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Democracy in America
American politics
 The Iowa caucuses explained
 That time again
 Jan 2nd 2012, 11:54 by E.M. | CEDAR FALLS, IOWA

 ON JANUARY 3rd, a small cadre of Republicans in Iowa will begin the process of selecting their part
 president. At 7pm the party will hold “caucuses” in 1,774 precincts around the state. Representativ
 will speak before those attending mark their choice on a ballot. After a convoluted series of regiona
 meetings, the candidates will be awarded “delegates” roughly in proportion to their share of the vo
 turn, attend the national convention in August at which the party’s presidential nominee is formally

  Recommend (201)
  Comment (58)
 Subsidies' end
 A new year in ethanol
 Dec 31st 2011, 12:51 by M.S.

 NEW YEAR'S EVE seems like a good time to reflect on deep questions that are utterly critical to human understanding but a
 anywhere. So it is in a mood of profound gratitude, wonder and awe that I read Brad Plumer's reminder that corn-ethanol
 this year, and that no one is defending them. This confounds my comprehension and leads me to realise that I understand
 single most important question in human politics: how and why large numbers of people sometimes change their minds ab
                                                                                                          Continue readin

 Recommend (273)
 Comment (68)
Back off, pastors
The people's choice
Dec 30th 2011, 14:24 by E.G. | AUSTIN
LAST week Michele Bachmann confirmed that Bob Vander Plaats, the president of the evangelical F
asked her to drop out of the presidential race and throw her support behind Rick Santorum or Rick
Rick Santorum flatly rejected a suggestion, again from a handful of evangelical leaders, that he and
merge their campaigns in the hope of consolidating the social conservative voting bloc.
May I just say: Jiminy, that is inappropriate. While such deals and understanding are common enou
an election cycle, at this stage, days before the Iowa caucus, it's quite offensive.
                                                                                         Continue rea

 Recommend (235)
 Comment (48)
Old and tired
Dec 28th 2011, 18:14 by M.S.

DAVID BROOKS argues that analogies between today's America and that of the Progressive era are misplaced, and Progres
modern times, because today's America faces challenges it didn't face back then. For example, today inequality is rising:
 Moreover, the information economy widens inequality for deep and varied reasons that were unkn
 Inequality is growing in nearly every developed country.

 Recommend (308)
 Comment (65)
Recess appointments and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The quantum mechanics of government
Dec 28th 2011, 14:56 by M.S.
EVERYTHING in the world, all the time, is coming down to the last second these days. It's really inc
about it. The fate of the euro comes down to fundamental transformations of the European Union's
at 5am after marathon sessions between 27 heads of state. The American government is pushed to
until last-ditch negotiations pull out a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
                                                                         Continue reading "The quantum m

 Recommend (292)
 Comment (39)
Progressives and Israel
One of these slurs is not like the others
Dec 27th 2011, 17:15 by M.S.
THIS is a little down in the weeds, but it seems the progressive Truman National Security Project has expelled Josh Block, a
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), because he criticised the stances of left-wing groups that are trying to ta
Israel. The conflict centres on several bloggers at the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Media Matters, which are bo
sceptic approach, and who wrote some intemperate posts criticising the Simon Wiesenthal Center as "Israel-firsters".
                                                                                            Continue reading "One of these s

 Recommend (313)
 Comment (53)
Newt Hampshire
Dec 24th 2011, 16:05 by The Economist online

  Recommend (508)
  Comment (15)
Payroll tax cave-in
Mister Cratchit!
Dec 24th 2011, 12:41 by M.S.
THE argument that Scrooge was right about Christmas is probably not going to be a winner, either with conservatives or th
expect to see much more of it. It would be interesting if old Ebenezer replaced John Galt as a pro-inequality standard-beare
the tedium, but I worry that when people on the internet start running with this one, it signals that we have so far passed t
Contrarianism that we are literally running out of obvious commonly held true statements to provocatively deny. "People s
poor on Christmas. Or should they???" Yes, they should.

  Recommend (367)
  Comment (66)
Airlines and CO2
Trade wars and morals
Dec 22nd 2011, 15:03 by M.S.

LET'S say you think enslaving children is bad, and you decide that foreign companies that use forced child-labour should be
wares in the United States. Should that be allowed, under international trade laws? What if the company in question is bre
where it uses such labour? Isn't that country being unfairly attacked? Who is the United States Congress to decide what kin
not be legal in another country? Would that country not have the right to retaliate by barring imports of some American pr
                                                                                                            Continue readin

  Recommend (439)
  Comment (90)
Mitt Romney's campaign
Inequality v entitlements
Dec 21st 2011, 21:43 by M.S.
POLITICO'S Alexander Burns reports on Mitt Romney's new stump speech, which attacks Barack Obama for holding beliefs
the beliefs held by Barack Obama.
 Just a couple of weeks ago in Kansas, President Obama lectured us about Teddy Roosevelt’s philo
 But he failed to mention the important difference between Teddy Roosevelt and Barack Obama. R
 government should level the playing field to create equal opportunities. President Obama believes
 should create equal outcomes.
As Kevin Drum points out, Mitt Romney just made this up.
                                                                                    Continue reading "

 Recommend (423)
 Comment (114)
The 2012 Republican primary
Will Ron Paul win Iowa?
Dec 21st 2011, 13:16 by W.W. | IOWA CITY

NATE SILVER, the New York Times ' whiz horse-race handicapper, says Ron Paul is more likely than
upcoming Iowa caucus. And here is a pretty picture for Mr Paul: it shows polling trends for Republic
candidates in Iowa between June and December. Michele Bachmann is omitted, but it's a good sum
Iowa so far. A series of candidates enjoyed fleeting seasons of glory, then tanked disastrously. (Yo
sun, Rick Perry. You flew too close to the sun!) Mitt Romney's support dipped slightly as each flavo
hastened toward his peak, then he more or less recovered with each precipitous fall.
                                                                                      Continue reading

 Recommend (432)
 Comment (151)
Green regulations
Angry light-bulb salesmen
Dec 20th 2011, 21:39 by M.S.

TODAY I find myself in the unusual position of disagreeing with something Kevin Drum wrote on the grounds that it's too h
the regulated shift of the lighting industry to high-efficiency bulbs. Last week the GOP managed to kill funding for enforcem
standards mandating that from January 1, consumers could buy only LEDs or a new breed of incandescent light bulbs that a
the old-fashioned kind. As Mr Drum writes, the PR campaign for the new law has been abysmal; most Americans who know
regulations remain under the impression that they ban incandescent bulbs, when in fact they do not.
                                                                                                          Continue reading "A

 Recommend (542)
 Comment (85)
Politics and lies
Fact-checking the fact-checkers
Dec 20th 2011, 19:28 by E.G. | AUSTIN
POLITIFACT, the fact-checking project of the St Petersburg Times, has got itself in trouble today for giving its "Lie of the Yea
claim that "Republicans voted to end Medicare":
  A complicated and wonky subject with life-or-death consequences, health care is fertile ground fo
  Democratic attack about "ending Medicare" was a pervasive line in 2011 that preyed on seniors' w
  they could afford health care.
 Even when explained accurately, the Republicans’ Medicare plan was not particularly popular with
 some independent health policy analysts. But the plan was distorted and attacked again and again
                                                                             Continue reading "Fact-c

 Recommend (399)
 Comment (52)
Religion in America
The faith (and doubts) of our fathers
Dec 20th 2011, 17:53 by The Economist online
WHAT did the makers of America believe about God and religion? The subject is stirring the very ra

 Recommend (378)
 Comment (7)
Money in politics
Choose or lose, contribute or be mute
Dec 19th 2011, 23:21 by M.S.

STEPHEN PEARLSTEIN approves of the campaign by Howard Schultz, boss of Starbucks, to get poli
Americans (especially prominent and very rich ones) to boycott political donations until Democrats
a "grand bargain" over the budget. If politicians dependent on large infusions of cash to win reelect
stream shrinking due to the disgust of moderate voters, he thinks, they will respond by delivering m
I doubt this will work. As evidence, here's an email I just received from Tea Party Nation.

 There are a lot of good names for the Democrats and the liberals. Calling them the Party of Treas
                                                                         Continue reading "Choose or lo

 Recommend (393)
 Comment (42)
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          Offline reading

Saturday May 5th 2012
s of selecting their party’s nominee for
he state. Representatives of each candidate
oluted series of regional and statewide
to their share of the vote. The delegates, in
tial nominee is formally selected.
                 Continue reading "That time again" »

o human understanding but aren't likely to actually lead
 reminder that corn-ethanol subsidies are going to expire
 to realise that I understand nothing at all about the
etimes change their minds about things.
              Continue reading "A new year in ethanol" »

ent of the evangelical Family Leader, had
 Rick Santorum or Rick Perry. And yesterday
 cal leaders, that he and Ms Bachmann should
voting bloc.
nding are common enough at the beginning of
              Continue reading "The people's choice" »

a are misplaced, and Progressive-era solutions ill-suited to
  today inequality is rising:
 reasons that were unknown a century ago.

                       Continue reading "Old and tired" »

ese days. It's really incredible when you think
f the European Union's fiscal rules agreed to
overnment is pushed to the brink of default

 nue reading "The quantum mechanics of government" »
ct has expelled Josh Block, a former spokesman for the
g groups that are trying to take a more critical line on
Media Matters, which are both taking a more Israel-
nter as "Israel-firsters".
tinue reading "One of these slurs is not like the others" »

                                           View full post »

ther with conservatives or the general public, and I do not
pro-inequality standard-bearer for a while, just to relieve
 that we have so far passed the point of Peak
provocatively deny. "People should be generous to the

                    Continue reading "Mister Cratchit!" »

orced child-labour should be barred from marketing their
e company in question is breaking no laws in the country
 Congress to decide what kinds of labour should or should
mports of some American products?
             Continue reading "Trade wars and morals" »

 k Obama for holding beliefs that bear no resemblance to
Teddy Roosevelt’s philosophy of government.
t and Barack Obama. Roosevelt believed that
esident Obama believes that government

           Continue reading "Inequality v entitlements" »

 Paul is more likely than not to clinch the
lling trends for Republican presidential
ted, but it's a good summary of the story in
anked disastrously. (You flew too close to the
 d slightly as each flavour of the week
tous fall.
           Continue reading "Will Ron Paul win Iowa?" »

on the grounds that it's too harsh on industry. Our topic is
 d to kill funding for enforcement of new energy-efficiency
ncandescent light bulbs that are far more efficient than
al; most Americans who know anything about these
do not.
            Continue reading "Angry light-bulb salesmen" »
y for giving its "Lie of the Year" award to the Democratic

care is fertile ground for falsehoods. The
hat preyed on seniors' worries about whether

articularly popular with the public, nor with
ttacked again and again.
   Continue reading "Fact-checking the fact-checkers" »

ct is stirring the very rancour they wanted to

                                          View full post »

f Starbucks, to get politically moderate
ations until Democrats and Republicans strike
s of cash to win reelection see their revenue
respond by delivering moderate results.
Party Nation.

hem the Party of Treason is a good start.
ntinue reading "Choose or lose, contribute or be mute" »
tes on Facebook.

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