Jamelle Bouie

Halftime

The Prospect’s Clare Malone and I worked hard this weekend to bring you an idiot’s guide to the proceedings on Super Tuesday. Check it out.

It Doesn't Matter if "Both Sides Do It"

(AP File Photo)

Over at The Daily Beast, Kirsten Powers responds to liberal furor over Rush Limbaugh with a little strawmanning:

Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Matt Taibbi, and Ed Schultz have been waging it for years with their misogynist outbursts. There have been boycotts by people on the left who are outraged that these guys still have jobs. Oh, wait. Sorry, that never happened.

Boycotts are reserved for people on the right like Rush Limbaugh, who finally apologized Saturday for calling a 30-year-old Georgetown Law student, Sandra Fluke, a “slut” after she testified before congress about contraception.

How to Grow the Economy in One Easy Step

In his latest column for The New York Times, Paul Krugman provides an estimate of what the economy lost due to cutbacks on the state and local level:

The federal government has been pursuing what amount to contractionary policies as the last vestiges of the Obama stimulus fade out, but the big cuts have come at the state and local level. These state and local cuts have led to a sharp fall in both government employment and government spending on goods and services, exerting a powerful drag on the economy as a whole. […]

Americans are "Depressed, Disappointed, and Underwhelmed" by the GOP Primary

(Sander van der Wel/Flickr)

As much as some Republicans would like to believe otherwise, the fact is that this primary is dragging down the party. Unlike the 2008 Democratic primary—in which two formidable candidates fought hard, debated substance, and energized voters around the country—this year’s GOP primary has been defined by clownish vanity candidates, divisive bickering, and an unlikable front-runner who—so far—has “won” by not losing.

This Station is Non-Operational

I’m actually way more excited about Windows 8 than I am about anything Apple is doing right now.

This interview with the female stars of Community is hilarious and adorable.

Thomas Brand gives us an in-depth preview of the “new” Mac OS 9. This one is strictly for Apple nerds.

Kevin Conroy, the greatest Batman, talks a bit about what it’s like to voice the Caped Crusader.

Faster-Than-Light Travel Just Got That Much Harder

Of the theoretical means for achieving faster-than-light travel, the most plausible one is the “warp” drive, where a ship travels at superluminal speeds by creating a bubble of space behind it, while compressing the space in front of it. The ship would not move inside of the bubble, but would be carried along with it, like a wave. The upside of this is that it achieves FTL speeds while avoiding time dileation and other relativistic effects. In other words, you can travel across the galaxy and not worry that thousands of years have elapsed on Earth in your absence.

Why Android is Important

Via Horace Dedieu (by way of Matthew Yglesias) comes this chart showing the explosive growth of Google’s Android operating system over the last several years:

Halftime

  • Scott Lemieux explains why the bully pulpit isn’t nearly as effective as everyone thinks.
  • President Obama: “I recommend you watch the recent debates. I’m thinking about just running those as advertisements. Without commentary; here you go.”
  • The real concern, for Democrats at least, isn’t that Latinos vote for Republicans, it’s that they don’t vote at all.

How Olympia Snowe's "Moderation" Hurt the Economy

(United States Congress/Wikipedia)

One of the big stories of this recession is the massive decline in public-sector employment. In order to weather the economic storm, states and localities have cut jobs for teachers, firefighters, police, and other public servants. As The New York Times reports, this has also trickled down to higher education, where public colleges have cut training for valuable jobs and professions:

Slut-Shaming is Not a Winning Strategy

In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren has already hit Scott Brown for his vote on the execrable Blunt Amendment:

Senator Brown took sides with Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and the right wing of his party, against the people of Massachusetts, who in tough economic times rely on insurance to get the health care they need.

In Ohio, the Underlying Facts Look Great for Santorum

(jcburns/Flickr)

The first post-Michigan poll of Ohio Republicans is out, and Mitt Romney has closed the gap. According to Quinnipiac University, Rick Santorum has 35 percent of likely primary voters to Romney, who takes 31 percent. Because of the poll’s margin of error, ±4.3 percentage points, Quinnipiac presents this as too close to call. But the survey shows native advantages for Santorum that could propel him to victory, as long as he avoids another weekend of national controversy.

This Station is Non-Operational

  • Jared Bernstein takes down the myth that we’re somehow “broke.”
  • Joe Biden says that the administration “screwed up” the contraception mandate. If by “screwed up” he means “painted the GOP as the enemy of birth control and sex,” then sure, I guess they made a mistake.
  • In case you forgot, Rush Limbaugh is a terrible person.

You Can Eat Whatever You Want, Cont.

A reader offers some additional context on whether restricting food stamp purchases is necessary to ensure healthy eating on part of recipients:

On food spending among food stamp participants: there is evidence that food stamp receipt does alter how households spend their money on food. Journal article here and ungated report here.

GOP Senators Opt to Support Another Piece of Unpopular Legislation

(Talk Radio News Service/Flickr)

Despite the defection of Bob Casey, Joe Manchin, and Ben Nelson, Senate Democrats (with the aid of Olympia Snowe) were able to block a Republican-sponsored measure that would give employers the right to reject any health care coverage for any reason. Sahil Kapur gives a rundown of the fight at Talking Points Memo:

Partisanship and Moderation Can Coexist

(Canopener Sally/Flickr)

Has the political center disappeared? The Wall Street Journal thinks so, and cites the retirements of Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson and Maine Senator Olympia Snowe as further evidence that moderation has died in American politics:

Ms. Snowe is one of an increasingly rare breed of senator willing to back legislation crafted by the other side. After President Barack Obama came to office, she supplied a crucial vote for his stimulus plan and supported his health law in committee, though she later opposed it on the floor. She also backed the New Start arms-reduction treaty at the end of last year.

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