Quick hits (part II)

1) Really  looking forward to reading this book on the modern history of Autism and Aspergers and the doctors who defined (and mis-defined these diseases).  It’s not too far a stretch to say Leo Kanner, the doctor who was the autism expert, made my older brother’s life, far, far harder than it should have been.

2) Nice summary on all the damage total Republican control has done to NC.

3) I love that NC State researchers have created a vomiting machine to study Norovirus.

4) When liberals go too far, they should be called out.  As Drum does with those who think there shouldn’t be Chik-Fil-A in an airport.

5) Can’t say I’m surprised to learn that surgery for the most basic form of breast cancer apparently does nothing to improve a woman’s life expectancy.  I’m also not surprised that cancer surgeons are arguing that they should still be doing it.  I am sad for all the women who needlessly go physically and emotionally traumatic unnecessary treatment.

6) Jordan Weissman on Rubio and Walker’s plans to replace Obamacare:

In theory, there’s nothing wrong with this idea. But it only works if the federal government sets acceptable guidelines about what sorts of plans insurers are allowed to sell. Otherwise, it would almost certainly spur a harmful race to the bottom, in which companies would flock to states with the loosest regulations, and offer cut-rate insurance offering little protection. The likely result, as the Congressional Budget Office argued years ago, is that young, healthy customers would opt for the least expensive options available, while older, sicker Americans would end up paying morefor coverage. Meanwhile, many of those invincible-feeling twentysomethings would find their health insurance wasn’t worth much once they actually needed it. And the chances are that a Walker or Rubio administration wouldn’t do much to stop that from happening…

But the big takeaway is that the establishment GOP contenders are edging toward a consensus alternative to Obamacare, a three-part plan that would potentially make insurance cheaper for the young, more expensive for the old and sick, and depending on how tight-fisted Congress felt, unaffordable for the ill. Thankfully for them, nobody should notice for a while. Everybody is still paying attention to Trump, after all.

And Jon Cohn’s take while I’m at it.

7) Nice explanation of exactly what the deal is with Hillary’s email.  Should she have done what she did?  Oh, surely not.  Is it actually that big a deal?  Not really.

8) Awesome, awesome open letter from a gay man to his future in-laws who are unwilling to attend his wedding.

9) Cory Booker admits what so few politicians are willing to– we cannot solve mass incarceration simply by easing up on drug users and non-violent felons.  We also need to admit that violent felonies are not as cut and dried as they may seem.

10) Really interesting piece in the Federalist on the Republican Party and white identity politics.

11) Love this from a former CIA analyst on how to help undermine ISIS by scamming them on the internet.  Seriously.

12) Can’t say I’m surprised to learn that science now has MRI evidence to show that it is good to read to your young kids.  But, if that convinces more people to something all parents should be doing, then that’s a good thing.

13) I was telling my son David about a new colleague and how you can just instantly tell he was a person of great warmth.  Then David asked me to define emotional warmth.  Trickier than I realized.  Here’s the first take I found.  And I think this quora take is pretty good.  Here’s my own simple definition I came up with after thinking about it: a readiness to share positive emotions with others.

14) Interesting take on the strength of Trump’s support in the polls:

In poll after poll of Republicans, Mr. Trump leads among women, despite having used terms like “fat pigs” and “disgusting animals” to denigrate some of them. He leads among evangelical Christians, despite saying he had never had a reason to ask God for forgiveness. He leads among moderates and college-educated voters, despite a populist and anti-immigrant message thought to resonate most with conservatives and less-affluent voters. He leads among the most frequent, likely voters, even though his appeal is greatest among those with little history of voting.

15) Personally, I find it quite disturbing that the solid majority of pre-natal Down’s Syndrome diagnoses lead to abortion.  And it’s great politics to try and pass a law– as Ohio is attempting— that bans abortion if a Down’s Syndrome diagnosis is the reason.   But this is so blatantly unconstitutional under Roe and Casey.  A Constitutional right based on the right to privacy does not mean you have have to provide an appropriate reason to exercise it.

16) Matt Taibbi on Donald Trump and the unleashed stupidity in American politics.  Pretty much a perfect combination.  Read this one.  (edits for language below by me)

Why there’s suddenly this surge of hatred for immigrants is sort of a mystery. Why Donald Trump, who’s probably never even interacted with an undocumented immigrant in a non-commercial capacity, in particular should care so much about this issue is even more obscure. (Did he trip over an immigrant on his way to the Cincinnati housing development his father gave him as a young man?)

Most likely, immigrants are just collateral damage in Trump’s performance art routine, which is an absurd ritualistic celebration of the coiffed hotshot endlessly triumphing over dirty losers and weaklings.

Trump isn’t really a politician, of course. He’s a strongman act, a ridiculous parody of a Nietzschean superman. His followers get off on watching this guy with (allegedly) $10 billion and a busty mute broad on his arm defy every political and social convention and get away with it. [emphasis mine]

People are tired of rules and tired of having to pay lip service to decorum. They want to stop having to watch what they say and think and just get “crazy,” as Thomas Friedman would put it.

Trump’s campaign is giving people permission to do just that. It’s hard to say this word in conjunction with such a sexually unappealing person, but his message is a powerful aphrodisiac. F**k everything, f**k everyone. F**k immigrants and f**k their filthy lice-ridden kids. And f**k you if you don’t like me saying so.

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

8 Responses to Quick hits (part II)

  1. Jon K says:

    On the rubio/Walker health care idiocy:
    these are clearly two candidates I can’t vote for. I have medical bills over 100k a year. I can’t vote for anyone who would put my ability to afford treatment at risk. Doing what they propose would do exactly that. I am convinced that an unregulated health insurance marketplace is a recipe for disaster.

    I don’t want anything to be implemented that would make it easier for blue curse to cut off my medicine. I know they would do it if they could. I had to fight them to get it in the first place – they were stalling by asking me to take unnecessary tests that would have meant going cold turkey off all my medicine for 2 weeks. For someone with narcolepsy that is essentially two weeks of pure torture. I would have had to go to my parents house and basically would never get out of bed. I luckily won the appeal and avoided that situation. I am sure if the rules were relaxed we would only see insurance companies put even more obstacles to getting care.

    My preobamacare insurance only paid 50% on name brand drugs which would put someone like me in the position of having to beg for charity from a foundation for the medicine I need to function as a normal person. Free markets don’t work in the health care system. Unless you don’t think you or someone you love will ever face unexpected chronic illness you should be afraid of less health care regulation.

    • Steve Greene says:

      Based on your concerns with health care, is there *any* Republican candidate you can vote for by these standards? If this is a primary issue for you, I would think not.

      • Jon K says:

        kasich… he expanded medicaid in ohio and i don’t think he’d blow up the health care system. i haven’t heard what jeb thinks yet. i am pretty much down to Kasich, maybe Jeb, or hillary at this point. Or i could not vote but i couldn’t realistically see myself not voting. I was just talking to my dad about this last night and he agreed with me I would be a fool to vote for anyone who threatened my ability to get my medicine. I still have my libertarian leaning worldview, but the GOP is going over a cliff right now and they are shrinking the tent and leaving me (and possibly my family) on the outside. I am sure we aren’t the only ones. The party leaders who understand reality have got to be super worried.

      • Jon K says:

        and while I support our governor, I can’t vote republican for state house or state senate they are so drunk with power and trying to stick it to democrats. I get that they were out of power since reconstruction, but that doesn’t give them the right to blow up the public schools or ban abortion or turn the state into an evangelical theocracy. that is the type of ‘conservative’ I want no part of. I like policy that is grounded in facts and in line with the ideas of classical liberalism. I don’t like white identity politics, supply side economics that increase deficits and hurt middle class people, people who want to burden sick people with bankruptcy, or people who want to legislate their religious morality (i honestly don’t know what new testament those people are reading). If that is where the GOP is going to go I want no part of it. If that is really where they are going they will never win another presidential election anytime soon. I am hoping that at some point the adults will emerge as they usually have done in the past.

      • Steve Greene says:

        I wouldn’t vote for, but I would love to see the same Republican party you would like to. The country would be so much better off. Yes, there are plenty of Democrats with no interest in science and evidence, but I think there’s a compelling case that this is currently a far bigger problem in the GOP.

  2. ohwilleke says:

    I back the Denver City Council on their Chick-Fil-A stance, mostly because this isn’t just a case of government regulation of a third party. They own the airport and as such have a property owner’s say in what is done with it, not just a regulator’s say. The economic cost in terms of rental income at the airport of sticking by their principles are borne by the City they run itself, and not by some third-party.

    • Jon K says:

      so if a city in alabama wants to ban starbucks at their airport because the residents of that city don’t like the ceo’s politics on the same issue you would be ok with that? really?

    • Steve Greene says:

      My guess is that many business owners have political beliefs I would find odious if I knew about them. If I did all my commercial transactions on the basis of the political beliefs of the owners, I might be left living in a cave. I just don’t think this is a sensible road to go down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: