Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Progressives made the perfect the enemy of the good.  Now poor children are going to bed hungry.

It’s hard to know why things shake out in Congress the way they do.  Why hasn’t there been agreement on a climate bill?  Why hasn’t a compromise been reached on a child tax credit?  Why not better preparation for the next pandemic, or even for the next wave of this pandemic?  From the outside it’s […]

Has Putin shown us his off ramp?

Putin is looking for an off ramp and has outlined his main terms. In mid-March, it became clear that a full-blown Russian defeat in Ukraine was a real possibility.  That possibility has grown in the past few weeks as the Russians have continued to perform shambolically in every way possible, and NATO has increased its […]

What effect will over-ruling Roe have on public opinion and the mid-term elections?

Assuming the Supreme Court issues a sweeping opinion overruling Roe, how will this affect the upcoming midterm elections?  This question is being widely examined, e.g., here, here, here.  My take is that the key issue is whether the personal stories of women (and teenagers) affected by abortion restrictions get told. First, a brief review of […]

The politics of student debt forgiveness

Progressives have been pressuring President Biden to forgive student debt using existing administrative authority.  Calls have gotten louder as Democrats become more concerned about their weak position going into the November mid-terms.  Supporters of debt relief point to polls showing support for relief, especially among younger voters that the Democrats need to mobilize.  There are […]

A brief glimpse at the dark underside of contemporary libertarianism

I just ran across the website of the Property and Freedom Society, a fringe libertarian group I had not heard of before.  (I’m mostly interested in work by people with at least a patina of intellectual credibility.)  Apparently PFS is associated with the Mises/Rothbard wing of the libertarian movement, a group that today stands out […]

Democratic messaging on Ukraine

In a post titled Failing at the Basics, Josh Marshall leads with this: A new AP poll says that 54% of Americans think President Biden has been “not tough enough” on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. These kinds of public perceptions can be shaped by perceptions of a leader as much as they drive them. So […]

The libertarian information filter, vaccine hesitancy, and the “focused protection” con

On February 11, 2022, Faye Flam published an opinion piece in Bloomberg titled “Mask Mandates Didn’t Make Much of a Difference Anyway.”  The subhead was “The policies clearly didn’t stop omicron. Let’s focus on tactics that have worked better.” The headline is somewhat misleading.  Flam acknowledges that masks may be beneficial, especially high-quality masks, and […]

Arming Ukraine, sanctioning Russia

The worse the outcome of a Russian victory in Ukraine, the stronger the case for providing Ukraine with the weapons and supplies it needs to defeat the Russian invasion.  Russian atrocities clearly strengthen the case for arming Ukraine.  The very real prospect of ethnic genocide following a Russian victory strengthens the case further: Plus Russia […]