internet Train Wreck: Selected Comments from a 197-Comment Metathread on a 503-Comment Thread About Henry Farrell's Claim That Glenn Greenwald Is Being Unfair to Orin Kerr...
Xeni Jardin Is a Fan of the Insane Clown Posse

Five Things Worth Reading, Mostly Economics, for April 9, 2010

  1. Dana: "Linked for truth. Moreover, suppose Douthat was right about the alleged permissive sexual mores of 1970s Ireland. What, by all the angels and saints and the holy living mother of the f--- does that explain? What is that supposed to say about the U.S.? Are we to believe that this sexual liberation permeated the Church hierarchy so thoroughly that they kept the vow of celibacy instead of permitting married priests, but decided that raping children was okay and then constructed a time machine to send the abusers back in time so the authorities could establish a track record of complete wickedness and uselessness? Look, whether raping children is wrong is not one of the hard ethical questions. (Maybe Douthat skipped that night at RCIA.) And deciding whether to protect the institution or the rape victims wasn’t supposed to be one of the hard questions, either. “Contrition” does not mean find a way to blame it on hippies on another continent. Christ on a cracker."
  2. Frakt: "One of the arguments I’ve made that gaming the individual mandate in Massachusetts is not likely to be pervasive is that the uninsurance rate is very low. But, as I admitted, it depends exactly how that uninsurance rate is measured. In fact, no publicly available measure of it allows one to draw the strongest possible conclusion about gaming. That’s because the data to compute the right measure–month-by-month insurance status for a representative sample of the population–are not available. The best we have come from surveys that don’t quite ask the right questions.* This lack of data to address a fundamental question about health reform in Massachusetts is a troubling harbinger of data limitations as health reform rolls out nationally. A paucity of data reduces the scope of what can be assessed, which establishes a poor environment for promotion of policy improvements."
  3. Corn: "At a Washington press conference on Friday morning, Richard Burt, who negotiated the first Start treaty in 1991, was asked what he would say to Kyl or other Senate Republicans considering obstructing ratification of the new treaty. Burt, who was also a senior State Department official in the Reagan administration, replied in strong terms: 'I can say as a former political appointee of two Republican administrations, it will be very difficult for anybody to come up with a strong set of coherent arguments against this treaty. This treaty itself does not take sweeping steps to reduce either the United States or Russian deployed arsenal.....It's a very small step toward further reductions.'"
  4. Craig: "In the spring of 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made a sweeping change in the American approach to nuclear war. Henceforth, the United States would rule out waging nuclear war against non-nuclear states.... Many critics attacked the move.... How could the United States then stand up to the Russians? But mutual assured destruction became America’s de facto policy for the rest of the cold war, which ended when the Russians gave up. Eisenhower had... become worried by a growing clamor emanating from the Pentagon, supported by “wizard of Armageddon” intellectuals like Henry Kissinger..., that the United States could wage, and win, a “limited” nuclear war. That notion had to be nipped in the bud.... On Monday, President Obama announced, in his Nuclear Posture Review, a new American approach to nuclear war that comes right out of Eisenhower’s playbook."
  5. Smith: "Five years after President Bush's failed response to a natural disaster in New Orleans deeply damaged his party's credibility and helped sweep them from power, top Republicans speaking to supporters in New Orleans tonight made no mention of Hurricane Katrina. The series of speakers to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference at a Hilton conference center on the Mississippi River paid passing tribute to New Orleans' food, its culture, and its championship football team, but made no reference to the disaster still shadowing what Mary Matalin called a "vibrant city.".. the city is still working its way through some of the storm's horrors: The Times Picayune this evening is leading its website with the story of the guilty plea of one of several police officers accused of firing on unarmed civilians during Katrina."