July 26, 2015 Leave a comment
2) Speaking of Hillary and taxes, she’s also speaking out on the “hair and makeup tax” faced by women. Enjoyed the emphatic “amen” on this from a female reporter friend.
3) Dahlia Lithwick on a the recent 8th Circuit abortion decision:
What the 8th Circuit panel did yesterday goes far beyond admitting evidence from a discredited “expert” or two, willing to testify to conclusions that have been long debunked by serious scientific and medical organizations. This court actually usedthat faux science—without testing or weighing it or even allowing it to be evaluated at trial—to advance their argument that Roe and Casey are bad law because they just don’t like them. They would just take the assertions of “one doctor” and “one woman” as proof that abortions are bad and states should regulate them however and whenever they see fit. For all their alleged faults, Roe and Casey represented judicial attempts to calibrate the complex and competing interests of medical science, state interests, pregnant women, and the unborn fetuses they carried. They were not a series of Post-it notes from one side of the abortion debate.
4) Some research a while back suggested that most campus rapes are committed by serial rapists. The latest research? Maybe not so much.
5) Fascinating piece in the Economist on how the ubiquitousness of English is seemingly affecting commonly-used grammar in other languages.
6) Drum on how the new EPA power plant rules that conservatives said would destroy America are (surprise!) not going to destroy America.
7) What 10 Republicans will get to participate in the first GOP debate? Given the low polling averages at the bottom, there will probably be an element of chance in who is included.
8) Great Pew feature on the changing demographics of America.
9) Love this Jordan Weissman on Jeb’s economic proposals:
So Bush has managed to clear the ankle-high bar of looking relatively adult in the quadrennial freak show known as the Republican primary. This is not the same, however, as demonstrating that his ideas are particularly thoughtful or moderate. [emphasis mine] While he breaks with his party’s rabid base on immigration and education, when it comes to the all-important issues regarding the size and role of government, his positions seem to be GOP boilerplate mixed with a dash of hardcore conservative fantasy, all dressed up with some rhetorical gimmicks. Bush might be the grown-up in the room. But you have to consider the room.
10) A prostitute acting in self defense may have just killed a serial killer (and surely saved future lives in the process).
11) One thing NCLB has done well? Helping Special Education students. (Though I still strongly question the wisdom of standardized tests for children– such as my own– who are not even on a Kindergarten academic level).
12) And on a related subject, students with disabilities are being punished at disproportionate rates as the same rules do not always make sense for them (I’ll never forget the absurdity of Alex being sent “to the principal” for what amounted to the type of tantrum a three-year old would have).
13) Say what you will about Millennials, but I do appreciate the fact that they would much rather work in a vibrant downtown than a suburban office park. This, of course, is bad news for office parks.
14) Daniel Kahneman thinks we all need to be less confident. I’m quite confident that he is right about this:
What’s fascinating is that Kahneman’s work explicitly swims against the current of human thought. Not even he believes that the various flaws that bedevil decision-making can be successfully corrected. The most damaging of these is overconfidence: the kind of optimism that leads governments to believe that wars are quickly winnable and capital projects will come in on budget despite statistics predicting exactly the opposite. It is the bias he says he would most like to eliminate if he had a magic wand. But it “is built so deeply into the structure of the mind that you couldn’t change it without changing many other things”.
15) So, those cool kids at 13? Not so great at 23.
16) I must admit I’m quite partial to this theory for why social psychologists are liberal. But given all the social-psychology I know, I think it may be just motivated reasoning (though, there’s probably some there there).
17) Just so we’re clear, you have the right to be rude to police officers. Of course, just because you have the right to mouth off, doesn’t mean its a good idea as there’s little to stop them from escalating a situation and arresting you even if they should not have done so.
18) Back in 5th grade I was the Rubik’s Cube champ of West Springfield Elementary. It took me several minutes on average. I am in awe of the fact that people today can do it in under 10 seconds.
That’s me wearing my “I solved the Rubik’s Cube” t-shirt while hitting the mini-links in Ocean City, Maryland, circa 1982.