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Long commutes may make you less politically active?
That is an implication of new research by political scientists Benjamin Newman, Joshua Johnson, and Patrick Lown. (Another link to the piece is here.) They show that Americans who report longer commutes say they are less involved in politics.  Participation in politics is 12 points lower for people with a 60-minute commute relative to people who work from home and have no commute.  Why does this effect emerge?  Newman and colleagues suggest it is because commuting saps people’s underlying interest in politics. [...]

[I]f it were just a question of time, then we might expect people who work long hours to be less involved in politics too.  But that isn’t true: people who report working more hours are no more or less likely to participate in politics. Instead, the authors argue that commuting depletes our psychological resources in unique ways.

Great, I can see it now. The new Republican plan for electoral success: kill all transportation projects, trapping Americans in soul-crushing commutes that drain their will to live or vote.

Well, that's not really different from the old plan. Also, it comes with talk radio.



Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009Any Afghan 'Surge' a Snare and a Delusion:

Given the record of Goldman Sachs (as detailed in McClatchy's five-part series), AIG,Halliburton and other supposedly upright U.S. corporations, it's a tad arrogant to complain about the corruption of other countries. Endemic or not, the wink-wink, nod-nod deals of much of the Third World amount to peanuts when compared with the rip-offs visited on taxpayers, investors and consumers here at home. So, while the U.S. ranks 19th on the Transparency Index's corruption scale, and Afghanistan ranks 179th, one step off the bottom, there's a little more to the picture than can be addressed by such metrics.

Be that as it may, corruption is viewed as one of the key obstacles in dealing with the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan. That corruption, as the "leaked cables" sent to the White House by U.S. Ambassador to Kabul Karl Eikenberry pointed out, may make the sending of more troops foolish if President Karzai, newly sworn in after a tainted election, cannot be made to root it out. As Tom Engelhardt explains, however, rooting it out is like asking Karzai either to commit suicide or "drink the sea."



Tweet of the Day:

Breaking: George W. Bush now says he understands why Turkey got upset when he pardoned the country every November for eight straight years.
@BillinPortland



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, new polling fans Obamacare flames, and Gettysburg outrage is manufactured. Greg Dworkin rounds up headlines, the surge in ACA enrollment, hyperbolic declarations of the end of Dem presidencies, and Jonathan Cohn's "Six Things the Media Doesn't Understand About Obamacare." Surprise! The Institute for Policy Studies says the people pushing to cut your Social Security are super rich and don't need Social Security. One of those people: the CEO of WalMart, where workers are now holding food drives for their fellow low-paid workers! Speaking of WalMart: GunFAIL! And Norway joins the parade of allies discovering NSA prying.



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