The Conversation

General: General news and information.

This is not "Life of Pi"

Mar 7, 2013 7:45 AM PT

Dianna Hanson, a 24 year old intern was killed by her "favorite lion" at the Cat Haven sanctuary in California. As reported, she entered the 4 year old lion named Cous Cous's cage alone and with one other person in the park. Her Facebook page boasted more pictures of lions and tigers than it did of her friends.

"KMPH reports deputies shot and killed the lion, a 4-year-old named Cous Cous that has been raised at Cat Haven since it was 8 months old, in order to provide medical attention to Hansen."

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To Expand or Not to Expand

Mar 6, 2013 4:03 PM PT

In response to Is Obamacare Really All That Bad?:

State governors and legislatures are facing a tough decision on whether to participate in Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.  There's a good piece by Chuck Blahous, public trustee for Social Security and Medicare over at Economics21.org:

The decision facing individual states is complex. Setting aside the larger question of whether the ACA’s ambitious coverage expansion is good national policy, several competing factors now bear upon the states’ incentives. These include individual state budget circumstances, the 2012 Supreme Court decision, federal Medicaid financing support levels, the federal government’s own fiscal problems, and interactions between Medicaid and the ACA’s new health exchanges, among many others. Some press coverage has portrayed the current dynamic as a divide between pragmatic governors (choosing to expand) and ideologues (choosing not to). I strongly disagree with that characterization. There are powerful incentives operating against expansion as there are incentives in favor of it; the diversity of state decisions is to be expected even assuming that all governors behave wholly pragmatically.

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Is Obamacare Really All That Bad?

Mar 6, 2013 2:38 PM PT

With more and more Republican Governor's, like Florida's Rick Scott, coming out and supporting the Medicaid expansion within Obamacare, can the healthcare plan really be all that bad? Former Florida Governor  when asked if he would expand Medicaid, said "I don't know." I don't know? Chances are that Bush would have supported the expansion. 

But all is not lost, at least in Florida, because now it is up to the Republican-led Legislature to pen a bill that Scott could sign. That bill will most certainly make or end political careers. Republicans Legislators will need to tread lightly.

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Broken Window nirvana

Mar 5, 2013 9:01 AM PT

In response to Krugman Promotes Perfect Storm Stupidity :

Basically, I think what we need is for the unsightly half of the world to collapse, so the other half can make a fortune in "stimulus" by rebuilding it.  Also, it would be nice if old people died sooner to keep entitlement programs from going bankrupt.  To a man with a Keynesian sledgehammer, all the world looks like a gigantic episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

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Krugman Promotes Perfect Storm Stupidity

Mar 5, 2013 8:51 AM PT

I think you're onto something big here, John. I can recall a certain Liberal, Christie Hefner, who pinned Chicago's murder rate on climate change. That level of stupid seems to spew down from Krugman, the King of Illogic. 

In keeping with Krugmanism, Disasters-Lead-To-Economic-Growthism and Cockeyed Economics, I propose that city officials go out and urge their citizens to take to the streets, break windows and still stereos out of the cars that will be stuck in the snow. I can see the economic stimulus now, baby!!! 

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Big Snow: weather menace or 'stimulus' opportunity?

Mar 5, 2013 8:24 AM PT

In response to WIll the Winter Snow Storm be Used for Political Point Scoring? :

There's a third possibility, Jerome!  Have you checked with Paul Krugman to see if he's celebrating the snowstorm as a wonderful opportunity for government stimulus spending?   Just look how much pork they were able to stuff into the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.  Frozen pork tastes as good as tropical storm pork, although it lacks those delightful Caribbean spices.

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Moral Hazard in Detroit's Housing Crisis

Feb 21, 2013 12:14 PM PT

A new study, worth reading, by Detroit News, finds that almost half the owners of the city's 305,000 properties skipped out on paying their share of property taxes. "The News reviewed more than 200,000 pages of tax documents and found that 47 percent of the city's taxable parcels are delinquent on their 2011 bills. Some $246.5 million in taxes and fees went uncollected[...]" 

That's nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in lost revenue to the state. The moral hazard here is articulated by Fred Philips, who owes over $2,600 in unpaid taxes on his home. "Why pay the taxes?," Philips asked. "Why should I send them taxes when they aren't supplying services? It is sickening. … Every time I see the tax bill come, I think about the times we called and nobody came."

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