a Better Bubble™

Kevin Drum 🕸

Why are there— Wait. Does lead really cause more crime?

9 hours 12 minutes ago
Tyler Cowen linked today to a Substack post that he teased with the question, "Why are there so many right-wing scams?" The comments are a hoot all by themselves, but naturally I got suckered into clicking the link. I was amused to find that the essay starts off with an attack on the lead-crime hypothesis: ...continue reading "Why are there— Wait. Does lead really cause more crime?"
Kevin Drum

Here’s the story of Twitter, Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and the Hunter Biden laptop

13 hours 57 minutes ago
If you read the news last night, it looked pretty ordinary. An election in Georgia. War in Ukraine. College football playoffs producing joy and tears. But if you were on Twitter you would hardly know any of that stuff was happening. Instead, the conversation was overwhelmingly about the actions of Twitter itself during a 24-hour ...continue reading "Here’s the story of Twitter, Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and the Hunter Biden laptop"
Kevin Drum

Congratulations Utes

2 days 5 hours ago
I guess. I'm not feeling very sportsmanlike right now. I mean, why did Lincoln Riley keep Caleb Williams in the game til the very end? He shouldn't have taken a snap after about five minutes into the third quarter. And did someone put petroleum jelly on our defense's gloves? Alex Grinch has some questions to ...continue reading "Congratulations Utes"
Kevin Drum

Lunchtime Photo

3 days 13 hours ago
The is the Place de la Phallus in Paris. It is more widely known as the Place de la Concorde, but I think this picture speaks for itself. POSTSCRIPT: La Phallus? There's no use asking for logical explanations when it comes to the gender of words in languages that use gender. Phallus is a masculine ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
Kevin Drum

France is not happy about growing American nationalism

3 days 16 hours ago
French president Emmanuel Macron is visiting President Biden today, but before the visit he gave a speech at the French embassy. The Washington Post reports that he is not entirely satisfied with American foreign policy: The impact of the Inflation Reduction Act in Europe has proven to be a major point of tension. Macron’s sharp ...continue reading "France is not happy about growing American nationalism"
Kevin Drum

In October, income was up but spending was up even more

3 days 17 hours ago
Income and spending data were released today along with the inflation figures. Here's the latest: Adjusted for inflation and population, month-over-month disposable personal income went up 4.2% (on an annualized basis) while personal spending went up 5.8%. On a dollar basis, that's an income increase of +$2,400 and a spending increase of +$3,100. On a ...continue reading "In October, income was up but spending was up even more"
Kevin Drum

Raw data: Gasoline prices are lower than a year ago

4 days 4 hours ago
Here are average retail gasoline prices over the past year: In most of the country, the average price of a gallon of regular is $3.32. Here in the People's Republic of California it's $4.81. In both cases, if you adjust for inflation we're now below the prices of a year ago.
Kevin Drum

Surprise! Apple never planned to kick Twitter out of the App Store

4 days 9 hours ago
Over the past day I've read at least a dozen pieces explaining how stupid it would be for Apple to toss Twitter out of the App Store. But was Apple ever thinking of doing this? Elon Musk visited Cupertino to find out: Good conversation. Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being ...continue reading "Surprise! Apple never planned to kick Twitter out of the App Store"
Kevin Drum

Lunchtime Photo

4 days 13 hours ago
Here's an interesting comparison of an artwork with itself in the Orange County Museum of Art. This is a normal exposure that shows what the piece looks like to the naked eye, and I initially took it only to make fun of it. A blank white canvas? Please. It's been done. But then I noticed ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
Kevin Drum

Core inflation in the Euro area is dropping steadily

4 days 14 hours ago
Today Eurostat released its flash inflation estimate for November. Here is my usual presentation of the data: monthly core inflation with a trendline to smooth out the noise. The headline inflation rate was 10% thanks to high food and energy prices, but this is due mostly to Vladimir Putin, not to underlying economic conditions. Monthly ...continue reading "Core inflation in the Euro area is dropping steadily"
Kevin Drum