Links for Week of 1/18/10

The two huge developments in politics/policy were late in the week, so I’ll just link about those.  Yesterday is already being called Black Thursday, the day that HCR died and the outrageous Supreme Court said that unlimited corporate money can flow into  every election at every level (including in state-level judicial elections and by foreign-owned firms!).   

But first, a lighter side look at the types of photos that get one lots of attention in on-line datingUPDATE:  Remember a while back the group discussed what is the basis of sexual attraction?  Well, here is a way cool 2006 article on how much psychologists have learned from analyzing the millions of outcomes/matches made on all those on-line dating sites.

The Death of Health Care Reform  –

  1. A Must Read from a British ex-Conservative
  2. Two comments

One guy:  “The idea of going back to the drawing board and trying to pass a few little piecemeal reforms is suicidal. It’s one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. One of the big problems with healthcare reform is that the public is sick of the process. The last thing they want is for Congress to spend several more months flailing around on it. What’s more, does anyone seriously believe that Democrats would get any Republican votes for a smaller bill? That’s just a fantasy. Oh, they’ll happily negotiate and delay, since that not only makes Dems look hapless and craven, but prevents them from getting anything else done in the meantime. It’s a twofer. But when it comes time to vote? Every single one of them will invent some reason that the smaller bill is still fatally flawed. The final vote will be 59-41 and months will have been lost for nothing.Realistically, there are only two choices now: either pass the Senate bill or else wait another 15 years for any kind of serious healthcare reform. That’s it. That’s the choice.” 

Another guy:  “If a majority of the House and a majority of the Senate could approve legislation — if, in other words, Congress could function the way it used to and the way it was designed to — Democrats would have finished an ambitious heath care reform bill months ago. The stimulus would have been bigger and more effective. The prospects for a climate bill and reform of Wall Street would be excellent. The progressive productivity of this Congress would rival that of the New Deal and Great Society eras.

But that’s not the legislative dynamic we’re dealing with. Instead we have unprecedented obstructionism from a right-wing minority, which tries to block voting on literally every bill of any significance — a situation that has never existed before in American history — and a small handful of Senate Democrats…willing to help them.

The principal hurdle, in other words, standing in the way of the party delivering on its agenda is a dysfunctional system that empowers a small congressional minority to kill the majority’s agenda — and creates an electoral incentive for the minority to do just that.  […] it’s painful to realize what would be possible — how much change policymakers could deliver — if Congress simply returned to majority rule, the way the institution was intended to operate.

Campaign Finance Decision

  1. The scope of it,
  2. The shame of it, and the shame of it.  
  3. The future of it
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One response

  1. Now Obamacare has been stopped, perhaps he can actually start the promised but never delivered bipartisan discussions on needed fixes. Obama could Exec Order by tomorrow:
    Limit on tort payouts;
    Allow policies across state lines (even Carter did that with airfares – come on!!);
    Allow all insurance premiums to be free of income tax. Make government workers pay for their coverage (hah!!)
    Pay for medical costs of uninsureable (TRIVIAL).

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