I want to highlight this tweet from James Fallows: Biden at last night's presser: 1) He looks, sounds, "reads as," and is ... old. 2) He also walked across an absolute minefield of issues and Qs — PRC/Taiwan, detente-but-diff w Xi, Gaza, Ukr, etc—without any missteps. #2 is much harder than it seem. He is ...continue reading "Choose: A real president or a high-octane fake?"
Kevin Drum 🕸
A couple of days ago a Random Guy on Twitter (RGOT) wrote that "Jewish communities" have been pushing "hatred against whites." Nobody would much care about this RGOT except that Elon Musk immediately replied, "You have said the actual truth." Now, Musk has a beef with the ADL, so maybe he was just venting about ...continue reading "Antisemitism is going mainstream on the right"
This is apropos of nothing in particular, but I felt like checking out annual increases in wealth for the top 1%. You can think of this as "extra" income, above and beyond what people spend, or as annual savings. Here it is: The annual wealth increase of the top 1% has increased about 150% since ...continue reading "It’s good to be rich"
This story about Fox Sports sideline reporter Charissa Thompson cracks me up: “I’ve said this before, so I haven’t been fired for saying it, but I’ll say it again. I would make up the report sometimes,” Thompson said in a recent interview.... Thompson, 41, added that she assumed that “no coach is going to get ...continue reading "Too good to check"
Last week, in a fit of pique, Republicans in the House tried to pass a bill reducing the salary of Joe Biden's press secretary to $1. What I didn't know was that this has become a regular occurrence. The latest outburst happened yesterday: It was the 25th time in the three weeks since Speaker Mike ...continue reading "We are now taking revenge on salt mine inspectors"
This is the first bronze cast of Rodin's "The Kiss," now displayed outside the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris. The crowd in the background is from the Paris 10K run, which was finishing up when I took this picture.
Karen Petrou explains why so many people are unhappy with Joe Biden's economy: The mortal enemy of Bidenomics isn’t Donald Trump; it’s a reliance on aggregate and average numbers.... For most Americans, a sense of financial well-being doesn’t come from capital returns in the stock market or even from house price appreciation. It comes in ...continue reading "No, paychecks are not falling ever shorter these days"
From the Wall Street Journal: The prosecutor investigating why classified documents ended up at President Biden’s home and former office is preparing a report that is expected to be sharply critical of how he and his longtime aides handled the material, but the probe isn’t likely to result in a criminal case, according to people ...continue reading "Prosecutor expected to be “sharply critical” of Biden’s classified documents"
I have to admit that on my "things that will provoke massive political unrest" bingo card, I didn't have war in the Middle East. There's always war in the Middle East! Live and learn.
You may be aware that a section of Interstate 10 in downtown Los Angeles has been closed due to arson. How are residents taking it? The New York Times is at top. The LA Times is at bottom: Different parts of the elephant, I guess.
Fog of war and all that, but, um, yeah: Where's the photo of the Hamas command center and the entrance to the underground tunnel network? Because 10 AKs and half a dozen hand grenades doesn't cut it when you're trying to justify an attack on a HOSPITAL. https://t.co/RJOtVZanWi — Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) November 15, 2023 ...continue reading "Al-Shifa hospital has a few guns, but no Hamas command center"
In 2022, the richest city in America was Midland, TX. The poorest city was McAllen, TX. Texas is truly a land of contrasts.
Kiera Butler reports today that since the pre-pandemic era the overall childhood vaccination rate has fallen from 95% to 93%: Childhood Vaccination Rates Are Declining. You Can Blame MAGA. This latest development is no random statistical blip—actually, I’ve been dreading it for a while now. What started as a campaign by a small group of ...continue reading "Childhood vaccination rates have remained low this year"
Today at lunch the topic of traffic came up. If lots of people are working at home these days, shouldn't commuting traffic in cities be down considerably? I said I'd check, but that turns out not to be easy. Here's one data point: This is national data and it shows no change whatsoever in urban ...continue reading "Raw data: Urban traffic pre- and post-COVID"
An op-ed in the Washington Post today complains about all those touchscreen apps asking how much of a tip you want to leave: Tipping is now out of control. Gratuity prompts have become so widespread and indiscriminate that a new study from the Pew Research Center shows it is causing mass confusion and frustration. ....The ...continue reading "Please leave a tip if you read this blog post"
This is a church steeple in the city of Banning during late winter, with a bit of snow still left on the mountains. The church elders need to fix their cross. It's crooked.
Republicans: can't live with 'em, can't chop 'em up for cat food: For review, since Johnson took over as speaker, House Republicans have: Yanked THUD from the floor Yanked FSGG from the floor Voted down a rule on CJS Had 93 no votes on a clean CR Still no action on AG Appear to be ...continue reading "Republicans still unable to pass anything"
Zeke Faux's account of the crypto industry, Number Go Up, is a great book. But there's an odd thing about it: The genesis of Faux's interest in crypto is Tether, a so-called "stablecoin" that's always equal to exactly $1 and is backed 1:1 by currency and safe securities. Faux wants to learn more about Tether—for ...continue reading "What’s the deal with Tether?"
There is, I suppose, not much point in trawling the internet every morning and arguing with random conservative posts. But sometimes I just shake my head and can't help myself. Here is Jimmy Quinn, national security correspondent for National Review: There’s a lot to say about the implications of the Biden administration’s apparent return to ...continue reading "America is the envy of the world"
Adjusted for inflation, retail sales were down 2.5% in October: On a year-over-year basis, sales were down 1.6%.