Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!
- In a move that shocked pretty much everybody, the GOP exhibited a dose of the Valentine’s Day spirit early and decided to agree to the President’s call to extend the payroll tax cut AND with “no drama” (Obama’s words) leaving out any cuts to services for lower income Americans. This is a major shift, because the GOP had been demanding 1 for 1 cuts in spending for every tax cut, except tax cuts for the wealthy, whose cuts would pay for themselves because of their “job creator” status, despite decades of contrary data.
- Did Justice Breyer just get robbed at Machete-point by a Caribbean pirate? On a personal note, Justice Breyer was involved in my personal Marshall McLuhan moment, when he showed up unannounced to one of my law school classes to confront the annoying kid who criticized his decision the week before.
- Want to read revisionist history? Read Thomas Sowell’s latest effort to discredit Stanford as an academic institution by his mere collection of a paycheck. This time, Sowell rewrites the early years of the 20th Century, claiming that the robber baron era was marked by efficient markets with falling prices and industrial fairness. Funny, because he doesn’t cite any support for these claims, while even a cursory review of his claims reveals that the economy was wildly inconsistent and marred by consistent panics and recessions while the wealthiest thrived, prices were steady rather than wildly deflationary (-.8% in the 10 years before Roosevelt and .85% during Roosevelt’s term), and the deaths of workers in sweatshops were expected (see Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire). If anything, Roosevelt’s bold Progressive ideas began to disrupt the economic hardships of the era while having no impact on the rate of growth in America (2.86% growth in Real GDP in the decade leading up to the McKinley-Roosevelt election and 2.36% growth over the next decade) Life in the robber baron era was nasty, brutish and short, and only someone committed to ignoring numerical data, contemporary accounts and the weight of history can argue otherwise.
- Newt appeals to the New York hipster crowd with this so-bad-its-ironic ad: