President Trump is making noises again about withdrawing the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty, which established NATO. Last week the House of Representatives voted 357-22 in support of the NATO Support Act. The bill does three things. First, it states the “sense of Congress” that the president “shall not withdraw the United States from NATO,” and that “the case Goldwater v. Carter is not controlling legal precedent.”
We no longer live in a democracy. We live in an emocracy — where emotions rather than majorities rule and feelings matter more than reason. The stronger your feelings — the better you are at working yourself into a fit of indignation — the more influence you have. And never use words where emojis will do.
The Covington Lie offered the perfect occasion for the electronic mob to pounce—after temporarily licking its wounds following the BuzzFeed fake news hysteria. And it did so without shame or even much regret after the fact, as Jason Leopold, the BuzzFeed fabulist, ceded center stage to a kindred serial prevaricator, Nathan Phillips. The latter in his 15 minutes of fame did not make a major statement that was not contradicted by an earlier statement or by the facts.
As we mark the halfway point of President Trump’s term, we might ask ourselves how a disrupter presidency has been working for the country — or for him. That term seems to be the one that best characterizes his presidency: First disrupting the Republican Party and presidential campaigns, then presidential style and communication, government policy, foreign alliances, and then the partial closure of the federal government itself.
by James C. Phillips, John Yoovia Los Angeles Times
Sunday, January 27, 2019
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted review of a case involving the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The case challenges a New York City law that prohibits transporting handguns, even licensed and unloaded ones, to places outside of the city, including to a second home or a shooting range.
How far can former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz go as an independent presidential candidate, now that he’s told the world that he’s seriously weighing such a run? Look no further than the Sunday edition of The Drudge Report.
In the aftermath of 9/11, there was some debate whether TSA should be federal employees, or run privately, and paid for by airlines. Government does not have to actually employ people in order to regulate, supervise, and make sure standards are followed.
The issues of special Robert Mueller’s indictment of Roger Stone have nothing to do with his personal life. His sexual habits should be of no concern to anyone. And what is so funny about the Internet jokes about (a still presumed innocent) Stone enjoying rape once he’s in prison? The issues are instead threefold: One, given that Stone has said so many contradictory things, were his public statements lies and his sworn statements true, vice versa, neither or both?
In 1726 Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels gave us a brilliant satire of the folly of research divorced from common sense, practicality, and reality. When Gulliver visits the Grand Academy of Lagado, he finds “Projectors” busy with research projects like extracting sunbeams from cucumbers, building houses from the roof down, and converting excrement back to food.
This week, Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the pace of innovation. Collison argues that despite enormous increases in the numbers of scientists and researchers, the pace of progress in scientific and technological understanding does not seem to be increasing accordingly. The conversation looks at the challenge of measuring innovation and whether the pace of innovation should be a matter of concern and if so, what might be done about it.
Nathan Glazer, urban sociologist and scholar of ethnicity, race and education, died recently at the age of 95. On this episode, Peter Skerry, Professor of Political Science at Boston College, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss Glazer’s work and the ideas he wrestled with.
Growing up in Manitoba, I had to read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 12th grade. I read it once because I had to; the second time to answer questions on exams; the third time because I loved the book.
“More Americans believe in global warming–but they won’t pay much to fix it.” So reads the headline of an article by James Rainey on NBC News’s web site. Read the piece and see if you agree with me that that is the most important part of the article. Why? The line underneath the title says why: “Americans are unwilling to pay $10 a month to fight climate change, a survey found.”
The Trump administration has moved from upholding the rules of international trade, says Steven Davis, a Hoover Institution fellow and a professor of international business and economics at Chicago Booth.
A new report by a pair of researchers known for their work on low-income students suggests colleges are thinking about serving that group in the wrong way. The findings — from Caroline M. Hoxby, a professor of economics at Stanford University, and Sarah Turner, a professor of economics at the University of Virginia — come at a time when colleges, especially elite ones, have faced increasing public pressure to admit more low-income students.
As we have noted a time or two before, one labors to imagine what politics might be like if the mainstream media treated Democrats like it treats Republicans. Timothy Groseclose invited us to try in his invaluable book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind — but the media ignored the book. The media treatment of Groseclose’s book vividly illustrates its thesis.
Recently-elected democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the darling of the progressive left. She’s young, energetic and has appeared on every progressive television show and website as the wave of the future for the Democratic Party.
Margaret Thatcher’s description of herself as a “conviction politician” alarmed some Britons but delighted others because her convictions were incompatible with the flaccid centrist consensus that had produced their nation’s 1970s stagnation. In 1979, voters rolled the dice, sending her to Downing Street. In Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democrats have their Thatcher, if they dare.
[Subscription Required] The Democratic Party is moving to the left on tax policy. Sen. Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax is the latest and most dramatic sign. The presidential candidate's proposal would impose a 2% annual tax on household wealth above $50 million and an additional 1% tax on wealth above $1 billion. It would affect about 75,000 households and raise $2.75 trillion over a decade, according to economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.
Economic diversity at America’s colleges and universities is a hot issue these days. The U.S. News College Rankings recently updated its methodology to measure how well institutions are serving low-income students. Six Democratic senators complained the changes didn’t go far enough and demanded the inclusion of an “exclusive metric assessing the access a college…provides to historically underrepresented students.”
This year, India’s 70th in its existence as a republic, is also the year its economy is billed to overtake that of Britain in size, and become the world’s fifth largest economy. Of course, there could be pitfalls on the way in this, an election year. India could easily spook investors if, say, the Modi government were to raid RBI’s reserves now that Urjit Patel – its ‘inconvenient’ governor – is out of the way; or if elections were to lead to its replacement by an impossibly ‘khichdi’ government.
quoting Herbert Linvia Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Citing lack of progress on nuclear risks and climate change dangers as “the new abnormal,” the Doomsday Clock remains at 2 minutes to midnight, as close to the symbolic point of annihilation that the iconic Clock has been since 1953 at the height of the Cold War. The decision announced today to keep the Doomsday Clock at two minutes before midnight was made by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board in consultation with the Board of Sponsors, which includes 14 Nobel Laureates.