Healthcare, Quotas and Fire Ants, Oh My!

Do you care about preventing the loss of healthcare for millions and millions of Americans? And if you don’t care because you think it won’t affect you because of your sweet employer-provided health coverage, are you looking forward to million dollar bills if your newborn has to go to NICU due to the re-introduction of coverage caps on private plans?

But deadly seriously folks, CALL. YOUR. SENATOR. The Pod Save America lads have partnered with Indivisible to help you out with what to say. In short: if you have a GOP Senator, call and ask that they vote no. If you have a Dem Senator, call and thank them for voting no, and ask them to do everything they can to prevent this bill from passing. Because, as Matthew Iqlesious chillingly warns, "The health bill might pass because Trump has launched the era of Nothing Matters politics.”

Sigh. I had an earnestly sad tweetstorm a few days ago, if you're interested in knowing my feelings on this whole freaking thing.

In other news, David Ingram at Reuters published a story yesterday on Facebook’s decision to keep data related to political advertising under the same advertising agreement as other advertisers: private. Which means that unlike television advertising, the ad data will not be made available to academics for study.

An acknowledgment of my own bias: when I was growing up, it was always impressed upon me to work hard and not be “a quota.” Which meant that as a teenager, I thought that forced institutional gender ratios meant that unqualified women were getting jobs they didn’t deserve. This instilled in me an intense fear of perceived as such, a quota. Well, according to an historic political study out of the London School of Economics, the reverse is true: "Quotas can work to weed out incompetent men.” Now remember: this is one study, on one specific instance of gender quota requirements for the 1993 Swedish Social Democratic party. From the Independent: "On average, a 10 percentage point increase in female representation raised the proportion of competent men by 3 percentage points. The researchers observed little discernible effect on the competence of women."

For your daily cup of HELLZ NOPE: A terrifying threat from Tropical Storm Cindy: Floating masses of deadly fire ants. Nightmare quote of the week is "“Floodwaters will not kill fire ants,” the warning states. “Instead their colonies will emerge from the soil, form a loose ball, float and flow with the water until reaching a dry area or object.”” These fire ants can stay in that floating raft of horror for upwards of twelve days waiting for dry land to colonize.

Sleep well, poppets!