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

A Noah Opinion 1/N

I actually subscribe to a substack (even though I have a rule to never ever pay for web content). I have made 2 exceptions Talking Points Memo and Noahpinion. That written, one of the ways in which I find Noah Smith extremely stimulating is that I often, almost always, disagree with some of the many […]

A Modest Proposal

Really modest and meant seriously (apologies to Swift). All Senators and Representatives get a full pension for their natural lives (equal to salary) They may never ever receive any money from any entity other than the Federal Government. No salary and all investments must be in Treasury securities (oh and nooo royalties – ever). No […]

Manchin on Voting Rights

The news is that Joe Manchin has described a voting rights compromise which he supports. Also Republicans immediately said it was unacceptable to them. This reminds everyone that there will be no bipartisan compromise on an issue where the two parties have diametrically opposite interests. If there were any Republicans who did not equate democrats […]


I am wondering about Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data. The reason is that I am interested in the extremely record high job vacancy rate of 6%, the moderately high unemployment rate of 5.8% and the moderately high hiring rate of 4.2% of employment in April (last month of data available). There are […]

Larry Summers and the Growth Convincing Argument

First I should note that at a time when I had totally messed up my life, Larry Summers saved me from well earned unemployment. As my PhD Supervisor, he was amazingly patient about the amazing delays preceding my actually producing anything along the lines of a written document. The title is a reference to a […]

Slowly Boring into the Heart of Wokeness

Matt Yglesias is stimulating heated discussion — that’s his job. Before getting to the point, I think that his $250,000 guaranteed advance from SubStack has stimulated a lot of extremely intense envy (I know I envy him) which tends to add a bit of spice to his provocative posts one of which is Tema Okun’s […]

Beutler & Yglesias on Strategy

I am going to comment on two smart guys who believe that they disagree about the optimal political strategy for Democrats. Brian Beutler wrote an interesting essay criticizing what he calls “issue polling essentialism”. It includes the text The topic occurred to me after I recorded last week’s Rubicon with my friend Matt Yglesias, where we took different […]

Covid 19 One Dose or Two IV

Angrybearblog December 22,2020 “Eyeballing, the first shot looks 80-90% effective.” (Moderna) and “my guess is that the first shot was about 90% effective over this period.” (Pfizer). Angrybearblog December 24,2020 New England Journal of Medicine February 17 2021 We used documents submitted to the Food and Drug Administration2 to derive the vaccine efficacy beginning from 2 […]

What The Democratic Senators Were thinking

As is very rare, I find myself disagreeing with Josh Marshall who asked “What Were the Democratic Senators Thinking?” when they agreed to accept Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler’s assertions (that Trump sided with the insurgents over minority leader McCarthy’s) in writing when Trump’s lawyers stipulated that they could be assumed to be accurate. First, I will […]