Volume 3.28 (July 7-13)

Pick of the Week– Health Insurance Is Not a Favor Your Boss Does for You (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)– “But when your insurance coverage includes birth control, your employer isn’t “buying you” anything. Your employer is basically acting as an administrative middleman between you and the insurance company. Your employer isn’t the one whose money is paying the premiums, you are. It’s compensation for the work you’ve done, just as much as your salary is.”

The Immigration Crisis

Fleeing Gangs, Children Head to US Border (Frances Robles, NYT)

Debunking 8 Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating (David Bacon, In These Times)

Break the Immigration Impasse (Sheldon Adelson, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet)

The Children of the Drug Wars (Sonia Nazario, NYT)

Sports

God Loves Cleveland (Bill Simmons, Grantland)– On MJ, LBJ and other sports geniuses.

Was this the Last Great World Cup? (Franklin Foer, The New Republic)

Science

The Medical Facts about Birth Control and Hobby Lobby– from an OB/GYN (Jen Gunter, New Republic)

Politics

7 academic papers, 4 government inquiries, 2 news investigations and 1 court ruling proving voter fraud is mostly a myth (Christopher Ingraham)

Millennials get cut off at the polls (Catherine Rampell, WaPo)

Justice Samuel Alito’s Deep Roots in the American Right (Peter Montgomery, The American Prospect)

Crack Down on Scientific Fraudsters (Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky, NYT)

Moderate voters are a myth (Ezra Klein, Vox)– “What happens, explains David Broockman, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, is that surveys mistake people with diverse political opinions for people with moderate political opinions. The way it works is that a pollster will ask people for their position on a wide range of issues: marijuana legalization, the war in Iraq, universal health care, gay marriage, taxes, climate change, and so on. The answers will then be coded as to whether they’re left or right. People who have a mix of answers on the left and the right average out to the middle — and so they’re labeled as moderate.  But when you drill down into those individual answers you find a lot of opinions that are well out of the political mainstream. “A lot of people say we should have a universal health-care system run by the state like the British,” says Broockman. “A lot of people say we should deport all undocumented immigrants immediately with no due process. You’ll often see really draconian measures towards gays and lesbians get 16 to 20 percent support. These people look like moderates but they’re actually quite extreme.””

How Birth Year Influences Political View (Amanda Cox, The Upshot)

Are the Authoritarians Winning? (Michael Ignatieff, NYRB)

President Obama turns down joint, consumes more dangerous drug (German Lopez, Vox)– “But for all the debate about legalizing marijuana, the research is pretty clear that alcohol is much more dangerous — not just to an individual, but to society as a whole.”

The Challenge of Reform Conservatism (Andrew Sullivan, The Dish)– “So, for example, I’m perfectly open to new ideas on, say, helping working class families with kids. But some pretty basic concerns about the current GOP on cultural issues – its open hostility to my own civil marriage, its absolutism on abortion, its panic at immigration, its tone-deafness on racial injustice – push me, and many others, into leaning Democrat for a while. And it’s important to note that even the reformicons are die-hard cultural and religious conservatives in most respects. On those questions, there is no airing of the idea of reform.  David Cameron’s post-Thatcher re-tooling of British conservatism took at least two major issues associated with the left-of-center – marriage equality and climate change – and embraced them fully. If the reformicons could do something like that, they would begin to gain traction outside of a few circles in DC and in the country at large. But they won’t; and, given the rigidity of the GOP base on those issues, can’t.”

Religion

The Pope and the Pederasts (Garry Wills, NYRBlog)

Surveillance

Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On (Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept)

Family

5 charts that show that child care in the US is broken (Danielle Kurtzleben, Vox)

Largest-ever study of same-sex couples’ kids finds they’re better off than other children (German Lopez, Vox)– “”So what this means is that people take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes, which is mum staying home and looking after the kids and dad going out to earn money,” Crouch said. “What this leads to is a more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and well-being.””

The Gaza Crisis

Former security chief: Blame the Israeli government, not the Palestinians, for the crisis (Max Fisher, Vox)

The tragedy never ends: Palestinian rockets force Israeli peace conference to evacuate (Max Fisher, Vox)

Why Israel’s racist violence problem is getting worse (Zack Beauchamp, Vox)

Economics

A huge debate about the labor market is driven by a nonsense acronym (Danielle Kurtzleben, Vox)– “One key issue lost in the debate, however, is that calling it a STEM shortage suggests a simple problem with a simple solution: so there aren’t enough workers in science and engineering? Simple: just get more people diplomas those fields.  But it’s not necessarily that there aren’t enough science and math scholars out there; it’s that there aren’t enough people out there with the particular skills the job market needs right now. Spending four years doing biology experiments is no guarantee for a job, and indeed might not go as far as a couple semesters of statistics or computer science.”

Our mismeasured economy (Lew Daly, NYT)

Free markets killed capitalism: Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, Wal-Mart, Amazon and the 1 Percent’s sick triumph over us all (Thomas Frank, Salon)

Mormonism

Saving Zion from America: Theorizing in the Aftermath (Gina Colvin, KiwiMormon)

I Was a Mormon Feminist, But I Give Up (Melanie Schmitz, xoJane)– “What the Church fails to grasp is that feminism is unique because every woman is unique. Not every woman is born loving children and wanting to become a wife. Personality and orientation dictate how they react to situations and how they will develop into adulthood. To force all women to bend to a certain mold and “assimilate,” as certain leaders have instructed, is unrealistic. “

A Painful Exodus (Jerilyn Hassell Pool, Feminist Mormon Housewives)

A God Who Listens (Lisa Hadley, Feminist Mormon Housewives)– “Think of all the time God spends listening. We all have so much to say. We do so much of the talking. I saw God in my mother when she was the Relief Society President in our ward in Florida. She spent countless hours on the phone with the women of our ward. I couldn’t extrapolate much juicy gossip from her end of the phone conversation (much to my disappointment) because she said very little. I don’t remember her offering much advice. You could tell that she was listening though and the women loved her for it.”

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