April 25, 2015 Leave a comment
Yeah, I know I just had these, but now back to the regular Saturday and Sunday morning schedule.
1) Reihan Salam makes a good case that raising the minimum wage to $15 is just too high and that we should raise it in a much more nuanced manner (e.g., taking the vastly different costs of living throughout the US into account). I’m sold.
2) Here’s an idea– punish poor people by suspending their drivers licenses so that they cannot hold down a job requiring transportation thereby keeping them poor. Genius! Only in America.
3) Republicans are at it again trying to completely eliminate the estate tax. A nice explainer on how it really works at Vox. Safe to say, this is purely of benefit to multi-millionaires and above, i.e., the true constituency of Congressional Republicans.
4) Great piece at the Monkey Cage about what we get wrong about lobbying and corruption:
The real story is not that lobbying or special interests are inherently bad. We have had them as long as we’ve had politics.
The problem is that one set of interests routinely overpowers the rest. In particular, corporate lobbying has metastasized over the last four decades, and this increasingly over-crowded and hyper-contested lobbying environment benefits the large corporations who have the most resources to participate in the day-to-day workings of Congress. [emphasis mine] This problem is compounded because Congress increasingly lacks its own capacity to keep up.
5) Speaking of which, this Salon article cites research by my friend Cherie Maestas in explaining how part-time legislatures (just like we have here in NC) are especially susceptible to the influence of money.
6) Nice piece in the Atlantic on how “patient satisfaction” is not a particularly good metric by which to assess health care quality.
7) The New Yorker’s Michael Specter is the ideal person to weigh in on the latest controversy of Dr. Oz and his peddling of psuedo-science. I also like that he links to this study on the health effects of GMO food on animals (and you know they get a ton of it):
The aim of this systematic review was to collect data concerning the effects of diets containing GM maize, potato, soybean, rice, or triticale on animal health. We examined 12 long-term studies (of more than 90 days, up to 2 years in duration) and 12 multigenerational studies (from 2 to 5 generations)…
Results from all the 24 studies do not suggest any health hazards and, in general, there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed. However, some small differences were observed, though these fell within the normal variation range of the considered parameter and thus had no biological or toxicological significance.
8) Love this Wonkette post on Rubio’s climate change denialism. The title capture it well, “Marco Rubio Is Not A Scientist, Is A Idiot.”
9) Can the type of car you drive make you an unethical driver? Maybe.
10) NC legislators doing their best to protect abusive practices in meat-producing operations.
11) Please let this Google plan actually be the future of cell phone service. We so need this.
12) If you haven’t seen this brilliant Amy Schumer sketch on how Hollywood treats older (i.e., above 35) actresses, please do. Just don’t watch with your kids around.
13) Apparently picky eaters like me are what’s wrong with America. At least according to the French.
14) Really nice piece from Megan McArdle about what “free range parenting” means about the nature of community in modern America.