Chilled By Climate Denial

Nov 25 2014 @ 8:00pm

Chris Mooney flags a study suggesting “the climate issue may have become so politicized that our very perceptions of the weather itself are subtly slanted by political identities and cues”:

Comparing Gallup polling results from early March 2012 (just after the winter ended) with actual temperature data from the lower 48 U.S. states, the researchers analyzed people’s perceptions of the warmth of the winter they’d just lived through in light of the temperature anomalies that actually occurred. … It was no surprise that temperatures predicted people’s perceptions of temperatures (duh), but what was surprising is the other factors that also shaped their assessment of how warm it was. The researchers found that political party affiliation had an effect — “Democrats [were] more likely than Republicans to perceive local winter temperatures as warmer than usual,” the paper reports.

Cass Sunstein highlights a related research showing that cold weather makes people “less likely to be concerned about global warming. And when the day seems unusually hot, concern jumps”:

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Face Of The Day

Nov 25 2014 @ 7:27pm

Riots After Grand Jury Decision Rip Apart Ferguson, Missouri

Missouri national guardsmen in riot gear line up in front of the police station on November 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Over 2,000 Missouri national guardsmen are being deployed a day after demonstrators caused extensive damage in Ferguson and surrounding areas following a St. Louis County grand jury decision to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Yglesias Award Nominee

Nov 25 2014 @ 6:45pm

“As I was blearily trying to indicate last night, I am open to the argument that McCulloch was in fact not right. I said his critics have a point. And as I read up on the proceeding this morning, I think that point gets stronger. For those who believe Michael Brown was murdered, what they see is a prosecutor who bent over backwards for a police officer in a way he never would have for nearly any other criminal suspect in the dock. McCulloch let Wilson testify at great length … If McCulloch was determined to get an indictment, this process wouldn’t have taken nearly as long … For those who want me to be all on one side or another of this (Twitter has been an ugly place for the last twelve hours), all I can say is that I am honestly conflicted. Even in this obscenely polarizing chapter of American life, not everything is black and white,” – Jonah Goldberg, NRO.

Hating On Click-Bait

Nov 25 2014 @ 6:00pm

Room for Debate covers the insidious practice. Jazmine Hughes feels condescended to:

[T]he majority of backlash against click bait headlines is a response to the forced push of emotion that click bait content foists onto a consumer. The promise that “you won’t believe what comes next” or “you’ll never feel the same” deprives readers of their analytic agency and imposes an uncontextualized reaction on them. It’s aggressive, empty and intellectually reductive — or, simply, super annoying. There’s nothing wrong with an enticing headline, but pique my interest, don’t belittle my intelligence.

And Baratunde Thurston comments on its cry-wolf quality:

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I suspect part of what’s behind the frustration of people like McCulloch is that social media makes everyone a critic. Thousands and thousands of people are watching over your shoulder to see if you slip up, checking what you missed, judging whether you were thorough enough, questioning your agenda. Good. Having everyone watch you do your job, or not do it, may be a pain, it may be stressful, but in an imperfect justice system, it’s not exactly a bad thing.

Tim Mak agrees:

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Obama Bites His Tongue On Ferguson

Nov 25 2014 @ 4:44pm

Last night, Beutler called on the president to give a big speech on Ferguson:

This is Obama’s first opportunity (for lack of a better word) to use the bully pulpit to steer the national agenda in a positive direction since the slaughter at Newtown, Connecticut, and it’s the first time since he became a national figure that he’ll be able to address a racially charged issue without an election in his future to deter him.

But the statement Obama delivered last night, as Cillizza remarks, “was almost doomed from the start”:

The combination of Obama’s status as the nation’s first black president and the powerful visuals coming out of Ferguson, which are catnip for cable TV, made it a) absolutely necessary that he speak about Ferguson on Monday night and b) absolutely inevitable that whatever he said would be criticized by almost everyone emotionally invested in the story — and outrun by events on the ground that were being broadcast simultaneously with his remarks.

That sort of lose-lose proposition is increasingly becoming a hallmark of the modern presidency.

How Ezra understands Obama’s dilemma:

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Mental Health Break

Nov 25 2014 @ 4:20pm

A music video with flash-fires:

Iran Talks Get An Extension, Ctd

Nov 25 2014 @ 3:55pm

Aaron David Miller and Jason Brodsky are skeptical that the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, which were just extended, will ever bear fruit, given the toxic domestic politics in both Tehran and Washington. “But,” they add, “there may well be something even more fundamental at work: a strategic disconnect”:

We can’t end Iran’s nuclear capacity, so we are working to constrain it through buying time. Iran is trying to preserve as much of that capacity as possible while easing and eliminating economic pressure. And Iran is also playing with and for time. There’s really no end state, either on the nuclear issue or sanctions relief. And thus any comprehensive agreement is, by definition, interim at best. That just doesn’t add up in today’s highly charged and suspicion-laden political environment, no matter how moderate and well-intentioned the negotiators themselves may be.

The fact is that Iran knows what it wants: to preserve as much of its nuclear weapons capacity as possible and free itself from as much of the sanctions regime as it can. The mullahs see Iran’s status as a nuclear weapons state as a hedge against regime change and as consistent with its regional status as a great power. That is what it still wants. And that’s why it isn’t prepared — yet — to settle just for what it needs to do a deal. Ditto for America. And it’s hard to believe that another six months is going to somehow fix that problem.

With Republicans champing at the bit to push through more sanctions, Jeffrey Lewis figures any future talks are doomed:

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What To Make Of Ferguson? Ctd

Nov 25 2014 @ 3:21pm

Many readers comment on the story of the week:

After reading some of Darren Wilson’s testimony, I couldn’t help but automatically think of two separate posts I have read on the Dish before – this one, which talks about a study that finds how whites think black people are magical/supernatural, and this one, about how whites, and especially the police, overestimate the ages of black kids. Both of these studies could have some insight into Wilson’s thinking as he unloaded his clip into an unarmed black teenager, whom he described as looking like a “demon” and able to charge through bullets.

Another continues along those lines:

The rhetoric Wilson used may or may not have been “dehumanizing”, but those were the words of a police officer who was so terrified that he didn’t employ any other means of defusing the situation other than with deadly force, and he came to that conclusion in less than 90 seconds. If Wilson truly believed Brown was a “demon”, he had no business wearing a badge or carrying a gun, just based on the complete panic conveyed in his own words. The conduct of the entire Ferguson PD this whole time was that of a police force that held the citizens of the community with deep contempt, so it’s not surprising that Wilson approached this situation immediately as a worst-case scenario. It’s not even a racial reaction in my opinion; it’s a systemic failure of community policing and police training. Given Wilson’s previous run-in with the community where he displayed neither judgement or emotional control, what happened with Brown looks inevitable in hindsight.

Another dissents:

Andrew, I’m begging you for the second time, please don’t make comments about firearms anymore. How can you say Wilson had “no need” to shoot Brown that many times? The reason law enforcement went to high-capacity handguns and dumped the six shooters is because of the ability of people to withstand multiple gunshot wounds and continue fighting (or shooting.) The catalyst for this approach was the 1986 Miami shooting in which to FBI officers were killed AFTER they had shot two bank robbers multiple times. The robbers eventually died of their wounds, but in the meantime, they kept firing and killed the agents. Officer Wilson adhered to his training: shoot until the suspect is on the ground.

Another makes the same argument and adds:

I consider myself a leftist in good standing, but frankly, Mike Brown is to the Left what Benghazi is to the Right.

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The View From Your Window

Nov 25 2014 @ 3:00pm

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay-CA-11-24 am,

Alcatraz Island, California, 11.24 am