Thursday, February 16, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to LeVar Burton -- hey, that's the second Star Trek one this week! Apparently, Geordi, will be also born on February 16.

Ah, the good stuff.

1. Charles Franklin tells newspapers and cable nets that it's just silly to pretend that robopolls don't exist (via Harry Enten).

2. Asawin Suebsaeng over at Mother Jones has five more things you may have missed in the president's budget.

3. Could Scott Brown know what he's doing? David S. Bernstein thinks so. Even if that's true, though, it's a long way to actually winning re-election.

4. Yeah, you could have guessed that Garry Wills would not be a big fan of Rick Santorum -- or the current GOP position on contraceptives. Click and read, if only for the insults.

5. And Sarah Kliff explains why prevention efforts get the short end of the budget stick.


  1. hi jb, great recommendations as ever! on a slightly unrelated note, could you please do a loyal British reader a favor? I see that Daniel Hannan has been talking at CPAC, and I just want you to reiterate to anyone and everyone you meet who uses him as an example of a "British" outlook that the reason why he spends his career on fox news pandering to the right is because no-one in Britain agrees with him, especially on the issue of healthcare, and even within his own party.

    Case in point: Rick Santorum claimed in his speech to CPAC claimed to have a quotation of Thatcher in her last days of office saying that she couldn't match Reagan's achievements in office because of the NHS. Strangely, no-one in Britain recalls her saying this. Journalists, historians, archivists, colleagues, no-one. Indeed her most famous quotation on the subject is "The NHS is safe in our hands."

    That was Thatcher. Cameron is trying to reassure everyone of a similar thing, yet his health bill is in jeopardy as it is perceived as a move towards privatisation. I don't mind Republicans trying to find arguments against healthcare reform, but if you could encourage them not to use examples from Britain or Hannan, that would be great, because such arguments generally distort the view of the British public out of all recognition.


  2. Hannan is a marginal figure in British politics at best. He's probably better known in the US. I think some Americans mistake the European Parliament for a body of actual importance.

    That said, it's not true that no-one in Britain agrees with him. I'd say he's a pretty good representative of a certain strand of political thought. I'd guess perhaps 10% of the electorate are in broad agreement with him.

  3. Thanks for the Wills piece. Good stuff. And Santorum insults are always a plus.


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