In advance of tomorrow's big game, FAIR notes that there's not actually very much evidence behind the "liberal" media assertion that a city that hosts the Super Bowl gets a big economic shot-in-the-arm. Cities can pay out more in security than they get in sales taxes, for example. And folks plug this kind of economic boom, naturally, whenever it's time for the taxpayers to host a tournament or build a new stadium for the home team. FAIR assesses the problem with some generosity (sports reporters may not know economics very well, and news reporters may not know sports very well) and finds some good reporting (and not all from Deadspin or Vice), but, as always, we deserve better.
Michael Strain, in an op-ed somehow entitled "End Obamacare, and People Could Die. That's OK," says it wouldn't be "immoral" to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Then follows a string of lousy analogies (the ACA is nothing like a 10 mph speed limit, for example) and hifalutin talk about the "value of a statistical life," which ordinary Americans, of course, find very persuasive. Also, he doesn't mention single-payer, though one could easily argue that it's immoral to keep an expensive, privately-run health insurance system around to satisfy your political philosophy when a single-payer system could cut health-care costs in half.
The incomparable Jesse Eisinger describes "Wall Street's Latest Housing Trick," the rent-to-own scam, in which you rent a house and also buy an option to buy it later. That "option" is, naturally, to buy the house at a price set above its actual value. Free marketeers of the early 20th century would have described such an option as something that distorted free markets, whereas today's "free" marketeers think banksters should do whatever they want and damn the rest of us. The good news: "People I spoke with said that the big players were not doing rent-to-own." The bad news: yet.
Wisconsin Republicans are pushing a bill that would "grade" public schools and then automatically change "failing" schools into charter schools. Which would do nothing for our students, and would divert taxpayer funds into the pockets of charter-school cronies, who, as you know, can declare "success" merely because they can kick failing students out at will, which public schools can't do. That's when states actually hold charter schools to standards like they should, and often they don't. I don't think it would be uncivil to call this a scam.
Finally, Sen. Marco Rubio, who might be running for President in 2016, wants to permanently extend the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA data-vacuuming program, because, you know, terrorism. Mr. Rubio criticizes President Obama for, I'm guessing, doing what Mr. Rubio wants him to do while being President Obama, and if Mr. Rubio looks to set himself apart from folks like Ted Cruz, who generally opposes Big Gummint surveillance, then he should know that doing so makes him exactly like most other Republican Presidential hopefuls. And when someone asks Marco Rubio why he thinks Big Gummint should spy on ordinary Americans who aren't breaking the law, what does he do then? Hope his charm carries the day? He wouldn't be the first to overestimate the power of charm.