Friday, March 26, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (3/26/2010)

You might have noticed that a couple days ago I mentioned David Frum as a conservative who's written intelligently about health care reform. (Not to say that I necessarily agree with him -- I generally don't -- but at least he writes about the actual law and not about Republican fantasy talking points.) Well, now he says he's been fired by conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute for his heresy.

The health care reform law's mandate that everyone buy health insurance is probably constitutional because a) the Supreme Court has generally accepted an extremely broad interpretation of the "interstate commerce" clause and b) technically the mandate isn't a requirement that people buy health insurance, it's a tax penalty on people who don't, and the federal government has very broad tax powers.

Former Bush speechwriter Mark Thiessen's book defending the Bush torture regime has little basis in reality.

The Eugene Police Department has released the police report (PDF) in the case of suspended University of Oregon Ducks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. There's not much that'll be new to people who've been following the story, but I think two things about it stand out. First, the report gives an interesting picture of the process of a police investigation. Second, it makes it clear how much Masoli lied his head off to head coach Chip Kelly as well as to the police.

Now, I can see that there's a conflict there, because if Masoli told Kelly the truth, Kelly might have to testify to that in court. There's obviously no "coach-player immunity" under the law. But Masoli didn't try to be evasive or blow Kelly off somehow, he flat out lied: "I didn't do it. I wasn't there." And lying to the coach probably had a whole lot to do with the length of the suspension (the entire 2010 season).

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