August
9th 2010
Monday round-up: we’ve got primary fever!

Posted under: American history, bad language, class, Gender, GLBTQ, jobs, local news, unhappy endings, wankers

Anyone but Senator Wonderbread!

Well, friends:  what are the hot races in your political neighborhoods?  We here in Colorado are looking forward to the possibility of lame-duckitude on the part of our Never Elected Wonderbread “Senator” from JP Morgan Chase, although it will be a close race either way.  Here are some other news & views from blogworld you might be interested to read all about: 

  • The Bennet campaign is stamping their tiny little feet in frustration at that New York Times story about “Senator” Michael Bennet’s advocacy for taking taxpayer money to the track with him, but the Times sticks by its story.  It published a correction and an addendum this morning, but only on two minor points:  on the history of Bennet’s relationship with Tom Boasberg, and to note that one of the sources is a supporter of Bennet’s primary challenger Andrew Romanoff.  (Apparently, it’s not worth mentioning that Boasberg has been sending out talking points from him office to distract from the NYT story, and is an open supporter and maxed-out donor to his former boss Bennet.)  Sorry, “Senator” Wonderbread:  if your bet had won and you had made money for the Denver Public Schools, you’d be tooting your own horn pretty loudly.  But since you bet on the wrong horse, it’s somehow dirty or wrong to point that out?  That’s not evidence of your poor judgment, somehow?  That’s politics, friends.  Can’t take the heat?  Get the f^&k out of the kitchen, “Senator.”  Big girls don’t cry–we pull up our panties and get $hit done.
  • Tenured Radical asks for some advice in dealing with sexual and romantic revelations found in the personal papers of a Famous Feminist in the 1970s.  She asks:  “What to do with past life shockers? Would anyone be shocked by them really? What, if anything, do they contribute the history of radical feminism I am working on? Do they amplify the atmosphere for my reader that will better evoke the period? Do I risk losing the trust of second-wave feminists now collaborating with me if I seem to have bad judgment? (I’m thinking the answer to this is yes.) Should you publish any document about a person of interest that you wouldn’t want published about yourself? And yet, why did these women leave these love notes in their papers if they didn’t want me to know?”  Great questions–especially that last one.
  • For-profit colleges and universities are clearly fraudulent peddlers of hope to people who have been ill-served by their public secondary educations and the current U.S. economy–but will anyone do anything about them?  They’re institutions invented wholly to hoover up federally-guaranteed student loans and stick the suckers with the bill.  Free educational markets my a$$.  There’s a reason that reputable colleges and universities have admissions standards–people who have been poorly served by their K-12 schools can go to community colleges and get remedial help and make progress towards a legitimate degree.  It’s difficult and it will take some time, although considerably less money than buying a degree “online” from some fraudster for-profit fly-by-night flimflam “university.”
  • Jonathan Rees at More or Less Bunk has evidence that modern agriculture fights communism!  (He’s a fellow Colorado politics junkie–he thinks Bennet will win tomorrow, and he’ll actually vote for the turd in November.)  As for your question about supermarket togs:  Adults really did dress like adults fifty years ago, Jonathan.  That man isn’t wearing a dinner jacket, just a dark suit and a bow tie.  I myself am loathe to hit the King Soopers without a hat and gloves–but you know I’m just a little eccentric for Colorado, anyway.
  • Dr. Crazy is contemplating a migration to WordPress.  Come to the light!  Move toward the light, Dr. Crazy!  (Do any of you bloggers have advice for her?  I’m essentially a femme couverte here, with a brother-in-law who does all of the tech-y stuff for me, so I’ve got nuthin’ for her.)

How about you?  How will you spend the next 36 hours?  Will you vote, or just walk away?

11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Monday round-up: we’ve got primary fever!”

  1. Jonathan Rees on 09 Aug 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Historiann:

    I think there’s an interesting philosophical difference between us. Should one vote only in order to do more good in the world or is it OK to vote so as to do less harm? I’m obviously in the latter camp, and if a few thousand Ralph Nader voters in Florida had felt the same way I do think how much better the world would be right now.

    Again, I still really, really, really hope this whole discussion is irrelevant. If Romanoff wins, I will never be so happy to have been wrong.

    PS On second look, I guess you’re right about that not being a tux. I also noticed that the mostly (if not entirely) male cashiers are wearing ties under their smocks.

  2. Historiann on 09 Aug 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Jonathan–I was a yellow dog myself until last year, when it became difficult for me to distinguish the Ds from the Rs and to understand exactly why my vote was needed so that the Ds could throw women and gays under the bus (if without quite as much relish as the Rs). So, I’ll happily vote for Ken Buck if that’s what it takes to get “Senator” Wonder(bread) out of the office he never earned. Buck is someone much like Fratguy and me: he’s had a frakking job for more than three years, and he’s held accountable for how he’s done his job. (It ain’t the way I would play it, but I respect that. Remember–he put away the guy who killed the trans woman last year using the federal hate crimes statute, and in no uncertain terms said that Weld Co. wouldn’t tolerate the murder of its residents no matter what their sex/gender status.)

    The fun thing about giving up on the Democrats is that I get two bites at that apple, and not just one. But, yes: let’s hope Romanoff wins, and then make him dance with the ones that brung him.

  3. Susurro on 09 Aug 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Things you should probably know abt wordpress before you crossover:

    (1) you will get just as much spam as any other blog host. On average I get 40 pages per day, more if I write a post about gender, sexuality, or racism. (2) unless you are willing to pay for private hosting, you will be generating income for wordpress without sharing in the profit. WordPress places google ads on blogs with moderate or more hits. These ads are only visible to logged out readers. On formats like blogger, you would be able to decide whether to have these ads and you would be receiving the revenue. (3) You may also want to consider the recent exclusionary practices of their highlighted blog page which in the last 1+ years has failed to highlight the diversity of users in favor of both homogeneity (male, white, heterosexual, middle to upper class, 20-30ish, urban) and sometimes offensive content (posts that mock people of color’s use of English, excuse away black face, or posit whiteness as more authentic or natural). I do a Wednesday stat series on this and a colleague, has also done posts about her failed discussions about race and racism with wordpress staff. (4) If you use videos other than those hosted on youtube, wordpress is not for you. WordPress does not allow flash anything which means most of the tools you are accustomed to in blogger are not available on wordpress especially non-youtube video hosting and book shelf. (5) stat tracking is limited for the same reason.

    That said, I love the ease of wordpress, the number of design options, and the comment and blog pages that let you follow your fav wordpress blogs, see similar blogs you might not know about, and track responses to your comments. I’m also lucky enough to have chosen wordpress as my host before the racialized highlight page was implemented but I do shop around in the hopes of not being implicated in that in the future.

  4. Historiann on 09 Aug 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Thanks for this, Susurro. My BIL pays to host this blog, so I had no idea about the infiltration of ads on other WordPress blogs.

    Here’s something funny: I just got an e-mail from the Romanoff campaign that included a link to a recorded message from Bill Clinton.

    Is it just me, or do you think that would have been more effective if Clinton didn’t sound like Andrew Romanoff had him held hostage at gunpoint in a basement to make that recording? It reminds me of when he went to North Korea to get those journalists out last summer. Geez–not one of Clinton’s more charismatic performances.

  5. Shane on 09 Aug 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    WordPress the platform– software installed on your own server space– can have whatever spam-prevention plugins you want installed on it. (I use Akismet and like it; it keeps most of the spam corralled.) WordPress.com, the commercial service, has all the drawbacks Susurro mentions.

    That said, I think there are plenty of reasons one needn’t be a femme couverte where blog software is concerned. The Center for History and New Media’s very successful THATCamp unconferences draw a lot of people with interest in WordPress, and they’re a very good place to find other humanities people who are using technology for our work in one way or another. (Some even have formal “BootCamp” training tracks.) If one wanted to learn how to run WordPress-the-software for oneself, applying for your local THATCamp would be a fine idea.

    (I’d offer to coach readers of this blog through installing WP, but I’m busy finishing a dissertation. Maybe someday. In the meantime, you might want to know that it’s possible to migrate your blog from WordPress.com to your own domain using WordPress.org.)

  6. Fratguy on 09 Aug 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Historiann,

    1. You should have featured the graphic from the 8/6 post “Instinks” next to today’s comment on for profit online universities.

    2. Gloria Steinam copped to an affair with the inexplicable spud, Mort Zuckerman. I don’t see how anyone else has anything to answer for. (OK, not a particularly insightful or helpful comment, more a cheap shot, at Mort Zuckerman.)

  7. Historiann on 09 Aug 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Heh–good point. But it’s much harder to personalize the problem of for-profit unis than it is (for example) a primary for a U.S. Senate seat.

    True about the odd couple pairing of Zukerman and Steinem. It’s hard to imagine anything more embarassing and off-putting than that.

  8. Comrade PhysioProf on 09 Aug 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    And yet, why did these women leave these love notes in their papers if they didn’t want me to know?”

    Maybe I’m hopelessly naive, but I came down on the “maybe they just kept all their correspondence and never culled anything” side. I have every single fucken e-mail I’ve ever sent or received since 1999, all in an indexed searchable database. If I drop fucken dead, it’s all gonna be in there.

  9. Historiann on 09 Aug 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Some people are like that–but some are also more thoughtful or intentional about their papers. I’m just relieved to hear that there’s someone out there (or her heirs) who didn’t burn all evidence of sexual or romantic entanglements.

    Although I would love to find something like TR describes sometime myself, I have to say that I’d be a pretty scrupulous curator of my reputation, were I ever to do anything to merit an archive requesting my personal papers. I’d scrub them with Comet, SoftScrub, and Voom, baby, to make sure there was nothing whatsoever racy to learn about me! (Not that there is–I’m just saying.)

  10. koshem bos on 09 Aug 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Locally in DC means nationally. So at the seat of president lemon, we are worried for the country that may go Taliban in November. Maryland, my state, is highly Democratic except its rural parts that are Taliban. Nevertheless, Maryland is backwards, stingy benefits, etc. place due to its Southern origins. My congressman, Van Hollen, is a Democrats delight, i.e. nice, good services for the community but liberal-centrist and emphasis on the latter. He is very young and not going to be replace any time soon.

  11. Indyanna on 09 Aug 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    TR’s dilemma makes me glad I work on people who are long gone. No “authorized” bios, no Institutional Review Boards, not even any deranged vindicator/descendants–so far anyway. I kept all of my e-mails until I couldn’t do it anymore; about the time when C-PP began saving them, I infer. They make for great aide-memoires, but now they’re buried under something else. Don’t people who *have* their own collected “papers” appoint literary executors, to help with (or obstruct) these decisions? For my dead white European governors [DWEGs], and other research subjects, I sometimes prefer evidence that is *not* expressive or articulate, just revelatory.