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Marketing Pork

Here is a great little story by Danny Vinik from Politico’s The Agenda on how so-called marketing boards are surreptitiously turned into lobbying boards. Industries with a large number of producers find it difficult to organize collectively because of the free rider problem. Mostly, that’s a good thing because it prevents cartels. Collective action, however, could […]

“Texas Two-Steps All Over Voting Rights; It says it can make voting as difficult as it wants to, and any law that says otherwise is unconstitutional.”

I have written this piece for Slate.  It begins: In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, one of the most important pieces of legislation in U.S. history. It contained key protections for minority voters, especially blacks, who had been effectively … Continue reading ?

Center for Immigration Studies Report Exaggerates Immigrant Welfare Use

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report this morning on immigrant welfare use. CIS found that immigrants use far more welfare than natives do. CIS’ methodology, parts of which are suspect, is what produced this result – as we’ve pointed out to CIS multiple times. Show More Summary

Wednesday assorted links

1. The Chinese local debt situation is getting worse. 2. Will self-driving cars have windscreen wipers?  And are the cars too safe and hesitant? 3. First fully automated restaurant, hope you like quinoa. 4. Has the U.S. economy become less interest rate-sensitive? (pdf) 5. Why Christopher Balding doesn’t believe Chinese gdp figures.  And Europe, according […]

NPR with a Great Explainer and Graphics on Iran Deal Vote

Here: Here’s how it works. Instead of voting on whether to approve the Iran deal, Congress votes on whether to disapprove. If they disapprove, the president can veto their disapproval. And under the normal rules, it would take two-thirds of … Continue reading ?

Presidential Candidates Need to Stop Bashing China

One important issue that should be the topic of sober discussions in the ongoing U.S. presidential campaign is policy toward China.   Instead, that topic receives inadequate attention–especially compared to the obsession with every minutia of Middle East policy. Show More Summary

Will @Lessig Reach His Fundraising Goal?

He’s at $734K, and says he needs to reach $1 million by Labor Day in order to run for president. Will he reach it?  Will he nonetheless run if he falls a bit short? (You can hear my ELB Podcast, … Continue reading ?

Ron Collins Features Excerpts from ELB Podcast Interview with Floyd Abrams in His FAN

At Concurring Opinions (scroll down):   Rick Hasen Interviews Floyd Abrams: Selected Excerpts  UCI Law Professor Rick Hasen has done it again — he has made the Election Law Blog even more appealing. By way of yet more value added, … Continue reading ?

Should China's Meltdown Be Surprising?

As stock markets decline around the world, apparently in response to stalled economic growth in China, one might ask whether China’s difficulties should come as a surprise.  After all, has not China “liberalized” its economy in recent...Show More Summary

Deja vu for Jordanian election reforms

On Monday, Jordan’s government announced a new electoral law for the kingdom that sounded strikingly like an old one. Despite its similarities to a 1989 law, many in Jordanian politics — the government and opposition alike — see this new draft law not as a regression but as a step forward. There’s a good reason […]

North Korea Remembers Libya, So No Iranian-Style Deal

The Obama administration’s success in negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran has led to hope that a similar agreement might be reached with North Korea. Halt your program, dismantle some of your capabilities, and accept intrusive inspections in return for “coming in from the cold.” Unfortunately, there’s virtually no chance of that happening. Show More Summary

Does Donald Trump Think Washington Politicians Should Have More of Our Money to Prop Up the Entitlement State?

I have a very straightforward rule when assessing politicians. Simply stated, if they are open to tax hikes, then it’s quite likely that they have no desire to control the size, cost, and power of the federal government. Based on that...Show More Summary

What happens to the left when it gains power? Look at Greece’s Syriza party.

On Sept. 20, Greeks are once again going to the polls. Despite all the dogma, denunciations and drama of the last eight months, it looks as if chameleon-like Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will again emerge triumphant. [Greece just called new elections. Here’s the background you need to understand them.] Apparently (see here and here) Tsipras […]

The Right to Anonymous Speech and Association

Since the Enlightenment, anonymous speech has been an integral component of social change, exemplified by Cato’s Letters, the Federalist Papers, and indeed the Anti-Federalist Papers. Accordingly, the Constitution provides a wide breath for the proper “breathing space” that “First Amendment freedoms need … to survive,” NAACP v. Show More Summary

The paradox of no market response

There seems to be genuine uncertainty about what the Fed will do, or not do, this September. At a superficial glance, the good news scenario is if the Fed’s decision doesn’t matter much for the markets.  Woe unto you if your economy is so fragile that a quarter point or so in the short rate, […]

A simple primer for understanding China’s downturn

I’ve covered these ideas before a number of times, but now the Chinese slowdown is common knowledge, so let’s put them in one place: 1. You can’t invest 45-50 percent of your gdp very well forever.  It’s amazing how long China’s run has been, but it is over.  The quality of their marginal investments is […]

“GAB head told former employee to tone down comments”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: The head of the state’s elections agency largely defended a former employee Tuesday for how he discussed an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign in emails. However, Kevin Kennedy acknowledged he had talked to the employee numerous times … Continue reading ?

“Redistricting deadline comes and goes in Virginia”

ABC: Back in June a federal court ruled that Virginia’s third congressional district had been illegally packed with black voters to make surrounding districts safer for Republican incumbents, ordering the lines be redrawn by September 1. “The Virginia General Assembly … Continue reading ?

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