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Kevin Drum 🕸

MAGA school board leaves the boss a thoughtful gift on its way out

3 days 13 hours ago
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a hard-right school board filled with Moms for Liberty members was swept out of office in November. But at the last minute they decided in their final board meeting to show their appreciation for the school superintendent who had backed their agenda: A Pennsylvania school board that banned books, Pride flags ...continue reading "MAGA school board leaves the boss a thoughtful gift on its way out"
Kevin Drum

Dutch election analysis: Maybe nothing will happen at all

4 days 2 hours ago
Do you care about the Dutch elections? No? Fine. I'll keep this short. All the news is about Geert Wilders, the anti-Muslim right-wing nationalist who gained 20 seats in this week's elections. This is a big deal, no question. It was driven partly by immigration fears and partly by the fact that the current centrist ...continue reading "Dutch election analysis: Maybe nothing will happen at all"
Kevin Drum

Lunchtime Photo

4 days 12 hours ago
I don't have a picture of a turkey, so how about some bare aspens in Colorado instead? I took this picture just a few miles north of Durango.
Kevin Drum

Did Sam Altman keep the OpenAI board in the dark about progress on super AI?

5 days 5 hours ago
Why did the board of OpenAI—apparently out of the blue—fire CEO Sam Altman last week? No one has yet provided a definitive account of what happened, but the leading guess is that it was related to the possible development of super-intelligent AI. The board felt that Altman was barreling ahead toward this goal without giving ...continue reading "Did Sam Altman keep the OpenAI board in the dark about progress on super AI?"
Kevin Drum

Do abortion bans result in more births? The answer may shock you!

5 days 7 hours ago
National Review points me today to a new study that examines birth rates before and after the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision. The study uses a "pre-registered synthetic difference-in-differences design applied to newly released provisional natality data for the first half of 2023." Here's the result: The authors note that up through 2022 states which now ...continue reading "Do abortion bans result in more births? The answer may shock you!"
Kevin Drum

Lunchtime Photo

5 days 12 hours ago
I went up to Palomar Mountain last night to do a bit of astrophotography testing, but when I got there I encountered gale force winds even though the weather report—as I was standing there watching the trees bend—told me the wind was blowing at 7 mph. Stupid weather forecasters. Plus the moon was up, which ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
Kevin Drum

Why do biopics lie?

6 days ago
I just read yet another review of Ridley Scott's Napoleon, and it made me wonder yet again about biopics. They are always "based on," which is a nice way of saying that they routinely lie about whoever's life they're selling. I gather that Napoleon is especially egregious on this front. But why? Popular biographies in ...continue reading "Why do biopics lie?"
Kevin Drum

Sam is back

6 days 2 hours ago
Why does so much OpenAI drama happen late at night? We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo. We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience ...continue reading "Sam is back"
Kevin Drum

Raw data: Joe Biden’s approval level before and after the Israel-Gaza war

6 days 10 hours ago
How is Joe Biden doing these days? Courtesy of CNN, here are his approval ratings from a variety of national polls over the past few months: From August through October Biden's approval dropped about 1.5% per month. Since the Israel-Gaza war broke out a month ago, his approval has improved by about half a percent. ...continue reading "Raw data: Joe Biden’s approval level before and after the Israel-Gaza war"
Kevin Drum

Should we increase Social Security benefits?

1 week ago
Republicans have recently backburnered the notion of cutting Social Security benefits, so Politico reports that some Democrats are telling Joe Biden to broaden the fight: Progressives have pitched Biden officials and Democratic leaders in recent months on endorsing a plan to expand Americans’ Social Security benefits, according to several people involved in the informal discussions. ...continue reading "Should we increase Social Security benefits?"
Kevin Drum