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Potpourri
Author: BobR    Date: 01/04/2017 15:18:38

When writing for this blog, I normally like to find a theme or story and do a deep dive. Over the next several years, it is going to be difficult for me to do that and not sink into a deep depression. I will try to do more "science stacks" or other blogs that don't keep us in a cycle of continuous outrage and despair.

That disclaimer given, I found 3 stories that are fairly unrelated, but nonetheless worthy of examining. So in no particular order:

Despite previous inklings that he might be abandoning one of his campaign themes, tRump seems to still be interested in The Wall and deportation:
In a Dec. 5 meeting between President-elect Donald Trump's transition team and Department of Homeland Security officials, Trump's representatives requested a broad selection of documents and analysis, including the federal resources available to build border walls, a list of all executive orders President Obama issued regarding immigration, and any changes made to files on foreign-born adults brought to the U.S. illegally as children and granted temporary protections by Obama, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing an internal DHS memo.

A DHS official told Reuters that the department interpreted the request about changes made to migrant records, including for reasons of protecting civil rights or civil liberties, as a signal to federal workers not to tamper with data to protect immigrants, especially those protected by the DADA program, whose applications include addresses and other information that could potentially be used to deport the young immigrants if Trump reversed Obama's policies.

This should make for an interesting clash as several states (notably California) have declared themselves to be sanctuaries (of course - their agriculture business model relies on them, so...)

While talk of repealing Obamacare swirls, KellyAnne Conway says no one will lose their coverage:
One more time: If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

A senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday that after Obamacare is repealed and replaced with different health-care law no one who has health insurance would lose their coverage.

"That is correct. We don't want anyone who currently has insurance to not have insurance," the advisor, Kellyanne Conway, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

How that will be avoided, however, is a very big question.
[...]
... Republicans haven't committed yet to a concrete plan for a replacement, and it is not clear how such a plan could avoid big drops in the number of Americans with coverage without keeping several key parts of Obamacare — parts that many Republicans object to.

And many health insurance experts warn that gutting the ACA while delaying crafting a replacement could lead to sharp coverage drops, even if the repeal is suspended for several years.

This is so typical - they've been claiming for SIX YEARS that they want to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with something else, and they STILL don't have a plan for replacement. They mocked President Obama for saying "if you like your plan, you can keep it", and they have the gall to say "you won't lose coverage" when they have no plan at all for a replacement? Assholes...

And finally: Studies show that gun violence spreads like a disease:
Gun violence in Chicago spreads like an infectious disease — and now, researchers have figured out a way to predict who’s most likely get sick next.

With infectious diseases, predictions are fairly simple: The more relationships an individual has with sick people, the more likely he is to be infected. The longer it’s been since exposure, the less likely infection becomes.

Now, researchers at Harvard and Yale have adopted that same type of mathematical model to predict potential victims of gun violence in Chicago. In 63 percent of the shootings they studied, they found that social contagion played a key role. Their study was published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“This paper is really one of the first to prove gun violence functions like a disease and deserves public health and medical resources,” said Charles Branas, an epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the relationship between human geography and violence. Branas, who wasn’t affiliated with the study, penned an accompanying editorial on how to tackle gun violence as disease.
(much more at the link)

This is exactly the type of research the NRA-funded Republicans have tried to prevent the CDC from doing. Kudos to Yale and Harvard for doing the research and putting it all together. This sort of fits the "broken windows" approach that unfortunately has led to some racial profiling, but if done properly can reduce violence overall. Knowledge is power, and power creates change.

22 comments (Latest Comment: 01/04/2017 20:14:48 by Raine)
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