Are You, Theologically, Supposed to Consecrate a Bishop During Lent?
Paul Krugman: Against the Ignorance Caucus--the Republican Party

Noted for February 12, 2013

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  • Andrew Sullivan: Secrets On The Surface: "Essie Mae Washington-Williams… Strom Thurmond['s] daughter… passed away on Monday. Jelani Cobb reflects on the racial realities her life presented: 'James Baldwin once remarked that segregationists weren’t truly driven by the cliché concern of preventing black men from marrying their daughters. Rather, he said, “You don’t want us to marry your wives’ daughters—we’ve been marrying your daughters since the days of slavery.” This is a truth that is forgotten among whites and rarely spoken among blacks…. [W]e processed Washington-Williams story as a political scandal…. Hypocrisy may be the price we pay for having our biases catered to in public, but Thurmond’s actions weren’t so much hypocritical as they were surreptitious: not uncommon, just unspoken.'"

  • LizardBreath: "I picked up Debt: The First 5000 Years, by David Graeber, after a couple of people here recommended it.… [I]t's a very interesting discussion…. But there are some things that make me wonder whether any fact in the book I don't know for certain to be true can be trusted…. [H]e uses Apple…. 'Apple Computers is a famous example: it was founded by (mostly Republican) computer engineers who broke from IBM in Silicon Valley in the 1980s, forming little democratic circles of twenty to forty people with their laptops in each other's garages.' I don't know all that much about the history of Apple…. I'm pretty sure that's as wrong as it could possibly be… a whole lot of wrong for one sentence. Has anyone read the book with enough background knowledge to say if this is a fluke, or if the whole thing is like this?"

  • Martin Wolf: A case to reset basis of monetary policy: "The current regime is meant to stabilise inflation and help stabilise the economy. It has failed…. [P]roponents of the current regime (of which I was one) justified it not only on the proposition that it would stabilise inflation, but that it would help stabilise the economy. It failed to do so…. Simon Wren-Lewis of Oxford university argues that there is now 'a clear conflict' between what a sensible UK monetary policy would be doing and what is actually happening…. So what is to be done? First, there needs to be a government-led assessment of the inflation-targeting regime…. Second, the BoE has to reconsider how it develops and communicates policy…. Finally, as Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, argued in an important lecture this week, even greater attention needed to be paid to the 'how' of monetary policy in exceptional times than to its targets. In particular, he argued, money creation was a legitimate and powerful tool, in such circumstances…. Lord Turner thinks the unthinkable: namely, monetary financing of the fiscal deficit. So should policy makers. They have to think afresh. If not now, when?"

  • Tom Verde: Saudi Aramco World : Pasta’s Winding Way West: "Local legend has it that when the Arab conqueror of Sicily, Asad ibn al-Furat, landed with his fleet on the southern shore of the island in 827, one of his first orders of business was to muster up food for his troops. Quickly surveying the local resources, Asad’s cooks caught sardines in the harbor, harvested wild fennel, currants and pine nuts from the surrounding hills, and combined them all with an ingredient then unknown in Europe, which the invading Arabs had brought with them in the holds of their ships: pasta. Today, pasta con sarde, or pasta with sardines, is one of Sicily’s signature dishes. Yet as legends go, this version of how pasta became a staple of Italian cuisine is far less familiar than the tale of Marco Polo’s supposed discovery of noodles in China in the 13th century—a tale that has been subject to more spin than a forkful of spaghetti."

  • John LeCarre: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

  • Fabius Maximus: The difference between Christianity & Libertarianism marks a line between America & the New America

  • Dean Baker: How Does Greg Mankiw Know that Wage Inequality Is Due to Technology?: "If technology explains the shift those who try to explain the timing of the process, like M.I.T. professor David Autor, have had a difficult time making their case…. It is easy for Harvard economic professors to assert that technology is the cause of inequality. It is much more difficult for them to produce the data…"

Larry Meyer on the Fed's exit strategy:

On February 11, 2013: