Closing out…

*LET THERE BE RICE: Forgive a little self-promotion — our cover story this week is my piece on Chris Isbell, a rice farmer in Humnoke, Arkansas growing a prized Japanese rice varietal that is needed for making premium sake. It’s a fun story, check it out. Above, see a bag that was used to package Isbell’s Koshihikari rice in Japan in the 1990s (that’s another prized rice varietal and…well, read the story). Here’s the back side of the bag, featuring a photo of the Isbells: 


*RACE AND highlights a study that looks at how thinking about race may shape political persuasion:

White Americans become more conservative when they’re told that whites might soon be a minority in the US, according to a new study in Psychological Science.

The authors, Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson of Northwestern, use data from two main experiments. In one, a group of survey respondents was told that California had become a majority-minority state, and the other group was told that the Hispanic population was now equal in size to the black population in the US. Then, all respondents were asked what their political ideology was. The group that was told whites were in the minority in California identified as more conservative than the second group.

In another experiment, one group of respondents read a press release saying that whites would soon become a minority nationally in 2042, while a second group read a release that didn’t mention race. The group primed by race then endorsed more conservative policy positions.

*REPUBLICANS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS: Speaking of race and politics, this Republican candidate for Senate in Iowa, Sam Clovis, is too minor to make much of a fuss about beyond click bait for Talking Points Memo but…ugh: 


In an interview with The Daily Times Herald of Iowa, Senate Candidate Sam Clovis said the reason Obama hasn’t been impeached yet is a “practical matter.”

“I don’t think so and I’ll tell you why. It’s not that what he has done would not rise to the level where it might be impeachable,” Clovis said. “I don’t think it’s a practical, pragmatic issue and simply because I don’t think the nation is ready for it. You know, within this generation we just went through an impeachment of a president and it didn’t end well and now we have a situation where race is thrown into the card as well. And whether we like it or not, race is an issue.”

The Daily Times Herald asked Clovis if he thought Congress wasn’t trying to impeach Obama because of his skin color.

“Not knowing, I haven’t talked to anybody [sic],” Clovis said. “But I would say there are people in the House of Representatives right now that would very much like to take the opportunity to start the process and I think the reason that they’re not is because they’re concerned about the media.”

Clovis was then asked if he members of Congress are worried about what it would look like in news coverage to impeach the president because he’s black. Clovis simply responded “yes.”