Tuesday Links

Well, the BCS era is finally over. I’m an Auburn fan, but the clock struck midnight for Cinderella. 1389072271002-USP-NCAA-Football-BCS-National-Championship-Flori-077 Some links:

Elizabeth Bernstein explains why the best way to change our spouse’s behaviors is to demonstrate a willingness to change our own:

Therapists say the most effective change you can make is to the way you react to things that bother you about your partner. We all have “triggers” that prompt us to have outsize negative reactions.

The emotional response usually has very little to do with the trigger itself…”He left his sock on the floor, therefore he doesn’t care about me. I don’t matter.” It’s important to understand what triggers you and why, and to change your response.

When one person starts to make changes, even positive changes, the other may feel frightened or resentful. “People are much more comfortable with what they know, even if it is bad,” she says.

Nick Gillespie argues that Americans aren’t as polarized as we’ve been led to believe, and adds:

How to address economic stagnation, immigration, the debt limit, long- and short-term deficits, foreign policy, and more has never been easy, even when everyone absolutely agrees. But with so many pressing problems confronting Washington, acknowledging that more unites us than divides us might be a smart way to create a future that doesn’t revolve hermeneutic readings of the theological implications of reality TV stars or actively ignoring what large majorities of Americans actually believe.

Dr. Michael Friedman criticizes the practice of schools sending parents of overweight children “fat letters”:

Policy makers and advocates of BMI screening in schools have the best intentions. However, this policy blatantly overlooks the long-term, potentially devastating consequences of this practice for children.

The Middle East has changed quite a bit since 2011. With domestic energy production increasing, Americans are losing interest in the region. Gerald Seib thinks this could be disastrous:

The U.S. has a deep interest in the health of a global economy that still depends on Middle East oil. The dangers of Islamic extremism actually are on the rise rather than the decline. And now there is the real danger of a destabilizing regional nuclear arms race in coming decades set off by Iran.
Americans have a stake, like it or not.

Rachel Maddow is remaking MSNBC in her image: young, urbane, ideological, smart. A former colleague discussed Maddow with the National Review:

She is actually not that interested in reality; she is the most ideological person I’ve ever met. That is not somebody you want in charge of your programming, because she might put on a great show, but she cannot make rational decisions — her agenda is changing America. . . . She really thinks she is changing America for the better. You can’t have somebody like that in charge of your programming.

Charles Blow offers an explanation for the rapid decline of belief in evolution among Republicans:

I believe this is a natural result of a long-running ploy by Republican party leaders to play on the most base convictions of conservative voters in order to solidify their support. Convince people that they’re fighting a religious war for religious freedom, a war in which passion and devotion are one’s weapons against doubt and confusion, and you make loyal soldiers.

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