Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tidbits, Short Takes and Links

• Overall, the Obama win feels less like a glorious victory & more like a near-miss car collision that you're thankful to have walked away from unscathed.

• So if Romney *had* shown his tax returns, would he have won? Or would he have lost even bigger? We'd have to see them to know...

• LBJ famously said, after signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, that it would cost the Democratic party the South for a generation.  Perhaps he should have added, after signing the 1965 immigration reform bill, "...and this is how we'll get it back."

• Dear students: folding over one corner does not keep two pieces of paper together. Use a stapler. Love, a grumpy teacher.

• So I understand that we're now all supposed to be interested in former CIA director Petraeus's sex life, and his mistress's enemies lover, and so forth.  My inner paranoid thinks the media's obsessing over Petraeus to distract us from the robbery of the public under cover of deficit hype.

• If you remove Jindal's "we must not be the party that" qualifiers from in front of them, then these seem like pretty accurate descriptions of the Republican party today:
  • "the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes"
  • "the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys"
  • "dumbed-down conservatism... being simplistic... [and] insulting the intelligence of the voters"
Sounds about right.  In fairness, the first definitely applies to the Democrats too, albeit less so.

NPR reporter misreads present-day novel as future apocalypse due to denial about climate change.

Call it peace or call it treason, call it love or call it reason, but I ain't marchin' any more.

Yglesias on the larger-picture problem with GOP poll denialism:
Common sense just turns out to be a poor guide to a lot of complicated social phenomena.... sociologically speaking, being on the same side as expert opinion is a high-status concept inside liberal and Democratic Party circles. This sociological embrace of expertise acts to temper the psychological mechanism of confirmation bias. On the right, the idea of academic expertise is held in low esteem. Conservatives accurately perceive that academia is hostile to nationalism and religious traditionalism and thus become much more prone to become out of touch with academic knowledge or to reject valid academic insights even on other topics. The same mechanism that can make you clueless about the meaning of "independent" self-identification can also lead to dangerously misleading public policy conclusions. Common sense and going with your gut are a poor way to understand the world.
Wow. Or should I say 惊人.

Buffy episodes summarized in limericks.  They're up to mid-season-three so far...

• I think the Walmart strikes are the most hopeful story in the news right now.

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