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

Political centrism and journalism

Brendan Nyhan at Columbia Journalism Review reminds us to be careful about debating budget priorities: How should the United States choose among the difficult tradeoffs it faces in setting the federal budget? There’s no one correct answer, but you wouldn’t know it from coverage of the budget deal between Senator Patty Murray and Rep. Paul […]

Bezos and the CIA

Via Alternet comes this reminder: News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the  Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper’s CIA coverage are left in the dark. The Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO […]

Accurate reporting

Lifted from an e-mail from reader Jack (http://angrybearblog.strategydemo.com/2013/12/20391.html#comments): (attribution corrected…irony comes to mind) Compare Fujita’s conclusion from the Fed paper, here  http://philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/research-rap/2013/on-the-causes-of-declines-in-the-labor-force-participation-rate.pdf#page=7, with da Costa’s description in the WSJ. da Costa, “Philly Fed economist Shigeru Fujita argues that the shrinking of the U.S. workforce over the past year and half was “entirely due to retirement” […]

Sunday Reading

Emerging Strategy for the DEMS; Karoli at Crooks and Liars, Dems Strategy on Extending Unemployment Insurance  Dems will leverage their votes to pass the Farm Bill for an extension of Unemployment . “Now that Congress is set to leave town even as unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans are set to expire just after Christmas, […]

‘Socialism’ is a rough proxy for interventionist government? REALLY, Thomas Edsall?

Obama argues that government action is required to redress the growing disparity between rich and poor, diminished opportunities for upward mobility and economic stagnation. Public opinion, at least according to the Stimson analysis, is moving in precisely the opposite direction. A 2011 Pew Research Center survey gives us a glimpse of some of the headwinds […]

The Third Way summary

It’s critical to understand that Third Way presents itself as “centrist” and a think tank: Third Way Via Huffington Post Bill Black summarizes the profiles of the trustees: Twenty of the twenty-nine trustees come from finance (counting the lawyer whose specialty is representing private equity firms). Their most common background is Mitt Romney’s — private […]

Mainstream Journalism As Just Another “Ism.” (The fallacy of the belief that the modern mainstream media has actual standards)

(Reuters) – Employers tried the carrot, then a small stick. Now they are turning to bigger cudgels. For years they encouraged workers to improve their health and productivity with free screenings, discounted gym memberships and gift cards to lose weight. More recently, a small number charged smokers slightly higher premiums to get them to quit. […]

Deserving to be poor

Via Economist’s View, Paul Krugman notes a pattern in out post racial rhetoric: So what’s this all about? One reason…, Daniel Little suggested in a recent essay, is market ideology: If the market is always right, then people who end up poor must deserve to be poor. I’d add that some leading Republicans are, in […]