Mega quick hits (part II)

1) I thought the government had stopped printing $2 bills years ago.  Nope, still going strong (though a tiny percent of currency).  I don’t think I’ve seen one in a cash transaction in years.

2) Evan Osnos compares Bob McDonnell’s two-year sentence to the 6x life sentence for a Virginia teenager for armed robbery where he didn’t even hurt anybody.

3) Enjoyed this piece on the guys climbing the Dawn Wall of Yosemite.

4) Nate Cohn with a nice piece on the Invisible Primary.

5) Former Republican official argues that we need bipartisan social programs that work:

This is why rigorous evaluation is often unpopular, for politicians in both parties. Historically, Democrats have been criticized for throwing money at intractable problems, while Republicans have been depicted as heartlessly assuming that social spending never works. The truth is, of course, more complex. Since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, disjointed, inefficient, poorly implemented social programs have been created and funded without vigorous assessment. Years of failure have taught us that humans are difficult to change.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect there’s lots of us liberals who are plenty willing to embrace evidence-based research for social programs.  On the other hand, it strikes me that the vast majority of conservatives object to these social programs that benefit poor people in principle.  And if they do complain about inefficiency, that’s just a more politically palatable critique than appearing heartless.

6) Really enjoyed this about what airline prices can tell us about unbundling cable TV.

7) Inflation hawks like Paul Ryan could not have been more wrong.  But nobody ever holds you accountable for being so wrong on stuff like this.

8) If you haven’t seen the recent Nicole Kidman appearance on Jimmy Fallon where she tells him that they were basically on a date and didn’t realize it, it is so, so good.

9) Connor Friedersdorf on the NYPD and racial bias.

10) Did you hear about the new, (hopefully) kick-ass antibiotic they’ve developed?  You should.

11) Nice NPR piece on how the newly re-mastered Wire is more relevant than ever.  Absolutely.

Before it all comes crashing down, Colvin explains to a young sergeant how drug enforcement tactics have disconnected police from the communities they are supposed to be protecting.

“This drug thing, it ain’t police work,” he says, remembering how old-school cops walked a beat, got to know their communities and learned tips from local residents that helped solve crimes. “You call something a war, and pretty soon, everybody going to be acting like warriors … and when you’re at war, you need a [expletive] enemy. And pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your [expletive] enemy. And the neighborhood you’re supposed to be policing, that’s just occupied territory.”

12) Cannot do it justice here, but this high resolution photo of the Andromeda Galaxy from Hubble is pretty mind-blowing.

13) If you study American political behavior (like me) there’s nobody more influential than Phil Converse.  He passed away this past week and there’s a great piece from Hans Noel explaining Converse’s contributions and why they remain so important.

14) Visual and auditory proof of how incredibly alike modern pop-country music is.

15) I am actually aware of the research that shows an annual physical does not actually do anything to improve your health.  That said, if you want your prescriptions for anything updated (e.g., flonase) or minor problems (e.g., plantar warts) discussed, you are still going to have to see your doctor.  Nobody ever seems to mention that.  \

16) Interesting research on how cold may be key to the cold virus’ effectiveness.  Also, if it is true that Americans suffer 1 billion colds a year, that’s more than 3 per person per year.  Yuck.

17) Jamelle Bouie on Jim Webb’s attempts to appeal to white, working-class Democrats.

18) Ever wonder what it is like to attend a political science conference?  Probably not.  But, if so, this 3 minute video of last years MPSA meeting captures it pretty well (especially the totally packed lobby scenes).

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to Mega quick hits (part II)

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    Re: Jim Webb article: The advantages of “white privilege” appear to lose strength as income level declines. So much so that in the lowest income levels “white privilege” give such little advantage that it is hardly even noticed by the recipients.
    Therefore, they see themselves as just as disadvanteged as non-whites and resent actions designed to help non-whites only. Webb is right that the Democratic Party has become the party of groups and lumping people into seperate groups. Meanwhile the groups benefitting from special help don’t get that poor and struggling whites have the same economic interests and needs and vice versa.
    The worst fear of the plutocrats has historically been that the poor of all colors and groups will join together and get more of the nation’s wealth for themselves. The strategy against such unity has been “divide and conquer”. So Reconstruction ended with Jim Crow racism and racial segregation and later to attacks against socialists and anarchists and later to often paranoid attacks against the communist threat within the United States.
    So, the Democratic Party must embrace the economically poor and struggling (most of us), the disenfranchised, and stop making policy on the basis of groups. And campaign on unity.
    Jim Webb is right and hopefully his ideas will gain some traction.

  2. Mika says:

    #8 Nicole Kidman. Date. Not know. That would be… like… I just love the movie The Others.

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