Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for November, 2009

It could have been worse

Posted by Greg on November 25, 2009

Much, much worse.  Follow the link to the charts.  Without the stimulus things would have gotten even nastier, and the data justifies the notion that the stimulus should have been larger.

The electorate, of course, rewards actual conditions, not conditions relative to a hypothetical scenario in which ameliorative policies weren’t adopted. But it’s evidence that there’s no actionable coherence clause in American politics that critics of the stimulus can argue against the effort on the grounds that joblessness is too high. If you think joblessness is too high and something should be done to lower it, then you think we should have more stimulus, not less.

Yep.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

Why the selectivity?

Posted by Greg on November 24, 2009

Nate Silver asks why we tolerate the inefficiency in health care that would be banished in any other industry.

We wouldn’t tolerate $7 trillion sort of inefficiency and loss if resulted from a tax increase or proposed business regulation. Wouldn’t Grover Norquist and his gang be screaming tirelessly, perhaps with cause? Yet as a nation we sit back passively and allow our capitalist economy to be hobbled by solvable problems with the most important infrastructural input of all: the labors of the American workforce. What’s amazing is that American workers today work longer hours and are more productive than earlier generations of workers–despite our health problems.

When the government does or doesn’t do something that is bad for American capitalism, relevant business interests step to the fore to correct the problem. “The business of America is business,” is the famous misquote from Ronald Reagan’s favorite president, Cal Coolidge. So why hasn’t corporate America stepped forward–long before Barack Obama even arrived on the national scene–to complain about the business inefficiencies of an unhealthy citizenry?

Posted in Economics, Health Care | Leave a Comment »

It does’t get more basic than this.

Posted by Greg on November 22, 2009

It.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

NY-23: Doug Hoffman Is Officially A Loser

Posted by Greg on November 20, 2009

NY-23: Doug Hoffman Is Officially A Loser

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Pigs fly at the Utah legislature

Posted by Greg on November 18, 2009

Of all the craven turn abouts.

Utah cities and counties, pondering whether they should follow Salt Lake City’s lead on protecting gay and transgender residents from discrimination, could get a green light from an unexpected source: Sen. Chris Buttars.

Buttars, a West Jordan Republican and fiery opponent of gay rights, said Wednesday he “very well might” sponsor legislation in 2010 that would allow local governments to adopt such anti-discrimination measures for housing and employment — but forbid them from going any further on gay rights.

Buttars is an asshat, but you have to admit making the Eagle lay an egg is amusing. Just this is a trojan horse intended to limit civil rights advances, not further them.  He’s trying to bail water from the canoe, not get to shore.

Posted in Civil Rights, Utah | Leave a Comment »

Injured Uninsured More Likely to Die in ER than Insured

Posted by Greg on November 18, 2009

Injured Uninsured More Likely to Die in ER than Insured

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Posted in Health Care | 2 Comments »

Colbert on Catholic Discrimination

Posted by Greg on November 17, 2009

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Dog Freaks Out Over Soldier’s Return is Today’s BIG Thing – NOV 16, 2009

Posted by Greg on November 17, 2009

Dogs know best.

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Teabaggers pwned in MPLS

Posted by Greg on November 16, 2009

Does my heart good to read about things like this:

The teabaggers are getting ready for the next round of wingnuttery against the Obama administration. It sure looks like they lost on health-care reform, but they have already been organized for a long time around the issue of immigration, so they are ready and rarin’ to go careening off the far-right cliff.

This weekend, the nativist right-wingers at the National Policy Institute organized a series of “Tea Parties Against Amnesty.

However, at the rally in Minneapolis, the demonstrators got punk’d by a young man who called himself “Robert Erickson”.

“Erickson” got up and delivered a rant against European immigration. At first the crowd was whooping and hollering as he talked about the rights of “real Americans” — but then it gradually tapered off as he went on and they realized they’d been had.

 

Posted in Immigration, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Never-before-seen ‘Star Trek’ pilot found – The Live Feed | THR

Posted by Greg on November 13, 2009

Never-before-seen ‘Star Trek’ pilot found – The Live Feed | THR.

Holy cow.  I want it, and I want it now.

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Colbert on the desert cross

Posted by Greg on November 12, 2009

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Peak oil a lot closer than advertised

Posted by Greg on November 11, 2009

This isn’t new news to anyone who’s been paying attention.  But are we ready to make changes to compensate?

The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.

The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the organisation’s latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.

Posted in Energy | Leave a Comment »

Woo F***ing Hoo

Posted by Greg on November 11, 2009

 

 

Apparently the Mormon church set an official spokesperson to a public hearing on a non-discrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT people from housing and job discrimination. In a nutshell,

The Church supports this ordinance because it is fair and reasonable and does not do violence to the institution of marriage. It is also entirely consistent with the Church’s prior position on these matters. The Church remains unequivocally committed to defending the bedrock foundation of marriage between a man and a woman.(Deseret News

Oh, gee, thanks. In other words, we’ll let the gays live and work as long as their presence doesn’t threaten our “standards.” We still oppose society officially recognizing their relationships, we can still call them sick and mentally disturbed any time we feel like it and we can still kick them out of BYU if the mood takes us, so it doesn’t matter. Oh, and (bonus!) we have just upped the ante on our victim role because: See how nice we really are?

Oh, and Michael Otterson? The Managing Director of the LDS Church’s Public Affairs? In other words a hired PR gun. Where was Monson? Packer? Anyone from the Twelve? Well, except Oaks. I’ll bet you won’t see him in the public spotlight again any time soon. Hell, even someone from the warm and fuzzy arm of the church, The General Relief Society Presidency, would have been better than Otterson. By sending Otterson the Church was making another statement. “This is just policy. This doesn’t carry the weight of doctrine, so you can ignore it if you want.” What do you bet most True Believing Mormons do exactly that?

Case in point: This isn’t anything they haven’t said before. The Mormon church said essentially the same thing during the Prop8 stupidity as well, but when it came time to actually pass legislation on the Hill in Utah, did Utah Legislators take statements of PR arm of the church as evidence that passing non-discrimination and equal protection laws was the right thing to do? Nope. Did the Mormon church send an spokesperson to the Hill to give legislators permission encourage legislators to enact said laws? Nope.

Posted in Civil Rights, Utah | Leave a Comment »

Steve King is a raving lunatic

Posted by Greg on November 7, 2009

The infamous congressman actually says all Americans have health care.  Hm…

Hunter at Kos says it best:

What a noble sentiment. And what a spectacularly, blatantly false one. One would have to believe King knows full well it is false, but then again he is a conservative Republican, and conservative Republicans are at this point synonymous with manufactured realities in which tax cuts cause unicorns to fart rainbows of money across the land and decent public education is the gateway to Stalinism. So it is equally possible that King is being honest, at least within the narrow confines of his own head, and he honestly believes that no Americans are out there who do not have basic health care.

But I know some of the very people who King claims do not exist, and I expect you do too. One of my own close relatives suffers from an untreated hernia — simple enough to fix, but untreated because he is uninsured. He has an option, of course. His “option” is to wait for it to get bad enough to cause an intestinal strangulation — a likelihood, at this point — at which point he will be rushed to the emergency room, hopefully operated on, and then receive a bill for some outrageous figure that he will not be able to pay. But he will only receive this treatment if it reaches the point where he will die without it — merely being incapacitated is insufficient to receive health care.

Read the whole piece.

 

Posted in Congress, Health Care, The Right | 1 Comment »

His turn

Posted by Greg on November 6, 2009

Posted in Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »