a Better Bubbleโ„ข

Kevin Drum ๐Ÿ•ธ

COVID lab-leak followup: Nobody else buys the new DOE intelligence

1 month ago
Yesterday I passed along the news that new intelligence had persuaded the Department of Energy to support the COVID lab-leak theory with "low confidence." That was from the Wall Street Journal. Today the New York Times has the same story but adds this: While the department shared the information with other agencies, none of them ...continue reading "COVID lab-leak followup: Nobody else buys the new DOE intelligence"
Kevin Drum

Raw data: Rents are shrinking, but still have a ways to go

1 month ago
The Wall Street Journal reports that rents are falling. And indeed they are. Here's the Zillow ZORI index through January: Rents peaked in August and have been falling ever since. The February numbers will be out shortly and will probably show that rents have almost completely reverted to their pre-pandemic trend. That's good news, but ...continue reading "Raw data: Rents are shrinking, but still have a ways to go"
Kevin Drum

Energy Department says COVID was probably a lab leak

1 month ago
Hum de hum: The U.S. Energy Department has concluded that the Covid pandemic most likely arose from a laboratory leak, according to a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress. ....The Energy Department’s conclusion is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has considerable ...continue reading "Energy Department says COVID was probably a lab leak"
Kevin Drum

No, part-time work is not suddenly booming

1 month ago
The Wall Street Journal is at it again: Burned Out, More Americans Are Turning to Part-Time Jobs Part-time work is exploding. The number of Americans working part time rose by 1.2 million in December and January compared with the preceding months, according to the Labor Department. Most of that increase—857,000 workers—was driven by people who ...continue reading "No, part-time work is not suddenly booming"
Kevin Drum

Forget malaise. Itโ€™s baseless fear that engulfs society these days.

1 month ago
With Jimmy Carter apparently nearing death, a number of conservatives have taken to their word processors to declare that his 1979 "malaise" speech was pretty good after all. But, like David French, they say it was wrong then but right now: Carter was wrong. There wasn’t a crisis of confidence. There was no malaise. There ...continue reading "Forget malaise. It’s baseless fear that engulfs society these days."
Kevin Drum

Far UV is a promising technology to kill COVID viruses

1 month ago
Now this is what I'm talking about: Washington DCs DCA airport boarding areas are outfitted with numerous 254 nm UV disinfection systems. pic.twitter.com/fnBC0gPZce — Dustin Poppendieck (@Poppendieck) February 23, 2023 I've written about this before: it's called Far UV, and it's ultraviolet light in a range that's deadly to COVID-19 but harmless to human beings. ...continue reading "Far UV is a promising technology to kill COVID viruses"
Kevin Drum

Lunchtime Photo

1 month 1 week ago
It's not wildflower season yet, but all the rain around here has expedited things a little bit. Patches of California poppies are starting to show up on the hillsides and the desert is beginning to bloom. This flower is a yellow . . . poppy? Something else? I'm not sure. But great gobs of them ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
Kevin Drum

Raw data: Asylum seeking in the United States

1 month 1 week ago
Joe Biden announced strict new rules today for asylum seekers who enter the country illegally: Under the new rules, the US would generally deny asylum to migrants who show up at the US southern border without first seeking protection in a country they passed through....Exceptions will be made for people with an “acute medical emergency”, ...continue reading "Raw data: Asylum seeking in the United States"
Kevin Drum

Lunchtime Photo

1 month 1 week ago
This is sunset a couple of days ago near Palm Springs. I suppose those are the San Jacinto Mountains at the bottom, though I can't say for sure.
Kevin Drum

Are masks useless?

1 month 1 week ago
Bret Stephens today: The most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of masks for reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses — including Covid-19 — was published late last month. Its conclusions, said Tom Jefferson, the Oxford epidemiologist who is its lead author, were unambiguous. “There is just no evidence that ...continue reading "Are masks useless?"
Kevin Drum

Chatbots are taking over (a part of) the world

1 month 1 week ago
Clarkesworld is a well-regarded publisher of science fiction short stories. They accept submissions from anyone, and like every such publisher they occasionally receive plagiarized stories. The authors of these stories are banned from further submissions. This usually amounts to just a handful of bans each month. Lately, though, that number has skyrocketed: Starting in November, ...continue reading "Chatbots are taking over (a part of) the world"
Kevin Drum

Hannity breaks new ground in voter suppression: Now itโ€™s for white people too

1 month 1 week ago
Oh ffs. Marjorie Taylor Greene wants a "national divorce"? I thought these guys were supposed to be the patriots? And if they can't have their divorce, there's this: In case you were wondering if the devastating messages, revealed in the Dominion suit, had any impact… Hannity said tonight that he supports MTG’s batshit idea of ...continue reading "Hannity breaks new ground in voter suppression: Now it’s for white people too"
Kevin Drum