A woman and her parasol on a sunny day at the Huntington Library.
Kevin Drum 🕸
Ohio, these days, is a solidly red state. And yet, yesterday Ohioans went to the polls and approved an abortion rights initiative by 57-43%. What gives? The answer is simple, but maybe not obvious. Last year Ohio passed a law (currently in court) that bans abortion after six weeks. This is effectively a complete abortion ...continue reading "Effectively banning abortion just isn’t popular, even in red states"
Bad news! The number of workplace injuries increased from 2.2 million in 2021 to 2.3 million in 2022. However, the rate of injuries stayed the same: The most dangerous occupation in 2022 was transportation and warehousing. Finance had the fewest injuries:
The nanny state is at it again: ð¨ The federal government has mandated that all vehicles sold after 2026 must have a kill switch that can disable your vehicle based on your driving performance. My amendment to defund that unconstitutional mandate failed tonight. Here is the roll call:https://t.co/YWufj9BuMv — Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 8, 2023 ...continue reading "New cars will soon have technology to prevent drunk driving"
And that's that. In Virginia, Democrats have maintained control of the State Senate and flipped control of the House of Delegates away from Republicans: That makes tonight nearly a clean sweep for Democrats. Among major races, Republicans won only the governorship of Mississippi, and that was never really in serious doubt.
Peter Coy links today to a new paper that tries to untangle why educated voters identify so strongly as Democrats. This hasn't always been the case, and the paper's authors are able to identify the changing trend going back a very long way thanks to a massive database of polling that starts during World War ...continue reading "Chart of the day: The great education divide"
Ohio voters have decided to put a right to abortion in their constitution. Kentucky voters have reelected their Democratic governor. A Democrat won the Pennsylvania race for its Supreme Court. The Virginia legislature is still up for grabs. Texas voters are merrily voting for every single initiative on the ballot except for one that would ...continue reading "Election results looking favorable for Democrats"
A team of researchers released a paper recently (here) that tries to quantify how much different digital services are worth to their users. For example, here's the relative value of nine different services: Google search was the top service, beating out even meeting your friends in person. TikTok, oddly, has a low value despite its ...continue reading "New paper suggests online services are worth $5,000 to the average American"
As we were driving up Highway 160 to Durango a few weeks ago we could see the Ship Rock in the far distance. Ship Rock is an "iconic and religiously significant Navajo Nation monadnock that rises over 1,500 ft into the air," but from a distance I remarked that it looked like the Emerald City ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
During Donald Trump's presidency crime skyrocketed. Mental illness among teens soared. In Charlottesville racists and Proud Boys rioted. American soldiers continued to be killed in an Afghanistan war that seemed endless. North Korea tested new missiles that could reach the US mainland. Foreign leaders fretted that America could no longer be trusted. Thousands of Trump ...continue reading "A brief comparison of Donald Trump’s America vs. Joe Biden’s"
Last year the Supreme Court ruled that gun restrictions are constitutional only if they are based on America's "historical tradition" of firearm regulation. So how about a law that bans gun ownership by people who are subject to restraining orders for domestic violence? The Fifth Circuit Court, home of conservative wet dreams, naturally ruled that ...continue reading "Supreme Court looks ready to ban guns from domestic abusers"
A few days ago the Washington Post ran a story about some high school teachers in Washington state who wanted to stop teaching To Kill a Mockingbird. It all started when one of the teachers was listening to a podcast: The Black hosts of the show joked that “Mockingbird” ranked with Confederate monuments as something ...continue reading "Is it time to put “To Kill a Mockingbird” out to pasture?"
Los Angeles has been trying to do something with the Los Angeles River forever. But it's hard, partly because renovation is expensive and partly because it seems like every single human being in the city has a different idea about what should be done. For example, the LA Times reports today about one teensy-tiny part ...continue reading "The tale of the dog park and the bike path"
A study last month done by Swiss Re for Waymo suggests that self-driving Waymo cars are far, far safer than human drivers: I have long recommended that if you want to evaluate the state of autonomous cars, look at Waymo. Forget about Tesla or Cruise or any of the others. They may do certain things ...continue reading "Waymo’s driverless cars are really safe"
The New York Times has a piece today about people whose bank accounts are suddenly closed with no warning. The reason is that they've done something that triggers one or more Suspicious Activity Reports from their bank. The nature of the SARs is never revealed, but they often lead to banks deciding not to do ...continue reading "Suspicious activity in America has skyrocketed"
The Washington Post says today that a second Trump term would be all about revenge and more revenge: In private, Trump has told advisers and friends in recent months that he wants the Justice Department to investigate onetime officials and allies who have become critical of his time in office, including his former chief of ...continue reading "What the United States needs is more revenge"
Here's the percentage of the workforce employed by the federal government: It dropped from 3.5% of the total workforce in 1955 to 1.4% of the workforce at the end of 1999. Since January 2000 it's increased from 1.44% to 1.49%. Aside from the decennial census blips, employment generally goes up during and after recessions and ...continue reading "Raw data: Federal government workers"
Egypt has been a full partner with Israel in the Gaza blockade ever since it began. They have also been resolute about banning immigration from Gaza to Egypt, including refugees in the current war. Why? Over at New York, Benjamin Hart asks Steven Cook: I think that the Egyptian position on this is a principled ...continue reading "Egypt and the Gaza Strip"
Jon Chait remarks on a phrase that's become common on the right recently: “The Federalist Society doesn’t know what time it is,” said Russell T. Vought, the former Trump budget director who is orchestrating his planning.... A conservative who knows what time it is recognizes that the left is poised to permanently seize power, and ...continue reading "Do you know what time it is?"
Damon Linker today in the New York Times: A coalition of intellectual catastrophists on the American right is ... giving the next generation of Republican officeholders, senior advisers, judges and appointees explicit permission and encouragement to believe that the country is on the verge of collapse. Some catastrophists take it a step further and suggest ...continue reading "Right-wing catastrophism is now an intellectual movement too"