1. Michael J, Mathias is upset because WMC opposes a bill that would mandate coverage for autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and some similar disorders. His argument is, essentially, that these diseases are bad and treatment of them is good. Those who oppose ordering employers to cover it must be miserly and mean. Of course, WMC is not arguing that such coverage cannot be provided should employers and employees desire it, only that they shouldn't have that decision made for them by the government. For better or worse, insurance plans tend not to cover things that affect relatively few people and require extremely expensive treatment of uncertain effectiveness. (Exhibit A is drug and alcohol treatment although that seems to be more a function of the latter two factors and a judgment about the culpability of the patient.) Money is not in endless supply and decisions have to be made about what risks we are willing to pay to share. Employees don't demand coverage for these conditions and, therefore, are unlikely to get it.
Maybe they should. Maybe relatively rare tragedies like this are something we all should pay for. But the list of such is endless and it is unclear that government is in some uniquely good position to pick and choose among them, particularly when it does so by mandating that someone else pay the bill. That's cheap compassion.
2. Jay Bullock is disappointed that Republicans didn't show up at a Democrat hootenanny at Serb Hall. They all wanted to reason together. Really.
In response to Jay's question about the Assembly budget's impact on Milwaukee County, I am not prepared to defend everything in it, but two observations may help. The rest of the state does not exist to send money down south and Milwaukee County - and its wellbeing - is not solely, or even principally, defined by its need for government largesse.
3. Bill Christofferson thinks John McAdams forgot his evidence in his critique of the Governor's commission on racial disparities in the criminal justice system. John didn't have time to send Bill everything he was referring to because he is on vacation, although the stuff that he did send is fairly powerful support for his critique.
Bill does raise a worthy point in arguing that maybe John's evidence doesn't fully explain black-white incarceration differences because of the impact of more stringent enforcement of drug laws. There probably is more aggressive enforcement of drug laws in the black community but its not because, as Bill suggests, that there has been some decision to wage the drug war against African-Americans, Drugs tend to have a more debilitating impact in poor communities and drug offenders are less able to stitch together the treatment and social support network that would warrant more lenient treatment or, more significantly, keep them from the repeat offenses that will eventually get them locked up. While I am skeptical that the government knows how to - or even can - close that gap, it is not so much a matter of race as of economic and cultural(say social if you prefer)factors.
Paul Soglin promotes the left's "50 things you won't hear on talk radio" in response to Charlie Sykes' new book, 50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School. Paul thinks Charlie's rules "will make you either groan or say “Duh!”
I have not yet read all of Charlie's rules (although I am apparently cited in support of Rule 21; I hope it's a good one) so I can't comment on whether the 50 rules will do either. I can say that the left list does both. I paticularily like the recital of the Beatitudes. But they forget the one that says "Blessed is he who takes from his neighbor to give to another and counts it as self righteousness."
That's not fair, you say. Precisely.