Assorted Links (7/6/2014)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading and videos that I have been viewing lately:

An Unfolding Fiscal Disaster

“The ACA’s partisan origins have left lawmakers with vastly reduced incentives to achieve the budgetary savings required to make its finances work.”

A Company Liberals Could Love

“The entire conflict between religious liberty and cultural liberalism has created an interesting situation in our politics: The political left is expending a remarkable amount of energy trying to fine, vilify and bring to heel organizations — charities, hospitals, schools and mission-infused businesses — whose commitments they might under other circumstances extol.”

Religious groups prep for Hobby Lobby repeat

“The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is just days old, but a group of religious schools and institutions is preparing for Part Two.”

The summer’s most unread book is…

“A simple index drawn from e-books shows which best sellers are going unread (we’re looking at you, Piketty).”

Independence in 1776; Dependence in 2014

“The rise in the size and scope of federal subsidies means that Americans are steadily losing their independence.”

Hail to the Chef: Which Presidents Do Americans Want to Grill With?

“If you were having a barbecue for Independence Day, which recent president would you want to help you out on the grill?…”

The great (and growing) global impact of the Declaration of Independence

“No American document has had a bigger global impact than the Declaration of Independence.”

New York City’s Affordable Housing Bonanza for the Rich

“Housing subsidies go to families making up to $193K.”

Why is it so difficult to teach people to manage money?

“Almost everyone supports teaching students to manage money. If only it worked.”

Muscle Shoals (2013)

Jan and I watched this movie recently.  In a little bit under two hours, you will come away with a basic grasp of the last 50 years of popular music history…

Obama’s Disappointing Year at the Supreme Court

“From recess appointments to warrantless cellphone searches to Obamacare, the White House lost big this term at SCOTUS.”

Richest 1% taxed too much: NJ Gov. Chris Christie

“The tax code relies too much on the wealthiest Americans and needs to be revamped, says N.J. Gov. Christie.”

Childhood Vaccines Safe, Says Pediatricians

“The latest in-depth review of immunizations shows that they aren’t linked to higher risk of autism or cancer.”

A few things the Hobby Lobby ruling won’t do

“The courts aren’t going to be passing judgment on the wisdom of different religious teachings. And access to blood transfusions will be affected by this decision even less than access to contraception will be.”

Map: Watch America’s air get cleaner over the past decade

“It’s not just your imagination — America’s air really has been getting cleaner over the past decade.”

Hobby Lobby: Government Can’t Violate Religious Liberties Willy-Nilly

“The Hobby Lobby decision has nothing to do with big business, freedom to use contraceptives, or preferencing religious liberty above everything else.”

Hansen on Risk, Ambiguity, and Measurement

I listened to this EconTalk podcast recently on my daily morning walk. Other than being awesome because 1) the interviewee is a 2013 economics Nobel Laureate, and 2) the topics discussed (risk, ambiguity, and measurement) are important throughout the life, physical, and social sciences, I also enjoyed learning about the following quote (attributed to the 19th century physicist Lord Kelvin): “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it.”

Obamacare’s Contraception Mandate

“That phrase or variants of it will appear in a lot of coverage today. It’s misleading for two reasons. Hobby Lobby doesn’t object to providing contraception; it objects to contraceptives that may act as abortifacients.”

SCOTUS sides with Hobby Lobby on contraception mandate

“The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that for-profit employers with religious objections can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare.”