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Real Keepeth

Recent events have confirmed me in my belief that our great scientists should continue their path-breaking research deep into old age but probably stop commenting on the major social issues of the day around age 60.

Severely Black, The Rachel Dolezal Story

I read the Rachel Dolezal story before it got picked up by any national outlets in the original story in the Coeur d'Alene Press on Thursday (yes, epic aggregation fail ... what can I say I was traveling). If you've only read pick-ups or follow-ups, read the original if you get a chance. It's an amazing piece of reporting and will make you appreciate what a great thing small paper journalism is - just an amazingly detailed piece of shoe-leather reporting. Since I read it I've been trying to think what if anything there is to add beyond the peristaltic WTF that seems to be the near universal response.

So let me just go with bullet points.

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Quality Journalism Isn't Free

As we've learned in recent years, quality journalism isn't free. It requires money and resources and commitment to get the job done. So with that in mind, I've spoken to the business professionals who run TPM and they've agreed to offer a bounty for bona fide, publishable and exclusive photos of the pilates class Bloomberg News mascot Mark Halperin will host for GOP donors tomorrow morning with Ann Romney.

We had originally planned on offering a bounty of $500 for eligible photos. But the thinking here was that that's somehow not legitimate or unseemly - especially since the possible recipients are likely to have net worths of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. So we've compromised on a $500 credit toward official TPM merchandise, which you can find here at the official TPM store. So for instance, you could buy 27 TPM mugs, 18 TPM t-shirts, etc. or various combinations.

Scott Walker & The Haunting Terror of Knowledge

We got a huge amount of reader response to my post yesterday about the impending demise of the University of Wisconsin. That's not terribly surprising. One of the things we've learned over the years from audience research is that about half our readers have advanced degrees and a disproportionately large number of them are in education, from K through college. As I said in that post, I'm more interested in the practical effect of what Walker is trying to do than a discussion of tenure in the abstract. Because what Walker is doing is basically like lighting your own house on fire. States can get into financial jams and need to cut spending, either because of budgetary mismanagement or rough economic times. But if you look closely at what Walker is doing there's no real budgetary imperative behind it. It's just a desire to destroy a great public institution for the sake of doing it, driven in part by right-wing ideology and in part by the palpable animus Walker himself holds to people who managed to get an education.

A big part of what is happening here is that, to people like Walker, Madison is an anchor of Wisconsin liberalism. But not just liberalism in the partisan political sense, also scarier things like empirical thinking and new ideas. And it's not just the humanities. What really comes out in this article is how much of the scythe is aimed at the sciences.

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Segregation Now!

White Texas schoolteacher fired over her Facebook post about the McKinney pool incident: "I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone."

GOP Divisions in a Nutshell

The North Carolina House just put together the votes necessary to override Gov Pat McCrory's (R) veto of a 'religious freedom' bill. The Senate had already done the same. McCrory, as that little R signifies, is a Republican and one who opposes gay marriage. But he reasoned, really beyond any possible reasonable counter-argument, that "no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath.”

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