I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.
—  Rand Paul, detailing the long-held libertarian philosophy of arbitrarily limiting speech by jailing those who might have paid attention to such forbidden speech or otherwise come into contact with any kind of inconvenient political speech.
Rand Paul 2016!

It’s truly inspiring to see all these internet Libertarians put down their copies of Atlas Shrugged and come out and take a stand against police brutality against blacks in Ferguson.  I mean, it’s not like deep down all they really give a shit about are the rights of companies to fuck over their employees in the name of “freedom.”  It’s not like when actual abuses of government power occur, especially against people of color, white Libertarians can’t be bothered to give two shits about yet another dead black did.

…in a decent world, conservatives would be forced to acknowledge that these are the [employment] results they claim to want. The private sector’s not being held back by the grasping arm of big government. Government is shrinking. And the shrinking of the government sector isn’t leading to any kind of private sector explosion. It’s simply offsetting meager private sector growth. Indeed, I’d say it’s holding it back. Fewer state and local government layoffs would mean more customers for private businesses and even stronger growth on the private side.
—  Matt Yglesias, pining for a decent world. That sort of attention to detail would require the media to leave critical questions about Weiner’s penis on the cutting room floor. I don’t think anyone wants to live in an America that’s like that.
No One Could Have Predicted

After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.


Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.

The results of that investigation have now been released. According to survey of 230 Georgia farmers conducted by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, farmers expect to need more than 11,000 workers at some point over the rest of the season, a number that probably underestimates the real need, since not every farmer in the state responded to the survey.

Apparently the market-based solution involves pressing 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers into service. That ought to do it.
Next solution: Children ought to be allowed to “help out” and we can just let the market will decide if such labors are safe enough.

If you replace a system that actually pays seniors’ medical bills with an entirely different system, one that gives seniors vouchers that won’t be enough to buy adequate insurance, you’ve ended Medicare. Calling the new program “Medicare” doesn’t change that fact.
—  Paul Krugman, reflecting on the Village Edict that Democratic claims that the GOP plans to “end” Medicare are misleading.
The stupidity of our discourse truly knows no bounds. Yes, a program called Medicare exists in the Ryan Plan. But that is where the similarities end. That realizing this requires reading even an executive brief of said Ryan Plan is why the Village will never, ever come to know this.
Finally, it is not clear why it views the fact that the [proposed EU financial transaction] tax will make it more difficult to construct trading algorithms as an unintended consequence. These algorithms may provide large profits to the people who develop them, but the benefits to the economy and society are likely to be near zero. If a transactions tax discourages skilled mathematicians and computer programmers from developing complex formulas for financial arbitrage and instead has them work in a productive area of the economy, then the tax will have been a great success.
—  Dean Baker nails it. The very existence of this sort of trading apparatus, which benefits only the company deploying it, relies entirely on what should be privileged knowledge (e.g. foreknowledge of trade patterns about to happen that can only be extracted and acted upon through either initiating the trade itself or privileged placement of what amounts to a compute cluster on a particular routing switch (or both)), and is the sort of thing used by Goldman et al. to, you know, screw their own customers by trading against their interests and/or simply profiting off what amounts to insider information, is as anti-market, anti-competitive, and the very essence of what all our anti-collusion, anti-insider trading, anti-trust, and anti-monopoly laws are intended to control. And these types of transactions do nothing for the broader economy beyond radically enriching a handful of folks who can only spend so much. And we’re a country with a giant aggregate demand problem. So there’s that.
But may the Flying Spaghetti Monster help anyone who tries to regulate this practice in any way, much less apply a nominal cost to such actions. This, along with rampant and abusive naked shorting, is the true scandal of Wall Street. (By the by: naked shorting is already illegal, but is basically never even investigated, much less litigated. In light of recent events, this should be the basis of a scandal…but that would require a functioning media. Look over there! A missing white woman!)
And, so far as I can tell, exactly zero is being done about any of it. And nothing will be done until after the next financial collapse. And it will only happen then if the collapse is sufficiently devastating that the entire structure of Wall Street finance is utterly laid waste (thus ending their political influence in the aftermath). Sounds like a time.
The governor does not reimburse for security and travel. The use of air travel has been extremely limited and appropriate.
—  Kevin Roberts, spokesman for Chris Christie, responding to this clear misuse of a federally funded helicopter to fly Christie to his son’s little league game.
Again: we’re supposed to be happy that he didn’t take the car to another, smaller helicopter that could then deposit him directly adjacent to his seat. Really, the only sensible way I see for him to claw his way out of this kerfuffle is through deep cuts to Medicaid and infrastructure investments concomitant with a hefty tax cut for the super-rich. It’s the Serious Thing to do.
Yglesisas Answers it All

Matt Yglesias asks:

There’s no mystery as to why the National Republican Campaign Committee hates Nancy Pelosi, but their dislike for San Francisco is a bit puzzling.

Almost directly, and seemingly without realizing it, Matt Yglesias also provides the answer:

[San Francisco is] an enormous economic success story. The San Francisco metropolitan area has the fourth-highest median household income in the country, with its Bay Area partner San Jose coming in at number three. Metro San Francisco is in a tie for having the third-highest-pay for low-wage workers, its fourth in median wages, and third in 90th percentile wages.

GOP orthodoxy requires “government” of any kind to be an abject and self-evident failure. Few citizens of the US would dispute the sense that San Francisco is the liberal bastion of the United States. Therefore it must be an urban hellhole and not be visited by any kind of success. Where success exists, it must be ignored. Similarly, old Taxachusetts must be forever suffering under the yoke of ludicrously high taxes (and one must never acknowledge the reality: that MA’s effective tax rates and collective tax burden generally trend lower than those of old Live Free or Die itself, that glibertarian heaven called New Hampshire).

Much like the Post Office and many other examples, any functioning example of government, large or small, must be (at a minimum) denigrated. If possible, it must also be actively undermined such that it may then be pointed to as an example of the impossibility of government intervention, large or small. All evidence to the contrary must be marginalized. And that is why the GOP “hates” San Francisco and largely assumes it to be barely survivable smoking ruin.

…if there is support for a supplemental [spending bill related to disaster relief for the Joplin, MO tornado], it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental
—  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Indeed, there’s never a better time to take hostages and drag out a legislative process than when people lay dying under rubble. Those poor saps should’ve just planned ahead. Also: survivors should get really interested in meteorology, because if the GOP has their way, they’re going to be doing it by themselves pretty soon.
It’s just sort of sitting there. Given the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.
—  Ron Utt, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation working hard every day and putting the “think” in think-tank on selling the gold in Fort Knox.
I’m quite sure gold would stay at peak prices from the first ounce to the 147 millionth ounce. There is absolutely nothing that can go wrong with this brilliant plan. We should begin immediately at solving all Our National Problems.
Heritage is made up of serious people with courageous ideas.