I stumbled across an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education this morning called “Under Fire From Lawmakers, a Flagship Tries to Explain Why Diversity Matters.” Articles at the Chronicle are often behind a paywall, but don’t fret if you can’t get to the article; it didn’t really explain why diversity matters anyway, which is what I was hoping to hear. Likely because of the recency of Scalia’s death, this reminded me of the recent oral arguments at the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas (an affirmative action case). Scalia’s comment about minorities doing better at lower-ranked schools was pretty awful, but I found myself agreeing with him, or at least sharing his frustration, during a line of questioning by John Roberts. Roberts asked, “What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?…I’m just wondering what the benefits of diversity are in that situation.” The question itself was criticized in the blogosphere, but I don’t think that’s fair. I think it’s actually a great question, and great opportunity to defend affirmative action. What killed me was the answer, what was missing from the answer.

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This is a good one

It’s probably pretty obvious that I’m not a republican, and it’s probably equally obvious that I don’t like Ted Cruz. Actually, of all the candidates on the GOP side this election cycle, Cruz is probably the one I can tolerate the least. It’s also important to say, up front, that I really like and respect Hillary Clinton. I was a bit undecided between Sanders and Clinton (and was very sad that O’Malley didn’t do better), but I’ve been leaning pretty strongly toward Hillary for the past few weeks. My mind is rarely made up, I’m always open to new information, and legit evidence of criminal behavior (which, contrary to FoxNews world, doesn’t exist) could certainly change my view. With all that out there: my dislike of Cruz and my support for Clinton, I have to say that the new ad from Cruz is really fun.

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On the failure of government…

Our government has failed us numerous times, and it’s safe to bet that it will fail us again. What happened with the poisoned water in Flint Michigan is a recent example, and a horrible one, but it is just one example. The Brookings Institution created the dismal graphic above, showing government failures and plotting the size/impact/type of the failures [edit, 10.6.16: the link to the image died, but the interactive is here]. There is no question that our government is imperfect, and that there is reason to be disappointed. The way each of us thinks we should respond to that disappointment is what seems to divide us, and I just don’t understand the logic behind some that fall on the other side of this.

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Some things change in a good way

After writing about the changing landscape of GOP politics yesterday (well, honestly writing it a little more than a day ago, but posting it yesterday), I woke this morning to this piece at npr.com. My post yesterday was about how venomous the GOP has gotten: how treatment of immigrants has lost its compassion, how diplomacy is mocked. It was a pretty negative view of today’s GOP. But the read in NPR shows a much better side of things for my GOP friends.

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