Links 8/24/16

Links for you. Science:

Something new in the chill, salt air: Hope. New England’s embattled fishermen want to believe it is a portent: To the north, in the waters off Newfoundland, the cod are coming back at last, bringing with them, perhaps, a way of life.
The 1-hour workday
Adventures with ONT MinION at MBL’s Microbial Diversity Course (reality versus the hype)
Imprecise research threatens precision medicine
A Natural Cure for Lyme Disease (you can tell this is a good article because the author knows that chipmunks are the primary vector of Lyme-infected ticks, not deer)


Vote for the Lying Neoliberal Warmonger: It’s Important
The Impact of Stroads in a Suburban Immigrant Community (oddly enough, the Washington Post has never mentioned this issue in their coverage of the Purple Line…)
“A cheap theory with a fancy-sounding name” (excellent)
Fate of crumbling DC subway rests with ‘nuts-and-bolts guy’
Sanders: Aetna’s Obamacare threat shows what Corporate Control Looks Like
A Suburban Poverty Boomtown: Lehigh Acres, Florida
ULX: Innovative Density
September Songs
The limits of data-driven approaches to planning
The Black Political Establishment Should Never Have Given Hillary Clinton a Blank Check: The Sanders campaign was an opportunity to put pressure on Clinton, but instead the neoliberal Black elite backed her unconditionally.
Today marked my 250K mile driven in last three years, around the US, visiting places few visit.
I Was a Gawker Target, and I’m Terrified of the Way Gawker Just Died
The Pixar render farm in 1995. Half of an iPhone.
These are the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter, 1870-1885.
Donors behind charter push keep to the shadows
Is Angela Corey the Cruelest Prosecutor in America? (Carmen Ortiz gives her a good run for her money)
John Thompson: What If Reformers Had Paid Attention to Research-Based Solutions Instead of Billionaires’ Preferences?

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Dark Clouds

Observed at the corner of 16th and S Streets NW, Dupont Circle, D.C.:

Storm rising

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Putting Defense Accounting Problems Into Scientific Context

What’s $62.4 billion among friends (boldface mine)?

The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced….

The report affirms a 2013 Reuters series revealing how the Defense Department falsified accounting on a large scale as it scrambled to close its books. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money…

“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning…

The spokesman downplayed the significance of the improper changes, which he said net out to $62.4 billion. “Though there is a high number of adjustments, we believe the financial statement information is more accurate than implied in this report,” he said.

In 2015, the entire NIH budget was around $30 billion. The CDC budget was $6.8 billion. The NSF budget was $7.3 billion.

As I’ve mentioned many times, I really don’t care about deficit spending per se, as the federal government can’t run out of money in any operational sense (and inflation really isn’t a concern at all right now). But politically, we have a balanced budget fetish, which means that every dollar pissed away in one place can’t be spent elsewhere.

Maybe the technocrats celebrating Clinton could get on this in 2017?

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Links 8/23/16

Links for you. Science:

Please don’t take gynecological advice from Khloe Kardashian (that this even needs to be written… Still interesting biology though)
An ethnographic study of the “open evidential culture” of research psychology
On grant funding
Lies, damn lies, and CRISPR: the legal battle escalates
NASA just made all the scientific research it funds available for free


Progressive Clinton supporters: You broke it, you bought it (ouch)
Police Homicides in the United States
Homeless art, lost jobs and low enrollment: Two years later, Corcoran’s breakup still stings
One of the biggest crime waves in America isn’t what you think it is
America Is Ignoring Another Natural Disaster Near the Gulf
Democratic Political Infighting Over Education Harms Black Families
The nation’s teacher force lacks diversity, and it might not get much better (you get what you don’t pay for…)
Art Blanche: D.C.’s museums have embraced big splashy social media-friendly exhibitions. But is that good for art?
Charles Lane and the WaPo Sleaze Bernie Sanders
So a Rabbi Walks Into a Food Truck…
Ellen DeGeneres Is Not Racist
Alt Right Rejoices at Donald Trump’s Steve Bannon Hire (“alt-right” means racist. No euphemisms please)
San Francisco Man Proposes to Girlfriend While Posing as 2-Dimensional Beings for a Living Mural
Trump adviser accused of making anti-Semitic remarks
If residents of Louisiana are watching television news, they must be feeling woefully forgotten
Trump’s damage has already been done: He has nurtured a generation of racist bullies
No, they don’t support Trump: Smeared left-wing writers debunk the myth

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This Is Why We Don’t Have Flying Cars

Perhaps because our best-and-brightest are building this instead (boldface mine):

What’s a “pancake selfie” truck? Holiday Inn describes it thusly:

The rolling pancake station is outfitted with five pancake machines, each producing one pancake per minute – all at the push of a button. One-of-a-kind laser printers then transfer selfies from smartphone to pancake. From batter to platter, the entire process takes mere minutes. This delicious piece of breakfast technology was created and perfected exclusively for IHG and is a first for any hotel brand.

It’s not clear this is any more productive than porn.

I got nothing.

Posted in Food, WhatEVAH! | 5 Comments

We Dirty Hippies Were Right About The Public Option

In light of the revelations that Aetna told the federal government that if its proposed merger didn’t go through, it would pull out of ACA (‘Obamacare’) exchanges, let’s flashback to 2009 (boldface mine):

President Obama’s advisers acknowledged Tuesday that they were unprepared for the intraparty rift that occurred over the fate of a proposed public health insurance program, a firestorm that has left the White House searching for a way to reclaim the initiative on the president’s top legislative priority.

Administration officials insisted that they have not shied away from their support for a public option to compete with private insurance companies, an idea they said Obama still prefers to see in a final bill.

But at a time when the president had hoped to be selling middle-class voters on how insurance reforms would benefit them, the White House instead finds itself mired in a Democratic Party feud over an issue it never intended to spotlight.

I don’t understand why the left of the left has decided that this is their Waterloo,” said a senior White House adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We’ve gotten to this point where health care on the left is determined by the breadth of the public option. I don’t understand how that has become the measure of whether what we achieve is health-care reform.”

“It’s a mystifying thing,” he added. “We’re forgetting why we are in this.”

Another top aide expressed chagrin that a single element in the president’s sprawling health-care initiative has become a litmus test for whether the administration is serious about the issue.

“It took on a life of its own,” he said….

When the Obama campaign first crafted its health-care proposal, the creation of a government-sponsored insurance option “was not the most important thing,” said David Cutler, a Harvard University economics professor and campaign adviser on health-care issues.

Obama, like Cutler, embraced the concept because it would afford consumers more options, Cutler said.

But no one could have predicted…

Except for the dirty fucking hippies. We knew that without a government plan as a backstop, everyone’s health insurance would exist at the whim of privately-owned companies.

As one person put it, “Those who were prematurely correct about single payer will be as loathed in DC as those prematurely correct on Iraq.” Or even the public option.

Posted in Democrats, Fucking Morons, Healthcare | 4 Comments

Links 8/22/16

Links for you. Science:

The Opossum: L.A.’s Most Anxious Animal (“When you get an arrow through your frontal lobe, it kind of lobotomizes you”)
From Dinosaur Sidewalk to Ray Buffet: Trace fossils are not always what they seem.
What Does It Take To Map A Walrus Hangout? 160 Years And A Lot Of Help
How Researchers Discovered the Basketball ‘Hot Hand’
New “Bionic” Leaf Is Roughly 10 Times More Efficient Than Natural Photosynthesis


Generational Wealth (must-read)
Suburban Poverty Meets Homeowner’s Associations
The Elite “Let Them Eat Education” Fallacy
Aetna, cynicism and Pennsylvania
Was your neighborhood “obsolete” in 1950?
Debate the Billionaires! (worth noting that the DCCC is doing nothing to help Teachout. Quelle surprise…)
I Fear I’m Becoming A Masshole
It sure looks like Aetna quit Obamacare because Obama opposed their merger (this)
Walmart’s out-of-control crime problem is driving police crazy
How the Trumps Got Rich (Marxist analysis of the Trump fortune is amusing–and not inaccurate)
Inside the Real US Ground War On ISIS
How Standardized Testing Killed My School
Trump Is Self-Sabotaging His Campaign Because He Never Really Wanted The Job In The First Place (could be…)
The Conservative Movement Has No Decency: Framing Donald Trump as an indecent anomaly exonerates the movement and party that produced him.
The Government Is Classifying Too Many Documents
Trading Places: If the Democrats Are Now a Coastal Elite Party and the GOP Are the Populists, Trump Is Only the Beginning
Why I’m betting $100 that Hillary Clinton will be a one-term president
I’m a doctor these are the things I find concerning with Trump’s medical letter
How schools that obsess about standardized tests ruin them as measures of success (nothing I haven’t written about a gajillion times, but still good)

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