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More Evidence for Lead Poisoning as Key Crime Driver

Over the years I've written a number of posts about the Crime Wave of the Late 20th Century, its causes, political repercussions and the long shadow it still casts over our society. What drove the rise of crime starting in the mid-1960s and its precipitous fall from the early-mid-1990s is no mere matter of historical interest. Today we talk a lot about mass incarceration, the militarization of policing and various other excesses of policing and corrections. But our ability to do so, to have any political shot at change is heavily, heavily tied to the drop of crime over the last 25 years. If crime shoots back up again, we're back to the political environment of the 70s and 80s that created mass incarceration and all the rest. But we can't have any confidence that it won't shoot up again if we don't have a clear idea why it dropped in the first place or, for that matter, why it started spiking thirty years earlier.

In the last few years I've been increasingly convinced that environmental lead poisoning played at least a significant role in the story. Now there's new evidence strengthening the 'lead as driver of crime' thesis.

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How Trump Plays Abroad

Argentine TV promo for coverage of the US-hosted Copa América soccer tourney features nothing but Trump, with this tagline: "The truth is the best they can do is not let us in." Check it out.

TPM Readers on Sanders #4

TPM Reader EB is losing patience with the Sanders' campaign's resistance to accepting the numbers ....

Bernie’s insistence that the process is “rigged” and that he expects a contested convention are exasperating. I don’t say that as a Hillary supporter—I say it as an Obama supporter who wants a Democrat to succeed him.

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TPM Readers on Sanders #3

TPM Reader AD gives us her take on Clinton and Sanders supporters. And it reminds me that a great deal of the caricatures of supporters on each side are based on the most voluble and acerbic readers on both sides ...

I have been a longtime reader and finally joined Prime because I thought I should put a little money where my eyeballs are. It was a tough decision, namely because from time to time I have been taken aback by the reaction to certain news stories by the site (by which I mean by you and/or the vast majority of commenters.) I was appalled by the overwhelming condemnation of Edward Snowden in 2013, and I was not sure if I would continue reading. But I did, because I appreciated and continue to appreciate your political analysis.

I’m now having a similar through-the-looking-glass feeling reading the coverage of Sanders here. The intense hatred for him by your readers, the mockery and scorn of so many of the comments…well, it makes me wonder how it is that Sanders supporters have gotten a reputation for nastiness.

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Traditional Values Group Sending Men into Women's Bathrooms

I'm surprised at how frequently this seems to happen. A self-styled 'traditional values' group, following their own twisted logic, is now sending men into women's bathroom's at Target, to 'test' their inclusive LGBT bathroom policy. I have no doubt the men volunteering for this duty are level-headed and have no anger-management issues whatsoever. So basically in the interests of protecting women from transexuals, these jokers are traumatizing random women and young girls by sending what probably amount to men's rights activists into women's bathrooms.

We're Hiring a Polling Intern!

TPM is seeking a Polling Intern to help manage its award winning app, PollTracker. This is a paid internship program in which interns get a crash course in polling and in how a digital media news organization works from the ground up. We’re taking applications for a polling internship to begin immediately.

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Caucuses Are Just Voter ID Laws on Steroids

You know that I've been saying over and over that to the extent that the Democratic nomination process is 'rigged', the rigging has been a huge advantage to Bernie Sanders. As I've noted, that's mainly because of caucuses. It drives me crazy, candidly, when Sanders claims on the stump that where voter turnout has been highest, he's done best. That's not remotely true. Indeed, where it's been lowest, he's done best. Almost entirely because of caucuses, which are really the most effective voter suppression method in politics today.

And now here's a good visualization of this fact.

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Readers on Sanders #2

TPM Reader MS is losing patience and taking a dark view of Sanders' resistance to shifting gears in the primary race ...

Sanders' behavior has two sources:

1. He is not a Democrat and he has no interest in the party’s or its likely nominee’s ultimate best interest or even in the party’s survival. He doesn't want the party to win — he wants to win the party. And may even believe, as some of his surrogates have implied, that a Trump win will be better for that ambition, in the sense of leading to a Sanders-style, or led, “revolution.”

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Readers on Sanders #1

TPM Reader SF says I'm discounting the many informal but still real ways in which the game really has been 'rigged' against Sanders. My response would be that these are simply another way of saying Clinton is well-known, connected, popular with Democrats, etc. Of course she that means she goes in with an advantage. This is why change is change. Even by the most sympathetic interpretation, the status quo always has inherent advantages. All that said, here's SF ...

campaign to turn to Super Delegates. At the same time, I think you consistently ignore a couple of very powerful dynamics here. I know you’re not in love with Hilary, I’ve read your site daily since you started and I know you have deep reservations about Hilary, so I’m not coming from a place of saying you’re in the tank for her. But I do think you ignore some huge factors. One is the degree to which all those super delegates picking Hilary early on and thereby making her the front runner in the media, polls, etc. served as a self fulfilling prophecy. As you well know people want to vote for a winner. The Super Delegates allowed Hilary to jump out to a huge early lead which in turn supported numerous media outlets calling the Sanders campaign “insurgent,” “long shot,” etc. So to a degree all of these Super Delegates lining up for Hilary created a self fulfilling prophecy.

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