Photo of the day

Up close and personal with a chimpanzee at my trip to the zoo earlier this week.


Photo by Steven Greene

Quick hits

Sorry for being a blogger failure this week.  Turns out that two job candidates, plus a mid-week trip to the zoo, plus a hockey game, plus a piano concert leave little time left for blogging.

Nothing to say on France yet, other than damn it’s horrible and I sure hate those damn Islamic extremists.  Ugh.

1) It almost seems like the Starbucks Christmas cup imbroglio is something created by liberals to embarrass conservatives for looking like morons.  Are there really people out there all freaked out about this?  Oh, yes.

2) Always go to the funeral.  Good advice.

3) Loved Mike Pesca’s spiel on Common Core math in this gist podcast.  He rightly points out that a lot of parental complaints come down to “I didn’t have to do this.”  Yes, it can be frustrating at times, but is it truly rational to believe that math education should be frozen in time exactly like you learned it?  Common Core math is not some communist plot.  It’s a plot from professors of math education.

4) Don’t like what dissertation research might find?  Well, if you are a Republican State Senator in Missouri, you try to block it.  Yikes.

5) Loved Todd VanDerWerff’s fascinating deconstruction of Peanuts.

6) George Will as had enough of Bill O’Reilly.  Though I wonder if his vitriolic take on Killing Reagan would still be there if his wife was not a Reagan adviser..

7) The Republican debates as socialism.

8) Dave Roberts pushes back on my (though, not me in particular, of course) on Keystone.

It is also ludicrous to imagine that the primary goal of climate activist campaigns is to reduce emissions. It would be like criticizing the Montgomery bus boycott because it only affected a relative handful of black people. The point of civil rights campaigns was not to free black people from discriminatory systems one at a time. It was to change the culture. “Keystone isn’t a perfect battlefield,” wrote Michael Grunwald, “but neither was Selma or Stonewall.” …

This also follows from the first two. If the metric of success is emission reductions, and emission reductions from supply-side fights are uncertain, then there’s no point in fighting supply-side projects.

This assumes that emission reductions are the sole reason to go after the supply side, and thereby, I think, fundamentally misses what activists are trying to do. It’s not to reduce emissions, one project at a time. It’s to change culture.

Great points.  And more on this soon, but I’m so tired of liberals not making this argument, but rather fallacious policy arguments like we expect from conservatives on tax cuts.

9) Supreme Court pretty comfortable with police shooting into a car despite an imminent threat.

10) Do you know about CRISPR? (DNA modification).  This is really, really going to change the world.  Nice Wired story.  And a great Radiolab from earlier this year.

11) John Kasich— only “moderate” because of the radical extremists you are comparing him to.

12) Boxing’s brutality is surely a big part of it’s gradual disappearance.  Could football be next?

13) Jamelle Bouie on the Republican debate:

Moreover—and more importantly for the politics of economic growth—the Republican candidates were silent on one of the key questions of the 2016 election. “The Democrats will inevitably ask you and voters to compare the recent presidents’ jobs performance,” said moderator Gerard Baker to Carly Fiorina. “In seven years under President Obama, the U.S. has added an average of 107,000 jobs per month. Under Clinton, the economy added about 240,000 per month; under George W. Bush, it was only 13,000 a month. If you win the nomination, you will probably be facing a Democrat named Clinton. How are you going to respond to the claim that Democratic presidents are better at creating jobs than Republicans?”

Fiorina dodged the question. She didn’t have an answer. And neither did anyone else on the stage. Later, moderator Maria Bartiromo threw Rubio a softball on Hillary Clinton. “Why should the American people trust you to lead this country even though she has been so much closer to the office?” His answer was smooth—“[I]f I am our nominee, they’ll be the party of the past”—but it ignored this basic question of economic performance.

This is a problem. Barring disaster, President Obama will finish his term with a growing economy. Republicans need to show Americans that they can do better—that they can deliver growth and resources to the people who need them. Otherwise, little else matters. The Democratic nominee will inherit the Obama economy and prevail.


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