Friday, May 09, 2008

Rainy Friday Linky Love

(Photo Credit: Random search of internets on "rain + windows." Found it here, but don't know where it's from originally.)

Curl up and do some more reading on the state of the Dem race, while my typist takes care of business on campus today. Feel sorry for her, please. The Learning Outcomes Assessment assignment she was so relieved to have finished yesterday turns out not to be finished after all. Special note to Historiann: Here is a topic for your next think piece on what's destroying higher education in America -- Death by Data: LOA and the Collapse of Freedom, Thought, and Creativity on Campus. Discuss.

Meantime, let your reading match your mood. Roxie's World is here to help you find what you're looking for, particularly if you are a Clintonista still trying to figure out what to feel, think, or do:
  • Need a reason to believe that the fat lady shouldn't be warming up her vocal chords in the wings? Jay Cost plays out one last scenario for Clinton, which hinges on huge wins in West Virginia and Kentucky. Hey, why not? Both states are packed with the voters who have stood with Hillary throughout the campaign.
  • Still not ready to make nice? This incredibly annoying piece by Chris Bowers on the cultural shift (from "Bubbas" to "Creatives") represented by the rise of Obama is guaranteed to make your blood boil. (By way of the incomparable Anglachel.)
  • Have you reached the point of trying to figure out what went wrong for Clinton, aside from the conspiracy of media gas-bags and left-wing blogger boyz who decided it would be fun to bash a woman around 24/7 in the name of infotainment? Then you should read Karen Tumulty's brief analysis of the five mistakes Clinton made. They may sound familiar to regular readers of Roxie's World, because we've touched on most of them in our analyses of the campaign, but some things are worth repeating.
  • If you're ready for a devastatingly smart analysis of the deeper meaning of it all, head right over to the (we say it again) incomparable Anglachel. Her "Revolution of the Saints" brilliantly probes the secular fundamentalism that has fueled Obama's rise by dissecting the class complexities of the Obama/Clinton split. It helps to explain the weird sense Moose and Goose have had many times in the primary season: When did we become evil white reactionaries?
  • Finally, if you are ready to get up on your unity ponies and ride, read this happy piece by Clintonista Tom Watson and his Obamaniac pal Jason Chervokas. They're ready. The question is, is the Democratic party ready?
Have a swell day, kids. If you're in the east, don't forget your umbrellas. And be grateful that (at least most of) you don't have to go outside to tinkle.

Evening Update: The rain has subsided for the moment, but Roxie's World still looks and feels like the inside of a cloud. Several must-reads from this morning's New York Times to add to this morning's set of links. Check out the editorial affirming Senator Clinton's right to stay in the race. We disagree with some of the finger-wagging about her supposedly negative tactics and the insistence that she drop the fight for Michigan and Florida, but we appreciate the recognition of her right to hang in. Paul Krugman has some good advice for those worried about how to heal divisions among Dems. Among the suggestions?

More tirades from Obama supporters against Mrs. Clinton are not the answer — they will only further alienate her grass-roots supporters, many of whom feel that she received a raw deal.

Nor is it helpful to insult the groups that supported Mrs. Clinton, either by suggesting that racism was their only motivation or by minimizing their importance.

After the Pennsylvania primary, David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, airily dismissed concerns about working-class whites, saying that they have “gone to the Republican nominee for many elections.” On Tuesday night, Donna Brazile, the Democratic strategist, declared that “we don’t have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics.” That sort of thing has to stop.

One thing the Democrats definitely need to do is give delegates from Florida and Michigan — representatives of citizens who voted in good faith, and whose support the party may well need this November — seats at the convention.

Um, Paul -- How 'bout explaining that last point to the guys over on the editorial page, huh?

Lastly, you must read Susan Faludi's marvelous examination of how Hillary's more pugilistic campaign style (derided as negative by, again, the NYT editorial page) has succeeded in bringing male voters to her side. It answers the knee-jerk, classist charges of racism and, importantly, finally finds a way to use Thelma and Louise as a way to explain Hillary's persistence. There's just no stopping a woman who realizes that, "Something's crossed over in me. I can't go back." Amen, sister. Onward -- to the edge of the world!


  1. Anonymous11:58 AM EDT

    Roxie, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? The world came damn near ending last night, and you want to talk about a primary? DIDN'T YOU HEAR THAT THUNDERSTORM? I kept trying to tell everybody that the world was about to end, and also to see if I could find a place on the human bed where it wasn't thundering. (It was thundering all over all of my beds.) I finally concluded--after a thorough exploration--that there was no such place. None that I was allowed to find, anyway. I think it wasn't thundering inside the mattress, but apparently we're not allowed to go there.

    P.S. My human seems to think it's MY fault nobody got any sleep last night. Stupid humans!

    However, world-coming-to-an-end or not, I realize I have been neglecting my duties as one of Roxie's World's many Official Internet Trawlers, so I hereby submit this article. Warning: Conley assumes Clinton will have to bow out, but the article is of interest because it details how she can work out a deal for some important concessions.

  2. Anonymous1:00 PM EDT

    Roxie, sorry for a second really long post in a really short time, but Our Karl Rove has an excellent analysis of the current state of . . . not the primary itself, but our feelings about the primary, in a post entitled Primal Anger Management.

    OKR argues that it's the nature of a good primary process that it divides the voters into sometimes angry camps. Further, he aptly analyzes the different styles of Clinton and Obama and the errors about each candidate that supporters of the other candidate are likely to make.

    Some quotes:
    "Democrats have been intentionally split into two camps through a process designed to divide. It's critical to understand that it's not Obama or Hillary that created this situation -- it's the very nature of a good primary process."

    "The key take-away is to acknowledge that if you strongly support either candidate, you're experiencing planned animosity towards the opponent. The sooner Democrats step back and understand that this is planned and not personal (and "see the diamond"), the sooner the Democrats can coalesce around the presumptive Democratic nominee."

    I like Our Karl Rove. Have a look at some of his other posts and perhaps consider linking to his blog?

  3. Anonymous4:15 PM EDT

    Hi Roxie--LOA sounds like a real LOAser to me. My university has started requiring similar stuff. The faculty have argued that we already have a learning outcomes assessment tool, and have been using it for at least a century or so. It's called grades. But, no--we have to collect and rate senior research papers according to an outcomes assessment rubric. (In other words, the same basic standards that faculty members use when they assign grades.)

    Since when are university faculty responsible for "outcomes?" This is evidence that the creeping Empire of the Test has made its way from elementary and high schools and is on its way to universities. It seems to me that our role as university faculty is to present the students with opportunities for intellectual enrichment, growth, and development, but it's entirely out of our hands as to whether or not students take advantage of these opportunities. They're not compelled by state law to be in our classes. Students are responsible for their own "outcomes," I say. And grades are a pretty good proxy for measuring whether or not someone has taken advantage of the opportunities before them, or squandered them.

  4. By Jove, you've got it, Historiann -- You are halfway to a withering critique of how the evil that wrought No Child Left Behind has invaded the citadel of higher ed. Moose used to go to LOA meetings, listen carefully, then hold up her hand and say, "Um, excuse me, but what's the difference between learning outcomes and GRADES?" Two years and many dozens of meetings later, she still doesn't have a clear answer to that question, but her slow learning (oops -- bad outcome!) did result in the happy outcome of her being relieved of an obligation to serve another year on a campus commission dedicated to assessing assessment on campus. (Who, she wonders, assesses the assessments of the assessments?) It was one of the happiest failures of her entire life.

    Oh, and Dudley, one of the nice things about being so very, very old is that I am now so deaf that I don't hear thunderstorms anymore. I still get a teensy bit rattled, but nothing like the full-blown panic attacks of yore. I highly recommend certain aspects of becoming ancient.

  5. Hey Rox,

    I wanted to sign on and say that everyone MUST read Susan Faludi's column, which you recommend, as well as Anglachel's "Revolution of the Saints." They are both fantastic.

    And also, on Wed. evening at the Generations of Women event downtown at the Omni Shoreham, I found Hillary Clinton incredibly inspiring. What courage. What fortitude. Came home and saw tired, testy ole Barack being a little fussy on the tube and thought much the same thing that Gail Collins does. Anyway, I have come to admire Hillary Clinton much more than I ever anticipated I would. In these dispiritingly sexist times, she refuses to become dispirited, she refuses to let all the trash talk get her down. There's a real profile in courage there, one all too rare in our public officials, that's for sure.

    I'm proudly OUT for Hillary.

    You are one smart dog, my dear Rox,

  6. Anonymous12:08 AM EDT

    Amen, Historiann! LOA is apparently part of "no unnecessary administrative paperwork left behind."

    Roxie, I'm sorry you couldn't make it to Pet Expo. I ate some peanut butter treat samples for you. Also, just for the record, I want to say that, contrary to the apparent belief of the Basset Hound rescue, a beagle is not a "basset hound starter kit." Dang, those things are big!

    Meanwhile, you almost got revenge by proxy on the Graph Paper. We went with the human's mother, who has a handicapped tag, but had trouble getting into the space because a minivan with an Obama '08 sticker was parked for unloading where it shouldn't have been. The human considered leaving a note that said something like, "Don't park where you interfere with a handicapped space, you moran! And tell others of your ilk to stop annoying Goose!" But we thought perhaps that note might not be entirely clear.

    Then I thought I'd just forget the note and pee on the tires, but suddenly there were Westies to greet, then we looked up to see the van had driven off and we never got to see if the driver looked like a "Tim." So I'm sorry we failed in our attempt at equalizing everything and setting the world right. But I did make sure your share of the dog treats did not go to waste. And that's important.


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