Links 12/7/23

Links for you. Science:

Childhood pneumonia outbreak in Ohio unrelated to China, Europe
AlphaFold predictions are valuable hypotheses and accelerate but do not replace experimental structure determination
Identifying patterns of reported findings on long-term cardiac complications of COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
How to collect a sperm sample from an elephant
FDA poised to approve first gene-editing therapy, made by local drug firms: The landmark treatment from Vertex and CRISPR Therapeutics targets sickle cell disease
New Studies Debunk Controversial Biblical ‘Curse Tablet’ From Mt. Ebal


How will history books recount COVID?
How millennials learned to dread motherhood
“Can’t even bring themselves to denounce neo-Nazis”: Texas GOP’s internal war over Hitler apologists: Texas Republicans called it “Marxist” to bar members from associating with Holocaust deniers (very good background to and context for the whole awfulness)
Florida’s GOP Sex Scandal Gets Ugly
An exhaustive debunking of the dumbest myths about Social Security
Texas GOP executive committee rejects proposed ban on associating with Nazi sympathizers
Here’s D.C.’s Plan To Be Carbon Neutral By 2045
Eight Weeks After Oct 7 Massacre, UN Women Condemns Hamas’ Use of Sexual Violence Against Israeli Women: After an initial statement on October 13 condemning the attacks on civilians in Israel, all of UN Women’s public comments about the war and its impact on women had centered only on Palestinians. It tweeted, then deleted, a statement condemning the Hamas attack last week
The end of business-class A.I. doomerism
The Most Dangerous Conflict No One Is Talking About
‘Tons of Crazy’: The Inside Story of How Fox Fell for the ‘Big Lie’: A play-by-play from inside Fox reveals how the network poisoned politics — and lost $787.5 million.
Biden, the Economy, and the Election: It’s grossly unfair, but don’t look to the good economy to improve Biden’s re-election chances.
Russian deserters tell of blood, betrayal and hope in escaping Ukraine war
Curtains for Moms for Liberty: The fallout of a rape charge shows the far-right group is floundering
What Happens When a Poor State Guts Its Public University
Steve Kirsch’s “mother of all revelations” about the “deadliness” of COVID-19 vaccines goes poof
Is Journalism Ready? The press has repeatedly fallen into Donald Trump’s traps. A second term could render it irrelevant.
An error in the FAFSA could lower financial aid for college students
The Shrunken Safety Net Could Help Explain Bad Feelings About Economy: The expansion and subsequent lapse of pandemic benefits have had major effects on people’s lives.
James Comer’s Biden claims do not deserve the benefit of the doubt
Why Elon Musk’s ‘f— yourself’ Dealbook moment wasn’t the worst part of the interview
A trans girl played volleyball. Now her Florida school is under investigation.
Norman Lear, TV Legend, Dies at 101
How Donald Trump uses dishonesty
New Hampshire Republicans propose ’15-day’ abortion ban. At 15 days gestational age, pregnancy has most likely not yet medically occurred.
Enough with all the fatalism about a Trump dictatorship

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A Quick Note on Possible mRNA Based Influenza Vaccines

STAT recently had a very good article describing the pros and cons of an mRNA vaccine. But I don’t think this con should be underestimated (boldface mine):

When mRNA Covid vaccines became available in the winter and spring of 2021, people started swapping side effect stories. Some felt nothing, or reported at most a bit of a sore arm. Some spiked high fevers, experienced chills, aches, malaise — symptoms that approximate the experience of having the flu — for a day or two. Some get knocked flat every time they get an mRNA shot.

“I don’t react,” said Arnold Monto, an influenza epidemiologist at University of Michigan School of Public Health. “My daughter … knows she can’t be doing any normal activities for about 48 hours.”

Traditional flu shots are not associated with the side effects that mRNA shots have become known for.

That reputation for reactogenicity, as the the likelihood of unpleasant side effects is called, will probably turn some people off of the idea of mRNA flu shots, said Ben Cowling, chair of epidemiology at Hong Kong University’s School of Public Health. “With the reactogenicity profile, with the likely cost, I’m not sure what the uptake would be.”

While egg-based vaccines have flaws (if nothing else, the vaccine antigen evolves in the egg), I really don’t want to get knocked flat on my ass for two to three days to get a flu shot, especially when it seems to work fine for me*. I would like to see a ‘Novavax style’ version, because that would allow a delay in deciding which influenza strains to cover (that’s a good thing, since we’re less likely to include a strain that isn’t important) and there also isn’t the within-egg evolution issue. But I think mRNA flu vaccines will get less uptake, in part because some people don’t want to take that much time off, well, from living (or need to work etc.).

Hopefully, mRNA influenza vaccines will be one of multiple strategies.

*To the best of my knowledge I have never had influenza (and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been vaccinated every year). If I have had influenza, the vaccine provided enough protection such that the infection only resembled a cold. In fact, the only time I’ve ever had ‘flu-like’ symptoms was after COVID vaccination–though given the small, but non-negligible, chance of long-term or critical health issues from COVID, as well as the protection it provides to other people by reducing transmission, the mRNA COVID vaccine is worth getting, even with side effects.

Posted in COVID-19, Influenza | 1 Comment

Links 12/6/23

Links for you. Science:

We Adopted An Axolotl and You Should Too
Elusive De Winton’s Golden Mole Rediscovered in South Africa After 90 Years
How are wildlife officials preparing Coloradans for wolf reintroduction? With a brochure.
CDC Improves Its Covid-19 Reporting With A New Wastewater Dashboard (though Biobot’s is still better)
Infectivity of exhaled SARS-CoV-2 aerosols is sufficient to transmit covid-19 within minutes
New route for COVID-19 into human cells found by scientists (and might be associated with bad long-term outcomes)


How Trump is wrecking hopes for a ‘reasonable’ Ukraine deal (gift link)
Bridget Ziegler must leave the Sarasota County School Board. Now.
Did Hamas Make Millions Betting Against Israeli Shares Before October 7 Massacre? Giant gambles against Israel on the markets in Tel Aviv and Wall Street days before Hamas’ attack made billions. Somebody seems to have known about the plan in advance (gift link)
Trump pardoned them. Now they’re helping him return to power.
I know it’s obvious that Trump changes positions on a dime and how it’s mystifying that his cult doesn’t care, but picking all this apart is a fool’s errand. They stick with him because he channels their diffuse anger about their lives at other Americans. But it’s worse now
Yes, messy people can learn to be tidier. Here’s how.
Trump Plans to Pack the Government With MAGA True Believers
Trump’s biggest loss yet: No immunity
Has No Labels Become a Stalking Horse for Trump?
Will gains from the spectacular ‘she-covery’ last?
The Silence From International Bodies Over Hamas’ Mass Rapes Is a Betrayal of All Women
At Mom’s Organic Market, saying goodbye to ‘Mom’s Organic Pinball’
Google Researchers’ Attack Prompts ChatGPT to Reveal Its Training Data
Antisemites supporting Israel is weird. Jewish support of them is even weirder
How to read the ‘poop chart’
In Florida’s Hot Political Climate, Some Faculty Have Had Enough
‘Medical Freedom’ Activists Take Aim at New Target: Childhood Vaccine Mandates
Georgia Republicans target Democrat’s district in new state congressional map
Israel Police Presents New Evidence of Sexual Assault by Hamas Terrorists on October 7 (gift link)
Gov. Shapiro condemns protest outside Jewish-owned restaurant in Philly (the argument that Israeli ambulances that also transport Israeli soliders are fair protest targets isn’t the compelling argument the protestors think it is)
Elon Musk’s X platform fueled far-right riots in Ireland, experts say
‘Return to Office’ declared dead
Eligible voters are being swept up in conservative activists’ efforts to purge voter rolls
‘Godzilla Minus One’: A monster movie with a giant heart
ICC Prosecutor in Israel for First-ever Visit: ‘Reason to Believe’ Hamas Committed War Crimes on Oct 7
To protect kids, EPA wants total removal of lead pipes for the first time: The proposed rule, aimed at reducing exposure to a potent neurotoxin, would require water systems nationwide to replace lead pipes that carry tap water to homes, schools and offices (BuT tHeRe’s No DiFfErEnCe BeTwEeN dEmOcRaTs AnD rEpUbLiCaNs)
Our Democratic and Republican voting states death rate as percent of Canada’s by age.

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On Vibes and Economics

There has been yet another round of posts in the ‘is the dissatisfaction with the economy warranted or not?’: here are some interesting posts on the subject. As some asshole with a blog has noted, there are valid economic reasons for the Great Crankiness. But that said, does anyone think if Trump were convicted (or, frankly, shuffle off this mortal coil) that people would give more positive ratings to the economy?

Because I think Brian Beutler is correct here (boldface mine):

If you believe economic sentiment is a good proxy for the health of the economy—that material conditions drive sentiment more than vague, mediated impressions—this [89% of young voters think the economy is poor or fair] is a confounding result. The current recovery and economy are far better for young people than recent recoveries and economies have been, but youth sentiment is far worse than in the past, including among people who voted for Joe Biden. In fact, it’s dramatically worse among the young than among the cohort of people who are actually struggling in the economy (though of course there is overlap).

I promise you it is not the case that 89 percent of people under the age of 30 are struggling, and simply communicating their personal experiences to pollsters. That’d be a ludicrous, self-refuting conclusion to draw.

While Beutler argues that “media and groupthink explain the excess gloom” (and note, in the piece, he isn’t denying reasons for feeling some “excess gloom”), I think we need to realize there is, to use Beutler’s phrase, a gloom that isn’t strongly attached to most people’s lives for many reasons; people, often for valid reasons, are fearful right now and that colors their polling answers.

There is a Great Crankiness throughout the land.

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Links 12/5/23

Links for you. Science:

XBB.1.5 monovalent mRNA vaccine booster elicits robust neutralizing antibodies against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants
Long COVID Rates Appear to Be Decreasing: Here’s why Long COVID may be declining and what we know about the trend so far
Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe
Remission of severe forms of long COVID following monoclonal antibody (MCA) infusions: A report of signal index cases and call for targeted research
Durability of cross-neutralizing antibodies 5.5 months after bivalent COVID-19 booster
A Bivalent Omicron-BA.4/BA.5-Adapted BNT162b2 Booster in ≥12-Year-Olds


The Scope of Hamas’ Campaign of Rape Against Israeli Women Is Revealed, Testimony After Testimony: The aggregation of evidence collected by Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy and her Civil Commission presents a horrifying picture that leaves no room for doubt: On October 7, Hamas terrorists systematically carried out acts of rape and sexual abuse. She has discovered, however, that there is no rush to acknowledge this abroad (gift link; the refusal to acknowledge this only increases Israeli isolation and makes influencing Israeli policy that much harder)
Why Don’t Americans Believe in Science? When medicine doesn’t focus on prevention, anti-vaccination rhetoric flourishes. It’s time to address the system.
Why Hamas Killers Invoked God’s Name, Not the Liberation of Palestine: If anyone wants to find a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, accepting the fact that it’s above all a religious-nationalist conflict – and not some race-based and settler-colonial artificial concept imported from Western campuses – would be an excellent place to start (while the incorrect analysis by much of the U.S. left in no way excuses the Netanyahu government’s awful overreaction, the analysis by the left is incorrect and does more harm than good)
American Discourse Needs More Mehdi Hasan, Not Less (he was very good on COVID policy)
Rallies demanding the release of the remaining hostages were held across Israel. Alongside the main rally in Tel Aviv, there were be demonstrations in Haifa and Caesarea calling for another hostage deal and Netanyahu’s removal
Mike Johnson’s “18th-Century Values”
Netanyahu Is the Last Person Who Could De-radicalize Gaza: Netanyahu knows all too well how to radicalize populations. Like George W. Bush, he fueled local radicalism and granted it legitimacy through occupation
They’re poor, but not poor enough to qualify for emergency housing in Massachusetts
War in Gaza? Netanyahu Is Busy Badgering the Media
The US government can’t quit Elon Musk – even amid erratic behavior
Stop the Ben-Gvir Gun Show
How A Deeply Controversial White House Adviser Is Running The Agenda On Gaza: Brett McGurk has sought to put a Saudi-Israeli relationship “at the forefront” of the U.S.’s Middle East policy — downplaying Palestinian concerns and human rights.
A Brief Cultural History of the White Rapper
The G.O.P. Megadonors Come to Jesus
Gavin Newsom is Not a Progressive
The Day After the War Ends: It’s hard to imagine that all the trauma the Israeli and Palestinian people have lived through in the last two months won’t breed more radicalization and mistrust. But if it doesn’t result in some kind of political solution, we will find ourselves back here again too soon. (gift link)
The Rise and Fall of Crypto Lunacy
Biden’s Choose Your Own Adventure Economy: Yes, experts agree the economy is technically great. But it’s also very weird: gas prices are down and wages are up, but so is rent, car insurance, groceries, and just about every product Americans encounter on a daily basis. If that’s what voters are associating with “Bidenomics,” well, Biden is in big trouble.
Have Democrats Learned ANYTHING About How The Trumps Roll?
Cracks on the road to Christian Dominion: Is the shadowy “City Elders” group collapsing?
Republicans Welcome Harm To America: Whether it’s economic hardship or epidemic disease or extremist violence, they’re here for it!
Police raid Moscow gay bars after a Supreme Court ruling labeled LGBTQ+ movement ‘extremist’
Donald Trump Was President In 2020
A California dry farmer’s juicy apples show how agriculture can be done with less water
Donald Trump’s Dictatorial Plans Can Work: Next time around Congress won’t just stand by—it’ll be a participant
This Is the 9/11 Lesson That Israel Needs to Learn

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The State of COVID in D.C.*: Pretty Bad

*And by D.C., I mean Alexandria, VA, because the publicly available D.C. data can’t really be easily understood (and don’t seem to be collected anymore?).

After a long period of declines, Thanksgiving whacked us. Hard:

Screenshot 2023-12-05 at 8.36.39 AM

With a surge from 319 copies/ml to 698, we’re about seven times higher than the mid-June 2023 nadir and over half of the January 2023 season peak. That probably means around one percent of people are currently infected (though that’s a very rough estimate because we’re not collecting the right prevalence data).

As I’ve been saying, the declines are good, but winter Thanksgiving is coming. Akshually, it arrived. Oddly enough, a combination of inadequate vaccination, lots of travel and visiting people outside one’s usual circle of contacts, and a steadfast refusal to take precautions led to a massive surge (over a doubling in one week). Hopefully, next week won’t be even worse.

If you’re at a large-ish gathering, it’s definitely a good idea to mask up, not just to protect yourself, but to protect others too. Remember, you’re not the weirdo if you’re still trying to avoid getting (re)infected.

Posted in COVID-19, DC | Leave a comment

Links 12/4/23

Links for you. Science:

Cicadas Are So Loud, Fiber Optic Cables Can ‘Hear’ Them
An “Academic Transformation” Takes On the Math Department
Chesapeake Bay Shows Smallest Dead Zone Ever Recorded
Denmark reports Mycoplasma pneumonia epidemic
SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology and COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Effectiveness Among Infants and Children Aged 6 Months–4 Years — New Vaccine Surveillance Network, United States, July 2022–September 2023
UCSF is trying a new tactic to eradicate long COVID symptoms. Here’s how it works


The World’s Feminists Need to Show Up for Israeli Victims: Solidarity for victims of sexual assault should trump other politics. (must-read)
There’s a storm coming. We all know it. And yet Americans are pretending that everything is normal. We are going to be confronted with an existential crisis 11 months from now. And the majority of Americans don’t care. (and they haven’t been told a storm is coming)
There Is No Way to Live a Life Without Regret (excellent; free link)
Decision Time (very good; free link)
If Moms for Liberty co-founder had sex with a woman, why is she targeting Florida’s gays? (because, if it’s not self-projection, it’s self-loathing)
If Israel Is Already in Talks With Hamas, It Should Start Thinking Outside the Box
Israel Has Already Lost: The War and the Peace
Speaker Johnson wrote foreword for book filled with conspiracy theories and homophobic insults
To Help Autonomous Vehicles Make Moral Decisions, Researchers Ditch the ‘Trolley Problem’ (paper here)
The depressing fall of Sports Illustrated reveals the real tragedy of AI
15 New York synagogues hit with false bomb threats on Friday
A Rando Trump Judge Just Blew a Giant Hole in the Voting Rights Act
The People Who Didn’t Matter to Henry Kissinger
A People’s Obituary of Henry Kissinger
George Santos gets one thing right about Republicans: Their expulsion vote is “theater”
Most Parents Trust, Respect, and Feel Safe with Librarians
Kissinger’s Dirty Work Abroad Hurt America at Home, Too
Making God: The millenarianism and manifest destiny of AI and techno-futurism.
University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre signs Jama’s letter denying Jewish rapes
How Can Democracy Possibly Work Under Such Conditions? Pervasive pessimism and nostalgia, waning support for a racial reckoning, anti-feminist retrenchment, and so many conspiracies… A deep dive into the American Values Survey, Part II
Russia Files Criminal Case Against Prominent Journalist Masha Gessen
France to ban smoking on all beaches in effort to create ‘tobacco-free generation’
Bring It
Ron DeSantis Is No Match for Gavin Newsom
Iger’s Disney De-Wokening
Why Senate Republicans Threw an Epic Hissy Fit Yesterday

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The Rent Is Too Damn High: The D.C. Rent Stabilization Edition

A few weeks ago, some asshole with a blog discussed how landlords in D.C. are engaged in algorithmic collusion to jack up rental prices. While that’s a new trick those gonifs have learned, the old ones–which target lower income people–are pretty despicable too, especially just ignoring rent stabilization restrictions (boldface mine):

In October 2016, as Robert Enzel was in the process of buying the rent-controlled Adams Morgan apartment building where I live, he emailed real estate broker Marty Zupancic asking for some advice. I had requested to move to a different unit in the same building, and Enzel wanted to know how much he could increase the rent if I left my apartment.

“If we agree to the move what can we advertise her apartment for? The $1360 she pays or the $3000 market rent?” Enzel asked in an email provided to me.

Zupancic appears to advise Enzel that he could essentially ignore D.C.’s rent control law because the Department of Housing and Community Development, which is in charge of administering the law, wouldn’t bother to check.

“You can ‘do whatever you want,’ weighing the risk versus reward, and also depending on if you do work to the unit, etc.” Zupancic replied. “By right/law, you can add 10% immediately to her $1360 … or $1496. In reality, unless your new tenant complains to DHCD (not likely that a tenant at $3,000 will care one way or another), its between you and your tenant. We can talk about strategies that other investors implement all the time.”

Zupancic’s response is half right. The law allows landlords to raise the rent by up to 10 percent in vacated units. But his advice that “you can do whatever you want” provides a window into the role that real estate agents and investors can play in evading D.C.’s rent control law (officially called “rent stabilization”), due in part to a lack of enforcement from the DHCD’s Rental Accommodations Division. (DHCD representatives did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

…I ultimately remained in my unit, and my rent didn’t increase, but my new neighbors were not so fortunate. I discovered years later that Enzel and his partners, through their 2523-13 LLC, raised the rents in the other units by about 60 percent over the past five years.

Here are some of the tricks they use:

Some D.C. landlords do not register rent-controlled units with DHCD as the law requires, nor do they tell tenants that the units are rent controlled. Without that disclosure, those landlords then go on to charge much higher, illegal rates without tenants’ knowledge.

Tenants have a three-year window to challenge unlawfully high rents. The clock starts when tenants begin paying the increased rate. If they don’t object via a tenant petition to DHCD within three years, the high rental rate is almost always set in stone for the current tenants and future tenants as well.

Some landlords seek to remove existing tenants, then add more bedrooms to the vacated units to justify charging more rent. Newly constructed units are exempt from rent control, and the landlord can set the new rate. But some landlords are adding additional bedrooms to existing units and raising the rents on those “reconfigured” units even though the square footage remains the same. And though DHCD must approve a rent increase based on renovations or capital improvements, some landlords have simply reported new, much higher rents without any review by DHCD.

Some landlords are exploiting an exemption to the rent-control law for voucher holders. Landlords are allowed to charge voucher holders market rate for rent-controlled units. If that tenant moves out, the unit is supposed to return to its rent-controlled status, but landlords often continue advertising and charging the higher, market rate.

Some landlords list long-term rental units on sites such as Airbnb and lease them for rates that are higher than the rates registered with DHCD. In some cases, tenants have overpaid by as much as twice the registered rent.

• The task of preserving D.C.’s rent-controlled housing falls to tenants, who must be willing to take their landlords to court and have the resources to do it. That’s because the two government agencies responsible for enforcing housing and business regulations, DHCD and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection, have largely failed when it comes to rent-controlled housing.

This is what I meant when I blogged that Democrats could do something about this. The Democratic-controlled Council (and the independents are farther to the left) could fund more inspectors and regulators, provide Legal Aid more funding for housing lawsuits, crack down hard on Airbnb, and pass much stricter penalties–including jail time–for landlords who violate these policies.

If we’re throwing shoplifters under the jail for petty larceny, then landlords who violate the D.C. Code while stealing thousands of dollars per tenant should do time too.

Of course, Mayor Bowser and her ‘Green Team’ (who don’t call themselves that due to a commitment to environmental issues) won’t push for this, and this problem, to a great extent, is due to executive branch failures to enforce the laws. Maybe next time, the mayoral election will be about something that matters–and the candidates running won’t be afraid to attack Bowser on this issue (and others).

Posted in DC, Housing | 1 Comment

Links 12/3/23

Links for you. Science:

Without Predators Ecosystems Become Zoos
Causal evidence that herpes zoster vaccination prevents a proportion of dementia cases
XBB.1.5 monovalent mRNA vaccine booster elicits robust neutralizing antibodies against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants
Resurrecting ancestral antibiotics: unveiling the origins of modern lipid II targeting glycopeptides
Anthropogenic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Humans to Lions, Singapore, 2021 (TEH BIG KITTEHS!)
Clade I–Associated Mpox Cases Associated with Sexual Contact, the Democratic Republic of the Congo


Why Elon Musk’s ‘f— yourself’ Dealbook moment wasn’t the worst part of the interview: The fact that his most offensive comments were easily overlooked highlights the danger of the moment.
Israel Knew Hamas’s Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago: A blueprint reviewed by The Times laid out the attack in detail. Israeli officials dismissed it as aspirational and ignored specific warnings. (gift link; Haaretz has reported this over the last month several times, the first in an interview with female soldiers who survived the Oct. 7 massacres)
The Lesson Henry Kissinger Took When He Liberated the Concentration Camp That Held My Grandfather
‘A mass assassination factory’: Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza: Permissive airstrikes on non-military targets and the use of an artificial intelligence system have enabled the Israeli army to carry out its deadliest war on Gaza, a +972 and Local Call investigation reveals.
Bidenomics and the Guys in the Bar
Elon, After Personally Driving Away Advertisers, Tells Them To Go Fuck Themselves (Repeatedly), And Says ‘Earth’ Will ‘Judge’ Them For Killing ExTwitter
The Christian Right Wants to Force Teachers to Out Trans Kids
Most users on X never see Community Notes correcting misinformation
Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler, husband of Moms For Liberty cofounder, accused of sexual battery by alleged menage a trois lover (it’s self-projection all the way down)
Ex-Rep. Merner Arrested, House COO Knew He Was Serving Illegally Before Session Began (this could have led to different legislative outcomes)
Inside the Biden White House’s aggressive back-to-office push (Zients is such a fucking asshole)
Henry Kissinger Only Cared About One Thing
Every accusation is a confession
Advertisers Say They Do Not Plan to Return to X After Musk’s Comments
‘She got so mad at me’: book on the ‘Squad’ details AOC-Pelosi clashes
Israel Must Clarify: No Expulsion of Gazans. No Israeli Settlements in Gaza
Pizzagate Rears Its Head Again, and Not Just Because of Elon Musk: A shape-shifting conspiracy theory that’s grown ancient by internet standards finds a new audience, again, with help from the world’s richest man.
Despite Fearmongering and Congressional Pushback, D.C. Could Soon Have Its First Noncitizen Elected Official
My Kissinger story.
Members of Israel’s Ruling Likud Party Once Planned to Assassinate Henry Kissinger: A radical faction within the Likud party plotted to kill Kissinger in 1977, according to a news report from the time.
Biden blasts Boebert in her home district as he touts economic agenda at expanding wind tower plant
Twitter Is Worth More to Elon Musk Dead Than Alive
Linda Yaccarino’s Very Unmerry X Mess
How Biden’s Israel Mistakes May Actually Help the U.S. Restrain Netanyahu
Capital One Arena Forever Changed Chinatown. Can It Reverse Downtown’s Post-Pandemic Slump?
My Father, My Faith, and Donald Trump: Here, in our house of worship, people were taunting me about politics as I tried to mourn.
No Laws Protect People From Deepfake Porn. These Victims Fought Back

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Links 12/2/23

Links for you. Science:

Moon’s scientifically important sites could be ‘lost forever’ in mining rush
World’s largest animal rediscovered in Seychelles after being wiped out by hunting
Cats That Fetch Are an Evolutionary Mystery
Shipwrecks are acting as a hidden refuge for marine species to thrive
The Naturalist and the Wonderful, Lovable, So Good, Very Bold Jay
Plant Fungus Has Been Caught in an Evolutionary Leap


A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending. (absolute, must-read; gift link)
Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies
Released Thai hostage says Israelis held with him were beaten with electric cables
Visiting Canada’s $50 million 1980s ghost town
Liberal women should not marry Republican men: Trust me on this one
The Ghosts of Websites Past: Hired and fired and dead and alive and dead again.
More on Substack’s Nazis
Why Netanyahu Loves Antisemites Like Elon Musk So Much: By cosying up to the world’s most prominent Jew-haters while denouncing his critics, Netanyahu is betraying Jews wholesale. Musk is only the latest, dangerous example, but welcoming him to Israel in the middle of the Gaza war is particularly odious
New CDC life expectancy data shows painfully slow rebound from covid
Henry Kissinger: ‘If it were not for the accident of my birth, I would be antisemitic.’: The former secretary of state was remarkable for his longevity — his policy record was another matter
The Pogues star Shane MacGowan, best known for Christmas hit Fairytale Of New York, dies at 65
Students for Trump founder said guns made “women equal” — before allegedly pistol-whipping a woman
With Trump moving closer to renomination, rewriting Jan. 6 attack gains urgency
Only the good die young
Elon Musk tells advertisers: ‘Go fuck yourself’: But he warns that advertisers could kill the company if the ad boycott continues.
Trump’s daughter-in-law offers up some English-language nativism
Elon Musk prepares to walk away from the smoking crater that was Twitter
Eulogy Flashback
Donald Trump’s un-wonderful life: Being the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination can’t conceal that the former president is a desperate old man facing more trouble than he ever imagined.
It appears House Republicans have released the shutdown hostage
An Electorate in Revolt Threatens Biden’s Chances
Hamas is not as popular in Gaza as it seems. But Israel’s tactics will ensure their survival (notable for being in Forward)
Voices Of Wards 7 And 8: What A Dedicated Go-Go Museum Means To D.C.
Bring in NATO Forces: The Plan Israel Should Present for Postwar Gaza (this would only work if whatever is left of Hamas actually wants a ceasefire, otherwise it’s just putting a bullseye on NATO troops, including U.S. troops)
It’s All Bullshit: Performing productivity at Google
Why does Israel have so many Palestinians in detention and available to swap?

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