• What Rights There Are

    On my own blog, I never got around to commenting on the post where Ezra argued against the libertarian who said:

    Let's talk about health care for a minute. Health care is certainly a need, but it is not a right. And all the high sounding rhetoric in the world that says otherwise is baloney. Rights don't involve, involuntarily, the assets of others. Any 'right' to health care would make exactly that sort of demand on the assets of health care workers.

  • Humanity

    Watch Tacitus equivocate:

    it's not convenience, but humanity that is the core question. Is the fetus, embyro, blastula, et al., human? There are only three possible answers: provably not, provably so, or possibly. We can discard the first, since even pro-abortion, anti-life types implicitly concede the humanity of the fertilized egg and beyond by dint of their position on stem cells, the purported utility of which is premised entirely upon their humanity.

  • Memorial Day

    For all of the men and women who fought for the people of America,
    not just the soldiers in the trenches and battlefields who fought the
    foreign enemies of our people, but the union members who faced the
    Pinkertons, the marchers who faced the police and their dogs, and each
    person with the courage to speak out for the people:  Thank you for
    your courage and sacrifices. I remember you, and will do my best to
    honor you with works and words.

  • Taking One For The Team

    Business Week steps forward with the obligatory article on how United Auto Worker intransigence is worsening Detroit's woes. But midway through the piece, a passage flashes by that explains the difference between yesteryear's take-one-for-the-team unions and today's seemingly immovable objects. The difference? At one point, there was, in fact, a team:

  • It's Just Hard Work

    David Sirota has been running a series of posts on the Senatorial bid of Rep. Bernie Sanders, (Democratic Socialist - Vermont).  As I read it, Bernie Sanders has two lessons to teach the Democratic Party.

  • Free Trade Here Now!

    A lot of people on the left are unhappy with American trade policy. They think corporations are profiting by keeping the Third World in poverty. They're right about this, but not exactly in the way that many of them think.

  • The Return of Brooks

    David Brooks's column today is the best I've seen him write since signing on with the Times. This is what he used to be like in The Atlantic -- playful, thought-provoking, idiosyncratic. Turned out he couldn't do that on a biweekly basis, so he gratefully slumped into the waiting arms of talking points and hackery, but somewhere, deep inside reasonable and non-threatening exterior, lurks the unique cultural critic everybody used to enjoy.


  • Home, Home Out of Range

    The LA Times has a great article on the housing bubble, and its stubborn unwillingness to pop, this morning. In it, they talk to a bunch of economists who've been predicting a crash for years now, only to see their best models and most educated guesses foiled by the market's relentless upward momentum. Best quote comes from Dean Baker, who you all remember from the Social Security wars. He writes:

    A year ago, Baker was so sure the collapse was at hand that he sold his Washington condo, which had tripled in value in the seven years he owned it. He moved two blocks away into a rental and wrote another article warning that "the crash of the housing market will not be pretty."

  • Primary Qualities

    If you were designing a system to pick a Democratic presidential nominee, it probably wouldn't look much like the current primary system. The Iowa / New Hampshire sequence helps candidates who've done favors for local politicians and who are willing to perform obscene acts of submission to Big Corn. No offense meant to Jeanne Shaheen or the corn lobby (actually, on second thought, let's offend the corn lobby), but these aren’t especially desirable features in a Presidential candidate.

  • The People's Debt

    I thought I might chase The Ethical Werewolf's notes on The People's Money with a snapshot of The People's Debt.  I've been following this story for several months, and I've noticed that it doesn't get much air time.  The essence is simple.  Assume the Republican Party makes all of its recent regressive tax changes permanent (but does not go farther down that path) and then only increases discretionary spending with GDP (by among other things, not debt-financing colonial adventurism).  By 2040, almost every penny that the Federal Government takes in goes just to pay the interest on the national debt.  For those who are curious about what that looks like, there's a chart below