Today’s Links: November 20, 2012


DIANA FURCHTGOTT-ROTH: “With Ethanol, Obama Ignores Common Sense
“Since being re-elected, in a triumph of political loyalty over consumer protection, President Obama has refused to waive the federal requirement that 13 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be blended in 2013 with gasoline. In making that decision on November 16, Mr. Obama brushed aside evidence that dedicating corn to ethanol, rather than to animal feed and other food uses, has contributed to a rise in prices.”

AMITY SHLAES: “2013 Looks a Lot Like 1937 in Four Fearsome Ways
“Will 2013 be 1937? This is the question many analysts are posing as the stock market has dropped after the U.S. election. On Nov. 16, they noted that industrial production, a crucial figure, dropped as well. In this case, ‘1937’ means a market drop similar to the one after the re-election of another Democratic president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1936.”

DEREK THOMPSON: “The Other Economic Cliff: Why Business Investment Is Really Nosediving
“For the moment, imagine two American economies. The Home Economy and the Away Economy. In the Home Economy, there is mostly good news to report, so long as Washington doesn’t screw it up. […] Meanwhile, in the Away Economy, there is a world of precarious, scary, and outright depressing news, which is weighing on large corporations that tend to make more than half of their income from customers outside the U.S. GE and Pfizer, for example, are listed in U.S. stock indices.”


HEALTH – A ‘Party Drug’ May Help the Brain Cope With Trauma
“The soldiers have no interest in traditional talking cures or prescription drugs that have given them little relief. They are lining up to try an alternative: MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, a party drug that surfaced in the 1980s and ’90s that can induce pulses of euphoria and a radiating affection.”

INCARCERATION – Judge suspends sex change surgery for man convicted of killing wife
A federal judge announced today that he would suspend a taxpayer-funded sex change operation for a man convicted of killing his wife.

HEALTH INSURANCE – U.S. releases new healthcare reform rules on insurance coverage
“President Barack Obama’s administration on Tuesday formally proposed new rules requiring insurers to cover people with preexisting conditions and set minimum health benefits to millions of others under U.S. healthcare reform law.”