You've Got To Change Your Evil Ways


… baby, before I stop loving you:

  • Everybody's heard by now about Nevada Senator Harry Reid's plea to maintain Federal subsidies for his state's cowboy poetry festivities in January.

    Yes, that's very easy to make fun of. If you can't cut subsidies to cowboy poets in Nevada, it will be impossible to cut them for quiltmakers in Alabama or birdseed sculptors in California (pictured at right) (no, your right).

    But very few critics can claim an actual cowboy poet as a relative, as I can. Although I'm unaware of any federal subsidies received by my distant cousin, being a free-market guy, I can only urge you to get over there to his website and buy some stuff.

  • Folks who still maintain a childlike faith in the ability of the Federal legislative process to "reform" the health care system should take a gander at this WSJ article that describes how ObamaCare came to include a provision to outlaw paying for over-the-counter medication with a Flexible Spending Account, in the absence of a doctor's prescription. This misfeature came into being via a chance remark by William Pewen, senior health-policy adviser to Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. And of course:
    Only after the president's signature was dry did the American Medical Association realize what had happened and send a letter to the government warning of unintended consequences, including more office visits and extra paperwork.

    Sure enough, when the change took effect Jan. 1, patients began bringing lists of over-the-counter drugs to office visits and also requesting over-the-counter prescriptions by phone, doctors says [sic].

    Prof Bainbridge has further irate comments.

  • Here's a sentence that kind of leapt out at me:
    A Treasury official later explained that the accusation had been dismissed because the [Secret Service] agent in question was Hispanic, not white.
    Read the whole thing for why on earth that matters.

    And (not that it matters but) according to Your Federal Government, Hispanics can be any race, and (in fact), about half of Hispanics self-report as being white.

    What does matter, of course, is that accusations shouldn't be dismissed (or, on the flip side, pursued) based on the race/ethnicity of the accused.

    (Via Sean Higgins at Pun Salad's previous unhinged rant about Official Definitions of race and ethnicity was exactly one year ago today; things haven't improved.)