Josh Bivens and Andrew Fieldhouse: When and what kind of deficit reduction matters most: The danger of aggressive 10-year deficit targets in the current budget debate: "[N]early all demands for specific, ambitious 10-year deficit reduction targets are likely to be terribly counterproductive in the current debate. The primary reason for this is simple: Without a sharp focus on when and what kind of deficit reduction should happen, these calls can easily lead policymakers to embrace measures that will surely hamper economic recovery. And this recovery should be the primary focus of these policymakers. The output gap in 2012—essentially the difference between actual economic output and output that would have been produced had all productive resources in the economy been put to work—will likely register just shy of $1 trillion, or 5.6 percent of the economy. This is $1 trillion in national income that the country is forfeiting each year simply due to the continued weakness in aggregate demand—weakness that would likely be exacerbated by any aggressive deficit reduction in the next few years."
Aaron Carroll: Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity: "There’s a paper out now at NEJM that’s just so awesome…. Early childhood weight and habits predicting later outcomes? No evidence. Eating more fruits and vegetables? No effect on their own. Snacking associated with weight gain? Nope. Built environment related to obesity? Try again. Granted some things about obesity are correct. Exercise is good for you no matter what, and it can help in long term weight loss. Programs that involve families are more likely to help children. Bariatric surgery can be a real life saver for some people. Go read the whole thing (if you can – I don’t know if it’s gated). I’m constantly amazed at how little of what we think we know is true actually is."
Jesse Taylor: National Review: Only A Monster Would Say The Nazis Didn’t Make Sense: "There’s a funny joke that liberals tell each other (okay, I lie, liberals are never funny because they are too busy being offended by non-lesbians) about how if Obama came out against Nazis, conservatives would find a way to defend them. Well, guess what, libtards? JOKE NO MORE http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/339003/president-obama-commemorates-senseless-holocaust-eliana-johnson…. We hate to go all trite wedding toast on you, but the dictionary defines senseless as 'destitute of, deficient in, or contrary to sense'. I think that most people could agree that mass genocide, for whatever purpose, is contrary to any established norm of 'sense'. Right? …Right? No: 'By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.' Note to all violent schizophrenics out there: if you just come up with a list of reasons why you’re plotting to murder elected officials, random employees at Subway, or ephemeral ideas that you’ve personified into a talking lobster that smells like lilacs, you officially make sense…. We suppose that the author of this post, Eliana Johnson, has a point…. Take this f@#&er, for instance, who said: 'Those who perished as a result of Nazi terror, millions of individual men and women and children whose lives were taken so senselessly, must never be forgotten.' F#&^ you, Reagan. F#&@ you."
Greg Sargent: The Morning Plum: GOP still can’t shake that “47 percent” problem: "One of the big stories of the morning is that Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli’s new book contains passages that are very similar to the “47 percent”… that… doom[ed] Mitt Romney…. '[Politicians] grow government without protest from citizens, and sometimes they even get buy-in from citizens — at least from the ones getting the goodies…/ One of their favorite ways to increase their power is by creating programs that dispense subsidized government benefits, such as Medicare, Social Security, and outright welfare (Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, and the like)…. And once people are dependent, they feel they can’t afford to have the programs taken away, no matter how inefficient, poorly run, or costly to the rest of society…. Citizens will vote for those politicians… rather than the fiscally responsible politicians…' There’s been a great deal of chatter among Republicans lately that they don’t really need to change their ideas; they merely need to change their tone. But as Cuccinnelli’s comments demonstrate, the ideas are the tone…. [T]here isn’t any legitimate way that government assistance can be a positive force…. [A]ny voter who is temporarily dependent on government in some way is at risk of suffering a kind of permanent political lobotomy, in which he or she will be rendered forever incapable of rational political decision making or future independence."
Jay Ackroyd: Eschaton: Bill Keller?: "Keller actually writes an op-ed that accurately describes the US health care "system" troubles. We pay twice as much for the same care as the rest of OECD. It'd be nice if this had been on the news pages for the last ten years or so, but still."
Stanley L. Engerman and Kenneth L. Sokoloff: Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: Endowments and Institutions
Cosma Shalizi: The Bootstrap
Bradley Efron: Bootstrap Methods: Another Look at the Jacknife
Daniel Kuehn: Facts & other stubborn things: Urban Institute heavy-hitters on the budget: "I found very little to disagree with in what Robert Reischauer said (not a new phenomenon for me). Marron and Penner were of course great too, though. They were all mostly focused on long-term sustainability, but you'll notice that the short term impact of this tightening played a big role in how he evaluated the ultimate agreements made at the beginning of this month."