Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 3rd, 2014

Paul Krugman: Dodd-Frank is working

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Paul Krugman writes in the NY Times:

Although the enemies of health reform will never admit it, the Affordable Care Act is looking more and more like a big success. Costs are coming in below predictions, while the number of uninsured Americans is dropping fast, especially in states that haven’t tried to sabotage the program. Obamacare is working.

But what about the administration’s other big push, financial reform? The Dodd-Frank reform bill has, if anything, received even worse press than Obamacare, derided by the right as anti-business and by the left as hopelessly inadequate. And like Obamacare, it’s certainly not the reform you would have devised in the absence of political constraints.

But also like Obamacare, financial reform is working a lot better than anyone listening to the news media would imagine. Let’s talk, in particular, about two important pieces of Dodd-Frank: creation of an agency protecting consumers from misleading or fraudulent financial sales pitches, and efforts to end “too big to fail.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2014 at 6:20 pm

Paul Krugman gives very clear explanation

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He explains (a) exactly why he calls Paul Ryan a con man, and (b) why he tries to inform the public about it. Well worth reading–and it’s also very short.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2014 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Congress, GOP, Government

John Humphrey’s Dunning-Kruger syndrome re: history of language

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Worth reading. The ignorant are so confident of their knowledge. Behold the syndrome in full bloom.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2014 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Daily life

Extremely clear explication of the issues at stake and the forces at work in the House lawsuit against the President

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A good explanation of possible (and some probable) outcomes if things go this way or that. Worth reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2014 at 1:46 pm

Extraordinarily sound advice from Stephen Colbert, personally

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Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2014 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Daily life, Video

Are Israelis and Zionists really talking about a Final Solution of the Palestinian Problem?

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Juan Cole points out some ominous signs:

The Times of Israel published and then removed from its site an essay by Yochanan Gordon that openly called for genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza. A cached version is still on the internet as of this writing.

Gordon’s logic, if one wants to dignify it with that term, is that Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel, and therefore the only way to deal with them is to obliterate them entirely. He used the words “obliterate entirely.”

Nor is he alone. Israel nationalists have been arguing for war crimes at an alarming rate.

Hamas is a party-militia of the religious right. It does say it wants to see the Israeli government overthrown. Its leaders don’t, however, speak of committing genocide against Israelis. They say they want to recover their country, which was stolen from them by the Israelis in 1948. Colonial regimes always produce resistance movements.

The fact is that Hamas was supported by Israeli intelligence in the 1980s as a foil to the PLO, so Shin Bet and Mossad don’t seem to have been worried by the party charter.

Moreover, . . .

Continue reading.

Also:

 

Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2014 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Mideast Conflict

So how’s that legalized-marijuana thing working out for ya?

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In the NY Times Lawrence Downes has a detailed (yet highly readable) report—successes and some gaps—on what actual experience has revealed:

In January, Colorado defied the federal government and stepped with both feet into the world of legal recreational marijuana, where no state had gone before.

For seven months Coloradans have been lawfully smoking joints and inhaling cannabis vapors, chewing marijuana-laced candies and chocolates, drinking, cooking and lotioning with products infused with cannabis oil. They are growing their own weed, making their own hash oil and stocking up at dispensaries marked with green crosses and words like “health,” “wellness” and “natural remedies.” Tourists are joining in — gawking, sampling and tripping in hotel rooms. Business is growing, taxes are flowing, cannabis entrepreneurs are building, investing and cashing in.

Cannabis sales from January through May brought the state about $23.6 million in revenue from taxes, licenses and fees. That is not a huge amount in a $24 billion budget, but it’s a lot more than zero, and it’s money that was not pocketed by the black market.

The criminal justice system is righting itself. Marijuana prosecutions are way down across the state — The Denver Post found a 77 percent drop in January from the year before. Given the immense waste, in dollars and young lives, of unjust marijuana enforcement that far too often targets black men, this may be the most hopeful trend of all.

The striking thing to a visitor is how quickly the marijuana industry has receded into normality — cannabis storefronts are plentiful in Denver, but not obtrusive, certainly not in the way liquor stores often are. Marijuana-growing operations are in unmarked warehouses on the city’s industrial edges.

The ominously predicted harms from legalization — like blight, violence, soaring addiction rates and other ills — remain imaginary worries. Burglaries and robberies in Denver, in fact, are down from a year ago. The surge of investment and of jobs in construction, tourism and other industries, on the other hand, is real.

Continue reading. Some fixes are needed, and some solutions still to be found. There’s quite a bit more to the article, but in realistic terms, the news is very good indeed—that is, things are turning out well for everyone: more tax revenues, more money diverted from black market, less money spent on law-enforcement efforts (and lawsuits), crime down, and so on—the things everyone wanted to happen.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2014 at 1:19 pm

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