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April 23, 2014

Larry Bartels points to the fact that, unlike in other affluent democracies, in America, the desire to cut government spending is almost always much stronger among the rich, and weaker among the poor:

[Washington Post]

Paul Krugman says that "the main point to understand here is that we now know what it means when people urge us to stop talking about class, or denounce class warfare: It is essentially a demand that lower-income Americans and those upper-income Americans who care about them shut up, and stop messing with the elite desire for smaller government."

Krugman is correct — the wealthy in America favor smaller government more than the less wealthy. But what's a little baffling to me is the fact that other affluent democracies don't share America's rich-poor divide on spending cuts. And the fact that this great division exists despite the fact the United States does less to redistribute income than most other economically advanced democracies. This is not the overtaxed rich rebelling against world-leading levels of redistribution. Other countries redistribute far more with far less division between the rich and the poor on the matter.

Larry Bartels argues that the factor that explains this may be race. The only country with a bigger rich-poor divide on spending cuts than the United States is South Africa, which has a wide economic divide between its relatively wealthier white population and relatively poorer black population. Bartels points to a similar "entanglement of class and race in America, which magnifies aversion to redistribution among many affluent white Americans." John Aziz

11:21 a.m. ET
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Malia Obama will attend Harvard University in 2017 after taking a gap year, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced Sunday. The decision to take a year off will theoretically lessen the spotlight in college, as her father will be out of office well before she starts classes.

Harvard's acceptance rate this year was just 5.2 percent, the lowest in the institution's history, The New York Times reports. Obama will join a storied club of presidential children that have attended Harvard as undergraduates or graduates, which includes figures ranging from Robert Lincoln to George W. Bush. Julie Kliegman

10:58 a.m. ET

In April, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) made a seriously uncomfortable joke at a comedy show.

Here's a quick refresher: De Blasio, joking about his chronic lateness, said he was running on "CP Time." Colored People's Time has long been a reference to the racist stereotype that black people are frequently late. Clinton jumped in, jokingly claiming the acronym really means "Cautious Politician Time."

President Obama took Clinton and de Blasio to task Saturday during his speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. He apologized for being late and said he was running on CPT, which stands for "Jokes That White People Should Not Make." Watch the zinger below. Julie Kliegman

10:19 a.m. ET

Rev. Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest influential in forming U.S. opposition to the Vietnam War, died Saturday at age 94, The New York Times reports.

In 1968, Berrigan and his brother led other activists in seizing hundreds of local draft records in Catonsville, Maryland, and setting them on fire with homemade napalm. Berrigan was imprisoned. His activism and subsequent arrests continued in his later years.

"The day after I'm embalmed, that's when I'll give it up," he said in 2001. Julie Kliegman

10:05 a.m. ET
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Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential race in Indiana with 49 percent support among likely voters, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll out Sunday.

Ted Cruz sits 15 percentage points behind, with 34 percent support, and John Kasich notched just 13 percent. The margin of error is 3.9 percentage points.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton holds a narrow lead over Bernie Sanders, 50 percent to 46 percent, ahead of Tuesday's primaries. That's smaller than the poll's 4.6-point margin of error. Julie Kliegman

8:11 a.m. ET
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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) picked up about 80 delegates of more than 170 on the table at local and state conventions Saturday, Politico reports.

He snagged a majority of delegates in Arizona and Virginia, two states that strongly backed Donald Trump in primaries. Cruz also made gains in Missouri. Trump fared well in Massachusetts, Alaska, and Arkansas.

Most delegates are obligated to support the winner of their state's nominating contest on the Republican National Convention's first ballot, but can switch allegiances in future rounds of voting. Cruz's strategy banks on Trump not being able to grab the minimum of 1,237 delegates needed to secure the party's nomination outright. Julie Kliegman

7:40 a.m. ET

President Obama spared no one when he took the stage Saturday at his final White House Correspondents' Dinner. He poked fun at journalists, Democrats, and Republicans alike, saving his harshest jokes for Donald Trump, who didn't attend.

"You have a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras. And he says no. Is this dinner too tacky for The Donald? What could he be possibly doing instead?" Obama said. "Eating a Trump Steak? Tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel? What's he doing?"

The president proceeded to end his speech with a literal mic drop. Julie Kliegman

April 30, 2016
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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) maintained Friday that he'll support the Republican presidential nominee, even if that somebody happens to be Donald Trump, The Palm Beach Post reports.

In fact, Rubio might be more impressed with the billionaire business mogul than usual, saying his "performance has improved significantly" recently.

It's also worth noting that Rubio doesn't agree with former House Speaker John Boehner that Ted Cruz is Lucifer. Julie Kliegman

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