Matthew Yglesias is a Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Harvard University. His first book, Heads in the Sand, was published in May 2008 by Wiley. Matt has previously worked as an Associate Editor at The Atlantic, a Staff Writer at The American Prospect, and an Associate Editor at Talking Points Memo. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Guardian, Slate, The Washington Monthly, and other publications. Matthew has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC, and been a guest on many radio shows.
Cenk Uygur notes that “the media missed” a false statement from Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) recent CBS interview where he incorrectly claimed the surge “began the Anbar Awakening.” When asked by Kate Couric about whether the money spent on the surge would have been better spent in Afghanistan, McCain claimed Iraq (not Afghanistan) was the “first major conflict since 9/11“:
McCAIN: The fact is we had four years of failed policy. We were losing. We were losing the war in Iraq. The consequences of failure and defeat of the United States of America in the first major conflict since 9/11 would have had devastating impacts throughout the region and the world.
Clearly, Afghanistan was the “first major conflict” that the U.S. fought after 9/11. But in 2003, McCain said the U.S. could just “muddle through in Afghanistan.” As Uygur stated, “They never saw Afghanistan as a priority.”
RawStory notes that CBS again “scrubbed” this gaffe from its television interview. Watch it:
As you may have heard, the McCain campaign’s been having some surrogate trouble lately with folks like Carly Fiorina saying that McCain favors “fully funding” No Child Left Behind (i.e., appropriating a level of federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that’s as high as the authorized funding level) even though that doesn’t reflect his voting record or his formal campaign promises. Education adviser Lisa Graham Keegan tried to square the circle today at a New America Foundation event, saying McCain will “fund ESEA fully where it is.”
What that means in practice is that at a time when inflation is rising is the number of school-age children is growing, McCain’s tax and budget policies require him to keep federal education spending flat in nominal terms — implying substantial real per capita cuts.
After goading Barack Obama into taking a trip abroad, John McCain’s spent all day mocking Obama for being abroad and in the course of it he’s gotten into an awful lot of nonsense:
“I would rather speak at a rally or a political gathering any place outside of the country after I am president of the United States,” McCain told O’Donnell. “But that’s a judgment that Sen. Obama and the American people will make.”
However, on June 20, McCain himself gave a speech in Canada — to the Economic Club of Canada — in which he applauded NAFTA’s successes. An implicit message behind that speech was that Obama had been critical of the trade accord. Also, McCain’s trip to Canada was paid for by the campaign.
Meanwhile, the right is now slamming Obama for trying to get Europeans more engaged in the fight against al-Qaeda. In a world where The Washington Post things fighting al-Qaeda is less important than backstopping western oil companies in Iraq I suppose that’s not so surprising.
Washington, DC is in need of a new transportation commissioner, and Greater Greater Washington is looking for signatures on a letter urging Mayor Fenty to find a visionary like New York City’s Jeanette Sadik-Kahn. I signed.
Yesterday, during an event at the Tax Policy Center, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) senior economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin repeated the false claim that McCain’s economic proposal has “no tax cuts anywhere for the wealthy”:
And what Sen. McCain has tried to do is to keep the kinds of taxes that would effect small business where they are…Top rate right now is 35 percent. Under John McCain, 35 percent. Dividends 15 percent, John McCain 15 percent. Capitol gains 15 percent, John McCain 15 percent. No tax cuts anywhere for the wealthy. Instead a tax policy that maintains the ability of small business…to do what they’re doing right now…
Senator McCain’s tax cuts would primarily benefit those with very high incomes, almost all of whom would receive large tax cuts that would, on average, raise their after-tax incomes by more than twice the average for all households. Many fewer households at the bottom of the income distribution would get tax cuts and those tax cuts would be small as a share of after-tax income.
Indeed, the report goes on to claim that “McCain’s proposal would make the tax system even more regressive than the system created by the 2001–06 cuts”:
- Households in the top 1 percent of the income distribution would receive average increases in after-tax income of more than 8 percent, in addition to their large benefits under the tax legislation already enacted this decade.
- Households in the middle of the income distribution would receive an additional 1.4 percent increase in after-tax income, on average.
- Those at the bottom would receive tax cuts averaging just 0.6 percent of income.
Thus, if Holtz-Eakin can’t find the tax cuts for the wealthy “anywhere,” he’s not looking hard enough.
Yesterday, rap star Nas delivered a petition to Fox News’s Manhattan headquarters, calling on the network to “stop its racist smears against the Obamas and other Black Americans.” The petition, which was organized by Color of Change and MoveOn.org, was signed by over 620,000 people.
On his show last night, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly claimed that MoveOn was “smearing Fox News.” “The latest smear from Moveon is telling their Koolaid drinking, zombie followers that FOX News is smearing Barack Obama and is a racist concern,” declared O’Reilly.
He then declared that “It is not a stretch to say MoveOn is the new Klan”:
O’REILLY: Obama must condemn organizations like MoveOn and DailyKos if he truly wants to run without a race component.
These are the people that are dividing Americans along racial lines. It is not a stretch to say MoveOn is the new Klan.
NPR’s Juan Williams and Republican consultant Angela McGlowan, agreed with him. Williams called the petition “fascist” while McGlowan thanked O’Reilly for his “jihad on these folks.” Watch it:
Despite O’Reilly, Williams and McGlowan’s denials, Fox News has engaged in racially offensivecoverage of African-Americans. Just recently, a network anchor described a fist bump between Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and his wife as “a terrorist fist jab.” A Fox chyron once labeled Michelle Obama a “baby mama.”
Labeling his political foes as equivalent to the Ku Klux Klan is nothingnew for O’Reilly, but every time he does it, he “trivializes the very real problems, the real violence and hatred, caused by the Klan.”
Catherine notes that while hitting a pedestrian with a car in this city nets you just a $50 fine, biking the wrong way on a one-way street gets a $25 fine. That’s madness. Cyclists probably shouldn’t bike in the wrong direction (though the particular block where the tickets were handed out is an odd case where they should probably implement a special “wrong way” bike lane) but those who do so aren’t endangering anyone but themselves. Conservative pundits who ram pedestrians with their car, by contrast, are rolling the dice with other people’s lives.
Using our estimates and Census data we find that immigration (1990-2006) had small negative effects in the short run on native workers with no high school degree (-0.7%) and on average wages (-0.4%) while it had small positive effects on native workers with no high school degree (+0.3%) and on average native wages (+0.6%) in the long run. These results are perfectly in line with the estimated aggregate elasticities in the labor literature since Katz and Murphy (1992). We also find a wage effect of new immigrants on previous immigrants in the order of negative 6%.
When you take into account the fact that immigration is beneficial to the immigrants and to the recipients of their remittances, and that cracking down effectively on illegal immigration would entail large direct costs, this makes the case for a crack-down look extremely un-compelling. You’re talking about very small short-term losses that are offset by very small long-term gains.
A little while back I was getting very excited about racial and economic integration plans as a way to improve school performance. Evidence suggests that kids do better in integrated schools, and a lot of cities have come up with clever schemes to ensure a reasonable degree of integration. The trouble, as Sara explained to me, is that given the actual patterns of residency in the United States an extremely large proportion of poor and minority students live in places where you couldn’t possibly make this work. As Kevin Drum says today “No amount of busing, magnet schools, charter schools, carrots, sticks, or anything else will reduce the number of low-income students in each school below 40% when the entire school district is 80% low-income.”