GLOBAL WARMING: THE GOOD NEWS. I wrote earlier this week about the clever name change that persuaded lots of people to open farms on the Great American Desert Plains. The greatest climate-nomenclature scam of all time, however, was run by Erik the Red, who named the ice-bound island he discovered "Greenland." At the time, the world climate was warmer than it is today, and Greenland, though very cold, did actually support some marginal agricultural production and dairy farming. Consequently, he got a bunch of Vikings to move out there and build a settlement. A few hundred years later, it got colder and all the Norse settlers wound up dead.
CLEAN, GREEN, AND POPULAR. Let's just take a moment to enjoy this description of Big Business� reaction to this major piece of legislation in the glorious Golden State:
Business interests, especially oil companies, were irate and said they felt abandoned by the Republican governor, who had pledged to work for a bill they could support. They accused Schwarzenegger and Democrats of cobbling together behind closed doors a haphazard bill that could create unintended economic chaos.
POLITICS AS POLITICS. Have I ever mentioned that I hate baby boomers? Sometimes I think this is irrational on my part. Then along comes Andrew Rosenthal's infuriating contribution to today's New York Times editorial page. In essence, he went to hear Crosby, Stills, and Nash play, started thinking about the old Crosby, Stills, and Nash shows he's seen, waxes nostalgic about the sixties, and demands to know why the kids these days aren't as awesome in terms of mounting an anti-war movement as the kids were back in his day.
I LOVE IT WHEN YOU POLL ME. There are some interesting results in the new AP/Ipsos poll (PDF). Only a bit over 40 percent of Americans worry about "becoming a victim of terrorism," and the vast majority say they do so only "occasionally" (hell, living in D.C., I'd fit into that category too). That's compared to 56 percent who simply don't fret over the prospect. And only 25 percent think D.C. and New York are more dangerous vacation destinations than before 9-11, while 14 percent think they're safer.
THE TWO AMERICAS.Charles Barkley, all-time great undersized power forward and potential politician, takes on America's inequality problem: "America is divided by economics. It's the rich against the poor. And the gap is widening. We've got to find a way to uplift poor people. It shouldn't be the haves vs. the have-nots."
A MESSAGE FROM DR. JOHN. I got a minute with New Orleans legend Dr. John after he performed at the star-studded concert, "New Orleans: Rebuilding the Soul of America," headlined by Wynton Marsalis Tuesday night at the New Orleans Arena. Asked what he wanted liberals in Washington to know about the state of things in New Orleans, he replied, "We been tryin' to get any help here, and there ain't been none comin'... the wetlands has been disappearin' for 50 years, and that's the only thing that protects this state and Mississippi and all down in the Gulf.
A New York Times article today commented on the extraordinary jump in wages over the last two quarters. Before anyone breaks out the champagne, take a look at the statistical discrepancy in the GDP accounts.
This might be is a bit nerdy, but there is an important story here. In principle, it is possible to add up GDP on either the income side (e.g. wages, interest, profits) or the output side (e.g. consumption, investment, government) and get the same number. Of course, they never end up exactly the same � you don�t get perfect accounting in a $13 trillion economy.
KEEP MY SKIN OUT OF IT. Yesterday, I went to Cato to see right-wing health economist Arnold Kling debate the Washington Post's Sebastian Mallaby and contrarian progressive economist Jason Furman (who looks more like Chuck Klosterman than any economist has any right to) on his new book, a Crisis of Abundance. CofA argues that our health system suffers from an overuse of highly specialized and technologically advanced treatments.
THE WAGES OF MACACA. Elsewhere in TAP blogdom, Steve Benen and Brendan Nyhan both have analyses of the latest news regarding George Allen's race problems. They're both worth reading, and also provide me with another chance to bring up this picture:
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH VERSUS THE UNKNOWN LOBBY.This post by Alan Dershowitz, arguing that human rights groups' criticisms of Israel should be dismissed, overwhelmingly focuses on Amnesty International, but does offer up a token attack on Human Rights Watch: