Or how about a fucking scientist?

Robert F Kennedy, Jr. was recently tapped to lead a commission on vaccine safety.

Good news, everybody: President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly asked Robert F. Kennedy, Jr to chair a federal commission on “vaccine safety and scientific integrity.” In addition to being one of the original Robert F. Kennedy’s 11 children, RFK Jr. is an activist who believes vaccines cause autism—an idea that has been roundly rejected by scientists and doctors, found to have no merit in dozens of experimental trials, and traced to one article published in Lancet 20 years ago and subsequently retracted. But what do scientists know? How many of them are Kennedys? Fucking none, that’s how many—not one Kennedy has become a scientist, because science sucks. It’s not because they couldn’t do it. Why, RFK Jr. himself went to Harvard, even after he flunked out of Milbrook. He’s just naturally right about things, the same way he is naturally rich: by being a Kennedy. I quote the Washington Post:

“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies, and he has questions about it,” Kennedy said. “His opinion doesn’t matter, but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science, and we ought to be debating the science.”

Yeah, when are people going to start reading and debating science? We’ve left the science behind vaccines to doctors and scientists for too long. It’s time to get some famous rich people in there to straighten this out and decide whether polio should come back.

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Friday links! Versus wind edition

Wind blows the Pope's mantle over his face in this photo by Alessandra Tarantino (AP).

Wind blows the Pope’s mantle over his face in this photo by Alessandra Tarantino (AP).

Whenever the wind blows, I feel the universe is persecuting me. I know this feeling is irrational. Even if some malevolent force were deliberately causing gusts of wind whenever I set down my book or tried to lay out a blanket, the wind would still be blowing on everyone else, too. And even though the wind seems like a useless irritant—an unnecessary feature of Earth that serves only to piss me off—it’s probably important to change whether patterns and blow seeds around and stuff. Still, I cannot escape the sensation that this natural feature is an unfair irritant to me personally. Today is Friday, and the world’s basic mechanics feel like a conspiracy to thwart our plans. Won’t you shake your fist at a cloud with me?

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Anderson Cooper is sick of this Bachmann lady

My new favorite micro-generic hallmark of the Michele Bachmman news story is the phrase “and then she did this.” It crops up again and again in baffled coverage from veteran reporters, and I think it captures something particular about her. What Michele Bachmann says so consistently contradicts what Michele Bachmann just said that her weirdness seems inevitable, and yet it keeps managing to surprise. After a while, her political communication takes on the sort of art-for-art’s-sake quality one sees in, say, Dadaism. It makes so little sense that you must accept it only for what it is—and then she did this. What Bachmann did this time was tell The Today Show that an anonymous woman approached her after Monday’s debate to say that her daughter got inoculated for HPV, and then she “developed mental retardation.” Is Bachmann saying that you shouldn’t vaccinate your child against preventable disease? Is she saying the HPV vaccine retards you? No—that would be irresponsible. But she is saying that “this is the very real concern, and people have to draw their own conclusions.”

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