Short Takes

Stuff to read —

Paul Starr, “Governing in the Age of Fox News

David Greenberg, “The Honeymooners

Paul Waldman writes about the chattering class’s fixation on “bipartisanship” over “results.”

Health care spending is growing faster than the economy.

Coming to textbooks at a school near you: creationism, global climate change denial, the denigration of the civil rights movement, and the rehabilitation of Joe McCarthy. Enjoy.

I want to make a brief comment on Hendrik Hertzberg’s “Um, Pathetic,” in which Hertzberg describes opposition to the health care reform bills in Congress coming from the Left as based in fallacy — read the article to appreciate which fallacy.

Hertzberg is saying much the same stuff I said in “Scorched Earth Politics.” Some on the Left are taking Hertzberg’s criticism as a call to STFU, but I don’t believe that’s true. It’s closer to “grow up,” or maybe “chill.” There is a huge middle ground between criticizing actions and policies — robust and snarky criticism, even — and resorting to over-the-top character assassination, and that’s a middle ground some on the Left need to find.

3 thoughts on “Short Takes

  1. I thought the post about the $1,654.00 staple earlier this week was bad enough. It’s no wonder people are driven into bankruptcy by medical bills.

    Faith Ozan is furious about her son’s hospital bill. She claims that Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital charged nearly 3,000 percent more for drugs used to treat her 24-year-old son’s tooth infection than the price listed for the drugs in an antibiotics guide. Even though insurance covered 70 percent of the cost of the treatment, the Ozans are on the hook for thousands of dollars.

    My son is the patient in this story. Consumers can find the cost of many drugs on Johns Hopkins ABX*, and the breakdown in this case was:

    Hospital Cost* per unit $10.00
    Cottage Hospital charge on son’s bill per unit $ 378.00

    Hospital Cost* per unit $ 43.75
    Cottage Hospital charge on son’s bill per unit $557.00

    VANCOMYCIN inj. 1 gram
    Hospital Cost* per unit $ 9.75
    Cottage Hospital charge on son’s bill per unit $ 387.00

    Total Hospital Costs* for Medication = $ 187.54
    Total Cottage Hospital Charged for Medication = $ 5, 625.00

    Anyone wanting a link:

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  2. Link to an article on process just posted on Congressional process by John Nichols. Ping-pong, anyone? I’d rather see full airing of negotiations by CSpan — evidently Brian Lamb is standing by on this. Imagine! We could see our, um, democracy at work. Sigh.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. Good follow up on the Texas schoolbooks article in How Conservatives Get Their Point-of-View Taught in Schools. Excerpt:

    ..This is a real problem this time as the state of California is not going to balance out the text book battle, since they will not have the money to buy new books until at least 2014. All of this means there is good chance that for the next few years kids in schools nation wide will be learning their history from books that try to make one of the most heinous Senators ever a good man. It is from these kinds of facts taught to school kids that keep the this nation from completely disavowing the teachings of the Right, since it requires a lot of thinking and intellectual curiosity to overcome what you are taught in grade school.

    There is a fix for this, of course, it is getting more moderate folks on the School Board both in Texas and elsewhere to push back against this kind of crap.

    There is an added benefit beyond making sure our kids are not propagandized in the schools, taking over of School Boards was on of the first Conservative moves which lead to their ascendancy in the the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Running for School Board is a great training ground for new elected officials. So, if this pisses you off, if this makes your hair curl, then don’t just sit around bitching about it, get out there and get on the School Board.

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