The New York Times tentatively reports some good news for dog owners:
The nation’s largest cardiovascular health organization has a new message for Americans: Owning a dog may protect you from heart disease.
The unusual message was contained in a scientific statement published on Thursday by the American Heart Association, which convened a panel of experts to review years of data on the cardiovascular benefits of owning a pet. The group concluded that owning a dog, in particular, was “probably associated” with a reduced risk of heart disease.
Witness the Obama administration throwing our nation's intelligence community under the bus, so to say. From ABC's Jonathan Karl:
When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.
ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.
At The American Conservative, Jim Antle writes Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, the first southern black woman elected to Congress. As he recalls, she was a vocal advocate for more moderate levels of immigration:
Since then, the country has been plagued by the notion that racism is the only possible motivation for reducing immigration or enforcing immigration laws. There were once courageous liberals like Jordan and to a lesser extent Theodore Hesburgh to whom it was impossible to ascribe such motives who were willing to argue otherwise.
Jordan observed that “it is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest,” which includes the interests of citizens of every race, and naturalized citizens as well as natives and the “nativists” supposedly advocating on their behalf. The shift from Jordan to Joe Arpaio as the public face of immigration enforcement made a more nuanced restrictionist case even more difficult to make. ...
But nothing could challenge the conventional wisdom more than the reminding Americans that one could march against Jim Crow and advocate more moderate levels of immigration. A figure who could compellingly make that case is sadly missing from our national politics.
Read John Avlon on the useful idea for a compromise that could defuse some of the tension involved with the debt ceiling.
[T]he new responsible Republican proposal, which passed the House Thursday by a vote of 221-207, could be the best way to defuse the debt ceiling from its most destructive impact.
The “Full Faith and Credit Act”, proposed by Republican representative Tom McClintock and backed by powerful House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp would empower the U.S. Treasury to pay down all interest payments on the national debt in the event of a confrontation over raising the debt ceiling. In other words, the link between debt ceiling and the risk of default would be removed. The bill would also ensure that the Social Security Administration could access its own trust fund to pay social security benefits and disability payments on time by allowing the treasury to issue debt specifically tied to these benefits.
I think Adam Serwer is being uncharitable in his attack here on Sen. Mike Lee's amendment to exempt domestic service from the E-Verify requirements:
It's apparently really hard to find good (cheap) help these days, so Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has a modest proposal: Let's allow unauthorized immigrants to work—but only if they're doing low-paid domestic service jobs. Lee's amendment would exempt "services performed by cooks, waiters, butlers, housekeepers, governessess, maids, valets, baby sitters, janitors, laundresses, furnacemen, care-takers, handymen, gardeners, footmen, grooms, and chauffeurs of automobiles for family use" from "prohibitions on unlawful employment of unauthorized aliens." Next: An amendment that would allow employers to feed said domestic workers stale cake.
Brian Phillips, a spokesman for Sen. Lee, told me that Serwer's report is "totally false" and that the change would "not allow anyone to employ illegal labor for any reason".
The amendment's purpose? "To exclude certain employment of domestic service from the prohibitions on unlawful employment of unauthorized aliens."
Matt Lewis writes for the Week magazine that there is indeed a purpose for government:
When it comes to government, a lot of conservatives are probably too obsessed with size. Grover Norquist famously wants to shrink government to such a small size that you can drown it in a bathtub.
But I'm not sure most Americans want that. And trying to force it via draconian cuts doesn't work, especially if they don't address the specific problem, such as the need for entitlement reform. "You can't make a fat man skinny by tightening his belt," observed John Maynard Keynes.
Whether you're a conservative who cares about preserving law and order, or a free marketer who appreciates the importance the rule of law plays in providing confidence and incentives to entrepreneurs, you're a fan of government. Stop pretending otherwise.
This John Stanton (Washington Editor for BuzzFeed) recollection about Raymond, a homeless heroin addict, is a fascinating tale of urban poverty, drug addiction, and community in even the roughest conditions.
The Heritage Foundation this week released a study estimating that the Senate immigration bill will cost taxpayers $6 trillion over the next 50 years, the expected life cycle of the persons legalized by the path to citizenship.
The study has touched off a tremendous controversy - and what's most notable about the onslaught is how brazenly it ignores the study's contents.
John Moore/Getty Images
The New York Times today, for example, has a big story impeaching the credibility of one of the study's co-authors, Jason Richwine.
National Review's Reihan Salam considers a scary hypothetical: how will the public respond to a 2016 GOP presidential candidate if nearly a decade of "Doom Is Coming" fiscal warnings turn out to be less than accurate?
[I]magine 2016 in the unlikely but not completely impossible event that a budget surplus does materialize. Republican elevation of the deficit issue will allow the Obama administration and its Democratic allies to declare “mission accomplished,” all without taking the blame for entitlement reform. The House-passed budget that promised a balanced budget within the ten-year budget window by making unrealistically deep cuts in Medicaid and domestic discretionary spending will continue to be hung around the necks of congressional Republicans.
One hopes that one or several of the GOP presidential candidates will devise a more compelling economic message and reform agenda. But this will have to be done in a near-vacuum, as conservative lawmakers have been emphasizing deficit reduction above almost everything else. This is why it is extremely, extremely important that the GOP find 2014 candidates who are committed to advancing the economic interests of middle-income households, and who can address this subject in a compelling, plausible way.
Typically good work from Reihan, and I'd suggest something more. The GOP should be structuring its agenda to meet the needs of middle-income households no matter what the fiscal outlook looks like over the next three years.
Just a publicity stunt, but this new bra in honor of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is quite something:
The latest "Branomics Bra" follows earlier solar-powered, recycled and "husband-hunting" models but, like its predecessors, will not go on sale. The "Branomics Bra" is a playful take on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "three-arrow" economic revival plan that combines monetary strategy aiming to reach 2 percent inflation in two years and pro-growth reforms. It features a rising trendline and arrows as motifs and promises a 2 percent increase in volume with extra padding.
Bruce Bartlett asks, counter Niall Ferguson: Did being gay make John Maynard Keynes a better economist?
Although Keynes’s theory was most appropriate to the Great Depression, his followers did indeed believe in its general applicability and the Keynesian medicine was overapplied and misapplied during much of the postwar era, leading to stagflation in the 1970s. Conservatives ... were right about that.
But in their rejection of Keynesian economics at a time when it needed to be rejected, conservatives threw the baby out with the bathwater and are now preventing its adoption when it is badly needed.
The criticism that Professor Ferguson implicitly leveled at Keynes of being excessively short-term oriented, therefore, has a grain of truth in it. But the much greater truth is that we are now holding the economy hostage to policies that are proper for the long-term – like stabilizing the debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio – at a time when we face special circumstances that make such policies perverse.