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Chris Jones
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He stands before the San Clemente city council in the midst of gnarly times, seeking only a statue of a unifying figure we can all turn to: Paul Walker.

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Ryan has been a scammer all along. He’s not a more serious Republican who offers a welcome relief from the frothing of the Tea Party. He’s an Ayn Rand acolyte who fully shares the agenda of the hard right on economic matters. And his long con is now obvious for all the world to see. “Never give a sucker an even break,” W.C. Fields used to say. Anyone who continues to think of Paul Ryan as a legislative wizard or a serious policy thinker richly deserves to be called “sucker.”
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Comprehensive health care reform is brutally hard, as Truman and Johnson and Clinton can tell you. In addition getting the list of [Senators elected in "red" states] above, the Democrats also needed to keep in the fold every liberal who was well aware that the ACA was substantially suboptimal. Senators like Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown deserve enormous credit for working to make the bill as it could be and then supporting it. The Republicans just completely failed with a more homogeneous coalition in the more top-down chamber. What the Democratic leadership pulled off in 2009 is remarkable, and we now know that it is an enduring accomplishment.
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The impetus for ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles comes out of the Bay Area’s reverse Goldilocks problem, in which it is too dense for comfortable car commuting and not dense or politically unified enough for subway or deep mass transit investments.

This leads to a chicken-and-egg problem in which longtime property owners and Bay Area voters refuse to build more housing because they are concerned about traffic impacts. Without increased transit capacity, it will not be possible to add meaningful amounts of housing, at all income levels, to the Bay Area.
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It seems odd, in the age of smartwatches and rapid technological obsolescence, that big lumps of metal [like the F-35] can be so very enduring, but that’s the way heavy engineering works. It’s hard not to be alarmingly aware of this every time you get onto a London Tube a hundred feet underground and see, as you step over the steel scuff-plate by the door, that this thing has been pounding the tracks since 1973. Machines, once built, are here to stay, and fighter planes are no different. The business of the arms industry is to build and spend, build and spend. It’s all part of the weaponry system.
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And now something just for fun: The second movement of Beethoven's Symphony no. 7, transformed into a Rumba.

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The democratization of media has made it so that D.C. Republicans are just as likely to pander to Sean Hannity as they are to their local newspaper editorial boards. And the deregulation of political money has enabled cash-flush outside groups with narrowly tailored agendas to strip party committees and old-guard gatekeepers of their power and relevance. The result is a caucus full of conservatives with excellent ratings from the Heritage Foundation, and no idea how to whip a vote.
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The catastrophe in the White House has, in this respect, been a good thing. Trump has decisively broken the unified bubble of right-wing conformity in Washington. There’s even some freshness in the intellectual air. And a whole new perspective on those many conservatives you once thought of as decent people. And on those you had previously given up on.
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Conservatives have a crucial role to play in shaping the future American health-care system to enhance and support enterprise, innovation, individual responsibility—to resist open-ended spending, state planning, and the risk that social insurance will penalize effort and success. It’s past time to accept reality, quit promising the impossible, and do the work that a democracy that seeks both equity and efficiency should expect from its more conservative-minded thinkers and politicians.

[...] Health care may not be a human right, but the lack of universal health coverage in a wealthy democracy is a severe, unjustifiable, and unnecessary human wrong. As Americans lift this worry from their fellow citizens, they’ll discover that they have addressed some other important problems too. They’ll find that they have removed one of the most important barriers to entrepreneurship, because people with bright ideas will fear less to quit the jobs through which they get their health care. They’ll find they have improved the troubled lives of the white working class succumbing at earlier ages from preventable deaths of despair. They’ll find that they have equalized the life chances of Americans of different races. They’ll find that they have discouraged workplace discrimination against women, older Americans, the disabled, and other employees with higher expected health-care costs. They’ll find that their people become less alienated from a country that has overcome at last one of the least attractive manifestations of American exceptionalism—and joined the rest of the civilized world in ameliorating and alleviating our common human vulnerability to illness and pain.
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