1. Ha-Joon Chang: Economics Is A Political Argument →

    I am seeking to debunk this widespread view, propagated by the current generation of economists, that somehow you can neatly separate economics from politics.

    I don’t agree with everything he says, but he makes some amazing points. I agree with his main point. Worth a read.

  2. Politics by Subpoena: How Darrell Issa Abuses His Power, and Why →

    Issa has been engaged in nonstop investigations since taking power after the 2010 election, drilling into everything from the Fast and Furious operation to Benghazi to Solyndra to Freddie and Fannie to the alleged politicization of the IRS to the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov. He’s talked of finding “Obama’s Watergate,” but that’s never happened and his investigations come up empty handed again and again.

    What is so frustrating is that rather than investigate clear and admitted lies by NSA and CIA spokespeople, Issa is spending time and tax payer money on nonsense issues he imagines will look good on fox news.

  3. A Nation of Takers? →

    I worry about those tycoons sponging off government. Won’t our pampering damage their character? Won’t they become addicted to the entitlement culture, demanding subsidies even for their yachts?

  4. Nate Silver / Paul Krugman feud  →

    At his current pace, Mr. Krugman will write 425 more blog posts about FiveThirtyEight between now and the 2016 presidential election.

    Nate lands a roundhouse on the bearded one.

    There will be blood. And charts. Mostly charts.

  5. The Conservative Myth of a Social Safety Net Built on Charity →

    One problem with the conservative vision of charity is that it assumes the government hasn’t been playing a role in the management of risk and social insurance from the beginning. It imagines that there is some golden period to return to, free from any and all government interference.

    As for social insurance specifically, the historian Michael Katz has documented that there has always been a mixed welfare state made up of private and public organizations throughout our country’s history. Outdoor relief, or cash assistance outside of institutions, was an early legal responsibility of American towns, counties, and parishes from colonial times through the early nineteenth century. During this period, these issues were usually dealt with through questions of “settlement.” A community had a responsibility to provide relief to its own needy, native members, defined as those who had a settlement there. This became increasingly difficult with an industrialized society, as people moved to and fro looking for work and were forced out of communities when they couldn’t find any.

    political scientist Theda Skocpol has documented, there were also multiple examples of state-issued social insurance programs before the New Deal. In the wake of the Civil War, Congress established an elaborate system of pensions for veterans. At its height in 1910, this de facto disability and old-age pension system delivered benefits to more than 25 percent of all American men over 65, accounting for a quarter of the federal government’s expenditures. Between 1911 and 1920, 40 states passed laws establishing “mothers’ pensions” for single women with children. These programs provided payments for needy widowed mothers in order to allow them to provide for their children.

    Konczal corrects some basic misconceptions about the role of the state in social insurance prior to the new deal. Worth reading.

  6. Tea Party and Wall Street Are Getting Along Just Fine →

    it’s hard to find where the Tea Party and Wall Street disagree. Tea Party senators like Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz, plus conservative senators like David Vitter, have rallied around a one-line bill repealing the entirety of Dodd-Frank and replacing it with nothing. In the House, Republicans are attacking new derivatives regulations, all the activities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the existence of the Volcker Rule, and the ability of the FDIC to wind down a major financial institution, while relentlessly attacking strong regulators and cutting regulatory funding. This is Wall Street’s wet dream of a policy agenda. Note the lack of any Republican counter-proposal or framework. The few that have been suggested, such as David Camp’s bank tax or Vitter’s higher capital requirements have gotten no additional support from the right. House Republicans attacked Camp’s plan publicly, and Vitter’s bill lost one of its only two other Republican supporters immediately after it was announced. So why is there a lack of an agenda? Because the Tea Party thinks that Wall Street has done nothing wrong.

  7. Promoting Evolution Is 'An Act Of Disloyalty To America' →

    "American political philosophy is based on the belief that the world was created by God in six days, and that this creation event occurred about 6,000 years ago," he explains, adding that news reports describing the Earth as millions of years old were either ignorant or "anti-American."

    Where is genesis mentioned in the constitution?

  8. NSA General Counsel Insists US Companies Assisted In Data Collection →

    Before everyone gets upset at Yahoo, Apple and Google; please remember that the NSA has been caught lying. Clapper lied to congress and NSA counsel lied to the Senate on two occasions.

  9. Paul Ryan’s Irish Amnesia →

    What infuriated Mitchel was that the Irish were starving to death at the very time that rich stores of grain and fat livestock owned by absentee landlords were being shipped out of the country. The food was produced by Irish hands on Irish lands but would not go into Irish mouths, for fear that such “charity” would upset the free market, and make people lazy.

    ….

    “We have this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” In other words, these people are bred poor and lazy. Where have I heard that before? Ah, yes — 19th-century England. The Irish national character, Trevelyan confided to a fellow aristocrat, was “defective.” The hungry millions were “a selfish, perverse, and turbulent” people, said the man in charge of relieving their plight.

    Worth a read. The inference to suffering on the right is amazing.

  10. Koch Group Abandons Obamacare 'Horror' Stories After Fact-Check Backlash →

    But what’s notable about the ads is what they aren’t: A personalized story of someone who’s been negatively affected by Obamacare, the kind of verifiable set of facts that can be checked — and rebutted, as happened with a recent AFP ad that led to significant backlash from the fact-checking community.

    The facts have a liberal bias….so lets base our opinions on something other than facts. Wonderful.