Monday, April 1, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Rachel Maddow, 40.

No shortage of good stuff today:

1. Really, just stop saying "weapons of mass destruction." Spencer Ackerman explains.

2. How will the GOP fight against ACA in the states play out -- if it succeeds? Ezra Klein with a good column on it.

3. Matt Yglesias points out some basics of politics and economics.

4. Excellent column by John Sides about ideology and 2012 (and the future). My position on this: Republicans don't need an ideological adjustment to win the presidency, but they do need reform if they're going to be able to govern successfully.

5. But see also: Eric Schickler responds to John, and then John responds back to Eric. Quick point: John says that "Republicans had no problem winning presidential elections even when the Democratic advantage in party identification was much larger than now." Yes and no...there is that long stretch (9 elections) in which Democrats win unless Ike is on the ballot. Overall, I think it's possible that Democrats have taken a small but real edge, but also possible that the parties are still even and there's just some sorting around among what people call themselves...I haven't seen anything that convinces me one way or another.

6. And I don't know if anyone cares, but: my brother: not a moron.


  1. Missed One:

    Hillary Clinton gets on the speaking tour. Time to get PAID!

    That family is voracious; no amount of power, sycophancy, or treasure can sate it.

  2. #3 Yglesias

    — Without a central bank minding the store properly, the entire macroeconomy will fall into periodic recessions lasting months or years.

    Yglesias' idea of a country whose central bank is minding the store properly is Argentina which he claims is running a quality "macroeconomic stabilisation policy."

    Argentina's inflation rate is 25% and the central government is dictating the price of potatoes that grocery stores may charge. Brilliant.

  3. Yes, it's probably time to retire the term WMD, but since reference has been made to past irresponsible usage of the term, let me point to this:

  4. #6

    I've read some Jewish sources claiming that the Jewish unemployment rate is half that of the national rate. Is there any good data on this?

    1. Nixonian anti-Semitism strikes again. Can't decide if BYF is trying to complement the Watergate posts or is just letting his id run wild.

    2. (By Geoff G logic the following true statement is anti-white racism)

      White unemployment rate is around half that of black unemployment rate.

  5. With regard to Sides saying that an average of the prediction models showed Obama winning this is true but I will repeat that saying "between 46.4% and 52.5% of US voters will support the incumbent in 2012, and there is a 60% probability that the vote for Obama will be greater than 50%" seemed to point to a very narrow Obama victory--one of nearly 4 percent was clearly above the median forecast. I would really have expected Obama to win by one, at most two percent of the popular vote. (Though more comfortably in the Electoral College--such a narrower victory is consistent with Obama winning all the states he did except Florida.)

    Now maybe GOTV made some of the difference, but it could be that a perception of the GOP as too conservative did play a part (this is fully consistent with many voters *also* believing that Obama was too liberal) as did one of those "gaffes" (the 47 percent video) that political scientists keep assuring us can't make a difference... (Saying that polls didn't show it had much of an effect ignores the possibility that the time Romney had to spend "explaining" the remarks could have been used in ways that would have led him to *advance* in the polls, not just avoid a decline.)

  6. #2

    Or, to put it another way, California might end 2014 with a high-performing, near-universal health-care system.

    We should revisit this Klein statement in early 2015 -- even though it is needlessly muddy. With a (D) state government and Opapa at the helm, California should be able to goo-goo it up.


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