The lasting impact of Trump

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The Dolchstoss myth that’s sure to take hold if Trump is impeached or quits under pressure will be virulent. The tale his devotees will raise their children to swear by will describe the nefarious way that coastal elites, partisan Democrats, the liberal media, and a whole slew of other pseudo-Americans—from Muslims relishing our surprise introduction to sharia law to transgender weirdos, man-hating feminists, and America-hating Obama zombies, not to mention pusillanimous establishment Republicans—all conspired to deprive them of the greatest president ever: the only one they felt ever spoke for them. There will be talk of armed insurrection. Aspiring Dylann Roofs will look for an enemy headquarters to shoot up. It will be ugly.

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It took me a long time to read this article because every paragraph was newly infuriating

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The state is as politically divided as the rest of the nation. One can drive across it and be in two different states at the same time: FM Texas and AM Texas. FM Texas is the silky voice of city dwellers, the kingdom of NPR. It is progressive, blue, reasonable, secular, and smug—almost like California. AM Texas speaks to the suburbs and the rural areas: Trumpland. It’s endless bluster and endless ads. Paranoia and piety are the main items on the menu.

pub. 07/2017

In turning the ship around, a challenge to progressives

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For Rorty, a Left that neglects victims of economic selfishness will not only fail; its neglect of class will trigger a terrible backlash that ultimately ill-serve the very groups that Leftist identity politics are intended to help. “The gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will very likely be wiped out,” he worried. “Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘kike’ will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.”

pub. 07/2017

That’s almost 70 9/11s.

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For every 830 individuals insured, the authors found, one life was saved. In medical terms, 830 in this context is the “number needed to treat.” To put this into perspective, the colonoscopy number needed to treat is 1250; you need to conduct 1250 colonoscopy screenings to prevent one colorectal cancer death.

pub. 06/2017

What happens in a showdown between the President and the Federal Reserve chair–and how that affects the rest of us

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Under President Trump, it is possible, for the first time in a generation, to imagine a concerted attack on the central bank. Conceivably, the United States could repeat the story of the mid-1960s and ’70s, when a 15-year period of central-bank independence was brought to an end by presidential bullying. Back then, Lyndon B. Johnson summoned the Fed chairman, William McChesney Martin Jr., to his Texas ranch and shoved him around the living room while proclaiming that low interest rates were imperative in a time of war. “Boys are dying in Vietnam and Bill Martin doesn’t care!” he yelled. Martin ultimately delivered the looser money that Johnson wanted. Richard Nixon followed up by publicly smearing Martin’s successor, Arthur F. Burns, until he, too, complied. Because Martin and Burns, unlike Greenspan, buckled, the U.S. went through the most extreme bout of inflation in its peacetime history.

pub. 06/2017

When does “alarmism” simply become “reality”?

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The last lesson in “On Tyranny” is to be as courageous as you can. Do you actually care enough about freedom that you would take risks? Do individuals actually care about freedom? Think that through. I think if enough of us take the little risks at the beginning, which aren’t really that significant, this will prevent us from having to take bigger risks down the line.

pub. 05/2017

What broadband companies do without regulation

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There is a lot of hyperbole and partisan nonsense on both sides of the net neutrality debate right now, but instead of poking our heads into the future, let’s peek into the past. The core crux of the FCC’s claim against the necessity of net neutrality comes from the idea that the broadband companies will regulate themselves due to competition and there does not need to be any rules about it. So, have they? Of course not.

pub. 04/2017