Obamacare Is On Trial. So Is the Supreme Court.
Jonathan Cohn Rarely in American history has the Court struck down laws in decisions that would have such quick, widespread impact. In the modern era, only two cases come to mind: Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. Both were acts of ambitious, even audacious judicial activism. But, in two key repsects, they were different from a potential ruling against the Affordable Care Act. ...
Marx, Population and Plenitude
John Lanchester A final challenge to Marx’s model, and also to his picture of the future, comes from something he did see very clearly and prophetically, the extraordinary productive power of capitalism. He saw how capitalism would transform the surface of the planet and impact on the life of every single person alive. There is, however, a crack or flaw close to the heart of his analysis. Marx...
Dirt Don't Hurt
Exposure to germs in childhood is thought to help strengthen the immune system and protect children from developing allergies and asthma, but the pathways by which this occurs have been unclear. Now, researchers have identified a mechanism in mice that may explain the role of exposure to microbes in the development of asthma and ulcerative colitis, a common form of inflammatory bowel disease. ...
This morning in America’s highest court, freedom seems to be less about the...– Dahlia Lithwick
Obamacare is Unconstitutional? Now They Tell Us
By Michael Kinsley Now, maybe the court has been wrong all this time. Maybe the federal government’s authority under the Commerce Clause is much narrower. Maybe that authority doesn’t extend to requiring individual citizens to have health insurance or pay a fine. But if so, it is not only the future of Obamacare that will suddenly be shaky. Every piece of legislation for about the last 70 years...
The Brain on Love
By DIANE ACKERMAN A RELATIVELY new field, called interpersonal neurobiology, draws its vigor from one of the great discoveries of our era: that the brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life. In the end, what we pay the most attention to defines us. How you choose to spend the irreplaceable hours of your life literally transforms you. All relationships change the brain — but most...
A LOT OF GAS
Elizabeth Kolbert Like almost anything that the Republican candidates can manage to agree on, the Obama Administration gas-price-hike conspiracy theory is nearly a hundred-per-cent hokum. The fakery begins with the theory’s premise: that the President could, if he wanted to, reduce the price of oil. Oil, as it is well known, is a global commodity traded on a global market. Gasoline prices...
Hitting the favorite button on the first episode of “Mad Men” is a remarkably...– DAVID CARR
By Frank Rich It’s not news that the GOP is the anti-abortion party, that it panders to the religious right, and that it’s particularly dependent on white men with less education and less income—a displaced demographic that has been as threatened by the rise of the empowered modern woman as it has been by the cosmopolitan multiracial male elites symbolized by Barack Obama. That aggrieved class...
Research wrests partial control of a memory
Scripps Research Institute scientists and their colleagues have successfully harnessed neurons in mouse brains, allowing them to at least partially control a specific memory. Though just an initial step, the researchers hope such work will eventually lead to better understanding of how memories form in the brain, and possibly even to ways to weaken harmful thoughts for those with conditions such...
Health Insurance Is for Everyone
By FAREED ZAKARIA The centerpiece of the case against Obamacare is the requirement that everyone buy some kind of health insurance or face stiff penalties—the so-called individual mandate. It is a way of moving toward universal coverage without a government-run or single-payer system. It might surprise Americans to learn that another advanced industrial country, one with a totally private...
Should Science Pull the Trigger on Antiviral...
By Carl Zimmer We do currently have “antiviral” drugs, but they’re a pale shadow of their bacteria-fighting counterparts. People infected with HIV, for example, can avoid developing AIDS by taking a cocktail of antiviral drugs. But if they stop taking them, the virus will rebound to its former level in a matter of weeks. Patients have to keep taking the drugs for the rest of their lives to...
The three words Buchheit came up with would become the most well-known corporate...– FARHAD MANJOO
Chrystia Freeland We know now that trickle-down economics doesn’t really work – the past decade in the United States has seen incomes at the very top soar, while the earnings of the middle class stagnated or declined. But a growing body of academic research is suggesting that this benign force’s wicked stepsister, a phenomenon two economists have dubbed ‘‘trickle-down consumption,’’ is having a...
Looking Back on the Limits of Growth
Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth. Written by MIT researchers for an international think tank, the Club of Rome, the study used computers to model several...
Bill Moyers counsels President Obama not to look at America through the rose-colored glasses of people — like Robert Kagan — led by political opportunity and wishful thinking, but by those — like Andrew Bacevich — who see the world as it truly is, and are best poised to make it better.
Romney’s defense budget target is lofty
It is one of Mitt Romney’s most striking anecdotes. The US Navy, he says, has fewer ships today than in 1917, and the US Air Force is smaller than it was in 1947. Notwithstanding that today’s fleets are far beyond the capability of those from yesteryear, Romney says it is evidence that America’s military dominance is at risk. Romney’s solution is one of the most far-ranging, expensive, and...
One of the technical things we always optimize is where to put our front...– The Pirate Bay
'Big Government' Isn't the Problem, Big Money Is
Robert Reich Conservatives love to rail against “big government.” But the surge of cynicism engulfing the nation isn’t about government’s size. It flows from a growing perception that government doesn’t work for average people but for big business, Wall Street and the very rich—who, in effect, have bought it. In a recent Pew poll, 77 percent of respondents said too much power is in the hands of...