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Supreme Court Dismisses Texas Democratic Party Petition Raising Partisan Gerrymandering Case, After Agreeing to Hear Texas Appeal on Voting Rights Act and Racial Gerrymandering Issues

I noted on Friday the Supreme Court’s order to hear two Texas redistricting appeals raising claims under the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution (including racially discriminatory intent and racial gerrymandering claims). I also noted that the Court did not … Continue reading ?

Warrantless Spying Careens Toward Reauthorization

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act—and its controversial Section 702, which establishes general warrants for wiretapping foreigners—and rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Justin Amash...Show More Summary

“Boycotting the President’s Brand: Commercial Reactions to Trump 2015-2017”

New report by Ciara Torres-Spelliscy for the Corporate Reform Coalition. … Continue reading ?

“Campaign Finance, Free Speech, and Boycotts”

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy has written this article for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. … Continue reading ?

“Judges: No delay for new N. Carolina congressional map”

AP: The judges who struck down North Carolina’s congressional map for excessive partisanship that favored Republicans refused Tuesday to delay their order telling GOP state lawmakers to draw new lines by next week. The denial by the three-judge federal panel … Continue reading ?

The value of media attention for mass killers

This study compared perpetrators of seven mass killings during 2013–2017 with more than 600 celebrities over the same time period. Findings indicate that the mass killers received approximately $75 million in media coverage value, and...Show More Summary

New Government Terrorism Report Provides Little Useful Information

The Departments of Homeland Security and Justice (DHS/DOJ) released a report this morning on the threat of international terrorism.  This report was required by President Donald Trump’s executive order that, among other things, originally...Show More Summary

Telling interests and ideas apart

A long standing debate in the social sciences is whether behavior is driven by “interests” or “ideas.” The debate is central in political science, where it plays out as an argument between realists and constructivists. It is less well articulated...

“I agree with Donald Trump, we should have voter ID. Here’s how and why.”

Michael McDonald USA Today oped: I propose a national identification card to be issued by the government to all citizens of the United States when they turn 16. This identification would serve not only as required voter identification when someone … Continue reading ?

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Jobs: NPR’s Planet Money is looking for someone who knows about econ to do shorter stories linked to the news of the day (explaining the econ of current issues in the … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Year of Federal Spending Cuts, 2018

As an optimist, and I hereby proclaim 2018 “Year of Federal Spending Cuts.” To kick-off the celebrations, Cato has published Downsizing Federal Government Spending. The new book discusses federal spending cuts on agriculture, education, health care, infrastructure, welfare, and many other activities. Show More Summary

Naomi Schaefer Riley reviews Bryan Caplan’s The Case Against Education

From the WSJ, here is one excerpt: “Put yourself in the shoes of a Martian sociologist,” Mr. Caplan writes in “The Case Against Education.” “Your mission: given our curriculum, make an educated guess about what our economy looks like.”...Show More Summary

Modern Principles, 4th ed!

Tyler and I are thrilled to announce the release of the 4th edition of our principles of economics textbook, Modern Principles. In the new edition we have fully integrated the microeconomics and macroeconomics videos that we have been producing for MRUniversity. Show More Summary

Do lawmakers respond to immigrants’ requests? The answer depends on ethnicity and race.

President Trump’s campaign against immigration has made that issue central to U.S. politics — in no small part because of the country’s growing diversity. As immigrants and minorities make up a larger share of the U.S. populace, how will the Republican and Democratic parties respond? Our recent research shows that, at least when it comes […]

Did the U.S. underestimate North Korea’s weapons program? It’s not that simple.

Did U.S. intelligence agencies underestimate North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs? A recent New York Times article claimed President Trump was told that his administration would have at least four years “to slow or stop its development of a missile capable of hitting an American city with a nuclear warhead.” Nuclear hide-and-seek dates back […]

Trump set a record for White House staff turnover in the first year

Every new president loses top staff during the administration’s first year in office. Political scientists have long noted that the skills needed to campaign are strikingly different from those needed to govern. And adjusting to Washington, D.C., norms — and the press scrutiny that comes with presidential power — has a steep learning curve, especially […]

Tuesday assorted links

1. “In fact, Shanika told us that if she had a choice she, ‘would not get rid of [her] voices.’” 2. Will the FCC create an Office of Economics and Analytics? 3. Randall Schweller defends Trump on foreign policy. 4. Can machine learning...Show More Summary

“Trump Official On Russian Hacking: ‘A National Security Issue'”

Pam Fessler for NPR: President Trump has shown little interest in fighting the threat of Russians hacking U.S. elections. He’s shown a lot of interest in fighting voter fraud, something he insists — without evidence — is widespread. Parts of … Continue reading ?

Alabama: “House committee approves bill revising special U.S. Senate election law”

Montgomery Advertiser: A House committee Wednesday morning approved a bill that would require special elections for U.S. Senate to take place at the next statewide general election. “What this bill simply does is set any U.S. Senate vacancies for regularly … Continue reading ?

Why it is fun to travel around China

I submit that really every part of China is worth seeing, not just Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing. Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan are very different from Guangdong and Fujian, which are not at all the same as Heilongjiang, Jilin, andShow More Summary

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