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

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 […]

Focused protection was never the point

As I noted previously, Congress has somehow failed to provide funding for COVID vaccines and treatments.  This is a major policy error, an error that could kill many tens of thousands of people if not corrected. You might think that spending on vaccines and treatments would be something we could all agree on, regardless of […]

Inflation, politics, and policy

Between the Russian invasion of Ukraine and COVID outbreaks in China, it certainly seems likely that supply shortfalls and upward pressure on prices will continue.  This raises difficult questions about politics and economic policy. On the political side of the ledger, I think that President Biden’s strategy should be predicated on continued inflation; if inflation […]

On Ukraine, tough talk is not cheap

Biden has done a pretty good job managing the world reaction to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.  But speaking in Poland, Biden declared that Putin cannot remain in power.  This comes on top of his earlier declaration that Putin is a war criminal.  From WAPO: White House officials were adamant the remark was […]

The COVID funding fiasco

At the Atlantic, Ed Yong reminds us that COVID has not disappeared, and that our governing institutions are hardly covering themselves in glory on this issue: This week, Congress nixed $15 billion in coronavirus funding from a $1.5 trillion spending bill, which President Joe Biden then signed on Tuesday. The decision is catastrophic, and as the White House […]

Russia / Ukraine tweets, logistics, public opinion, sanctions

First, a twitter thread on war reporting (click through if interested): The pictures coming out of Ukraine have played an essential role in rallying Europeans and Americans to aid the Ukrainian cause.  But it is so difficult to keep these emotional pictures from overwhelming our judgment.  Especially for those of us not expert in military […]

Censoring for me, but not for thee

Jay Battacharya and Martin Kulldorff, two of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, have been whining for months about how unfairly they have been treated, how they have been criticized and even censored for their views on COVID policy.  Yet now, at the Brownstone Institute, that illustrious citadel of liberal freedom, we find them […]