Category Economics

What’s The Matter With California?

The American Spectator takes a string of California municipal bankruptcies as proof of the dangers of the extravagance of the modern liberal welfare state.  Ben Domenech’s Transom — a subscription-only daily email blast offering a good window into the right’s talking points du jour, analogous to a paid, partisan version of Mike Allen’s daily must-read — echoes the […]

Grow Up With the Country: the Value of Government Work in a Recession

I’ve been taking some time off — maybe you’ve noticed? — to acclimatize to a new life and a new job. The job, I think I’ve said, is as an appellate prosecutor for a New York metropolitan jurisdiction. It’s a great choice, for all parties involved: I get a chance to do what I really […]

This Week in Red-Baiting

A new chain e-mail making its way around the internet cites to a political cartoon from the Chicago Tribune which, in 1934, made the same allegations against President Franklin Roosevelt that the “tea parties” make against President Obama. It’s all there. The nasty, senseless anti-elitism (“Young pinkies from Columbia and Harvard”); obligatory reference to Stalin, at the […]

The Banks Stressed? Fuhgeddaboudit!

This week, the Obama Administration and Wall Street successfully negotiated exactly how much it will cost to restore a warm and fuzzy feeling to the domestic economy: $75 billion. (That includes the cost to ship a rainbow-colored unicorn to every American household!) The stress tests were a nice exercise meant to make everyone — especially […]

Obama’s Got a Banking Problem — And It Ain’t TARP

[Note: This version updates the “corrected” version posted 3:14 p.m. EDT which incorrectly exchanged Ben Nelson [D-NE] for Bill Nelson [D-FL] as having voted “Nay” on Senate Amendment 1014. I was correct the first time around, and this is what I get for triple- and quadruple-guessing myself.] Let’s travel back in time, shall we, to […]

Hanging with Paul and George (and a Few Other Econ Wizzes) in the N-Y-C

Last Thursday I hauled my cookies down to the City to attend the PEN World Voices Festival‘s installment, “The New York Review of Books: The Economic Crisis and How to Deal with It, featuring a panel of economic, academic, political, and business big-wigs including: Paul Krugman, George Soros, Nouriel Roubini, Bill Bradley, Niall Ferguson, and […]

Richard Posner Comes to the Dark Side

And by “dark side” I mean the side of support for regulation of the market. (Some of us — ahem –consider this “seeing the light.”) Posner is a classical liberal. Actually, that five-word sentence understates the point. It’s a tough call as to whether Posner or (Milton) Friedman is the face of the (University of) […]

End O’ Week Smorgasbord

Torture Yesterday, the Department of Justice released additional OLC memoranda to the CIA offering legal opinion on “harsh interrogation techniques.” There are three documents, available via a nice NYT interface. The Obama Administration has promised “intelligence community officials who acted reasonably and relied in good faith on authoritative legal advice from the Justice Department that […]

Their Purpose Spent, Anti-Obama Protesters on Road to Irrelevance

Yesterday, somewhere around 250,000 right-wing activists, spurred to action by Fox News, took to the streets to protest as novel and “socialist” Obama’s plan to return the tax code to pre-Bush levels. The resulting demonstrations, a blend of equal parts alarmist jingoism with misdirected patriotism (since when is it patriotic to threaten secession?), are exactly […]

Um, Christianity Isn’t America’s Religion …

Last week I wrote about some of the bills presented by House Republicans in the last Congress in an effort to increase Christianity’s role in federal government. Presumably, since the United States is obviously a Christian nation, it makes sense — in their minds — to inject overt Christian theology here and there … After […]