Morning Bits

Oops. “We heard many bad and tired ideas during last night’s State of the Union address, and one of them was the promise to raise the minimum wage, to $9 dollar an hour. While on the surface it may seem like a way to increase the standard of living for lower-income Americans, in reality the policy is likely to backfire. For instance, research by economists David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine, William Wascher of the Federal Reserve Board, and Mark Schweitzer of the Cleveland Fed shows that that minimum wages increase poverty, and hence poverty reduction certainly shouldn’t be expected as a benefit of raising the minimum wage.”

Jack Lew-Alex Wong/Washington Post

Ouch. “The New Republic has abandoned its liberal but heterodox tradition and embraced a leftist outlook as predictable as that of Mother Jones or the Nation.”

Yowser. “Jack Lew, who has been nominated as the next treasury secretary, oversaw up to as many as a hundred Cayman Island investments when he worked at Citi Bank as chief operating officer of the alternative investment services unit, SEC disclosures reveal. It has previously been reported that Lew himself had been invested in a fund that was based in the Cayman Islands.”

Yikes. “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is trying to stake out a position as a national GOP leader, has suffered a dramatic drop in his popularity back home, according to a poll released Wednesday. Only 37 percent of Louisiana voters approve of Jindal’s job performance, according to the survey from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, while 57 percent disapprove. In PPP’s last poll of Louisiana in August 2010, Jindal had a sparkling 58 percent approval rating, with only 34 percent disapproval.”

Woops. “Senate Intelligence Committee chief Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has decided to postpone the panel’s confirmation vote on White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan’s nomination to become CIA chief.”

Wow. “For months he’s bobbed and weaved questions about a rift with Chief Justice John Roberts, and now Associate Justice Antonin Scalia is finally conceding that he was disappointed with Roberts’ decision to uphold most of Obamacare last year. ‘I was disappointed it came out the way it did,’ he said, the first time he expressed his displeasure with the surprise Roberts decision.”

Splat. “Should the Rubio water story been broached? Of course. But to devote entire segments to analyze the subject illustrates where media priorities are today (sizzle over steak). Sure it was worth a mention, a chuckle, a Watergate joke, but nothing more than that. . . . Deficits? Jobs? GDP? Guns? Taxes? Solutions? Who cares? Marco Rubio. Drank. Water. On the air. And the Fourth Estate wonders why its own approval rating is washing down the drain.”

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