Why Don't I Always Read 538 First?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Once again Nate Silver is a genius. In this post, he answers all the questions I had about the health care process, including reconciliation, and more.

Read it.


What he said...

Monday, December 21, 2009

A few days old, but a good column by Paul Krugman on the Senate version of the health care reform bill.

Read it here.

Also, keep in mind people, this is not the final bill.


Over at Two Glasses, they do a nice job pulling together some of the better analysis of the health care plans, mostly from liberal perspectives. Of special note is their link the Nate Silver's analysis.


Nosmo King

Thursday, December 10, 2009

House Bill 4377 (Representative Lee Gonzales, D - Flint) passed the Senate and House today and is on the way to the Governor's desk for her signature.

This is Michigan's "Clean Indoor Air" smoking ban.

The bill exempts the 3 Detroit casinos, tobacco shops, cigar bars, home offices and freight trucks. It goes into effect May of 2010.

I don't know how all of you feel about it, but in all of my experiences in going to places like Chicago, New York, Boston, and California, I love not smelling like smoke and being stuffed up the whole next day. I like it for the employees of former-smoking establishments. I like it for public health.


BCS, Emphasis on the B and the S

Monday, December 07, 2009

So the Bowl Championship Series matchups are out and have succeeded in confusing an entire nation of football fans again, except those in Texas and Alabama. For them, it's not that they get it any better than the rest of us (Lord knows...it's Alabama...I mean come on); they're just happier with the results.

As I understand the BCS selection process:

1) Massive schools in the South and Soutwest assume their rightful places in the top 5 and stay there all season through a wiley combination of bribes, positions of tenure within this "BCS" and the assembling of weak schedules (save but for a "hard" game or two);
2) Enough latitude is given to allow some undefeated, heretofore unheard-of school recently defining itself as "Division I" to have one single spot in the BCS top 5 so as to appear like it is indeed open and competitive;
3) In December, a group of gnomes with an IBM Thinkpad are fed ESPN streaming coverage, theoretical nuclear physics textbooks, scrolls concerning weather pattern prediction from the Middle Ages, a copy of the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a duck, a random selection of adult movies and the first movement to Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. They use all of this and come up with:


For all 6 Sparty fans, we get picked to lose a horrid, flaming death to Texas Tech on January 2nd. Somehow, MSU's already-dubious selection into the BCS provides State with an opportunity to show how horribly a second-rate secondary will stand up against a school known for the veracity of its passing game.


Take a look at this year's BCS games in the link above. Consider this an open thread on college football and the need for a playoff system. Sure, as a Sparty I realize I should be careful what I wish for, as we may never appear in a playoff again. But as such, is #1 or #2 really ever #1 or #2?


America's Worst Sheriff

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I almost blogged on this a few times, but I honestly thought it would just go away and justice would prevail, but that won't happen when Joe Arpaio is involved. Well, it hasn't been an easy road. Back in late October, Maricopa (or Marikafka, as it called in many places) County Deputy Adam Stoddard stole some documents from a defense attorney, copied them, and then returned them. He initially claimed that he thought there was evidence of criminal activity (which would have allowed him to take the documents), but her materials had previously been ok'ed and the deputy contradicted himself several times during the contempt hearing.

Here is the video:

The deputy was found in contempt and the judge told him if he issued a public apology, he wouldn't have to go to jail. This seems reasonable. I don't have a problem with bailiffs being vigilant when it comes to security, but they just can't help themselves to whatever documents they want. There he to be probable cause and there simply wasn't in this case. Well, there is no way a deputy of "America's Toughest Sheriff" is going to do something as pathetic and wimpy as issue an apology. The deputy turned himself in and became an inmate (or "political prisoner", according to Joe...I am not making this up). In an effort to waste all sorts of taxpayer money, put the public at risk, and just generally be an asshole, Joe has filed a federal lawsuit, saying that there is a widespread conspiracy. In addition to this, 19 deputies called in sick that were scheduled to work courthouse security. Oh, and there have been several bomb threats.

I like it when employers stand up for their employees, but the deputy was wrong to act the way he did and should face some consequences. This isn't a simple difference of opinion, he violated the attorney/client privilege. I also don't have that much sympathy for Joe, as this isn't the first time he has done something bad.

(h/t to Radley Balko)



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