This is an excellent article about the practical challenges and methods by which any public health care plan must be managed. Singer tackles the issue of “rationing” head on. In so doing, he gives the best explanations I’ve ever read for VSLs (Value of Statistical Life) and QALYs (quality adjusted life years), which are central to the work I do every day on how to improve food safety policy.
Check out this awesome container gardening idea - a hanging shoe organizer. How ingenious, not to mention attractive, is this idea?
I’m sorry, but no.
Why is it that so much of the “upcycle” movement feels a whole fucking lot like “how to live like a poor redneck while strutting around like a saviour”? I mean, hey, I can put plants in any fucking thing that holds dirt. LIKE A TOILET! OR AN OLD PAINT CAN! OR SOME OLD TIRES! OR A FUCKING SHOE ORGANIZER! If you’re poor, it’s called “making due” but if you went to college it’s called “greening your carbon footprint.”
I’m sorry, but indoor closet organizers should not be used outside on your back porch to grow marigolds. They should be used inside to store your extensive collection of Birkenstocks and Crocs, you dirty fucking hippie!
The QC is still quaddy, but lists like this at least show that there is an upside, even if I feel like I have to strain my eyes to see it. Then again, I live on the Illinois side, which apparently didn’t do enough wooing of the editors…
One of my favorite songs by a band making a bit of a comeback these days. Comet Gain has a new record out, composed of B-sides and rarities, dating from 1998-2008, and it’s awesome. It’s called Broken Record Prayers and I highly recommend you pick it up. It can be found everywhere (1,2,3,4).
I fell in love with Comet Gain in 2002, when they released Realistes, which I picked up on a whim one day because some record store (DCCD? the place across the street?) had it up on the board. Jangly and sloppy, with occassionally spoken or off-key singing, boy girl vocals, pop by way of punk, with terrific melodies and a simple but propulsive Jam-ish rhythm section. Horns pop up here and there. It’s the sort of thing, albeit with more oomph, that Art Brut did a few years later.
This song is probably not the best song to showcase them, as it’s a bit more ballady than most of Realistes, and far more repetitive and chorus-heavy than most of their songs. But it just sticks with me. In some ways, to me, it’s like Montreal by The Wedding Present - one of their wussiest songs and from the late period when they were mostly off their game, but I adore it in a way I can’t quite describe. It just takes me somewhere I like to go.
Greenwald is often annoying, but just as often right. He nails Chuck Todd fair and square here, and makes a solid case for media bias and complacency. Perhaps most importantly, he shows how anonymous leaks and a media hungry for access drives the mainstream conventional wisdom:
Note how those anonymous claims now just become an unquestioned part of these discussions by “journalists.” Some anonymous intelligence official chats on the phone with Brzezinski and makes a bunch of Cheney-defending assertions; she excitedly writes it all down and goes on the TV and repeats it as Truth (and, of course, calls what she’s doing “reporting”). And now, all of that is just assumed to be true by these “journalists”: there was no real program, it never got off the ground, Congress was briefed anyway, Cheney did nothing wrong, there were no briefing obligations at all. Therefore, there’s nothing to see here.
Nobody even thinks to question or challenge that. It’s just accepted as true. Therefore, all of this is just petty cable catnip obscuring what truly matters, decrees NBC ”reporter” Chuck Todd.”
A month after Vanity Fair drops a doozy on Palin, they’re now running a stunning article by Michael Lewis (Liar’s Poker) about A.I.G. and the how it was they wound up in the position of destroying the entire universe. Or something like that.
In all seriousness, it strikes me as a fairly plausible explanation about the internals at AIG - something that I’ve never quite understood. How did this company brig us to the brink? Lewis makes, I think, a convincing case about the most important reasons how it all happened - moving from commercial CDOs to residential, allowing higher (from 5-10% to 95%) rates of subprimes, changes in leadership met without scrutiny to people who never fully understood the business, bullying leaders ignorant of important details, banks knowingly offloading more risk than they were letting on to AIG, abuse of bond rating schemes, complicit government officials (Paulson in particular), and so on. Nobody comes out looking good, though some look worse than others. And his ultimate point is that if there is a single person to blame, it is Joe Cassano, who took over AIG Financial Products in 2005. That this guy hasn’t been dragged in front of the Hill is astonishing.
Joan Walsh for Salon: “I continue to marvel at the latest installment of Palinpalooza. I’m not a fan, but I have to admit, I’ve never seen anyone like her: She gave a maudlin speech blaming the national media for attacking her, then decamped for a fishing vacation….with the national media, so she could do more complaining and playing the victim, this time up close and personal with Matt Lauer and Kate Snow. It’s hilarious. Is there a word for a hypocrite who’s too clueless to realize she’s a hypocrite? Brazen will have to do.”
A stream of yesterday’s show is up, and it’s blistering. They lay down a strong 5 song set bookended with 3 tracks off Beacons of Ancestorship, just out on Thrill Jockey. Sounds like they’re back in form after a few stumbles. Don’t know if the new record is in Standards/TNT/Millions Now Living Will Never Die territory, but I am eager to find out.
"First of all, why is a vice chairwoman of the Young Republicans 38 years old? And secondly, why is she "lol"-ing at racist Facebook comments? Oh, right, because she is a vice chairwoman of the Young Republicans."
This is disgusting. It sure as hell looks like after the FDIC had recommended a small Hawaiian bank not get bailout money, Inouye intervened to reverse the decision and get $135 million from the Treasury to the bank, which he helped establish and in which he holds “$350,000 to $700,000” (2007) in ownership stock, which the Post calls “the bulk of his personal wealth.” The best part: “Even if Inouye were directly involved, it would not violate the rules the Senate sets for itself, experts said.” It’s disgusting upon disgusting.
“Life is too short to compromise time and resources… it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: “Sit down and shut up”, but that’s the worthless, easy path; that’s a quitter’s way out.”—
Sarah Palin, explaining how quitting is the only way not to be a quitter, in what is the strangest, most insane speech I’ve ever read. Reading this speech I have two primary reactions: first, that she is an utter lunatic, and second, she does not employ a speechwriter, for nobody else on the planet could possibly pen a paragraph like:
Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me – sports… basketball. I use it because you’re naïve if you don’t see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket… and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win. And I’m doing that – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities – smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it’s time to pass the ball – for victory.
It’s Canada Day, a day when, up here in the desolate tundra of Canadia, we put aside our passive aggression, inferiority complexes, and self-loathing to drink booze and watch things explode. This track from Montreal’s Galt MacDermot seems appropriate for an explode-y Canada Day, unless your Canada doesn’t include Quebec - but if you talk that sort of shit around me, your mouth won’t include teeth, pal. I’m all talk though, and I’m as weak as a kitten right now as I was ripped open by metal explosions last night, by which I mean I ripped open some metal cans of beer and uh.. exploded them.. into.. my… mouth, and now am being ripped apart by methane explosions. TMI?
Canada: indicating the location of assholes since 1867.
We just got back from a great two week jaunt back east, visiting M’s family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my mom’s side of the family in Lake Anna, Virginia, my dad’s family in Rockville, Maryland, and our friends back in Washington, DC. We put over 2500 miles on the car, which is now covered in bug carcasses and smells like swamp ass.
I feel like I’ve been on a permanent vacation for the past two months. The baby was born on May 4 and here it is, July 1, and I’m only now getting back to work full time, for real. It’s been a lot of work raising the Nugget so far, but mom is taking the brunt of it. But it has felt very strange not to be doing work for so long. Today, I had to leave the house to get some work done at Theo’s. Mom’s at home with Nugget and I admit it’s a bit tough to be away. But it’s been a good morning so far. Productive.
My last post was June 11, and that aside from a brief spurt there in early June, this thing is looking a little empty since Nugget was born. But that’s OK, and I’m thinking maybe it’s best to let this thing die a slow painful death, like an Aloe plant that you stop watering, but which hangs on for months and months on end, showing brief spurts of life as kind neighbors and housesitters do the good thing and dump glassfuls of liquid into the pot of dust in which it sputters.
Neil Halstead - You Are The Glue (Daytrotter Session)
An unreleased track from the Slowdiving lad from Mojave 3. Digging it on this Thursday that feels like a Friday. I love how loose and sloppy and intimate it is, how it feels like it was recorded in a tiny hotel room, on a portable recorder balanced precariously on the edge of the bed. More here.