Guilty!

I know, I’m a bad media-type person for only writing about Rubio’s awkward water-break.  But, I’m all too human.  Love this:

Water!

I feel bad for Marco Rubio, as I know the exact feeling of totally running out of moisture in one’s mouth while talking for an extended period.  I’ve been known to run out of the classroom to find a water fountain.  That said, I cannot imagine having such an awkward moment on national TV.  And when I do bring water with me, I actually have it near by.  I read plenty on twitter and assumed it was overblown until I watched the video.  But, this really is an incredibly awkward moment that will almost surely (not to say that’s fair, just reality) be what Rubio’s speech tonight is remembered for:

Drunk eyewitnesses

I recently covered wrongful convictions in my Criminal Justice Policy class, and I was pretty thorough on the point of just how unreliable eyewitness testimony is.  Yet, foolishly, our court system all too often treats it likes its the gold standard.  If you’re not familiar with the topic or the amazing Ronald Cotton case, take a few minutes and watch this great 60 Minutes segment.

Anyway, I was thinking about this because Kevin Drum highlights some recent research that show drunk witnesses perform much better than sober witnesses.  Not that they perform well mind you, just equally poorly.  I enjoyed reading the comments of the original research as the “drunk” subjects had a BAC of .07%, leading to quite the discussion of the meaning of drunk and whether the results would be different were there BAC levels significantly higher.

Anyway, take home point– be very skeptical of eyewitness testimony whether drunk or sober.

Photo of the day

Recent National Geographic Photo of the day:

Picture of white-tailed eagles in Poland

White-Tailed Eagles, Poland

Photograph by Sylwia Domaradzka, My Shot

Americans want  deficits!

Outstanding NYT economics columnist was on the Slate Poltical Gabfest last week discussing his new e-book, Here’s the Deal, about our economic problems and what we should do about.   This is the rare ebook I’m actually going to buy.  I was reminded of this yesterday when getting my Gallup update informing me that Americans are quite unhappy with Obama’s handling of the deficit, with nearly 2/3 disapproving.  Here’s my response to the American public– liars!  As Leonhardt point out, Americans want low taxes and lots of government services, especially spending on Social Security and Medicare.  Guess what the result of that is– deficits!  So, the American public may be opposed to deficits, but they are even more strongly opposed to policies that would actually reduce deficits– broad-based higher taxes and substantial cuts to the largest government programs.

Another day, another few lies

No, one should not put too much stock in an on-line petition that a state legislator is pushing, but still, when we’re talking about the actual leader of the NC Senate, what he does matters.  And it’s a real shame that he has taken to egregious and shameless lying with his anti-Obamacare petition.  To wit:

Some North Carolina doctors who came to the legislature today to argue for Medicaid expansion also weighed in on a controversial petition pushed by Senate Leader Phil Berger.

The “Stop ObamaCare” petition, posted on Berger’s campaign website, says the Affordable Care Act will result in:

  • “The government turning our health records over to the IRS”
  • “Government-forced insurance”
  • “Billions in new taxes on businesses and the people of North Carolina”

As WRAL’s Mark Binker reported Friday, several statements in the petition are misleading at best.

Doctors at the news conference called them “lies.”

“Senator Berger has created a website that — it’s disgraceful. It’s filled with complete lies about the Affordable Care Act,” said UNC Medical School Professor Dr. Charles van der Horst. “He’s just not expressing any logic or any sense.”

Stupid doctors and their reality-based approach to policy.  Don’t they realize that by expanding health care coverage to more people that Obamacare is the work of Satan and anything bad you say about it serves a greater “truth.”

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