Krugman-care, the four horsemen, hammer-and-sickle crucifix, meats, Pluto, Iran deal, Trumpism and racehorses

This is what happened last week during a debate at Freedom Fest between Krugman and Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation. The general topic concerned the restoration of the American dream and, considering the amount of damage Obamacare has inflicted on that dream, it was inevitable that the misbegotten health care law would come up sooner or later. Krugman, desperate to convince the audience that the rattletrap was “working quite well,” claimed that it had lowered the cost of U.S. health care. PJ Media’s Liz Sheld reports, “The whole room laughed at that howler.”

The U.S. and its allies are faced with four major threats, and they are as diverse and yet as akin as the proverbial apocalyptic horsemen.

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The Vatican announced that the pope had not been informed in advance about the gift. And some commentators said that photos of the pope and Morales show that the pope was actually offended. That was a false — probably wishful — interpretation. The pope himself later announced that he was keeping the hammer-and-sickle crucifix and taking it home, saying, “I understand this work. For me it wasn’t an offense.” And “Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi . . . said he personally wasn’t offended by Morales’ gift” (the Guardian).

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British researchers Patrick Sharman and Alatair J. Wilson argue that racehorses are indeed getting faster.

The ideology is a 21st century version of right fascism — one of the most politically successful ideological strains of 20th century politics. Though hardly anyone talks about it today, we really should. It is still real. It exists. It is distinct. It is not going away. Trump has tapped into it, absorbing unto his own political ambitions every conceivable bourgeois resentment: race, class, sex, religion, economic. You would have to be hopelessly ignorant of modern history not to see the outlines and where they end up.

For now, Trump seems more like comedy than reality. I want to laugh about what he said, like reading a comic-book version of Franco, Mussolini, or Hitler. And truly I did laugh, as when he denounced the existence of tech support in India that serves American companies (“how can it be cheaper to call people there than here?” — as if he still thinks that long-distance charges apply).

Let’s hope this laughter doesn’t turn to tears.

Now, here’s the thing that gets me and makes me think: if Pluto weren’t in our Solar System, we would have no problem calling it a “rogue planet.”

So why do we stop calling it a planet because it’s in our Solar System? Perhaps we need a better word that encompasses all the artificial categories we created. Something that includes rocky planets, large moons, gas giants, dwarf planets, rogue planets, large Kuiper belt objects, large asteroids, and so on.

Why don’t we just call them what they are: worlds.

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Also, some evidence shows that vegetarians kill more animals than meat-eaters. Steven Davis, a researcher in the animal science department at Oregon State University, found that tractors, making space for more fields of kale and whole grains, kill tons of rabbits, mice, and other field-dwelling cutie pies.

“What is it that makes it OK to kill animals of the field so that we can eat [vegetables or fruits] but not pigs or chickens or cows?”

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Of the administration’s accumulated foreign-policy mistakes in the last six years, none have been catastrophic for the United States: Not the Chinese building islands, the Russians’ taking Crimea, or the collapse into civil wars of Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. But the Iran deal has the makings of a catastrophe. Attention now shifts to the U.S. Congress to review today’s accord, arguably the worst international accord not just in American history or modern history, but ever. Congress must reject this deal. Republican senators and representatives have shown themselves firm on this topic; will the Democrats rise to the occasion and provide the votes for a veto override? They need to feel the pressure.

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