CONFIRMED. So they gathered them all up from radio studios across this mighty land this week, and they threw them across the White House grounds. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, never has there been such a concentration of worthless bloviation collected in that hallowed place since the last time Warren Harding dined alone. Anyway, you just knew it would be a treasure trove of pure distilled wingnut poteen.


    THE COMING COUNTERMOBILIZATION ARGUMENT. In the wake of the decision of the Supreme Court of New Jersey that same-sex couples are entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual married couples (although not necessarily under the rubric of "marriage"), we're bound to hear a lot of speculation about how this will affect the upcoming election (which I'm sure will be forgotten should the Democrats take the House and pick up seats in the Senate.) As I have previously explained here on TAP, I think the effect of these decisions is often overstated, and there's no evidenc


    SELF-HATING LIBERTARIAN. Julian Sanchez poses an interesting question, in response to my earlier post on the nasty comments of Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-WY) to her wheelchair-bound Libertarian opponent Thomas Rankin ("If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you across the face.") I asserted that Cubin's obnoxious remark was evidence that Republicans have it in for the disabled, as also demonstrated by various policies they promote. Julian responds:


    THE MINIMUM WAGE. Every once in awhile, I like to reengage the minimum wage debate. It's such an article of faith on the right that minimum wage increases lead to widespread unemployment, and such an intuitive argument, that society would have to be a pretty bizarre place not to abandon the wrongheaded policy altogether. Except for the fact that, intuitive as the argument may be, and faithful as its rightwing advocates may prove, there's just not much evidence that minimum wage increases have a measurable effect on unemployment.


    GEORGE WILL, MAKING SENSE. Say what you want about George Will, he's always taken a rational approach to analyzing the business side of sports, and his column today on college football is no exception. Will beats the usual dead horses about what's wrong with Division I-A men's college football and basketball: they're run for business rather than educational purposes, with their high television revenues and coaches salaries, and their low graduation rates. But he comes at it from a fresher angle, asking if universities should lose their tax-exempt status for these commercial rather than educational activities(George Will favors more taxes?


    NOT EVEN SIX DEGREES. While Brother Pierce expounded on the absurdity of the Heaton-Caviezel-Suppan (et al) television spot thrown together in response to Michael J. Fox's latest star turn as an advocate for stem-cell research, my ears pricked up at the mention of the name of Patricia Heaton, whose face graces the misleading Feminists for Life ad that has run on this web site off and on for the last month. As I reported here last week, Feminists for Life is closely allied with the U.S.


    FALLING OUT OF LOVE. Back when The New York Times endorsed Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic Senate primary, I wondered whether the Times would break from their tradition of high-minded endorsements for moderate Republicans this fall. It would seem strange, after all, if the same page that opposed Joe Lieberman on the grounds that Congress must be a watchdog rather than an enabler of the Bush presidency run-amok, endorsed, as it always had in the past, the more conservative (and actual Republican) Rep. Chris Shays, also of Connecticut.


    MORE ON THE COLLEGE BOARD REPORT. Just to add a bit to Ezra's post: As James Surowiecki recently explained in The New Yorker, the cost of college rises faster than inflation because it is so labor intensive that the technological advances that reduce the costs of production in other industries do not have nearly the same cost-saving effect on higher education. And government subsidies of higher education and tuition, like the Pell Grant, have failed to keep pace, when they should be increasing in response to this problem.


    THE ECONOMY ROCKS. According The College Board, tuition costs are far outpacing inflation this year. In fact, "[i]n the report, the board also found that in the past five years, tuition and fees at public institutions rose more than at any other time in the past 30, increasing by 35 percent to $5,836 this academic year." Yikes. The report attributed the cost increases to declining state and federal support. Unsurprisingly, when you cut taxes, you just end up paying more elsewhere. With the tax cuts, however, the rich got far more back than the poor or the middle class. So far as tuition costs go, the prices fall equally (or get transferred to students in the form of loans).

  • RISK ASSESSMENT. Ezra's...

    RISK ASSESSMENT. Ezra's first submission in the exchange with Jacob Hacker is now up. Hacker will be responding to him and Matt tomorrow.

    --The Editors