CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for June 2, 2011

All right, let me get up out.

• The reason that growth in education spending slowed is simply that education is a large part of state budgets, and states have had to cut back due to the recession, and the federal government has not picked up the slack of late.

• Austin Frakt on all payer rate setting. The premise of the Affordable Care Act is that reducing cost growth in Medicare will spread to all health care spending, but there’s no mechanism for that to happen. All payer rate setting would simply expand the cost-saving to the private sector through guidelines that say all doctors who take Medicare payments or all insurance plans which take federal tax subsidies (and that’s all of them) will have to charge a Medicare level of prices. Whether the cost-saving measures in Medicare will actually work is open to debate, but there needs to be a way to ensure those savings across the board to achieve the actual stated goals of cost control.

• Republicans always say that Medicare is about to go bankrupt. Hasn’t been true in nearly 50 years, won’t be true after that.

• Russ Feingold admits he’s thinking about running for Senate, will make a decision by the end of summer. Let’s hope he makes the right decision.

• Investors really still believe in the Bernanke put, that he would “bail out the world.” Lots of people would be left behind in such a scenario, including most of the country.

• Mitt Romney becomes the latest Republican to acknowledge that he would sign the Ryan budget to end Medicare. The nominee of the Republican Party will endorse the Ryan plan, no question about it.

• The Fed may delay their monetary exit, after all of these bad economic reports. Maybe their hair is on fire a bit more than the smug types at the NEC.

• Twelve corporations that made $171 billion in pre-tax profits between 2008 and 2010 paid a negative tax rate over that period. This includes companies like GE, Exxon, IBM, Yahoo and Boeing.

• Another shooting spree in Arizona.

• Yes, Republicans voted for the Ryan budget to end Medicare a second time, by “deeming” it passed in the rule for Homeland Security appropriations. Democrats voted against it unanimously.

• Let’s come back next year and gauge this story about union independence from the Obama re-election.

• This video of human rights abuses in Syria should be spread far and wide.

• I guess we have our answer about those new rules on for-profit colleges: stock prices for the industry soared today. They must think they can still do business.

• Why does nobody talk about Bagram prison, which has ten times as many detainees as Guantanamo?

• David Leonhardt wrote that the focus on early primary states like Iowa means that ethanol subsidies will never be phased out, but even Steve King, the Republican from Iowa, supports repealing the subsidies at this point. The dynamic has kind of changed on this specific issue.

• Wall Street is powerful enough that they can ask federal regulators to re-propose rules so they have more time to study them. You and I can’t do that.

• Michael Hayden thinks you’re a denialist if you don’t believe in torture like him.

• Yes, the 2011 budget cuts mattered.

• The ACLU FOIA’d the Administration’s secret law on Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

• As Obama extended the National Guard deployment at the border, it occurs to me that we must consider the fact that it’s almost impossible to get out of a temporary public policy once you get into it.

• Well, Obamacare is the same as Romneycare.

• Two New York hotels will give their housekeepers a panic button after high-profile sexual assault incidents involving guests.

• As we move into day 5 of our national conversation about Anthony Weiner’s penis, keep in mind that it’s completely implausible that Twitter feeds can be hacked.

• Chris Christie had to reimburse the state for his joyride to his son’s baseball game.

• A group of older Japanese engineers want to replace the younger workers being exposed to radiation at Fukushima.

• Jill Abramson will become the new executive editor of the New York Times. Xeni Jardin notes that she once wrote a column asking “When Will We Stop Saying ‘First Woman to _____’?”

• The new substitute for the food pyramid is a nice graphic.

• I did a Blog Talk Radio podcast about the revolving door and Judd Gregg. Listen here.

Previous post

Are you a tick bird on the Rhino that is stomping the life out of our Nation?

Next post

George And Farid In Brooklyn Want To Get Married

David Dayen

David Dayen