Brownbackistan… The Failed Kansas Experiment

June 1, 2015

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A budget deficit, estimated at $400 million to $800 million,  thanks to tax cuts for the wealthy…  Eight school districts have closed up to 12 days early… A reduction in credit ratings. The Kansas experiment in supply-side economics – giving massive tax cuts to the rich to try to spur investment and, as the theory goes, to create greater economic activity […]

Posted in: Economics

Hillary’s Genius

May 7, 2015

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Hillary Clinton’s call for a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants currently living illegally in the United States, as well as her desire to take more expansive executive action than President Obama has taken, has put the squeeze on GOP hopefuls. The result is an awkward silence by the usually garrulous bunch. Why […]

The Social Safety Net is Working

May 6, 2015

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Greg Sargent has a piece up today that describes the finding of a new study released this morning that piggybacks on Dylan Matthews’ piece yesterday explaining how Paul Ryan does not understand or that Ryan does understand yet is purposefully obfuscating how poverty is calculated for political gain. Trying to frame the social safety net as a […]

Posted in: Poverty

Good Reads for May 5…

May 5, 2015

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Paul Ryan is very unserious about helping poverty. In fact, he is downright cruel. But for all Ryan’s rhetoric on poverty, he’s also the author of a series of budgets that would absolutely wreck programs for the American poor, inflicting massive human suffering on the nation’s most vulnerable residents. It’s never been exactly clear how […]

Posted in: Poverty, Reads

Widening Inequality

April 24, 2015

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Income and wealth inequality have been major topics debated recently, and I wanted to provide a cursory look at how the inequality has widened over the past four decades. From WWII until the mid-late 1970’s the U.S. experienced the rise of the welfare state, an expansion of labor unions and a decline of inequality, known […]

Posted in: Economics

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

April 14, 2015

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That politician has a nice smile, and an easy-going nature. I bet they are moderate – just like me. We could have a light-hearted chat about a water-cooler topic and then grab a beer to discuss our favorite sports team. They can’t support extreme policies… just listen to their mellifluous voice and personable demeanor. This […]

Posted in: North Carolina

Stale Policies Must Go

December 18, 2014

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As the GOP goes utterly apeshit over President Obama’s decision to have full diplomatic relations with Cuba, with some casting it as appeasement to communist dictators, I have yet to hear one cogent, constructive argument as to why relations with the island nation shouldn’t be “normalized”. Let’s examine the arguments: Coddling, appeasing dictators. By normalizing […]

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Posted in: Cuba

The Reagan Myth

August 8, 2014

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When your idol is exposed as less than perfect… what do you do? Well, instead of doing some self-reflection, the right has taken to vehemently attacking Rick Perlstein, an historian and author of “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.” According to a Reagan biographer and current Ann Coulter publicist, […]

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Posted in: Economics, Politics

The Republican war on civil rights laws

March 7, 2014

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The Republican war on civil rights laws Excellent piece by Adam Serwer regarding the reprehensible yet wholly predictable racist campaign to defeat Debo Adegbile’s nomination as the head of the civil rights division of the Justice Department.

Posted in: Civil Rights

Rogue Political Operatives? Highly Unlikely

January 9, 2014

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At 7:34 am on August 13, 2013, Bridget Anne Kelly, Governor Chris Christie’s deputy chief of staff, wrote in an email to the director of interstate capital projects for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Gov. Christie appointee David Wildstein, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Wildstein responded at […]

What happens when Healthcare.gov runs smoothly?

October 28, 2013

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The roll-out of Healthcare.gov has been a mess. That much Democrats and Republicans agree on. However, with Jeff Zients’ initial review complete, and a timeline for the site to be “running smoothly” by November 30th, what happens if the site is running smoothly by December 1st – from a political perspective? The GOP, in their […]

Posted in: Healthcare, Obamacare

Confidence fairy strikes again

March 19, 2013

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March 19, 2013, 8:25 am 1 Comment Cogan, Taylor, and the Confidence Fairy Ugh. And I say that advisedly. John Cogan and John Taylor have a piece in the WSJ (where else) arguing that the latest Ryan budget would actually be expansionary, because confidence! It’s as if all the experience of recent years, in which […]

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Posted in: Uncategorized

Krugman on Error-Loving “Economists”

March 19, 2013

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March 19, 2013, 8:07 am Comment The Dunning-Kruger-Madoff Effect Via Mark Thoma, Hale Stewart is bemused by John Hinderaker of PowerLine. As Stewart notes, Hinderaker begins by asserting that everyone knows that an economic crisis is coming — which apparently means everyone he talks to — then rolls out just about every one of the […]

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Posted in: Economics

The Weekly Ass Clown – Larry Ward – Organizer of Gun Appreciation Day

January 15, 2013

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ass clown /as kloun/ n: an abject failure who is simultaneously arrogant, condescending and obnoxious. Synonym: douchebag   January 19, 2013 is the first Gun Appreciation Day, per its organizer – Larry Ward. Mr. Ward has promoted the day, which falls on the same weekend as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s holiday observance, because he […]

Wyoming bill is pure idiocy

January 10, 2013

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In an effort to preempt Vice President Biden’s suggestions to curb gun violence, the Wyoming legislature has sponsored a bill that makes it a felony to enforce any future federal law that enacts gun safety measures… Clearly, this group of GOP representatives are not attorneys or else they would know that the legal theory of […]

A Response to Debt Ceiling Nonsense… #mintthecoin or IOU?

January 10, 2013

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Here is a good piece by Jonathan Chait from New York Magazine on how to combat the hostage taking the Republicans in Congress seek over the debt ceiling silliness. Raising the debt ceiling should be a non-issue as it was in virtually every one of the 106 times it has been raised since 1940, including […]

Posted in: Economics, Politics

December job numbers and thoughts on a progressive payroll tax system

January 4, 2013

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A few interesting things I want to highlight (including a social security observation): 155k new jobs vs. 150k consensus November’s unemployment rate was revised up to 7.8%, which is the same as December’s rate – 7.8% 58.6% of population is employed and labor participation rate is 63.6%. These numbers are relatively low, and I would […]

Posted in: Economics, Politics

The 2012 Ass Clown – Lord Mittens

January 3, 2013

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ass clown /as kloun/ n: an abject failure who is simultaneously arrogant, condescending and obnoxious. Synonym: douchebag The 2012 Ass Clown of the Year is the one and only Lord Mittens, Mitt Romney. From the 47% video, which was precisely the percentage of the American electorate he got to vote for him, to blaming President […]

Primer on gun rights in America

December 23, 2012

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This is a good primer on current gun rights courtesy of Scary Lawyer Guy blog.  I will be putting together a more nuanced analysis of Justice Scalia’s opinion and Justice Stevens’ dissent in Heller, as well as an analysis of Justice Breyer’s dissent in McDonald in the coming weeks. My initial analysis indicates that Justice […]

Another dumb gun-rights argument debunked….

December 23, 2012

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For the gun-rights ass clown’s argument – why aren’t we talking about eliminating cars? They kill as many people each year as guns. From Nicholas Kristof of NY Times… we can look for inspiration at our own history on auto safety. As with guns, some auto deaths are caused by people who break laws or […]

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