Working for a Living

A new study of welfare programs in several countries pretty convincingly debunks the common wisdom that “giveaway programs” make poor people lazy. Nearly all the programs studied were “conditional cash transfers,” meaning you had to do something (like getting your kids vaccinated) to get the money. It supports my long-held theory that policy makers on the Left and Right both make a fatal mistake in assuming that poor people are somehow intrinsically different in thought and motivation than the rest of us.

Published in: on November 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Excerpt from Ben Carson’s Interview on CNN

Published in: on November 7, 2015 at 8:33 pm  Comments (1)  

It’s the Supreme Court, Dummy!

Excellent article here and a great follow-up to Matt Yglesias’ recent Jeremiad about Democratic complacency at the state level. The fact of the matter is SCOTUS is the third hyper-partisan branch of government and with the other two almost certainly still divided after 2016, the most important. Forget undoing the damage of the Roberts Court; Democrats must retain the White House to prevent what could effectively be the outlawry of the Democratic Party, progressivism, and the tattered remnants of American democracy. It’s that fucking important.

Published in: on October 29, 2015 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ignorance is Strength

An anti-science ignorant zealot was made Chairman of the House Science Committee and given broad powers of subpoena. Can you guess what happened next?

Published in: on October 27, 2015 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Doing the Impossible 


Trey Gowdy and his clownshow of a committee actually managed to make Hillary Clinton look sympathetic 

Published in: on October 23, 2015 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Select Committee on Getting Hillary


UNITED STATES - JULY 31: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks with the media on the East Front of the Capitol after a vote in the House, July 31, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UNITED STATES – JULY 31: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks with the media on the East Front of the Capitol after a vote in the House, July 31, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As we wait for Hillary Clinton to testify before the Benghazi! Committee, it’s worth this long read to see just how, precisely, this “investigation” is a gigantic steaming pile of horseshit.

UPDATE: Some more reasons why the Benghazi! Committee is not only bad, it’s potentially harmful long term to the tradition of Congressional oversight

Published in: on October 22, 2015 at 7:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Asshole Caucus



Good and fairly objective article on the secretive House Freedom Caucus. It makes the excellent point that the rift between this faction and “The Establishment” has less to do with ideology than tactics. The HFC is perfectly willing to cause the entire Federal government to grind to a halt, or wreck the economy, just to make a political point. Unlike, say, John Boehner, they either think the majority of Americans will applaud this or (equally  likely) they just don’t care.

Published in: on October 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Denial Ain’t Just A River in Egypt

Hard to argue with this article. If the Republicans are in danger of becoming the party that can’t win the White House (having lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 elections), the Democrats are in danger of becoming the party that can’t win Congress (losing all but 3 Congressional elections in the same period, 4 if you count near-control of the Senate). In other words, a recipe for further gridlock. That being said, it’s QUITE as dire as Vox makes it out: the Republicans are barely in control of all or part of the legislatures in several of these states (Colorado, New Mexico and New York, for example) and presidential level turnout should help in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. Still, it’s hard to escape the comparison to the post Civil War era, where Democrats were locked out of the White House (with the sole exception of Grover Cleveland) for decades, but were still competitive in Congress and state legislatures both in the North and the South.

Published in: on October 19, 2015 at 10:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Reality Bites

I like Bernie Sanders. A lot. He’s blunt, honest, incorruptible, and utterly sincere.

But he’s not going to win.

And if he did win, nothing would change. The change he wants, and which I very much agree the country desperately needs, is not going to happen in the post-Citizens United era. Not. Going. To. Happen.

The only way any fundamental change will come is if a new Supreme Court abolishes the plutocracy it created. There isn’t going to be a Constitutional Amendment fix in our lifetimes. It would never pass Congress, not a chance. And the only way to get a new SCOTUS is to nominate someone who can not only win, not only carry the senate, but who has the arm-twisting realpolitik outlook it takes to get results, shorn of any sentimentality or wishful thinking. The only person who has a chance of doing that is Hillary.

Published in: on October 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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John Wayne Galt

Entire books could be written about the repulsive philosophy of Ayn Rand: racist, virulently anti-Christian, cultish. I never seek to be astonished at the number of self-proclaimed “conservative Christians” who claim to support her views, indicating they’ve likely never read her works or the Bible. Here are some excerpts of particularly  vile comments she made before the West Point Graduating class of 1974, defending among other things slavery and the genocide of Native Americans. She also parrots what is now a standard  bizarre Right Wing trope: liberals are the REAL racists for accusing people of racism.

Published in: on October 17, 2015 at 11:26 am  Leave a Comment  

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