End-of-Week Miscellany: Snow Day Linkdump Edition

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“Look at the big jerk. He ruined my life, and for what? A STUPID KID! Because of you, I am stuck in this frozen wasteland!”
“Wasteland? I think you mean Wonderland! I mean, how about all this fabulous snow, huh?! Oh, and wait until you see the local village, cutest thing in the world.  I haven’t even mentioned all the free yak’s milk.”
“Wh…what did you say?”
“Yak’s milk.  Milking a yak isn’t exactly a picnic, but once you pick the random internet links out, it’s very nutritious.”

  • Steve Brawner breaks down why the vote to kill The Professor’s challenge to the individual mandate was the right decision.  “Attempting to defy the Constitution through an act of the Arkansas Legislature is a good way to get the state into a court case it certainly will lose, with taxpayers footing the legal bill.”  Exactly.
  • Roby Brock details the forthcoming study on prison reform, including several of the key issues.  Most interesting, in my opinion, is the discussion on electronic-monitor bracelets, which are woefully underutilized (along with pretty much all alternative sentencing options) in Arkansas.
  • Ed at Gin and Tacos looks at the 28 (and counting) bills introduced already this session by Tea Party types who seek to repeal some or all of [cue thunderous voice] THE SCOURGE THAT IS OBAMACARE [/voice].

    Beyond that I understand the cat-and-mouse game that goes on during divided government, as the Congress passes bills it knows the president will veto in the hopes that the veto can be used against him during the next election. This usually requires devising an Orwellian and misleading title, e.g. the Stop Terrorists with AIDS From Raping Your Daughter Act, so that future “Can you believe Obama vetoed this? My god! What an animal!” rage can be more easily provoked. I get it.

  • The Daily Beast suggests that Arkansas’s use of stimulus funds was perhaps not all that great. “Arkansas used 81 percent of its money for new projects and none on transit; it also has a higher unemployment rate than Vermont. And unlike other states near the bottom of the list, just 38 percent of its roads are in good condition.”
  • Paul Krugman has a short-but-fascinating post on “thought experiments” and how, in certain circumstances, they can be more explanatory than mathematical models when thinking about economics.

    I have nothing against mathematical models and econometrics. But my experience is that many misunderstandings in economics come about because people don’t have in their minds any intuitive notion of what it is they’re supposed to be modeling.

  • Musical break! Keeping with the Snow Day theme, here’s an absolutely bizarre video of some dude covering Snow’s “Informer” on an acoustic guitar:
  • John Brummett has a good overview of possible redistricting scenarios. With Arkansas’s official census numbers supposed to be released next week, expect to see a lot more “well, we could ____” stories from all across the political spectrum.
  • < href=”http://mediamatters.org/research/201102040021″>Media Matters explores the upcoming assault on the science behind global warming. Because, you know, who needs science when you have … um … Glenn Beck? Hyperbole? An agenda? One of those, I’m sure.
  • FireDogLake counts the money pumped by the DCCC into campaigns for Democrats who have since supported HR3, the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion” Act that would have, until recently, contained a provision that limited rape to “forcible rape” (ignoring, of course, that all rape is, by definition, “forcible” in some sense of the word). If it surprises you that Mike Ross is on this list, then you haven’t been paying attention.
  • Finally, Progressive Arkansas has a look at the ethics bill and the “herbal snuff” bill. I just wanted to type “herbal snuff.”

SNOWBALL FIGHT!