National Review Jukes The Stats
February 09, 2012
[Guest post by Nathan Pippenger] Jim Manzi, a sharp writer with whom I frequently disagree, has a post up at National Review that made me do a double-take. It’s about income inequality—and it’s hardly a persuasive argument. Manzi, who lives in Europe, admits that income inequality is “a symptom of deep problems,” but he bristles at “the cartoon of ‘Europe equal, America unequal.’” Now, I’ve done a lot of reading about income inequality—more, I think it’s fair to say, than even most wonks (I helped TNR’s Tim Noah with his excellent upcoming book).
Reality Check: Angry Birds Flock To Mitt
January 13, 2012
My colleague Tim Noah, a Twitter neophyte like myself, noted in a tweet earlier this week an interesting tidbit in the New Hampshire exit polls that many others have overlooked.
Republicans v. the Unemployed, Cont'd
January 11, 2012
Remember the idea of making unemployment benefits conditional on having a high school diploma? It's back – and it looks more offensive than ever. If you read my colleague Tim Noah's blog, you know the background already. Unemployment benefits are currently available for up to 99 weeks, depending on where you live, because the economy is still growing slowly and jobs are still hard to find. But that extension will expire at the end of February unless Congress passes and President Obama signs a bill renewing it. Obama and his allies want to do it.
Were the Recess Appointments Constitutional? The Case for Yes
January 05, 2012
Should President Obama use the recess appointment power when Republicans in Congress refuse even to consider his nominees? You better believe it. Not only are Republicans blocking Obama’s nominations at a record rate. They are doing so in order to impose their own ideological agenda and, in some cases, to undermine duly passed laws they don't like but can't repeal. That’s a modern-day form of nullification, as the political scientist Thoman Mann has put it and the Atlantic's James Fallows has been trying, desperately, to remind people.
TNR On the Most Overlooked Stories of 2011
December 29, 2011
Lawrence Kaplan: America’s Silent Withdrawal From Iraq War is over. No, really. “Permanent” bases? Absolutely not. A decades-long partnership between Iraq and the United States? With the American officials who guide the fortunes of the world’s lone superpower and who, doing violence to their word, ordered the last of U.S.
I Surrender To Twitter
December 14, 2011
Even though I believe it to be a thing of the devil, I have, after resisting for many years, surrendered and gotten myself a Twitter account. I make this sacrifice out of devotion to the New Republic; anxiety about what others might be saying about me behind my back; and the desire to sell as many copies of my forthcoming book about income inequality, The Great Divergence, as the market will bear in these times of economic hardship. You will find me at @TimothyNoah1.
(Another) Romney Lie on Health Care
December 13, 2011
Mitt Romney's $10,000 wager during Saturday night's debate has gotten all the post-debate attention. And that's a shame, because what Romney said after proposing the bet also deserves scrutiny. It was about health care reform and why he objects to the Affordable Care Act. Romney's answer was hypocritical -- and, more important, it was a flat-out lie. Put aside, for the moment, the question of whether Romney was dissembling about his previous statements on the individual mandate.
How Obama Is Mishandling the Violence Wracking the Muslim World
December 12, 2011
This is a subject about which we’re not supposed to speak. Or write. Well, I suppose we can allude. But not in detail. So, even though bloodletting is a daily occurrence in the orbit of Islam, discussing it is forbidden. At least among the sensitive, the sensitive left most notably. By which I mean, firstly, folk who think of themselves as universal souls but see others, Americans and Brits, French and Germans, Italians and Dutch, also the bulk of English speakers wherever they are, as retrograde. Patriots, for God’s sake, patriotism being not only a dirty concept but a dirty word.
Muddled Thoughts on Medicare - From Me!
December 01, 2011
My colleague Tim Noah thinks the Senate Republicans have completely undercut their economic argument on taxes with their proposal to extend payroll tax relief. He’s right! The Senate Republican proposal is a counter-offer to the Democrats’, which would reduce payroll taxes for everybody who pays them, and then cover the cost of that by imposing higher income taxes on people who make more than $1 million annually.
Dear Congress: When the Supercommittee Fails, those Defense Cuts Really Will Happen
November 21, 2011
With the November 23 deadline nearly upon us, there’s a broad consensus that the Joint Select (Super) Committee won’t get anything done, which means that the clock will start on a “trigger”—that is, a series of budget cuts, including cuts to Defense spending and Medicare providers, that are scheduled to begin taking effect in January 2013. Since the trigger was devised to be unpopular with everyone in order to force Democrats and Republicans into making a deal, the next and obvious step will be for various factions in congress to try to eliminate the portions of the trigger they don’t like.