Sam Boyd

Sam Boyd is a former assistant web editor at the Prospect

Recent Articles

FLORIDA REPUBLICAN: I'M NOT GAY, I'M RACIST!

FLORIDA REPUBLICAN: I'M NOT GAY, I'M RACIST! In what's rapidly turning into the grand unified Republican scandal of 2007, GOP State Rep. Bob Allen today explained his recent arrest for paying $20 to preform oral sex on an undercover cop by explaining that the guy was big, and black and he thought he "was about to be a statistic." Really. "This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park," said Allen. This has been reported in a lot of places, but I haven't seen anyone make the point that this is pretty revealing about Republican principles. Allen, who has vowed to run for reelection, thinks that the cost of appearing to be ridiculously racist is worth it if he is not seen as soliciting a man in a park. Sadly, he's probably right. It also manages to wrap up almost every kind of Republican scandal of the last few months: corruption (he asked the police if it would help that he was a state legislator), sex, racism, and the collapse of...

TOYS THAT REALLY DO MAKE OUR CHILDREN VIOLENT.

TOYS THAT REALLY DO MAKE OUR CHILDREN VIOLENT. The New York Times reports today that lead paint continues to be a problem in children's toys in the U.S. Unsurprisingly, most come from China. The consequences can be deadly: Jewelry is perhaps the most dangerous place for lead because children can swallow an entire ring or pendant, causing acute poisoning, which can cause respiratory failure, seizures and even death, whereas neurological damage and learning deficiencies are often associated with exposure to lead paint. Many children also tend to suck on jewelry or put it in their mouths, allowing lead to be absorbed into their bloodstream. From 2000 to 2005, about 20,000 children turned up in emergency rooms after ingesting jewelry, according to a hospital surveillance program by the agency, though it is not know how many of those cases involved lead. These cheap products, made of lead because it is an inexpensive metal filler, also easily fall apart, making it even easier for a child...

FROZEN BANANA REPUBLIC....

FROZEN BANANA REPUBLIC. The Economist has a piece today tying the recent string of corruption scandals in Alaska to the ready availability of money from oil extraction and the federal government. This is a problem that's well documented in the development literature (including in a new book which I reviewed for the website on Tuesday). Basically, the availability of a lot of easy money means that it's easy for leaders to justify avoiding spending money well. Why bother, comes the answer, when we've go so much? Also, since the money doesn't come from taxpayers, there's much less scrutiny of how it's spent. All of this encourages corruption and simple bad governance. We tend to forget that this is not just a problem for developing countries either. Other developed country regions that depend on subsidies, like southern Spain, are also famous for corruption and bad governance. Alaska, we're discovering, is probably the best U.S. example. --Sam Boyd

META-BLOGGING.Via Matt Yglesias,...

META-BLOGGING. Via Matt Yglesias , the New Yorker 's Hendrik Hertzberg is blogging from the YearlyKos convention. In addition to some excellent posts on the actual convention, he reveals that one of his daily reads is... TAPPED! --Sam Boyd

CLINTON: OBAMA IS...

CLINTON: OBAMA IS IRRESPONSIBLE TO RULE OUT USING NUKES IN PAKISTAN. The Barack Obama - Hilary Clinton slug fest keeps going and going. To which I say "pass the popcorn," this has been by far the most fun week of the campaign and quite possibly the most illuminating one as well. Most recently in an interview today, Obama ruled out using nuclear weapons in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Clinton was quick to condemn this as careless: "Presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use or nonuse of nuclear weapons," Clinton said. "Presidents since the Cold War have used nuclear deterrence to keep the peace. And I don't believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or nonuse of nuclear weapons." Really? She thinks the possiblity of us nuking Waziristan is reducing al Qaeda activity there? She thinks its a good thing if people believe we might use nuclear weapons for the first time in sixty years to kill some folks hiding in a cave? The...

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