To paraphrase my friend Brad DeLong, "why oh why do newspapers have to use meaningless numbers when it is so easy to provide information." Today's example is a Washington Post article about a new rule that requires people to show proof of citizenship before they can be covered by Medicaid.
The article includes much useful information and comments from both proponents and opponents of the rule. Then it tells us that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that this rule will save Medicaid $735 million over the next decade.
AGAINST OBJECTIVITY. I guess I appreciate what the Supreme Leader is getting at in his column when he says that "any civil society needs institutions in every realm of life -- in business, the law, the arts, what have you -- that take as their presumptive raison d�etre not ideology but its opposite, impartiality." On the other hand, does it really follow from that that we need The New York Times? After all, England, France, and -- as far as I know -- pretty much all European countries seem to get on just fine without a broadsheet that aspires to American-style neutrality.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE. The Supreme Court handed down a number of important decisions this week. Tracie Powellassesses the ambiguous implications of the Court's Texas redistricting decision for interpreting and enforcing the Voting Rights Act, while Deborah Pearlsteinexplains why the extraordinary Hamdan decision will affect far more than the U.S.'s policy for trying Guantanamo detainees.
VIEWER'S GUIDE: JUNE 29 -- INFINITY. I link to this only to point out that The Food Channel is likely to be the only place in the cable universe where this gentleman is not discussed for the foreseeable future. You can almost hear Sean Hannity's blood boiling, O'Reilly's in full loofah, and Rush probably isn't going to need his little helpers for a while. On a brighter note, Ward Churchill is probably off the hook.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: KELLER MUST STAY.Prospect supreme leader Mike Tomasky boldly flip-flops on the "fire Bill Keller?" question, in light of the current right-wing jihad against The New York Times sparked by the bank-records story. Liberals understand the need for institutions in society that at least strive to be impartial and non-ideological. The modern right believes no such thing, and that's why the Times, and its beleaguered editor, need defending.
$1 BEEELION DOLLARS. I don't find myself agreeing with Republican representative Dan Lungren very often, but this strikes me as a great idea. He's sponsored legislation offering a $1 billion prize to the first American automaker able to create, market, and sell 60,000 cars that get 100 mpg.
SIEGELISM. Matt says he agrees. But it's easy to agree that all these young kids and their insouciant fashion statements make you mad. Matt's 25 now, and I'm sure in three years, I'll agree, too -- there appears to be a schedule for these sorts of opinions. For that reason, the question isn't whether he agrees with Siegel's banal crankiness, but his proposed remedy. "When I see someone wearing a baseball cap in a movie theater," Siegel writes, "I want them to bring back the guillotine." Siegelism in action -- take a mundane point (I don't like bloggers or baseball caps) and go for the wild overreach (they're fascists or we should execute cap wearers).
STICKING UP FOR LEE SIEGEL. A lot of bloggersIrespect are slagging on anti-blogofascist Lee Siegel's tirade against baseball caps, but let me say that flaws in Siegel's other writing notwithstanding, I totally agree with him about this.
FOOL'S GOLD. Folks may remember the newly declassified discoveries of WMDs being touted by Rick Santorum, Curt Weldon, and others. The haul amounts to about 500 munitions which include sarin and mustard gas components and they are very, very scary. At least if you're a common household insect. That, at least, is the opinion of folks who actually know what they're talking about. Salon's Michael Schererwent by the congressional hearings meant to ascertain the potency of these armaments. The testimony, if it weren�t disproving the lies that led us into war, would've been funny. David Kay, the nation's top weapons inspector, explained that:
WHEN IN DOUBT: FIND AN EXILE. Ah, excellent. Farid Ghadry, part of the Syrian exile group Reform Party of Syria, says that the recent operation where Israeli jets buzzed Bashar Asad's house "is very encouraging to the Syrian opposition." Let me go on record as sharing Justin Logan's skepticism. Appearing to be working in collaboration with the Israeli Defense Forces has not, historically, been a great method of gaining popular support in Arab countries.