I traveled to Puerto Rico this week to see the MLB draft showcase in Cayey, featuring likely top-5 pick Delvin Perez, so I haven’t written much anywhere, with just one Insider post, on the Wei-Yin Chen and Gerardo Parra signings. Klawchats will resume this upcoming week, and no, I haven’t seen this week’s episode of Top Chef yet. I did finish The Executioner’s Song on the flight home, and that has to be one of the most addictive books I’ve ever read.
And now, the links…
- I tweeted this earlier in the week but it’s worth a repost: How one lawyer uncovered a massive Dupont chemical-dumping scheme, one that has poisoned waterways all around the Ohio River basin and more. That chemical, PFOA, is in your bloodstream right now, even if you’re reading this from the South Georgia Islands.
- Lots of good pieces this week on the awfulness of state lotteries, although I thought ThinkProgress at least got right to the meat of it by pointing out, as John Oliver did in 2014, that the money lotteries raise doesn’t even necessarily go where they claim it does.
- FiveThirtyEight chimes up in defense of MSG. You may know it better as one of the quickest ways to add umami, the “fifth taste,” to a dish.
- It hasn’t been the best week for Ted Cruz – or maybe it has, if you feel like any publicity is indeed good publicity – starting with this striking editorial from the New York Times on his “brutal” policies that seem at odds with the principles of his evangelical base.
- I would love to hear from the lawyers in the crowd about this piece from CNN that argues that Ted Cruz is indeed a “natural-born” citizen and thus eligible to be President, because he was a citizen at birth under the law of the U.S. on the day when he was born.
- Dave Zirin weighs in on the violent life and death of Lawrence Phillips, with special ire for all of the enablers who sought only to profit from his football abilities.
- A “regulatory logjam” at the FDA is the likely cause of generic drug shortages and price-gouging.
- A congresswoman has made public the cover-up of an astronomy professor’s history of sexual harassment, asking why his previous employer did not disclose this to his current one.
- Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga is holding a fundraising dinner on January 19th for a Southampton, New Jersey, family whose children were struck by a motorist, killing two of them.
- Rapper and actor Mos Def appears to have lost his marbles, trying to leave South Africa, where he was staying on an expired visa, with something he called a “world passport.” I bet you can buy those from the same people who sell you the naming rights to stars.
- The University of Maryland absolutely shat all over its credibility with this corporate-sponsored “study” that claimed that a particular brand of chocolate milk could help heal concussions.
- Ridiculous story of the week: A Rhode Island official has resigned after having a man dress up as a senior woman at a press conference.