Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘tanning

Tuesday Afternoon

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* The health care bill the president just signed into law includes a 10 percent tax on all indoor tanning sessions starting July 1st, and I say, who uses tanning? Is it dark-skinned people? I don’t think so. I would guess that most tanning sessions are from light-skinned Americans. Why would the President of the United States of America—a man who says he understands racism, a man who has been confronted with racism—why would he sign such a racist law? Why would he agree to do that? Well now I feel the pain of racism. This is a truly exemplary case of what Al Franken calls “kidding on the square.”

* Dahlia Lithwick plays “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?” In just a few short weeks Cuccinelli has turned himself into the hero of conservative cable news shows, but he’s done it with what can be described only as acts of purely aspirational lawyering. When TV pundits or politicians argue about what the Constitution should say, it’s one thing. But when an attorney general does it, it’s another matter entirely. What Cuccinelli is doing transcends legal activism—with which I have no quarrel—and places him squarely in the world of constitutional yearning. That’s a particularly cynical enterprise for someone who preaches fidelity to the law and Constitution as they are written.

* Responses to Robert Samuelson’s morally obscene claim that “Obama’s behavior resembles a highly indebted family’s taking an expensive round-the-world trip because it claims to have found ways to pay for it. It’s self-indulgent and reckless.” The best is from Ezra Klein:

And before you think this is all about Samuelson, consider that Charles Krauthammer calls coverage “candy.” There’s an absence of empathy here that borders on a clinical disorder…We are a rich, decent society, or so we say. Extending health-care coverage to those who can’t afford it would be worth it even in the absence of cost controls. Health-care insurance is not candy, and it is not an indulgence.

And that’s before you remember that Samuelson supported the Bush tax cuts, which (unlike the Affordable Care Act) perfectly fit his description of an unwise, self-indulgent splurge…

* Perhaps the GOP should have thought its anti-Census rhetoric through: Only 27% of Texas households have returned their census forms, well under the national average.

In Texas, some of the counties with the lowest census return rates are among the state’s most Republican, including Briscoe County in the Panhandle, 8 percent; King County, near Lubbock, 5 percent; Culberson County, near El Paso, 11 percent; and Newton County, in deep East Texas, 18 percent. Most other counties near the bottom of the list are heavily Hispanic counties along the Texas-Mexico border.

Ed O’Keefe says the Census is also particularly concerned about response rates in Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

* Greece-style debt overload (including accounting malfeasance) is happening in California, New York, and elsewhere. Even President Palin’s beloved Alaska is hard hit; when the former governor unexpectedly quit her job halfway through her first term the state’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 70%, making it the most endebted state in the union. That’s just the sort of fiscal conservatism she’ll bring to the White House.

* And it’s funny sometimes how liberal American politicians suddenly figure out how bad their policies are just as soon as they leave office—but mostly it’s just terrible.

Saturday Afternoon!

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* I was going to offer this post from Matt Yglesias on Weber’s “Politics as Vocation” as a potential intervention in the argument Vu and I have been having over the last few comment threads. But upon reflection I don’t think “compromise vs. compromised” is quite what we disagree about after all; it’s really a much smaller dispute about the efficacy of adopting an aggressive negotiating posture when you’re playing Chicken with sociopathically indifferent ideologues. The bad actors will always win such a fight, because we care about outcomes and they don’t. What we we need to do, therefore, is direct our attention away from mere political affect toward structural reform, wherever possible, of the various political institutions that give these bad actors final say.

* The Wonk Room compares the original health care bill to the (presumably final) manager’s amendment, with more on the new CBO score from Steve, Ezra, and TPM. I have to say this post from mcjoan on making sure doctors don’t take away our precious guns made me smile, as did the follow-up on mandates from the comments. So did Benen’s Botax/Boeh-tax bit.

* Stupak launches another desperate bid to be thrown out of the Democratic caucus.

* More ‘Flopenhagen’ analysis from Mother Jones, MNN, Wonk Room, Kevin Drum, and immanance. One’s level of happiness/sadness and optimism/pessimism on Copenhagen continues to strongly correlate with the extent to which one thought a genuinely successful agreement was ever possible at Copenhagen in the first place.

* ‘In the Shadow of Goldman Sachs’: Trickle-down economics on Wall Street. Via PClem.

* Jack Bauer interrogates Santa Claus. Via Julia.

* Captain Picard to become Sir Captain Picard.

* And very sad news: Influential film theorist Robin Wood has died.