How to ruin a great state in one paragraph

From a friend’s FB status.  I knew he wouldn’t mind me posting it here…

The Research Triangle Park was built because it was situated between 3 great universities (2 of them are state supported). It has become an economic engine that powered this state into the 21st century. Our Governor and GOP leadership thinks absurdly low taxes on corporations and the wealthy are what drive the economy. In order to keep those taxes ridiculously low, they are proposing further cuts to the university system. So, on one hand, we have a proven economic driver and on the other hand we have a trickle down theory that is unproven at best. Yet somehow the “conservative” option is the latter.

And actually, “unproven at best” is being kind.  Anyway, kind of depressing.  Especially for somebody who works in said university system.

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Quick hits

1) Republicans in NC think they’ve uncovered a bunch of voter fraud to justify the Voter ID law.  Either they’re wrong, of there are a number of General Assembly members voting fraudulently.  I’m going with the former.

2) Yglesias on the real, pervasive, and subtle (i.e., not Donald Sterling) racism that sill exists.

3) The latest research on the link between pesticides and the disappearing honeybees.

4) Very nice explainer card from Vox and how we know humans have caused global warming.

5) TV shows as 8-bit game cartridges.

6) Contrary to what DJC may have told you, you actually cannot do whatever you want with a law degree.

7) Liked this Vox piece comparing the new “net neutrality” rules (umm, not so neutral) to the TSA fast lanes.

8) As Carl Sagan said, we are “star stuff.”  It really is mind-blowing that every single atom in our bodies was produced by dying stars.  An Atlantic video.

9) Joe Nocera on a smarter, fairer, campaign finance system.  He writes that it’s got hope,  because both ordinary Democrats and Republicans support it.  Alas, earlier in the column, he highlights the fact that politicians actually only listen to their donors.  Oh well, so much for that.

10) I’ve actually been trying to eat more nuts since reading of some compelling new research on their seeming benefits on mortality rates.  538’s Emily Oster (I love her pieces there on health research) take a good hard look at the research and finds it’s not quite as compelling as it may initially seem.  Basically, eating nuts is confounded with most every other healthy behavior.

What really appears to be happening is that people who eat nuts also have better overall diets and health behaviors. You can see this in the charts below, with data taken from the paper. The more nuts people eat, the less likely they are to smoke, the thinner they are, the more exercise they get and the more fruits and veggies they eat. In effect, there is a “dose-response” relationship in the confounding variables, so the fact that we see such a relationship between nuts and mortality doesn’t tell us much.

That said, nuts are so yummy, so I think I’ll stick with it.

11) I realize not all “gun rights” supporters are gun nuts.  But far too many of them are.  It’s hard not to psychoanalyze these sad, pathetic men looking to make themselves “tough” with guns because they are so inherently lacking.

12) Never did give this the post it deserves, so before I completely forget, here’s Politico on why my home, Wake County, NC, is the most important county in the 2014 elections (item 6).

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