The Heartbeat Grows Fainter. The company that owns the Inquirer and the Daily News, my hometown papers, is going to file for bankruptcy. Sigh.
The Man Behind the Stimulus. You may have seen John Maynard Keynes ‘ name pop up a lot since the economy went in the toilet. The recently passed stimulus package was based on his theory that governments can spend their way out of downturns. Liberal economists like Paul Krugman point to the U.S. economy after the New Deal/WWII as proof that it worked. Conservative ones like Tyler Cowen aren’t so sure. This American Life gives a typically brisk, sharp intro to Keynes (smart, weird, kind of a dickhead) and explains why his ideas still spawn so much disagreement all these decades later. (For the more advanced economists out there, you should holler at/follow Eric’s blogging over at Edge of the West.)
Snarking Our Education Policy. Besides its other problems, ‘No Child Left Behind’ has a pretty big image problem from being so closely associated with Bush. Arne Duncan, the education secretary, thinks part of fixing the law will be rebranding it . “Let’s give a new name,” he said. Snarky-ass suggestions are already pouring in: The Rearranging the Deck Chairs Act; the Double Back Around to Pick Up the Children We Left Behind Act; the Teach to the Test Act, and our favorite, the Act to Help Children Read Gooder.
Can I Get a …From Ryan Lizza’svery good New Yorker piece on Rahm Emmanuel: “He is a political John McEnroe, known for both his mercurial temperament and his tactical brilliance. In the same conversation, he can be wonkish and thoughtful, blunt and profane. (When Emanuel was a teen-ager, he lost half of his right middle finger, after cutting it on a meat slicer—an accident, Obama once joked, that rendered him practically mute.’)”
Streets is Watching. A new study says that minorities are more likely to be the victims of violent crimes during economic downturns. A sociologist wonders if the small uptick in break-ins during a bad economy is due less to a swell in the number of people turning to crime and more to an increased demand in cheap stolen goods. [Crawler.]
Blackalicious. Some BHM Trivia for that ass, courtesy of the Census Bureau.There are now 40.7 million black Americans in the U.S. (including those of more than one race) putting the total population at 13.5 percent. Mississippi is the blackest state in the U.S. with a population of 35.7 percent. The black population is expected to hit 65.7 million in 2050 (15 percent). There are more black military veterans (2.4 million) than any other minority group. Nineteen percent of blacks over 25 have a bachelor’s degree. The median income for Negroes jumped from $32,876 in 2006 to $33,916 in ’07, although the poverty rate (24.7%) didn’t budge. And the U.S. currently boasts 49,730 black physicians and surgeons, 70,620 postsecondary teachers, 49,050 lawyers, and 57,720 chief executives. Phew.
“I’ll Crush You With My Wallet!” Billionaire curmudgeon Warren Buffet personally asked Alice Schroeder, whom he’d known for years, to report on his life and write his biography. (He said he didn’t want it to be fawning, either, telling her explicitly to pick the less flattering version.) The result was the blockbuster Snowball . Now, Schroeder says, Buffet has been a lot less warm to her, which she took as proof of a job well done. (Said quadmoniker, who just finished Snowball: “I think it’s actually because the book is bad.”)