• Our forsythia bush timidly cleared its throat last week with some pale yellow shoots, but yesterday it finally got serious. Now it’s all, like, “You think you know what ‘yellow’ means? I’ll show you yellow. Boom.”
So even though the trees around here are still bare, the forsythia have announced, loudly, that spring has arrived.
• Via Katie Halper, an Equal Pay Day reminder from Batgirl:
We’ve made some progress since that Nixon-Era PSA was recorded and broadcast more than 40 years ago, but the anti-feminist culture wars also make it impossible to imagine such a thing today. If something like that aired now, the religious right would threaten Batman’s advertisers with a boycott and Yvonne Craig would be getting Dixie Chick-ed.
• Dianna E. Anderson provides a fun pop-song/CCM-song lyrical quiz: “Wait, Is This About Sex or God?”
The examples are pretty funny, but I’m actually a fan of pop-songs that can’t easily be reduced to being about only one thing at a time. For many of my favorite songs, the answer to “Is This About Sex or God?” is “Yes.” A good love song should be the doorway to a thousand churches. And if you want to kiss the sky, you’ve gotta learn how to kneel.
That’s not surprising — since this is exactly what the core of the ACA was designed to do. As Matt Yglesias writes, “Of course a law that mandates the purchase of insurance and then subsidizes it will succeed in getting people health insurance.”But as Matt also notes, anti-Obamacare critics have also spent years denying that the law would do this. It’s worth pausing to consider how weirdly extreme that argument was and is. They weren’t simply saying that this blunt mechanism of mandating and subsidizing health insurance was the wrong approach, but that this approach wouldn’t work.
That’s just weird. Pennsylvania, like most (all?) states, makes it illegal to drive without auto insurance. Laws mandating auto insurance work. Once drivers were required to have auto insurance, the number of drivers without it plummeted because duh. It took an extreme form of partisan delusion to imagine that the same wouldn’t prove to be true of health insurance.
• Speaking of extreme forms of partisan delusion, here’s one way of self-enforcing this kind of retreat from reality: “Texas lawmaker refuses to meet with constituents who don’t share her views, staff says it is ‘a waste of time’.”
It’s one thing to focus on your political “base,” but it’s something else entirely to make that base your sole basis. I sent a lot of letters to Rick Santorum back when he was my U.S. senator and, to his credit and the credit of his staff, he always sent a response explaining his disagreement. His letters didn’t persuade me any more than my letters persuaded him, but at least we were communicating.
• I forget who said it, but trying to reduce traffic congestion by expanding the highway is like trying to lose weight by loosening your belt.
• “Because evolution can’t be seen, it’s hard to believe in, like electricity or skeletons. …”