Over at National Review, Dan McLaughlin accuses Democrats of being unfair: Have you heard? Republicans are threatening democracy and are probably racist and transphobic for trying to expel state legislators who don’t abide by the rules of their chambers and disrupt legislative business — and now they’re trying to kick nearly an entire caucus out ...continue reading "No, Democrats are not wiping out an entire Republican caucus"
Kevin Drum 🕸
This is the colonnade at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. This picture has been sitting around forever, and it's the last of my Italy photos from 2021. It's hard to remember that there was once a time when I woke up this early. I'm lucky to roll out of bed before ten these days.
This seems unusual: Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday sued the Republican-controlled Legislature, arguing that it is obstructing basic government functions, including signing off on pay raises for university employees that were previously approved. ....The Legislature included a 6% pay raise for UW employees over two years in the state budget it passed earlier ...continue reading "Wisconsin governor sues own legislature"
Greg Ip asks again today: Why are Americans so sour about the economy? He acknowledges that it's all very odd, with unemployment low and inflation dropping. He concludes that the only solution to the mystery is "referred pain." That is, people feel bad about the world and they're taking that out on the economy. But ...continue reading "Economic gloom is all about Republicans"
Matt Yglesias asks today whether the big rise in murders in 2020 was due to COVID or George Floyd. It's a tricky question: COVID basically started on March 11 and George Floyd was killed on May 25. They're so close together that they're hard to disentangle. But naturally I thought I'd try. FBI figures don't ...continue reading "The 2020 murder spike was probably due to the murder of George Floyd"
Peter Suderman reminds us today that the congressional budgeting process is in tatters: Since the 1990s, Congress has consistently failed to follow its own budgetary process rules, which call for writing, debating and passing a dozen single-subject appropriations bills over the course of each fiscal year.... Instead, Congress has relied on continuing resolutions, which are ...continue reading "Why can’t we pass a budget the old fashioned way?"
This tweet has been making the rounds today: Abortion, Every Day Exclusive: Idaho has brought forward charges in the state's first 'abortion trafficking' case. Law enforcement used geolocation data to place a teenager at an Oregon abortion clinic. pic.twitter.com/Ndisv2sjmB — Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) October 31, 2023 This is clickbait. As Valenti acknowledges, Idaho's abortion trafficking ...continue reading "The tale of the abortion trafficking case that isn’t, really"
There's been lots of chatter over the past few days about how labor unions "are back" following the successful conclusion of the autoworkers strike. I hate to throw cold water on all this, but here's what UAW pay looks like next year, following the immediate 11% hike in the first year of the contract: Autoworkers ...continue reading "Is the new UAW contract really that great?"
Yesterday the Biden administration issued "a landmark Executive Order to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (AI)." As best I can tell, it includes basically one item of any importance: NIST will develop standards for red-team testing of AI software that affects "critical infrastructure, ...continue reading "Biden’s new AI executive order is lots of talk, not much action"
Tommy Tuberville, the moron senator from Alabama, has been holding up hundreds of military promotions for months. This weekend the commandant of the Marine Corps collapsed after suffering a heart attack, which leaves the Corps leaderless since Tuberville has blocked the confirmation of Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney as assistant commandant. So now we have this: ...continue reading "Tommy Tuberville suddenly wants to confirm a general"
Every newspaper I read has suddenly started running gigantic banner ads. It's pretty annoying since they occupy about half the screen until you scroll past them. What's going on?
Home prices are high but they keep on rising anyway. In August they increased at an annualized rate of 3.3%: We're still not quite back up to the 2022 peak, but we're getting there. Here's a longer term look: Prices have been above the peak of the early aughts housing boom for the past three ...continue reading "Housing prices rise 3.3% in August"
The wokest parts of higher education are the various ______ studies departments. You know, gender studies, Black studies, women's studies, and so forth. These are the disciplines that get the most criticism for being ultra-left, ultra-identity-oriented, and a disgrace to university standards in general. They also get pranked a lot. That's not entirely without cause, ...continue reading "Raw data: Ethnic, gender, and cultural studies at the university level"
Since 2016 the number of threats against members of Congress has increased nearly 1,000%. However, it declined last year: Threat levels are still historically high but are down 22% from their peak in 2021. Is this good news? Maybe the lunatic fringe is finally calming down slightly?
Ramesh Ponnuru says that discontent over the economy can probably be explained fairly simply. It's all about declining income: Average wages are down in real terms — adjusted, that is, for inflation — since President Biden took office. They are roughly 3 percent lower than their peak in April 2020....Even when you compare wages today ...continue reading "No, wages aren’t down recently"
The start of Saturday's Cal-USC football game was delayed by a sit-down protest from a dozen or so Cal students. The announcers didn't know what the protest was about, and I just assumed it had something to do with Israel and never bothered to check it out. But no! It turns out the students were ...continue reading "The strange case of professor Ivonne del Valle"
Here is Mike Johnson's first substantive action as Speaker of the House: NEWS w @bresreports -- HOUSE REPUBLICANS' Israel aid bill is out. It offsets $14.3 billion in Israel aid with $14.3 bllion in cuts to IRS from the Inflation Reduction Act. This offset will NEVER, EVER fly. Dems will reject it out of hand. ...continue reading "Republicans have a condition on aid to Israel"
Skyscrapers at La Défense in Paris.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX and bankrupt hedge fund Alameda Research, is back on the stand in his fraud trial today. This time, though, he's being questioned by prosecutors. Things started slowly, so after lunch prosecutors tried to liven up the proceedings with questions about SBF's hair (really) and his use of ...continue reading "SBF trial continues with questions about his hair"