Photo of the day

Loved this article about what it takes to be a great sports photographer (lots and lots of hard work) and really loved this image:

ELMONT, NY – JUNE 02: (EDITORS NOTE: An infrared camera was used to create this image.) A horse and exercise rider train at sunrise on the main track at Belmont Park on June2, 2014 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Quick hits (part I)

1) Expert tax reporter David Cay Johnston on the real problem with Donald Trump and his taxes.

2) Your computer and TV screen are showing you way less interesting colors than they should be.

3) There’s been plenty written about how the Golden State Warriors have revolutionized, but this particular statistic really blows me away.

What amazes fans even more is the location of those shots. NBA players shoot an average of 28% from 27 feet or beyond. Most players don’t even take them unless the shot clock is running out. Mr. Curry has taken 253 such deep shots this year and made 47% of them. [emphasis mine] The result is that defenders have strayed even farther from the basket to guard him, opening even bigger spaces for his teammates.

4) Careful with what browser tabs you have open when posting screen shots.

5) How HB2 is impacting the NC tourism industry.

6) What I found most interesting about this NYT story on research using drugs in dogs to combat the aging process (with intended lessons for human longevity) is that a primary focus is rapamycin, which has been found to be particularly effective in treating my son’s genetic disease, Tuberous Sclerosis.

7) Changing just how dark Obama’s skin is in experiments changes people’s support for conservative policies.

8) In a test of science and engineering skills, 8th grade girls outperformed 8th grade boys.  Good for them.  Let’s figure out what’s happening after 8th grade and do something about it.

9) Dylan Matthews on the failure of the TSA:

The TSA has never presented any evidence that the shoe ban is preventing attacks either. “Focusing on specific threats like shoe bombs or snow-globe bombs simply induces the bad guys to do something else,” Schneier tells Vanity Fair’s Charles Mann. You end up spending a lot on the screening and you haven’t reduced the total threat.” …

The solution is clear: Airports should kick out the TSA, hire (well-paid and unionized) private screeners, and simply ask people to go through normal metal detectors with their shoes on, their laptops in their bags, and all the liquids they desire. The increased risk would be negligible — and if it gets people to stop driving and start flying, it could save lives.

10) Drum on the absurdity of Republicans wanting to impeach the IRS director.  And the Post’s Lisa Rein on the conservative war against the IRS.

11) Honestly, the craziness of Donald Trump pretending to be his own PR guy is 1) truly hilarious; 2) way under-reported.  Seriously, imagine if any other major political figure had done something like this.  It would be a lead story for a week.  Trump has so successfully lowered the bar for appropriate behavior.

12) I like this Gawker take on Trump’s strategy for attacking Clinton, “Donald Trump Hoping You Hadn’t Heard About Benghazi or Monica Lewinsky.”

13) A nice Politico analysis of Trump’s support:

Donald Trump likes to say he has created a political movement that has drawn “millions and millions” of new voters into the Republican Party. “It’s the biggest thing happening in politics,” Trump has said. “All over the world, they’re talking about it,” he’s bragged.

But a Politico analysis of the early 2016 voting data show that, so far, it’s just not true.

While Trump’s insurgent candidacy has spurred record-setting Republican primary turnout in state after state, the early statistics show that the vast majority of those voters aren’t actually new to voting or to the Republican Party, but rather they are reliable past voters in general elections. They are only casting ballots in a Republican primary for the first time.
It is a distinction with profound consequences for the fall campaign…

“All he seems to have done is bring new people into the primary process, not bring new people into the general-election process … It’s exciting that these new people that are engaged in the primary but those people are people that are already going to vote Republican in the [fall],” said Alex Lundry, who served as director of data science for Mitt Romney in 2012, when presented Politico’s findings. “It confirms what my suspicion has been all along.”

14) Greg Koger on why the Republican Party was too weak to fight off Trump.

15) Apparently a lack of resilience in college students is a growing problem.  Honestly, I have not noticed any differences in recent years.

16) No, it wouldn’t really solve our campaign finance problems if politicians spent way less time dialing for dollars.  But, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. 

17) Derek Thompson on the inter-relationship between racism, economic anxiety, and Trump support.

18) They are razing a famous/infamous building at NC State.  It’s round!  Most everybody I know hates it, but I loved having my Intro to American Government in Harrelson 207.  Only lecture hall I’ve ever had where I felt like I could truly connect with the students in the back row.

Roughly 85 percent of N.C. State students at some point attended a class in Harrelson, which accommodated up to 4,500 students in 88 circular and windowless classrooms.

Harrelson was the most-used academic building in the UNC system for decades and became known for its uncomfortable seating, loud heating and cooling system, lack of natural light and pie slice-shaped bathroom stalls.

19) Pre-sliced apples have been a huge boon for the apple industry.  Honestly, I’m not surprised.  I eat a whole apple every day at work, but I do much prefer the sliced apple I make myself when I’m home.

20) Nate Silver explains how he got Donald Trump wrong.  Lots of really good stuff in here.

Quick hits (part II)

1) Why you get worse gifts from close friends.  (People not as close aren’t trying to impress you, just get you what you want).

2) In an utterly unsurprising finding to people who don’t just want to punish women for having sex, a new study shows that contraception reduces abortion rates; anti-abortion laws do not.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… if you really want to reduce abortion, you should want contraception to be as easily and readily available as possible.

3) So not a fan of gender reveal ceremonies.  Do they have something to tell us about transphobia?  Maybe.

4) Headline pretty well captures it: “Congress to America: Drop Dead.”  (Though, it should be Republican Congress).

In February, Obama urgently requested more than $1.8 billion to address Zika, and Congress since then has done nothing but talk. Republicans have protested that the administration doesn’t need the money, that they have questions that haven’t been answered or that the request is vague. These objections are absurd.

Even Senator Marco Rubio laid into his fellow Republicans a few weeks ago, saying: “The money is going to be spent. And the question is, Do we do it now before this has become a crisis, or do we wait for it to become a crisis?”

Rubio is right. It’s always more cost-effective and lifesaving to tackle an epidemic early.

“I’m very worried, especially for our U.S. Gulf Coast states,” said Dr. Peter Jay Hotez, a tropical diseases expert at Baylor College of Medicine. “I cannot understand why a member of Congress from a Gulf Coast state cannot see this train approaching. It’s like refusing emergency preparedness funds for an approaching hurricane.”

We don’t know how badly Zika will hit the U.S. But, the first American has just died of it, and federal health professionals are debating whether to counsel women in Zika areas to avoid pregnancy — and to me, that sounds serious.

The larger mistake is that budget cutters have systematically cut public health budgets that address Zika, Ebola and other ailments. The best bargain in government may be public health, and Republicans have slashed funding for it while Democrats have shrugged.

5) Shockingly, spinal surgeons are more likely to perform spinal surgery when they profit from the devices used in the treatment.  I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

6) Bathrooms and the religious right.

 

7) Meanwhile, Garrett Epps declares HB2 a “Constitutional Monstrosity.”

8) Kids need to learn how to play by themselves.  And to play with other kids if they don’t want to play alone.  I make no apologies for using my iphone when at the playground.

I need my kids to stop playing with me at the playground.

I don’t mean I need them to leave me alone and stop smothering me in attention because I’d like 10 minutes with my phone and to wander pointlessly through the pathways. But on the other hand, yeah, that’s exactly what I mean. I need them to play tag by themselves. Climb some branches. Explore the riverbank. Find frogs. Be dinosaur robots. Anything other than standing there, pawing at my legs, scampering off then returning every 30 seconds with a command to play some game I’ve not heard of. Somehow, at ages 12 and 4, they can’t entertain themselves.

9) If it isn’t enough that we treat the animals used for meat horribly, we also treat the humans in meat production horribly.  Can’t we just pay a little more for meat and have animals and humans treated not horribly?!

10) Not surprisingly, the founder of the Creation Museum just doesn’t understand science.

11) Swaddling may increase the risk of SIDS.  But I bet it doesn’t if you follow other safe bedding practices.  Of course, that’s never addressed in these studies.

12) State mandated burials for all aborted and miscarried fetuses in Indiana.  Sorry, that’s just nuts.

13) Why the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs have been so successful for so long.

14) Just another mentally ill individual dying from mistreatment in jail.  Nothing to see here.

15) Is there a genuine problem of liberal intolerance on college campuses?  Maybe.  Though, honestly, in my experience it’s not happening in the Political Science departments.

Quick hits (part II)

1) How Intel made the wrong bet on the future of technology 10 years ago.

2) Contrary to what politicians and media would have you believe “normal America,” is not some small town in “the heartland,” but rather, a racially diverse, mid-size metropolitan area.

3) Jon Cohn on why it is so hard to keep health care prices down:

If you want to know why it’s so hard to fight the pharmaceutical industry and reduce spending on prescription drugs, pay close attention to a new Obama administrationinitiative and the reaction it’s getting on Capitol Hill — even from would-be allies in the Democratic Party.

The initiative seeks to change how Medicare pays for cancer therapies and other medications that physicians administer directly to patients in their offices or other outpatient settings. Under the current arrangement, Medicare basically reimburses doctors for the price of these drugs and then adds on an extra fee.

Not everybody agrees, however. The administration’s proposal has provokedintense opposition from the pharmaceutical industry and other physician groups, such as oncologists, for whom the existing system is extremely lucrative. They insist the proposed changes could disrupt the medication supply for cancer patients and other people in need of life-saving medication — arguments that some patient organizations have also made.

4) Inciting political anger is a lucrative business.

5) Actual science behind “resting bitch face.

6) The N&O on the recent federal court decision upholding NC’s Voter ID law:

One and all, these changes in state and local law would have been closely scrutinized by the Justice Department, in pre-clearance, and probably disallowed.

In upholding the recent monkey business in voter-eligibility requirements and procedures, Judge Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote with wonderful obtuseness: “In North Carolina’s recent history … certainly for the last quarter-century, there is little official discrimination to consider.” Which raises the question of what the weasel words “little” and “official” mean in context. My own judgment is that Schroeder must occupy a noiseless and newsless cocoon.

7) Extend the range of you remote car key.

8) What do you do with the prisoner/whistleblower who reports the egregious malfeasance of prison guards?  Why, in America, punish him all the more, of course.

9) I’d been wanting a piece explaining how Leicester City has basically pulled off the most improbably feat in modern sports history (seriously, it’s the maintaining this level over a full 38 game season that is so amazing) and Slate has come through:

The best tactics in the world can help you steal a couple of games you shouldn’t win. They can’t steal you a league title. To win the Premier League, you need great players, and Leicester has them. For a team operating on a limited budget, the most valuable asset is the late bloomer, someone whose growth curve shoots skyward after the big clubs have taken their look and moved on. Right back Danny Simpson and midfielder Danny Drinkwater, who made his first appearance for England in March, spent time in Manchester United’s academy. Defender Robert Huth was brought to England from Germany by Chelsea, while Kasper Schmeichel, son of Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel, started his career at Manchester City. All are now regular starters for a team that is assured of finishing above those who deemed them surplus.

Leicester has somehow gotten all of these late bloomers to flower at the exact same moment. The 25-year-old Algerian Riyad Mahrez, English football’s newly anointed player of the year, has scored more goals this season than he did in his previous four of first-team soccer combined. Striker Jamie Vardy scored five goals last year in his first Premier League season and is currently on 22 and counting. Leicester’s youngest regular starter, pint-sized destroyer of worlds N’Golo Kanté, was brought over from the midtable French club Caen this summer for $8 million; he is now wanted by somewhere between most and all of Europe’s top clubs.

If any one of these players had broken out last season, he likely would have been sold off for a handsome profit. Leicester City would have gotten paid, the player would have gotten paid, and the fans would have been upset but ultimately accepted the realities of the game’s economics. Everybody would have been OK with the status quo.

10) Reagan’s tax cuts were definitely not the key to economic growth in the 1980’s.  Of course, Republicans will never stop claiming otherwise.

11) Will Saletan with the ultimate takedown of the polls say Bernie is more electable nonsense.

12) Women curse in public way less than men.  Good for them, damnit!  Seriously.  Not a big fan.  Nonetheless, it’s subtle sexism at work.

13) Yes,  Cruz naming Carly Fiorina as his VP runnnig mate was very short-term thinking, but as Seth Masket points out, VP selections are (lamentably) almost always short-term thinking.

But as we reflect on Ted Cruz’s pick, it’s worth remembering how many presidential candidates picked running mates based on immediate exigencies and naked political calculation. The multi-year scrutiny — with all the debates, speeches, ads, and punditry — that we apply to the top of the ticket is simply not in effect for the position that’s a heartbeat away from the presidency. It’s usually just a handful of people thinking about what will get their campaign through the next few months.

14) Republicans like to point to high risk pools as the key to replacing Obamacare.  Drum points out that there’s no way this would actually work.

15) And Drum again, with a brief look at a recent Pew report that interestingly shows that Democrats have a real education gap while Republicans have an age gap.

16) Our system of cash bail that punishes people for being poor is uniquely horrible and needs to be done away with.

17) I used to really like Salon way back when it was new.  I was even a subscriber.  Now, I pretty much only read it when I want to see what the far left is thinking.  This is an example of why.

18) British physicians urge a switch to e-cigarettes over the real ones.  Yes, harm reduction!  American doctors remain skeptical, but hard for me to see how this is not a positive step.

19) Love this Op-Ed from my NCSU colleague, Mark Nance, on how HB2 is part of the fruits of gerrymandering:

Of all the amazing aspects of this story, however, what is most striking is what’s not there. By most accounts, McCrory was not the driver of the bill. He likely preferred a very narrow bill to overturn the Charlotte ordinance as a strategy against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper. So where are those who really pushed the bill? Where has the GOP leadership been and why aren’t they on the front lines defending the bill? Where are the 11 Democrats who voted for it? Why aren’t they defending the good reputation of North Carolina?

The Associated Press recently went to great lengths to get comments from all lawmakers who voted for the bill, with miserably bad response rates. It took a comment from the president of the United States to get Senate leader Phil Berger to respond, an exception that proves the rule: The politicians who pushed hardest for this bill have said nothing in the face of staunch criticism. Why?

They don’t have to. About 90 percent of the legislators who voted for the bill either face no challengers in their elections this fall or won their last election by more than 10 percentage points.

20) Obama wants law enforcement to use smart guns.  Smart.  We need to create a market for these and a strong push from the federal government would really help with that.

21) Ross Douthat trying to understand how so many Republicans support Trump despite his obvious handicap in the general election:

On the evidence of past campaigns, this engagement inclines them (in the aggregate) to balance ideology and electability when they vote. That is, as engaged partisans they’re more likely to have particular litmus tests, more likely to have specific issues or causes that they care about. But they’re also more likely to loathe the other party, the other ideological team, with a passion that makes winning in November seem essential. And because they follow politics relatively closely, they’re more likely to have a clear sense of who can win and who simply cannot…

But here the model isn’t completely broken, because a majority of Republican voters don’t actually believe that Trump faces long odds, don’t agree that he’s less electable than Cruz or Kasich (or Rubio or whomever further back). Instead, since last fall Republican voters have consistently told pollsters that they think Trump is the candidate most likely to winin November. So the party’s voters are choosing electability — as they see it — over ideology; they’re just in the grip of a strong delusion about Trump’s actual chances against Hillary Clinton.

The reason for this delusion might be the key unresolved question of Trump’s strange ascent. Is it the fruit of Trump’s unparalleled media domination — does he seem more electable than all his rivals because he’s always on TV? Is it a case of his victor’s image carrying all before it — if you win enough primary contests, even with 35 percent of the vote, people assume that your winning streak can be extended into November? Is this just how a personality cult rooted in identity politics works — people believe in the Great Leader’s capacity to crush their tribe’s enemies and disregard all contrary evidence?

22) How regulating banks is like getting hockey players to wear helmets.

 

Biggest draft steal ever

Didn’t expect an NFL Draft post from me, did you?  Well, I’m all about people and institutions acting dumb by irrational fear of marijuana use.  From Thursday night:

CHICAGO – Three weeks ago, Laremy Tunsil was the likely No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

On Thursday, he suffered one of the most bizarre falls down the draft board in recent history after a video of him wearing a gas mask and smoking a bong was posted on his verified Twitter account just before the start of the draft.

Tunsil slid behind Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley, drafted by the Baltimore Ravens at No. 6, and Michigan State’s Jack Conklin, to the Tennessee Titans at No. 8, until the Miami Dolphins finally ended his fall at 9:43 p.m. ET at pick No. 13.

Got that?  Presumably the college football player with the potential to have the single biggest impact in the NFL slipped 12 places to #13 because someone posted a video of him using a bong.  That’s nuts!  Go Miami Dolphins for having the sense to take a steal of a pick.  This guy could be getting drunk off his ass four nights a week and nobody cares, but a video of him using marijuana and he’s player non grata?!  Just so dumb.

Quick hits

Late on these because I’ve been at a Political Science conference.  Using 30 minutes of free WiFi in Chicago-Midway to see how many I can get through.  Relatedly, less quotations this week.  Sorry.

1) Really interesting Washington Post story on the incredible hardship faced by women after they have been freed from Boko Haram.

2) SAT and ACT are now making big money by having states (including NC) using them as Common Core tests.  Meanwhile, the tests actually designed to be used with Common Core… not so much.

 

3) Of course many of the businesses who are now opposing NC’s HB2 helped elect them social conservatives who brought us this backward legislation.

4) I hadn’t realized that the Washington DC Metro was so new when I started riding it as a kid.  It’s now really showing it’s age at 40.

5) Nicholas Kristof’s latest on what whites don’t get:

LET’S start with a quiz. When researchers sent young whites and blacks out to interview for low-wage jobs in New York City armed with equivalent résumés, the result was:

A) Whites and blacks were hired at similar rates.

B) Blacks had a modest edge because of affirmative action.

C) Whites were twice as likely to get callbacks.

The answer is C, and a black applicant with a clean criminal record did no better than a white applicant who was said to have just been released from 18 months in prison.

A majority of whites believe that job opportunities are equal for whites and blacks, according to a PBS poll, but rigorous studies show that just isn’t so. [emphasis mine]

6) Garrett Epps on how the challenge to redistricting backfired.

7) A former student of mine shared this in all seriousness on FB (and praised NC’s recent efforts on HB2).  Oh my.  Thought about defriending her for rank stupidity, but decided there’s utility in having some of the crazy come across my feed.

8) The Constitution as a Code of Honor.

9) Conor Friedersdorf on how the drug war has helped fuel the opioid epidemic.

10) I’ve really wanted to do a full post on Hillary Clinton and gender and perceptions of honesty.  I haven’t.  So, do me a favor and read Jill Abramson and Christina Cauterucci.

11) Every time I go through airport security, I feel like the terrorists have one.  In this case, IBM won by making $1.4 million for an app that makes a random left or right arrow.

12) So, this article about Jay Bilas and Mike Gminski is totally old, but new to me, about my two favorite basketball analysts who are both former Duke players.

13) The day after a friend was asking me about the relationship between religiosity and income in the US, this from Andrew Gelman popped up in my feed.

14) Hillary Clinton’s taking autism seriously from a policy perspective.  Of course, my favorite thing about Hillary is that she takes most everything seriously from a policy perspective.

Clinton’s autism plan, announced Tuesday, is well-informed and shows a grasp of the issues that few outside of disability rights circles have. If she wins the election and does even half of the things she promises, she could make an enormous difference in the everyday lives of autistic people. If she loses, she has still tremendously raised the bar on how presidential candidates can and should address autism.

Her plan focuses on necessary and sorely needed support programs for autistic people: improving employment opportunities and housing availability, significantly limiting the use of physical restraints, guaranteeing access to assistive communication technology for people who are nonverbal or have difficulty with spoken language and a specific call to do research on adult autism prevalence and needs. These issues are of vital importance to autistic people and our loved ones. No other major US presidential candidate has made these issues a part of his or her political platform.

15) Really good Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker on the institutionalized resistance to change in the Republican party.

16) Well, North Carolina can no longer claim to be the more sensible, non-backward Carolina (seriously, Nikki Haley looking like a statewoman compared to our “leaders”), but we’ll always have Mississippi.

17) If Donald Trump published an academic article.  Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

18) Frum with a really interesting take on how the world might have been different had the Allies lost WWI.

Quick hits (part I)

1) Nice look at the the very nice work some friends of mine having done on conspiracy theories in American politics.

2) Plenty disturbing that this professor was ever suspended.

3) I always talk about the symbiotic relationship between media and politicians.  Jim Rutenberg on just how true this is in the case of Trump.

4) Vox, of course, with a very nice explainer of how a brokered convention would work.

5) Loved this summary of all the ways Finland gets it right on education:

Finland doesn’t waste time or money on low-quality mass standardized testing. Instead, children are assessed every day, through direct observation, check-ins and quizzes by the highest-quality “personalized learning device” ever created — flesh-and-blood teachers.

In class, children are allowed to have fun, giggle and daydream from time to time. Finns put into practice the cultural mantras I heard over and over: “Let children be children,” “The work of a child is to play,” and “Children learn best through play.” …

The emotional climate of the typical classroom is warm, safe, respectful and highly supportive. There are no scripted lessons and no quasi-martial requirements to walk in straight lines or sit up straight. As one Chinese student-teacher studying in Finland marveled to me, “In Chinese schools, you feel like you’re in the military. Here, you feel like you’re part of a really nice family.” She is trying to figure out how she can stay in Finland permanently.

In the United States, teachers are routinely degraded by politicians, and thousands of teacher slots are filled by temps with six or seven weeks of summer training. In Finland teachers are the most trusted and admired professionals next to doctors, in part because they are required to have master’s degrees in education with specialization in research and classroom practice.

“Our mission as adults is to protect our children from politicians,” one Finnish childhood education professor told me. “We also have an ethical and moral responsibility to tell businesspeople to stay out of our building.” In fact, any Finnish citizen is free to visit any school whenever they like, but her message was clear: Educators are the ultimate authorities on education, not bureaucrats, and not technology vendors.

6) Loved this profile of PPP pollster and all-around good guy, Tom Jenshttp://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/not-average-pollster-phones-trump-credible-says-n-c-manen.

7) Do baboons appreciate magic?  Watch this and make up your own mind.

8) Given that many a libertarian economist likes the idea of a basic income, maybe we should try and make this happen.

9) Republicans in NC insisted we could take the cheap, short-cut to addressing pollution in the lake that provides me drinking water.  They were wrong.

10) Great Seth Masket on the movie version versus the realities of politicians:

A familiar character in mainstream political films is the apolitical politician. This goes back at least to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), in which Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart), a good-natured, naive idealist who somehow can quote from the Constitution while knowing nothing about the actual functioning of the federal government, is appointed to the United States Senate. With a bit of coaching from his sole legislative aide (with whom he’s in love), he stages a filibuster that roots out the corruption at the heart of the Senate and destroys an evil political machine in the process. His instincts and his strength of character prevail over entrenched political power…

As with the other films, this is fundamentally a silly concept. The idea that someone would be perfect for a job precisely because they have absolutely no experience with it is perverse. It represents a profound misunderstanding of how government functions, assuming that budgets would be balanced, wars would be ended, and the people’s needs would be met if we could just get politics out of the equation. It also displays a serious misunderstanding of what corruption is, seemingly suggesting that the normal logrolling that keeps a legislature functioning is inherently evil. Someone who doesn’t understand politics would be far more at risk of being corrupted of course—they wouldn’t know whom to trust… [emphasis mine]

But we can see elements of such characters in the rise of Trump. Here is a candidate whose chief selling points are that he is an outsider, untainted by actual government service, and that he gets things done through instinct and character. What’s more, as he explains it, the problems facing the country, whether due to a slow economy or a shadowy foreign army, are easy to fix once you get rid of the stupid, corrupt people in government.

11) Even if you are not a sports fan, you should appreciate pretty much the most improbably comeback in college basketball history.  I believe I read somewhere the odds of Texas A&M winning this game had fallen to .03%.

12) I love the song “Stressed Out” by 21 Pilots.  On how it is an anthem for millennials.

13) This short video is titled “why empathy is a bad thing.”  Good points, but should be titled why empathy can be a bad thing.

14) Put me in the camp that believes Emily’s List is totally wrong and counter-productive going after Chris Van Hollen in Maryland. In a world of limited resources, hard to see how it is truly justified going after a liberal Democrat who has been very solid on women’s issues.

15) Really, really good one on the lies behind NC’s new legislation:

But mostly, the backers of this bill are liars. They are cynically creating and exploiting public fears to score points with their base, raise money, and win victories against LGBT people in areas of employment and public accommodations—victories they know they couldn’t get if they attacked the issue honestly.

Surely, by now, the national groups behind this legislation—the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, American Family Association—are fully aware that they are lying. They know that there is not a single case on record of a man taking advantage of a nondiscrimination bill, dressing up as a woman, being allowed into a women’s restroom, and sexually assaulting someone. They also know that ordinances like Charlotte’s would not eliminate single-sex restrooms and locker rooms.

So, these purported men of God are liars.

What about North Carolina’s governor, Pat McCrory? Here’s where it gets interesting, because if you read his comments closely enough, he knows that he, too, is a liar—but is lying in just the right way to cover his lying, sorry ass.

16) Oh, and just for fun, the law makes it harder for workers to sue if they’ve been discriminated against.

17) And just so we’re clear, law enforcement is clear about this fictional risk:

“It’s common sense — biological men should not be in women’s showers, locker rooms and bathrooms,” GOP Rep. Dean Arp of Monroe said, according to the Associated Press.

Even some citizens have expressed similar concerns.

“It’s going to open the door for people with malicious intent who would masquerade as transgenders to come in and actually take advantage and have access to our kids,” Donna Eaton of Carey said, according to Talking Points Memo.

Police departments and sexual assault experts, however, beg to differ, according to Media Matters, “a non-profit progressive information and research center,” as the organization defines itself.

In a new report, Media Matters interviewed 15 experts across the country — from law enforcement officials to sexual assault victim advocates — who all said that the notion that LGBTQ laws open up women’s bathrooms to sexual predators is baseless.

“Sexual assaults stemming from non-discrimination laws are not even remotely a problem,” John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police, told Media Matters.

Other police departments around the country also said the “bathroom myth” was unsubstantiated.

18) Listened to a Seinfeld interview the other day.  This is old, but as relevant as ever about sports.

19) Even if you are not a fan of HBO’s Silicon Valley (and you should be) so long as you appreciate this modern golden-age of comedy, definitely check out this Wired feature.

 

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