Political Animal


April 14, 2012 12:26 PM Class Dismissed

By Sara Mead

It’s a beautiful day here in D.C., and time for me to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But I’ll be back bright and early tomorrow with more. In the meantime, a few links to keep you busy:

*Somehow I don’t think my high school English-teacher sister is going to be replacing A Modest Proposal with this Sheila Bair op-ed anytime soon.

*Rep Virginia Foxx has ‘very little tolerance’ for people with student loans, and wants to know why they can’t work their way through like she did. Maybe someone should explain to her that rapid college tuition inflation + falling wages for workers with less than a college degree=working your way through school ain’t what it used to be?

*President’s Weekly Address pushes the Buffet Rule.

*How nuts is it that we live in a country that where we routinely feed pigs and cows so much antibiotics that it’s big news when the FDA says we should maybe restrict the practice to animals that are actually, you know, sick, but a human being can die for lack of access to those same drugs?

* Seeing Hilary Rosen’s name in the news so much this week reminded me of the cringe-inducing behavior of elected officials at the time of her retirement from RIAA (where her awesomeness was apparently then a subject of bipartisan agreement), including this embarrassing anti-piracy rap (lyrics here) by Mary Bono and Billy Tauzin.

*Did you know there’s a Titanic Memorial in D.C.? I did, but only because it’s right across the street from my home. A candlelight memorial service marking the Titanic Centennial will be held there this evening.

* Congratulations to Matt Yglesias and his lovely wife on getting married yesterday!


  • cwolf on April 14, 2012 12:46 PM:

    *Rep Virginia Foxx has ‘very little tolerance’ for people with student loans, and wants to know why they can’t work their way through like she did.

    Because today, food and lodging is more expensive than in medieval times.

  • Neil Bates on April 14, 2012 1:00 PM:

    Hilary Rosen (and the rest of us) got rolled. She surely was trying to say, Ms. Romney never *had* to work a day in her life either. That says something more, and more relevant, than just the bare stupid fact that she didn't work. The MSM went along, but I don't blame Obama for just looking Presidential and re the principle of the thing, "we don't talk about spouses."

    "Fine minds make fine distinctions."

  • mmm on April 14, 2012 1:34 PM:

    Why does "dumb as a box of rocks" come to mind with Virginia Foxx? Sure hope you don't express that, Virginia, to any professional person that serves you, including anyone in the medical field, law, education, finance, and all forms of local, state, and Federal government. Such a big thinker you are... your ignorance astounds me.

  • N.Wells on April 14, 2012 2:06 PM:

    I don't know what Foxx's 1961 tuition bills were at U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in terms of 2012 dollars, not how much subsidy the state kicked in, but certainly state subsidies have been cut nationwide in recent years, forcing state universities to increase tuition charges to students, and thereby greatly increasing student debt.

    Foxx went to UNC Chapel Hill. From The Campus Echo, North Carolina College at Durham, 28 April 1961: "The talk about an increase in tuition costs for 1961-62 has been confirmed. The bursar's office issued the formal statement last week which showed a $20.90 hike in tuition for the fall session. The only additional change was in room rent which will be upped $9.00. The raise here will be added to the monthly bills making them $48.00 instead of $47.00. These changes which will make the cost of education at NCC higher than ever before, will also mark the first raise in tuition since 1954. In the fall of '54, tuition was hiked from $97.00 to $130.00. These are the figures for '61: Tuition $150.00 Registration $20.00 Athletic fee $10.00 Library $10.00 Lyceum $5.00 Medical fee $17.00 Student activity $10.00 Board $275, Room $119, Total $616.50."

  • exlibra on April 14, 2012 2:49 PM:

    [...] human being can die for lack of access to those same drugs? -- Sarah Mead

    An article in the NYTimes pointed out to a different -- possibly even more dangerous -- aspect of the practice of routine doses of antibiotics fed to livestock, just to make them grow larger: people who consume their meat tend to build immunity to those same antibiotics so that, when they become ill and are treated with them, they don't respond. IOW, the man who died because he couldn't afford the medicine, might have died anyway, if he had built up an immunity to it, via his daily steak or pork chop.

  • SYSPROG on April 14, 2012 3:11 PM:

    Well other than the glaring fact that Virginia Foxx is a complete buffoon AND shows without a DOUBT the state of education in NC (she was a teacher donchaknow)...00back in the day, states used to SUBSIDIZE college educations up to 80% in some states. MY tuition in Wa. state in 1972 was $218 per quarter. My daughter enters next year at the same ol' state university and HER tuition is $14,000 for the year. So eat my shorts Virginia...you have one more time proved you are a MORON.

  • Texas Aggie on April 14, 2012 4:43 PM:

    I frankly would put Ms. Bair's article in the same category as Mr. Swift's. It was even more elegant and not nearly as crude. Plus it had the benefit that it was actually in operation under certain circumstances and some people were actually using that plan for their own aggrandizement.

    Exlibra didn't understand the NYT article at all. What the article said was that constant exposure to antibiotics selected for resistant bacteria, not resistant hosts. Eating meat from an animal that had received antibiotics has the same effect on a person as eating meat from an animal that had never seen antibiotics.

    Furthermore, the article made the point that the vast majority of resistant bacteria are infecting people in hospitals. This strongly suggests that antibiotic use in hospitals is a lot more likely to select for resistant pathogens than farm use, unless you believe that meat from these farms is only going to hospitals and not the grocery store.

  • Decatur Dem on April 14, 2012 6:27 PM:

    Texas Aggie at 4:43 PM said: "... the vast majority of resistant bacteria are infecting people in hospitals."
    That may still be true for the most part, but several years ago we began to notice a disturbing trend of community-acquired methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA), i.e., acquired outside the hospital. There's no reason to believe the same thing won't happen, or hasn't already started, in other resistant pathogens. (Unless, of course, one doesn't believe in Darwinian evolution...)

  • Ken on April 15, 2012 4:51 PM:

    Anyone else find they thought about the antibiotic situation (cattle get them, the poor don't) differently because of the previous reference to A Modest Proposal?

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