Timothy Noah

The most honest conservative commentary I've seen lately on the topic of income inequality was Matthew Continetti's "About Inequality" in the Nov. 14 Weekly Standard. The usual conservative approach to income inequality (besides simply ignoring it) is to try to argue that it doesn't really exist, or to argue that if it does exist, it's mooted by upward mobility, or to argue that it's good for you. The trouble with these responses is that they're in conflict with the facts. Income inequality has been growing for 32 years, upward mobility in the U.S.

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The only thing that's alarming about the super committee's struggle to reach a deal on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction is the eagerness of reporters and Washington chin-pullers to be alarmed. What exactly will happen if Thanksgiving comes and no deal is reached? "If the panel falls short," Robert Pear explains in the Nov. 14 New York Times, "a series of automatic cuts, split evenly between military and civilian programs, would take effect, starting in 2013." This might be cause for alarm if the current month were Nov.

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From the newly-released Watergate grand jury testimony of former President Richard Nixon (June 23 and 24, 1975). On big things and little things:  "One of the weaknesses I have, and it is a strength in another way, I am quite single-minded. Some people can play cards and listen to television and have a conversation at one time. I can't.

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A message from the management: The New Republic Online is looking for college students and recent graduates for its  Spring 2012 Web Internship program. Internships are unpaid but offer substantial experience in the production of a daily online publication. Interns must be able to work in our Washington, D.C. office.

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The Armistice was signed at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. In less than an hour it will be the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year, or 11:11 11/11/11. All the world's computers will shut down and the mountains will be laid low and the seas will arise to cover the earth and Herman Cain will win the Republican nomination for president. Or not. I've never been very good at predicting the future. Update: Missed it!

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My first thought when Rick Perry couldn't name the third government agency he'd eliminate was that he was having a transient ischemic attack. My second thought was, "Oh, he's just having a senior moment. I've been having those since I was 15." My third thought was that his forgetting the name of the third federal agency he wants to eliminate does make you wonder whether he actually wants to eliminate it or whether this is something a campaign consultant told him to say.

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Dust Storm

The GOP’s favorite punching bag right now is a government regulation that doesn’t exist. “Our goals include ... overturning the EPA’s proposed regulations that inhibit jobs in areas [such as] farm dust,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote in an August Washington Post op-ed. There was no such proposed rule. “We’ll stop excessive federal regulations that inhibit jobs in areas [such as] farm dust,” House Speaker John Boehner similarly pledged in a September 15 speech to the Economic Club of D.C. Still, there was no such proposal.

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Right On Schedule

"His greatest asset lies in his capacity to speak to Americans as he has done, with such potency, during the Republican debates. No candidate in the field comes close to his talent for connection. There's no underestimating the importance of such a power in the presidential election ahead, or any other one. "His rise in the polls suggests that more and more Republicans are absorbing that fact, along with the possibility that Mr.

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One of this blog's responsibilities, I decided during my week off (thanks to Isaac Chotiner for filling in!) will be to keep track of unacceptable words and catchphrases that enter the political dialog. Nothing can be done about the government officials who use them, but any journalist who uses them ought to be fired, or at least put on probation, for committing offenses against the mother tongue.

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Daley Death Watch

Bill Daley is clearly on his way out as White House chief of staff. The Wall Street Journal and Politico report that he's turning over his day-to-day duties to Pete Rouse, who was the interim chief of staff after Rahm Emmanuel left and is much better-liked by the White House staff and on Capitol Hill. Both publications say that Daley did himself a lot of damage in an Oct. 28 interview with Politico's Roger Simon. That was certainly my impression.

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