Linked and Loaded Weekend


Links to what I’ve been reading, on this day that South Carolina may deliver the state to and angry Newt Gingrich.

Jonathan Bernstein urges caution in the face of a probable Gingrich win:

But there’s a lot of overreaction going on, too. As Nate Silver noted on twitter (sorry, didn’t save the link), Romney’s InTrade odds have dropped dramatically this week, from over 90% to a current 68%. That’s almost certainly far too low, but it’s also not unusual at all for conventional wisdom to fall into a panic whenever an almost-certain nominee loses a primary. Most of the time, however, it doesn’t mean anything.

Robert Johnson attempts to make waves in the economic’s profession:

As the Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job illustrated, there is a very lucrative market for false visions of financial-market behavior that legitimate the desires of participants to be unshackled and make more money. But good policy prescriptions are public goods that represent the social good and not just the concentrated financial interests. Unfortunately, as economists beginning with the work of Adam Smith have repeatedly shown, public goods are under­provided in the marketplace. In addition, the reputation of the economics profession is itself a collective good, and those who have tarnished it are not adequately penalized for the damage they do to their fellow professionals when they accept large sums of money in return for marketing a perspective that benefits vested interests.

The New York Times chronicles the weariness of the candidate media-blitz in South Carolina:

“Oh, it’s awful,” sighed Tina Hampton, 59, an office administrator. Her mailbox is filled with glossy brochures from candidates and the “super PACs” that support them. Her television blares with sniping politicians in commercial breaks of her favorite shows. Her respite at work, an iPod Touch that plays soothing music through Pandora radio, was overtaken by Rick Perry ads. “It’s a scourge,” she said.

“Last night, I was trying to watch ‘American Idol.’ I was like, I just want to watch Steven Tyler,” Ms. Hampton said. “I don’t care that Newt has lied and that Santorum has lied and that Romney has lied, and that everybody is just a bunch of big, fat liars.”

She added: “I’d really just like to see a coffee commercial. Seriously.”

Follow the South Carolina primary via Google’s Election Results map.


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