Photo of the day

From the Telegraph’s Animal Photos of the week.  Who knew bats could be so cute?

Wrapped in blankets these are three of the adorable inhabitants of the Tolga Bat Hospital in Australia. The sanctuary was established in 1997 in response to a crisis that saw large numbers of spectacled flying foxes dying. The phenomenon was first noticed in the mid-1980s but it wasn't until 1990 that the cause - paralysis caused by a certain tick - was uncovered.

Wrapped in blankets these are three of the adorable inhabitants of the Tolga Bat Hospital in Australia. The sanctuary was established in 1997 in response to a crisis that saw large numbers of spectacled flying foxes dying. The phenomenon was first noticed in the mid-1980s but it wasn’t until 1990 that the cause – paralysis caused by a certain tick – was uncovered.Picture: Jurgen Freund/NPL/REX

Guns: now making you safer than ever!

Statistically, I really doubt that’s actually the case, but I find the movement in this particular public opinion question to be fascinating.  Via Gallup:

Do you think having a gun in the house makes it a safer place to be or a more dangerous place to be?be

Wow!  That’s more movement than gay marriage.  Presumably this has a lot to do with the politicization of the issue, but I’d love to have some more data to try and unpack it.  Oh, and I can’t help but flag:

Regardless of Americans’ perceptions of crime and their need to protect themselves, violent crime rates fell significantly from 1993 to 2012. While it may be a contentious assertion, some attribute falling crime rates to increased gun sales.

Some may make such attributions, but I’m pretty sure there’s not a serious criminologist among them.  Heck, as long as we’re going with contentious assertions, some assert that HIV does not cause AIDS.

Nothing but the judges

Of course, as a Democrat, I’m not happy at all with how things went Tuesday.  But that said, as I was thinking about things yesterday, I really do not expect the next two years of politics to be that different than had Democrats held the Senate.  In part, because I was already very pessimistic as to anything meaningful being done.  And I would argue that the last two years certainly justifies the pessimism.  Drum captures my sentiments pretty well with his “predictions” for the next 18 months:

We are, tediously, hearing lots of jabber this week about how maybe this election finally sent a message to Washington that the public wants government to work, dammit. Compromise is the order of the day. Republicans need to show that they can govern. Obama needs to show he can be flexible.

Meh. I don’t see why anyone thinks this. Mitch McConnell has spent six years obstructing everything in sight, and there’s no special reason to think that’s going to change. John Boehner has spent the past four years in a wholly futile attempt to make his tea party crazies see reason, and there’s no reason to think he’s suddenly figured out how to do it. President Obama has spent the past two years convinced that executive action is his only hope of getting anything done, and there’s not much reason to think he’s changed his mind about that. As for the public, they don’t want compromise. They want the other side to give in. Nothing has changed there.

In other words, control of the Senate may have changed hands, but the underlying fundamentals of Washington politics have barely budged.

Yep.  So, where we’ll see the real change is Obama’s inability to appoint pretty much anybody to the federal bench.  Now, that’s a real difference and a real problem.  As for the other stuff, we weren’t going to get much anyway.  Drum also goes on to predict Hillary and Scott Walker as the 2016 nominees.  I’m with him there, too.

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