This week's LFF is mostly about the health-care debate, and mostly an edition of "What Digby and everyone else on Hullaballoo said."
For starters, let's get that "Death Panel" crap out of the way. Here's Ezra Klein's interview with a Republican senator which should lay that to rest. Furthermore, anyone who thinks there aren't "death panels" in the existing system is fooling themselves.
I am mostly bewildered by the town-hall protestors. None of them seem to be defending health care as it exists, they're just angry about things in general and this is a convenient outlet. Steve Benen lays out the types of people who are protesting health care reform, though I think he misses one: those who don't want their tax dollars to help other people. I can at least understand that argument, but of course I think it's selfish and short-sighted. If we can build a system that takes care of the sick regardless of their ability to pay, that is a Good Thing. And it may be easy to say "I have great health insurance--why don't those losers just get jobs?", but there's enough tales of recission and other health insurance disasters going around that one should think "There but for the grace of God go I."
Jon Stewart puts the town-hall protestors in perspective.
As long as I'm being a raging liberal, I'll link to Digby's guest post on Greenwald's blog about tasers. Again, a subject easy to chortle about and dismiss, as long as it's not you or a loved one getting electrocuted.
This is all too depressing, so I will follow up with a post about baseball shortly.
We about tripled the size of our garden this year, and it's been a mixed bag. Some things have gone very well, others not so much. Right now I'm struggling with something called "powdery mildew" that's all over my zucchini plants, but on the other hand I have more serrano peppers than I know what to do with.
Last weekend I was poking around in the garden, and found one of these little green caterpillars. It had little white thingies all over its back that appeared to be eggs of some sort. "This can't be good," I said, and I picked it off. Mrs. Fool asked me to put it in one of the kids' bug houses so they could look at it.
Googling "tomato plant caterpillar" was easy enough: that mofo is a tomato hornworm, and they have been eating the living daylights out of my plants. I have only found two more to date (sans eggs), and I think the carnage has stopped. But the damage has been done.
But those little white things on its back? Those are WASP EGGS. There is a breed of wasp that lays its eggs on the caterpillar's back, and when they hatch they have a convenient food source. The caterpillar is alive for all this, mind you. One of the gardening sites I visited said "If you find a hornworm with the wasp eggs, don't kill it! Keep it in a jar with a wide-gauge wire screen, and as the wasps emerge they'll go back to your garden and attack any remaining hornworms." And we had more or less done just that.
So I can truthfully say, I AM INTENTIONALLY RAISING WASPS INSIDE MY HOUSE. The kids are less than thrilled about this.
Hey, remember LFF? Been a while. I've been bookmarking things as always, but for some reason I've been busy doing other things on Friday and haven't posted. As with all things on the Internet that aren't as good as they used to be, I blame Facebook.
So. Lately I am completely sick of the "taxes are BAD!" knee-jerk mentality. As I've stated before, if you don't like taxes, fine; tell us what government programs you'd cut in order to reduce taxes. I'm also discouraged at the disinformation and outright lying that's gone into the debate. Same goes for the health care debate; a lot of folks just want to shout "Government health care program would be BAD!" without providing any specifics whatsoever.
You may have heard about the Henry Louis Gates incident. Perhaps the thing to think about there wasn't race-related, but about the growing abuse of police power and the expectation that their authori-tai be respected unquestionably at all times.
Foodstuffs: Important point on the subsidization of conventional modern farming, something important to note when someone tries to tell you organic or other Salatin-esque methods aren't economically feasible. Speaking of Salatin, check out this satellite view of important food policy locations.
Have you ever lost a bag on a flight? You should check here, then.
Obligatory Posnanski link: on Raul Ibaņez and the difficulty of attaining one's athletic dreams.
This John Hughes item has been going around. I sure hope it's for real (no real reason to believe it isn't beyond general Internet skepticism).
Help needed! The proprietor of Nats Nation, one of the few Nats blogs I still read, has taken to calling Nats pitcher Tyler Clippard "Goggles," which seems obvious enough, as he wears big wacky sports glasses on the mound. However, it's far too obvious that Tyler should be known as "Clippard the Big Red Dog."
As such, Nats Nation has put it up to a vote. Get thee over there and vote on the upper right sidebar.