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Friday assorted links

1. The great (media) unbundling.  And should Disney buy Netflix? 2. Japan’s hi-tech toilets to get standardized symbols. 3. Drive driverless cars for a living (those new service sector jobs). 4. Some Trump budget proposals, including eliminating the NEA and NEH.  And detailed (but still incomplete) analysis of the proposed tax reform, from Treasury. Show More Summary

The Rhetorical Stylings of Donald J. Trump

“The magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me… could not but overwhelm with despondence one who (inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration)...Show More Summary

Can pro-choice and pro-life women find common ground? It’s complicated.

In the mission statement for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington that will protest Donald Trump’s inauguration, the organizers’ position is that “women’s rights are human rights … recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.” But despite that broad statement, controversy erupted when New Wave Feminists, a pro-life group, applied […]

Assessing Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama leaves office today at Noon. His critics are happy to see him go, even as some acknowledge that he carried himself with dignity and grace for eight years in office. He departs the presidency with favorable approval...Show More Summary

60 years later, are colonial-era laws holding Africa back?

When Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo took the oath of office on Jan. 7, by his side was a judge wearing a traditional British horsehair wig and black judicial robes. Just how far had Ghana shifted away from colonial rule since gaining independence in 1957? Many Africans — and political scientists — believed that the newfound […]

Every president is a minority leader. Trump will be, too.

A key trope of any inaugural address is a pledge of unity — that, despite the divisions of the campaign just past, the new president will serve the entire nation and not the interests of one political party. Thomas Jefferson probably put it most memorably in 1801, during the first inauguration that marked a transfer […]

People like the International Criminal Court — as long as it targets other problems in other countries

The International Criminal Court (ICC) will hear important cases related to war crimes in Uganda and the Congo in January, but is the court itself caught in a global backlash? We recently conducted a study to try to understand public support for the ICC. Our findings, described below, help explain why the ICC is facing […]

Yes, Trump will face a backlash if he doesn’t deliver on his promises

President-elect Donald Trump built his campaign on promises to put a wall on the Mexican border, “utterly destroy” the Islamic State, and accelerate economic growth to heights never before seen outside of wartime. Days before he wonShow More Summary

Globalization and Davos Man are underrated

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt: One of the biggest objections to recent globalization is that it extended international trade at a destabilizing pace. Whether or not you agree with this negativeShow More Summary

Why weren’t floating exchange rates more popular during the Bretton Woods debates?

The excellent Douglas Irwin has a new NBER paper on that question, here is one excerpt: Hayek (1937, 64) leveled three main criticisms against flexible exchange rates, all of which were frequently repeated during this period. First,Show More Summary

“What happens now to Justice Dept.’s civil rights enforcement?”

WaPo: We spoke with Gupta on Wednesday morning, the last day in her fifth-floor Justice Department office, where pictures of Robert F. Kennedy and Frederick Douglass hung over her desk. The conversation started with the fight to protect voting rights, … Continue reading ?

#SCOTUS Does Not Act Yet in TX or NC Election Cases

Although the Court granted cert. in two cases today, no word yet on the Texas redistricting case (now up at three conferences) or the North Carolina racial gerrymandering case. There was a chance the Court could have acted on this … Continue reading ?

Incoming DOJ Assistant AG for Civil Rights Worked Defending Redistricting Plans

David Lat lists a number of Jones Day lawyers going to work for the Trump administration. Among those listed is attorney John M. Gore to be the assistant attorney general for civil rights in the DOJ. According to Gore’s bio, his … Continue reading ?

77% Say On-Duty Police Shouldn’t Swear at People

Nearly 20% of Americans report a police officer having used profanity with them. Yet, an overwhelming majority—77%—of Americans say police should be prohibited from using profanity or swearing at citizens while on the job. Twenty-three...Show More Summary

Dastardly D.C. Judges Shouldn't Punish Political Punditry

Michael Mann is a climate scientist and researcher whose work has been at the center of the global warming debate for decades. After emails came to light concerning Mann’s statistical methods, two of his critics wrote scathing pieces...Show More Summary

Court: Pennsylvania Has No Common Law Asset Forfeiture

In a case involving the state’s attempt to confiscate a man’s handgun following his conviction for disorderly conduct, the intermediate appellate Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that asset forfeiture is not a part of the state’s...Show More Summary

Why popular support isn’t necessary for an Israeli-Palestinian deal

As Donald Trump’s administration takes power, it is appropriate to consider which approach it should take to resolve the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Former Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon argues in a recent Foreign...Show More Summary

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