Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Appointed Rounds

Jesse Taylor on the stimulus bill:

If you wonder why the voting public distrusts Republicans on the stimulus, it probably has a lot to do with the fact that they wrecked our national car and are now holding a bandage to their head, demanding to drive the ambulance that they didn’t want to call to the hospital they insist is full of filth and decay.
Echidne on healthcare:
Most of the currently uninsured do not offer great money-making opportunities for the private markets, however much competition we might wish to inject there (ironically enough, usually through regulation), but must be covered and treated through government programs, charity or not at all. And when the utterly uninsured finally seek help for a medical problem, it is often late in the disease process and at a hospital emergency room, one of the most expensive patches in our quilt and an inappropriate one as a setting for primary care.
BLDGBLOG on the ceaseless knocking of opportunity:
One man in Burbank, unable to sell his house for its asking price and having to compensate for a loss of rental income, "posted an Internet notice that the property, which has an eight-person hot tub, was available to the adult-film industry, which he had heard pays as much as $5,000 a day....

Apparently, "Income from residential filming for fewer than 15 days a year isn’t subject to federal taxes," so there might yet be something of a boom in short-term film sites around the city, a distributed micro-Hollywood of economically depressed domestic space.
Ann Friedman on the point at which people becoming the "deserving" poor:
[W]hat happens when the people who need welfare are not characterized in the media as solely urban women of color? When the aid recipients include well-educated, former white-collar workers affected by the economic crisis, the vocabulary changes. Now it's suddenly a "safety net" -- a more positive, temporary-sounding term that does not have the same connotations as the much-maligned "W" word.
The archfiend NTodd on the monstrous Nadya Suleman:
[W]e as liberals, progressives, pro-choicers, whateverers, allegedly believe in a woman's fundamental reproductive freedom. To castigate Suleman for CHOOSING to exercise her prerogative seems not only uncompassionate but illiberal.

The dehumanizing of Suleman by calling her "octomom" and "nuts" and reducing her to a "breeding vat" is part and parcel of this. It makes it easy to feel good about and/or ignore our own moral choices, and while we might cover our disgust with clever arguments about bioethics and whatnot, really it's just cognitive dissonance and a bit of correspondent inference theory as we decide what her real intentions are.
Bruce Schneier on the new and improved No-Fly List:
The House approved a bill creating a whitelist of people who are on the blacklist, but shouldn't be. No word yet about what they're going to do about people who are on the whitelist, but shouldn't be. Perhaps they'll create a second blacklist for them. Then we'll all be safe from terrorists, for sure.
And Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi on the dealy perils of investing in alternative energy:
While the push for alternatives is important, we must also be mindful that efforts to rapidly promote alternatives could have a chilling effect on investment in the oil sector.

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