Archive

  • Hellllllooooo Nurse!

    The New York Times has a cute op-ed arguing that America should replace the unknown Surgeon General with a National Nurse whose pronouncements would focus on prevention and healthy living. Sounds good, though we can still keep the surgeon general around for kicks and non-preventive giggles. In any case, this country really has to start paying more attention to nurses. Not only are we losing them at an alarming rate but any efforts to fix our health care system and lower costs are going to need nurses and their cousins, nurse practitioners, to act as the new system's backbone. America's doctors simply make too much money. Sorry guys, you do. But I don't blame you for wanting the big bucks, the hell we put you through in order to net that MD is just absurd. Why, exactly, do pediatricians need to know advanced physics? Or wait, riddle me this: multi-variable calculus? We've essentially weeded out anyone who doesn't like science from attending med school, as the pre-med requirements are...
  • Optics, Boys, Optics

    David Sirota gets a bit overheated in interpreting it, but this photo of Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich celebrating pro-Wal-Mart legislation while shadowed by the company's CEO is pretty creepy.
  • Don't Speak...It Just Makes It Worse

    Matt's a little surprised that the right has given so little thought to the long-term consequences of the filibuster fight, namely, the destabilization of the filibuster and the massive expansions of government that its elimination will eventually engender. He points to David Boaz , who is taking the long-view (and is, by the way, a markedly dishonest dude in other contexts) and realizes the dangers. I'm a bit surprised that Matt's surprised. What's made C-Span so gripping this week has been the fantastic! amazing! unexpected! rhetorical contortions of senators advocating the rule change. They know how wrong they are. They know what they're doing is ahistorical. Bill Frist's stammerfest when confronted with his own filibustering of a judicial nominee was a perfect example: this is a power grab, and everyone involved knows it. It's nonsensical on the merits and obviously dangerous as precedent, but, since the battle has been joined, they need to do it. Thinking long about it is, at...
  • America, America, God Shed His Grace on Thee

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your United States of America: Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him. The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days. Your land of the free: Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two interrogators, Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But first he punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner fumbled weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison scrubs. The soldier then grabbed the bottle...
  • With Friends Like These

    In something of an odd move, NARAL has given Lincoln Chafee their early endorsement , and their first of the 2006 campaign. Stupid stupid stupid. They've been missing the forest throughout the race, driving Langevin, who could've unseated Chafee (and was stomping him in the polls), out of the running, and now offering Lincoln their preemptive stamp of approval. Assumedly, this is to prove their independence from the party. But you know what? NARAL isn't actually independent from the party because choice, in reality, isn't actually independent from the Democrats. That's why Langevin couldn't have done much harm. A Democratic majority is going to protect the right to choose even if one or two of its members are uncomfortable with the concept. A Republican majority is going to work feverishly to abrogate it even if one or two of its members, like Lincoln, support choice. I see where NARAL's coming from on this, but by cutting pro-life Democrats off at the knees they're keeping some...
  • NetFlix: 1

    Netflix picked up its first scalp today, driving Wal-Mart from the movie rental business and absorbing all their customers. Long-time readers will know my feeling on Wal-Mart, and thus can imagine the many tears I shed for them on this hardest of all days.
  • Birds of a Feather

    Yes Barbara , that was a blatant, self-serving publicity attempt. But then, when in Huffpost Rome...
  • You Know What's Weird?

    When you run a google search for something and you're the sixth result. Who knew I was such an authority on Health Savings Accounts?
  • Just Not a Bright Guy

    Yes yes, by now, you all know that Rick Santorum sauntered down to the Senate floor and said: “Some are suggesting we’re trying to change the law, we’re trying to break the rules. Remarkable. Remarkable hubris. “I mean, imagine. The rule has been in place for 214 years that this is the way we confirm judges. Broken by the other side two years ago, and the audacity of some members to stand up and say, ‘How dare you break this rule?’ “It’s the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942: ‘I’m in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It’s mine.’” I think folks are missing the point. The real beauty of these remarks is in the image of Rick Santorum in his office, late last night, desperately searching for an apt metaphor. Could've used Hussein and Kuwait but, nah, too over the top. Could've used America and the Indians but, nah, that came out in the Democrat's America's favor. Could've used a hypothetical kid who takes over a hypothetical neighbor's sandbox but, nah, too...
  • Minimum Wage Woes

    Heather Boushey of the CEPR has written a stunning report on America's minimum wage. Required reading. Except, you guys don't actually ready things when I say that, so here's a summary: • Most minimum wage workers are adults. Less than one in five is under the age of 20 and more than half are between the ages of 25 and 54. • A full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $10,300, putting her below the poverty line for a one-parent, one-child family. Health care, of course, is but a dream. • Many workers get stuck at minimum wage, meaning that, three years after they began, they'd netted neither a promotion nor a raise. Mobility is better for men, native citizens, those who change jobs (indicating mobility and skills), and union members. • The minimum wage itself hasn't increased since 1997. Thanks to that, inflation has made the already-paltry $5.15 an hour worth about 1/6th less in real terms than when it was instituted. • Minimum wage workers earn an average of 68% of their total...

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