Today's quotes of the day are from Paul Krugman, and provided to us by James Taranto. From Krugman's Economics:
"There's obviously a relationship between tax rates and revenue. That relationship is not, however, one-for-one. In general, doubling the excise tax rate on a good or service won't double the amount of revenue collected, because the tax increase will reduce the quantity of the good or service transacted. And the relationship between the level of the tax and the amount of revenue collected may not even be positive: in some cases raising the tax rate actually reduces the amount of revenue the government collects."
Contrast that with a recent Krugman column:
In Democrat-world, up is up and down is down. Raising taxes increases revenue. . . . But in Republican-world, down is up. The way to increase revenue is to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
More evidence, as if any were necessary, that Krugman does not regard his column as an intellectually serious endeavor. His job as a columnist is to dish our red meat to the Lefty horde/ use his well deserves credentials in economics to suport his prefered policy presceiptions with whatever means he can find at hand.
Czech news noticed a faux-pas in CNN's coverage of Occupy Wall Street. Reporting that OWS has "spread across the world as a call to action against unequal distribution of wealth," CNN includes a photo of the "Old Town" square in Prague. Yet the Prague protest, while political in nature, had nothing to do with OWS. CNN wrongly assumes that every political protest supports OWS, just as OWS wrongly assumes that 99% of Americans support OWS.
Since the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments about the constitutionality of Obamacare, it might be worth looking back at Lawrence Tribe's claim that there is a "clear case for the law's constitutionality." Moreover, he takes a smart rhetorical strategy, flatterig the Court's conservatives for being above politics. Hence, he claims:
There is every reason to believe that a strong, nonpartisan majority of justices will do their constitutional duty, set aside how they might have voted had they been members of Congress and treat this constitutional challenge for what it is -- a political objection in legal garb.
But what can Professor Tribe mean that the case is "clear"? To answer that question, we should turn to his other writings, particularly his Constitutional Choices, in which he writes:
Whenever I suggest in these essays, for want of space or of humility, that one or another decision seems to me "plainly right" or "plainly wrong," or that some proposal or position is "clearly" consistent (or inconsistent) with the constitution, I hope my words will be understood as shorthand not for a conclusion I offer as indisputably "correct" but solely for a conviction I put forward as powerfully held.
According to the good Professor, therefore, to assert that any constitutional case is clear, is to pound the table.
In fairness to Tribe, his claim may only be that the heath law is consistent with a chain of precedents that go back to the New Deal. After all, Tribe believes in a "living constitution." But, as we have noted before it might be time for Tribe to stop clinging to his horse and buggy constitution, and join the 21st century.
Literature, Poetry, and Books
The Washington, DC Folger Theater presented a noble rendering of Shakespeare's Othello (through December 4). This tragedy deals with race, religion, tolerance, and the costs of living in a diverse society and serves as a companion to The Merchant of Venice. Stagings of both often suffer from our contemporary views of these issues, which undermine Shakespeare's tragedy and quasi-comedy. (For a contrast, see Dennis Teti's astounding study of the Merchant, which uncovers Cathollic themes.) The Folger's rendition does not condescend and brilliantly emphasizes the depravity of Iago in the last few seconds of the play--I won't spoil it for now by revealing the technique.
Men and Women
My recent Daily Caller article on Occupy Wall Street generally avoided the issue of criminality. I hoped to focus on aspects central to the movement's purpose and perception, and felt that the obvious criminal elements were a distraction from the more fundamental elements which defined the movement (at least in the media).
Since that time, however, OWS has been increasingly defined by its criminal elements. It has made no progress whatsoever in the direction of organizing and formulating a coherent message or policy. Rather than maturing into a political faction or evolving into a broad social movement, OWS has degenerated into lawlessness, filth and depravity. John Moser's post below provides a good summary and John Nolte has compiled an OWS Rap Sheet compiling hundreds of specific crimes.
Even New York City has finally had its fill with the protesters and ousted them from HQ: Zuccotti Park in order to sanitize the site. Over 70 arrests were necessary to clear the park. OWS is no longer a "movement," it is a mob. The association of Democrats (including Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama) with such riff-raff should cause them a deep sense of shame.
My name is Tim McDonald, I'm a native of the Isle,I was born among old Erin's bogs and left when but a child.My granddad fought in '98 for Liberty so dear;He fought and fell on Vinegar Hill as an Irish Volunteer.Then raise the harp of Erin, boys, the flag we all revere--We'll fight and fall beneath its folds like Irish Volunteers!When I was driven from my home by an oppressor's hand,I cut my sticks and greased my brogues and come o'er to this land.I found a home and many friends, and some that I love dear,Be jeebus I'll stick to them like bricks, an Irish volunteer.Then fill your glasses up, my boys, and drink a hearty cheer,To the land of our adoption and the Irish volunteer.Now when the traitors in the South commenced a warlike raid,I quickly then threw down my hod, to the Devil went my spade!To our recruiting office then I went, that happened to be near,And joined the good old Sixty-ninth like an Irish volunteer.Then fill the ranks and march away, no traitors do we fear;We'll drive them all to blazes, says the Irish volunteer!When the Prince of Wales came over here and made a hubbaboo,Oh, everyone turned out, you know, in gold and tinsel too;But the good old Sixty-ninth, they didn't like these lords or peers;They wouldn't give a damn for kings, the Irish volunteers!We love the land of Liberty, its laws we do hold dear,But the Devil take nobility, says the Irish volunteer!Now if the traitors in the South should ever cross our roads,We'll drive them to the Devil as Saint Patrick did the toads.We'll give them all short nooses that come just below the ears,Made good and strong from Irish hemp by Irish volunteers.And here's to brave McClellan, whom the army now reveres!He'll lead us on to victory, the Irish volunteers.Now fill your glasses up, my boys, a toast come drink with me:May Erin's Harp and the Starry Flag united ever be;May traitors quake, and rebels shake, and tremble in their fears,When next they meet the Yankee boys and the Irish volunteers!God bless the name of Washington! that name this land reveres;Success to Meagher, Nugent, and their Irish Volunteers!