Posting History for RobLewis
|Net Neutrality: analyzing the win
Almost everywhere you look, the news for progressives hasn't been good. Republicans have been seizing control of state after state, and enacting terrible laws. That's what makes the victory on Net ...
|How your new Chevrolet subsidizes your boss's Cadillac
(cross-posted here ) The idea in a nutshell: economies of scale achieved by mass-producing goods for the lower classes help to make high-end versions of these goods more affordable for the upper ...
|Understanding "power" vs. "energy"
If you're interested in the energy that powers civilization, whether it's clean, dirty, or something else, you really need to understand the distinction between "power" and "energy". They're not the ...
|Strategy for the 2016 Congressional Elections
It's amazing to see President Obama (finally) taking the initiative with a flurry of policy actions and proposals: immigration, climate change, faster Internet, methane emissions—the list goes on ...
|Paul Krugman, Dynamic Scoring, and Ross Perot
As you probably know, Republicans are corrupting the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office by insisting it use “dynamic scoring”: pretending that tax cuts don’t increase the deficit, even ...
|Gayconomics: a “natural experiment”
The other day I happened to overhear a conversation between two people, neither of them fundamentalists or right-wingers of any stripe. The theme of their dialogue was that adopting a gay lifestyle ...
|How Fidel Castro could have saved us from Ronald Reagan
In 1979, a junior diplomat at the State Department named John Graham negotiated a deal with Cuba whereby Castro would use his good relationship with Iran to get the American hostages freed. Graham ...
|What happens to society when robots replace workers?
Don't have time to comment on it, but there's an excellent piece in Harvard Business Review about the societal challenges that will soon hit us, as more and more workers are replaced by robots. In ...
|Clueless solicitation from my Congressman
I just got an email from my Congressman, Rick Larsen (D-WA). It contained this: We desperately need a change in leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure Congress takes meaningful ...
|I love you, but please stop spamming me
Message to all the politicians who have somehow acquired my email address: I could be wrong, but I don't think the fact that you're a politician looking for campaign contributions exempts you from ...
|OK, Republicans, what's your end game on unemployment?
Republicans have lots of things to say about the problems in the job market. They don't want to raise the minimum wage because it "kills jobs". They don't want to extend unemployment benefits ...
|Once again, the Pentagon is determining U.S. industrial policy
This is actually good news in a way, because it's providing a back-door subsidy to clean energy. But it blows another right-wing meme. Conservatives always recoil in horror when anybody suggests ...
|Traffic studies are so 1980s
Just a quick note about this discussion on Slashdot: In the 21st century, nobody in their right mind would close critical traffic lanes just to see what happens. Traffic patterns can be simulated ...
|Gartner forecasts social unrest as technology displaces workers
For those who don't know, Gartner is a leading technology research and consulting company that specializes in analyzing and forecasting where technology is going and what the likely repercussions ...
|U.N. to adopt asteroid defense plan
Uh oh. The evil United Nations. is trying to get all up in our business again: I suspect this will lead to the formation of a new group of "asteroid denialists". No doubt led by Michele Bachmann. ...
|Yet another tiny cut, thanks to austerity
In the "death by a thousand cuts" category: A big story on NPR's Morning Edition touts the benefits of olive oil in the diet, but notes that for maximum benefit, the oil must be fresh. ...
|The innovation guru talks politics
I've long been a fan of Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen. His landmark 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma has changed the way managers deal with innovation and competition in ...
|When can we start roasting the climate deniers?
As David Atkins points out here , at least some journalists seem to be dropping their false balance, "views differ on shape of planet" posture in favor of reporting the simple, frightening facts ...
|The NSA's spying tentacles go deeper
Wow. My old friend Steve Blank, a legendary Silicon Valley entrepreneur with a longstanding interest in the government's high tech spying, has described yet another way the NSA may be intercepting ...
|Republican goal: "Obama Fatigue"
Remember "Clinton Fatigue"? It was the notion that people—even people who basically supported Bill Clinton—eventually got so sick of all the ginned-up "scandals" surrounding his administration ...
|WaPo reports China has stolen our military secrets. Freakout time?
Looks bad: Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies But if you want to be cynical, it's worth noting that claiming the Chinese have stolen the ...
Great piece on Democracy Now! about the new book The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills . The authors estimate there have been more than 10,000 additional suicides and up to a million extra cases ...
|The conservative case for raising the minimum wage
Listening to Republican politicians, you would think that the Right is unanimously opposed to raising the "job killing" minimum wage. However, there has been a good deal of serious argument by ...
|Switzerland to limit executive pay
So the Swiss, those stolid, conservative burghers, have decided "enough" on obscenely high pay for corporate executives: Via Slashdot 68% of voters approved a change to their constitution: The ...
|Shock: Chinese military hacking U.S. industries
Why don't we just acknowledge that both countries are doing their damnedest to hack each other? In fact, I'd be disappointed if the U.S. wasn't doing it. Duh. It's probably a good thing if China ...
|Can computers save health care?
I've never really bought the story that health care expenditures are destined to just keep growing forever. All those gloomy projections assume that advancing technology will, if anything, make ...
|To beat the Taliban, we should airdrop…women!
OK, headline is tongue-in-cheek. But there's a serious point here. It's well known by sociologists that having large numbers of young, unmarried men is destabilizing to a society. Often they ...
|Republican rebranding? Don't make me laugh.
You thought this was going to be a post about how Republicans are trying to change the packaging without changing what's inside, didn't you? Nope. In fact, let's assume for the moment that our ...
|Do gun deaths correlate with economic pain?
I haven't seen this addressed in the discussions about curbing gun violence, but it seems highly plausible that gun incidents may be correlated with the ups and downs of the economy. I'm no ...
|James Fallows and the "surveillance state"
Atlantic senior reporter James Fallows has been an active private pilot for some years. Now, flying your own small plane is an expensive proposition and would be even more expensive if not for the ...
|Are Republicans headed for a "Tragedy of the Commons"?
An interesting dynamic is shaping up for the 2014 House elections. It could wind up being a classic Tragedy of the Commons, wherein what is in each individual member's own interest winds up being a ...
|Some simple facts about the budget and taxes
Republicans claim they want smaller government. There is a simple, proven way to accomplish this: make citizens pay for all the government they use . Do this, and you will see the public's appetite ...
|Did the Newtown shooter suffer from "Lyme Rage"?
I was listening to Ed Schultz this morning when a man identifying himself as a doctor came on the air and urged that the body of Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, be immediately tested for Lyme ...
|Dawn of a new/old understanding of the economy?
If you've been reading Paul Krugman for the last few days, you know that he's latched onto the issue of the changing distribution of income between workers and owners. He admits that he and other ...
|Taxing the rich: it's not about "fairness"
Listen to just about any liberal speak about the budget and taxes these days, and it won't be long before you hear the phrase "The rich need to pay their fair share." This is one of those standard ...
|The Real War within the GOP
Since last week's election, we're hearing a lot about the "war within the GOP". Oversimplifying a bit, it's described as the battle between the "Romney lost because he's not a true conservative" ...
|Dear Sarah Palin:
Thanks for asking! I'm happy to report that the Hopey Changey Thing is going pretty well, thank you. I might even say surprisingly well, given that your party has done everything they can think of ...
|Fixing our elections with technology
I know: nobody trusts electronic voting. Too easy to tamper with. But bear with me: there is a way to bring our voting into the 21st century. Here's one possibility: Imagine that when you ...
|What if 2012 is a mirror image of 2000?
As we've seen discussed, it's entirely possible that on Tuesday, President Obama could lose the popular vote and win the Electoral College. Remind you of anything? Furthermore, we know that ...
|Republican anti-truth squad strikes again
Not that this should surprise anyone, but the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service produced a report showing (yet again) that tax cuts for the wealthy do not stimulate economic growth or ...
|An easy way to make polls more accurate
I know, we're all drowning in poll numbers. And we've learned that you can't always trust them. But did you know there's a way to greatly increase their accuracy? According to a new research ...
|Romney allies linked to key voting machines in Ohio
Oh, great. Rick Ungar at Forbes is out with a story headlined "Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern". D'ya think? I know nothing ...
|Mitt's position on equal pay
Mitt's non-discussion of equal pay in the debate was one of the clumsiest dodges I've ever seen. Clearly he's going to have to come up with something better than binders full of women. I have an idea�
|We ignore election theft at our peril
Chilling article by Victoria Collier in the November Harper's : How To Rig An Election. It's chilling not because there's a lot of new information in it, but because Collier's quick tour of modern ...
|Please help me understand Mitt's tax plan
OK, here's what I thought I heard Rmoney say in last night's debate: 1. He wants to cut tax rates but eliminate deductions so the same amount of revenue is raised. 2. He will never raise taxes ...
|Rush Limbaugh is clueless about poverty and nutrition
Twice now I've heard Rush claim that there can't possibly be poverty and malnutrition in America because so many lower-class people are obese. And since I rarely subject myself to his rants, I have ...
|Republicans "not generating enough angry white guys"
Did anyone else miss this remarkable quote from Senator Lindsey Graham (Wingnut-SC), in a WaPo report on the Republican convention: The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not ...
|A crucial advantage of universal health care
I thought I'd heard all the arguments in favor of universal health care, but this one is new to me. And it's a powerful one. I found it reading about a study from Canada showing that people who ...
|New Study: tax cuts don't help the economy
Just a quick link to this story in The Atlantic . Bottom line: in the past 65 years, tax cuts haven't helped the economy as a whole. But—surprise!—they have increased the share of wealth that ...
|Chris Hayes on Republicans and "entitlement"
The always-brilliant Chris Hayes was a guest on Bill Maher's show last Friday, and made such a great point about the Republican economic argument that I have to pass it on. Hope I can do it justice.
|Evolution, Cooperation, and Climate
The phenomenon of cooperation has always been a problem for evolutionary theorists. At first glance, it would seem that "survival of the fittest" rules out any organism doing something nice for ...
|Actually cutting taxes on the actual job creators
Republicans claim that the way to fix the economy is to cut taxes on the rich "job creators." But this is like getting dessert before having to eat your vegetables. The rich can just pocket the big ...
|Fantasy: Mitt Comes Clean
As mahhvelous as Mitt thinks it would be if the issue of his taxes would just go away, it doesn't look like that's going to happen. The public is overwhelmingly on the side of more disclosure. At ...
|About that college degree of yours…
Did you know that Thomas Frank, best-known as author of What's The Matter With Kansas? , writes a monthly column in Harper's ? It's always great reading, but August's installment is a standout. ...
|Why have they gotten so blatant about it?
(Cross-posted here ) Has anybody else noticed that the filthy rich and their bought-and-paid-for politicians seem to have gotten a lot more blatant lately about just telling the rest of us "Screw ...
|Jonathan Haidt gets it
OK, do we need any more evidence that conservatives kick liberal ass when it comes to getting their message across to the public? Progressives have been scratching their heads about this for years, ...
|Now the Koch Brothers are after our kids
My son is a high school junior and has started getting a raft of letters from colleges hoping to enroll him. But I wasn't prepared for the expensively-produced packet that arrived a few days ago. ...
|Donald Trump: closet secessionist?
Interesting story in the May issue of Harper's , about the rebuilding of the Jefferson Davis "Presidential Library" in Biloxi, Mississippi, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Many ...
|Texas Sen. candidate hits wingnut trifecta
Folks, you've got to admire Republican Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, who has concocted the most excellent conspiracy theory you'll ever by frightened by. See what he did there? He managed to ...
|Santorum advocates government action to address wealth gap
Rick Santorum, ten years ago: [T]oday, growing disparity between the rich and poor is one of the critical social dilemmas we face in the 21st century. I believe that the growing wealth gap is one ...
|White House publishes visual aids for SOTU
I've been arguing for years (for example here ) that Obama should supplement his speeches with artfully done visual aids like charts and graphs. I mean, what's the downside? Great visuals can ...
|Could we have a little sanity about terrorism?
Among the many good things in Steven Pinker's new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined , is his dispassionate, fact-based analysis of terrorism around the world.
|Explained at last: the Culture Wars
Blue-staters like yours truly regularly scratch our heads and puzzle over what makes those red-staters so obtuse and, well, wrong in their beliefs and political predilections. And don't you ...
|War on the Middle Class: be careful what you wish for
I've just started reading Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker's new book The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined . The book has gotten a lot of publicity for ...
|Steven Pearlstein, wanker
Pearlstein's WaPo column from 12/14 is a doozy, and one of the worst ...
|Harvard innovation guru: Pursuit of profit is killing the U.S. economy
If you can name even one Harvard Business School professor, it's likely to be Clayton Christensen, one of the few superstars in this rather dry domain. Starting with his landmark book The ...
|Tom Friedman on enemies (and bipartisanship)
I was rummaging through some old notes and came upon this quote from the Great Wise Moustache himself, Tom Friedman: There is nothing more difficult to fight than an enemy whose only ...
|What do the plutocrats have planned for us?
Hardly a day goes by without a shocking new statistic about America's vast and growing wealth inequality. At some point, the pain level for average citizens will get high enough that they're going ...
|Proof that truth has a liberal bias
What a concept: a public policy professor and his class at Hamilton College actually went back and checked 472 predictions by members of the chattering class to see how they turned out. ...
|Making the case for regulation
I'm in the middle of Oxford economist Ha-Joon Chang's great new book, ...
|Bank of England admits "too big to fail" led to crisis
Andy Haldane, who carries the imposing title of Executive Director, Financial Stability of the Bank of England, said in ...
|Villagers: real estate collapse? What real estate collapse?
If you needed any more evidence that the Villagers in DC are utterly isolated from the concerns of the "real Americans" they claim to represent, look no further ...
|It's no fun being rich if other people aren't poor
Did you ever just ask yourself, what do those rich folks really, in their heart of hearts, want? Why do they spend so much money buying politicians to coddle them so outrageously? The obvious ...
|Tax cuts and evolutionary psychology
Among the miscalculations that the Obama administration has made about renewing the Bush tax cuts is one that isn't strictly political but could certainly affect the outcome. I'm speaking of their ...
|Don't buy their "reform" framing!
I've been puzzled for a long time why Democrats and progressives persist in letting the right wing control the conversation about basically everything. A lot of it is because we unthinkingly adopt ...
|US health care costs vs. other countries: it's worse than you think
The International Federation of Health Plans has published a report comparing costs for various health care items in ...
|Inoculation time for Obama and the Dems
OK, let's review: 1. Rush Limbaugh's greeting to our new President was "I hope you fail." 2. Republicans did their best to make the health care bill his "Waterloo." 3. They have vowed not to ...
|Private prison companies secretly pushed anti-immigration law
NPR is reporting that Arizona's "papers please" anti-immigration law was secretly conceived and promoted by the private ...
|Drew Westen nails Obama's problem…a year ago
If you didn't catch Drew Westen's analysis of what's wrong with Obama's governing style when it came out last December, ...
|Ross Douthat disses St. Reagan
How gratifying to learn that at least one prominent conservative (Ross Douthat) has been forced by actual historical facts to admit that Saint Reagan's two "big ideas" in economics—the Laffer ...
|Time for a Hail Mary?
OK, I know: All Politics is Local . However, these aren't normal times. Maybe, just maybe, there's a national message that the Democrats need to get out there. Basically, it's that voting ...
|Re: Krugman. "Starve the Beast" doesn't work
In today's column , Paul Krugman argues that [t]here has always been a sense in which voodoo ...
|Harvard Biz School Prof: competition increases health care costs
Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School is one of the most respected thinkers on business innovation, and his book, The Innovator's Dilemma , was a landmark in the field. His analysis ...
|Appeals court rules corporations have right to "personal privacy"
From TechDirt : Should companies have privacy rights? With recent legal rulings suggesting that companies have ...
|Who woulda thunk? People like fact-checking!
Greg Sargent in the WaPo: Has anyone else noticed that the Associated Press has ...
|Three Mile Island redux? Don't bet on it.
I know there is quiet rejoicing in certain circles, over the thought that the Deepwater Horizon disaster will be the "Three Mile Island of offshore drilling." That is, the signal event that turns ...
|Hilarious: Frank Luntz concern trolling for Dems
I didn't see this mentioned anywhere, but Frank "Machiavelli" Luntz is lending his awesome skills to ...
|Continuing the iPad argument…
OK, my title is maybe a little misleading. Perhaps it should say "Continuing the open vs. closed system argument…" or "Continuing the Apple vs. everybody else argument…". No matter. If ...
|Texas strikes another blow for Constitutional rights
Oh, great: AUSTIN – Republicans on the State Board of Education Thursday soundly rejected a Democratic-backed proposal to require that Texas students be taught the reasons behind ...
|Is "cognitive fluency" the new "framing"?
Very interesting article in today's Boston Globe, on the subject of "cognitive fluency." Simply stated, this ...
|Fallows: American Society, doing OK. Government? Not so much.
I've long admired James Fallows' reasoned reporting and the perspective he gains from living in Asia much of the time. His ...
|Let's call the Republicans' bluff on taxes
OK, no good Republican ever met a tax cut he didn't like. That's a given. So if Republicans always think that whatever the tax rate is right now, it's too high, then they must have some idea of ...
|David Brooks favors—gasp—government spending!
Dave's column today says that things aren't all that bad. This is still the greatest country in the world, by gum, and all it ...
|Time for the charts and graphs, Mr. President?
Anyone old enough to have followed the candidacy of Ross Perot probably remembers how the media mocked and smirked at him for using charts and graphs in his TV addresses to the voters. How could ...
|Andrew Bacevich on Afghanistan
" The War We Can't Win " from the August 15 issue of Commonweal , reprinted in November ...
|NYT: Hawaii has lessons for health care
Very interesting report in the NY Times about Hawaii's unique health care system, where employers are ...
|NY Times repeats the "center-right" lie
Sometimes the one-liners under the headlines that appear in the NYT's RSS news feed can be most instructive. I saw one today that prompted this letter to the Times' Public Editor: Dear Mr. Hoyt: ...
|Major Atlantic article on health reform
If this has already been diaried I'll delete, but it shouldn't be ignored: How American Health Care Killed My Father It's not the ...
|What if the auto industry had to "cap and trade"?
Among the proposed ways of fighting greenhouse gas emissions, the most popular seems to be a "cap and trade" system. It works like this: the government establishes a ceiling on the total amount of ...
|BillO's loose grip on reality finally breaks
Paul Krugman is blogging this, but in case you missed it, here's the video: Why Canadians have greater life expectancy A Canadian caller ...
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