Friday Reads: Doggie Days are Here again

Good Morning!

It is really hot.  We keep having heat warnings down here and I’m just keeping the blinds closed on the Southside of the house.  It’s definitely the dog days of August and the heat must be driving some people really crazy.  Here’s some headlines today while I go find another glass of ice tea.


There will be a Presidential presser this afternoon.

Obama will answer reporters’ questions in the midst of a terror alert that led the government to close nearly two dozen embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa.

And just this week, Obama canceled a one-on-one summit next month in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO’-tihn), in part because of Russia’s decision to grant asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

The news conference scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT also comes a day before Obama leaves Washington for a nine-day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

One more demographic is turning against the GOP.  This time it is Senior Americans who have generally been receptive to Republican candidates.

There’s something going on with seniors: It is now strikingly clear that they have turned sharply against the GOP. This is apparent in seniors’ party affiliation and vote intention, in their views on the Republican Party and its leaders, and in their surprising positions on jobs, health care, retirement security, investment economics, and the other big issues that will likely define the 2014 midterm elections.

We first noticed a shift among seniors early in the summer of 2011, as Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare became widely known (and despised) among those at or nearing retirement. Since then, the Republican Party has come to be defined by much more than its desire to dismantle Medicare. To voters from the center right to the far left, the GOP is now defined by resistance, intolerance, intransigence, and economics that would make even the Robber Barons blush.

images (3)It seems even Mitch McConnell’s Campaign Manager doesn’t like the man.  Boy, is this a story that will split your sides.

What does Mitch McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton really think about working for the Mitch McConnell re-election campaign? has obtained a recording of a phone conversation between Dennis Fusaro and Mitch McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton.

Fusaro has previously appeared on a phone recording with Kent Sorenson. The recording features Sorenson explaining how  Ron Paul campaign’s Deputy National Campaign Manager, Demitri Kesari, met with Sorenson and his wife at a restaurant where, Sorenson says, his wife was presented and accepted a check while he was in the bathroom. The call was recorded just days after Sorenson abruptly abandoned Michele Bachmann’s campaign and publicly endorsed Ron Paul.

In the recording below, made by Fusaro on January 9, 2013, Fusaro confronts Benton about the check and asks Benton if he was aware of the payment. Benton denies knowledge but the conversation goes on and Benton begins to discuss what he is doing now.

The recording then presents Benton in his own words explaining what he thinks of his current job working as the campaign manager for the re-election campaign of Mitch McConnell, “Between you an me, I’m sorta holdin’ my nose for two years,” he says.

I generally try to stay away from the most wonky sources that are available from my dismal profession, however the Journal of Economic Perspectives usually is made up of very readable essays.  Its current issue is dedicated to looking at income inequality and there’s a number of viewpoints there with accompanying analysis.  Here’s one that I think you should look at.

The top 1 percent income share has more than doubled in the United States over the last 30 years, drawing much public attention in recent years. While other English-speaking countries have also experienced sharp increases in the top 1 percent income share, many high-income countries such as Japan, France, or Germany have seen much less increase in top income shares. Hence, the explanation cannot rely solely on forces common to advanced countries, such as the impact of new technologies and globalization on the supply and demand for skills. Moreover, the explanations have to accommodate the falls in top income shares earlier in the twentieth century experienced in virtually all high-income countries. We highlight four main factors. The first is the impact of tax policy, which has varied over time and differs across countries. Top tax rates have moved in the opposite direction from top income shares. The effects of top rate cuts can operate in conjunction with other mechanisms. The second factor is a richer view of the labor market, where we contrast the standard supply-side model with one where pay is determined by bargaining and the reactions to top rate cuts may lead simply to a redistribution of surplus. Indeed, top rate cuts may lead managerial energies to be diverted to increasing their remuneration at the expense of enterprise growth and employment. The third factor is capital income. Overall, private wealth (relative to income) has followed a U-shaped path over time, particularly in Europe, where inherited wealth is, in Europe if not in the United States, making a return. The fourth, little investigated, element is the correlation between earned income and capital income, which has substantially increased in recent decades in the United States.

Basically, a lot of the problems are caused by government policy.  Not a great thing to think about.

Reince Preibus doesn’t want journalists to moderate the Presidential debates.  He wants partisan republicans.  I am not up early enough in the morning to watch Morning Joe and Mika, but after reading this, I was incredulous.

Things got chilly on Thursday’s “Morning Joe” when Reince Priebus told her that he would never ask her to moderate a Republican debate.

Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, was on the show to defend his threat to boycott NBC News during the 2016 debates over CNN and NBC’s respective projects about the former Secretary of State. Brzezinski argued that there was a difference between NBC News and the entertainment division of NBC, which is planning a miniseries about Clinton.

“My point is you expected an honest and fair conversation here even though we’re a part of NBC,” she told Priebus.

“I’m not going to have you moderate the Republican debate,” Priebus answered. When Nicole Wallace asked why not, he said, “Because you’re Photo015not actually interested in the future of the Republican Party and our nominees. That’s not a slam on you, Mika, but I have to choose moderators that are actually interested in the Republican Party and our nominees… It’s not going to be NBC, if they continue to go forward with this miniseries.”

So, things are still crazy in politics land.   No surprises there!

So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?


12 Comments on “Friday Reads: Doggie Days are Here again”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Love that photo of the dog in front of the fan. It looks like a basset hound puppy.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Florida man shoots his wife and kills her, then posts photos of her body on Facebook with message. All this while the woman’s 10-year-old daughter is in the house.

    The shocking post on his Facebook page claimed his wife, 26-year-old Jennifer Alfonso, was beating him. “I’m going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys miss you guys take care Facebook people you will see me in the news,” Medina wrote in his grammar-challenged post, according to multiple reports.
    “My wife was punching me and I am not going to stand anymore with the abuse so I did what I did I hope u understand me,” the post added.

    So can he claim self-defense with stand your ground?

  3. Fannie says:

    Gotta good laugh of the boxer on ice. Hey, what can I say but have a cool weekend.

  4. RalphB says:

    Thus far, Politico is the only coverage of this where it’s mentioned the ACLU, EPIC, etc were in the meeting. That fact is generally missing from coverage to increase the fauxrage, IMHO.

    TBOTP: Apple’s Tim Cook, tech executives meet with Barack Obama to talk surveillance

    President Barack Obama hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and other tech executives and civil liberties leaders on Thursday for a closed-door meeting about government surveillance, sources tell POLITICO.

    Those invited were mostly senior executives, including Cook, Stephenson and Cerf, as well as representatives of groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology and Gigi Sohn, the leader of Public Knowledge, according to three sources familiar with the meeting. Each declined comment for this story.

  5. RalphB says:

    Obama had what I think was a very good news conference.