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“While the overwhelming majority of Muslims are outstanding people, on the other hand 100% of the Islamic terrorists are Muslims.”

Quoth Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who fails to observe that, indeed, 100 percent of Catholic terrorists are practitioners of Christianity too.

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One point that gets lost amid political conversations is the relative effectiveness of a well-staffed government to do things that the private sector also does. It’s easy to cherry-pick examples of ridiculous bureaucratic waste in the U.S. without pointing out the things its government does do well.

I’ve yet to meet someone whose Social Security check comes late, and “it’s lost in the mail” rivals “the dog ate my homework” in believability. On a larger scale, the 13 largest oil companies in the world, all of which are state-owned and -operated, seem quite good at participating in capitalism.

It’s handy, then, to be able to point out a story that surfaced this week. Giant, profit-driven corporation AT&T has such bad service in New York that it appears to be doing everything imaginable to not sell stuff that people want to buy.

What kind of capitalism is that called? Reducing the supply of something for sale for marketing purposes — the so-called scarcity principal — doesn’t work with bandwidth and other commodities.

It’s a certainty that AT&T will resume online iPhone sales soon, but it’ll be because people are talking, not because its network is even remotely tolerable.

(image via)

There are many takeaways from Prof. Jack A. Goldstone’s new paper about explosive population shifts and geopolitics, but the one that’s easiest to understand is: We’re all pretty much screwed.

(via Council on Foreign Relations)

When Mexico City assembly-members legalized marriage for everyone earlier this month, I envied, for a second, the liberal sensibilities of the region.

It’s a good thing I didn’t speak up.

Housekeeping.

Please either ignore or make fun of this post. I’m attempting to register this blog with search engine Technorati and it’s telling me to display this sequence: NRF83QKYXYT8.

By most reasonable accounts, the public discourse around healthcare reform, from Sarah Palin’s made-up death panels and others’ hyperbole to conservatives actually bringing assault rifles to Presidential events, was pretty pathetic.

But as bad as the healthcare debate became, brewing climate-change policy reform will draw an even-more-foot-stompy reaction from conservatives.

Here are five reasons why:

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The impending death of loan modification programs for homeowners, of which there have been several, is an economic blessing in disguise.

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