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

Clearly a Commie-Symp Terrorist

Who said: The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the [1984 UN Convention on Torture] . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States […]

SF-Politics Tie-In of the Day

Greg Mitchell’s twitter feed reminds us of Upton Sinclair’s 1934 campaign for Governor of California. Working on Sinclair’s campaign, as noted in an article we ran several years ago in NYRSF, was a former Naval Officer in his mid-20s whose career was cut short by tuberculosis: Robert A. Heinlein. As Mitchell notes: The champion of […]

Being sub-A, we try harder?

The idea that they aren’t inviting Yves, CR, and Roubini onto the calls either led me to wonder for a moment if there was another factor in the invitations. But skipping Felix, even if he is a short-timer, means that they weren’t judging by the blog in the first place.

The Advantage to Sin Taxes is Relatively Low IED

My Loyal Reader notes that the economic survival of Zimbabwe’s current government is now largely dependent on sin taxes: As he presented his revised 2009 budget to parliament, Finance Minister Tendai Biti noted that “indirect taxes made up of customs and excise duty have contributed 88 percent of government revenue, which means that the government […]

Stimulus Update

Brad DeLong has the breakdown of things taken out of the no-longer-possible-to-defend-as-stimulating stimulus bill. Nice to see that no Republican, and precious few Democratic Senators, believe in following even Andrew Samwick’s tepid endorsement: Congress and the Obama Administration should be very discriminating in what they will spend money on. Bailout money for banks and large […]

Word to be Eliminated: "Symbolize"

Several recent events have been described as “just symbolism,” which apparently is a method of dismissing uncomfortable statements of fact, such as ‘Sarah Palin is the nominee for Vice President’ or ‘Rick Warren will give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration.’ Apparently, these moments are supposed to have a lifespan closer to that of Britney […]

Random Notes, or, More Posts I Don’t Have to Write

Greg Mankiw presents Yet Another Reason to regret skipping the AEA this year, though somehow the word “intentional” was left out of the description. Stan Collender, of all people, does the job I wished someone would do on Martin Feldstein’s WSJ op-ed. I may have beaten him by a day in calling it out, but […]