Paul Krugman: Electability (NY Times Blog)
If you are still on the fence in the Democratic primary, or still persuadable, you should know that Vox interviewed a number of political scientists about the electability of Bernie Sanders, and got responses ranging from warnings about a steep uphill climb to predictions of a McGovern-Nixon style blowout defeat. And all of them dismiss current polls as meaningless.
Jeff Stein: We asked 6 political scientists if Bernie Sanders would have a shot in a general election (Vox)
Bernie Sanders has gone from long-shot candidate to a real contender for the Democratic nomination for president. Were Democrats to make the "democratic socialist" from Vermont their nominee, would he have a chance of winning a general election? We posed that question to six of the country's top political scientists, and their answers were broadly consistent: Under some unlikely circumstances, Sanders could win a general election. But nominating him would make it significantly more difficult for Democrats to keep the White House.
HENRY ROLLINS: IN WARSAW, I WANTED TO SEE HOW COLD I COULD GET AND STILL FUNCTION (LA Weekly)
I ate quickly, got back to my room, put on all the layers I had and went back out to the street. Unless the weather or the threat condition is too extreme, I always try to walk at night in any city I can. I have been doing this all over the world for many years. I am always interested in how a city lights up - or, in the case of a lot of places, goes dark - after the sun sets. I always have a charged headlamp (the Atlas by Magnus Innovation) with me wherever I go. I never know when I'm going to need it.
Dave Schilling: "David Duchovny: 'I can't play Mulder the way I did. That would be obscene'"(The Guardian)
As The X-Files returns, David Duchovny talks about feeling vulnerable, those Gillian Anderson rumours - and why he and his co-star should be paid the same.
C. Coville: 5 Celebrities Who Lost Their Money For Insane Reasons (Cracked)
#5. Nicolas Cage Spent $150 Million, Lost $276,000 On A Dinosaur Skull
Evan V. Symon, Anonymous: 6 Insane Realities Of Being Homeless In Hawaii (Cracked)
We'll go out on a limb here and say homelessness sucks. But what about the homeless in someplace beautiful, like Hawaii?
Oliver Burkeman: Can you make your own happiness? (The Guardian)
The basic premise is that the human mind is a crappy computer - full of bugs, but capable of reprogramming.
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"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
New Hampshire Primary Astro Predictions
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
"VAN IN SMILE SHOCK."
THE ATTACK OF THE "VULTURE"!
"EDUCATE, DON'T DISCRIMINATE."
ZIKA DIKA DOO!
"CRAWL BACK INTO YOUR CAVE CREEP."
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WILL WE EVER BE AT PEACE AGAIN?
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In The Chaos Household
Sunny and 15° warmer than seasonal.
Inarritu Wins Top Prize
An unclear cinematic season got a little foggier on Saturday with Alejandro Inarritu's Directors Guild win for his harrowing frontier epic "The Revenant." With only weeks to go before the Academy Awards on Feb. 28, the race is still as wide open as ever.
Even the guilds are divided in their top awards. "Spotlight," the drama detailing the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into sex abuses in the Catholic Church, won the Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble, while the financial crisis dramedy "The Big Short" picked up the Producers Guild Award.
The DGA win for "The Revenant" is not insignificant. Inarritu won last year for the showbiz sendup "Birdman," which went on to win the best picture and best director Oscar. In fact, only seven times in the history of the DGAs has a director who won the guild's top award not gone on to win the Academy Award.
Saturday's ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel also offered a telling look at who's working behind the camera in Hollywood amid the industry's ongoing discussion about diversity. The guild dispenses awards to directors in TV and movie categories, and this year many eyes were on the representation of both women and directors of color.
While more women were nominated this year than ever before - 14 of the 47 nominees - only one took home an award. Dee Rees accepted the DGA prize in the television movie or miniseries category for HBO's "Bessie."
Low Pay For Teachers
Jessica Ries settles in behind the counter of Tip Top Tux and phones a couple to remind them of an upcoming fitting before their wedding. In the back room, beyond the dapper mannequins and vest swatches of pink, yellow and blue, a tote filled with review packets for 24 of her Hayward Elementary School students awaits her attention if she gets any down time.
Ries dismissed her fourth-graders at 2:45 p.m. and, after an hour-long teachers' meeting, hurried to the strip mall shop to fill a three-hour evening shift. There's no time to head home or step out for dinner; a chicken breast reheated in the microwave will have to suffice.
Second and even third jobs are the norm for many school teachers in South Dakota, where teacher pay ranks lowest in the nation, according to a state education task force. Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proposed a half-cent sales tax increase to help raise teacher pay, but his plan needs two-thirds approval in both the House and the Senate - a tough proposition in a legislature with an anti-tax lean.
South Dakota's average teacher salary of $40,023 in 2013-14 lagged an average of six states that border it by $11,888 a year and was $8,643 behind the next lowest neighbor, North Dakota, the group found. In some of South Dakota's more remote areas, that average salary drops quickly.
Head Injuries May Explain Erratic Behavior
Henry VIII's reign was a tumultuous one, and new research suggests the monarch's erratic behavior may have been linked to brain injuries similar to those affecting some pro football players today.
Scientists at Yale University believe that repeated head injuries during jousting matches might have transformed an intelligent, even-tempered young man into an impulsive, forgetful king known for his rage and impulsive decisions.
After examining volumes of letters and other historical documents describing Henry's medical history and events that may have affected his health and behavior, the researchers concluded that the most plausible explanation for the English monarch's headaches, insomnia, memory loss, poor impulse control and short temper were jousting injuries.
In 1524, Henry was dazed when a lance penetrated his helmet during a jousting tournament. The following year, he fell head first into a brook while trying to vault across the water. The incident rendered him unconscious. And, in 1536, he lost consciousness for two hours after a horse fell on him.
"Historians agree his behavior changed after 1536," said Salardini.
Most NFL Players Likely Have CTE
Bill Romanowski sustained 20 documented concussions, and certainly more he doesn't know about, during his 16-year NFL career as a linebacker. He was hardly surprised to learn this week that late Raiders quarterback and Hall of Fame finalist Ken Stabler had been diagnosed with the brain disease CTE.
"I pretty much assumed that was the case. More and more I realize that pretty much all of us football players who have had a lot of collisions probably have CTE," Romanowski told The Associated Press on Friday. "That's a reality. And now, it's what do we do with that? We can be like some players and maybe be in denial or we can take the bull by the horns and go after it. That's what I do."
Boston University researchers said Wednesday that Stabler had Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the disease was widespread throughout his brain. Stabler died of colon cancer in July at age 69.
Romanowski, now 49, has taken numerous proactive steps he hopes will help him combat any potential issues. That included two stints of 40 treatments in a hyperbaric chamber. The Mayo Clinic says hyperbaric oxygen therapy - the breathing of pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube - is a therapy used for "serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won't heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury."
Romanowski attended a private screening of the "Concussion" movie in mid-December in nearby Redwood City and said it was difficult to watch.
Critic Refuses To Step Down
Frankie's Sex Abuse Commission
A prominent and outspoken British member of a papal advisory commission on sexual abuse by the clergy on Saturday refused to step down despite a no-confidence vote, and said only Pope Francis could dismiss him.
A Vatican statement issued earlier said that "it was decided" at a commission meeting that Peter Saunders would take a leave of absence. Saunders, head of Britain's National Association for People Abused in Childhood, would now "consider how he might best support the commission's work", it said.
But Saunders, who as a child was abused by two priests, told a hastily called news conference: "I have not left and I am not leaving my position ... the only person who can remove me is the person who appointed me, the pope."
Saunders had been publicly critical of the commission, which was set up in 2014. Made up of clerics and lay people from around the world, its task is to help Pope Francis establish "best practices" in dioceses around the world to root out sex abuse in the Church. Eight of its 17 members are women and two are themselves victims of abuse by clerics.
"For me, as a survivor, the commission is a disgrace," Saunders said. "They believe that child abuse is behind us, but it is in no way behind us ...
Frankie's Sex Abuse Commission
Professor To Leave
A professor at an evangelical university near Chicago who got in trouble after saying Muslims and Christians worship the same God will leave the school, according to a joint statement released by Wheaton College on Saturday night.
Larycia Hawkins, a tenured political science professor, had been scheduled for a disciplinary hearing in five days to determine whether she would be allowed to remain at Wheaton.
The controversy began on Dec. 10, when Hawkins wrote on Facebook that she would don the hijab head scarf during the period of advent before Christmas as a sign of solidarity with Muslims.
"We worship the same God," she said in her post.
The school previously said Hawkins was disciplined not because she chose to wear a hijab but because her "theological statements seem inconsistent with Wheaton's doctrinal convictions".
Some politicians run from polarizing endorsements. Ted Cruz (R-Pendejo) seeks them out.
The Texas senator's strength in the 2016 Republican presidential primary is drawn, at least in part, from the backing of high-profile figures from his party's far-right fringe. They are people, like his national co-chairman Iowa Rep. Steve King, who may be popular among the passionate conservatives who usually decide primary contests, but could turn off the swing voters and independents who typically decide general elections.
King is a leading voice on immigration, having compared those who cross the border illegally to drug mules and livestock. Cruz has also embraced endorsements from an evangelical leader who described Hitler as a hunter of Jews sent by God, and B-list entertainers like Phil Robertson, the anti-gay patriarch of the Louisiana duck hunting family featured on the popular cable show "Duck Dynasty."
Cruz also has the backing of Troy Newman, president of the Kansas-based anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, who serves as a board member of the Center for Medical Progress. The organization was widely praised by conservatives for producing videos that triggered investigations by Congress and Republican efforts to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. Two members of the group were also indicted in Texas last month after a grand jury investigated the Planned Parenthood videos.
And the Cruz campaign recently issued a press release promoting the endorsement of Mike Bickle, founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. Bickle believes acceptance of gay marriage is a sign of the end times and has described Hitler as a hunter of Jews and called Oprah Winfrey's tolerance and popularity a precursor to the apocalypse.
Right-Wing Darling In Japan
Somewhere in the Dallas area, a retired man sitting in a home office is making social media videos backing Japanese right-wing views that have made him a celebrity among hawks in the Asian country.
Hardly known in the United States, Tony Marano, 66, is called the "Texas Daddy" in Japan, where he has spawned a small industry that includes books, speaking tours, T-shirts emblazoned with his cartoon likeness and scores of videos, some of which have been viewed more than 300,000 times.
To his critics, however, he is a mouthpiece for Japanese nationalists.
He is one of a small group of Westerners embraced by Japan's right wing, but stands out with his jocular demeanor and sharp tongue.
Marano, who often wears T-shirts in videos and suits for speeches, unexpectedly grabbed attention in Japan about seven years ago when he began criticizing Sea Shepherd, a U.S.-based marine conservation group, in its aggressive campaigns to halt Japanese whaling.
Weekend Box Office
'Kung Fu Panda 3'
The Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" and the Jane Austen-monster mashup "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" followed distantly behind "Kung Fu Panda 3," which remained on top of the box office over Super Bowl weekend.
DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda" sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release, according to studio estimates Sunday. Joel and Ethan Coen's '50s Hollywood satire "Hail, Caesar!" opened in second place with an estimated $11.4 million in North American theaters for Universal Pictures.
The Nicholas Sparks' romance "The Choice" debuted with $6.1 million for Lionsgate. Despite expectations of a No. 2 opening, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," bankrolled by Cross Creek Picture and released by Sony's Screen Gems, eked out a meager $5.2 million.
Though the majority of weekend grosses are made on Fridays and Saturdays, Hollywood generally seeks to avoid competing with the football broadcast and instead sticks largely to counterprogramming. The best Super Bowl weekend remains the 2008 concert film "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus" ($31.1 million) followed by an earlier Sparks adaption, 2010's "Dear John" ($30.5 million).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Kung Fu Panda 3," $21 million ($23 million international).
2. "Hail, Caesar!" $11.4 million.
3. "The Revenant," $7.1 million ($24 million international).
4. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," $6.9 million ($7 million international).
5. "The Choice," $6.1 million ($750,000 international).
6. "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," $5.2 million.
7. "The Finest Hours," $4.7 million ($2.8 million international).
8. "Ride Along 2," $4.5 million ($2.9 million international).
9. "The Boy," $4.1 million ($2.7 million international).
10. "Dirty Grandpa," $4.1 million ($4.5 million international).
'Kung Fu Panda 3'