Open thread and link farm: Harry Clarke can draw edition

Post what you like, when you like, with whomever you like. Self-linking is awesome.

  1. Check out this gallery of stunning Poe illustrations by Harry Clarke.
  2. Texas Cheerleader Who Was Assaulted Never Had A Chance. The dark side of “Friday Night Lights.”
  3. Intellectual Property is Murder
  4. Illinois State Representative Shane Cultra (R-Onarga) thinks it would be a good idea to take away the standard $2000 state child tax deduction for children who have been classified as “obese.”"
  5. Despite hurdles to passage, Reid vows a vote on DREAM Act – TheHill.com
  6. QUILTBAG is a replacement for “LGBT,” which includes Queer, Unisex, Intersex, Lesbian, Transexual, Bisexual, Asexual and Gay folk, and can actually be pronounced. I like it, in particular the “quilt” imagery, which suggests many things being combined.
  7. The US Justice Department and the ACLU are jointly suing a South Carolina prison that doesn’t allow prisoners any books other than the Bible.
  8. Low bar to hurdle department: “Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run for president in 2012 may be the most consequential event of the Republican primary campaign so far.”
  9. Peace Corps volunteers speak out against “gross mismanagement of sexual assault complaints”
  10. IMF Chief accused of sexual assault by multiple people.
  11. Facing Surplus, Wisconsin Republicans Go After Firefighters and Police
  12. Our deficit was created by decisions made by the elites, not by popular demands
  13. Ron Paul, like Rand Paul before him, opposes this measure not—or not only—out of some bias against black people but out of a deeply-held belief that the state should never solve any social problem no matter how severe the problem or how effective the solution.”
  14. “As an incident of the fundamental right of self-ownership, each individual has a right to move freely wherever she’d like, provided that, on her way, she gives due regard to the rights of all others. Taking away that right, however, is a money machine for the powerful.”
  15. America’s waiting times are the worst in the developed world – Ezra Klein – The Washington Post
  16. Weekend inspiration: Lisa Hanawalt’s drawing rules
  17. Cartooning in Crisis. Newspaper cartooning, especially political cartooning, is on its deathbed.
  18. Box Turtle Bulletin » King and Spaulding dropping DOMA was due to Clement’s error, not gay bullies
  19. Romney, Empiricism, And Conservative Dogma
  20. Obama’s Latino Strategy Takes Shape | The New Republic
  21. Undocumented immigrants should be treated, and spoken of, respectfully.
  22. Why It’s So Hard to Reform Drug Laws – Conor Friedersdorf – Politics – The Atlantic

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36 Responses to Open thread and link farm: Harry Clarke can draw edition

  1. 1
    Palaverer says:

    This week, Gratuitous Uterus has been on a horse, in the delivery room, and to graduation. I also muse about the benefits of a website that features the genitals of trans folks.

  2. 2
    RonF says:

    Regarding post #4: stupidity knows no partisan boundaries in Springfield, Ill. “Republican” and “Democrat” are simply labels of convenience based on whether the candidate eager for his or her turn at the public trough is running Downstate or in Cook and the collar counties. This is why it’s not at all uncommon to see Democrat politicians and lobbyists donate to Republican candidates and vice versa. They all belong to the Combine, and all that matters is if you’re in or out.

  3. 3
    Myca says:

    This is why it’s not at all uncommon to see Democrat politicians and lobbyists donate to Republican candidates and vice versa.

    I think you meant Democratic.

    —Myca

  4. 4
    Melanie S. says:

    (probably needs a trigger warning for torture, hazing, homophobia, related stuff)

    An interesting (if long–the talk is 30 minutes, with 30 more minutes of questions) talk about how the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib can be related to homophobic and/or misogynist hazing in the military: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAO_IHpsgRw

  5. 5
    Robert says:

    Given the history of the usage I can see your point, Myca, but it is very weird that it’s fine as a noun but not as an adjective.

    I do look forward to you going back to all your posts and correcting “Senate election”, “Iraq war”, etc. :P

  6. 6
    Tanglethis says:

    I am kind of self-linking – I’m trying to get back into a blogging/commenting habit, so my site has newish posts about working at an art museum and slowly breaking up with academia and so forth.

    But I mainly want to boost the signal on a friend’s post-graduate school project. It is called Web Start Women, and while the purpose is to offer training and support for women who need to learn webskillz to promote their own businesses or work, it’s also kind of a social network for lady webnerds in the Philly area. It’s quite new and could use some support, so if you’re not in the area or don’t need the services but just like the idea, you can like it on Facebook.

  7. 7
    Stefan says:

    Obesity gene discovered :

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/67666.php

    Well, it’s actually a gene, probably one of many other dozens, which has an influence on weight.

  8. 8
    Angiportus says:

    Good old Harry Clarke…when I encountered the M. Valdemar pic some decades back, I was impressed all right. Thanks for helping raise the artistic-quality level of the Web…with all the good ones we’ve got today, we can always use more.

  9. 9
    RonF says:

    No link, just a general observation; Rahm Emmanuel was inaugurated Mayor of Chicago yesterday, making him one of the 4 most powerful people in the State of Illinois (the Governor and the majority leaders in the General Assembly are the others, and their relative standings vary from time to time). The Mayor of Chicago has been named “Daley” for about 50 out of the last 60 years, so having Rahm in there is going to be a change. He’s not a guy from a working class neighborhood. Whether it will result in actual changes in how business is done in the city, county and State remains to be seen. He’s certainly not an outsider. While Daley II didn’t overtly support him he certainly did behind the scenes. The Daleys aren’t going away; hell, Daley II’s brother replaced Rahm as White House Chief of Staff. So whether we see any real changes in who’s in charge of what and how deals are cut and who benefits has to be watched closely.

    Don’t be surprised if in about 10 years there’s Daley III, BTW. Daley II’s son went to West Point, dropped out after 2 years and finished up with an MBA from the University of Chicago. Started out making big bucks and then tossed it up and enlisted in the Army. Did a tour in Iraq. I think he’s still in, but at some point he’ll probably leave and go back to making big bucks for some corporation, start up a family, and start to think about the old days when the family name was on the big door on the 5th floor of City Hall.

  10. 10
    Robert says:

    How do the supporters of the ACA justify the ongoing process of granting waivers from the law, with at least facially disproportionate numbers of those waivers going to politically-connected groups and businesses?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/17/restaurants-cafes-pelosis-district-eat-health-care-law-waivers/?test=latestnews

  11. 11
    Ampersand says:

    It’s a choice between having the sausage, or settling for no sausage at all because the sausage-making process is ugly.

  12. 12
    Robert says:

    The sausage is already made. There’s no “settling” – the law is already passed, and if not a single one of these waivers had been granted, the law you wanted would still be in force.

    Unless you’re saying that the people who passed the law were covertly promising their supporters in business and labor that “pssst, don’t worry, we’ll make sure it doesn’t hurt you in the next couple of years while we let it screw over your competitors” in exchange for them supporting the law. I’m pretty cynical, but I don’t think that happened. Rather, the law got passed as it was and the waivers started getting handed out as political favors, not as payback.

    So are you saying that the ACA’s movers-and-shakers were making these secret promises to corrupt the rulemaking process?

  13. 13
    Charles S says:

    Also, sourcing a complaint of political bias to a Fox News article doesn’t carry any weight. There is nothing in that article that allows anyone to evaluate whether the claim of political bias is valid and, given Fox News long history of dishonesty and cherry picking, I don’t see any reason to assume it is.

  14. 14
    Ampersand says:

    As I recall, the waiver process was explicitly included in the law that was passed. They were always planning for waivers to be given out as part of the transition. So I don’t consider the waivers to be a new thing; everyone who bothered to pay attention always knew there’d be waivers given. It was never a secret.

    (And yes, the rule-making and waiver-granting that is part of the transition process is, imo, part of the sausage-making. The sausage itself won’t be here until the law is fully operational, which won’t be until 2014, and not fully until 2017.)

    I don’t care enough to look into it detail, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if having political connections has proven useful for getting a waiver; that sounds plausible to me. You’d have to be an idealist to think that political connections could never, ever be useful in such a situation.

    That there are waivers explicitly included as part of the transition process doesn’t bother me. That political connections might be useful in getting waivers bothers me — not for the ACA in particular, but for how our government operates in general — but not enough so I think the huge positives of ACA are anywhere close to being outweighed.

    (Plus, getting rid of the ACA would hardly get rid of the “political connections to government being useful” problem. If we want to start reforming that, I’d say that we should start by first looking at military contracting.)

    (And like Charles, I don’t think that Fox can really be considered an objective, unbiased news source.)

  15. 15
    Charles S says:

    I would be surprised if political connections were playing any part whatsoever in getting a waiver. I expect that the waiver process is that you fill out a bunch of paperwork that says that the law would inconvenience you and cause you to drop coverage for employees, and then they give you a waiver. I don’t care enough to look it up.

  16. 16
    Elusis says:

    I don’t click on links to Fox, but is the article complaining about exempting restaurants and cafes (I’m extrapolating from the link)? Does it talk at all about Healthy San Francisco, the local measure that requires restaurants and cafes to provide health insurance for workers? Because perhaps there’s some interface there between HSF and ACA, with the former making the latter unnecessary?

    (Don’t mind me – I have zero tolerance for health care “debates” right now having been to the ER 3 times in 3 weeks for kidney stones and living in terror of what the bill will come to, even with insurance… That’s why Barbour’s comment that ‘no one in Mississippi doesn’t have access to health care’ makes me want to put my fist through bricks. Except I’d wind up in the ER again. Because you know what we don’t have here? AFTER HOURS URGENT CARE. Ask me how I know.)

  17. 17
    Charles S says:

    Elusis,

    Yes, that’s what it was talking about, and no it didn’t mention that.

    In addition to that aspect, the one off bump comes from a form processor filing a big batch of forms all at once.

    Someone who bothered looking into it a little bit links to someone who reported on it in more depth.

    Robert, does it bother you at all that you were water carrying for obvious lies?

  18. 18
    Ampersand says:

    Following the links Charles provides, they seem pretty persuasive. So (contrary to what I wrote before), I’m now in the “there doesn’t seem to be political influence at play here” camp.

  19. 19
    RonF says:

    That political connections might be useful in getting waivers bothers me — not for the ACA in particular, but for how our government operates in general — but not enough so I think the huge positives of ACA are anywhere close to being outweighed.

    So, the ends justifies the means? Building into the ACA a mechanism for handing out political favors as a condition of getting it passed is O.K.?

    Charles and Amp: I can accept that you would not see Fox News as an acceptable source for editorial information. But facts are facts. The fact is that 20% of all ACA waivers handed out last month were restaurants in Rep. Pelosi’s district. The fact that Fox has not attempted (or been able) to link this to proof of political bias does not mean that the fact should not be reported, nor does it mean that it is not worthy of note. It certainly smacks of political influence. Someone’s making money at a restaurant that sells $50 and $75 entrees. You’d think they could spring for health insurance for the help. The question I think worthy of being asked is why no other outlets are reporting this. The fact that Fox News seems to be the only major outlet (or at least the first major outlet) to report this is why Fox News came into existence – a perception that the MSM has a bias not only in what they report, but what they don’t report.

    It seems to me that the question of whether political influence was involved here is fairly raised, even if the eventual answer is “No.”

  20. 20
    Ampersand says:

    So, the ends justifies the means? Building into the ACA a mechanism for handing out political favors as a condition of getting it passed is O.K.?

    There’s good policy reasons to have a waiver mechanism, so I don’t think you can fairly argue that the waiver mechanism was intended only as a means of handing out political favors.

    Responding to your larger question, human institutions are by nature imperfect. Having an army, for example, has always involved some degree of mismanagement, influence-peddling and corruption. But the fact that the army, like all human institutions, is not 100% perfect, does not in and of itself prove that we should not have an army.

  21. 21
    DaisyDeadhead says:

    Ruminations on Facebook, and how it has shifted our interior landscapes… for good or bad? Discuss.

    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2011/05/dead-air-church-our-facebook-era.html

  22. 22
    Robert says:

    Oh, well, if the people mediating the political favors say that it isn’t favoritism, I’m sure they wouldn’t lie.

  23. 23
    Charles S says:

    RonF,

    Yes, Fox exists so that it can report biased partial facts that smack of bias. That much is true.

    I realize you couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge the refutation of Fox’s claim, but did you even bother to read it?

  24. 24
    Charles S says:

    And that’s all the evidence you need Robert. Some office in a Democratic administration is executing the law and processing forms. Some of those forms come from districts represented by Democrats. Case closed.

    Do you know anything at all about the waiver process? Please do inform us all.

    The same request goes to you RonF. Enlighten us on the waiver process, and what exact roll you believe that Representative Pelosi is playing in it.

  25. 25
    Robert says:

    I’ve never made a single claim about Pelosi, Charles.

    You accuse me of presenting unwarranted opinion pieces because of the political bias of Fox News (which I cited because it was the only article there was about the waiver count and where they were going), and then you rebut that opinion by presenting stuff from Mother Jones quoting the very people doing the waivers as evidence of the innocence of what’s going on. You got me there – those noted centrists at MoJo are surely dispassionate observers, and surely nobody is better placed to honestly report on whether there’s political corruption going on than the people who would be engaging in it. Ask Blago – he’s totally innocent, and he would know, wouldn’t he?

    The list of waiver recipients is choked with unions, businesses in Democratic districts, and entire states with Democratic delegations. Maybe it’s purely innocent – maybe it just happens to be that many of the companies and organizations with legitimate need to get out from under ACA requirements happen to be union-heavy and/or located in Democratic areas. Draw your own conclusions about that. I’ll acknowledge that it’s entirely *possible* that there’s no hanky-panky, and it’s a purely ministerial process to get a waiver – but on its face, it looks dirty as hell.

  26. 26
    Robert says:

    Hey, you know how we could tell if the process was facially neutral and fair? If the Administration would publish the list of the people who applied and DIDN’T get approved – there’s a couple hundred of them from what I understand. Or if they would publish the formal rules for what does and doesn’t quality as being waiver-worthy.

    But they’ve declined to do either of those things.

  27. 27
    Ampersand says:

    What, exactly, are you alleging?

    I mean, even if it were true that Pelosi and other representatives had written a letter to a government agency on behalf of their constituents, that would not be “dirty as hell,” corrupt, in any way illegal, or even unusual. That form of constituent service is done all the time, by members of both parties, and there’s a good argument that representing constituents to government agencies is a legitimate job function of elected representatives.

    But as far as I can tell, there’s no evidence at all that even the above — which is not illegal or improper — has actually taken place here.

    If the agency were preferentially refusing or accepting requests according to the party affiliation of the Representative, that would be corrupt and wrong. Is there evidence that otherwise identically meritorious requests from Republican areas are being turned down without cause?

    If Pelosi were accepting bribes in exchange for a promise of government waivers, or soliciting donations in exchange for such a promise, that would certainly be corrupt, and possibly a serious crime. Do you have any evidence at all that this has happened?

    As it is, this seems like “she’s a democrat, she must be evil” argument.

    I guess you think it’s simply not credible that there could be a large firm that asks for an above-average number of waivers, or that if such a firm exists, that it could possibly be located in San Francisco. But I don’t understand why you think such a thing isn’t credible. Are you claiming that outliers in things like “number of requests” don’t happen, other than due to corruption?

    I don’t think very highly of the Democrats (although I admit I like Pelosi better than Reid or Obama). I’d be willing to accept evidence that some Democrats have acted improperly. But you’ve yet to present anything more than “there’s an outlier,” and we’re expected to think that’s in and of itself proof of corruption, even though the existence of an outlier in this area doesn’t seem inherently outlandish. That’s really not a reasonable argument.

    [Cross posted with Robert's most recent comment.]

  28. 28
    Robert says:

    If the agency were preferentially refusing or accepting requests according to the party affiliation of the Representative, that would be corrupt and wrong. Is there evidence that otherwise identically meritorious requests from Republican areas are being turned down without cause?

    I’d also be willing to look at the evidence. But as I said above, the administration won’t release the list of people who have applied but been turned down.

    Is declining to release the information that would show the pattern, or lack of a pattern, evidence of corruption? No. But it doesn’t look good, either. “Robert, I think you got an F on your report card. Can we see your grade reports?” “No! And there’s no evidence that I got an F! You partisan!”

    And again, I’m not saying anything about Pelosi. Some other Republicans are; that’s their business. I don’t claim that there’s a particular outlier; I think it’s odd that the total waiver list is so Democratic-alignment-heavy.

  29. 29
    RonF says:

    But the fact that the army, like all human institutions, is not 100% perfect, does not in and of itself prove that we should not have an army.

    True. But it does mean we should keep a close eye on the generals and their civilian bosses to make sure that contracts, promotions, etc. get handed out on the basis of merit and not on the basis of political favoritism or expediency.

    Charles S.:

    The same request goes to you RonF. Enlighten us on the waiver process, and what exact roll you believe that Representative Pelosi is playing in it.

    I have no idea. But the question merits being raised, and the media – who employ experts in law and in politics – should look into it, not ignore it. Really, Charles – you refuse to look at a Fox News link and then expect others to read Mother Jones? Seriously?

    N.B. – that’s “role”, BTW. Spell check will betray you with homonyms.

  30. 30
    RonF says:

    If the agency were preferentially refusing or accepting requests according to the party affiliation of the Representative, that would be corrupt and wrong.

    The possibility of which (as an aside, but I figure you can’t threadjack an open thread) makes the concept of an executive order requiring anyone applying for a Federal contract to disclose political donations in excess of $5000 so wrong.

  31. 31
    Elusis says:

    I just love that a bunch of waivers being given to SF bars and restaurants, who already have health plans because the ultra-liberal city passed a law mandating that they provide health care, is evidence that liberals are corrupting the health care roll-out.

  32. 32
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Amp said:
    As it is, this seems like “she’s a democrat, she must be evil” argument

    Actually, I think it’s a “______ is in power, and therefore is likely to be abusing that power” argument, in which _____ = Democrats.

  33. 33
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    On a lighter note:

    THE MOMENT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR IS HERE!!!!

    I present…

    Pejazzling!!!!!!!!

  34. 34
    RonF says:

    Oh, g-i-w, I really don’t care what party they are members of. People in power tend to abuse that power. No one party has a monopoly on that, it’s basic human nature.

  35. 35
    nobody.really says:

    If the agency were preferentially refusing or accepting requests according to the party affiliation of the Representative, that would be corrupt and wrong. Is there evidence that otherwise identically meritorious requests from Republican areas are being turned down without cause?

    I’d also be willing to look at the evidence.

    NYT quotes the agency that implements ObamaCare saying that it has granted waivers to 94% of all applicants.

    And yes, unions are among the groups getting waivers. The law distinguishes between health plans that provide less than $750,000 and those that cover more. But for unions, the terms of health care coverage is determined by collective bargaining contracts – contracts that typically last for a fixed period of years. It makes sense to provide some leeway here.

    And yes, San Francisco firms are among the groups getting waivers. San Francisco established its own health insurance requirements in 2008, causing many firms to join basically a risk pool. Again it may make sense to provide leeway.

    Why organizations such as Waffle House and Ruby Tuesday get waivers, I don’t know. Doubtless it’s due to Democrats love of waffling and the housing industry and minorities – even minorities within the class of precious stones and weekdays….

    Spell check will betray you with homonyms.

    Homophobe!

  36. 36
    nobody.really says:

    Why are we always stuck in these predictable partisan patterns?

    Why can’t we be more like David Brooks? Or this guy: “It all about striking a balance, really.” They have so much in common….