Late Link Loves R Us

February challenge continues to go poorly.  It’s not that I don’t want to write, it’s that I just don’t have enough willpower to get everything done before 8am the next day and then I start getting heavily interrupted throughout the day.  There were a couple of days this week I only wrote 15 min.  There were a couple of days I wrote in the morning.  Last Saturday I did no writing.  Basically, I haven’t gained much with this challenge so far and I still have over 300 emails that I need to get through.  I’ll be working all Saturday starting with grading as soon as I finish this link love.  (Writing will come later because I need to discuss some things with a coauthor on a book chapter that finally came back this week.)  Sometime in March I’ll wrap up with why I’ve been getting a C on this challenge (B- if you’re grading generously) even though I’ve done all the previous challenges even ones that were dumb or that I really really hated.

My #2 fear is getting closer to reality.

Republicans in congress are afraid to see their constituents and are refusing to see anybody but big donors during the week that they’re supposed to visit with constituents.  Both of my senators and my congressman are terrified and are refusing to come out.  The closest office to my senator LIED to me about not having the senator’s calendar and then asked for my detailed contact information “to send to DC to get you on the list” because “he doesn’t announce in his newsletter”.  I called the DC office and they told me that they didn’t know why the regional office would say such things since they have no such list and the regional offices all have the senator’s schedule.  Here’s Indivisible on what to do if your MOC has gone missing.  DH is going to one this weekend (it’s in the evening so I’ll be staying home with the kids).

Chaffetz, who should be fired and hopefully will not be re-elected because the people of Utah are basically good people, goes after Sid the Science kid.  He’s also launching yet another investigation of hillary clinton’s emails because I guess he’s hoping that will deflect the fact that he’s not only not @#4ing doing his job but that he’s going to be largely responsible for the @#$23ing mess that Trump is being allowed to do.  There are links to those statements, but I’m too depressed to dig them up.  @#$22 Chaffetz.

Trump’s conflicts of interest ARE SCARY.

Republicans gonna repub.

More white supremacist neo-nazis on campus (aka the f-ing neonazi alt-right)

Why gamergaters become “alt-right” neonazis.

Idaho tried and failed at creating a better plan than the ACA.  That’s because the ACA is the best right-wing plan that there is.  (A better plan would be single-payer, but that would eliminate an entire industry which would do bad things to the economy in the short-run.)

This is frightening and funny at the same time.

MEETUP has joined the #resist movement.  Seriously, MEETUP.  Check them out for things near you!

We are awake and we are angry.

What just happened?  H/T Bogart.

Universities didn’t turn left, the right turned imbecile.  OMG, I have heard so many stories about my congressman in the past week.  No wonder he isn’t coming out to the college town that is a big part of his gerrymandered district.

Sexist course evals.

This is a toolkit from the Immigration Law Center.  More info on protecting immigrants.

US Weekly sick burn.  (Also, excellent inveting advice)

Melinda Gates’ Birth Control pledge.

This is a smart comment and also why I’m pushing my kids so hard in K-12.

At some point in the future I will blog about adventures in trying to find a new flatware set.  But today is not that day.  Here’s a link to another review, though.

Today’s out-of-context internet quote that inspires productivity: “i prefer eating Belgian chocolate to get me in a growth mindset ”  Related:  coffee shop for non-morning people.

This would have been a cool tv series, and I want to read the book!

There are worse hills.

Stay safe out there in the rain.

Pluto’s heart.

“Did you ever wish you could make scatter plots with cat shaped points?  Now you can!”

 

Link love and not doing great at the February challenge

I definitely have not been writing for an hour every morning at 8am.  See, what happened was I had a whole plan all ready … and then I got a major grant*, but they need changes made before they can lock in the money and I really want to get the money locked in ASAP.

Saturday and Sunday I wrote for an hour each sort of in the morning, mostly grant stuff.  Monday I did half an hour.  Tuesday I did half an hour.  Wednesday I did nothing.  Thursday I did an hour.  Friday I did half an hour.  Mostly I did not write first thing in the morning because I was too busy scrambling to get ready for whatever 9:30am appointment I had that day.  I had a lot of meetings (except on Thursday where I only had one!).  Tomorrow I guess I will aim to get that referee report done that I’d planned on doing last weekend.  I still have to read the article and I’m not going to read it tonight.  Maybe Sunday I can try to figure out some actual article writing.

This is the first February challenge I’ve not been keeping up with come heck or high water.  I’m a bit disappointed in myself on that front, but also I’ve been working 10-12 hour days on weekdays (7-5 or 7-7 depending on if I have to pick up a child) and several hours each day on weekends just to keep up with everything, so I’m cutting myself some slack on that front.  Still, my end on the grant thing should be done as of today so I need to get back on track with my original plans.  Wish me luck on that.  (Also, I’ve been keeping my inboxes below 320 messages, but only by deleting around 40/day.  It’s going to be a busy weekend.)

And now for some links!  We tried a little harder for some cheerful non-political ones this week.  It’s a little hard since I’m only reading two twitter feeds and am avoiding the news and #2 keeps sending me horrible articles(!) (technically, well-written articles about horrible things because you know, the US).

Go San Francisco! (part VIII is especially great) (SF is where the appeals court for the 9th circuit is) “Minutes after the ruling was released, President Trump denounced it from his Twitter feed. “See you in court,” he tweeted, in all caps.” (but then he didn’t)

This is one of those horrible articles #2 has been sending.

Zombie apocalypse (#1 notes that there are some pretty strong assumptions in that article)

Fascism

Trump and birth control

I’m not sure I agree with this, but it is food for thought.  I definitely think it’s important to make Neo-Nazis ridiculous again and to not give them a platform.  At the same time, we’ve learned recently that we need to take racist threatening buffoons seriously.

twitter

This is cool

I need a shirt that says “dismal scientist”.  Choose science!  Yay scientists!

#2 is going to the Scientist march in DC!  I’m going to a local one.

let America vote

Where are they going?

Look what is happening in Texas.  In Texas!  Look what is happening in Utah.  In Utah!

If you’re a Democrat in a red state and you’ve spent the last month calling your Senator about [insert evil corrupt cabinet pick here]… definitely read this link.

Also, fight people who tell you activism isn’t worth it.  My colleague who I yelled at for telling me my calls didn’t matter came to my office this week to tell me that maybe they did since the state legislature had tabled one of their awful alt-right bills– after public outcry, they’re not even going to vote on it.

In case you need to measure text readability because your IRB says you have to

persistence postcards

What happened after Huckabee said something homophobic.

general strike feb 17th (I’m not sure how I feel about these since in the US only the privileged can participate, but maybe that’s ok?)

ACLU fundraising frenzy

Does this actually work?

I wore my beta hat today

Happy second blogoversary, Crazy Grad ma!

Four easy and romantic meals to impress your valentine

Love is Love

a podcast so boring it’s meant to help you fall asleep

should parents pay for childrens’ college?

This makes my day better

girlfriend got him a cat  trying to do paperwork

A rich source

tiny hats on cats

three

Note on the videos– this first one here for me is like taking Valium.  Does anybody else get that sense of zen?  DH doesn’t– he feels super trippy, but not like he’s successfully meditated.  I feel like it takes over the part of my brain that’s constantly worrying about the state of the world.

*(yay)

Link Love

Link Love

OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR THE ACA ENDS ON TUESDAY.  ENROLL NOW!!!  It will last the entire year no matter what happens with the government (absent nuclear war, anyway).

If you are/were a Republican, here’s Evan McMullin’s group that is fighting for bringing decency back to your party and to government.  Mad props to him.  I would really like to get back to arguing about where on the frontier we should be based on our beliefs about redistribution and less with the worrying about destroying the world.

Trump has a conflict of interest with controversial pipelines.  Also he’s tripling his hotel locations.

Rogue government twitter accounts.  Death Valley tweeting about internment camps.

If you are a federal employee, here’s some advice for how to deal with inappropriate orders from above.  Hint:  DOCUMENT everything.

What we can learn from Canada’s battle with an anti-science government.

There’s gonna be a scientists’ march on washington.

One thing you can do to support science.

Last time there was a voting fraud inquiry.  (Hint:  Fascism!)

More fascism . Did we mention fascism?

White house secretary attacks media for accurately reporting inauguration crowds because he’s a fascist.

80s Nazis

Responsibilities of privilege.

I am fighting now when it only takes my time and money and nudging people so I don’t have to find out if I’m the kind of person who would risk my life and my family’s safety to save the persecuted.  More on the Seventh Cross book mentioned in the tweet stream.

Holocaust victims turned away from the US.  A story of many who were rescued.  The contrast highlights the duality discussed above with the two links in the previous bit.  I hope I never ever have to find out if I’m the kind of person who would keep my head down while people are taken or a hero.  Mainly because that would mean horrible things are happening, but also a small part because I’m afraid of the answer.  #neveragain

How to stay outraged without losing your mind.  We’ll have a post later this week or next that talks about why we think it’s ok (and still sane) to go broad instead of deep, but the rest of the advice is good.

I signed up for Swingleft.  Though I bet (HOPE) in 2 years it’s going to be more than just those districts that are going to be vulnerable.

Federal Anti-Abortion bill.

It should not be surprising that Trump’s government looks like a badly run business.  Of course, badly run businesses can also look like fascism, so…

www.alternativefacts.com

Sales of 1984 surge.

Trump brings his own applause track wherever he goes.

Politicians are refusing to talk to constituents and having them escorted out by police, then closing up shop and not answering the phones

Advice for how to meet with members of congress.  If you can get an appointment.

Difficult things

A black female astrophysicist explains why Hidden Figures isn’t just about history.

College scholarships are good for outcomes.

Clinical trials

What she gained from giving up 50% of her income to debt payment.

Effects of maternity leave on employment.

This is a cute model

More math is good!

Adventures in leadership

An online guide to afternoon tea.  (We got some after the womens’ march!)

pink kittens

#cuteanimaltweetoff

Link Love goes marching on

We’re at various women’s marches today.  Around the world!  If you see James O’Keefe at yours, ignore him.

All of the depressing links are from #2, who you may have noticed is back on the blog after an absence.  She also notes:  Anyone can text their zip code to: (520) 200 2223 and it will instantly shoot back your Federal and State Senators’ and Representatives’ names and phone numbers.

If you do one action this week, a good choice is to call your senators to ask them to vote No on Jeff Sessions because he’s a bigot.  Do this whether your senators are democrat or republican.  Let them know it is not ok to appoint a bigot as attorney general.  The Sessions vote is this Tuesday, so call monday or before.  You can also call the committee.  Here’s more info and a script from Nick Decaro.

Staggering list of cuts.

Bethh has a new newsletter.  This week is on how to cope.

Resistance manual

The beginning of the Trump year(s).  My dept chair told me today that he suspects that in a couple of years Trump will do a Palin and declare he’s made America great again and quit.  He already doesn’t leave the house.

Republicans are lying about the ACA.  Republicans are lying about the ACA.  Republicans are lying about the ACA.  Ugh I am SO mad about this.  (And one more link explaining the ACA)

An important theoretical insight is that gerrymandering becomes fragile over time– the very thing that makes districts just a little bit more red also makes them vulnerable when the opposition gets determined

The other John Lewis.

CNN sticking up against fascism

Full Fascism ahoy

Barack Obama’s academic cv, updated

Mike Pence Inauguration invite comment section

Was there a huge crowd?  (How about when you subtract the police?)

Bruce Springstein cover band wasn’t there.

Worst Twilight Zone episode ever.

??

twinkies palmer candy recall

404 Not found

“two useless but true theorems are proved

kid scientist logic

debt is a funny thing

password protection

best selfie

Link Love

I’ve been busy this week with activism (and class prep and research, but lots of activism).  I’ve been calling and talking and doing my best to protect the affordable care act.  Don’t let anybody tell you that your calls don’t matter.  THEY MATTER.  If you’re in a blue state, your representatives want your calls and letters and emails.  This information helps bolster their claims about what their constituents want and really care about.  So don’t think, well I know my reps are in favor of this so I don’t need to call.  Call.  Leave a message, or talk briefly with a staffer.  Email or fax if you can’t call.  If you’re in a red or purple state, your calls and faxes really matter.  I have been amazed how my senators’ staffers message has changed just over the course of two weeks from of course we will repeal immediately without replacing to… well, people will still have the ACA for 2 years.  Similarly on getting in ethics reviews before hearings.  We are pushing that dial and we can keep pushing it.  Bad legislation is still going to get passed.  People are still going to die, but if we are vocal and continue being vocal, we will drown out some of the voices of evil (I’ve recently started believing evil exists again).  Bad legislation will be passed, but it will be less bad than the legislation that would have been passed without our efforts.  Let them know we’re watching.  Keep them accountable.  We are saving lives.

My local legislators are undecided on a couple of extremely vile bills coming through the pipeline.  That means that they’re waiting to hear which direction their vocal constituents are leaning.  Be those vocal constituents.  (Today one staffer told me she agreed with me, but the legislator had not talked with staff about his view yet.  She hoped he voted no.  The staffer for my other guy ended saying he was excited to pass along my thoughts and my argument.  They’re both against evil too.  But they need our voices to add to theirs.)

And if you don’t want to make calls, don’t tell people calls don’t matter.  That’s the same mistake anti-vaxxers make– if you truly believe that you don’t want your kid vaccinated, you should want everyone else to vaccinate their kids in order to keep your kid safe.  Instead, do what you can (which hopefully is faxing or letter writing or emailing or limiting to 15 min per week of activism or whatever it is you are doing to protect your time and sanity) and praise the person who is trying to get you to pick up the phone for what they’re doing on your behalf.  People will understand that you need to get tenure or you’re dealing with grief or your children need your attention but you’re doing what you can.  And you know, three years ago, your lone voice might not have mattered.  But that’s the thing.  With the Trump presidency, people like me who only vaguely knew the names of their representative or that other senator are making phone calls *every single day*.  People like my sister are calling AND are organizing local groups to meet each other and talk to each other and get things done.  People like wandsci are keeping us aware of what is going on via social media and are calling too.  That means your voice isn’t the only voice.  It’s one of many, but of a small enough of many that your voice still matters.  You need to keep calling because your voice amplifies other people’s voices.  And there are enough other people’s voices that we can get change.  Your voice can be that voice that causes more change.  Even if it’s just 15 min a week.

How to best use your activism time? 

If you have a lot of energy, get with other groups and help them organize.  Figure out what issues to address and how to address them.  Then get the message out.  However, most of us have jobs that make doing all of that difficult.  (DH and I are mostly lending support on this front, though we are trying to find a group to be active with!)

If you only have a little time or a little mental energy, do one of two things.

1.  Check in your area to see if there’s an indivisible group in your state that is organized enough to have a mailing list or online webpage of weekly items.  This is ideal for you because they will be covering state and local issues as well, and your voice has a lot more power, even if you’re gerrymandered, on state and local issues.  And, of course, state and local affects federal.  There may not be one in your city, but check the biggest city in your state and the most liberal city in your state to see what their indivisible group is up to.  You may also have an indivisible group in your district.  Many of these smaller groups are going to die from disuse, some will merge, etc.  But if they’re giving action items each week you’re golden.

OR

2.  If 1 isn’t working out for you or if you want a sure thing, go to our activism tab and pick one of the (now 5) different list-serves of action items.  My favorites are still Actions for Americans and Wall of Us, but they all have their own styles and you may prefer a different one.  After having done that, pick which 15 min you’re going to use to do phone calls (Moral Mondays are a good time) and do their items using their scripts each week.  If you don’t want to talk to a staffer, do it after hours and leave messages.  If you want to make the most impact use a more combative script if your representative is making a bad decision.  If you have extreme phone phobia, fax instead.  Get that box checked and if you have more energy, make some noise while doing it.  Most of us will probably have brief and polite conversations where we read off a script and the staffer says “Thank you I will pass that along”.

Next weekend I’m going to the women’s march in the city near me.  Is there one in a city near you?  If so, there may be bus transportation.  Several of our local churches have buses and our local dems office does as well.  If you call, you may be able to reserve a slot.  Men are included too– my whole family will be going, even though the shirts I got for the DCs are too big.

And now for some links.

If you’re calling and the vm box is always full and you can’t get through to a person, tell David Yankovich.  Stonewalling is illegal and he’s doing a story on it.  In retrospect, I suspect this is why one of my senators’ aides kept me on the phone for 30 min the other morning.  (Note:  You do not get the 30 min response unless you’re combative with them which I was because they were spreading falsehoods about the ACA– so don’t let that keep you from calling and voicing your opinion!)

You can call the leader of a senate committee even if you’re not a constituent in that senator’s state.

Interesting Times Suck.

Federal bill introduced in the house to prohibit abortions at the time of heartbeat.  Kentucky also enacts bad anti-abortion legislation.

Breitbart alumni are creating a pro-fascist group.

There’s a lot of Republican hypocrisy on Obamacare.   Also, one of my senator’s current lines is that the ACA shouldn’t have been passed without GOP votes.  I told one staffer who tried to push this harder that made total sense and that the Republicans should stop voting on partisan legislation RIGHT NOW.  If they can’t get full democratic buy-in, then they shouldn’t be passing any laws.  He was a political science major and I’m a lowly economist so I deferred to him on that one.

My senator’s staffer told me that hospitals are closing because of the Affordable Care Act.  That’s not true.  And more rural hospitals will close if the ACA goes away.  The only part that’s true is the effect of decreases in Medicare payments which were put in mostly in an attempt to get the GOP on board with the ACA.

Similarly, why did insurers withdraw from state marketplaces?  Because the GOP did things to get that outcome.  GOP who support these things care about politics over people.  They’re willing to let people die in order to gain political power.  And one wonders why I’m beginning to believe that evil exists.

What health policy experts think of Lamar Alexander’s plan for O’Care transition.  The answer may not surprise you.

A TX congressman calls for silencing of the press.  Let’s vote out the fascists.  I want to see primary challenges in Red districts.  Republicans against fascism!

Map of Trump’s Russian Connections.

Stories to watch.

Congress passes rule to allow house members to hide records from ethics probes.

Trump national security pick is a serial plagiarist.  (The linked story is an early one from this week, later stories find her dissertation and other articles.)

Trump has more debt than expected.  Breathtaking conflicts of interest.

Pay black women.

What it’s like to be at the center of a fake news conspiracy.

Presidential reading.

Trump vs. Plato.  Indeed, this seems to be the strategy of one of my senators’ offices.  They tell me so many lies when I call (and when DH calls and so on).

Poe’s Law?

Mommmma

Who is in a bubble?  What is the real bubble?  Who are the elitists?

When smart people get politically active you end up with something like this.

Do they want us to get into a war with China?

Mystery dot for twitter

Obama successes in tweetstorm form.

Gigzig is a fun way to come up with career path possibilities.

We have a potty tag.  If you have small children and are interested in the science of potty-ing.  Or just reading potty jokes.

Wall E

Let’s get to Link Love

Next Wednesday the Republicans are going to shock and awe us through 6 highly controversial hearings about Trump’s cabinet.  They’re using all sorts of dirty tricks thinking they won’t get caught.  If you haven’t done any political activism yet, try to spare some time on Monday to make calls and/or leave messages today.  If you have been making calls, make some more.  Probably the best way to figure out who to call/what to say/what number to use is to go up to the Activism tab on the upper right then pick one or two of the newsletters and sign up for them.  My favorites are Wall of Us and Actions for Americans.  Each week they come out with specific action items and do all the figuring out details parts so you can focus on making your voice heard.  You can find contact information for your elected officials here.

It’s going to be a long slog going forward, but this coming week really is especially important.  They’re counting us to be caught off-guard and overwhelmed.  If you’re into twitter, @wandsci and @ActionsUSA have been tweeting out things to do sporadically during the week.  I’m sure there are other good twitter people who tweet specific and followable action items– let us know in the comments!

If you live in Iowa, contact your legislators about this Voter Suppression Bill.

Share your obamacare story.  I don’t know why McConnell is doing this.

Good headline, but the plan to defund Planned Parenthood is horrific.  If George HW Bush were dead, he would be spinning in his grave.

I hope TX legislators get a lot of angry letters and emails from Percy Jackson fans.  And, of course, if you live in Texas, you can tell your own state legislators that the Bathroom bill is ridiculous, cruel, and will cost Texas businesses a lot of money.  Just like in North Carolina.

House Republicans revive obscure rule that allows them to slash the pay of individual federal workers to $1.  Fascism here we come.

They also hope you forget about Russian influence on the election, now made public.

Cowards

Sit-in in Sessions office

The ACA did not increase premiums!  There was a pre-trend of rapid increases in premia and the ACA slowed that down.

More BS from the WSJ

#indivisible

Santa didn’t know

Just subscribed to Teen Vogue for DC1.  For the articles!

You are 16 going on 17

This year’s resolution

Like Scalzi says, the arc of time will not bend towards justice without us doing our part.

Verbal abuse is still abuse.

This meshes with some of my recent work

Twenty mighty girl classics

Are shopkins bad for your kids?

Is screen time bad for your kids?

I keep getting emails from these scam artists.

When you stop relying on resumes.  (Or:  why networking is so important given that most companies don’t do what this one does.)

Miser mom talks trash.

How to donate 100K.

Flavors of financial independence

Yuri on ice (review contains spoilers– you can watch Yuri on crunchyroll)

Calamity-ware.

all outliers

Harsh

Amazing

Missing kitty.  Found kitty.

Before and after being called a good boy