The New York Times thinks there may be a "mass exodus" of rich people from France if President Hollande enacts a 75% tax on income over one million euros. Evidence? A lot of rich French are overreacting or contemplating overreacting, a few rich French left in the 1980s, three French celebrities left during the Sarkozy Administration. No doubt many of you remember that Princeton University found that Gov. Corzine's tax hikes on the top bracket didn't cause a mass exodus of les riches from New Jersey, despite flat-taxing Pennsylvania being right next door, and you may have noticed that even the Wall Street Journal has given up flogging reduced numbers of high-income earners in Oregon and Maryland as a result of some "tax exodus." I don't know what world the Times lives in, but in the real world, people don't put down or dig up roots only because of their taxes -- especially when their choice is either to be rich or to be rich.
In other news, Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time-Warner, acquires sports-blogging site The Bleacher Report for a whopping $175 million. Bleacher Report, which has almost as many unique visitors each month as Sports Illustrated's website does, contains mostly user-generated content, and I've read enough Bleacher Report to tell you that this isn't exactly a triumph for user-generated content. Huffington Post, which also uses a lot of unpaid labor and which also parlayed its notoriety into a big payday, does rather better at politics than Bleacher Report does at sports. Of course we tolerate regurgitated rumors and bad analysis much more easily when it's only a game. Problem isn't just that folks will expect that what works with Bleacher Report (and even their slideshows are only mildly amusing) will work anywhere else. Problem is also that folks bring that mentality to their citizenship, and treat their political party like it's their favorite sports team.
Finally, liberal blogger Bill Scher, asked why Mr. Romney seems like such a bad candidate, says "it's not the man, it's the policies" -- not Mr. Romney's "aloof" style, in other words, but the far right-wing policies mainstream Republicans now support. Actually, I tend to agree -- I've long regarded Mitt Romney as a rather smooth talker, even if he seems a bit mechanical at times, and if he doesn't sound smooth now, it must be because it's impossible to do so when you're spouting such crap as you must spout to keep right-wing voters appropriately enraged. What a sad thing for a man who clearly started planning his Presidential run in the late 1990s and obviously anticipated that the 2000s would be A Time for Moderates. I feel less sad, of course, when I hear him mouth all that stupid crap he mouths now like it was part of the plan all along. Really, it's like he just shrugged his shoulders and said, I guess I'll just have to do this instead.