Friday assorted links


If I saw a economics Nobel prize for neuroeconomics, I might have to reduce my respect for the prize to only marginally above that for the Literature and Peace prizes.

#3 had ... more breadth than I was expecting, which was nice.

And much of it in the real of music in which I spend my listening time; Coil*and Current 93, Gnaw Their Tongues...

Not the Khanate track I'd have picked (I'd have gone for Dead or Too Close Enough To Touch, from Things Viral), but close enough.

I'd nominate some Anhedoniac-era Jarboe, myself.

(* I find the listed song far more soothing than disturbing; for disturbing, perhaps Blood from the Air or A Warning From The Sun)

(Eminem, though? Most disturbing songs? Please. It's like you're not even trying.)

2. His article focuses on all the things he assumes states would do, none of which are guaranteed and most of which have been tried before and failed miserably. For example, high risk pools in states have never worked. Find me one patient group who wants them over the status quo.

Most hilarious is the title of the piece: GOP Health-Care Bill Is Fair to All States. Does Ramesh know that all the drafts circulating contain obvious special buy offs for certain states. The best I've seen reported would essentially let Alaska keep Obamacare and also get the block grants. (Oh, sorry, it's really just a provision for large rural states with very high costs of care.)

2. RGC rhymes with RG3. Equally ruinous too.

7. If I were in the pool with the nerds from Springfield Elementary, I'd put my money on Camerer and Lowenstein. It's the kind of "out-of-the-box" pick they seem to prefer in Sweden these days.

For those who don't get my reference:

I imagine that Lisa's reaction at the end is the same as Michael Orthofer's when Dylan won last year.

#5...Frederick E. Greenspahn has written a very good book on the Hapax in Biblical Hebrew. Hapax Legomena in Biblical Hebrew: A Study of the Phenomenon and Its Treatment since Antiquity with Special Reference to Verbal Forms Frederick E. Greenspahn - February 19, 2016 Wipf and Stock Publishers - Publisher. Hapax are the main reason Job is not really translatable.

Prof. Greenspan also wrote the very fine textbook An Introduction to Aramaic Frederick E. Greenspahn - January 1, 2003 Society of Biblical Lit - Publisher. I had a small role in the production of the second edition by convincing him to put in an answer key.

It's too bad the Quietus writers did not have much knowledge of classical music. Their one selection from Carmina Burana is thrilling and overpowering when heard live. It makes you want to go out and conquer a country. Liszt's Totentanz is scary with the right pianist, like Lisitsa. There are the traditional Halloween favorites, like Ride of the Valkyries, Danse Macabre, Liszt's Funerailles, Chopin's Funeral March, Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead, Mephisto Waltz, Night on Bald Mountain, or Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement. Lesser known but still hair raising>, Prokofiev - Scythian Suite - Dance Of The Pagan Monster; any Bach organ music played in a cathedral at night (try the National Cathedral for this); Suite from Psycho; George Crumb, "Black Angels," Movt. 3, "Return"; Shostakovich- Symphony No. 10, 2nd movement (among many others -- also his Quartet #8); Bela Bartok: String Quartet No. 4; Ligeti Volumina; Stravinsky's Rite of Spring; Prokofieff's Cinderalla Waltz; various works by Tsabropoulos and Eleni Karaindrou (e.g., Eleni Karaindrou Ulysses' Gaze). And, to really scare the Bejesus out of you, put on Paul Giger's Ignis in a darkened room at night. It has some surprises.

#3...For me, the scariest song ever is Wolverton Mountain. So traumatized was I by this song, that I have never, to this very day, gone there looking for a wife.

#2. Any health care bill should be judged primarily by two metrics. First, does it increase the amount of physician-time available to patients? Second, how much does it cost?

If the answer to the first is zero and the answer to the second is not zero, as appears to be the case for Graham-Cassidy, the overall effect is that the federal health-care money goes to increasing the price of health care.

If Obamacare maximizes physician-time per unit cost, then states are already allowed to continue doing that. If there are other ways to maximize physician-time, then under Graham-Cassidy states can choose those more effective (under your criteria) options. Why would locking states in to Obamacare be better than allowing each one to optimize given its own conditions?

Look up what a 1332 waiver is and tell me what additional flexibility to optimize states need.

So, Mississippi and Kansas optimized things under Obamacare by refusing to get at least 90% of the medical care needed by working poor paid for by HHS and instead forced doctors and hospitals to either refuse to care for people or to provide the care for below cost or for free?

Mississippi optimized medical care under Obamacare by bankrupting dozens of rural hospitals by refusing to use Federal dollar to pay for the care they deliver to the working poor?

Mississippi had/has the means to use Federal dollars to pay tens of billions to workers to provide medical care, but according to you, they decided the optimal solution is not paying workers to work.

#6 You'd think people would know better after the Ice Town debacle

Nice reference.

#3 - "What's New, Pussycat?" makes the list? I don't think the hipsters who developed this list have any idea what disturbing music sounds like. It's telling that there is no heavy metal, gangsta rap, or classic atonal/serial music on the list. But -- WoOoOoOoOooo -- I am the walrus! Spoooooky!

7. Here we go again. I seem to recall that MR and we commenters have an absolutely terrible record of predictions.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

#3. I nominate this.

"Progressives worry that states will apply for waivers without making adequate provision for the chronically ill and the federal government will rubber-stamp its approval. I assign a low probability to that scenario because political pressure will militate against it. It’s because it is highly unpopular to put those with pre-existing conditions at risk that opponents of the bill have made this possibility one of their chief attacks."

So, given the two dozen States that refuse to pay workers to work with 90% Federal dollars from a bill signed by a black man in the White House, progressives should trust these States to provide payments to workers caring for blacks, browns, and white trash at less than 90% Federal dollars?

Mississippi before Obama got 80% Federal money to pay workers to deliver medical care, and the black man increased those payments to 100% falling to 90% if the group of people was expanded to the huge number of working poor in Mississippi, many being black, but also more being white trash. Graham-Cassidy is like paying minimum income where you get the same pay whether you work hard or just be a slacker. Before Obamacare, NY got only 53% Federal money for paying workers to Mississippi getting 80%. But NY paid much more to workers than Mississippi paid using 80% Federal dollars.

#3 - "Dixie"

From whence comes all the money?

There are more things in heaven and earth, mulp, than are dreamt of in your educational apocalypse. Apologies to Shakespeare.

Anyhow, Graham-Cassidy - it's WACIST!

Throwing around some questionable percentages doesn't make it true.

Let's see -

Ad Hominem - Check - weak

Appeal to Emotion - Check - soupy

Appeal to Fake Authority - Check - so-so

Appeal to Fear - Not Convinced

NYS salaries and living costs are 40% higher than average US, and likely more so above (one of poorest states) Mississippi.

4: Looking at the comments, nice performance by BYU's twitter account. But what's with the obsession about Dr. Pepper at BYU?

I do like Dr. Pepper, if it's one of the choices that's almost always what I'll pick, but it seems that the pent-up demand for Dr. Pepper was as high as the demand for Coca Cola at BYU.

6. There is a single most important "elections" story, but that ain't it. Not sure whether MR just assumes you will read more widely, or if they are part of a collective uncomfortable silence.

"Feds tell state officials Russians tried to hack elections"

#3 Most disturbing song: "Amazing Grace". You hear it and kind of think there might be something to all this God stuff...

Grace is not amazing: lack of grace is. What always bothered me about that very good song was the ability to think that the presence of Grace - rather than the lack thereof - was amazing.

That comment would have made more sense if you understood that I am speaking from a pre-fall perspective. Postlapsarian, sure, go for it, be amazed by grace. But, if you have been saved, remember this: you are really most amazed at the fact that you did not care all that much about other humans (before you were saved) and now you care about other humans, which is a blessed thing (having been saved). But caring is simply what we do, as humans, and it is wrong to be amazed at that. They are completely different things, prelapsarian reactions and postlapsarian reactions, of course: and nowhere in the Bible do we read that all children born after the last grandchildren of Adam and Eve were born (and that was quite a few generations ago - not a huge number of generations ago, but a large number of generations, nevertheless) are born thinking this is a postlapsarian world. Just saying. The meek will inherit the earth, and those who thirst for justice will inherit heaven. Same thing, really. Does that make sense to you? I hope it does. Poor Heidegger never figured this out. Dickens got close but he was a lecher, sadly. It is not hard to be a person whom God loves: remember that. I remember.

#3 - Drip Drip, by Comus, should be on any list of disturbing pieces of music.

3. Not a terrible list but Scott Walker deserves more than one spot ("Jesse", for instance). Where is Pharmakon ("Crawling on Bruised Knees" or "Xia Xinfeng")?

2. The number of coulds in this article does not instill confidence in the reader. Republicans do not deserve praise for handing in a D grade paper before the deadline. I would appreciate a little more honesty both intellectually and politically. My biggest issue with this bill is that state governments are ill-equipped to negotiate with special interests for lower costs. So they will fall back on their modus operandi, to cut services. Meanwhile Congress passes a gargantuan defense spending bill. What is wrong with our priorities?

3. Billie Holiday, 1939, "Strange Fruit".

Rachmaninov, Bartok, Stravinsky, Mussorgsky.

Ondar, "Back to Tuva". Throat singing is disconcerting.

4. What a quaint and antiquated rule. Mountain Dew is the nectar of the Bluegrass state. You can take our coal and our healthcare, but we will riot over the Dew.

6. The campaign slogan, "If Sam Brownback can do it, surely we can't do any worse".

Hardly gargantuan unless you think that the pathetic militaries of our NATO allies is the example that the US should follow. What's gargantuan is the amount spent on butter, not guns.

There's very little sourcing in the Politico piece on Kevin Warsh as a potential Fed Chair, so it's hard to say how serious a possibility he is. I hope this is just one of those "slow day, need to write about something" pieces, as the thought of the unqualified Warsh as Chair of the Fed is scary. Moreover, his appointment would reek of cronyism.

At present there are three vacancies on the Board of Governors of the Fed. Randal Quarles, who is a decent but not overwhelming nominee by normal standards (which makes him a fantastic one by Trump Administration norms), is apparently close to Senate confirmation, which will fill one slot, but Stanley Fischer is stepping down later this year, so that will again make three openings.

At a time when several positions on the Board will be turning over, it is essential that some degree of continuity and experience be maintained. That means Trump should, but likely won't, reappoint Janet Yellen as Chair.

#2. Wow. It's amazing the things Ramesh has convinced himself of.

Does he even know that the reason Medicaid money goes disproportionately to "liberal" states is because some states brilliantly decided to poke Obama in the eye by refusing to accept the Medicaid expansion, no matter that the refusal hurt their own citizens? These are the people Ramesh thinks are going to do a great job with healthcare if you just give them a block grant. Right.


Progressives worry that states will apply for waivers without making adequate provision for the chronically ill and the federal government will rubber-stamp its approval. I assign a low probability to that scenario because political pressure will militate against it. It’s because it is highly unpopular to put those with pre-existing conditions at risk that opponents of the bill have made this possibility one of their chief attacks.

No. Political pressure won't militate against it.

#5 - didn't like this one so much. In languages like Latin, which is heavily inflected, or Hebrew, which is based on simple roots whose form dictates the tense, person and type of verb (transitive, reflexive etc.) a unique word would be the equivalent of a unique combination of words in English or French. Obviously unique combinations of words are not particularly rare in any book.

For example, the root of the word "shelach" mentioned in the article appears in hundreds of words in the Bible, and the rules for making a noun out of a verb root are pretty standard. So while it may be technically true that this noun appears only once, calling it a "unique" word is a bit of a stretch, though of course not incorrect.

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