Thursday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Waiting lists, that won’t go over very well.
  2. Toyota and the recall … an a stupid thing said at the hearing noted.
  3. Those ideas we live by … or think we do.
  4. The CBO jobs report, remarked upon here and here.
  5. New York or not New York.
  6. Considering the deacon.
  7. A 1600 y/old joke book from Eastern Rome.
  8. Cool, Mr Kuznicki is blogging a the Ordinary Gentlemen … although he’s started with (at least) one error in his post. The most recognisable Levitical verse is “love thy neighbor.” 
  9. Considering the topic of the last post, this post stands in stark disagreement with the last.
  10. Adding to our economic woes … the Administration piles on.
  11. A book on evolution noted, here too.
  12. Greece.
  13. A short tale about equality and freedom.
  14. On conflict of interest.
  15. That nearby star.

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  1. Waiting lists, that won’t go over very well.

    Probably not, but surely having insurance with a waiting list is still a huge improvement over not having insurance! The Secretary of HHS is not going to put your rich ass on a waiting list, Mark, unless your insurance company boots you first.

    But it shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t want waiting lists, all you have to do is make sure that the pools are sufficiently funded to begin with.

    Toyota and the recall … an a stupid thing said at the hearing noted.

    LaHood seems to be a moron. I have no idea why Obama nominated him, especially considering he was a Republican with a bad reputation. Maybe to be bipartisan?

    Yes, of course, Congress is using the issue to grandstand. However, it appears to me that Toyota intentionally deceived both our government and their consumers as to the cause of the problems, and they stonewalled and procrastinated on the issue as long as possible. It certainly appears that they are more concerned with PR than with saving lives. Yes, 16 lives isn’t that much compared to total auto fatalities, but there’s a difference between the recognition that driving is inherently dangerous and that we can’t afford to drive around in personal tanks and the conscious decision to save some money and bad publicity at the cost of a few lives.

    Also, the fact that they were (apparently) dishonest about it is an important distinction. Lowering the speed limit to 30 would save lives, but everybody (except Mr. LaHood, apparently) knows that and implicitly consents to that risk. It’s not a secret that Toyota is hiding from drivers. Falsely and knowingly blaming this problem on floormats or a sticky pedal means that drivers could not and did not consent to this risk.

    The CBO jobs report, remarked upon here and here.

    Spin, spin, spin! Anything but admit reality!

    Look, either they think that the only point of the stimulus bill was to immediately create jobs, in which case they’re ignoramuses, or they’re just twisting the facts to score a propaganda point.

    If I give you ten dollars to buy a gallon of milk and a six-pack of beer and you give me a gallon of milk and a six-pack of beer, how honest would it be for me to divide ten bucks by the number of gallons of milk (1) and say, dammit, 10 bucks is a lot of money for a gallon of milk?

    Ezra Klein:

    The stimulus was meant to create jobs. But it was not a job-creation bill. For instance: Unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits are very important forms of relief for the suddenly unemployed, and they stimulate the economy because the unemployed have more money to spend, and that even creates some jobs. But the correct evaluation is not how many jobs are created by unemployment insurance, but what sort of relief that insurance provides to the unemployed and what sort of stimulus it delivers to the economy.

    Or take the payroll tax credit. That’s $400 per worker and $800 per family in 2009 and 2010. We’re spending a lot of money on it. The idea is that it offers some relief to cash-strapped families, and they will spend that money, which will stimulate the economy. That might create some jobs downstream, but a lot of the money is just going to help families make ends meet.

    Considering the topic of the last post, this post stands in stark disagreement with the last.

    Well, she’s right. The Bible is pretty black-and-white on the subject. That’s because it’s a book written by ignorant (by modern standards) men living thousands of years ago. But it’s always darkly funny to watch the majority of Christians (and Jews, etc.) react to someone pointing out what the Bible actually says. You want to believe that you’re kind and decent, and yet you revere a book which says that men who have gay sex deserve the death penalty. Hard to figure out that cognitive dissonance.

    (This obviously does not apply to believers who think that verse and others like it were written by imperfect men and do not reflect the will of God.)

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