Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Michael Hiltzik: “‘If I had to guess, this case won’t go well for retirees,’ [U. Mich. law prof. Nicholas] Bagley writes.”

In an era in which corporations have been trying every possible stratagem to cut employee benefits (see our look at the Obamacare employer mandate earlier today), a new threat to retirement benefits has just arisen. The source of the threat is the Supreme Court, which earlier this month agreed to rule on when or whether employers can […]

Check your privilege again, Mr. Fortgang, and prove that you really did get into Princeton as a merit admittee. [Format-corrected repost.]

It is a familiar phrase on college campuses, often meant to serve as conversational kryptonite, the final word in an argument to which there is no response. “Check your privilege.” But Tal Fortgang, a Princeton freshman from Westchester County, had a response. – At Princeton, Privilege Is: (a) Commonplace, (b) Misunderstood or (c) Frowned Upon, […]

Krugman: If you don’t like the mandate, why not support single payer?

Bill Gardner at The Incidental Economist offers a rather decorous, mild reply to the people making [the argument that guaranteed health insurance is an assault on America’s freedom]. I’d put it more forcefully: the pre-ACA system drastically restricted many people’s freedom, because given the extreme dysfunctionality of the individual insurance market, they didn’t dare leave […]

Thom Tillis vs. Sam Walton and Ray Kroc

From an interview of North Carolina Republican Senate Candidate Thom Tillis by NBC’s Chuck Todd today: Todd: Do you think [the minimum wage] should be raised in North Carolina? Tillis: I think that’s a decision that the legislature needs to make with businesses. Todd: Well, you’re the speaker. Would you make that decision? Tillis: Right now what […]

Statistics and schools

Diane Ravitch in the NYT comments on the politician use of statistics to promote an educational policy and  program.  Of course there are several private figures promoting charter schools and pilot programs as well, and a well funded lobby for such.  I usually start with assuming it is a pitch…but not all records are public […]

The Hill – “GOP struggles to land punches at ObamaCare insurance hearing”

HT :Washinton Monthly, Ed Gilgore: “House GOPers Face to Face With Unfriendly Facts on Obamacare” Democratic lawmakers were emboldened to defend the Affordable Care Act with renewed vigor and levity, creating a dynamic rarely seen in the debate over ObamaCare. Adding to the irregularity, exits on the Republican side at a subcommittee hearing led by […]

Ah, federalism. Which is in the eye of the beholders. The beholders being Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts … and the Koch brothers.

(Correction appended.) (Clarence Thomas in his separate concurrence]* adds that in his view the First Amendment religion clauses don’t apply to the states in the first place. And it only probably bars the establishment of a national church—leaving open the question for another day. — Let Us Pray:The Supreme Court gives its blessing for prayer […]

Do take advantage of your brand new prayer opportunities. Along with your newly created job opportunities and all your new freedoms.

The most important turn in Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in Town of Greece v. Galloway—a case that probes the constitutionality of explicitly religious prayer in legislative sessions—isn’t that the courts no longer have a role in policing the Establishment Clause, or that pretty much any sectarian prayers can be offered at town meetings so long […]

A final comment on Scalia’s dissent in EPA v. EMA Homer City Generation

I haven’t read Scalia’s dissents–either one of them–in EPA v. EMA Homer City Generation, and don’t plan to. Nor did I plan to post more than I already have about it. But Kenneth Jost has read it, and at his blog Jost on Justice points out another line in the first of the two: In dissent, Scalia saw the EPA as making up the […]