Political Animal


July 29, 2012 8:23 AM Weekend Links

By Ryan Cooper

1. Former Monthly blogger Kevin Drum lost his famous cat Inkblot last night. Send some karmic vibrations his way.

2. Classic Michael Pollan essay on opium.

3. Yet another Koch-funded study on global warming finds that…yep, it’s for real.

4. Kieran Healy trolls the Olympics fans. I wonder how long it took to make that graph.

5. Is modern pop music increasingly homogenous? Their song-choosing methodology seems a bit dubious. (Also, I wonder what the likes of Opeth would look like so analyzed.)

Any good reads out there I missed?

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Ryan Cooper is a National Correspondent at The Week, and a former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @ryanlcooper


  • Diane Rodriguez on July 29, 2012 10:00 AM:

    How interesting that Ann Romney placed a note in the Western Wall not Mitt. Apparently, he can't even make a definitive statement to God. As a reminder, this was President, then Candidate Obama's note,

    "Lord Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will."

    I believe Ann is trouble for Romney. She wants it even more than Mitt and she feels every bit as superior and entiteled as him.

  • Mitt's Magic Underpants on July 29, 2012 10:39 AM:

  • Marc Levine on July 29, 2012 10:57 AM:

    That Michael Pollan article is from 1997. Why would you be linking to a 15 year old article? Slow news day?

  • Gandalf on July 29, 2012 11:04 AM:

    I'd bet money that the Kochs send some goons to change Muller's mind and that he backtracks on his climate change proclamations.

  • catclub on July 29, 2012 2:03 PM:

    If they have show jumping and Dressage, why not sheepdog trials?
    _Olympic_ Sheep Dog Trials

  • TCinLA on July 29, 2012 2:36 PM:

    For any other "cat person" in southern California: Inkblot was killed by a coyote within 200 yards of his home, and I happen to know Kevin Drum doesn't live out on the edge of town, but right in the middle of a highly urbanized area. Three years ago we lost Domino to a coyote and she was 50 feet from the back door, in the garden, and we live in the San Fernando Valley, about as urban as you can get with no open area for wild animals within ten miles. Coyotes are now everywhere! The only thing a cat guardian can do is make your kitty and indoor kitty. There is no safe place left for kitties in Southern California.

    How sad for Inkblot to die in such a way. I hate coyotes and wouldn't hesitate to shoot one on sight.

  • HokieAnnie on July 29, 2012 4:06 PM:

    And I'll add to TCinLA's comments -- the Coyotes are not just on the west coast. Cats and small dogs have been lost in Northern VA to Coyotes and in some cases suspected mountain lions. In fact my mother in NOVA has spotted a mountain lion right in her backyard twice but unfortunately did not have a camera handy to document her sighting.

    So you're better off keeping your cat an indoor cat and monitoring the outdoor time of small dogs.

  • Captain Dan on July 29, 2012 7:14 PM:

    The one thing for which I fault is that he is too religious!

  • knightphoenix2 on July 29, 2012 9:18 PM:

    My condolences on the sad loss of Inkblot, and also to TCinLA's Domino. It seems that it is long past time for Animal Control to step up, and actually control these citified predators. Preferably before WE end up on the menu ...

  • castanea on July 29, 2012 11:42 PM:

    Coyotes are a species native to North America. House cats are not.

    The best way to ensure that your cat does not end up in the food chain is to keep it indoors, where it belongs.

    House cats that are frequent roamers deserve to get eaten by predators, or otherwise dispatched humanely. Cats can decimate native populations of song birds and small mammals:


    Coyotes are "now everywhere" because their historic range was pretty much the entirety of North America. They are an exceptionally adaptive species.

    I've heard the howling of coyotes in suburban San Diego, and I much prefer that to the screech and yowl of two cats fighting/mating within earshot at three a.m.

  • Bill D. on July 30, 2012 12:43 AM:

    "Coyotes are "now everywhere" because their historic range was pretty much the entirety of North America."

    Not true. When timber wolves ruled the east coyotes were absent there. Until the last century they were an exclusively western species. The absence of wolves in nearly all of the east has allowed them to spread into areas where they were not present historically.

  • Bill D. on July 30, 2012 12:45 AM:

    "Absence" should be "eradication".