men only when they weren't going to vote for the guy anyway, but against Hillary as if it were an absolute disqualification.

If it helps, I grind my teeth whenever I read about some polito-spawn running for a lesser state office to keep him/herself warm for the next Congressional/Senate or gubernatorial. Cough Beau Biden cough.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:23 PM
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Or our esteemed governor, who got hothoused into his current position. Man, do I hope I never have to see him face a Republican in a close enough election that my vote means anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:25 PM
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172: Comity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:31 PM
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175: You're only saying that because you're both women.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:41 PM
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I'm saying that because I'm exhausted! Jesus christ, Republicans are threatening again to decline raising the debt ceiling, and apparently 44% of Americans agree.

This is absolutely disgusting, the degree to which the average American has no fucking idea what's going on or how things work. Admittedly, that's an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, and I haven't dug into its particulars, but if this is where we as a country are, we are very fucked up.

That is all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:56 PM
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Oh -- not that that has anything to do with Hillary Clinton.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 1:57 PM
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164: And mine will be right next to it and read FUCKER.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 2:20 PM
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136 / 137.2: Bravo!

How many cognitive elites does it take to change a lightbulb?
- One. In fact, that sort of work can be accomplished by unskilled labor, though it is largely insulated from offshore competition.

Now someone do a knock-knock joke.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 2:26 PM
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Knock-knock!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 2:42 PM
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Who's there?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 2:46 PM
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Interrupting cognitive elite!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 2:47 PM
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If the incentives were structured right, you would have answered by now!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 2:48 PM
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174 Or our esteemed governor, who got hothoused into his current position.

It'll be even weirder 10 years from now when Rivers Cuomo becomes governor.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 3:32 PM
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185 pleases me.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 3:50 PM
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Is he actually related to the political Cuomos?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 3:55 PM
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Is Rivers Cuomo in good or bad odor with right-thinking Gen X-ers these days? He's gone back and forth too often for me to keep track.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 4:07 PM
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I'm someone who really objected to H. Clinton partly on dynastic grounds (and more so because I wrote many letters to her as my senator urging her to oppose the Iraq war vote), but now she has, I think, proved herself as a power in her own right. I don't want to vote for her, per se, but it won't be (mostly) on dynastic grounds.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 4:07 PM
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In 2008 I found the idea of Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton pretty unappealing. But now that there's been another name in there I'm way less bothered by it.

My main objection to Clinton is that hiring Penn as you chief strategist shows some pretty terrible judgement, and one of the presidents main jobs is making good appointments. Hopefully this time around she won't make a similarly bad decision.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 4:32 PM
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And I hope this guy's relatives are already feeling abashed

Wow, that is amazing(ly bad).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 5:06 PM
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Three wolf tomb. Because four is trying too hard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 6:40 PM
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190.1: Rodham?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 6:49 PM
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Wow, that is amazing(ly bad).

It is sublimely awful. But I'm impressed by the craftsmanship.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:06 PM
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||

Oh man, that language game that Eszter at Crooked Timber linked to is way too entertaining to me. What a great idea.

||>


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:13 PM
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195: Wow, that's quite difficult, especially once it starts asking you to distinguish closely related languages.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:25 PM
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I apparently can't recognize Czech or Danish to save my life.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:31 PM
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I wonder if it's cheating if you base your guess for similar languages on accent. I haven't really heard Lao spoken much but I've heard enough Thai to feel confident that the voice "sounded" more Thai.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:32 PM
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I wonder if it's cheating if you base your guess for similar languages on accent.

I don't see how it would be.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:34 PM
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Given the scores I've seen people posting at the other place and CT, I've concluded I'm really unusually bad at that game. Which surprises me a little.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:41 PM
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I have maxed out at 600 after a few plays but there seems to be an enormous impact of chance in snippet assignments.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:53 PM
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I guess if you played it a hundred times or so. I assume they're looking for aggregate data?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 7:54 PM
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you presumably know as well as I do that highly placed female politicians who've gained their status in significant part because of their affiliation with successful male politicians are not better than any number of other female politicians.

Well, I don't know this, actually. I mean, I don't know if they're better, I don't know if they're worse (I suspect it mostly breaks even?). I do know that there are significant barriers (institutional/structural and socio-cultural) to the achievement of leadership positions by women.

The thing is, male politicians have often gained their status through affiliations (networks, connections, accumulation of social capital) that wouldn't hold up to strict scrutiny according to abstract "on his own merit" standards. The affiliation by marriage (spouse of a politician/former politician) is a subset of such affiliations which most often applies to female politicians. And given the barriers to political participation by women, it seems a bit problematic to draw the line at "spouse of" affiliations, and disqualify women on grounds of "dynasticism."

And really, is the field of Democratic presidential candidates so wide and so deep that we can afford to eliminate candidates for their familial or marital affiliations? Sadly, I think it is not.

Which is why I find the drumbeat of Hillary 2016 a bit depressing, frankly. Not because I hate HRC (unlike many commenters here, I do not hate Hillary, though I don't love her as a candidate either). But where is the new blood? where is the field of up-and-coming hopefuls, the next generation of Democratic candidates? And I'm not saying that Hillary is "too old," but let's face it, as a politician she has been around the block a few times, and she does carry some baggage.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:08 PM
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I played it three times and got 700 the first time and 550 the last two. A lot of lucky guesses, especially the first time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:22 PM
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But where is the new blood? where is the field of up-and-coming hopefuls, the next generation of Democratic candidates?

Eh, we're still three years from the election. They'll appear as we get closer.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:23 PM
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New blood? Kamala Harris. Gavin Newsom. Aren't there some nice young Udalls in the Rockies?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:38 PM
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Cory Booker. Bill de Blasio.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:44 PM
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Wendy Davis.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:45 PM
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Sinbad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:46 PM
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The iPhone 5C.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:47 PM
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I'm not sure you're doing this right, Sifu.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:47 PM
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Asheville.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:48 PM
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I made my connection; thanks for the mojo.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:57 PM
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That's good news, Minivet. All the best to you and yours.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 8:58 PM
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Yes, best wishes, Minivet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 9:15 PM
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In other news, I did manage to fast today. Just fifteen minutes left.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 9:16 PM
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I went to the bar after walking past lots of people heading home from synagogues. I should be good. Also, apparently the holiday of poor construction and being rained on must be coming up soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 9:37 PM
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216: Good job! I fasted until I felt bad, then ate just enough to make me feel worse, then went to shul. I like my temple -- good ratio of mishegas (kids running around, bullshitting on the front lawn) to actual services, although we lost our cool rabbi whose Yom Kippur sermon two years ago was a long Gertrude Stein quote.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 9:54 PM
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I topped out at 850 on the language game. I would get pairs where I had no knowledge whatsoever of two close languages and then I'd get things like Italian vs. Polish that a dead person could guess. And then, to boost my self esteem, I'd get Bulgarian and Serbian or something. In fact, that language game may be the only time I have used my Master's in Slavic Languages. It was so worth it.

The person who posted the game and put me onto it, the first guy I ever dated in college, got 1250 or something absurd.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:07 PM
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Now that the thread's back on the topic, and I'm home, I'll say that though I used it I haven't heard tzom kal tons either. And some people do speak it and also grok Smearcase's complaint; when my congregation's rabbi used it Friday night she followed up, a bit defensively, with a remark that by "easy" she meant "not so burdensome as to interfere with the purposes of the holiday".


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:09 PM
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My words, not hers. I can't imagine how anyone ever hopes to quote anyone else accurately; I have a worse memory for speech than for just about anything else.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:11 PM
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218: Thanks. I like the synagogue here too. (I haven't yet officially joined, so I'm not quite at the point of calling it "mine.") They have a new social group for young professionals which seems promising for me socially, and the rabbi is really into a text-critical approach to biblical interpretation that makes some of his sermons really interesting and unusual.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 10:59 PM
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220: But isn't being burdensome one of the purposes of the holiday?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:01 PM
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Insofar as being burdensome is only one of the purposes of the holiday, it still seems fair to say that a person could find their fast too burdensome.

I feel I ought to give examples. I guess I would name reflection, mourning, and the repair of interpersonal relationships as features of Yom Kippur that aren't the fast and could be either supported by a well-executed fast or compromised by a "hard" one.

(Also of interest: I looked this afternoon at my synagogue's machzor with Smearcase's comment in mind, and was puzzled to find that fasting is scarcely mentioned in the non-liturgical materials for the Yom Kippur service. I'm prepared to assume that that says more about last century's Reform rabbinate than about the holiday, and I didn't make an exhaustive search, but I was still expecting on-point commentary and didn't find any.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:24 PM
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I looked this afternoon at my synagogue's machzor with Smearcase's comment in mind, and was puzzled to find that fasting is scarcely mentioned in the non-liturgical materials for the Yom Kippur service. I'm prepared to assume that that says more about last century's Reform rabbinate than about the holiday, and I didn't make an exhaustive search, but I was still expecting on-point commentary and didn't find any.

I hadn't thought about it before, but on reflection this is also true of the machzor where I went (probably the same one). Huh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:37 PM
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I don't remember much about the commentary in the machzor used by the Conservative synagogue we went to when I was growing up, so I'm not sure if this is a specifically Reform thing or more general. I don't remember any stuff that was specifically focused on fasting, but there may have been some.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-13 11:40 PM
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Linux users, I strongly recommend you update e2fsprogs if you have an ext2, 3, or 4 filesystem. I think I was the victim of the bug described in this thread:

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2060328

Also, if you have a liveUSB stick hanging around that you use for random sysadmin stuff, you'd do well to update (if it's the sort with a writeable fs) or remake, because that's precisely where the zombie code that bit me was.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 3:13 AM
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re: 227

Ta!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 3:53 AM
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Isn't being burdensome one of the purposes of an operating system?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 4:22 AM
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Yes, it's 3 years before the election, but only two before putting together teams and funding to compete in the early primaries, and really only one before midterms, where someone who wants to be a player ought to be on the radar helping some folks in places like Iowa, NH, SC, Florida, California get elected.

Clinton can field a national operation with real players in every part of the country. We can safely assume, actually, that she has a better than even shot in the general at winning every state Obama won in 2012. Three years isn't very long at all for some other person to be able to say such a thing about their own prospects.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 7:31 AM
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More importantly, teo, have you found a synagogue to be the one that you don't go to?

All the time Jewish stuff I don't know pops up. "Machzor"? Isn't that the sorcerer in Parsifal?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 8:13 AM
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Aren't there some nice young Udalls in the Rockies?

Don't wander too far in that family tree, it gets crazy in some of the other branches. Mike Lee, the tea party Utah senator leading the defund Obamacare charge along with Ted Cruz, is the son of Rex Lee, founding dean of BYU's law school and Solicitor General under Reagan. Rex's first cousins were Mo and Stewart Udall.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 8:46 AM
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This gets worse. now nothing wants to play with my usb drive I want to evacuate files to. testdisk sees everything, but fsck won't use any of the listed superblocks. everything is bullshit and I have zero confidence in any of my equipment.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 9:02 AM
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everything is bullshit and I have zero confidence in any of my equipment.

ROADTRIP!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 9:19 AM
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The Udalls seem to fall more into the family dynasty side of things than the new blood side of things, at least in the context of this thread.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 11:59 AM
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Coming back to this thread way late, when it's dead by now.

Mary Catherine at 203: And really, is the field of Democratic presidential candidates so wide and so deep that we can afford to eliminate candidates for their familial or marital affiliations? Sadly, I think it is not.

I take many of your points. I would argue, though, that nepotism (not quite dynasticism, as we've been calling it above) is partly responsible for a reduction in the field of Democratic candidates -- not just for the presidency but for other offices.

I was perhaps too hand-wavy in remarking that familial affiliation does not make a candidate a better candidate: politics is annoying in that it must take into account name recognition and ability to fundraise. Familial affiliation, whether through marriage or otherwise, does a fantastic job of making a candidate more electable in those realms. Which has little to do with whether the candidate is actually better on the merits.

I'm actually not arguing that candidates should be disqualified for familial affiliation; I am arguing that they tend to crowd out everyone else, when it's not always clear that they deserve the attention.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 12:23 PM
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Oops, sorry, fa. I didn't mean to suggest that 235 was invisible.

Other presidential possibilities: MD Gov. Martin O'Malley; MA Gov. Deval Patrick; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (too lightweight as yet?); Andrew Cuomo (bleh). I really don't know if they have any legs. I wouldn't mind recruiting some more Democratic Senators. It's too bad Jennifer Granholm is Canadian born.

I'm kind of a fan of having a nominee with executive experience -- a governor.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 12:40 PM
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More importantly, teo, have you found a synagogue to be the one that you don't go to?

Sure, lots of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 2:39 PM
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||NMM to Head of Fed Summers>|


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 2:46 PM
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Does anyone else here remember that editorial cartoon from the Dan Quayle vs. Murphy Brown contretemps where Quayle is rushing into a bar and screaming "YOU FOOLS! IT'S COMING THROUGH YOUR TEEVEE!" The music from the studio next door has put me in mind of that, since it has to be the fruit of some kind of MKULTRA-style CIA mind-control plot. It's this awful New Age crap, inane lyrics, "exotic" instrumentation, same tedious rhythm for every song. And they must really be blasting it too, as I can hear it very well on the other side of a cinderblock wall. Sigh.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 2:52 PM
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"Better on the merits" has to include ability to marshal the resources necessary to win.

If Clinton decides she doesn't want to do it, great, and everyone in the next generatiuon gets to see if they've really got a shot. But if she wants to run, anyone else has to think about how formidable an opponent she really is, and what exactly, other than less name recognition, they bring to the table. I'm not prejudging this, but the answer is going to have to be a lot more convincing than 'I'm younger and hipper.'

Really, parsi, put yourself in an early player's shoes: you're making a decision how to invest a bunch of money -- or you're a county official in Iowa thinking about where to hitch your wagon -- what can Gov. O'Malley tell you that makes you think he's more likely to be president than Clinton? What can he tell you that makes you think he'll be a better president than she would? I can't even imagine what this might be.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 3:45 PM
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what can Gov. O'Malley tell you that makes you think he's more likely to be president than Clinton?

Her record of losing the Democratic nomination is impeccable.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 4:09 PM
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O'Malley? Really? Have I mentioned that the Democratic bench isn't very deep?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 4:43 PM
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It is, however, shaped like a donkey, so that's nice.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 4:44 PM
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243:
-Nice governor, whaddya call him?
--The Aristocats


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 5:03 PM
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I guess Biden's in Iowa today, so maybe he'll take a shot at it. I'm not seeing him beat her, but it's a long way away.

No way, though, is Clinton going to get outmaneuvered again by some nobody who thinks they can win by reading the rule book.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 5:21 PM
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(A reminder of what beat Clinton last time. Oh, yeah, O'Malley is going to put this kind of thing out . . .)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 5:26 PM
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I guess Biden's in Iowa today, so maybe he'll take a shot at it.

Biden has been running for president since 1988. If Hillary is to be disqualified on grounds of her defeat to Obama in 2008, Biden should never, ever again be mentioned as a viable candidate (he also lost out in 2008, of course).

But it's a funny old world; and who knows? (but I'm pretty sure I almost know that Biden is not on for 2016).

"Better on the merits" has to include ability to marshal the resources necessary to win..

This is true.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-15-13 9:30 PM
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||

Oh, for the love of God, won't you retreat into obscurity already?

|>


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 5:00 AM
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I heard on the BBC that the coalition government wants to privatize the Royal Mail. I nearly choked.

Not just wants to, will in a few weeks barring a stock market crash.

I think the UK has contracted out its Air Force's refuelling planes. If the tanker doesn't show up, the contractor pays a penalty!

Yes. To a consortium that provides 21 fully crewed planes, oops, 19, oops, 11... but don't worry! They'll be there when you need them! Promise!
When the RAF doesn't need them, they're chartered out to civilian operators.
They've also contracted out recruiting for the army to profiteering contractor Capita, who are, of course, underperforming. Fortunately we are shrinking the army anyway.

Also military housing, military training (partially - the two stage PFI was abandoned halfway through), and military communication satellites - the latter actually called Skynet.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 5:28 AM
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A bit of googling around shows that, shortly before the contract was announced, the head of army recruiting retired into a very well-paid job with... Serco, which didn't end up getting the contract. Phew. So either he's honest, or he's too bent even to do what they were bribing him to do. Either way good.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 5:53 AM
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You probably can't actually buy a commission anymore, right?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 5:54 AM
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No, bizarre as it seems to the outside observer (and to the inside observer) those guys are actually supposed to be promoted on merit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:16 AM
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