Links 7/21/17

Links for you. Science:

Gonorrhea — AKA The Clap — Is Excellent At Resisting Antibiotics
Tyrannosaurus Rex Would Break Its Own Legs if It Chased Jeff Goldblum IRL
Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts
There’s a right way and a wrong way to oppose cruelty to animals
Trump Administration Preparing Texas Wildlife Refuge for First Border Wall Segment


Pro cricket in D.C.? JLL on board to find team a home field
Given Trump’s Golf Habits, The Coast Guard Plans To Cut Off Potomac River Access
As Paperwork Goes Missing, Private Student Loan Debts May Be Wiped Away
Donald Trump Jr. Met Russian Accused of Laundering $1.4 Billion
Fed Report Says Tuition Increases Hurt Later Homeownership
Why are neoliberals such big babies? (because they’re no longer the new, young thing?)
Paul Ryan Wants to Cut the Domestic Budget Nearly in Half
Back to Work: How Democrats can win over Americans left behind in the new economy
During White House conference call on Iran, someone said: ‘My inflatable doll is a lesbian’
The Profit Unarmed
Pelosi’s DCCC Is Now Openly Admitting They Are Recruiting Blue Dogs Masquerading As Democrats
The Elephant in the Boom: Global, U.S., and District income inequality in an era of general economic expansion and globalization
Is the presidency good for Trump’s business? Not necessarily at this golf course.
I Know What’s In The Crazy Drawer
Operation Bury Bernie: The Political Motive of the Jane Sanders Investigation
Sail Trimmers
The Rest Is Advertising

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Most Republicans Nominated This Judge

Meet the personal embodiment of bigotry and campaign donations (boldface mine):

Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday pushed through the nomination of John K. Bush, an attorney and a former pseudonymous right wing blogger who once delivered a speech in which he joked about not wanting to appear like a “faggot.” Bush, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to the the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, has made his very anti-gay views known. He also supported Trump’s fanatical birtherism. Thursday’s vote was 11-9.

Bush is married to a woman has helped raise a reported $14 million for the re-election campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Both men are from Kentucky.

“For nearly a decade,” Quartz reported last month, Bush “contributed regularly to Elephants in the Bluegrass, a political blog run by his wife, under the pen name G. Morris. In posts, he drew a tenuous parallel between Barack Obama and Monica Lewinsky and equated slavery to abortion as two of America’s greatest tragedies.”

“While blogging,” Quartz’s Lola Fadulu reported, “he consistently cited WorldNetDaily, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed an extremist group for peddling conspiracy theories and white nationalism, including the lie that Obama was not born in the United States.”

Quoting a passage from Hunter S. Thompson’s The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, the Alliance for Justice notes, Bush thought it appropriate to say in a speech, “I come here every year, and let me tell you one thing I’ve learned—this is no town to be giving people the impression you’re some kind of faggot.”

The AFJ also notes that “in a 2011 blog post, Bush criticized the State Department for modifying passport application forms to account for the possibility of same-sex parents…

They are who we said they were: bigoted and corrupt (and not fighting for rural areas is looking really stupid right now)

Update: Of course, the Democrats, being gormless, did not attempt to stop him via the cloture rule in the Senate. This is another reason why we can’t have nice things.

Update: 51 of 52 Republicans voted to confirm this asshole to a lifetime appointment.

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Links 7/20/17

Links for you. Science:

Trump’s Incoming CDC Chief Brings a Mixed Record on Public Health
Why a flat 2018 budget could tie NSF’s hands
Scrap dealer finds Apollo-era NASA computers in dead engineer’s basement
Border wall to be built first through Santa Ana refuge
Sen. Ron Johnson threatens to obstruct passage of the bill funding the FDA if “right-to-try” language isn’t added


The Incredible Lost History of How “Civil Rights Plus Full Employment Equals Freedom” (excellent)
How bosses are (literally) like dictators (must-read)
Inside the Radical, Self-Destructive, and Probably Impossible Plan to Move the Government Out of Washington (not a good idea for governing)
How I lost my 25-year battle against corporate claptrap
How the Cleveland Clinic grows healthier while its neighbors stay sick
His campaign to discredit the press is a permanent feature of Trump’s political style
How tech giants like Elon Musk can actually fix LA’s transportation problems
An overdose, a young companion, drug-fueled parties: The secret life of USC med school dean
R. Kelly Is Holding Women Against Their Will In A “Cult,” Parents Told Police
The real reason New York City can’t make the trains run on time
Chris Christie’s era of misrule in Jersey: The empty swamp mall and the canceled tunnel
Rooftop Solar Is No Match for Crony Capitalism
Just-Released Report Confirms that Expanding Social Security is Fully Affordable
Dashed Expectations Power White Anger
Inside the campaign to subvert the world’s anti-smoking treaty
Why Does Donald Trump Keep Dissing Jews?
Five myths about hippies
I Guess You Don’t Value Your Own Time Very Much?

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They’re Putting Chemicals In The Water That Are Turning Rep. Rohrabacher (Even More) Stupid

Or something. From Alex Jones’ lips to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s ears (boldface mine):

On Thursday, the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee held a hearing to look into NASA’s forthcoming big-ticket planetary exploration missions. Those missions include a Mars 2020 rover, a Europa flyby mission, and potentially a follow-up lander to the Jovian moon Europa.

The hearing was respectable, with on-point witnesses and mostly incisive questions. That is, until California Republican Dana Rohrabacher had his turn at the microphone. After asking a reasonable, if rambling, question about NASA’s plans for a Mars sample return mission and the kind of fuel used by spacecraft, Rohrabacher got down to business.

He asked, “You have indicated that Mars was totally different thousands of years ago. Is it possible that there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?

…Now Rohrabacher wanted to make things crystal clear: “Would you rule that out? See, there’s some people… Well, anyway.”

“I would say that is extremely unlikely,” [NASA scientist] Farley responds.

It is not clear what Rohrabacher meant by “some people,” but last month InfoWars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones entertained the notion that Earth children have been kidnapped and sent to slave camps on Mars. In any case, after his line of questioning, Rohrabacher thanked the scientists for the fine work they’re doing.

BARSOOM! Bonkers, just bonkers…

Related: On a less humorous note, Rohrabacher is quite the Russian stooge (along with an aide). Go figure.

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The Rent Is Too Damn High: ‘Reinventing’ And Gentrifying Food

Or as we point out often, you can’t have gentrification without a gentry. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Petula Dvorak observes this about D.C. (boldface mine):

I visited a new Washington shop this week, a Temple of Cool so sleek and futuristic it took a few minutes to figure out what — exactly — they do in the shiny, white minimalist space.

Did I accidentally end up at the Genius Bar? Am I at a law firm? Oh, wait. That’s right.


Really, expensive, delicious, ah-mazing coffee: $4 for a highball glass of iced joe gone in four sips.

It’s one of those craft-caffeine palaces that are proliferating throughout Washington. This one is called Blue Bottle Coffee, now in Georgetown but soon opening outposts in other parts of the District.

This is what the nation’s capital is becoming, isn’t it?

Because, to be honest, I can’t afford to drink coffee at a place like this every day. And neither can many city residents who have been here much longer than I have…

it’s not just that fancy people have moved in with their fancy things.

Caviar and champagne aren’t displacing the catfish and beer of working-class, old-school Washington. No, the way it happens today is: The existing culture is co-opted and transformed — prettified, up-classed and one-percented — in a sort of feel-good gentrification that makes it inaccessible to the very people who have lived here their whole lives.

It’s a $9 half-smoke with hummus.

A $25 burger with foie gras.

A $4 shot of coffee.

See, we’re not getting rid of your food, we’re just reinventing it.

Washington has become a place where doughnuts, beer, burgers, chicken, coffee — staples of regular people — have been seized, crafted and fancified.

That’s what’s different, interesting and maybe troubling about this wave of gentrification. Don’t look for the Gucci store to see if your neighborhood’s hot. Look for the $25 plate of artisanal grits…

The changes in the District aren’t simply about the paling of Chocolate City. The city’s racial makeup has undergone a dramatic change, with African Americans no longer the majority of the population for the first time in decades.

Today’s shift is also about economics. The working class and the middle class — the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee drinkers, the $5 sandwich eaters — are being pushed out by the people who can afford the Temple of Cool.

I’ll be the first one to admit, I was pretty giddy when I heard this fancy coffee place was coming to our city. But when I got there and looked around, it made me uncomfortable — and nostalgic for the way Washington used to be.

I have to agree with Dvorak: D.C. is losing many of its affordable restaurants and stores (though it strains credulity to think that a Washington Post columnist can’t afford this). What moves in is often over-priced and also not what long time residents want or need. I’ll admit I’m not a high-brow kind of guy (or maybe I’m just a cheap bastid), but there’s a reason why these cheaper stores and restaurants are going out of business that has nothing to do with matters of taste–the store rent is too damn high (boldface mine):

When Pixie Windsor, otherwise known as Miss Pixie, first moved to 14th Street in 2008, there were still riot bars on the windows of her store. Her namesake furniture shop had already been open in Adams Morgan for more than a decade when she decided to move to the bigger space.

It was a transitional time in 14th Street history. It felt like the plans for new retail detailed in city reports two decades earlier were finally coming to fruition. More restaurants were opening, and there was an unofficial “furniture row” that included other independent stores. The rent for her 4,000-square-foot space was $6,500 a month and included a coffee shop space upstairs that was rented to another independent vendor.

Now, nine years later, her monthly rent has increased to $16,701.47. If there is a property tax increase, the cost will be passed directly on to her.

When it comes to food, in too many neighborhoods there simply isn’t enough profit margin in ‘cheap eats’ to pay these kinds of rents. But a six dollar hamburger transformed by the magic phrase ‘fast casual dining’ becomes ten dollars–and has a pretentious name that causes David Brooks to freak out.

Ok, that is an excellent development.

The exceptions to this phenomenon are those businesses where the business owns the building (e.g., Ben’s Chili Dogs). But if a business is renting, it’s too hard with low margins to survive. While D.C., and other cities, do have some local store and restaurant initiatives, if cities can’t figure out how to get business rents under control, we’re going to end up with a lot of overpriced stores and restaurants–which is another reason why lower-middle and middle class people are concerned about gentrification.

Posted in DC, Economics, Food | 1 Comment

Links 7/19/17

Links for you. Science:

Sea Spiders Pump Blood With Their Guts, Not Their Hearts
Cancer researcher was held at Boston airport. Now he is being sent back to Iran. (this will bring back jobs to coal country)
More on the politicization of school vaccine mandates…
Many options for replacing antibiotics in meat supply, but is demand high?
HPV Infection Rates Plummet With Vaccination


I’m a Lefty and I Joined a Trump Supporters Facebook Group: Here’s what I learned
“Bipartisanship” Means “I Don’t Understand What Politics Is”
Massive Knob Calls for Civility
Chris Christie, The Beach, and Our Leaders’ Massive School Funding Hypocrisy
The DHS hasn’t investigated whether voting machines were hacked in November, and says it doesn’t intend to
In Blow to Tech Industry, Trump Shelves Start-Up Immigrant Rule (nothing but bigotry behind this)
666 Fifth Avenue: Yet Another Massive Conflict of Interest for the Trump White House
My Mother Wasn’t Trash
Don’t Fall for Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’: You might get a good deal now, but the company is gobbling up market share and bludgeoning competitors
Blessed are the White Trash
Why There Is More Reason To Hope Today Than In Decades
Charter Schools Are Constantly Burning Out Teachers—And They Often Like It That Way
The blackmail factor: Trumpworld’s Russia lies are a major risk to national security
First We Force The App… Then We Force The Advertising…
These Russian Sanctions Are a No-Brainer. What Is Paul Ryan Waiting for?
He Burst The Bubble
The Big Trumpers Still Don’t Get The Trouble They’re In
Why I declined to be Tucker Carlson’s liberal feminist punching bag

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Red By Fence

Observed on 16th Street NW, between R and Riggs, Dupont Circle, D.C.:

Red by fence

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