If you live in England and share a last name with a Norman conqueror listed in the Domesday book of 1086—think Sinclair, Percy, Beauchamp—you have a 25 percent higher chance of matriculating at Oxford or Cambridge.
What You Can Learn from the New Science of Smarter Spending. By Cass R. Sunstein. Illustration by Samantha Mash.
What can be done to combat the influence of big business on politics?
"Every four or five years, it seems, progressives and the media discover ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, anew. I’m old enough that the latest “OMG!” reaction to the existence of the conservative legislative network, following the revelation of its role in promoting voter ID laws and the “Stand Your Ground” gun laws that briefly shielded George Zimmerman, is probably the third “discovery” of ALEC I’ve witnessed. (ALEC played a significant role the PowerPoint presentation called “The Conservative Message Machine Money Matrix,” created by Rob Stein in 2004 and that led liberal donors to organize The Democracy Alliance.)"
- Photo courtesy of ThinkProgress
Exactly how progressive is our tax code?
"The general idea of raising taxes on the poor is that if people at the bottom of the income distribution get too used to thinking of government as something that gives them benefits and never, ever requires that they pay taxes, then they’ll think that government comes free and they will demand more and more of it. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page long ago branded these lower-income big-government hogs “lucky duckies.”“
- Timothy Noah, Lucky Duckies Revisited
Image courtesy of KathleenKirkPoetry
If Newt has to give his money back, shouldn’t Romney do the same?
Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has taken a lot of heat for receiving $1.6 million from Freddie Mac, and Mitt Romney has called on Gingrich to return the money. “He was on a debate saying that politicians who took money from Freddie and Fannie should go to jail,” Romney said.
Gingrich was asked about the remark today during an appearance in New Hampshire. He replied, “if Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to listen to him.”
In fact, even one of Romney’s former business partners has admitted, “I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation.”
Video courtesy of Think Progress.