If This Were to Be Played Upon the Stage, I Would Condemn It at Once as an Improbable Fiction...
Wisest Thing I Have Read This Month

Washington Post Crashed-and-Burned-and-Smoking Watch

Statement from PricewaterhouseCoopers on health care "study" featured on A1 by Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly repudiating that study:

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP issued the following statement regarding a report it prepared on behalf of the America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). This statement should be attributed to PricewaterhouseCoopers:

America's Health Insurance Plans engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to pepare a report that focused on four components of the Senate Finance Committee proposal:

Insurance market reforms and consumer protections that would raise health insurance premiums for individuals and families if the reforms are not coupled with an effective coverage requirement.

An excise tax on employer-sponsored high value health plans.

Cuts in payment rates in public programs that could increase cost shifting to private sector businesses and consumers.

New taxes on health sector entities.

The analysis concluded that collectively the four provisions would raise premiums for private health insurance coverage. As the report itself acknowledges, other provisions that are part of health reform proposals were not included in the PwC analysis. The report stated on page 1:

The reform packages under consideration have other provisions that we have not included in this analysis. We have not estimated the impact of the new subsidies on the net insurance cost to households. Also, if other provisions in health care reform are successful in lowering costs over the long term, those improvements would offset some of the impacts we have estimated.

Julian Sanchez on why it would be a better world if there simply were no Washington Post:

Unreasonable Balance: I’ve got one of a bunch of letters in the Sunday Washington Post objecting to their facile editorial on PATRIOT Act renewal, which weirdly asserted that a “reasonable balance” is struck by a bill that reauthorizes surveillance powers almost unaltered.

My original letter, incidentally, had somewhat more pointedly said that the Post “duly transcribed” the anonymous claims of administration officials about the utility of these powers, changed to “reported” in the course of editing. I tacitly consented to the change, since they ran their edit by me first, but not without a measure of bemusement.

Steve Benen on the Washington Post's religious "coverage":

The Washington Monthly: Catholic League President Bill Donohue, published by the WashingtonPost.com's "On Faith" website, an influential and widely-read faith-based site. While Donohue has a well-deserved reputation for publishing angry, unhinged screeds against those who disagree with him, this particular tirade stood out -- in secular and spiritual communities -- in large part because it's the kind of wild-eyed rant major news publications tend to avoid. It's hard to know what to except from the 800-word tirade, but to summarize, Donohue believes gays and atheists are desperate to destroy western civilization and modern Christianity.

Sexual libertines, from the Marquis de Sade to radical gay activists, have sought to pervert society by acting out on their own perversions. What motivates them most of all is a pathological hatred of Christianity. They know, deep down, that what they are doing is wrong, and they shudder at the dreaded words, "Thou Shalt Not." But they continue with their death-style anyway....

Catholics were once the mainstay of the Democratic Party; now the gay activists are in charge. Indeed, practicing Catholics are no longer welcome in leadership roles in the Party....

The culture war is up for grabs. The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they're too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels.

It's vile and it's ridiculous. Donohue's accusations don't even make any sense -- if "practicing Catholics are no longer welcome in leadership roles in the Party," how did Nancy Pelosi become Speaker and Ted Kennedy become the heart of the party? But putting aside reason and reality, the question many asked this week is what on earth the Post was thinking publishing Donohue's enraged invective. Alex Koppelman noted, "The idea of printing a controversial piece, even one that insults as many people as this did, is a fine one. But there's simply no way anyone can say that what Donohue wrote here added to the discourse. There were no facts, no arguments, nothing new -- just a long string of insults."

Special Newsweek edition from bmaz:

Emptywheel: Mark Sanford Goes Galt: Jon Meacham and his deputy editors at Newsweek could use a refresher course in compelling journalism from their sister ship test proctors at the Stanley Kaplan Corporation. Newsweek, you see, has just seen fit to publish a lengthy interpretation of Ayn Rand by none other that Appalachian Trail aficionado Mark Sanford.

The Fountainhead is a stunning evocation of the individual and what he can achieve when unhindered by government or society. Howard Roark is an architect who cares nothing about the world’s approval; his only concerns are his integrity and the perfection of his designs. What strikes me as still relevant is its central insight—that it isn’t “collective action” that makes this nation prosperous and secure; it’s the initiative and creativity of the individual. The novel’s “second-handers,” as Rand called them—the opportunistic Peter Keating, who appropriates Roark’s architectural talent for his own purposes, and Ellsworth Toohey, the journalist who doesn’t know what to write until he knows what people want to hear—symbolize a mindset that’s sadly familiar today.

Yeah, because the guy using state money to fly himself around the globe to meet his Latin lover, while his wife and children are back in the government paid for Governor’s mansion, ought to be talking about second hand leeches...

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?