CJR: Peggy Noonan loses it on the IRS story.
The Economist: Microcredit—Put to the test.
FT: US deficit falls faster than expected.
“The better picture has also shifted the deadline by which the US needs to raise its borrowing limit to avoid a default on its debt from August until October or even November, the CBO said.” Oh joy, more time for Benghazi and the IRS.
CJR: Untangling Obamacare — What’s behind the rate increases?
What does a 100% increase sound like to you? Subsidies will soften the blow … I remain maximally skeptical.
CSM: Did the IRS illegally target the Tea Party? Seven questions answered.
Some needed background.
TomDispatch: David Vine, ‘Baseworld Profiteering.’
Private contractors are the big winners.
FT: The cost of hand-to-mouth living.
“If you were to ask wealthy Americans to visualise the future, they might well describe it as a carefully calibrated road along which they expect to travel. But if you ask poorer Americans, who are scrambling from pay check to pay check, they are more likely to perceive the future as a chaotic series of short-term cycles.”
NY Times: Suicide Rate Rises Sharply in U.S.
“The boomers had great expectations for what their life might look like, but I think perhaps it hasn’t panned out that way.” We also remember how it was, perhaps, and despair of it ever being that fine again.
The Atlantic: How Oil Made Working Class North Dakota a Whole Lot Richer.
This, in the current economy, is why it’s terribly hard to push an environmental agenda (or even a clear public health agenda).
Later: Speaking of public health …
Naked Capitalism: The Climate Crisis in Three Easy Charts.
“If the Koch Bros keep getting rich, we move backward. If Barack “Hope & Change” Obama approves Keystone, we move backward. If the U.S. develops “domestic oil” resources, we move backward. For every new car (‘carbon-delivery system’) sold, we move backward. People need to know this and think like this. We can stop the crisis, but only if we stop carbon. It’s that simple; and that stark.”
Later: Not everyone agrees with the above.
CJR: Untangling Obamacare—Rate shock!?
“In her remarks admitting rate increases would be coming, Sebelius said she is ‘a believer in the market strategies that will minimize the rate impact.’” The more I learn about it, the more I expect a swift kick in the wallet. Esp. when anyone mentions “market strategies” as an ameliorating influence.
Guardian.UK: Louisiana counts the cost of teaching creationism – in reputation and dollars.
“With the New Orleans Medical Corridor poised for tremendous growth, this law also profoundly impacts our ability to fill jobs in the cutting-edge science fields with students educated in our state’s public schools.” Ah, the effects of religious Lysenkoism in America. That’ll drive us to the top of the world stage, surely. As a laughingstock.
Atlantic: Can This Graph Change Your Opinion About Income Inequality and Taxes?
Do parse the last paragraphs. Even with incontrovertible proof, people remain fact-averse. The best narrative, the most attractive story — repeated 24/7 and framed as ‘given’ hardens into social myth, and wins.
HuffPo: GOP Census Bill Would Eliminate America’s Economic Indicators.
Surprised noone’s thought of it yet … just cut the GOP itself. Probably save us and future generations billions of dollars.
The Economist/Buttonwood: Apple’s bond issue—Pity the taxpayer.
USA Today: GOP presses its agenda on ‘mommy blog’ sites.
“The $20,000 ad buy, running on sites including Ikeafans.com and MarthaStewart.com through Friday …” Those are ‘mommyblogs’?
NY Times: C.I.A. Delivers Cash to Afghan Leader’s Office.
We’ve known this is a terrible idea for almost a decade now. And yet it continues.
Rolling Stone: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever.
“These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings – in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation’s GDP – are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it’s increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.”
Guardian.UK: Fracking firms should offer sweeteners to locals, say MPs.
What the industry usually tries first is getting communities reliant on cash to children’s issues … schools, transportation, etc. Nobody votes against kids, right? The only thing that might even be more effective would be supporting shelter kittens and pound puppies …
Politico: Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption.
“There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it. The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer — in this case, the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers — especially low-paid junior aides — could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere.”
CJR: The Chained CPI in people terms.
NY Times: Furloughs Caused 1,200 Flight Delays on Monday, F.A.A. Says.
You’ll recall, I hope, that the FAA postponed closing control towers [previous link on dm!] just a couple of weeks ago. Congress is merely annoyed that they have to deal with the realities of the sequester. The air traffic situation was going to force their hands, whenever it hit.
ShortFormBlog: The AP’s erroneous tweet about explosions at the White House.
Linked for the illustrative chart. Talk about knee-jerk reactions!
Dissent: Low-Wage Workers Walk out in Chicago.
“The work stoppage follows similar strikes by New York City fast food workers and by Wal-Mart retail employees across the country, and marks the latest escalation in the struggle between an embattled labor movement and two industries that increasingly dominate and define the new economy.”
NY Times: Cooper Union Will Charge Tuition in 2014.
“But beginning in fall 2014, it will charge students based on what the college described as a steeply sliding scale, with those deemed able paying around $20,000, and many others, including those ‘with the greatest needs,’ paying nothing. The change would not apply to undergraduates enrolled as of this fall.”