Today’s Links: July 26, 2012


EMILY BAZELON: “The GOP’s Self-Inflicted Wounds
Pennsylvania’s voter ID law goes on trial today. The first thing this challenge to the state’s law has going for it are the real people who will testify about why it means they can’t vote. The second thing is the Pennsylvania constitution. And the third is the utter lack of legitimate justification for the burdens the law imposes.”

DAVID LEINWEBER: “Stupid Data Miner Tricks: How Quants Fool Themselves And The Economic Indicator In Your Pants
“There sometimes seems to be no limit to how far people will go to make financial data scream. You can find strong statistics, and useless investment signals from butter production in Bangladesh, the US population of 9 year old kids, and now, in a dramatic breakthrough, relating average penis size to GDP growth, a key measure of stock market returns around the world. Much to my bemusement, I am perhaps best know as the ‘Butter in Bangladesh’ guy. ”

MICHAEL BARONE: “The Right Sentencing
“Conservatives in increasing numbers are moving away from their decades-long support for long prison terms for criminals. Last year, Newt Gingrich, William Bennett, and Reagan attorney general Edwin Meese endorsed a “right on crime” initiative, calling for rehabilitation measures rather than prison sentences for nonviolent offenders. They joined liberals who have been dismayed that America has just about the highest rate of incarceration of any nation in history.”


INTERNET – Mobile Privacy Lawmaker Invites the Anti-SOPA Forces to the Drafting Table
“The U.S. Congress has learned much this year about policymaking in the digital age. The SOPA debacle earlier this year showed that when the right Internet stakeholders disagree with a proposed law, the ensuing public outcry can be overwhelming. So when it came to writing a law to protect mobile privacy, Representative Hank Johnson took a more cautious approach: He invited the grass roots to help him write it.”

FRANCE – Cash-Strapped French Socialists Face Reality of Austerity
“The champion of a moderate stimulus plan for Europe, at home French President Francois Hollande is turning his back on the sort of infrastructure investment he hopes will revive European growth.”

HEALTH – Gov’t stepping up fight against health care fraud
“The Obama administration is upping the ante in the fight against health care fraud, joining forces with private insurers and state investigators on a scale not previously seen in an attempt to stanch tens of billions of dollars in losses.”