Archive for September 29th, 2009

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Is the Public Option Cooked?

September 29, 2009

I guess I’m of two minds on the events of today. On one hand, I’m somewhat stunned that the blue dogs pulled as many shenanigans as they did. So I’m pessimistic about opportunities for the future.  This seems to be the line running through the press room at the Washington Post.  On the other hand, I find this line of reasoning hopeful, and experience leaves me somewhat cynical about the press.  There are still possibilities for reviving the public option, and I feel fairly optimistic that something strong will make its way through.  Sure, it probably won’t come through the Senate finance committee, but they were always the long shot.

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Blast Off

September 29, 2009

Chen Wenling’s installation on the global financial crisis:

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Twenty Percent Down

September 29, 2009

This has been pointed out before, and criticized elsewhere, but the new Kerry-Boxer bill to be introduced tomorrow makes some important modifications to Waxman-Markey.  Will it pass?  Hard to say.  Let’s hope so.  I’ll be going to Copenhagen in December, and it’d be nice to be there without having to avert my gaze.

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8.3 Magnitude Rumbler

September 29, 2009

Big one in Samoa.  Early reports from the NY Times and Huffington Post (with video from MSNBC).

Update: video and photos of the devastation.

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Moral Mindlessness

September 29, 2009

Newsflash: Liberal people tend to vote liberally, whereas conservative people vote conservatively.

Where to begin with this tautologous talk by Jonathan Haidt?

It’s fascinating, in its own way. It confirms everything we already knew. Tautologies are fun like that. His foundations of morality, in particular, are a laugh riot.  First, why the pairings?  They make no sense.

Consider:

  1. Harm/care: yeah, harm and care should be paired, because lord knows there’s no harm in caring; or that harm is done only through lack of caring.  Witness, this guy.
  2. Fairness/reciprocity: how’s that asymmetry working out for your fairness doctrine, bro?
  3. In-group/loyalty: WTF is “in-group”? He made this up.  And why not be loyal to difference?  People are loyal to kings and gods because kings and gods are special, not because they’re just like everyone else.
  4. Authority/respect: Huh?  Where to start? I thought we were supposed to respect authority.  Or alternatively, my authority over you permits me to disrespect you, just as a king or god might disrespect the serfs.
  5. Purity/sanctity: Yes, pure white, pure black, pure mulatto.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Mooed Down

September 29, 2009

Lovely: More Cows, More Milk, More Headaches.

Desperate to drive up prices by stemming the gusher of unwanted milk, a dairy industry group, the National Milk Producers Federation, has been paying farmers to send herds to slaughter. Since January the program has culled about 230,000 cows nationwide.

Yes, more headaches.

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Good Read

September 29, 2009

Debunking the myths on medicine in other parts of the world:

The Healing of America