URLs du Jour


  • A probably unintentionally funny article at the NYT on Saturday about the censorship woes NBC is facing:

    • On one hand, they've purcased the rights to "VeggieTales", a previously video-only cartoon show, where explicitly religious themes were routinely incorporated by its chlorophyll-enhanced cast. But the network has decided that all that religious stuff needs to be cut out of the broadcast version.

    • But on the other hand, they've got a Madonna concert coming up in which the aging pop star sings on a cross. (As the always-helpful NYT puts it, "in imitation of the Crucifixion of Jesus." Gee, ya think?) The president of NBC Entertainment has been quoted as saying he has "no problem" with that. Controversy is ongoing.

    Bottom line: It's easier to get religious stuff on NBC if you prefix it with "sac-".

    But I also enjoyed Madonna's quote from the article, in reference to her stunt:

    … it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and see the world as a unified whole. I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today, he would be doing the same thing.
    Yup, just can't keep that guy off the cross.

    But when will Andew Sullivan start including Madonna in his continuing diatribe against the Vast Christianist Menace?

  • One of the Democratic soundbite memes for the upcomimg election seems to be "Medicare for All!". For example, the D candidate for the local congressional seat, Carol Shea-Porter, plugs it at her website:
    There are several plans being talked about right now, and I certainly would support any bill that would alleviate the suffering, but the plan I favor is Medicare for all.
    And Paul Krugman can always be counted upon to do his bit for the cause:
    If we had a universal system — Medicare for everyone — … we'd almost certainly spend less on health care than we do now.
    The Google gives (as I type) 62,400 hits for "Medicare for All" and kicks in another 4,910 for "Medicare for Everyone". As a marketing tactic, it's pretty good, if a bit cynical. Medicare is popular and a known quantity, not like that scary "single payer" thing.

    But Arnold Kling pokes a big hole in this particular trial balloon:

    One thing about Medicare for all as that you would need taxes to pay for it. In fact, our existing Medicare system needs more taxes than we now collect in order to pay for it, and the future gap between promised spending and tax revenues is projected to be in the trillions of dollars. Medicare is the fiscal Titanic, and Krugman says that it is time to add passengers.

  • Heads up, Granite State fans! I'm probably the last to know that the latest entry in the Die Hard movie franchise is titled Live Free or Die Hard. Excellent! I'm there.