Happy Birthday to Chris Butler of the Waitresses, 63. I hadn't realized that Butler -- he wrote the Waitresses songs -- was in the crowd at Kent State in 1970, as were (I believe) Mark Mothersbaugh and one or two other members of DEVO and Chrissie Hynde. Or maybe it's just one of those things like the millions of people who were there live for various sports events. Anyway, I saw the Waitresses once, but without Patty Donahue, who had split with the band at the time...Holly of Holly and the Italians was filling in, and needed index cards, if I recall correctly, to get through the lyrics to "I Know What Boys Like." Hmmm...if Wikipedia is correct, that was sometime within a two week window, so I guess I'm sort of lucky, or unlucky, depending how you look at it. I saw them again later with Donahue, though, but they were pretty over the hill by then. Great band, if only very briefly; for those of us who liked them way back when, it's weird that they will apparently live forever mainly because of a Christmas song.
Hmmmm...I seem to have got a bit carried away there. Better get to some good stuff:
1. Tim Noah confronts a talking point about inequality.
2. New research by Lisa Blaydes and Drew Linzer on public opinion -- in particular, anti-Americanism -- in Islamic nations.
3. Good Matt Yglesias post clarifying what Barack Obama actually proposes to do on taxes (using a Tax Policy Center chart). His point is that those puzzled by why rich people don't like Obama should realize that Obama really does want to raise taxes on upper-income folks, and that people don't like paying taxes. Fair point -- but I think what bothers a lot of liberals is that, as they see it, what the rich are buying with Obama is a non-imploding economy, which is worth a whole lot more to the rich than they would be paying in taxes. This doesn't make Yglesias's point wrong! But it requires either the rich not agreeing that there is a systematic reason why, say, the stock market thrived under Clinton and Obama while tanking under Bush, or the rich valuing money lost through higher taxes a lot more than money gained through better economic times.Or both.
4. And, yes, there does appear to be swearing in baseball, from Sam Miller.