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Friday, December 30th, 2016

Time Event
9:02a
A delightful gear-head joke in Girl Genius
In today's Girl Genius, the engine on the flying machine bears a stylized "Wankel."
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php#.WGZnQrYrLBI

Wankel is the name of a rotary powered cylinder engine that was hailed as a potentially revolutionary design, but problems with the design relegate to niche markets. Most notably, it is extremely fuel inefficient. 
2:47p
Link Harvest: Religion and Education Attainment Level Globally
Of people claiming a religious affiliation, Jews are by far the most educated in the world. This, of course, has a lot to do with population concentration. Having been kicked out of every country good K-12 education is not broadly available, we are now primarily located in the U.S. and Israel. Please note that in Israel, we built the education system and prioritized it, so we should get some credit on the availability thing.

The rest is also interesting.
http://www.pewforum.org/2016/12/13/religion-and-education-around-the-world/
2:55p
So What Do Americans Think About Obama As He Leaves?
PEW has this survey showing fairly positive marks for Obama, along with the feeling that he didn't manage to do a lot to address the major problems facing the country.
http://www.people-press.org/2016/12/14/obama-leaves-office-on-high-note-but-public-has-mixed-views-of-accomplishments/

Not surprisingly, there are huge partisan divides on everything from whether Obama made a difference, whether his failures will outwiegh his successes, or even how much they like Michelle Obama (you have to be really partisan to hate Michelle Obama).

What is interesting in all this is both how Americans are now thinking about the dismantling of Obamacare and othe Obama programs or preserving them (most not happy with what they have, but lots want to see things improved rather than eliminated).

All of this is important for how the political environment plays out, and what happens going forward. I would be as suspicious of the idea of a permanent Republican majority as I was of the permanent Democratic storyline in 2012.

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