Links to what I’ve been reading.
Kevin Drum provides a public service by compiling tax charts from the scored tax plans of four Republican candidates:
As a public service, I’ve collected charts showing all the Republican tax plans to date in one convenient place. (The Tax Policy Center hasn’t yet tried to score plans from Santorum, Huntsman, or Paul.) It’s really pretty spectacular seeing them all together like this. It’s not just the amount of pandering to the super-rich that’s so breathtaking, it’s the lockstep unanimity. At all costs, every single Republican candidate knows that he has to promise the ultra-wealthy a huge tax break as the price of staying in the race. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the modern Republican Party in a nutshell.
For a half-formed thought, this Peter Frase piece on the idea of Facebook as public utility is pretty good:
This would definitely be a step in the right direction, and until recently I would have completely endorsed the sentiment, since I’ve thought this way about big Internet companies for a long time. Even before Facebook, it always seemed to me that Google’s search engine, for example, was an immensely important and valuable social utility, and one that’s too important to be left in the hands of a single private sector company. So my suggestion, only a bit joking, would be that we ought to nationalize Google and Facebook.
Howard Foster pulls the trigger on birthright citizenship:
It’s time for a vigorous national debate about legal immigration without name calling, histrionics, and, unlike 1965, guided by an understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment. Let’s start with the relevant text of that post-civil War Amendment, which everyone agrees, was offered to protect and enfranchise the newly freed black slaves. It states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction there of,are citizens of the United States…” (emphasis added) (the “Citizenship Clause”). Sen. Jacob Howard (R-MI), introduced the Citizenship Clause to the version of the Amendment which had passed the House in 1866. He stated: This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers… but will include every other class of persons.”
Dave Weigel questions the wisdom behind Rick Santorum’s dogfight with college students over same-sex marriage:
When you’re a no-hope candidate, you agree to any invitation you get. When he was low in the polls, Santorum signed up for a post-Iowa Caucus speech at the Center for Civic Engagement’s College Convention 2012. I walked in the door and immediately saw a picked-over table of Libertarian Party merchandise. This would not be a Santorum-centric crowd.
And it wasn’t. Santorum spent much of his time sparring with liberal and libertarian-minded college students about gay marriage and drug laws. For anyone who watched Santorum in his wilderness period, it was an acid flashback — the surging candidate in the GOP race all of a sudden debating the fine points of love and personal responsibily.