Friday, June 23, 2017

Weekend Reading: The Going Quiet Edition

I have some vacation time coming up, and will be pretty scarce (or completely absent) around here for a bit. If you miss me, you can always read my archives, I guess.

But before I go quiet, here are some links for you:

My "if you read only one thing, make it this" link for the week is Rebecca Onion's interview with historian Nancy McLean about James McGill Buchanan and the intellectual underpinnings of Charles Koch's donor activism. I think we need to recognize that the goals of some of the big GOP donors are not what they are presented as. Here's a quote from the piece:

"The reality is that they are gerrymandering with a vengeance, to a degree we’ve never seen before in our history; they’re practicing voter suppression in a way we’ve not seen since Reconstruction; they are smashing up labor unions under fake pretenses, not telling people that they actually do want to destroy workers’ ability to organize collectively ... I could go on and on.

They’re doing a lot of things for strategic reasons and not being honest with the public about it."

Here's another scary one: what happens when the man abusing you is a cop.

Scary in a different way: The science of the heat wave that hit Arizona this week. (I can tell you from personal experience that 120 feels a lot different from 115...)

Sarah Kliff at Vox is one of my go-to sources for understanding what's going on with the healthcare bills. She had a post earlier this week about why the GOP are likely to pass it, even though it is really, really unpopular. The short answer is because they campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare, so they think they need to deliver. I think this is probably true. However, I also don't think they really campaigned on this sort of repeal and replace. We heard a lot about how premiums were unaffordable and the markets were going to go into a death spiral and the like... and both of those things get worse under their bill. So the question is, will their voters punish them for that? I honestly don't know.

Meanwhile, in California, we're looking at a single payer system. The LA Times answered some questions about that. I think the potential issue of people moving into the state just to get healthcare is one that will get a lot of discussion. We have a strong job market... but we're already struggling with affordable housing, so I don't know how voters will come down on this.

Are cats really domesticated? Eh, maybe not.

Here's a bunny inspecting a camera:

And here's a kakapo doing the same!

And that's all I have for now. I'll see you in a few weeks!

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