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November 07, 2011


Yes, it's a silly understatement to point out that a Flat Tax Doesn’t Solve Inequality Problem. But that comparison is unfair to Cain, because his Flat Tax wasn't supposed to reduce inequality.

Cain's plan is supposed to make everyone more wealthy by encouraging greater economic growth. IMHO it should be analyzed on that basis.

I don't claim to know who's right or wrong, but I note that Nate Silver identifies three "fundamentals":
-- approval ratings in the year before the election,
-- G.D.P. growth during the election year itself and
-- the ideology score of the opposition candidate

By comparison, I believe Brendan has just one fundamental or one set of fundamentals, namely, economic conditions.

Approval is largely a function of the previous state of the economy as Silver notes, and there are important concerns about using ideology as a predictor in the way that he does (post on this soon most likely).

Great moments in medical education: GWU medical school professor resigns; students say she didn’t teach class, gave everyone As. And the kicker: she was chair of the department.

A couple of observations about the fact-checkers article.

1. Politico is disingenuous when they say:

The factcheckers also regularly face complaints of partisanship from their victims and the suggestion that checking itself is somehow inappropriate. Sarah Palin, for instance, publicly complained that the AP had assigned 11 reporters to factcheck her books, something the wire service regularly does with major political debates, books and speeches.

That weasel word "regularly" hides what I believe is the truth. I think Palin's book got much more fact-checking and fault-finding than average.

In any event, Politico ought to correctly state Palin's objection even if they don't agree with it. She was objecting to unequal fact-checking, not so much as objecting to being checked.

Also, it's curious that one historical root of fact-checking was Democratic rage over the Willie Horton ad. While that ad was criticized as allegedly racist, there was never any question that it was factually accurate.

Brendan's linked article, How Obama Neuters Independent Reporters, has nothing to do with George Bush. Yet Brendan leads his tweet by accusing Bush. This is an example of a New York Times rule of thumb: An editorial criticizing Dems may not stand alone. It must include criticism of Reps.

This is a one-way rule. It's OK for criticism of Reps to stand alone. E.g., Brendan's criticism of Cain's flat tax proposal is not accompanied by critcism of some unrealistic Democratic financial promise, although there are plenty of such examles.

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