Friday, March 17, 2017

Weekend Reading: The Politics and Animals Edition

I didn't get my Friday rollerblade today, because my 4th grader had a special event at school. They do something called a wax museum. They each do a report on a famous person, then they dress up as that person and parents and other kids can come hear them deliver a spiel about their person. It was cool to see all the kids dressed up, and to walk around and get the spiels. There was a huge range of famous people selected. The kids were supposed to select someone with a connection to California, but they were pretty lenient in what that connection could be. Pumpkin was Amelia Earhart, and her connection to California was just that she ran a flight school here for a little while.

So, to the links.

I announced three new acquisitions for Annorlunda Books this week. Today, I spent a couple of hours working out the production schedules for those books and a Taster Flight I'd like to do.

In politics:

For St. Patrick's Day, Fintan O'Toole provides a reminder of the history of Irish immigration to the US, and how they were once the reviled, uneducated, poor immigrants.

Today's WTF moment was provided by someone in the White House including this satirical Alexandra Petri post about the budget in their roundup of links they sent out trying to show the budget in a favorable light. As I said on Twitter, this would be funny, except these people also have the power to declare war.

A bipartisan roadtrip shows that maybe we can still be friends across the partisan divide. I am still friends with several people who see politics differently than I do. I like them, which is why I'm friends with them, but I also like knowing people who think differently than me. (Except on some deal-breakers: I've ended friendships over racism.)

John Scalzi wrote about something similar, and his post and the article it links to are good to read, along with the comments on his post, which are generally thoughtful.

The Iowa Starting Line looks at why Western Iowa keeps electing Steve King.

Megan McArdle on the mistake Republicans are making when they cut taxes like they've done in Kansas.

I've said before that I've found Vox's coverage of healthcare really useful. Here is a long piece from Sarah Kliff and Ezra Klein about the lessons of Obamacare that the Republicans apparently did not learn. It is worth the time to read.

This Chris Ladd piece is really good, both in thinking about how we got to our weird system where our employers provide health insurance and in thinking about why Democrats are struggling with working class white people right now. I think the fact that white people are used to getting our government assistance in basically invisible ways has allowed a culture to develop in which more obvious assistance—even when less generous than the assistance people like me get—is seen to be a sign of weakness or failure, which understandably makes people less interested in receiving it. I know plenty of people who have held off signing up for the unemployment benefits due to them after a layoff, because they do not want to take "help." Nevermind that it is a program they've paid into, they feel ashamed to need it.

But of course, we're all taking assistance. I take a ginormous mortgage interest deduction on my taxes. We have a child care credit on our taxes. But because those are tax deductions, they don't trigger the shame, I guess.

There's a lot going on there that I am not at all qualified to assess. Add it to my list of things to read about at some point, I guess.

That's a lot of politics, but I don't have much else this week. Just some creepy animals turned to stone at an alkaline lake in Tanzania.

And a dog with the best "bullshit!" face you'll ever see:

And bunnies. Of course, I have bunnies.

Happy weekend, everyone. Time for me to go make pizza!

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