Jonathan Zasloff

Scarlett Johansson, BDS, and Collective Punishment

No serious Zionist should defend Scarlett Johansson’s decision to remain as Sodastream’s official Spokesbabe, a decision that led her to sever her ties with Oxfam. Yet the controversy surrounding her endorsement contains a central irony: the very methods that Johansson’s detractors advocate undermine their case against Israeli self-defense. As to the first point, boycotting products… Read more »

If Insurers Are Using Obamacare to Trick Their Customers Into Expensive Plans, They Need a Nice Letter from the FTC

Via Kevin Drum, Paul Waldman presents a truly epic pair of posts demonstrating that many insurers’ claims that rates are going up because of the Affordable Care Act are misleading and deceptive. The press seems to have been duped into thinking that thousands of people are seeing their rates go up because insurers are telling… Read more »

Single-family Housing: A Smart Growth Strategy

Sunday’s New York Times features a story by Shaila Dewan asking, “Is Suburban Sprawl on the Way Back?” Answer: not really, although highly compact urban development is hardly going to dominate, either. The best quote from the whole piece comes from Smart Growth America President Geoff Anderson, who correctly observed, The market isn’t all for… Read more »

What Larry Summers Doesn’t Get About Climate Change

Lots of debate in Blogistan and elsewhere about President Obama’s apparent desire to appoint Larry Summers as Fed Chair. We know (or at least we think we know) that he is brilliant, but he has a strange tendency to get matters of judgment wrong. He supported the abolition of Glass-Steagall, endorsed deregulation of the financial… Read more »

Will House Republicans Save Food Aid Reform?

These next 48 hours are critical for advancing reform of US international food aid, which I have blogged about previously. Short version: because current rules essentially demand that we provide aid in food grown in the US via government subsidy, our current aid regime wastes money, delays delivery of aid by weeks, lines the pockets… Read more »