Links 9/24/17

Links for you. Science:

A Human Genome Pioneer Just Got Embroiled In A Gender Discrimination Suit
Untangling Darwin
Compensatory evolution facilitates the acquisition of multiple plasmids in bacteria
Queens under pressure – do pesticides provide additional challenges for bumblebees starting a colony?
Death by Hurricane: There Could Soon Be A Cure For A Flesh-Eating Bacteria That Almost Just Killed A Man In Texas


‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money
What Republicans get wrong about the cost of single-payer
Bigotry Is as Bigotry Does: Another Trump judicial nominee who appears completely un-vetted
Trump blocks woman with stage 4 cancer on Twitter after she criticized his latest health care plan
The Electoral College Is a National Security Threat
Get Rid of Equifax
The Political Genius of Bernie’s ‘Medicare for All’ Bill
Hillary Clinton Will Never Understand What Happened
TV hurricane coverage failed my family
Why Are Hillary’s Approval Ratings Even Lower Than Trump’s?
It’s Rube Goldberg’s World
Turkeys are ‘strategizing’ in Cambridge and officials want to do something about it
Equifax Has Been Sending Consumers to a Fake Phishing Site for Almost Two Weeks
Single-Payer Movement Shows: Life After Trump May Not Suck
How badly did Equifax breach damage the Social Security system?
California Has a System That Punishes the Poor Through Traffic Violations—Civil Rights Groups Are Starting to Change That
Montana residents are desperate for clean air, and they’re calling me
Some Powerless College Students Are The Greatest Threat To Free Speech The World Has Ever Known
The strange case of Donald Trump and the missing infrastructure
Occupy, 6 years later

Posted in Lotsa Links | Leave a comment

How To Demoralize The Federal Workforce: The Charter Flight Edition

When Republicans haven’t spent the last week trying to kill thousands of their (supposedly) fellow Americans, HHS Secretary (and former Republican congressman) Tom Price has been defending himself from reports that he chartered over a dozen private–and expensive as hell–flights on the government dime for government related work. While I’ve seen a lot of ‘Congressman who used to decry government waste is now wasteful!’ takes, what I haven’t seen is how demoralizing this is for federal workers at HHS, which includes both the CDC and the NIH.

The brutal reality is that travel isn’t entirely covered by federal reimbursement: the hotel room rates are so low, the only place that one could get would be the motel with the dead hooker in the closet special–on the opposite side of town. Often, the per diem for food is used to cover the under-reimbursement–and isn’t always enough. On top of that, agencies and institutes have been forced to implement a whole bunch of ass-covering measures to ensure there’s no travel fraud: at the NIH, one-quarter of the entire budget is spent approving (usually very slowly) travel requests, which harms the mission.

Something the Trumpists don’t seem to understand is they are public servants, not lairds of the manse. The people who report to them aren’t serfs either. Leadership is something you do and that you live, but it seems alien to these bozos.

Posted in Bidness, CDC, NIH | 1 Comment

Links 9/23/17

Links for you. Science:

How Civilization Started
House finches add cigarette butts to their nests to avoid ectoparasites
New NASA director comes with pluses and minuses
Presidential Council Could Take a Cue from “Big Food” in Antibiotics Leadership
Hidden Dangers Could Lurk in Your Next Meal


The Sickness of American Healthcare: Media fixation on small fraction of patients distorts system’s real problems
My year inside the international alt-right
Medicare-For-All: Open Rebellion, Paid Politicians and Net Family Savings
The 2016 election was not a fluke (interesting, but underestimates, like most do, just how much support for Sanders was by those who used to be called liberal Democrats)
How Party Bosses, Not Voters, Pick Candidates in New York
How Cassidy-Graham Would Make Single Payer More Likely (“heightening the contradictions” was the extract phrase that popped into my head when I read Graham’s statement)
D.C. Council poised to overhaul city’s troubled Youth Rehabilitation Act
Why the GOP just can’t quit its ObamaCare suicide mission
The Equifax Way: From its inception, Equifax has helped make discrimination a cornerstone of the American economy.
Steven Mnuchin is a window into the most corrupt White House in history
Want a Better Health Care System? Check Out Japan
Maintaining Full Employment Is the Key to Raising Wages
Seven Rules for Running a Real Left-Wing Government
Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop: Psychic Vampire Repellent as female “empowerment”
Bernie Sanders Just Gave His Best Speech in 2 Years: He established liberal internationalism as a coherent foreign policy.
Georgia Town Abandoned After Immigration Raid
Trump hires campaign workers instead of farm experts at USDA
Ajit Pai’s plan to lower broadband standards is “crazy,” FCC Democrat says
Prudential Center shows security robot the door

Posted in Lotsa Links | Leave a comment

In Case You Missed It…

…a week of Mad Biologist links:

The Political Economy Of Equifax And Easy, Bad Credit


Once Again, Republicans Are Trying To Kill Thousands Of People

So Much Hate: The Graffiti Wars

The Difference Between Healthcare And Health Insurance: The Opioid Edition


Politics In The Face Of Ineradicable Racism


An Inconvenient Fact

Under Construction

Posted in Weekly Roundup | Leave a comment

Links 9/22/17

Links for you. Science:

Every childhood vaccine may go into a single jab
Scientists discover an underwater city full of gloomy octopuses
In Irma’s wake, millions of gallons of sewage and wastewater are bubbling up across Florida
Importance of Personal Research Collections for Graduate Students
Camera traps capture ‘fantastically bizarre’ animal behavior in South African park


“There’s nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to someone.” ~ Alan Greenspan
Sean Spicer’s Emmys love-in shows how little those with power fear Donald Trump (excellent)
The learned helplessness of Equifax
As flooded Houston neighborhoods dry out, residents wonder: Are they worth the risk? (over a 30-year mortgage, you have a ~1/4 chance of experiencing a 100-year flood)
Facebook’s Heading Toward a Bruising Run-In With the Russia Probe (“the political juice of the Russia story is pushing Facebook toward a bruising encounter with the reality that it’s not God, not a government, not the law. It’s just a website.”)
Nursing home that lost patients asked Gov. Scott for ‘immediate assistance’ three times before they died (Bad Skeletor! Bad!)
Bad News About Your Right to Privacy, Faculty
Why I’m Not Worried About Household Debt
When you treat politics as entertainment, you get Sean Spicer at the Emmys
Fearing revolt from businesses, D.C. to shift focus away from worker protections
Can You Win in Trump Country with a Bernie Sanders Platform?
Ken Burns’s Vietnam War
The Graham-Cassidy Bill: A Last-Ditch GOP Effort To Deprive Millions Of Health Care
The Shocking Dishonesty of the GOP’s Latest Repeal Push
Silicon Valley CEO Called Employees the N-Word and Hit Three Women, New Lawsuit Claims
Koch network ‘piggy banks’ closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Under Construction

Observed at the corner of 19th and N Streets, NW, Dupont Circle, D.C:

Under construction

Posted in DC | Leave a comment

An Inconvenient Fact

Gail Sheehy has a really interesting piece about Heather Heyer, the activist who was murdered by a Nazi in Charlottesville. Like most people, she is complex and contradictory, but this part struck me (boldface mine):

That seems to have laid a base for Heather becoming a fighter for social justice. She developed into a progressive Democrat. By 2015, she became an avid supporter of Bernie Sanders. She, along with the majority of Charlottesville, voted for Sanders in Virginia’s Democratic primary. “When Bernie wasn’t the Democratic nominee, Heather didn’t even vote in the general election,” Bro told me.

According to Sheehy’s piece, Heyer was quite tenacious in her beliefs. So if the Nazi’s car doesn’t start or breaks down–and thus Heyer isn’t murdered–it’s easy to see her as the kind of Sanders supporter a certain faction of the Democratic Party loves to excoriate.

This isn’t meant to defame Heyer, or to defend not voting against Trump. But people are complex and contradictory. Heyer’s reality was different from how she has been portrayed. Perhaps some could learn to have a little more empathy for those who don’t see things the way they do. Online Twitter battles notwithstanding, it’s pretty clear Heyer wasn’t the enemy.

Added: In a bizarre twist, promotional material for Clinton’s book tour begins, “Friend — I have been thinking lately about bravery — the bravery of citizens like Heather Heyer who lost her life fighting the organized forces of hate and divisiveness.”

Posted in Democrats, Resistance Rebellion And Death | Leave a comment