Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Long Form Linkorama

Monday, December 20th, 2010
  • I’m a second amendment supporter. I like guns. I’ve never hunted but have enthusiasm for it. Still, the practice of canned hunts, in which “hunters” go after game that is tamed, drugged or confined, make me sick. I don’t think it should be banned — it’s a free country. But it ain’t hunting. At best, it’s outdoor butchery.
  • Lenore Skenazy wraps up the year. I can’t tell you how much I love her blog. As a parent, I’m beset with people trying to frighten me.
  • Political links:

  • A lot of conservative blogs have been posting pictures of Bush with the caption, “Miss me yet?” My answer: No fucking way.
  • I do hate being right all the time. As I said during the healthcare debate, preventative medicine save lives, not money. It costs more in the long run. Dying is cheap; living is expensive.
  • This is disgusting. An Ivy League school uses its wealth and influence to force people to sell their land to it.
  • I love this. One of the more responsible stores in terms of factory conditions is … Walmart.
  • Cracked debunks myths about Islam. The veil thing was something I didn’t know.
  • Wednesday Linkorama

    Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

    Non-Political Links:

  • Awesomeness
  • McDonald’s burgers don’t rot? Well, neither do anyone else’s. I suspect the difference in rotting has to do with the cheese and the bun, both of which McDonald’s makes sure have no bacterial contamination.
  • More of this, please: scientists talk evolution. And they deconstruct intelligent design here.
  • Political Links:

  • Radley Balko shows just how shoddy the Nation’s journalism is when it comes to bashing libertarians.
  • This is heresy in some of the conservative circles I run in, but the Wikileaks appears to show an Obama Administration that is good at foreign policy. This doesn’t fit the Right Wing meme that Obama is a bumbling imbecile who hates America, so it’s being ignored. I also suspect they wouldn’t like the specifics, which involve negotiation, deal-making, listening — you know, policy — instead of high horse unqualified demands being issued to lesser nations. How far the GOP has fallen from the days of Reagan and Bush I.
  • You’re Full of It Watch: Neal Boortz, continuing his “global warming is a myth” religion, boasts that no hurricanes hit the US this year. A simple Google search would have told him that this was an above-average season and in line with predictions. It’s just that other countries got walloped. I think there is a point that hurricane season prediction is very uncertain. But his main point is just to cover his eyes. Even his readers called him out on this one.
  • Irony, thy name is healthcare reform.
  • Thanksgiving Linkorama

    Saturday, November 27th, 2010

    Non-political links:

  • Jonah Lehrer on why expertise doesn’t translate well.
  • London.
  • Political Links:

  • Megan McArdle talks about Ireland.
  • El Paso, sisters city of the most violent city in Mexico, is the safest city in America. The reason? El Paso’s cops aren’t wholly-owned subsidiaries of the drug cartels.
  • Why the UN is a joke. A dangerous joke.
  • If I were liberal, I’d probably love Glenn Greenwald. Here he defends a libertarian from a nasty smear job.
  • Since I so rarely say it –or have a reason to — good for Obama.
  • HuffPo remain a bastion of pseudo-medical Nanny State lunacy.
  • How the government drives up the cost of healthcare.
  • All Politics Linkorama

    Saturday, November 13th, 2010

    All political links today, I’m afraid:

  • More on why our evil drug companies aren’t so evil.
  • I have to agree with Saletan. The Democrats won big over the last two years, getting huge pieces of legislation passed. Elections are temporary; big government programs are forever. By the same token, I think the GOP really lost in 2000. They won an election but completely screwed the pooch on policy. Unfortunately, much of the current GOP leadership can’t tell the difference.
  • Michael Bloomberg: soup nazi.
  • I really don’t know what to make of payday lending. The arguments against are obvious. But Reason point out that banning them may simply be making things worse.
  • This sort of thing, in which a reporter waxes rhapsodic about how romantic the Communists are, drives me nuts.
  • Torture update: the Brits say Bush is full of it; but Obama says he won’t go after agents who concealed it
  • If the Democrats sided with a foreign government against the President, I imagine we’d be seeing a different reaction.
  • Weekend Linkorama

    Saturday, September 11th, 2010

    Non-political links:

  • Oh, men lie about pants size. I totally misread the topic of that article.
  • A funny video about “hysteria” in the 19th century.
  • Angry Man is right. Death to the penny!
  • Political Links:

  • Lovely stuff from the anti-vaccine movement. Also, read the end-note, in which the resurgence of whooping cough has killed six babies in California.
  • Some good words on the Iranian situation from … holy shit, Fidel Castro? That can’t be right.
  • Ooh! Ooh. Koran Burning Men went to high school with Rush Limbaugh, which means … means … something?
  • What is it with this Administration that they simply can not tolerate crticism?
  • Ah, rent control. Is their no wealthy demographic it doesn’t benefit?
  • Defensive medicine apparently costs $46 billion. I think that estimate may be low. Still, it’s something to reduce, not the primary driver of healthcare costs.
  • Question: are the Keynesians ever right? I mean, ever?
  • Andrew Sullivan lets fly on the Obama Administration’s increasingly dispiriting approach to civil liberties and fundamental rights.
  • Sunday Night All Politics Linkorama

    Sunday, July 18th, 2010
  • Dear Mr. Williams. Just go the fuck away. Although I’ll note in passing that the supposedly racist Tea Partiers gave him the boot.
  • You too, mosque protesters.
  • Obama supports tax cuts … for trial lawyers.
  • Here’s the thing. You can provide “free” birth control if you want. I know it’s going to cost quite a bit. But I’m unconvinced it will prevent unwanted pregnancies. It’s not primarily a lack of access that causes them; free condoms are available just about everywhere. It’s a lack of responsibility. And providing birth control for free could even make things worse because people get more reckless when they get free stuff. What are we going to say when thousands of women get their “free” birth control, think they’re bulletproof, don’t use it right and get pregnant? To think we can prevent three million pregnancies by handing out pills at street corners is to indulge in the rankest sort of magical thinking about government.
  • Jesus Christ, are the schools trying to make girls anorexic?
  • Here is how states go off the fiscal rails.
  • Once again … do politicians not know about this internet thing where we can look up what they said just, like, a year ago.
  • Tuesday Linkorama

    Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

    One non-political link:

  • Is FIFA censoring the US non-goal goal? It would not surprise me, actually. When the Olympics were coming to Atlanta, I remember how sensitive the IOC were to any criticism whatsoever.
  • But mostly political links today, I’m afraid.

  • Yet more of the Right Wing’s alternate reality. BP comes up with the idea for an escrow fund at the behest of Republicans. Talk radio denounces it. So do Republicans. Story here. Honestly … if this idea has been proposed by Bush, the talk shows hosts would be hailing it as genius.
  • I must agree that the addiction metaphor for oil doesn’t work for me either. Until we have a viable alternative, oil is all we’ve got. We’re not addicted to oil, we’re addicted to having lots of energy. But casting the issue in that light would change the paradigm from oil enriching oil sheiks to oil keeping our economy going. Can’t have an honest debate, now, can we?
  • Yet another data point on why healthcare is so expensive — a new hospital is being denied. But more hospitals should, in theory, drive down prices, no? (H/T: rpl).
  • Here’s a question. Why is the Right Wing mocking Obama for stopping federal payments to dead people? It’s not like he started the practice. Should we keep writing those checks?
  • Another reason I’m glad I don’t live in Baltimore. And another reason I’m glad I never lived in California.
  • Slight quibble with the point made here about the Saville Commission’s report on Bloody Sunday. I agree that it’s disgusting that no one wants to look back at the awful bloody behavior of the IRA. But, at the same time, we have higher standards for governments than resistance movements. That’s why terrorists cutting people’s heads doesn’t justify torture.
  • Did the Church of Scientology force women to have abortions? At this point, they have yet to earn the benefit of a doubt. But the suggestions is so harsh that I hesitate to believe it.
  • Thursday Linkorama

    Thursday, June 17th, 2010

    This linkorama is brought to you by the letter H.

    Non-political links:

  • More on the horrific torture and murder of children in Nigeria on witchcraft charges. Worse: the lead witch-smeller pursuivant is being feted by people in this country.
  • Gun cliches. These annoy the heck out of me too.
  • I actually think the discovery of vast mineral reserves in Afghanistan could be bad for that country. Natural resources are frequently more of a curse than a blessing. Think of war-ravaged Africa on the one hand and the British Empire on the other.
  • Coolness. A direct image of an exoplanet.
  • Another study looks at why there are fewer women in science. I expect this will be an unpopular study — note what happened to Larry Summers. But hopefully it will stimulate some discussion. While I think the study makes some points, I’m not convinced we are in the interest-limited regime for women in physics.
  • Jesus. (H/T: Astropixie).
  • Political Links:

  • Bill Kristol, the delusional hack who denounced predictions of sectarian violence in post-war Iraq as liberal hysteria, is advocating for bombing Iran. I should really fisk the shit out of this one. Well, somebody already did.
  • Why I Don’t Like Big Government, Part 135: Apple is getting castigated and threatened for not genuflecting to Washington. We’ve seen similar things happen to Microsoft, Paypal and Google. If you become powerful, you have to give Washington their pound of flesh. There is no opting out of the lobbying game.
  • I remember Margaret Thatcher. I admired Margaret Thatcher. You, Sarah Palin, are no Margaret Thatcher.
  • You can add Denmark to Spain and Germany as countries that have lost jobs as a result of “investment” in green industries. Broad tax incentives, not subsidies, are the way to go here. Subsidized industries are almost always an economic drag.
  • Illnois educators are retiring well.
  • Yet more unintended consequences, this time from bank charge restrictions.
  • As I feared, Republicans want to fix healthcare by removing the insurance mandate but leaving everything intact. This would be the only thing worse than the current bill — it would destroy the insurance industry.
  • Saturday Linkorama

    Saturday, June 12th, 2010

    Bouyed by Tim Howard’s soft hands…

    Non-political links:

  • I swear this isn’t political, it’s funny: Barack Obama was apparently not in the video for Whoomp there it is.
  • A nice post from my favorite web movie critic on the birth of his son.
  • Woman claims she was fired for being too hot. I’m dubious.
  • Heh.
  • The inevitable articles about the world economy suffering from the World Cup miss the point entirely. Life has to be about something. It can’t all be dollar and cents. Joy and excitement have value too.
  • Political links:

  • Is one-third of healthcare spending wasted? Maybe. But it is so difficult to tell, in advance, what will be effective and what won’t be.
  • This crosses me as an extremely bad idea. Giving the President the authority to control the internet in an “emergency”? All we need is to get Sarah Palin elected and she’ll declare a national porn emergency and shut down the whole smash.
  • Again, I ask: what is the point of electing liberals if they’re not going to do some liberal things like cut our bloated defense budget?
  • I’m with Bainbridge. The change in budgeting rules could save us a lot of money. It’s a good idea from the Obama team.
  • It comes as no surprise to me that some anti-Walmart sentiment is being stirred up by the competition.
  • Weekend Linkorama

    Saturday, May 1st, 2010
  • I said it before: when Tom Tancredo is the voice of reason, we’re in trouble.
  • James Bovard critiques the tea parties. When you embrace Arizona’s law and torture, you aren’t a pro-freedom party.
  • Psychic frauds.
  • A really fair and through article examines colony collapse disorder, i.e., the disappearing bees. Personally, I blame the Daleks.
  • Megan McArdle looks at some of the misaligned incentives in the healthcare bill.
  • Aww. Poor bikes. Stupid city.
  • The future is now. Star Trek scanners.
  • More picture coolness.
  • Thursday Linkorama

    Thursday, April 8th, 2010
  • Wow. That’s a long way to go for a cup of tea.
  • Well. At least the Boomer are coming clean on how badly they’ve screwed us.
  • Rush Limbaugh: not an elitist. No sir.
  • When Tom Coburn is the voice of reason, we’re in trouble.
  • A preview of what lies ahead for the nation? Massachusetts healthcare plan is producing early fights over insurance rates and people gaming the system.
  • This is just plain mean. Shame on them.
  • Philly takes some smart steps in ramping down the war on drugs.
  • Ten years later, Fidel Casto is still milking Elian Gonzalez for propaganda.
  • Midweek Linkorama

    Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
  • Chili grenades? Chili grenades.
  • Stripper week continues on the blog with this story about Iceland banning the practice. This is being proclaimed as a great victory for feminism, but I don’t see that taking away women’s freedom — even if it’s the freedom to “degrade” themselves – and probably forcing them into illegal activity, is progress.
  • A fun story about the First Seder in the White House. I wonder how the Demented Right will square this with their vision of Obama as an Israel-hating Muslim.
  • Radley Balko has a point. Why doesn’t the public have a fraction of the outrage over real killings and bloodshed committed in the name of the War on Drug as they do about a brick thrown through a politician’s window?
  • Barack Obama and the Democrats kept abstinence-only education funding in the healthcare bill. Because what this country really needs to bring our healthcare bills down is a bunch of pregnant teenagers. And I thought I was snarked out on that subject.
  • You know the thing I hate about being a libertarian? Being right all the time. For the last decade, we warned that states were spending beyond their limits and creating a fiscal time bomb. We were right. Again.
  • More on the Godwinizing of the Tea Party.
  • Some legal humor from one of my favorite judges.
  • Wednesday Linkorama

    Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
  • Why a salad costs more than a Big Mac. Hint: it’s government subsidies.
  • You know, I find it very disturbing when the subject of gay marriage comes up, dingbat “conservatives” immediately start talking about bestiality. There’s something they’re not telling us.
  • I called 2009 the Year in Fantasyland. It’s looking like 2010 may be the year of reality. Certainly the anti-vaccination nonsense is taking body blow after body blow.
  • Paul Krugman gets taken to the woodshed on trade, which is supposed to be his area of expertise.
  • More evidence that defensive medicine is not the myth the lawyers claim it is.
  • Hitch lets loose on the Pope.
  • French TV recreates the Milgram Experiment. News anchors act shocked. Fail to make connection to American embrace of torture.
  • The Social Security “Trust Fund” is now being tapped, a decade ahead of schedule. And we’re supposed to expect healthcare reform to stay within its budget.
  • Horrific story from Ethiopia about how women are raped, abducted and wed, in that order. Fortunately, there’s a rebellion going on among Ethiopian women.
  • Tuesday Linkorama

    Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
  • Sting. Hypocrite. Note also the story of the Aral Sea. The article blames its destruction on the current Uzbek dictator, but this was mostly the work of the Soviet Union — that wonderful, charming nation whose evil many on the Left (like Sting) were hesitant to acknowledge.
  • The fuck of it is that most bureaucrats won’t see this as unreasonable.
  • A blind painter.
  • Ben Bernanke fires a warning shot across Congress’ bow on the deficit. I am really beginning to wonder if a default and inflation lie in our future. Is anyone in Washington prepared to make hard choices?
  • The latest on wheat rust. This scares me.
  • The war against resistant bacteria continues. This is one of the biggest health crises looming over our heads. My biggest fear of healthcare reform is that it will hamstring the innovation we need to prevent the next plague.
  • I think this take on why liberals and atheists have higher IQs is right. High IQ makes you intellectually wander from the default culture.
  • I love this link on the sound of antique pianos.
  • It’s so true.