The New York Times wrote today about a moderate Republican woman who loathed the Dobbs decision removing the constitutional right to abortion: As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prepared to kick off a round-table discussion about abortion rights at a brewery recently, Alisha Meneely sat at one corner of the table, feeling politically abandoned. “This scares me ...continue reading "How to make friends and influence abortion wafflers"
As usual, the Woodbridge Village Association did its part to increase small particulate matter in the local ecosystem on July 4th. But at least their show was prettier than the one most PM polluters put on. Every year I try to experiment with something different, and in 2022 I decided to (a) use a long ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
In today's Wall Street Journal we learn why the Fed is so concerned about inflation: At the root of [the Fed's aggressive interest rate increases] is the fear that households and businesses will come to expect high inflation to persist, which can cause it to do so. That would require the Fed to increase rates ...continue reading "The Fed is gunning for a completely unnecessary recession"
In the Atlantic today, Mitt Romney writes about our bipartisan refusal to address national (and global) crises: Even as we watch the reservoirs and lakes of the West go dry, we keep watering our lawns, soaking our golf courses, and growing water-thirsty crops. As inflation mounts and the national debt balloons, progressive politicians vote for ...continue reading "One Cheer for Mitt Romney . . . But That’s All"
Some of the most hardcore anti-abortion advocates are hoping to get state laws passed that would not only ban abortion in their own states, but would prohibit women from traveling to another state to get an abortion. A few of them even want to ban the right to speak about reproductive choice options in other ...continue reading "Abortion travel bans are ridiculous"
As an aside in a recent email I mentioned that I thought Dobbs would "get better." What did I mean by that? Let me make clear that my answer is speculation. And I'll admit up front that it's the kind of speculation liberals and progressives have engaged in for a long time without it coming ...continue reading "Republicans are in trouble now"
The top picture today is Juno Beach, site of the Canadian landing on D-Day. The bottom picture shows a circle of flags whipping in the stiff breeze that followed us around the entire day. Why show you Juno Beach on July 4th? Because that's where our particular tour took us.¹ Besides, Friday was Canada Day ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
Last night I was chatting with some friends about all the recent problems with air travel. This led to someone mentioning the lack of workers to fully staff flights and then to the usual denouement of conversations like this: "No one wants to work anymore. They just want to sit at home and collect unemployment/stimulus ...continue reading "We are at full employment, more or less"
Oh thank God: We can now return to our normal lives. All is well.
Last weekend I did some night sky photography that, unfortunately, turned out to be mostly a dismal failure. But there was a silver lining: Photography failures often eat up a lot of time, so when I was finally finished it was getting on towards dawn. This meant that it was possible for me to see ...continue reading "Venus and Mars (and Jupiter)"
Today the Census Bureau released construction spending numbers for May. As usual for the past two years, nonresidential construction spending was down: More interestingly, residential construction spending is down for the first time since mid-2020: I imagine this is just the start of a longer turndown in housing. But it probably won't be severe. I ...continue reading "Raw data: Construction spending in the US"
Hilbert saw a newspaper tossed into the sink and immediately knew he had to curl up on it. The fixtures even match his eyes. It's a match made in heaven.
Tyler Cowen points us to this chart: "Psychological distress," according to the author, is defined as scoring ≥ 5 on the Kessler-6 Distress Scale, which is administered as part of the National Health Interview Study. As you can see, distress has been rising steadily for the past two decades. It has risen for all age ...continue reading "More Americans are distressed than ever"
The Klondike bar is 100 years old, and CNN is here to misinform us about it: You don't hear about many products getting cheaper over time, but technically at least, people can pay less for a Klondike bar today than they did 100 years ago. When it first came out, in 1922, the Klondike bar ...continue reading "Today’s worker can buy 80,000 Klondike bars per year"
Consumer spending growth was flat in May: After huge spikes due to the pandemic and its rescue packages, consumer spending growth now appears to have settled down to its normal, pre-pandemic rate of about 2%. This means that spending isn't driving inflation higher. Wages aren't driving inflation higher. Home prices are no longer driving inflation ...continue reading "Chart of the day: Consumer spending growth has gone flat"
Big news from the Wall Street Journal! But how long has this Twitter holiday been? Inquiring minds want to know and the Journal is here to tell us: The billionaire chief executive of Tesla Inc. last posted on June 21, marking Thursday as the most extended silence since October 2017. Normally a serial tweeter, he ...continue reading "Elon Musk is . . . quiet"
Last night, like thousands of nights before it, USC was part of the Pac-12 conference when I went to bed. This morning, I woke up, came downstairs, and immediately crashed. When I finally woke up for good this afternoon, USC was a member of the Big Ten. wtf?
A few days ago I wrote about an AP study showing that over the past year about 1 million voters had switched their party registration to Republican compared to 600,000 who had become Democrats. This was based on a party switching report from L2, which combined actual data from states that report it with modeling ...continue reading "Update: Party defections are tiny and mostly meaningless"
When the price of gasoline goes up, it's all over the news. When the price of gasoline goes down, crickets. Guess what? Yep, the price of gasoline has gone down for the past couple of weeks. And just like that, it's suddenly out of the news. Of course, it didn't help that the EIA website ...continue reading "Raw data: The price of gasoline is dropping"
As expected, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling today that limits the EPA's authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Needless to say, liberals were appalled: Richard Lazarus, a Harvard environmental law professor, said in a statement that by insisting that an agency “can promulgate an important and significant climate rule only by showing ‘clear ...continue reading "The logic games behind today’s Supreme Court ruling on power regulation"