Links for January 29th from 10:04 to 16:25

  • Annalee Newitz: Watchmen Director Zack Snyder Reveals His Secret Past [True Confessions] – io9 – “io9′s Nisha Gopalan has a great interview with Watchmen director Zack Snyder up at Radar. Snyder spills his guts about his secret past – as a jock! How does he reconcile his jock side with a mega-geek movie like Watchmen? Here’s a funny bit from the interview where Nisha says, “You’re both jock and geek. Aren’t they supposed to be mortal enemies?””
  • A Trilobite Made of Welded Steel and Time [Concept Art] – io9 -
  • Charlie Jane Anders: Paul Krugman Does Charles Stross! [Charles Stross] – io9 -
  • Jill: A Story in Pictures (Feministe) – “Two of the most important women’s-rights-related bill-signings in the past few years.”
  • TerranceDC: The Terrorist at My Bus Stop (Pam’s House Blend) – “Every morning, my neighbor and her six-year-old daughter share a bus stop with a terrorist – or a member of a terrorist organization, at least. That’s distressing enough, because my son rides the same school bus. But I recently discovered that the terrorist at my son’s bus stop is me; his Dad, who puts him on the bus each morning. And another terrorist, his Papa, picks him up from school every day.”
  • DesktopLinux.com: Moblin2 first impressions — wow, does it boot fast! – “A lot of notebooks and even netbooks these days run Windows, but also offer a minimalist Linux environment that boots in seconds. Now, with the Intel-sponsored Moblin project’s alpha release of Moblin 2 Monday, it looks like insanely fast boots will become a standard feature of full-featured Linux desktops, too.”
  • A Reminder to Keep Working (Jump off the Bridge) – “My friends don’t seem to love Jay Smooth as much as I do, but that doesn’t make me love him any less. I think by this point there is definitely an unofficial feminist blogger fan club, and I’d like to be President of said fan club, thanks!” Video.
  • Dday: Impact Of Conservative Demagoguery (Hullabaloo) – “The result of the recent conservative dominance on cable, even if not a lot of people are watching, is a growing amount of misinformation delivered to the public, over the course of many years. One of the reasons we focus on this and think it’s so important is that progressives are cutting through 30 years’ worth of rhetoric designed to push conservative movement ideas into the mainstream. And without a sustained effort to demystify those ideas, they will hold in the minds of the public EVEN IF the result of those ideas has been disaster.”…the effect here is that conservative ideas are still respected while conservatives aren’t.

    “As it stands right now, there’s one man being listened to seriously that can command an audience: the President. He hasn’t used the bully pulpit to a great degree yet, though I assume that’s coming. Until conservative ideas are rejected, we will continue in this muddle, blocked from the tools we need to get out of this economic crisis.”

  • Digby: Punk’d (Hullabaloo) – “We’ve seen this movie before. It was 1993 and we had another young president (faced then with a strong and growing Republican party) who had promised to end the “braindead politics of the past.” The forces of the status quo schooled him right out of the gate about who was in charge and no matter how much he appeased them, it was never enough. Clinton survived a vicious partisan onslaught, but he also had the benefit of a quick recovery from a mild recession and a technology bubble of massive proportions to help him.”Obama is facing a weaker Republican Party but a much bigger set of problems, with the stakes being exponentially higher. We just don’t have time for this nonsense again. At some point, the Democrats are going to have to confront their central political problem, which is that the conservatives are not appeasable and that political and media elites have either been brainwashed by conservative propaganda or are conservatives by choice and they have to convince the citizenry that their ideology is better for their personal well being and the well being of the country. Until that happens, the conservatives will remain in power even as an opposition force and their failed ideology will continue to destroy this country. This isn’t a game anymore. They have to pass good policies.”
  • Tiger Beatdown: The Trials of Moderate Leadership – “I cannot deal with centrism, I have discovered. I am a simple woman with simple thoughts. I think of things in terms of “right” (all people are created equal = right!) and “wrong” (people who are born women do not have the right to self-determination or bodily autonomy = wrong!) and shady moral compromises wherein you sit everyone down at the table and give each of them a part of what they want even if what they want is kind of evil… do not translate to my mind. I am either thrilled by Obama or seriously disappointed by Obama. Remember when journalists were all coming up with cute catch phrases containing the letters “O-B-A-M” in that order, like “Obamania?” Well, I have Obamanic Depression. It sucks.”
  • Incertus: My Fellow Whiteys… – “…on the ending of Reverend Lowery’s benediction at the inauguration of President Obama…” Basically, if what Lowery said is not about you, then it’s not about you.
  • Amanda Marcotte: Concessions count for a piece of lint and that weird thing you found in the litterbox (Pandagon) – “As Jesse said to me in chat, Republicans are more afraid of Limbaugh than they are of Obama. And Limbaugh has expressed his marching orders—Obama must fail, and they must put their efforts to that goal. Obama was able to count on a least a handful of Republicans to be decent friends to him in the Senate, but I hope he realizes that they are his blood enemies now and will sacrifice anything to fuck him over now that he’s President.”All that said, it’s quickly becoming obvious that Republicans are putting a lot of eggs into the misogyny basket in hopes of wearing down the public’s commitment to hope and progress. While the birth control thing was far from the only concession demanded, it dominated the media coverage, and I think that was a deliberate choice. In addition, Senate Republicans put on a big show of writing a bill to reinstate the global gag rule, even though they had to know it wouldn’t pass. I can barely keep up with the amount of crap being poured out from right wing media sources lying about this sexual health issue or that. Like Brad at Sadly, No said, “If there’s one big drawback to the Obama administration thus far, it’s that they’ve inspired wingnuts to write a lot about sex again.” And writing about sex is basically using titillation to push a misogynist, homophobic message. The reason for the obsession with sex (really with misogyny and homophobia) hasn’t changed—it’s always been about distracting people from economic issues with the deadly combination of prejudice and titillation—but it seems that they hope they can double down on this with the hopes that people will be so worried that some lady down the street is fucking and getting away with it that they will stop thinking about the danger of getting laid off.”
  • Kara: Obama Signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Feministe) – “President Barack Obama has just signed his first piece of legislation — and in a move that will hold much symbolism for women and all invested in their equality, it was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.”
  • Jill: Shockingly, caving to right-wing interests does not achieve progressive goals. (Feministe) – “Obama pressured Dems to cut a provision of the stimulus package that would have made it easier for states to use Medicaid to cover birth control for low-income women. The reasoning? It would foster bipartisanship and get Republicans on board with the stimulus as a whole.”The outcome? Not a single Republican voted for the BC-free stimulus package.

    “The problem with bipartisanship as a goal is that both sides have to want it. I don’t have a problem with making politican compromises or with genuine bipartisan cooperation, but you’d better make sure that the people you’re “compromising” with are going to give something in return before you start scaling back your own plan.

    “Plus what Katha says. Birth control belongs in the stimulus package.”