State lotteries and truth in advertising


State lotteries are exempt from truth-in-advertising laws. And this, I think, offers some promise for changing the politics of state lotteries. This is a way of taking them on without prompting a defensive response from either entrenched constituency — the Losers or the Free-loaders. We don’t attack the lotteries themselves, we attack their exemption from truth-in-advertising laws. [Read more...]

Hell and soteriology Part 1: Bill O’Reilly’s accidental insight


Candida Moss does not euphemize or equivocate about what the text says that Jesus said or that Jesus said this as a direct assertion of fact. Jesus said that if you don’t give away your wealth to help the poor, then you will go to Hell. Period. As Keith wrote, Bill O’Reilly’s reaction was typical of “almost all readers of this story … surely that’s not what he really meant.” [Read more...]

Boycotting the Once-ler


So like everyone else, you’ve been buying Thneeds from the Once-ler for years without ever hesitating to think about it. After all, a Thneed’s a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need! It’s a shirt. It’s a sock. It’s a glove. It’s a hat. But it has other uses. Yes, far beyond that. … But then one day you read an [Read More...]

Banks behaving badly

Cora Currier: “Banks Colluding with Insurers to Rip Off Homeowners, Lawsuit Alleges“ A federal judge in Miami on Tuesday opened the door to a class action against Wells Fargo. More than 20,000 Florida homeowners can now sue Wells Fargo and an insurance company, QBE, for allegedly overcharging for insurance. More than $50 million in insurance [Read More...]

Bank-transfer season 2012

The New Bottom Line project says “Bank Transfer Season 2012 Kicks Off in San Francisco“: Yesterday, clergy in San Francisco announced plans to divest $10 million from Wells Fargo. 40 clergy from across San Francisco gathered outside the headquarters of Wells Fargo to call on the bank to put an immediate freeze on all foreclosure [Read More...]

Dives and Abraham: Martin Luther King Jr. demolishes Mitt Romney’s talk of ‘envy’

The Rude Pundit points us to the sermon the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington on March 31, 1968, the final Sunday of King’s life. That sermon, “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” includes an extended look at the parable of Lazarus and Dives. The character of “Dives” isn’t [Read More...]

‘But we cannot have both’

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Ian Ayres and Aaron S. Edlin are pushing for a Brandeis tax based on maintaining a Brandeis ratio of 36-to-1. I hope they keeping pushing for this, even though I doubt their proposal will go anywhere. I’m just happy they’re calling it a “Brandeis tax” and a “Brandeis ratio,” because every time anyone asks why [Read More...]

The Liberation of Ebenezer Scrooge (and possible liberation of Jamie Dimon)

The Consumerist brings us the latest in a wave of recent stories about a mystery benefactor bringing holiday cheer to strangers in need. Call it holiday cheer or call it the best bandwagon we’ve ever seen, but yet another kind-hearted consumer has plunked down cash to make the season a bit brighter for his fellow [Read More...]