Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

A Day of Days

Wednesday, 1 December 2021, the state of Mississippi argued before the US Supreme Court that the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision [410 U.S. 113 (1973)] giving women a constitutional right to have an abortion was in error; that it should be overturned. During Wednesday’s oral arguments, Justice Sotomayor asked Mississippi’s Solicitor Stewart whether Mississippi’s challenge […]

Omicron at Slow Boring

I think every word of Matthew Yglesias’s post on Omicron, Omar Bradley, and why the hell aren’t we investing in pandemic prevention is brilliant. I think it is publicly available (I didn’t pay) and advise just clicking the link. For those who ignored the above advice, I would like to focus on two main points […]

Half of what you read about Omicron is wrong, but you won’t know which half for weeks

Coronavirus dashboard for November 29: half of what you read about Omicron is wrong, but you won’t know which half for weeks, New Deal democrat As with any “Breaking News!” event, about half of what you read will be wrong. The problem is, nobody knows which item falls in which half. Recognizing that you need to step […]

Explaining Mutations and Variants

Blogger and Commenter Professor Joel Essenberg addresses Covid variants being called mutations. As a geneticist, I am troubled by the promiscuous use of the word “mutation” to describe amino acid or nucleotide differences from a reference sequence. In nearly all cases, there is no known functional significance attached to these differences. Accordingly, the differences are […]

Pessimistic and optimistic scenarios for the winter wave

Coronavirus dashboard for November 26: pessimistic and optimistic scenarios for the winter wave, New Deal democrat I hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Since I haven’t posted one in a bit, here is an update on the pandemic.As an initial matter, in the last day or two, there has been a mini-panic about […]

As the winter wave takes hold, how much will resistance from prior infections hold numbers down?

Coronavirus dashboard: As the winter wave takes hold, how much will resistance from prior infections hold numbers down? Europe and North America, the winter wave is underway. While vaccinations clearly work, in most countries of the West there is a reservoir of defiant anti-vaxxers, who are not going to get vaccinated unless they are absolutely […]

Coronavirus: regional variations and the winter wave

Coronavirus dashboard for November 12: regional variations and the winter wave There’s a glitch in 91-Divoc collecting Johns Hopkins data, so the State by State totals have not been updated for several days, but here is Our World in Data’s update for the US as a whole: As of yesterday, cases are up only 3.5% […]

Boosting Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall has a good post about Covid 19 boosters. His site www.talkingpointsmemo.com is the other site for which I pay actual money. Unfortunately, I see the good post is for subscribers (like me) only, so I will just have to show my respect by free using the hell out of it. Josh wants a […]

Continuing the Conversation on Medicare and Medicare Advantage – 2

Where we are in the Conversation VBP: I had stopped the dialogue on Kip Sullivan’s paper Medicare’s “Value-Based Payment (VBP)” programs are Failing on page 3 of 12 pages so as to detail it as much as possible and breaking this portion out for readers. It can be reviewed here. This part of Kip’s paper […]