Jonathan Chait

Remember how Grover Norquist last night admitted that his anti-tax pledge has a massive loophole, in which allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire (which is the basis for the revenue component of any bipartisan deficit agreement) does not count as a tax hike?

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Gallup editor Frank Newport has a nice, pithy analysis of President Obama's ability to defy political gravity: Newport says he's crunched the numbers as far back as they go in Gallup's polling archive and found that no one's done as well as Obama when the public is as unhappy with the economy. "Based on where every president has been, his approval rating now is higher than we would predict it would be based on satisfaction [with how the country is doing]," Newport said. Obama's ability to defy the economic fundamentals is one of the most significant facts of the current landscape.

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I've now heard two anecdotal instances of people receiving this chain email: Subject: FW: Driver beware National Gang Week is starting: This is their new target method while driving on any roads, If you see a baby car seat sitting on the side of the road DO NOT STOP!!!! These are gangs targeting people, especially women, to stop their vehicle to help a baby. They make this baby look as if it has blood on itself or on its clothes, when you get out of your vehicle in attempt to help, the gangs jump out from cornfields or tall bushes.

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Juan Williams accuses National Public Radio of being in thrall to political correctness while simultaneously playing the race card against it: “It is a very elitist and in this case white institution that I think is struggling with the changing demographics of American society,” he said.

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Here's something I did not expect at all: supply-siders appear at least open to supporting the Gang of Six budget. Larry Kudlow offers a qualified endorsement as does the Wall Street Journal editorial page: [T]he outline from the three Republicans (including Oklahoma conservative Tom Coburn) and three Democrats is different from most other such offers because it combines spending cuts with reform that would lower tax rates. Most Beltway budget deals combine immediate tax increases with the promise of future spending cuts that somehow never occur.

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Rick Perry is obviously very conservative, but I didn't realize that he'd be soliciting policy advice from a certifiable lunatic like Andrew McCarthy. I want to be clear about this. I use synonyms for "crazy" pretty often, which I find to be necessary in a world in which one of the two major parties holds to such beliefs as global warming is a hoax and tax cuts increase revenue.

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The Washington Post editorial page has an interesting scoop on Grover Norquist's tax pledge: WITH A HANDFUL of exceptions, every Republican member of Congress has signed a pledge against increasing taxes. Would allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled in 2012 violate this vow? We posed this question to Grover Norquist, its author and enforcer,and his answer was both surprising and encouraging: No. In other words, according to Mr.

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From Beck's address to the Christian Zionists: "This old, dusty outdated document that chartered a new course for mankind should have brought us into World War I earlier and blown up the tracks to Auschwitz when we first saw them from the sky!" I'm pretty sure that's World War II he's thinking of. Of course, never have graduated from Beck University, I may not be qualified to make this call. (Video here. See 4:10 to 4:19.)

Do you see the legal problem with this Old Navy video? The model looks too much like Kim Kardashian, says her lawyer: “Kim Kardashian is immediately recognizable, and is known for her look and style. Her identity and persona are valuable. When her intellectual property rights are violated, she intends to enforce them,” adds her intellectual property attorney Gary Hecker. The part that trips me up here is the use of the term "intellectual."

This -- from Summers' recollection of his dealings with the Winklevoss twins, is a great insight: "One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they're looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case."

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