Links 8/30/14

Links for you. Science:

Information Aversion
It’s going to take a lot more ice buckets to fill the NIH funding gap
California Trees Nailed As The Source Of Mystery Infections (paper here)
Dash of Salt Does No Harm. Extremes Are the Enemy.

Other:

Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, David Johansen & Joey Ramone, 1977
Why Charter Schools Have High Teacher Turnover
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Skewers High Court For Forsaking Fight Against ‘Real Racial Problem’
INTERVIEW: Why Pro Wrestler ‘MVP’ Made the Trip to Ferguson (very interesting, really)
The Wrong Question: ‘Where Are the Athletes on Ferguson?’
ISIS Post PR Photos They Took With John McCain (and 48 percent of U.S.-ians voted for this moron)
The case against school vouchers in one blistering court ruling
White privilege: An insidious virus that’s eating America from within
Sale of the century: the privatisation scam
Two Countries, Two Vastly Different Phone Bills
Darren Wilson’s first job was on a troubled police force disbanded by authorities
The End of Liberal Zionism: Israel’s Move to the Right Challenges Diaspora Jews
The Wall Street Journal’s Choleric Rant about Cholera and Bank Fraud Epidemics

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The Ugliest Building in D.C.

And not a ‘cute’ ugly either. Nope, just fugly. I give you (no, take it, really) the Verizon building on 14th Street, Northwest:

Ugliest building

It’s also very weird: at times, the vents blast cold air. Not sure what that’s about.

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Somehow, I Don’t Think Bipartisanship Is on the Menu

By way of DCist.com, we find this ad from outgoing Republican Congressman Rob Stockman’s office (boldface mine):

Personality and ideology are important. Please bring a confident, vigorous intellect and no drama. Ideal candidates will be true patriots who can count up to 17 in trillions, and care more about future generations than they do about sucking up to current leadership. Mushy pleasers/appeasers keep walkin’. HINT: vapid granolas who fear guns, hate babies, are ashamed of America, and think Islamic terrorists and illegal aliens are just misunderstood will not be comfortable here. Reply to: kim.tape@mail.house.gov.

Why anyone thought compromise with these assholes was ever possible escapes me.

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Links 8/29/14

Links for you. Science:

Genome Workbench 2.8.0 released
Defining the Estimated Core Genome of Bacterial Populations Using a Bayesian Decision Model
The Ice Bucket Challenge Has Raised More Than $13 Million — Meanwhile, Medical Research Has Been Cut By Billions
Study Suggests Ebola Unlikely to Become Global Pandemic

Other:

Libertarian? Or Fascist-Light?
Massachusetts advocates optimistic about paid sick leave ballot: ‘We need public policies that lift people up and keep families healthy’
Obama alums accused of selling out
Patrick Cockburn: How to Ensure a Thriving Caliphate
Four Ways to Make Law Enforcement Less Adversarial
Four Hundred Sociologists Demand Justice and Change in Policing of Communities of Color (good policy suggestions)
Chart of the Day: Welfare Reform and the Great Recession
Israeli teenagers: Racist and proud of it. Ethnic hatred has become a basic element in the everyday life of Israeli youth, a forthcoming book finds.
Globe columnist doesn’t know first thing about raising kids in ‘the city’
What The Fucken Hell Is The Goddamn Point Of This Idiocy?
Poll: Most Americans Want to Criminalize Pre-Teens Playing Unsupervised
Another GOP Candidate Says Migrant Kids Might Have Ebola. (They Don’t.)
School Librarian Cutbacks Widen Digital Divide

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Urban Desert

Observed on P Street, between 15th and 16th, NW D.C.:

Xeric

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So What Are Liberals Supposed to Do? Cry ‘Green Lantern’ and Let Slip the Dogs of Meh?

Whenever liberals and lefties are unhappy with the Obama Administration, there is a chorus of pundits and political scientists who raise the specter of Green Lanternism: the belief that the president, if he only wanted to do something, could (it sounds more like Peter Pan-ism, but I digress), that his failures are failures of will, not inability. Related to that is the claim that liberals didn’t understand what Obama was really all about (though some good reporting back in 2007 that could have uncovered the Pritzker connection might have been useful. Just saying). I won’t speak for the left or liberals, but I was very well aware that Obama was a ‘New Democrat’ back in 2007, as demonstrated by his desire for a ‘Grand Bargain’ back in 2007 (which he then lied about on the campaign trail). Nonetheless, I thought he beat the alternatives, though that’s damning with faint praise.

Let’s leave aside Obama’s failure in 2009 to use reconciliation to get a bigger stimulus, or the unwillingness of Democrats to repeal the filibuster (which means the Republicans would have been unable to block over all sorts of legislation that the then Democratic-controlled House passed). No need to be churlish.

I get why political scientists like to remind us of ‘Green Lanternism.’ They observe a phenomenon, think it’s relevant, and describe it. TEH SCIENTISMZ!! But I don’t get the pundits and left-leaning Mandarin class types. If you want to simultaneously establish your faux-worldliness and that you’re a putz, by all means, tell rank-and-file Democrats–some of whom need this crap to work–they’re deluding themselves. It probably pays well too.

But what I would like to know O Great Pundit-ji, what is your plan for progress? Let say you think a twelve or fifteen dollar per hour minimum wage or a public healthcare option would be desirable outcomes. The goal, after all, is not to establish how fucking smart you are, but to achieve good policy outcomes. How do we get there? What things need to happen? After all, in 2009, Democrats controlled the Senate, the House, and the Presidency–and it wasn’t the professional pundit class that did it. What we got in return was Romneycare (remember: better than is not the same as good), no resolution of the housing crisis, an inadequate stimulus, and the fucking bankers walked. Never mind a lot of stupid slights–we’re looking forward, not back, to use a phrase.

I never hear their strategies–and I’m fine with long-term ones. Maybe we are doing it wrong by trying to hold our party leadership accountable. So tell us what would work better. But rather than treating this like Friday night football (GO TEAM!), give us your strategy for getting there. Because otherwise, you just being a pedantic dick. Don’t be that guy (even if it pays well)…

Posted in Democrats, Fucking Morons | 3 Comments

Links 8/28/14

Links for you. Science:

Removing Antibiotics from Meat Production: The Market is Leading the Way
Transit Commuters Have Less Body Fat Than Those Who Drive to Work (original study here)
Plant-made drugs could be the future
Turns Out the U.S. Has Its Very Own Species of Ant-Zombifying Fungus

Other:

Revere Beach, God’s will, and the climate change denialists (excellent)
The Myth of The Burned-Out Senior Teacher: Part II (good, well-written summary)
Racist Assassinations and Flying Perverts: Drones in the 22nd Century (funny)
This Economy Is Ruined For Everyone
The Killing of Kajieme Powell and How It Divides Americans
St. Louis Police Killed Kajieme Powell Because They Were Following Insane Rules
What It’s Like for a Working Mom in Oslo, Norway
Researchers Made a Fake Social Network to Infiltrate China’s Internet Censors
Among Whites, Protests Stir a Range of Emotions and a Lot of Perplexity
Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party
The White House Gives Up on Making Coders Dress Like Adults (in reality, I think the dress code matters less than the inflexibility of the contracting system)
Make ISPs into “common carriers,” says former FCC commissioner
Voters aren’t eager for more charter schools
Advice for Ferguson From the Supreme Court: If you don’t want to get tear gassed, stop “protesting” and start “counseling.”
What I’ve Learned from Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings
The Ferguson Challenge to the Libertarians
Did Obamacare Wreck a Baseball Game? (no)

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