Archive

  • My Mother Would Be So Proud

    So my last two posts are on prostitution and (in part) homosexuality. Great. Now if I just link to Brad's post about bathrooms, I'll have hit the guttermind trifecta. Whoops. In any case, we had unisex bathrooms at UC Santa Cruz and it never seemed a problem. Hell, the showers were unisex too, so it was really trial by fire. I don't, however, think it quickens the flow (haha) very much. The real gridlock happens after movies, sporting events, and other large public gatherings, and those would still cause stall jams, just now there'd be more foot traffic to muck things up.
  • Non-Politically Related Prostitutes

    Generally, the callgirls (and boys) this blog talks of are congressional creatures, corporate lackeys, and folks whoring power. But Tim's got a post on real prostitutes that's worth taking a look at. Now, it's not that I'm against the legalization and regulation of prostitution, but such a utopian prediction of it impact strikes me as wrong: None of those problems--solicitation on the streets, sex in cars, condoms in the alleys, children being solicited--would be a problem if prostitutes were allowed to ply their trade in a safe, indoor environment. I'm not really sure how you get to that future. If the world were a nicer place and the sum total of these interactions were frustrated Johns who just wanted a run-of-the-mill hooker experience, then maybe Tim's right. But when you get to strange guys in cars cruising seedy streets, propositioning children, screwing in alleys rather than motels, and doing unsafe things when safer alternatives already exist, things get a bit trickier. Some...
  • DeLay

    So uh, there's this guy, DeLay, and he was like, indicted or something? Who's he again? Late as I am to the party, this looks to be a pretty fun bash. I'm not necessarily pleased with the timing -- we're still a year out from 2006 -- but beggars can't be choosers, and powerless journalists looking at celebrity gossip substantive policy papers in their cubicles sure as hell don't get input, so I'm just going to grab a drink and relax. For those not up on the latest twists this is taking, California Congressman David Dreier is being made temporary majority leader. On that note, some folks seems all bashful and genteel and delicate about mentioning this, but strong word on the street, and particularly in California political circles, is that Dreier is gay. And while Republicans think we're just mentioning this to embarrass them, considering how often the House seems to deal with the limitation of rights for homosexuals, saying that Dreier may have prior loyalties is no different than...
  • Medicaid Rocks

    I've got a nice, full-throated defense of Medicaid up over at Tapped, so those who like my health care stuff should take a look .
  • Why He Gotta Be Such A Hater?

    Brad DeLong's strike at Crowley's small-minded article is much better than my takedown (which you can find below ). The problem with the article (which some of my colleagues disagree with, so it can clearly be read different ways is the crushing condescension and disdain Crowley evinces for Clinton's wonkery. Clinton talks too much, he's boring , and while he's talking too much and being boring he's enjoying it. Putting aside the faux-populism about folks who've never been poor spearheading antipoverty programs -- this is Mike Crowley, coming to you from da street! -- the sheer fact that Crowley sees fit to mock and poke Clinton for being too-engaged with the issues of the day explains quite a lot about how we got Bush. As Brad writes : I have not yet figured out why so much of our elite press--the Crowleys, the Kakutanis, the Isikoffs, and the Kosovas--is so... what should I call it? Feckless. Corrupt (in the sense of well-rotted). Decadent. Why does William Saletan find it funny...
  • Out of League

    Michael Crowley's mean-spirited, caustic, and small assessment of Bill Clinton is really, in a most essential sense, bizarre. In an article written to convince you that Clinton's a prick, Crowley, an otherwise talented reporter and analyst, manages to must the following bits of supporting evidence: • Clinton can be long-winded. Indeed, Michael Crowley even thought he detected boredom on the face of Elvis Costello. • Clinton likes to demonstrate his deep knowledge of policy issues in generally-forgotten or ignored areas. • Clinton's conference had neon-lettering. • The $1.25 billion Clinton raised for charitable projects may not have been solely rustled up at the event, as was said. • Clinton can be philosophical. No, really, that's it . Crowley thinks it bad that the former head of the American government has a wonk's interest in affairs both domestic and foreign, an entertainer's desire to communicate that passion to others, and a conference planning organization that uses backlit...
  • Heh

    Judd Apatow : Isn't that the entire religion—don't want things, don't be an asshole? Although Tupac, I mean Deepak Chopra, seems to have found a way to write books about how you can be selfless and spiritual and somehow that will get you everything you want, especially money. Clever.
  • Consoles With Benefits

    So how will the X-Box 360 improve your life?
  • Why Do We Love The Incumbents?

    My cubicle-mate Matt has a mostly-right post on redistricting (in short, you don't want nonpartisan redistricting wherever Democrats are and massive, DeLay-led gerrymandering where Republicans rule the roost, it's unilateral disarmament) that ends is a potentially wrong way: As a general matter, gerrymandering is less important to the declining competitiveness of congressional elections than is generally believed. State boundaries haven't changed at all in decades, but Senate races are becoming less competitive, too. The main problem here is that elections are becoming increasingly expensive. Thanks to a variety of studies, this is seeming much less true than we once thought. It's true that most incumbents outraise their opponents, but that advantage is no longer thought of as causal to their triumph, it's more correlated to the simple fact that they're incumbents with more ties to party machinery and more votes for lobbyists to buy. Indeed, the much stronger factor is polarization...
  • Mommy? What Are HSA's For?

    Joe Paduda on how various patients will react to consumer-driven health plans (HSA's, MSA's, and all the rest): Catastrophic patients – about 5% of the population...are also not affected – they’ll blow through their MSA account balance in a month or two, after which the insurance company or Medicare or Medicaid pays the rest. So, no funds out of their pockets, and realistically, no way for them to pay the huge costs of their health care. By the way, the top one percent of the population that falls into this category spends 40% of all health care dollars, the top five percent that falls into this category spends over 50% of all health care dollars. OK, that leaves the medium users. The remaining part of the population consumes more than $1000 in health care (a typical MSA plan deductible), and therefore might be more influenced by finances than the other two groups. But there’s a problem here. Studies indicate that a significant percentage of people with high deductible plans tend to...

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