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Unpredictable election underscores the country’s jittery mood | Los Angeles Times
Lynn Vavreck, a UCLA political science professor, has co-written a new book in which she describes the “calcification” of our politics. Seismic events occur — a once-in-a-century pandemic, a historic reckoning for generations of racial discrimination, an attempted coup aimed at overturning the 2020 election — and they do little to alter the political equilibrium of a split-down-the-middle America. … “Calcification doesn’t mean we’re stuck with the same party winning every election,” Vavreck said. “It means we’re stuck on the knife’s edge and we’re just tilting one way, the other way, one way, the other way.”
“The whole concept that you should vote in person because vote by mail is fraudulent — the Trump line — has bled into the California Republicans as well,” said UCLA’s Zev Yaroslavsky (approx. 1:25 mark).
Republican groups file legal challenges to voting process | PBS NewsHour
“So, you’re right that a lot of the lawsuits involve mail-in balloting, in part because we saw this huge uptick in mail-in balloting during the 2020 election because of the pandemic. And lots of states really had to ramp up, and there were questions about procedures that were going to be followed. Some of those questions have been answered. Some of them haven’t,” said UCLA’s Rick Hasen.
Hateful rhetoric stokes alarming rise in antisemitism | KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”
“There isn’t any evidence, as yet, of greater antisemitic attitudes among Americans in general. What’s really taken place is much more the open expression, the more uninhibited expression, of antisemitic statements, particularly on social media,” said UCLA’s Dov Waxman (approx. 9:55 mark).
“It is broadly worded, as constitutional amendments are, because the purpose of constitutional amendments is to enshrine basic, fundamental and enduring principles in the Constitution,” Cary Franklin, a UCLA constitutional law professor and director of its Center on Reproductive Health, Law and Policy, said in an email.
Hillary Clinton accepted her loss, but a lot has changed since 2016 | New York Times
(Commentary by UCLA’s Lynn Vavreck) America is holding its first coast-to-coast elections since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in 2021. That revolt, an attempt to stop the certification of the last presidential election, cost several lives. A lot is at stake.
“[During the Trump era] we saw efforts at the federal level to weaken or roll back environmental regulations that were taking meaningful steps to address the climate problem, like the administration’s revocation of California’s waiver to set greenhouse gas emission standards for cars,” [said] Julia Stein, environmental law expert at the UCLA School of Law, and deputy director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment.
Will Musk’s Twitter ownership cost us our democracy? | Los Angeles Times
“You don’t need to have a lot of provocateurs to be able to do something that is dangerous,” Rick Hasen, a professor of law at UCLA and director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project, told me. “That amount of money is not a lot of money as far as political speech goes.” Hasen offered this bit of hope. To him, the whole mess sounds “like somebody with a bruised ego more than someone with a secret far-right agenda.”
Joan Didion show at Hammer Museum not what you’d expect | Los Angeles Times
“Joan Didion: What She Means,” organized by New Yorker critic Hilton Als in collaboration with Hammer chief curator Connie Butler and curatorial assistant Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, is not the sort of show you may have come to expect on a writer. It is not composed of vitrines bursting with manuscripts. Nor are there old ashtrays or a favored typewriter. First editions of her books are not displayed on plinths like fragments of the True Cross. Instead, the exhibition takes Didion as a point of departure, interpreting her writing life principally through art.
“It’s exciting to have a new hypothesis to think about if it helps us create better outcomes for patients,” said Martin Monti, a neuroscientist at UCLA who was not involved in the study.
A looming ‘tripledemic’ could make for a rough winter | NBC’s “Today”
Another factor pumping up the spread of these three bugs in cold climates is the viruses’ affinity for cool, dry air, Dr. Timothy Brewer, professor of medicine and epidemiology at University of California, Los Angeles, told TODAY. In fact, this phenomenon may explain the burst of flu activity in Texas and the Southeastern U.S., which recently experienced a cold snap, he said.
California fire season to get snuffed out as Pacific storm nears | Bloomberg News
“At this point, with what has fallen, plus what is forecast, I don’t foresee a meaningful potential for large/destructive wildfires in Northern or Central California for the rest of the season,” said Daniel Swain, a climatologist at the University of California at Los Angeles. “Southern California fire risk will also be very low for a while, though there mid-winter resurgences are more plausible during periods of strong/desiccating Santa Ana wind events.”