Quickies: Alito and Kavanaugh Meet with Homophobe, Climate Change Cost US over $500 Billion

Plus a new study looks at why some people believe fake news more than others

  • The Homophobic Activist Who Won an Audience with Two Supreme Court Justices, the New Yorker: Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh met with an anti-LGTBQ activist only weeks after hearing oral arguments in two LGTBQ discrimination cases, providing yet another example of the partisanship of the court and the need for a strong ethics code. Aaron Belkin, director of Take Back the Court, wrote an open letter asking the justices to recuse themselves from both cases. Unsurprisingly, they haven’t. Yet. I’m sharing this article in hopes that more people will let the Court know how they feel about this blatantly unethical behavior. If you can’t get beyond the New Yorker paywall, see “What Were They Thinking? Justices Again Fail a Basic Ethics Test” at Fix the Court. H/t to Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money.
  • Climate Events Have Cost the US Economy More than $500 Billion over the Last 5 Years, Fed Official Says, Markets Insider: The executive vice president of the New York Federal Reserve, Kevin Stiroh, calculated the direct cost of climate change to the US over the past 5 years, providing example number 793,432 of why the GOP is the party of fiscal irresponsibility and death.
  • We Aren’t Too Partisan to Spot Fake News: We’re Too Lazy, Arc Digital: This is an interesting write-up of a study published in the journal Cognition studying how and why people are or are not able to discern fake from real news. The researchers claim that motivated reasoning is only part of the story, because people who score well on a Cognitive Reflection Test are able to tell fake from real news regardless of their own and the articles’ biases. In other words, some people choose not to use the critical thinking skills necessary to tell fiction from fact.

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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