Paul Krugman wrote Health Reform Realities for the New York Times on Monday. It wanders into the thicket which has developed between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Secretary Clinton, who knows about the challenges of developing and implementing a national health care policy, advocates for incremental changes to the Affordable Care Act. Senator Sanders has, of late, been pushing for universal health care. Paul Krugman, wandering a bit from his usual perch as really smart economist, focuses on: (a) the power of incumbency which health insurers and an employer-based system enjoy; (b) the tax increases associated with a national health care system, which would be offset—and maybe more—by reduced health care costs; and (c) the disruption factor. What Mr. Krugman also addresses, importantly, is the many other issues—climate change, the cost of college, and worker bargaining power, among many others he could have mentioned—which will get lost in another health care battle. Senator Sanders is a breath of fresh air, but the Curator’s old friend Griff says “go slow to go fast,” and he’s right. Go Hillary!
There’s shit in Flint, big time. To review the bidding, quickly, Governor Rick Snyder appointed an emergency manager to run Flint, a struggling Michigan city. The city was switched to a new water source which, lo and behold, was full of lead. The details are here, in Flint Gets Emergency Declaration, Snyder Gets Defensive, by Steve Benen for MSNBC. (Governor Snyder admitted on Monday that comparisons with President George W. Bush and Katrina are apt. Ron Fournier wrote Snyder Concedes Flint is His “Katrina,” a Failure of Leadership for the National Journal.
I look forward to reading Seeds of Peace by David Remnick in the New Yorker’s January 25 issue. Mr. Remnick is the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and a terrific writer, so I expect I will very much enjoy the article. My hopelessness about Israel hit me when my daughter talked about a Birthright trip in the next year or two, and I told her my desire to visit Israel was hovering just over zero. (A conversation with my girlfriend Sunday night had me more jazzed about Egypt and Jordan.)
From the South Tucson Philosophers Guild and E.F. I heard about When Philosophy Lost Its Way, a piece which was written by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle for the New York Times on January 11. Interesting, and worthy of your time if you revel in imperfectness.
From a year ago in Lucky Peach—thanks for the catch, J.W.K.—here’s Nate Shockey’s A Guide to the Regional Ramen of Japan. Wakayama Ramen caught my eye:
Staying with Lucky Peach—it’s a terrific magazine / website source, and one I don’t think about often enough—here’s The Official Costco Food Court Power Ratings. Really bad stuff!