Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office revises death toll down to 24, including 7 children: http://t.co/... #tornado
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Welcome news amidst tragedy. The next set of questions is about why OK doesn't want to spend the money on proper storm shelters.

Charlie Cook:

The simple fact is that although the Republican sharks are circling, at least so far, there isn’t a trace of blood in the water. A new CNN/ORC survey of 923 Americans this past Friday and Saturday, May 17-18, pegged Obama’s job-approval rating at 53 percent, up a statistically insignificant 2 points since their last poll, April 5-7, which was taken before the Benghazi, IRS, and AP-wiretap stories came to dominate the news and congressional hearing rooms. His disapproval rating was down 2 points since that last survey.
Greg Sargent:
A few of us on the left have been arguing that the current scandal-mania gripping the GOP risks bringing about a rerun of 1998, when the frenzy amid the Monica Lewinsky revelations led the GOP to overreach, resulting in backlash.

Now we have a longtime respected nonpartisan observer, Charlie Cook, arguing that this possibility is very real.

Nate Silver:
There are a lot of theories as to why Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have been unchanged in the wake of these controversies, which some news accounts and many of Mr. Obama’s opponents are describing as scandals. But these analyses may proceed from the wrong premise if they assume that the stories have had no impact. It could be that the controversies are, in fact, putting some downward pressure on Mr. Obama’s approval ratings — but that the losses are offset by improved voter attitudes about the economy.
More politics and policy after the fold.

Brad Plumer:

Just 16 minutes before a gigantic twister first developed near Oklahoma City on Monday, the National Weather Service put out a tornado warning.

The tornado warning issued for the region south of Oklahoma City on Monday, May 20, at 2:46 p.m. (Via Mike Smith)

That doesn’t sound like very much time to get out of the way. For many, it wasn’t: At least 24 people died when the tornado ripped a mile-wide path through the city of Moore, Okla.
But those 16 minutes actually represent an enormous advance for weather science. Back in the 1980s, the average tornado lead time was a scant five minutes. Today, it’s about 13 minutes.

Want to go into decline as a country? Don't spend any money and add a heaping portion of anti-science bias.

NY Times:

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws on a bipartisan vote, sending the most significant immigration policy changes in decades to the full Senate, where the debate is expected to begin next month.
NYT editorial:
The bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday has many serious hurdles ahead. It is the most serious and worthy attempt to fix immigration in a generation, but it cannot help reflecting the poisoned politics of today, with its heavy tilt toward needless border enforcement and a deficiency in equal rights.
Joseph Nye:
Obama's first term was marked by the passage of health care legislation -- unpopular with some, but a historic accomplishment that Democratic presidents have sought since the days of Harry Truman. The Democrats' loss of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections has constrained Obama's ability to advance other transformational efforts on the domestic front, though some believe that, out of self-interest, the Republican Party may still allow bipartisan reform of immigration law during Obama's second term.

The current "scandals" certainly are expensive to Obama in terms of daily distraction and lost political momentum, but if you think you can write off the rest of the Obama presidency, think again. Too often, Washington focuses so myopically on daily political battles that it fails to pay attention to history. The lessons of history tell us: It is too soon to write off Barack Obama.

Too soon? It's idiotic to even suggest it. But then again, pundits never could read polls. See last election.

The Monkey Cage on the political science of Star Trek:

A key dynamic in Star Trek is the tense interdependence between the hot-headed Captain, James Kirk, and his coldly rational second-in-command, Mr. Spock. Separately, Kirk is impetuous and Spock rigidly utilitarian. Good decisions come when they weave their analyses together. Political scientists, following advances in psychology, are newly interested in the interdependence of emotion and reason, edging away from Mr. Spock’s hyper-rational vision of politics toward an understanding of the inextricable linkages between the two modes of choice. Publics vote, political parties select issue positions, and executives make decisions on war and peace under the influence of both emotion and logic. The new Trek continues these debates. Spock, in peril, explains that he does not want to die as a foreshortened life is one that fails to realize its maximum utility, while Kirk channels George W. Bush in being unable to articulate a rationale for a momentous decision other than “gut feeling.”
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