Cantor: sneering our way to default

So Eric Cantor, the House majority leader who’s short Treasury bonds, is leading the way to default. Via Politico’s Morning Money email: CANTOR IS MASTER OF THE SNEER – WP’s Dana Milbank: “Eric Cantor has perfected the strategic sneer. It comes, frequently, when he answers a reporter’s question about something … Obama has said: The House majority leader’s lip curls up on the left side and a look of disgust washes over his face. … Cantor, who is establishing himself as the lead GOP negotiator with the White House as the Aug. 2… Read More

Morgan vs. Cantor

Forgot to include that quote from J.P. Morgan, explaining why he didn’t short stock (who knows if he really did?): “Don’t sell short the United States of America.” Eric Cantor evidently disagrees.

McKinsey: more right than wrong

Administration apologists, from the White House official blog to Paul Krugman (“McKinseyGate”), have all lined up to denounce the McKinsey survey I wrote up here the other day (“Bye-bye employer health insurance”). McKinsey found that a large share of employers who now offer health insurance benefits will drop them once ObamaCare comes into effect in 2014. At first, McKinsey didn’t release the questions or the methodology, prompting reactions like Krugman’s: It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the study was embarrassingly bad — maybe it was a skewed sample, maybe the questions… Read More

Courts: the popular angle

My pal Elise Hendrick posted this excellent comment on the “robed ghouls act in character” post to Facebook: I’d say that part of the obsession, outside of élite circles, is due to a combination of : a) An educational system that hammers into people’s heads the notion that The Constitution and the Supreme Court are the representatives and defenders, respectively, of all that is good and right in society; b) A general lack of understanding of the history of the Warren (and early Burger) courts. People look at the decisions of the day… Read More

Sidwell Friends teacher: tests are unreliable

Sidwell Friends faculty member: “We don’t tie teacher pay to test scores because we don’t believe them to be a reliable indicator of teacher effectiveness.” That’s where Obama sends his kids. Education Secretary Arne Duncan sends his kids to Arlington County, Va., public schools. They don’t use tests in evaluating teachers either. Thanks to Amy Offner for pointing me to this on Facebook: Teacher evaluations at the schools that Obama, Duncan picked for their kids.

No protest songs!

Reading The Nation’s new list of protest songs, I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with the whole genre: it assumes you’ll never be able to change anything. It’s like naming your magazine Dissent. You’ll always be on the sidelines, complaining. An outlier on this second Nation list is “The Internationale,” which is about transformation, not whining. But they pick the Billy Bragg version, which drains the song of a lot of its militance in that folky way.

Warning? What warning?

Remember that warning on U.S. Treasury debt from S&P early in the week? The markets don’t. From the Financial Times’ PM Markets summary: Apple gives fresh boost to stock rally Global stock markets are approaching the Easter holiday in fine fettle, with the wobble seen at the start of the week following S&P’s warning on US debt already a distant memory

Clarification on anti-Semitism

I asked here (An apology) why the evil financiers are almost always Jews. This prompted an email from someone saying that it sounded like anti-Semitism. It was most certainly not. It was an ironic (and apparently not successfully so) question about how conspiracy types so often flirt (or worse) with anti-Semitism. Also, a lot of populist critiques of finance traffic in covert or overt anti-Semitism. I should resurrect an old polemic on that topic and post it here soon. Sorry if there was any misunderstanding.

An apology

I am so sorry that I did not know earlier, when I made a little joke about Wikileaks and 9/11, that Julian Assange had professed himself “annoyed” by the Truthers, causing them to denounce Assange as a tool of the CIA, the Rothschilds, Goldman Sachs, and George Soros. (Why are the evil financiers almost always Jews?) More here: 9/11 skeptics say Julian Assange being manipulated by the CIA.