Quick hits

1) Shankar Vedantam on cognitive biases, shorter showers, and low-flow toilets.

2) Josh Vorhees on how Trump getting specific with policy proposals is bad for the GOP.  I think he’s right as this will pull candidates who can win further to the right than they want to be for the general.  To wit, we’ve even got Jeb saying “anchor babies” now.

3) The Connecticut Supreme Court with a strong argument against capital punishment.

4) How gender bias in academia is a very real thing.  My personal fight against it?  Cutting and pasting descriptive phrases from previous recommendation letters irrespective of the gender of the person I am recommending.

5) I’m sure Upworthy has sanitized this version, but it’s pretty clear that treating heroin addiction as a disease to be treated instead of a felony is a win-win, policy-wise.

6) Why is Black Lives Matter going after Bernie anyway?  Jamelle Bouie explains (short version: stategery).

7) Physician Ben Carson doesn’t really seem to understand abortion and emergency contraception all that well.

8) Seth Masket went to both a Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rally last week:

 And then, of course, there was the music. Clinton’s team played Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” to warm up the crowd before the candidate’s appearance. Trump’s team played ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” and Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” I don’t know what this means, but it’s entirely possible that whoever chooses songs for Clinton is a perky, empowered woman in her 20s and whoever chooses songs for Trump is a middle-aged guy with hair issues who longs for the ’80s. Or maybe they’re just trying to reach out to those demographics.

9) Are you smarter than other NYT readers?  Damnit, I wasn’t.  But my response showed some minimal intelligence.

10) Are you gluten sensitive?  Perhaps you should find another blog to read that is not so enamored with science.  And as long as we’re talking diets, I always enjoy a good takedown of Paleo (Vox style).

11) My stepmom is convinced Carly Fiorina would be a great president.  Why?  Fiorina’s daughter is her bible study.  Also, she thinks Fiorina is a great businesswoman.  Evidence says otherwise.

12) Fortunately, I have not had to spend too many nights in hospitals.  But Good God they need to find a way to let people sleep better at night without constant interruptions.

13) This new female libido drug seems as flawed as anything that’s ever made it to market.  Serious side effects for .5 more sexual episodes per month.  Sure doesn’t pass the cost/benefit test (though, many husbands surely feel otherwise during that extra session of sex every two months).  I’ve read enough to think this is a real issue that could potentially be improved with the right medication.  This drug isn’t it.

14) Call me crazy, but I don’t think national parks should be wide-open shooting ranges.  I’m okay with preserving limited, regulated areas for that purpose.  But you shouldn’t have to fear for your life (or hear constant gunfire) just because you want to go hiking or camping.

15) And your long read for the day… great, great GQ profile on Stephen Colbert.  What an amazing human.

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

3 Responses to Quick hits

  1. Jon K says:

    On the ‘female viagra’… I am concerned when I see the FDA bow to the pressure of special interest lobbying. Apparently according to the NYT: “by lending their heft to a campaign for the drug, the feminists won the support of much of the nonprofit women’s health community in Washington, galvanizing it with the charge that a refusal to approve the drug would be sexist.”

    This drug’s benefits really don’t appear to outweigh its downsides, and it isn’t really that effective. I don’t think we should be approving drugs because it would be sexist not to do so.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/us/aid-to-women-or-bottom-line-advocates-split-on-libido-pill.html

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    Carly Fiorino lost my interest when she came out for parental choice on childhood vaccinations.
    Such a pander to the base that generally thinks that whatever benefits them and theirs is good and to heck with the rest of the population, even babies that have been born.

  3. ohwilleke says:

    Re #12 I’ve always been very skeptical of the extreme level of vital signs recording that goes on in hospitals when not indicated as a risk factor for the condition of admission, particularly blood pressure. Why check BP every hour in somebody with a broken leg, for example?

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