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Matthew Lewis
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I'd imagine some time while writing Feast for Crows or Dance with Dragons, GRRM got fed up with his plot issues and just angrily typed "EVERYONE DIES THE END." He'd have to be inhuman not to, really.
The Twin Cities have 19 Fortune 500 companies including some giants like Target, Cargill, and 3M. In addition, there's a huge medical device and health insurance sector. So yeah, we definitely punch above our weight.
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2012 on Portland's economy (we're #78!) at The Yin Blog
Yeah, I know I have told you this before, but I always feel like I should point out that the vast majority of independents aren't actually swing voters. They vote just like partisan Rs or Ds. Also, more fun political science research: you are very much an outlier. True swing voters tend to be among the least informed and engaged voters in the electorate!
Toggle Commented Mar 14, 2012 on Gallup polled me yesterday! at The Yin Blog
Regarding The River, this article popped up in my RSS feed a few hours before this post. You might find it interesting. Or not. either way, probably worth passing along.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2012 on TV round-up at The Yin Blog
Well on the drug war and to an extent on foreign policy, Ron Paul is probably closer to my position than any other prominent pol. So that makes sense. I just wish he'd stop going on about the evils of a fiat currency.
One of my favorite books about the Iranian Revolution is Ken Follett's "On Wings of Eagles" about Ross Perot's company's efforts to get employees out of Tehran as it all went down. It's supposed to be pretty much as-it-happened, not a novel. Really good read.
Speaking of exonerating evidence, it's worth pointing out that at least one SCOTUS Justice doesn't believe that it is the court's place to forbid the execution of a person who has been proven innocent after their trial has concluded: Needless to say, my view is different, and this adds to the reasons I oppose the death penalty in all cases.
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2011 on It's not every day . . . at The Yin Blog
I think you're doing a good job of why it's important to separate thoughts on the principle of capital punishment from the emotional satisfaction of a very bad person being executed. I didn't shed any tears with Timothy McVeigh got the needle, but I still believe the death penalty is wrong. And if you're looking for a more sympathetic case in the news, look no further than Troy Davis, who was executed last night after being convicted almost entirely based on eyewitness testimonies (many of which were later recanted). I can't get past the idea that the state could take the life of an innocent person. That alone is enough to make me oppose the death penalty.
Sounds like a decent argument for running outside. It will be harder to pace yourself but it won't be soul-crushingly boring. There are several sites that will help you map out certain distances in your neighborhood.
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2011 on 10 miles in 86 minutes today! at The Yin Blog
West Wing is a show that started strong and got pretty bad. Basically as soon as Sorkin left, the writing got really flat. It picked up a bit at the end but was never really as entertaining as it was in the first three or four seasons. (Full disclosure, I'm enough of a Sorkin fan to own the DVD box set of Sports Night.) I'm actually watching DS9 now, on recommendation of some KoL folks. The first season is pretty terrible, the actors are still getting used to their characters, and the plots are unoriginal or just weird. But the first season ends on a very good note with a couple solid episodes (Duet and In the Hands of the Prophets). I'm slogging through a lot of bad ones on the promise that it really picks up in later seasons, I hope I'm not disappointed. Scrubs also started strong and went downhill, with only one good season after about Season 4.
Trojan Horse Virus Removal: I think you vastly overestimate the easiness of estimating calorie count. There are salads that have 1000 calories and unhealthy sounding sandwiches with 300. This is the essence of personal responsibility; giving people the information they need to make an informed choice. Tung: I don't know how many calories the meals I make at home have! :)
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2011 on Overselling obesity drugs? at The Yin Blog
Dude, come to Minnesota. We had a couple 100+ degree heat index days, and it's been consistently in the 80s and 90s. I know you miss the upper Midwest.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2011 on What happened to summer? at The Yin Blog
Yeah, the current threshold is probably too high, but it would be unrealistic to expect standalone restaurants (or like <5 locations places) to have nutritional info. Particularly as they are more likely to have menus that change often. Small business, overly burdensome regulation, etc. I can outsource this argument to National Review. :)
Toggle Commented Jun 28, 2011 on Overselling obesity drugs? at The Yin Blog
I would think the most important thing is consistency. It doesn't matter much what your absolute weight is, what you're looking for is the change in weight. So just make sure you're weighing yourself at the same time every day.
Several things: -I agree, the questions didn't allow for much nuance. Unsurprisingly, I was "solid liberal." But most liberals I know get annoyed with me on a regular basis. -You voted against Ron Wyden? Dude is one of the smartest and probably the best, most policy-oriented guy in the Senate! I know nothing about your colleague, but I have a ton of respect for Wyden, I think we need more senators like him, not less. I don't agree with him on everything, but he really knows his stuff. He also fights the good fight on copyright issues, which endears him to me. -If you're worried about fiscal issues, I don't think Trump would necessarily help, considering how many times he's been through bankruptcy. I get what you're saying about the insanity of Palin, Bachmann, etc. But I don't think Trump is really any better. -I got a kick out of the demographic picture it painted of libertarians. Confirmed most of my stereotypes/suspicions/assumptions/whatevers.
"No meaningful addressing" is a bit strong. Feel free to dismiss this as just lefty propaganda, but Ezra Klein is a smart guy, and it's worth reading what he has to say about cost control in the ACA here:
BMI is, at best, an incredibly crude look at whether our not you're at a healthy weight. It doesn't take into account things like body composition, which can make "healthy weight" vary by quite a lot. Someone who has very low body fat but is heavily muscled will register as overweight or obese, which clearly isn't accurate. I guess what I'm saying is that BMI isn't something to pay attention to. Personally, all I need is a mirror to tell me when I'm in shape or not.
The real culprit here is twofold, and while it's not necessarily addressed by Obamacare, blaming Obamacare for it is rather silly: 1) The way doctors are paid incentivizes them to see as many patients (and perform as many procedures and prescribe as many drugs) as possible. Obamacare does take a whack at this issue by bundling Medicare payments. More will have to be done, but this is a pathology of the current medical care market in the US, not of Obamacare. 2) Because pay is skewed toward performing procedures and surgeries, rather than just "being a doctor", when new doctors graduate Med School with mountains of debt, they naturally gravitate towards fields that pay better. That is to say, they become specialists. There has been a shortage of general practitioners in this country for a while, but again, this is a problem with the perverse incentives at work, not Obamacare. Will that shortage become more acute? Almost assuredly. More people will have insurance in the coming years, so more people will want to see GPs. We do need to figure out a way to make being a GP more enticing. But again, this is a problem with the bad incentives in the way doctors are paid. Zooming out a bit, the reason the long-term fiscal outlook is so poor is because PROVIDER COSTS keep skyrocketing. It has very little to do with who is insured. We can all argue until we're blue in the face about why this is happening, but the point is that eventually we need to stop paying doctors more and more and buying more and more expensive machines and medicines. Otherwise we're all screwed, no matter who is insuring (or not insuring) us.
Most liberals (that I read, at least) seem pretty resigned to this coming down mostly to Anthony Kennedy. I think the idea that the court will definitely uphold the individual mandate seriously misreads the Roberts court. However, I do sympathize with liberals who think it SHOULD pass muster easily. I can easily see the argument for killing it under a strict reading of the commerce clause. But I have a hard time getting that to jive with Wickard and Raich, along with the more general precedent of letting congress do whatever the hell it feels like under the commerce clause.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2011 on On that Larry Tribe column . . . . at The Yin Blog
I don't really disagree with anything here, except that I think you're giving Faisal Shahzad a bit too much credit. From what I remember, his bomb didn't go off properly because it was hilariously badly designed. A proper bomb going off in Times Square would have been bad, to be sure. But the quality of Shahzad's bomb was so bad that it had very little chance of doing much damage. Perhaps it's because I don't live in New York, but I try to always err on the side of underestimating terrorists, if only because I believe that nearly everyone overestimates them.
In part because I am a massive fanboy of the franchise, o want to put in a plug for the two Sarah Connors, Lena Headey and Linda Hamilton. In Terminator 2, Linda Hamilton is seriously badass. And Lena Headey does a great job in the Fox series.
Toggle Commented Jan 28, 2011 on Best action actresses at The Yin Blog
I don't know the specifics of whether or not this is a new requirement from the ACA, but I would be wary in general of taking providers'/insurers' words for such things. There have already been plenty of instances of businesses blaming the ACA for things they would have done anyway or were unrelated. Having a massive bill nobody understands taking effect gives everyone a convenient scapegoat for basically anything health-related.
I fail to see how outlawing the growing of marijuana in my backyard is less of an affront to my freedom under the commerce clause than the individual mandate. I would argue that the mandate is far more relevant to interstate commerce than the current prohibition on the growth and consumption of cannabis (among many other laws). As a result, I see the "you can't be serious that this is constitutional" conservative crowd as rather silly. The same people want to limit my ability to grow and ingest a weed and my gay friend from getting married, but being fined if they don't buy insurance is beyond the pale? I don't buy it. More when its not 2am and I'm not a bit drunk.
Toggle Commented Dec 19, 2010 on "You cannot be serious!" at The Yin Blog
My guess is that the economic damage done by our inevitable overreactions to attempted terrorist attacks is far higher than the damage done by leaks of cables that have, so far, said little that wasn't already know or assumed by the foreign policy community. How much deadweight loss is caused by the endless and needless delays at our airports?
Just once, I wish a conservative/libertarian gleefully touting this ruling would mention that the individual mandate has already been upheld twice by federal judges. And that the rulings have broken along predictable partisan lines. Mayhaps this ruling (as well as the others) has more to do with a partisan judiciary than with constitutional merits? And anyway, can everyone claiming that a strict reading of the commerce clause rules out an individual mandate please explain to me why the commerce clause has been a blank check for so long? I'm fairly certain a reading that outlaws the mandate would also invalidate some obscene amount of legislation over the last century. Slippery slopes work both ways (I'm looking at you, McArdle).
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2010 on "You cannot be serious!" at The Yin Blog