Best of the Week(s): August 8-21, 2010

My reading hasn’t been comprehensive these past couple weeks, but considering what it takes to pack up one’s possessions and move across the country, this is a very high-quality list. — AWO

10. Fun with Mortality Tables — Paul Krugman, For Cost Control, Vouchers and Medicare Don’t Mix — Austin Frakt, and Rep. Ryan’s Reverse-Robin-Hood Budget Plan — Paul N. Van de Water
9. Tax Reform for the Rich and Ultra-Rich — James Surowiecki and High-Income People Would Benefit Significantly from Extension of “Middle-Class” Tax Cuts — Chuck Marr & Gillian Brunet
8. Democratic Values, Islam, and the Judeo-Christian Fallacy — Stuart Whatley
7. Mitt Romney’s Wet-Noodle Economics — Robert B. Reich
6. Marriage and the Role of the State — Glenn Greenwald
5. U.S. Middle East Peace Talks: Wrong Approach to Region? — Tony Karon
4. Is Congress Subsidizing Slackers? — Ruth Marcus
3. The Digital Surveillance State: Vast, Secret, and Dangerous — Glenn Greenwald
2. The Myth of the Social Security System’s Financial Shortfall — Michael Hiltzik
1. News at 11: How Climate Change Affects You — Amy Goodman and Media Wakes Up to Hell and High Water: Moscow’s 1000-Year Heat Wave and “Pakistan’s Katrina” — Joseph Romm
BONUS: The Two Churchills — Johann Hari

Best of the Week: August 1-7, 2010

10. Would Small Business Be Hurt by Obama’s Tax Plan? — Edmund L. Andrews and What’s Holding Small Business Back? — National Federation of Independent Business
9. Massachusetts Mandates at Work — Austin Frakt
8. Behind the Columbia/Venezuela Tension — Conn Hallinan
7. Like New Deal, Stimulus Should Create Jobs Directly — Robert J. Shiller and The Real Reason Banks Aren’t Lending — Marshall Auerback
6. Extreme Function: Why Our Brains Respond So Intensely to Exaggerated Characteristics — Vilayanur S. Ramachandran & Diane Rogers-Ramachandran
5. Whose Hands? Whose Blood? Killing Civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq — Tom Engelhardt and 2010 Arabic Public Opinion Poll — Shibley Telhami
4. Unpacking Claims on the Auto Bailout — e21
3. Enrichment Still the Key to Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran — Flynt Leverett & Hillary Mann Leverett
2. Book Notes: Ramos’ “A Country for All” — Bryce Covert and Fact-Checking the Claims About “Anchor Babies” and Whether Illegal Immigrants “Drop and Leave” — PolitiFact
1. Filibusters and Arcane Obstructions in the Senate — George Packer
BONUS: Topic of Cancer — Christopher Hitchens

Best of the Week(s): May 9 – June 5, 2010

Yes, you read that title correctly. Enough is enough. Let’s get up-to-date on this “What to Read” series. Sadly, we must ignore a lot of good articles, but here is a decent selection, heavily biased toward this past week. It’s good to be back on track! — AWO

10. The Black Art of “Master Illusions” — John Pilger
9. Arctic Sea Ice Extent and Volume at Record Lows for the Date — Nick Sundt, Early and Severe Wildlife Situation Develops in Alaska as Fuel Conditions Reach “Historical Maximum Levels” in Some Areas — Nick Sundt, and Asia Records Its Hottest Temperature in History; Category 4 Phet Threatens Oman — Jeff Masters
8. The Decline of Employer-Sponsored Coverage Under Health Reform: Good, Bad, or Ugly? — Austin Frakt and Direct-to-Consumer Advertising in Pharmaceutical Markets: Effects on Demand and Prices — Dhaval Dave
7. CIA Drones Claim “License to Kill” with Impunity: UN Expert — Agence France Presse, Obama’s Expanding Covert Wars — Jeremy Scahilland CIA Drone Operators Oppose Strikes as Helping al-Qaeda — Gareth Porter
6. War Over Bank Capital Heating Up — Damian Paletta and How the Private Sector Outsmarts Regulators — Michael Hirsh
5. Here We Go Again: A Closer Look at the Kerry-Lieberman Cap-and-Trade Proposal — Robert N. Stavins
4. Russia-US-Iran: Nuclear Juggling — Eric Walberg and New Power Brokers in the Middle East — Saif Shahin
3. Leonhardt on Risk: BP, the Housing Bubble and Budget — Dean Baker and Blue Dogs Took Up the Fight for Doctors’ Pay as Poor Lose Health Coverage — Steven Pearlstein
2. What Could They Have Been Thinking?: Initial Thoughts on the Gaza Flotilla — Stephen M. Walt
1. How to Save the News — James Fallows
BONUS: Shorting Reform — Michael Lewis

Best of the Week: March 28 – April 3, 2010

We will return to the “Top 10” format because the feedback didn’t suggest much value-add from the “Top 15”. If you wish us to return to the “Top 15” at any time in the future, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the site or email us. — AWO

10. Why Celibacy Should Be Abolished — Hans Küng
9. EIA: New Offshore Drilling Will Lower Gas Prices in 2030 a Few Pennies a Gallon — Joseph RommRisk Is Clear in Drilling; Payoff Isn’t — John M. Broder & Clifford Krauss, Grounded Ship: 3km Oil Spill on Great Barrier Reef — Marissa Calligeros, and What the Frack? — David Biello
8. Here We WMD Again — Scott Ritter, The United States, Iran, and the Middle East’s New “Cold War” — Flynt Leverett & Hillary Mann Leverett, and “Reporting” on Iran Should Seem Familiar — Glenn Greenwald
7. Is the Health Care Law Unconstitutional? — Jack M. Balkin, Randy Barnett, Abbe R. Gluck, David B. Rivkin, Lee A. Casey, & James F. Blumstein, Individual Mandate Penalties Are Adequate — Austin Frakt, Is “ObamaCare” Destroying Wealth? — Uwe E. Reinhardt, and Economy Will Get a Boost from Health Care Overhaul — Mitchell Schnurman
6. The Income Rollercoaster — Karen Dynan and High Income Disparity Leads to Low Savings Rates — Yves Smith
5. What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? — Robert A. Pape, Lindsey O’Rourke, & Jenna McDermitLady Gaga vs. the Occupation — Thomas Hegghammer, and Hating Us For Our Degeneracy — Daniel Larison
4. Study: Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalized — Gareth Porter, Iraqi Children’s Growth Stunted by War, Says Study — BBC NewsPacified Populations — Kathy Kelly, Night Raids Belie McChrystal’s New Image — Gareth Porter, and Gen. McChrystal: We’ve Shot “an Amazing Number of People” Who Were Not Threats — Justin Elliott
3. 10 Questions for Finance Reformers — Barry Ritholtz and The Lone Star Secret — Alyssa Katz
2. Fiscal Policies in “Normal” and “Abnormal” Recessions — Paul De Grauwe
1. How to Combat Modern Slavery — Kevin Bales
BONUS: Power Tools — Steven Strogatz

Why It Is a Rising and Not a Setting Sun

“But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting sun.” — Benjamin Franklin

It is a good morning. We haven’t had enough of those in this country in the past decade.

hat tip: Kevin Drum
hat tip: Kevin Drum

Last night, Congress approved the health care bill.

University of Rome Tor Vergata economist Robert Waldmann cried tears of joy. George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux wanted to vomit.

Okay, not everybody is happy this morning. For my less-enthused readers, I thought I’d post a special edition in our “What to Read” series. Herewith, I reproduce the best articles, columns, essays, and posts that I’ve read on the health care debate since I started this blog. But first, I want to second Steve Coll’s motion to celebrate one journalist in particular:

If you, like me, are uplifted by the historical potential of Sunday’s vote, then the best way to sit still inside what has happened is to scroll back through Ezra Klein’s blog. If you haven’t been reading Klein throughout the health care reform debate, you’ve missed one of the inspiring examples of how new forms of journalism in the hands of a new generation of journalists (who don’t always admire, but don’t always disrespect, the example of the generation before them) can produce vital new work. Klein is an example of a policy wonk in possession of both passionate opinion and scientific method who put himself into position to cover the dull-but-important story of a lifetime.

Coll has inspired me to create a new tradition for this blog: a “Journalist of the Year” award. With a little backdating, we are proud to honor Ezra Klein with the 2009 Trading 8s “Journalist of the Year” Award.

And now, everything you need to know about the health care bill, including many fine posts by our first annual Journalist of the Year:   Continue reading “Why It Is a Rising and Not a Setting Sun”