Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal prays for the assassination of Barack Obama
Jonathan Chait: David Brooks Now Totally Pathological: "Moderate Republicanism is a tendency that increasingly defies ideological analysis and instead requires psychological analysis…. The radicalization of the GOP has placed unbearable strain on those few moderates torn between their positions and their attachment to party…. The prevalent expression of this psychological pain is the belief that President Obama is largely or entirely responsible for Republican extremism. It’s a bizarre but understandable way to reconcile conflicting emotions — somewhat akin to blaming your husband’s infidelity entirely on his mistress. In this case, moderate Republicans believe that Obama’s tactic of taking sensible positions that moderate Republicans agree with is cruel and unfair, because it exposes the extremism that dominates the party…. Brooks concedes that Obama’s proposals here are moderate, but believes that the moderation is what makes them so nasty. By appealing to mainstream Republicans, he is splitting them from the most extreme Republicans! You would think proposing policies that large numbers of Republicans agree with would qualify as the kind of centrism and bipartisanship Brooks has spent the entire Obama presidency calling for, but now that it’s here, it turns out to prove just the opposite to him."
Ben: Unfogged: Tom Slee: "X. Trapnel pointed out this post of [Slee's] about Uber and AirBnB recently, and then today at CT Henry posted a link to this self-assessment which also includes a selection of particularly favored posts. They're good! Maybe you should read them if, like me, you hadn't been following him. I found this [positive] comment from Clay Shirky interesting in that if you read the "Wikibollocks" post linked in the assessment post linked above, you may well come away thinking that, in Slee's opinion, "Clay" from this review has definitively triumphed over "Shirky" and all that's left is Another Damn Triumphalist from TED who isn't really worth serious attention. Or, perhaps less tendentiously, you might just come away thinking that about Shirky on your own behalf and not bother speculating about Slee's opinion. http://whimsley.typepad.com/whimsley/2012/12/peer-to-peer-hucksterism-an-open-letter-to-tim-wu.html | http://crookedtimber.org/2013/01/07/tom-slees-self-assessment/ | http://whimsley.typepad.com/whimsley/2013/01/looking-back.html | http://crookedtimber.org/2013/01/07/tom-slees-self-assessment/#comment-445292 | http://whimsley.typepad.com/whimsley/2008/04/here-comes-ever.html
Daniel Kuehn: The Significance of James Buchanan: "Tyler Cowen has a list…. I think Cowen does the legacy a disservice by not talking about constitutions explicitly…. Cowen mentions 'He provided a public choice analysis of why Keynesian economics would not lead to the appropriate budget surpluses during good times and thus would contain dangerous ratchet effects toward excess deficits.' This of course is what I have some problems with…. Buchanan makes two mistakes… (1.) a history of thought mistake, in diagnosing exactly what Keynesians and their models say or assume, and (2.) an analytic mistake, in addressing how we should expect this to play out…. [T]he empirical evidence makes it pretty clear that he was wrong, I think. Think of every argument we've had about fiscal policy and the debt in the last several years. This is clearly not a world where Keynesian economics is driving policy in an over-indebted direction."
Janet Stephens: The hairstyle of Empress Plotina
Alan Blinder (1999): Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound
"Jeffrey Lacker,, the head of the Richmond Fed… stuck to his 5-year-old claim… [that] 'Geithner had discussed a reduction in the discount rate with these banks'…. Information about any planned interest rate move by the Fed is among the most sensitive…. Private disclosure of confidential, market-sensitive information by the central bank would be highly unusual, but it was not immediately clear if it would be illegal."