Thirsty Thursday – March 18, 2015

Still working off that St. Patrick’s Day hangover? Try some of this sweet link-nectar.

International

At least 19 people were killed in Tunisia’s Bardo Museum by unknown gunmen. Two gunmen were killed, but not identified. One possibility is that this is spillover from neighboring Libya’s multi-party civil war. I don’t have too much more to say about this, but it doesn’t seem to have been covered much here, and I thought it was worth considering about. Tunisia’s position as one of the few Arab Spring nations that saw a transition to more a democratic government has been rocky, but this is a worrisome development.

Likud’s unexpected triumph in the Israeli elections is picked apart in this FiveThirtyEight article. Basically, the guess is that in the five days between the end of polling and the election, Likud convinced voters from other right-wing parties to shift their support to Netanyahu’s party; thus Likud’s gains were all at the expense of right-wing parties, not the center, left, Arab, or ultra-Orthodox parties. The situation is pretty much as it was expected to be a week ago: the advantage to form a ruling coalition is Netanyahu’s and Likud-defector Moshe Kahlon of the centrist Kulanu party is likely to be kingmaker. Meanwhile, Israel’s Arab parties’ electoral alliance is now the third largest group in the Knesset. Simmering underneath this all is a long-standing ethnic divide between Ashkenazi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, and Arab-Israelis.

National

Georgetown professor Jonathan Ladd has great post on why the Clinton family and the national press don’t get along – primarily using unpublished theories by John Zaller. The theory I thought was especially interesting was this one:

Journalists resist politicians’ efforts to control their coverage. The more politicians try to restrict access and control the news flow, the more journalists will fight back by conducting more investigations and initiating criticism of the candidate… Journalist[s] gain more commercial success and professional prestige if they report original stories and express their independence than if they acquiesce to media management tactics. Presidential campaigns can to some degree satisfy journalists by giving them access and information (“feeding the beast” as some press operatives call it).

Former Boston Phoenix video gamer reviewer Maddy Myers’ December 31st blog post about finding a job in a post-Phoenix world is troubling. Myers’ detailing of the sheer amount of luck it took to get her job at the Phoenix in the first place, and then the amount of disappointment she’s faced since its collapse is heart-rending. It’s a useful reminder that getting a job is not always as simple as we tell ourselves, and also that luck and chance is a big player in us doing what we’ll be most happy doing.

Local

Speaking of the Phoenix, the last editor of the Providence Phoenix, Phil Eil, is having the Rhode Island ACLU sue the Drug Enforcement Administration on his behalf over a Freedom of Information Act request about a public trial it’s taken years to even partially process. How a public trial has its records withheld and redacted is beyond me, so kudos to Eil for taking on this task.

The resignation of state Rep. Donald Lally is fascinating. Last year, Lally won his 13th election, with no general election opponent. Despite his longevity, only in last year’s general election did he run unopposed. He had a challenge from either a Republican or a Green, and some narrow victories to boot. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the vote totals for his first election, the electronic copy of 1988’s Countbook abruptly cuts off at the start of the section for General Assembly races.

Drink of the Week

The Baxter Brewing Window Seat. A friend brought over a six pack of this coconut and almond porter to share (and foolishly left the remains behind). It’s like what drinking a coconut with beer would taste like. Delicious. Also, it’s from Lewiston, Maine.

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