Quick hits (part I)
February 25, 2017 2 Comments
1) Yes, occasionally it drives me crazy, but, in general, I love the Facebook algorithm. I very intentionally react to posts knowing I’ll get more posts like that. I love this personalization. I see lots of smart political analysis, lots of photos of little kids, and virtually know videos of cats. Why would I want to mess with that?
2) The headline says it all, “The Only Thing, Historically, That’s Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe.” Hey, maybe that means we’ll have a good outcome from Trump ;-).
3) This is pretty cool– an analysis of why Trump’s approval varies according to poll. And, damn, is Rasmussen an absurdly positive outlier.
4) A visualization of how herd immunity works. So cool!
5) Ryan Lizza’s piece on Milo. This bit is so good:
Charlie Sykes, a prominent conservative commentator and Never Trump activist, was similarly disgusted. “So let me get this straight: Matt Schlapp thinks that Milo has ‘an important’ message and this is about free speech?” he asked me, via a direct message on Twitter. “Not sure what is worse: the intellectual or the moral decadence on display here. Apparently, racism, anti-Semitism, and the embrace of Alt Right isn’t disqualifying for CPAC,” he wrote. “This raises the larger question: Are there any standards for conservatives in the Age of Trump? Obviously being an erratic narcissist can’t be disqualifying. Racist tweets or bullying can’t be disqualifying. Trafficking in Alt Right memes has been normalized. So with Trump as POTUS, where can conservatives draw the line? CPAC’s logic: We’ll embrace anyone the Left hates, even if they are a vile, disingenuous, bigoted click whore.”
6) Apparently, the American Academy of Pediatricians makes a lot of recommendations to parents without actual evidence behind them.
7) This letter from an expert on Narcissistic Personality Disorder is so good:
Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote the criteria that define this disorder, and Mr. Trump doesn’t meet them. He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.
Mr. Trump causes severe distress rather than experiencing it and has been richly rewarded, rather than punished, for his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy. It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither).
Bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness, and the mentally ill behave badly only rarely. Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy. He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers.
His psychological motivations are too obvious to be interesting, and analyzing them will not halt his headlong power grab. The antidote to a dystopic Trumpean dark age is political, not psychological.
8) A horse that, apparently, we still need to beat and beat until it’s dead… tax cuts (in terms of the marginal rates we have in America) do not lead to economic growth.
9) Chait is always good on Paul Ryan and taxes:
The drive to cut these taxes reflects the party’s deep beliefs that overtaxation of the rich is the most serious form of oppression in modern political life, and they are prepared to spend enormous political capital to rectify this evil. [emphasis mine]
10) I was sort of intrigued by this list of high-paying, low stress jobs. I was pleased to see “Microbiologist” on here, as that’s the current stated intent of my 11-year old. But then I laughed out loud when they had Political Scientist on here with an average annual salary of $103,000. WTF?!
11) Trump supporters in their own words. As always, ugh. Little snippets like this are always so telling:
He also favors Trump’s push to roll back regulations that Searles said have “stifled” businesses, including the software company that hasn’t been stable enough to give him a raise in 10 years.
Right. I’m sure it’s all those amazingly burdensome regulations on software companies that are holding back the economy.
12) This was totally new to me and quite interesting. The Trump of Slovakia and how he was defeated.
13) A friend shared a version of this— a day in the life of Joe Conservative– on FB. It’s a little old, apparently, but it’s spot-on as ever.
14) This Quora post on what conservatives don’t get about liberals is really, really good.
15) Colleges pushing back on the use of Advanced Placement tests. Personally, I’m okay with the idea of using for elective credit, but no way should they truly replace a college class. I always regretted that I didn’t have the real version of Intro to American Government at Duke.
16) The regulation of elections is about to get even worse.
17) A pastor asks a great question, “when did compassion become partisan politics?”
18) Trump has no idea how to get anything done. Even when your party has control, legislating is hard work. And it’s clear, Trump has no appetite for that. Jon Cohn:
In particular, Trump has no apparent patience for the boring, slow work of politics ― like developing detailed policy plans, or working them out with congressional leaders. And without that kind of unglamorous work, getting stuff done turns out to be awfully difficult.
19) Very important 4th Circuit ruling on Assault Weapons and great analysis from Mark Joseph Stern. In a less busy week, this definitely gets its own post.
20) Haven’t heard more since this post earlier in the week, but Republicans in NC are looking to put all the roadblocks they can in front of women seeking medical abortions.
21) Ross Douthat blaming the cultural hegemony of the left for Milo.
22) Why protest? It’s fun! Confirmed.
23) I love the Post’s new “Democracy dies in darkness” motto. Fun take on it from Slate.
24) Excellent interview with a Russian newspaper editor on Trump:
A lot of commentators here believe the most generous interpretation of Trump’s fawning orientation to Putin and Russia is that he’s hopelessly naïve. Do you buy that?
That’s a good question. Why does he like Putin so much? I think Trump sees Putin as a kind of soulmate. Let’s be honest: Trump is not a reflective person. He’s quite simple in his thinking, and he’s sort of attracted to Putin’s brutal forcefulness. If anything, this is what Trump and Putin have in common.
Has Putin made a puppet of Trump?
Of course. This is certainly what the Kremlin believes, and they’re acting accordingly. They’re quite obviously playing Trump. They consider him a stupid, unstrategic politician. Putin is confident that he can manipulate Trump to his advantage, and he should be.
25) There were so many great responses to this ludicrous Paul Ryan health care tweet. Alas, from what I can tell, nobody compiled the best. That said, I do like Krugman’s response:
That was last week. This week, perhaps realizing how flat his effort fell, he began tweeting about freedom, which he defined as “the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need.” Give me consumer sovereignty or give me death! And Obamacare, he declared, is bad because it deprives Americans of that freedom by doing things like establishing minimum standards for insurance policies.