BIG HEALTH NANNY AT WORK
Those who wonder if the Centers for Disease Control is making proper use of tax dollars should note that the federal agency has released a list of “healthy recommendations” for anyone venturing to the Winter Olympics. Ready?
Get vaccinated. Check. Pack smart. Check. Carry proof of medical insurance, and be aware of emergency exit locations. Then comes this handy dandy entry:
“Healthy Habits. Always wear seat belts. Wash your hands well and often. Drink alcohol in moderation and use latex condoms if you have sex.”
FUN AT HALF TIME
Voila. It’s a new word, courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit watchdog.
“Forget Super Bowl Sunday. For the geeks who keep score of political contests, this weekend’s Really Big Day will arrive 48 hours prior. By midnight Friday, the vast majority of committees gearing up for the 2014 elections, regardless of whether they file on a monthly or quarterly schedule, have to hand 2013 year-end accounts into the Federal Election Commission,” says analyst Peter Olsen-Phillips.
The “unusual confluence of reporting deadlines” offers insight into who’s up and who’s down; all 435 seats in the House, where Republicans currently hold a 32-seat edge, will be up for grabs in November. So are 36 of the Senate’s 100 seats, where members of the Democratic caucus outnumber Republicans, 55-45. Curious geeks can track all those federal campaign finance filings: Influenceexplorer.com.
UH-OH: THE LIBERAL LIQUOR FACTOR
Some new academic research researching the link between unhealthy behaviors and political ideology does not bode well for liberals. A pair of Duquesne University economists conducted an exhaustive study comparing the demand for alcohol with the regional political make-up of all 50 states between 1952 and 2010.
“In this study, we show that liberal ideology has a statistically significant positive association with the consumption of alcohol in the United States, even after controlling for economic, demographic, and geographic differences across states. Holding everything else constant, we find that as states become more liberal over time, they experience higher consumption of beer and spirits per capita,” write Pavel A. Yakovlev and Walter P. Guessford.
“Our findings are relatively consistent with the recent sociological studies showing that people with more socialist views tend to engage in more unhealthy behaviors such as excessive drinking,” the two add. “This sociological argument is similar to the theory of moral hazard in economics, which postulates that people may behave irresponsibly when they do not fully bear the cost of their behavior.”
The research was published Thursday in The Journal of Wine Economics, an academic publication.
POLL DU JOUR