Steve King refuses debate unless opponent pulls ad

Still from another advertisement that may also mischaracterize Rep. Steve King (R–IA)

Still from another advertisement that may mischaracterize Rep. Steve King (R–IA)

Tea Party darling and Iowa delegate to the US House of Representatives Steve King has refused to publicly debate Jim Mowrer until the Democrat’s campaign stops running a “misleading” advertisement against him. According to the Sioux City Journal, King withdrew from a Sunday debate on Iowa Public Television over a television ad that alleges he voted against increasing the minimum wage and for increasing congressional compensation. King denies that he ever “voted to raise his pay or get free health care. “When Mowrer comes clean, I’ll clear my schedule for Sunday and debate him,” King told the Journal. Until then, voters can just sit tight and work with the information they have.

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Friday links! Unmitigated pride edition

New York Times illustrator Tom Gauld's illustration for my essay that is totally in the New York Times

New York Times illustrator Tom Gauld’s illustration for my essay that is totally in the New York Times

I know we link to The New York Times a little too often around here, but today it’s completely justified. I wrote this essay for the Riff section of the Sunday magazine, and somehow they published it and paid me for it and everything. Mad, unrestrained props to Riff editor and Combat! reader Willy for making virtually every step of this process happen. Regulars will recognize the theme from previous posts, which makes it all the sweeter. I’ve been kicking around this idea for months, and finally I feel like I’ve articulated it properly. Today is Friday, and you won’t hear me say it often, but I am proud. Won’t you drift through a miasma of serotonin with me?

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Combat! blog looks pretty, feels great

Fred Flintstone makes a car out of clay or something.

Fred Flintstone makes a car out of clay or something.

Well hello there. As you may have noticed, Combat! blog got a salubrious redesign last night. In addition to its striking good looks, our new layout is more responsive to smartphones, iPads, and pools of still water under a blood moon. Our links got a little harder to see and a little more fun to hover over. We’ve added some useful new features, including the navigation menu in the upper right-hand corner. Don’t forget to click the Twitter icon on the left sidebar, too, so you can follow me. Oh, and no big deal, but I figured out how to integrate Grantland-style footnotes. What’s the occasion for all this self-care? Tantalism after the jump.

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On the usage of ugh

dexters-ugh-face

Because not enough forces in my life push me toward failure, I recently downloaded the new version of Words With Friends, which includes a Word of the Day feature. Yesterday’s word was ugh. Before we embrace despair, let’s remember that two- and three-letter words play well in a Scrabble- scrambled letter-type game. If the word of the day were “caprophagy,” it would not quite constitute a feature. Besides, short words lead more interesting lives. When I sedulously compared the Words With Friends definition of ugh to the one in my Oxford American Dictionary, I learned it was not the word I thought it was.

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Income growth since 2009 has gone entirely to richest 10%

Any SEO guru will tell you to lead with a chart.

Any SEO guru will tell you to lead with a chart.

The Bard University economist Pavlina Tcherneva has calculated the distribution of income growth during periods of economic expansion, and her results suggest that recovery from the financial collapse of 2008 has been limited to the top 10%. It appears that more than all of the income growth since 2009 has benefited the richest tenth; during our glorious recovery, inflation-adjusted incomes have fallen for 90% of Americans. And don’t even get me started on 2001-2007, the period of wild growth in the finance and real estate sectors that set the stage for 2008’s crash. We saw six years of growth whose gains went to the richest Americans, followed by a jobless recovery that enriched them further at everyone else’s expense.

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