Quick hits

1) Really enjoyed Emily Bazelon’s NYT piece on pro-life activist, Charmaine Yoest.

2) Enjoyed Micah Cohen’s 538 profile of my home state (i.e., born and raised) of Virginia.  I knew NoVa was rich (I’m from Fairfax County) was rich, but damn:

Northern Virginia has also become more affluent. The top 3 richest countiesin the nation by median income (and 5 of the top 10) are all in the Virginia portion of suburban Washington. Loudoun County is No. 1, followed by Fairfax and Arlington Counties.

Fairfax County — the most populous in the state, with more than a million residents — has been ground zero for the demographic change, Mr. Skelley said. In 1996, Bob Dole edged out Bill Clinton in Fairfax County, and in 2000 George W. Bush beat Al Gore there. By 2008, however, Mr. Obama carried Fairfax County with slightly more than 60 percent of the vote.

3) I find the Flynn effect (IQ’s keep going up– far faster than humans could actually get more intelligent) fascinating.  Here’s the latest on the matter.

4) The original Monkey Cage post is about the power of partisanship in how we view things.  But I think Drum’s take on the power of right-wing media is probably really the key here.

5) Drum had a nice post on this a while back, but here’s the Atlantic’s Robert Wright explaining that when you are up 2 in a poll with a 2 point margin of error, that’s not exactly a “toss-up.”  Just as with the “toss-up” headline I read about today’s Post poll with Obama up 3.

6) Great Tomasky on the coming GOP freak-out.

7) The very significant practical difficulties in actually outlawing abortion but for rape exemptions:

Try it out in the hypothetical. If tomorrow Pennsylvania implemented a state-wide ban on legal abortions that included an exception for rape, how would its politicians, doctors, law enforcement, and abortion clinics effectively enforce it? How will women claim their “rape exception”? Will they have to file the appropriate paperwork with the state and, if so, who will be responsible for approving or denying their abortion request? A woman will probably have to definitively prove she was raped, and verify that she isn’t just lying to cheat the system. And in that case, sexual assaults may be ranked against each other, as the bureaucrat in charge of dispensing legal abortions determines which women’s claims are more valid than others. Perhaps the rapes that appear to have been violent violations of virginal girls will be seen as more tragic, somehow more “legitimate,” while other women may be less likely to be approved for their abortion rights if they were raped at a party where they were drinking alcohol and wearing a skirt. Would Pennsylvania adopt regulations that require rape survivors to report the crime to the authorities within a 72-hour time frame to qualify for their abortion benefits—as one state lawmaker there has actually already proposed?


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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