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

Ezra Klein on Biden leading from behind

I’m ambivalent about this Ezra Klein piece: Trump’s efforts to stay in the news, however, are matched by Biden’s efforts to stay out of it. Biden gives startlingly few interviews and news conferences. He doesn’t go for attention-grabbing stunts or high-engagement tweets. I am not always certain if this is strategy or necessity: It’s not obvious to […]

The Republican assault on social insurance continues apace

Republicans have made their desire to cut – or gut – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid clear for decades.  Jack Fitzpatrick tells us that they are gearing up for another bite at the apple: Social Security and Medicare eligibility changes, spending caps, and safety-net work requirements are among the top priorities for key House Republicans […]

Managing escalation risk and arming Ukraine

The desire to manage escalation risk – especially the risk of a nuclear attack – has clearly led the United States to withhold weapons from Ukraine.  We may also be slow-walking delivery of weapons or limiting quantities to reduce escalation risk, although perceived delays could be due to training and logistics issues or our own […]

The debasement of classical liberalism continues apace

I am not a classical liberal, but classical liberals are right about some things.  In a sane world they could play a valuable role by challenging the thinking of social democrats, welfare state liberals, and others who believe the state has an important role to play in economic affairs.  We all need to be kept […]

Ross Douthat tries to gloss DeSantis’ abusive treatment of migrants.  It goes about as well as you would expect.

DeSantis’ decision to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on false pretenses was clearly repugnant.  In fact, it seems to have been even worse than it appears:  the organizers apparently tried to trick the migrants into reporting their whereabouts to the wrong authorities, which would have jeopardized their status. But over on twitter, Ross Douthat tries […]

Fukuyama on Russia, Ukraine, and the future of democracy

I was planning to make this argument, but Fukuyama says it better than I would have: Thirdly, a Russian military failure—meaning at minimum the liberation of territories conquered after 24 February 2022—will have enormous political reverberations around the world. Russia and China prior to the war argued that liberal democracies, particularly the United States, were […]