Monday, May 27, 2013

Top Ten Reasons Marriage Equality in Minnesota Is Sweet

Meg Riley is a warm, delightful person with whom we have had the privilege to share in the past.  Here she gives a nice list of what marriage equality means to Minnesotans.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled

In a long piece, Paul Krugman summarizes the play-by-play of how the austerity arguments have all fallen apart.  It's sad that they provided political cover for those who seek to dismantle our social safety nets so they could hold on to their excessive wealth.  This era can't come to a close quickly enough if we want to save middle-class America.

Intestinal Bacterium Curbs Obesity

Wouldn't it be nice if just injesting a pill of bacteria could reduce gut inflammation and improve our health?

Physical Strength and Political motivations

In a study that makes some evolutionary sense, it's been shown that males with greater upper-body strength tend to hold political views that oppose the redistribution of wealth.  In other words, "I'm big and strong and I'm going to keep what's mine!"

Bottom Line

A comparison of the cost-overrun plagued Finnish nuclear plant and Germany's solar effort shows that even expensive nuclear power is cheaper than solar.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Abenomics is Working

Japan's economic reform may seem remote from everyday concerns in the United States, but it has important lessons for us. Japan fell into the trap of prolonged high unemployment and zero interest rates long before the United States did. It's in many ways fitting that they now seem to be leading the path forward to recovery. 

Top Ten Republican Myths on Libya

Mideast expert, Juan Cole does a nice take-down of the Republican talking points about Benghazi.  Not only are they wrong, their blathering about it is harming US security and diplomacy.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Moral Equivalent of Space Aliens

With the double shock of the tsunami and being overtaken by China, Japan has found it's space alien invasion equivalent. In response, it is pursuing aggressive financial stimulation.  For more details and insights, see the Huffington/Abe interview.  Once again, Krugman's vindication is about to be played out by Japan.

If only the U.S. economy could get a similar shock.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Another Hit against Abstinence-only Sex Education

Elizabeth Smart talks about how her abstinence-only sex education made her a more compliant victim.  Once she was raped, she believed that she was "damaged goods" and that no one in the outside world would ever want her.

Immigration and Taxpayers

Immigration reform would add millions of taxpayers to the rolls.  How can that be a bad thing?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Chutzpah Caucus

Paul Krugman debunks the conventional wisdom that stimulus programs are dangerous because they create government spending that doesn't end.  The real fiscal fire-bombers have been the Republicans who have historically expanded the deficit when times have been good.
The funny thing is that right now these same hard-line conservatives declare that we must not run deficits in times of economic crisis. Why? Because, they say, politicians won't do the right thing and pay down the debt in good times. And who are these irresponsible politicians they're talking about? Why, themselves.
To me, it sounds like a fiscal version of the classic definition of chutzpah - namely, killing your parents, then demanding sympathy because you're an orphan. Here we have conservatives telling us that we must tighten our belts despite mass unemployment, because otherwise future conservatives will keep running deficits once times improve

Friday, May 03, 2013

No FEC Oversight

What can you say about campaign finance reform when even the laws we have on the books now are not enforced.  Before we penalize undocumented immigrants for ignoring our laws, let's penalize our own home-grown scofflaws.

Not Enough Inflation

Reviewing for those who don't get it yet, Paul Krugman explains why a small bit of inflation is good for economic growth.  Inflation is so low now that we should be able to boost the economy by pushing it up and thereby stimulate enough growth to get unemployment down.

Robotic Insects Make First Controlled Flight

More than just making tiny, insect-sized robots fly, this is an example of how basic research on concepts with no clear economic justification can result in new techniques that turn out to have broad application.  On their way to making these things, researchers developed many new fabrication and control techniques.

Evolution of Complex Organs

The creationists lose again.  Some 3-D simulations show how more complex structures can arise from natural selection.

Reversing Antibiotic Resistance in Superbugs

Just when it begins to look like microbes can out-adapt the antibiotics, a protein complex found in breast milk is shown to deactivate the resistance they have to penicillin and methicillin.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Inflation Nation Not

FRED reports that inflation remains dead.  And that, ladies and germs, is the problem.  Without a bit of healthy inflation, our economic recovery will remain anemic.

Green Nuclear Power Technology

Professor Peter McIntyre has devised a technique for efficiently burning the transuranics and making good use of the usable uranium. He uses a special strong-focusing cyclotron to generate an intense proton beam to drive noncritical fission in a molten salt in which they are dissolved.  Perhaps something to consider.  It gets rid of the long-lived radioactive wastes for good.  It doesn't just bury them

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Ed DeMarco Out...Finally

Mel Watt will replace Ed DeMarco.  DeMarco has single-handedly held back the economic recovery with his housing policies.  He should have gone years ago.