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Damn it! I meant to enter #2!

Yep, I'm in the market for a new car. Toyota it is.

This isn't a book, but it's a free course online: http://oyc.yale.edu/economics/game-theory/

5. Why the hell is walking so dangerous?

Walking is dangerous because people in Toyotas run you over.

4. As a white woman who has dated (sometimes very long-term) American non-white and white foreign guys, I can attest that race has very little to do with my preferences, and culture has everything to do with it. These statistics don't seem to account for that.

The United States' white, middle-class, college-educated culture offers women more equality in relationships, both explicitly and implicitly, than almost any other culture in the world. White American women can, and do, succumb to the attractions of "out-group" men, and we enter the relationship with the best of intentions... but we can't stand being squashed under their thumbs for long.

So, like the vote that Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky wasted on bringing the budget to a surplus only to have Republicans not only defeat her and eventually undo everything by swapping the surplus for massive deficits, the key vote for a health care reform bill that reduces the government cost over the long term rather dramatically will be wasted when Republicans again regain control and like they did with Medicare, they add some new unfunded pork, er entitlements, to win votes and throw the budget massively into deficit.

Should Democrats seek to increase entitlements without funding them and cut taxes at the same time to be more conservative?

Clearly the point about votes in Congress is that good governance is not the guiding principles, the future of the nation, or the welfare of the people, but rationalizing a free lunch and getting reelected.

Clearly Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky failed to deliver the free lunch vote to win election by voting based on the future of the nation and the welfare of the people. That 1993 vote early in the expansion certainly created the necessary foundation for the longest expansion in US history. From wikipedia:
After the U.S. House passed the health care reform bill in November 2009, the conservative Americans for Tax Reform organization featured the Congresswoman's 1994 defeat as an example of what can occur in next year's elections, to those Democrats in swing districts who voted in favor of that bill.

The message from the tax reform group is that balancing the budget is contrary to the aims of conservatives, so reducing the deficit/debt by health reform is also contrary to the interests of Americans for Tax Reform, who clearly favor large deficits.

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