Wednesday assorted links


1. "Some senators always vote for the MTP as a matter of principle - they will never block the senate from debating any bill."

Apparently no Democrats though.

We see a lot of "instant fail" on the bipartisanship McCain pleaded for. Sad.

And for some of these Republican Senators "always" began in January of 2015.

It appears that Trump could end Congressional exemption from Obamacare. That would be like squeezing their nuts (I'm looking at you, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski)

Do it.

Congress is already covered by Obamacare:

Aha, they pay only 28% of the premium for a Gold plan. Given their salaries, they would get no subsidies - so no, they are not getting Obamacare.

Actually they are getting Obamacare policies, but getting them subsidized because that's how they roll. Still Obamacare, there's no exemption for Trump to end. He could I suppose cut off the subsidies and make them pay full cost for their Obamacare policies.

If they had Obamacare they would pay 100% of their premium. Can't be any clearer- plus they squawked at the outset. You're dishonest.

It's Obamacare, they are Obamacare plans. Getting money to pay for it isn't an exemption :)

"1. Tweet storm on what actually happened with the health care vote."

Ah a Tweet storm. What Category is it? ;)

This appears to be a category two. A category five would be if someone said something on Twitter about not wanting to serve pizza at a gay wedding.

This morning McCain's spokeswoman said his vote for BCRA last night "was procedural" & he remains opposed to current bill. At least according to the Twitter:

His speech was very strong and moral, and for now I will trust that he believes it, is acting upon it, given the arcane rules of the Senate. And if it turns out McCain is a little bit scrambled this week after brain surgery, that is certainly forgivable.

McCain will almost certainly vote for a bill that represents the centrist Republican position. It's unclear if the sausage grinder that is politics in the Congress will crank out such a bill.

Well you know, apparently trans in the military is now the top Republican bonfire, I mean deliberative policy concern.

Seriously there is nothing more Trump could have done to dump shit on McCain's speech than a twist to red meat sexual identity politics (plus military!).

Those two topics are completely unconnected. However, Trump's policy of casually driving the Left into sputtering rage is probably once again successful.

The smart move by the Left would be to constructively address Trump's actions in a rational manner. Instead the Left will almost certainly over react. Which is clearly why Trump does what he does.

You might want to stop and realize that the US Military allowed transgenders to serve starting in June 2016. So Trump is merely returning to the status quo. A policy of which the majority of his supporters agree with.

As a famous man once said: "Elections have consequences."

Is it "the left"? Really?

Irrespective of the position being advanced, this habit is destructive in a free society, and those who hope for a more limited government should be appalled. Trump is the president, and he can speak as he wishes; he enjoys the same First Amendment protections as I do, and I would never wish to limit them by law. Nevertheless, I do wish that, just once, he’d just shut the hell up — not because the law compels him to, but because he has some understanding of the extent to which his behavior is crowding out civil society and making us all accessories to his ego.

It is time to impeach this guy, for the right as much as for the center and left

Yes a call for impeachment is definitely a Left wing position. Re-instating a transgender military ban that was in effect until last year is not a radical position.

And none of this has much to do with health insurance regulations.

The President (and perhaps msgking) is mad.

The predators and criminal aliens who poison our communities with drugs and prey on innocent young people, these beautiful, beautiful, innocent young people will, will find no safe haven anywhere in our country. And you’ve seen the stories about some of these animals. They don’t want to use guns, because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long.

Support that if you too are mad, and what that to represent the United States of America.

Oops, sorry. I got my peeps mixed up.

For what it's worth I care about zilch on sexual politics. If I make my top 10 list of important issue facing America, it ain't one. I it is red meat for "wingers" right and left.

And it was thrown out today .. I don't even know why. Because we have a mad president? Probably.

"As a famous man once said: 'Elections have consequences.'"
For example, we still don't the Obamacare replacement Republicans sold their followers eight years ago.

A Brazilian Senator said, "our grandchikdren will be ruled by the Emperor's grandchildren". My little cousins' (eight and ten years old, born and raised in the USA) grandchildren will live under the Obamacare.

"they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, "
Thankfully she was not ugly.

"You might want to stop and realize that the US Military allowed transgenders to serve starting in June 2016. So Trump is merely returning to the status quo."

How does one return to the status quo? You either leave it or stay with it.

"A policy of which the majority of his supporters agree with."

Their agreement is completely adjacent to the necessity or wisdom of such a unilateral decision.

Obama followed Trump's policy for 7/8 years. Disagree, sure, but is Trump's policy really so nutty insane? Or just adjusting weights on some of the factors involved?

A report slightly like Trump's fantasy does not say that this is a thing going on, that "we’ve been protecting for so long."

It is a deep and warped fantasy that anyone out there wants to protect torturers and murderers, but what else does Trump have at this point?

Find a deep vein of paranoia and jam that needle deep.

Those two topics are completely unconnected. However, Trump’s policy of casually driving the Left into sputtering rage is probably once again successful.

Imagine if Obama casually declared one day doctors who are pro-life would be kicked out of Medicare ("defunded") or Catholics could not be chaplins in the military because they don't acknowledge SSM. Would the reaction on the right be polite disagreement? Was it 'sputtering rage' when a Represenatitve blurted out 'you lie' during the State of the Union? What was that 'lie'? It was that Obamacare doesn't cover illegal immigrants, which it doesn't. But that's not 'sputtering rage'.

The smart move by the Left would be to constructively address Trump’s actions in a rational manner. Instead the Left will almost certainly over react. Which is clearly why Trump does what he does.

There's plenty of calm, carefully reasoned, pieces that 'constructively address' Trump's actions 'in a rational manner'. For example, by calmly calculating the actual medical costs of trans people in the military, by noting the many transpeople already serving and the awkward 'witchhunt' that would be required to go ferrit them out, etc. etc.

But these swords are two sided here, what 'constructive reasons' were given by Trump to screw up the lives of many people with little more than a Tweet and some inaccurate facts?

And enough of the calls for 'carefully reasoned' pieces by those who refuse to reason. What this call basically means so long as a single person in the entire universe of Facebook or Twitter says something too emotional about the trans-ban....'The Left' is unhinged. In other words before we are allowed any criticism, we must achieve perfect alignment for the sake of perfectly good manners and calm demeanor or else such is an automatic win for this loser of a president.

Notice none of these requirements work in reverse. No one requires the Republicans to have a 'constructively' put together proposal for health care before repealing Obamacare. No one requires the purge of the unhinged from the GOP....yet over and over again the Democratic Party has to purge itself? I don't think so.

Trump is merely the following the example of his predecessor, but with the difference that he is not an obnoxious hypocrite like Obama who sanctimoniously condemned as "distractions" the deployment of cultural wedge issues mostly for political advantage while frequently doing so himself. McCain lost to Obama, which tells you that the audience for McCain-style politics is too small to matter.

McCain also lost to Bush.

#3: what does the 'CW' stand for? Some sort of legal doctrine I gather, but what?

Consumer welfare?

I was going to say "conventional wisdom" but I don't think that's right.

Even Google has no idea what this guy is talking about.

Yes, Consumer Welfare.

It was the term "hipsterantitrust" that was new to me. And I follow antitrust. Is Wright jousting with a strawman?

I picked up a vibe last week that people want to break up Google and Facebook "because they are big."

Apparently not Apple, because lol, they love their iPhones.

Apple's market share is far lower than Google's or Facebook's

That's the funny thing. They say they don't like "big" companies. Market cap describes that.

I know what market cap means. But antitrust is about monopolistic domination and that's about market share not market cap.

I understand that too. Which brings us full circle to Consumer Welfare, and whether being "big" by size or share is the real issue.

To leftist publications like Salon, all big companies are bad. To the sensible, big by share is the issue not size.

You disagree with that whole thread then? No need to show consumer harm? You might be a leftist.

As a centrist I am open to the idea that big companies can be operating in a win-win manner, without consumer harm. Neither am I a rightist of course, who thinks that even harmful monopolies are fine, because any consumer harm will be addressed in the fullness of time.

I don't believe any of Apple, Google, or Facebook need to be broken up at this time. I don't see much consumer harm from any of them due to their size.

And eyeglasses, apparently.

Its like they don't know about Zenni.

Google has been sending high level teams to help the democrats the last two elections.

It would be delicious if they had their feeding hand bit.

Market cap is not a useful metric of how monopolistic a company is. Apple has about one-third of the smartphone market in the U.S. It is very easy to avoid doing business with Apple if one wishes: use a PC, an Android phone, and online services like Spotify and Skype that compete with iTunes and Facetime. Every business venture of Apple's is in highly competitive markets.

6. Three rabbits on the backs of some sheep standing in a few inches of water is not surfing.

Captain Obvious! And his pedantic answers to the questions nobody asked!

No, that is another poster.

And really, did you even read the article? Here is the very first line - 'It was a woolly ride, but three wild rabbits managed to escape rising floodwaters in New Zealand by clambering aboard sheep and surfing to safety on their backs.' Here is a line from the middle - 'Nevertheless, Horne managed to capture the moment. He said the sheep were huddled together on a high spot on the farm, standing in about 8 centimeters (3 inches) of water.'

The surfing part is pretty clearly fake news, actually, especially in light of how the story ends - 'Horne herded the sheep to a patch of dry ground on the farm about 50 meters (164 feet) away. The sheep didn't like it.

"As they jumped through the water, the rabbits had a jolly good try at staying on," Horne said.

He said the rabbits appeared to cling onto the wool with their paws. As they approached the higher ground, the rabbits fell off but managed to climb a hedge to safety.'

Other articles don't mention 'surfing,' by the way. Wonder what CNN says?

CNN reported that the rabbits used their iPhone apps to call eweber. Then it was revealed one of the phones text history had links to a Russian lawyer.

Drug testing for pot is just stupid -- dumber than testing for alcohol, since an applicant will test positive for marijuana long after they are no longer intoxicated. It's a company's business if an employee shows up drunk or high, but it's none of their business whether or not the worker enjoys a few beers, a joint, or both in his spare time.

Our company went to a zero tolerance policy because the Federal government requires it and because it's legally risky (lawsuit material) not to have it in place.

Another stupid Federal policy then, and one that your boy Sessions personally loves.

Yeah, but then this is the problem. I'm sure insurance companies also often require it, but they have good Actuaries, they should be able to price in the ability for workers to fail the marijuana test, or at least to have a lower bar (in terms of levels) for passing it. Couldn't companies also give potential employees up to a month to get clean before they take the test? If you can't quit for a month then you are much more likely to be the type of smoker that would smoke before going to work.

Inability to pass an announced drug test is probably a pretty good proxy for inability to come to work even when the weather is bad, to organize yourself enough to arrange childcare when school is out, to pitch in when a co-worker is sick, to care enough about the product to notify management of a real problem even if it's "not your job," etc.

This. I think drug testing is stupid but Y81 is right. I smoke pot. When I'm looking for a job I just don't do it for a month. Most hard drugs only stay in your system for a few days. Drug tests say more about lack of self-control than anything else.

The Feds require an initial screening and then random screening from there on out.

Are you smoking crack?

The 'feds' do NOT require random testing for most factory jobs. Firms screen initially - which is a good quality filter - since other tools (like written test) are Hate Crimes.

"The ‘feds’ do NOT require random testing for most factory jobs."

No, I didn't mean to imply generic factory jobs. I was referring to Federal contractors that fall under DOT, DOE and DOD rules. Even then, I don't think random drug testing is mandatory, but it's the easiest way to meet Drug-Free Workplace Act compliance.

For jobs that have multiple rounds of interviews and take a month or more to fill, that strategy works (think professional-type corporate jobs). For a factory job where the interview could be on Monday and the drug test on Wednesday, your strategy simply doesn't work for pot. Pot is detectable in urine for 30 days and hair for 90 days.

His point is if you are actively job hunting, as in for a factory job or any other, just knock off the weed while you are out there looking. Once you get hired, learn the testing policy and act accordingly. If they only test applicants but not employees after, you can go back to it.

It's still stupid that marijuana is illegal, but that's slowly changing.

5: If he's doing this for his own health, he should be aware that Paul Krugman is living proof that CTE is a problem in economics, too.

Haha! Because Krugman is so stupid! Savage takedown, OJ.

He may be addled, confused, deeply forgetful and brain-damaged, but it's pretty sleazy and insensitive of you to be throwing around the word "stupid."

Decorum, people.

Piling on! That asshat deserves it, well done!

I remember how amused I was when I first heard (well, read) the term "asshat".

Oh, internet. What would we do without you! We'd still be stuck on "dillweed".

2. We take for granted what we have until what we had is gone. The WSJ comes to mind. No paper, the NYT included, was better written and edited than the WSJ. I started every weekday morning reading the WSJ, it having magically appeared at the front door of our offices long before I arrived. Today I read the digital edition of the NYT like I once read the print edition of the WSJ. I start with the front page stories, then a quick glance at the opinion section to see if there's anything interesting (Douthat's column, Brooks' column, a guest op/ed), then to the obituaries, then to book reviews, and then finally end with the business section where I spend most of my time. It's very well-written. Not quite the standard of the old WSJ, but very good. A well-written story impresses me more than one that is not; I suppose it's like good looking people, who have more credibility than ugly people for no reason other than their looks. I wouldn't read a poorly-written book, so why read a poorly-written paper. And that's what the story at the link is about: the NYT is about to release over 100 copy editors. In the fast paced world of digital media, good writing and careful editing must take a back seat to speed. In time, there will be no papers, digital or otherwise, just pictures and emojis and grunts. We take for granted what we have until what we had is gone.

"We take for granted what we have until what we had is gone."

True, but this is the fate of the old. The young don't even know something is gone. This is their reality.

I take it you read the obiuaries to make sure you are not there before you start work.

Also, to follow up on my previous comment - I think Douthat might have been the first person I heard (well, read) describes as one.

Oh! Internet! What would we do without you?

5) I was REALLY hoping this was about Josh Gordon.


1. It's hard to tell what's going on now that the media has apparently decided that the ACHA was a "repeal" of the ACA. It wasn't. So when they say that they're not going to repeal ObamaCare but are going to vote for a lesser bill, I don't know if they are talking about the ACHA, or something even stupider and less of a repeal than that was.

Well remember Republicans want to claim they repealed Obamacare so they will paint anything they pass as a repeal.

#3..."With property we have already begun to consider the economic organisation of society. An institution of property is, in part, a device for organising the productive and distributive activityof thesociety.For the libertarian of our tradition the main question will be how to regulate the enterprise of making a living in such a way that it does not destroy the freedom he prizes. He will, of course, recognise in our institution of private property a means of organising this enterprise wholly friendly to liberty. All monopolies, or near monopolies, he knows as impediments to that liberty,and the greatest single institution which stands between us and monopoly is private property. Concerning monopolies he will have no illusions; he will not consider them optimistically, hoping that they will not abuse their power. He will know that no individual, no group, association or union can be entrusted with much power, and that it is mere foolishness to complain when absolute power is abused. It exists to be abused. And consequently he will put his faith only in arrangements which discourage its existence. In other words, he will recognise that the only way of organising the enterprise of getting a living so that it does not curtail the freedom he loves is by the establishment and maintenance of effective competition. He will know that effective competition is not something that springs up of its own accord, that both it and any alternative to it are creatures of law; but since he has observed the creation (often inadvertently) by law of monopolies and other impediments to freedom, he will not think it beyond the capacity of his society to build upon its already substantial tradition of creating and maintaining effective competition by law. But he will recognise that any confusion between the task of making competition effective and the task (to be performed by effective competition itself) of organising the enterprise of getting a living and satisfying wants will at once be fatal to liberty as he knows it. For to replace by political control the integration of activity which competition (the market) provides is at once to create a monopoly and to destroy the diffusion of power inseparable from freedom. No doubt the libertarian, in this matter, will have to listen to the complaint that he has neglected to consider the efficiency with which his economic system produces the goods; how shall we reconcile the conflicting claims of freedom and efficiency?But he will have his answer ready. The only efficiency to be considered is the most economical way of supplying the things men desire to purchase. The formal circumstances in which this may be at its maximum is where enterprise is effectively competitive, for here the entrepreneur is merely the intermediary between consumers of goods and sellers of services. And below this ideal arrangement, the relevant comparison is not between the level of efficiency attainable in an improved (but not perfected) competitive economy and the efficiency of a perfectly planned economy, but between an improved competitive economy and the sort of planned economy (with all its wastefulness, frustration and corruption) which is the only practical alternative. Everything, in short, that is inimical to freedom - monopoly, near monopoly and all great concentrations of power at the same time impedes the only efficiency worth considering." Michael Oakeshott "The Political Economy of Freedom."

Nothing is funnier than economists who critique perfect knowledge employing it themselves in defense of forbearance from freedom for particular businesses. File Wright's tweets as #consignedtodumpster.

#1 - all this is so much smoke to pass "Skinny Repeal" and punt the sorry mess to a conference committee.

It's weird that skinny repeal does nothing about Medicaid. So the poor in WV and KY still get their free health insurance and the big losers are those making more than 400% FPL and purchase their insurance in the individual market.

Or, I guess not weird. Free money for WV is always on the table. Ryan will probably strip it out though. And then they are all back to square one.

2. he first six months of the Trump administration have been one of the most glorious eras in the history of The New York Times. The paper, in addition to its rival The Washington Post, has been at the absolute center of the culture, a bastion of sanity, a daily reminder of why journalism is necessary and why dead-tree media is best equipped to supply it.

The circle jerk before your eyes.

I'm the jerkiest circle jerker in the circle jerk!

Who are you, and what have you done to the real Art Deco?!

The New Times has apparently decided that its financial future rests on the practice of putting the word "Trump" into the headline of every columnist's piece for the past six months.

And my left of centre Facebook friends are apparently clicking on every single one.

It's working. Trump has been very good for the NYT's bottom line.

So was World War II.

#4. This reminds me of the unemployment issues of ex-cons. The economic argument should be that their contributions exceed their costs, so what evidence do we have that drug users contributions for this particular category of worker is positive?
#5. Further evidence that all NFL players have diminished mental capacity (due to concussions).

He's number 111, for sure.

#6. Got an adorable and cute animal video? Cue the obligatory ukulele and glockenspiel soundtrack! Where is the "noisy link" warning when you need it most. Tyler, you let me down.

#5: "Hawkins said he has opportunities to work in football on the business side and will pursue a Ph.D. in business and economics in February. He graduated from Columbia University this year with a master’s degree in sports management."

Doesn't sound to me like it's going to be a PhD in Economics. Also doesn't pass the smell test, effectively no one starts an actual Econ PhD program mid-year. I imagine this is some PhD in "Business" that is barely better than a vanity degree. I know our b-school has them...

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