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    Daily Digest 12/11 – Trump’s Honeymoon Begins, What Statisticians Learned From The Election

    by DailyDigest

    Sunday, December 11, 2016, 4:08 PM


19 Things We Learned from the 2016 Election (jdargis)

We can start with the primaries, which destroyed the Party Decides theory of Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel, and John Zaller, who wrote in 2008 that “unelected insiders in both major parties have effectively selected candidates long before citizens reached the ballot box.” You can’t blame authors of a book on political history–its subtitle is “Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform”–for failing to predict the future. But it does seem that the prestige of the Party Decides model was one reason that Nate Silver, Nate Cohn, Jonathan Chait, and a bunch of other pundits not named Nate or Jonathan were so quick to dismiss Donald Trump’s chances of winning in the Republican primaries.

Obama asks intel community to conduct “full review” of election-related hacks (jdargis)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN on Wednesday that he would head an inquiry into the alleged Russian hacking campaign. Also on Wednesday, Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to form a bipartisan commission to look into the intrusions. Cummings and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have requested that the White House provide Congress with a classified briefing on the hacking and other alleged interference in the election.

Trump’s Honeymoon Begins: Confidence in the Economy Is Booming (jdargis)

The recent heart-pumping stock rally, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, said at an investment conference this week, is “based upon the hope, which I hope is accurate, that the Trump administration will be very good for unleashed business per se,” and may improve overall growth.

FBI sent planeload of agents to frame Assange in Iceland, got snubbed by minister (lambertad)

“Since they had not been authorized by the Icelandic authorities to carry out police work in Iceland and since a crack-down on WikiLeaks was not on my agenda, to say the least, I ordered that all cooperation with them be promptly terminated and I also made it clear that they should cease all activities in Iceland immediately,” the politician said.

So the U.S. were told to leave, and moreover, the politician made things quite clear for them.

Fighting For The Poor Under Trump (jdargis)

Torres, now twenty-eight, is a member of the New York City Council, where he represents the Fifteenth District, in the central Bronx, one of the poorest in the city. He lives in the Allerton neighborhood, but one afternoon in August he was back at Throggs Neck Houses to visit his mother, who still occupies the apartment where he grew up. Torres, who calls himself Afro-Latino—his family is originally from Puerto Rico—is tall and slim and dresses stylishly. Despite the eighty-six-degree heat, he wore a gray suit, a lavender dress shirt, a purple tie, and a City Council lapel pin. He stopped to look, through a tall black fence, at the golf course, which opened last year. The weekend rate to play a round there is about two hundred dollars, which is almost half the average monthly rent for an apartment in public housing. To Torres, the course is an “egregious misallocation of resources.” Even in casual conversation, he often sounds as if he’s giving a speech. “New York is a tale of two cities,” he said. “You have the gilded city and the other city, and the core of the other city is the New York City Housing Authority.”

How NASA is rehearsing for a mission to Mars (jdargis)

At makeshift mission control inside a converted conference room several miles away, Darlene Lim surveys video from the scene. The NASA geobiologist has been planning this mission for months. She listens attentively to the chatter between the roving astronauts and their counterparts at “base camp” and watches as one of the scientists in the field points a handheld spectrometer at a rock and scans it, Star Trek-style. Data on the rock's composition starts streaming onto Lim's computer screen.

Trump team memo asks Energy Department about cost of carbon (jdargis)

Questions that address cuts to the DOE’s mission include: “Which Assistant Secretary positions are rooted in statute and which exist at the discretion and delegation of the Secretary?”, as well as “If the DOE’s topline budget in accounts other than the 050 account were required to be reduced 10% over the next four fiscal years (from the FY17 request and starting in FY18), does the Department have any recommendations as to where those reductions should be made?” A 050 account indicates national defense spending.

The violent costs of the global palm oil boom (jdargis)

Elaeis guineensis is native to West Africa, and while its cultivation has spread recently in Central and South America and across equatorial Africa, eighty-five per cent of palm oil produced today comes from Indonesia or Malaysia. Rising palm-oil exports have helped both countries make enormous economic strides in the past few decades, but the growth has come at a cost: deforestation rates in both places have been listed among the highest in the world. The habitat destruction brought about by palm-oil production has helped push scores of the region’s species, including orangutans and Sumatran elephants, rhinos, and tigers, to the brink of extinction. And, mostly thanks to palm-oil production, Indonesia can boast some of the world’s highest levels of greenhouse-gas emissions.

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