The Washington Post today highlights the jihad by conservatives to shut down any and all efforts to combat disinformation: The escalating campaign — led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and other Republicans in Congress and state government — has cast a pall over programs that study not just political falsehoods but also the quality of ...continue reading "Republicans are determined to protect their web of lies"
Kevin Drum 🕸
Fuckity fuck fuck fuck: My multiple myeloma is still hanging around. It turns out I was right to be skeptical of the "no report means no M-protein" claim from my doctor yesterday. Today I suddenly received revised test results and this time they did include an M-protein report. It wasn't zero. It was 0.12. As ...continue reading "Health update — not so good this time"
This is completely nuts: Only 52% of Republicans think the COVID vaccine is safe. The conservative politicians and conservative media that created this situation should be utterly ashamed of themselves. And to what end? It isn't even a partisan issue. It's not as if Joe Biden would get a surge in the polls if Republicans ...continue reading "Half of all Republicans think COVID vaccine is unsafe"
I am once again confused: "Accuses"? Who else would attack Sevastopol? And why shouldn't they? Russia keeps raining missiles on Kyiv, after all. It only seems fair.
UPDATE: This turns out to be a lab screwup. Ignore it. Actual results here. Today brings some very good news indeed—I think: According to my latest lab tests, I no longer have any detectable level of M-protein. This is unexpected, since in June it seemed as if my CAR-T response had plateaued. But no. I'm ...continue reading "Fantastic Health Update"
The Border Patrol has finally deigned to release its August numbers, waiting until about 5 pm on a Friday to do it. I can only assume that's because the numbers, once again, were bad: Border encounters were up 27% to 233,000 in August. About 50,000 of these were legal asylum requests while the rest were ...continue reading "Southwest border encounters were up a lot in August"
Why has the number of people getting married collapsed over the past 60 or so years? Advice to conservatives who want to convince liberals to talk up marriage: The key persuasion (if you do actually want to persuade) strategy here is to clarify that you’re talking about hectoring *men* not women. — Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) ...continue reading "Marriage has declined for exactly the reason you think"
Why is it that union organizing drives so often fail? Brutal opposition from management is one reason, but another is simply that a lot of workers don't feel they'd get any benefit from belonging to a union. That's wrong: These are the latest estimates from the BLS, and they show pretty clearly that in addition ...continue reading "Unions provide great job benefits"
After a long day of eating and snoozing, Hilbert can't be bothered to actually get up on his feet and chase around a toy on a string. Last night he wouldn't even go so far as to roll over. But if you wave it right in front of him he will deign to wave his ...continue reading "Friday Cat Blogging – 22 September 2023"
Every year the Koch brothers—or brother, since David Koch died—hold a big donor meeting in Palm Springs. It's an explicitly political event that typically raises hundreds of millions of dollars for conservative and libertarian causes. In other words, it's not really the place for a Supreme Court justice. But that kind of thinking has never ...continue reading "Clarence Thomas has done fundraising for the Koch Network"
Just to remind everyone, here's the basic shape of the federal budget: The orange line is the one that has Republicans tearing each other apart. It is lower today than it was in 1980, and about the same as it was in 1990, 2000, and 2010. But for some reason it's an intolerable problem. In ...continue reading "There are only two ways to rein in federal deficits"
Here's a headline from the Washington Post today: Return to the office? These workers quit instead. At the risk of being a bit of a dick, the text of the story really doesn't back this up. Here's a summary of the people interviewed in this piece: Example #1: Quit because they live in Brooklyn and ...continue reading "Are lots of people really quitting because they have to return to the office?"
Vox writes about our recent increase in traffic deaths: According to a 2021 survey of over 1,000 police officers, nearly 60 percent said they were less likely to stop a vehicle for violating traffic laws than they were prior to 2020, when the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police inspired nationwide protests over police ...continue reading "Traffic deaths aren’t up because of George Floyd"
Grape juice lupine by the side of the road near Palm Springs.
Alex Tabarrok says today that pharmaceutical companies are undervalued because "pharmaceutical innovations earn only a fraction of the value that they create." For this reason, he opposes the Medicare price controls in the Inflation Reduction Act. Trying to quantify innovation is hard. Instead, let's just look at profitability: Pharma is the most profitable major industry ...continue reading "Pharmaceuticals are very, very profitable"
Hurricane Hilary was something of a bust, producing far less rain and wind than predicted. But it turns out that our true reckoning with Hilary was delayed a bit: a huge spike in the mosquito population thanks to pools of water left behind by the storm. And it's one specific mosquito doing most of the ...continue reading "TIL why I’m getting so many mosquito bites"
Here is the history of new one-family home sales in a nutshell: Over the past 60 years, new one-family homes have been built and sold at an average rate of 2,500 per million population. We exceeded that average by a cumulative 2.8 million homes during the boom of 1995-2006, and then lagged it by 4.0 ...continue reading "Raw data: Single-family home sales through history"
President Biden is offering a sorta-kinda-amnesty to half a million Venezuelan refugees who are currently in the country: Biden officials told reporters that Venezuelans who had entered the United States by July 31 would be eligible for temporary protected status, a designation that will shield them from deportation and speed up their ability to obtain ...continue reading "Biden grants semi-amnesty to half a million Venezuelans"
The fine folks at dappGambl are here to answer the question on everyone's mind: Whatever happened to NFTs, anyway? The hype around NFTs peaked in the 2021/22 bull run that saw nearly $2.8 billion in monthly trading volume recorded in August 2021....In July 2023, [trading was] just 3% of its peak back in August 2021. ...continue reading "NFTs are officially bullshit"
Federal spending will clock in at about $6.4 trillion this year. Meanwhile, in Congress, Republicans are threatening to shut down the government because of a disagreement over next year's level of discretionary spending: $1.47 trillion vs. $1.59 trillion. This means that Republicans are squabbling over a difference of 1.9%. This is about like agreeing to ...continue reading "Republicans are squabbling over a 1.9% difference in the federal budget"