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K Marx The Spot

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12 August 2007

Your Liberal Media at Work

Imagine if there really were a liberal media. Then you might expect that the idea that the Bush administration eased up on the investigation of the murder of an assistant United States attorney because he was a vocal gun-control advocate would get a little attention in the national press. Or at least that the murder was still unsolved, almost six years later, would get some attention.

But, then again this is the same press corps that still regards the "liberal hawks" who pushed lies about Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction" as being credible and the same press corps that has forgotten all about the domestic terrorists, still at large, whose antics with anthrax were actual chemical warfare.

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Posted by Tim W at 8/12/2007 02:36:00 PM

11 August 2007

Candidate for Shire

County government in Massachusetts is weaker than it is almost anywhere in the country. Counties here deal with probate, real estate recordations, jails, and not much else. But one would expect that Mitt Romney would have some idea of how many counties his purported home state has. He was governor, after all, and he has gleefully pointed out the majesty of Iowa's 99 counties.

A woman raised her hand. "Yes, please!" Romney said.

"How many counties are in Massachusetts?" she asked.

"Thirteen," he said. A few feet away, an aide shook his head and said, "Ten."

"Oh, no, I think it's 13," Romney said. "Not like your 99."

He paused for a moment. "Yeah, if you count Dukes County . . ." he trailed off. "So, anyway, we have very, very few."

The problem is not that Romney forgot that Massachusetts has 14 counties. Or why "if you count Dukes County" matters. (Dukes County is Martha's Vineyard, which has several municipalities; by contrast, Nantucket County has only the town of Nantucket.)

The problem is that Romney's aide was probably mixing up New Hampshire, which does have exactly 10 counties, with Massachusetts. Surely all of Romney's millions could buy better help.

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Posted by Tim W at 8/11/2007 05:55:00 PM

Your Ownership Society at Work

Remember all the talk about how privatizing Social Security was a real smart thing to do? And the talk about investing in the stock market was a great and noble thing?

The Bush administration is scared enough about the actually existing stock market that the Federal Reserve has bought $19 billion in mortgage-backed securities. As Brad DeLong succinctly notes, this is extraordinary. And it should put paid to the notion that the markets are panaceas. But should is a normative word. Those who hate the idea that Social Security helps the poor at the (slight) expense of the rich will still bring it up—just not this week.

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Posted by Tim W at 8/11/2007 05:50:00 PM

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