I am better today, but not great. I am hoping I am all the way better tomorrow, because tomorrow evening, we're hosting a birthday party for my sister. If I'm not better, my excellent husband will step up and pull off our part of the party mostly on his own, but I'd rather that not happen.
I have spent the majority of the past two days crashed out on my sofa, reading things, so you'd think I'd have great links this week. I'm not sure I do... I wasn't reading at my most engaged level. But here's what I have:
First in self-promo: I did finally post the giveaway for the Tattoo pre-orders. And then I promptly got sick, so I haven't promoted it as much as I intended to. Which means your chances of winning the tote bag are pretty high!
In friend-promo: go read this beautiful story: Traces of Us, by Vanessa Fogg.
And this bittersweet, very short story: Buttons of Flesh and a Beautiful Fish, by Maura Yzmore.
Let's start with something other than the dumpster fire in the White House: the behavior of CEOs!
First, here's a summary of a study that found that CEOs cut investment (thereby boosting stock price) when their shares are about to vest.
And here's an observation from a TPM reader about the effect of the share buybacks (which is how a lot of companies are using their windfall from the recent tax cuts) on CEO pay. (Spoiler: Buybacks tend to boost CEO take home pay, because they boost share price.)
Dahlia Lithwick on the high quality public education that produced the articulate teen activists who have been in the news since the Parkland shooting. Imagine what our future might be like if we could give all public school kids the same high quality education. But too often, extracurriculars like theater and debate are no longer funded, so they only exist in schools with wealthy PTAs that can make up the difference.
Another interesting analysis prompted by the shooting and the resulting discussion: A look at how NRA money really influences politics - it isn't really by direct contributions to candidates.
And here's a look at the NRA lobbyist who has been very influential in loosening Florida's gun laws.
Staying on gun regulations for a minute... Matt Pearce had an inspiring thread on Twitter about the huge turnout at Moms Demand Action meetings in some red states:
Wow. Something’s going on out there. https://t.co/LKYJf8bHiY— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) March 2, 2018
I know that a lot of people felt like nothing changed after the Sandy Hook shooting, and that lack of movement after such a heartbreaking event meant America would never fix its gun laws. But something DID change. Moms Demand Action formed, and they have been steadily working to change American laws and culture with respect to guns. When they were unable to make progress at the national level, they turned their attention to state laws, and also started working on pushing companies to stand up to gun enthusiasts who were pushing more open carrying to "normalize" seeing guns in public in America.
So, when Parkland happened and the teenage survivors started speaking up and moving people to act, those people had somewhere to go, somewhere that was already organized and with a plan of action. There was a place to send all that energy to try to break the deadlock. Will it succeed this time? I don't know. I think it will take a change in Congress, but that this might be one of the issues that makes that change happen. But even if there is still no national action, Moms Demand and other like-minded groups will keep pushing forward, making change happen.
Here's a look at the history of the gun used in a recent shooting in Chicago that I think is a good example of why we should have a background check and paperwork required every time a gun is sold.
OK, enough about guns.
Did you read Monica Lewinsky's piece in Vanity Fair? If not, check it out.
This interview with Tom Scocca is worth your time for the last few questions when he talks about what good op-ed writing can do.
Amy Butcher's essay about the impact of the Trump years on relationships is searing. I have a lot of thoughts around this, but nothing well-formed enough to write down, so add this to the list of things that I might write more about someday.
Jamil Smith wrote a good op-ed about the reckoning Never Trump conservatives need to do. What I'd love to see: a thoughtful, non-trolly analysis of how Democrats can better protect themselves from suffering a similar fate. Most of what I've read along those lines so far has just been pointless rehashing of the 2016 primary given a thin veneer of forward-looking analysis.
Here's an interesting write-up of how the Colorado Republican party handled a bad candidate that is an example of how things might have gone differently in 2016, and spared us all the mess we're in right now.
This is interesting: people detect signs of breast cancer in renaissance paintings.
Did you see the Hamilton Polka? It is fun:
As is this reaction video:
This cracked me up:
Ms 8 - very seriously told me there are three levels of government in Australia- local government, state government and the "feral" government. 😂 #sotrue #feralandfederal— Zenmoo (@Bluefingers_zm) February 27, 2018
And here's our closing bunny!
Happy weekend, everyone!