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With polemicists like this on the professional Left it's no wonder why the Tea Party narrative has been promulgated as successfully as it's been.

Using the example of an old The Twilight Zoneepisode, Atkins tries to make the point that progressive income tax schedules, with high marginal rates, were not only beneficial, they were once taken for granted: Read more about Innumeracy

Exploding Infrastructure

You can't make this stuff up:

Federal investigators are looking into the explosion of a leaky Pacific Gas and Electric Co. gas line that devastated a Cupertino condominium, officials said Thursday.


The explosion came just one day after PG&E was harshly criticized by the National Transportation Safety Board for its handling of gas safety in light of the San Bruno blast last year that claimed eight lives and a 2008 explosion outside a home in Rancho Cordova (Sacramento County) that killed a 72-year-old homeowner.

Yay Democrats!

Watch the whole thing, but take special note of what Scahill says beginning at the 5:30 point. (via Greenwald): Read more about Yay Democrats!

Critical drugs in short supply

This subject needs much more scrutiny than I have the energy to give it tonight, so I'll just throw it out for all to consider.

Apparently, supply shortages of widely used pharmaceuticals are fairly common in this country. Who knew? What with our righteously free markets and our famously efficient allocation of resources, how is this even possible? Read more about Critical drugs in short supply

Grassroots my ass.


Jim Messina's take on Team Obama's 2012 fundraising to date:

Messina said more than 550,000 people donated money to the campaign during the first three months, a large increase from about 180,000 donors to Obama during the first half of 2007. The campaign has actively courted small donors, hoping to show that the president is in a good position for the 2012 campaign and capable of generating broad financial support.

About 98 percent of the donors gave $250 or less. Messina said the average donation was about $69.

It's official, California is a banana republic.

In an effort to save operational costs, California's Employment Development Department will no longer issue checks for unemployment, disability, or paid family leave payments. Instead claimants will receive a pre-paid Visa debit card. The sole issuer of these debit cards is Bank of America:

“We’re pleased to help the state of California provide an easier and more efficient way for unemployed individuals, as well as customers with disabilities, to receive their benefits,” said Margaret Scopelianos, Treasury Solutions executive for Specialized Industries, including government card programs, at Bank of America.

Choose the word or term that best completes the following series:

Astrology, Numerology, Palmistry, Physiognomy, Phrenology, Graphology, _________.

For a hint, see here (via naked capitalism). Read more about Choose the word or term that best completes the following series:

Mike Lux says Obama has zero chance of re-election.

Of course, he has no clue this is what he's actually saying.

In assessing how Obama's 2012 campaign is beginning to shape up Lux notes the ominous clouds on the horizon:

However, as is obvious to pretty much everyone who follows politics at all (and probably a fair share of people who don’t), the continued problems with our economic trajectory is going to remain a serious problem dragging down the President’s re-election chances.

There, it's all better now.


You may remember a natural gas explosion last September in a San Francisco suburb that killed eight people, injured twenty-some more and leveled an entire neighborhood. Read more about There, it's all better now.

But you have to wait six months for a hip transplant....


You've all heard the ultimate, discussion-ending rationale for opposing single payer. It's nice to occasionally hear about the inverse case which is just as true and affects a lot more people.

On today's airing of Fresh Air, Canadian writer Ian Brown discusses his experience raising a severely disabled son. The whole thing is worth a listen, but here is the part relevant to single payer: Read more about But you have to wait six months for a hip transplant....

Dean Baker on Accountability in the Economics Profession


Just as the bankster CEOs most responsible for the economic meltdown will likely never be held accountable for their actions, neither will their chief shills within the economics profession suffer any lasting damage to their careers or reputations. Still, it's heartening to see professional incompetence--at least at face value-- highlighted once in a while.

Dean Baker on the role played by the IMF: Read more about Dean Baker on Accountability in the Economics Profession

A slightly different way to look at the employment situation


I've always thought the unemployment rate was a poor way to communicate information about the health of the job market. Not only is the percentage of unemployed peopled fudged by under-counting people out of work, but it's too easy to take the number itself for granted. For example, the most recent reading of the unemployment rate is 8.9%. That means fewer than nine people out of one hundred are unemployed or, alternatively, for every 100 people, more than 91 have jobs. That's not so bad, is it? Read more about A slightly different way to look at the employment situation


UN Ambassador Susan Rice at a White House press briefing Monday 2-28-11:

It sounds, just frankly, delusional. And when he [Muamarr Ghadaffi] can laugh in talking to American and international journalists while he is slaughtering his own people, it only underscores how unfit he is to lead and how disconnected he is from reality.

Yo, Sue, you mean like this:

The efficient allocation of capital


There's an interesting article in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle about the apparent inflation of a social media bubble. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Groupon and Zynga are being valued at many, many times their respective revenues. Nothing could go wrong with this, right? Naw, the professionals are in charge. Read more about The efficient allocation of capital

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and its criminal referrals


Why am I less than sanguine that these referrals will result in banksters doing the perp walk?

Phil Angelides, the FCIC's chair, has kicked off a publicity tour, of sorts, for the published version of the commission's report in his home town of Sacramento. He was interviewed today on the local public radio station: Read more about The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and its criminal referrals


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