Open Thread & My Open Tabs: druggie edition

This is an open thread. Post as much as like, with whomever you like, for as long as you like. Self-linking is encouraged.

* Shakesville points out a feminist concern with Troopergate: When Governor Palin fired Walt Monegan, she also tanked a multi-million dollar initiative to improve Alaska’s response to rape and intimate violence.

* From “How To Win A Debate,” in The American Prospect:

This is the common thread running through all the decisive moments of past debates, whether it was Michael Dukakis failing to cry out in anguish when Bernard Shaw asked him, “Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for her killer?” or Gerald Ford supposedly not knowing that Poland was under Soviet domination, or George H.W. Bush glancing furtively at his watch in 1992, or Al Gore sighing condescendingly in 2000. None of these moments revealed something new; instead, they allowed reporters to say, “See, what we’ve been telling you all along about this guy is true.” Quayle was a lightweight, Ford was a bumbler, Bush had no patience for voters and had all but given up, Gore was a supercilious dork — voters may or may not have believed these things, but journalists certainly did.

* I’m oddly fond of this new version of the capitalist pyramid. The illustration style looks like something from Mad Magazine. If you know who the cartoonist is, please tell me.

* The Feminist Friend Comic Book Store Map! This is awesome. Check it out, and add to it if you know of a good store.

* At The Art Of The Possible, Jennifer Abel writes:

Advice for aspiring criminals looking to reduce the opportunity costs of time spent in prison: if you’re given a choice between selling drugs or murdering a young woman, choose murder so you’ll get a shorter prison sentence. Consider the example of Robert Chambers, the so-called “Preppie Killer” who in 1986 strangled Jennifer Levin to death in Central Park. He got 15 years for the deed, served it, got out and just returned to serve a 19-year sentence for selling cocaine. And that was a plea bargain; he could’ve gone to prison for life.

* Speaking of drug policy, Cato has posted an interesting debate about drug laws. And then read Scott Morgan’s response to Mark Kleiman.

Oh, and check out this chart, seen on Hit and Run:

And the moral of the story is: Some things got worse under Clinton.

* Daniel Larison on Obama and Palin running against the establishment:

Something that seems to elude these discussions is the recognition that ambitious, new pols are not anti-establishment–they want to be the establishment, or a part of it, or else they are bound for long, disappointing, stagnant careers in the backbenches or the backwoods. The basic truth about anyone competing at this level for high office is that they may not yet be of the establishment, but they are very much in favor of the establishment provided that they are an important player in it. The real anti-establishment candidates are known by their marginalization.

* Obama ad on the pay gap:

Nice to see an ad addressing this. At the same time, I really wish that so much of the “debate” wasn’t carried out through 30 second spots, which cannot look at any issue in any depth. Obama’s new two minute ad is a slight improvement, but I still long for a campaign carried out entirely through 40-minute speeches and long print essays. (The speech is good, by the way. If someone can point me to a similar speech delivered by McCain about his economic plan, I’d be interested.)

* Ezra reviews two articles in Health Affairs, one critical of the McCain plan, one critical of the Obama plan.

* The blog Chartjunk is receiving many links right now because of a recent chart (showing what percentage of American households receive tax cuts under Obama vs Clinton McCain) that’s useful to us partisans. But the blog itself is kind of neat. It’s done only three posts in three years, but all three are really good posts about how information can be visualized either badly or well.

* Stephen at Attempts explains why I’ve given up on the usefulness of debating most conservatives.

* At Democracy Arsenal, there’s a good post discussing how Bush’s foreign policy has quietly moved from the insane wackadoo right-wing to being realist right-wing — with the odd result that Bush’s recent foreign policy has a lot more in common with Obama’s proposals than with McCain’s.

* McCain’s “lying, lying and more lying” strategy is a rational response to the incentives set up by our media.

* Alabama is proposing charging state employees for being fat.

* And some good news: Florida’s ban on gay couples adopting has been ruled unconstitutional.

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15 Responses to Open Thread & My Open Tabs: druggie edition

  1. 1
    Renee says:

    A look at Miss.Navajo contest. Unlike traditional beauty contests, here the focus is a connection with knowledge and culture. A truly unique way of seeing beauty.

    Entering New Spaces….how to engage without making the marginalized body explain every aspect of their existence to you. Even questions can sometimes be a marker of privilege.

    John McCain is White…This rather obvious statement is necessary to make because of the ways in which race is only discussed in terms of Obamas blackness in the election.

  2. 2
    Thene says:

    You’ve got a thinko in the Chartjunk paragraph, Amp – you mean Obama vs McCain, not Clinton. I went over there expecting a comparison with Bill’s administration 0_o

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    Renee, I love that point about McCain.

    Thene, thanks for pointing that out — correction made!

  4. 4
    Thene says:


    Something that’s doing the rounds atm – two ‘traditionalists’ from California who are all put out about gender-neutral marriage forms. Damnit, I wish GA had ‘Party A & Party B’ on its forms rather than ‘Bride & Groom’. That would’ve felt much less intrusive to me. But as ever, ‘traditionalists’ deserve special rights and the feelings of the rest of us don’t matter.

  5. Okay, to start off with, a C-SPAN clip of the AAEC convention from 2007, which discusses on the future of editorial cartooning.

    Cartoonists in the video include Milt Priggee, Rob Rogers, Clay Bennett, Paul Fell, Ted Rall, Mary Locher (Dick Locher’s wife), Kate Palmer, Jim Morin, J.P. Trostle, Gordon Campbell, Jerry Robinson, Walt Handelsman, Kevin Kallaugher, Rex Babin, Stephanie McMillan, Cindy Procius and Signe Wilkinson.

    So, my question to any of the cartoonists reading this: can you identify the rest of the cartoonists Ted gave mike to? Some of them didn’t say their names, so I figure I’d ask anyone on the “inside.”

    Oh, and speaking of cartoons, here’s a sweet strip that runs in two daily papers in Florida called “Holy Mole” (pronounced “Moley”).

    Despite the name of the strip, it’s not religious.

  6. 6
    Chris T says:

    As some of you may know there is an election campaign underway in Canada right now. Apparently our sweater-vest wearing PM sees himself as a fruit…who knew?

    I wrote another blog about a gay candidate running for the homophobic Conservative party:

    And for sheer mocking and sarcasm, I invite you to read this entry:

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    Interestingly enough, it appears that where both candidates actually directly employ people, McCain pays women much better than Obama does.

    Non-intern female employees did better working on the Senate staffs of John McCain and Hillary Clinton during the latest public reporting period than they did working for Barack Obama, Cybercast News Service determined through an analysis of payroll data published by the Secretary of the Senate.

    Both McCain and Clinton also employed more female than male staffers, while Obama employed more males than females. However, Obama’s staff was more balanced between male and female staffers than either McCain’s or Clinton’s.

    Also, McCain and Clinton had more female than male staffers making six-figure salaries, while Obama had more male than female staffers making six-figure salaries.

  8. 8
    Thene says:

    Did you read that whole article, Ron?

    By one measure, however, women did do better in Obama’s office than in McCain’s. When the average salary was calculated for all people on the office payroll, including interns, Clinton paid women an average of $51,948, Obama paid women an average of $48,729, and McCain paid women an average of $47,898. (Clinton’s and Obama’s average salaries are relatively unaffected by adding the interns because Obama employed only one intern, while Clinton employed none. McCain, by contrast, employed 23 interns during the period, including 15 men and 8 women.)

    In any case, as with the Palin selection, McCain’s strong support for some women does not erase the harm he wants to do to all women. It is an interesting stat, though.

  9. 9
    RonF says:

    Interns always get paid shit, though, so that skews the figures. Now if he was paying the female interns less than the male interns for the same work there’d be the possibility of an issue.

  10. 10
    Nascent says:

    Regarding television ads for candidates, if you like you can see my Sept. 16 comment at my blog:

    ok, about pay – why doesn’t everybody get paid the same amount when they first start working and every year they get a raise unless they work for a company that can only pay so high on the pay scale. Then they can get recommendations for a new job that goes higher? and what if…(if I were president…)

  11. 11
    Ampersand says:

    I don’t have time to comment on the pay issue, which I actually have a lot I could say about.

    But I want to point out, Ron, that if “Now if he was paying the female interns less than the male interns for the same work there’d be the possibility of an issue” is your view, then I don’t understand what you’re criticizing Obama for. There’s no evidence that he’s paying women less than men for the same work. See the statistician quoted in this post, for example.

    I actually do think there’s stuff to discuss here, along the lines of what I said earlier in the campaign when I wrote about the diversity in campaign staffs, but if you’re claiming that Obama pays women less than men for the same work, then that claim isn’t substantiated by the evidence.

  12. 12
    RonF says:

    Hm. Ran a search on “Cook County” or “Chicago” voter fraud. This is the fourth article down (I was eliminating historical studies of the 1960 Presidential election). A selection of quotes:

    In 1982, inspectors estimated as many as one in 10 ballots cast in Chicago during that year’s race for governor to be fraudulent for various reasons, including votes by the dead.

    [as an aside, while these are not examples of such fraud in Cook County or Chicago]
    Acorn’s efforts to register voters have been scandal-prone. St. Louis, Mo., officials found that in 2006 over 1,000 addresses listed on its registrations didn’t exist. “We met twice with Acorn before their drive, but our requests completely fell by the wayside,” said Democrat Matt Potter, the city’s deputy elections director. Later, federal authorities indicted eight of the group’s local workers. One of the eight pleaded guilty last month.

    In Seattle, local officials invalidated 1,762 Acorn registrations. Felony charges were filed against seven of its workers, some of whom have criminal records. Prosecutors say Acorn’s oversight of its workers was virtually nonexistent. To avoid prosecution, Acorn agreed to pay $25,000 in restitution.

    From here:

    A ward superintendent handpicked by the City Council’s 80-year-old elder statesman, Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), was arrested Monday and charged–along with another man–with improperly steering primarily Indian and Pakistani voters toward absentee ballots for Stone.

    Anish Eapen, a 37-year-old employee of the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation, faces two counts of official misconduct, three counts of absentee ballot fraud and one count of mutilation of election materials. He allegedly worked in tandem with 34-year-old Armando Ramos, an unemployed student. Ramos faces two counts of absentee ballot fraud and two counts of mutilation of election materials.

    Unfortunately, due to the corruption of the use of the word “immigrant” in the media these days, you can’t tell from this whether these were illegal aliens, legal alien immigrants or U.S. Citizens. Allegations are not proof. And the Sun-Times article given as a source is archived. But the search I ran gave numerous references to current-day voter fraud. Voter fraud seems to be alive and well in Chicago and Cook County (which will surprise exactly zero locals), and having a procedure in place to verify the right to vote would go a long ways towards cutting this down.

  13. 13
    Aaron V. says:

    ACORN is notorious for being a bad apple – the people it recruits are usually good, but the administration is both arrogant and crooked.

    I was involved with ACORN people several years ago – they treated their fieldworkers like shit, underpaid them like crazy, and when I talked to Wade Rathke, he seemed disjointed and horribly naive, saying that they were trying to take over city councils in some sort of weird political fantasy.

    The invalid forms were likely to placate supervisors who set unrealistic goals for them.

    ACORN management can go pound sand; it treats its workers like Wal-Mart does.

  14. 14
    Renee says:

    Thanks amp…I really believe until we start discussing white privilege we are not really having a conversation about race.