- New York Times: Inmate Visits Now Carry Added Cost in Arizona
Want to visit inmates in Arizona prisons? That'll cost you $25. And it could be a couple of months before your application is approved. It would be difficult to list all of the reasons why this is an awful, awful idea.
- New York Times: Obama Moves Jobs Speech After Skirmish With Boehner
"The Senate Historical Office knows of no instance in which Congress refused the president permission to speak before a joint session of Congress."
- Cato Institute: Vouchers ARE Government Money, and That’s the Problem
"There is simply no way around the fact that vouchers are government funds, subject to whatever constitutional and statutory restrictions a state may place on their use." Yup.
The post-debt-ceiling poll numbers are in, and they’re not good for Republicans. A CNN poll released today finds the Republican Party is down to a 33% approval rating, vs. a 47% approval rating for the Democratic Party. Speaker John Boehner’s approval rating has dropped ten points in the past three weeks, down to 33%, while his unfavorable rating shot right past it, up to 40% from 32%. Even less popular than the Republican Party is the Tea Party, at 31% approval, with a majority—51%—expressing disapproval.
Especially interesting is the steady erosion of support of incumbents in Congress. In 2006, 57% of voters believed that their own congressman deserved reelection, but that’s dropped steadily down to a current level of 45%, which is exceeded by the 48% who believe that their own congressman doesn’t deserve to be reelected. (Googling around, I can’t find any major survey that has ever found those results.) Compare that to 23%, which is the portion of registered voters who believe that “most” members of congress deserve reelection. 39% believe that most Democrats should be reelected, while 31% believe that most Republicans should be reelected. As always, people like their own congressman more than everybody else; unlike always, they like a hypothetical new congressman better than their own.
- Talking Points Memo: White House—We Thought We Were Down To The Details
Turns out the real reason that Boehner walked out on Obama on Friday is because Boehner demanded a repeal of the individual healthcare mandate. Which, ironically, would actually have worsened things, since the individual mandate will significantly reduce federal spending.
- New York Times: Some Parents of Gay Children Push for Marriage
I really enjoyed this article about the normalization of gay marriage having led to parents saying "OK, fine, you're gay, and now gay marriage is legal, so what's the holdup?" Gay or straight, kids are going to get nagged about marriage by their parents.
- UC Berkeley: Agonized pose tells of dinosaur death throes
So many fossilized dinosaurs were preserved in the same position: head and neck pulled backwards, bent halfway down the back. There has long been a standard explanation for this—drying tendons and ligaments pulled them into this shape—but attempts to simulate this in animal corpses have all failed. A new theory is that this is consistent with damage to the central nervous system, specifically damage to the cerebellum, perhaps through infection from algal blooms.
- AP: October 2010 Newsletter
It was only last fall that the Associated Press stopped distributing their news via satellite and moved to an internet-based distribution system. Wow.