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The world’s energy is getting cleaner (and cheaper) — but not quickly enough

What would a U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement mean for the emissions that cause climate warming? A growing array of evidence suggests that twists and turns at the federal level won’t automatically change how U.S. firms behave. The Trump administration may roll back U.S. regulations on clean power and on methane leaks from oil […]

How war is changing Yemen’s largest Islamist coalition

Two years ago, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen after the collapse of the political transition it had spearheaded. The intervention, which followed the Houthi insurgents’ seizure of the capital and displacement of the transitional government, has produced massive humanitarian trauma, involved a major air campaign and small numbers of military forces […]

My exchange with Noah Smith about American complacency

Here is one of Noah’s bits: Smith: OK. I wanted to press you on a couple more things. First, you discuss how productivity growth has slowed down, but you also mention that people might be slacking off a lot more at work. Don’t thoseShow More Summary

My very short take on where the world is today

Written for the 40th (!) anniversary of the Cato Institute, here is the clinching summary paragraph: So we’re going to see a kind of intellectual war, and possibly war in other, more violent forms too. That war, using that word in the...Show More Summary

How Strawberries and The Clash Helped Save Separation of Powers

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled in the case of National Labor Relations Board v. SW General that an “acting” officer cannot simultaneously stand as a nominee to hold that office permanently, regardless of how the acting officer was appointed. Show More Summary

Wrong Lessons from Canada's Private Currency, Part 2

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a three-part article.) Intervention or Private Initiative? As I argued in my previous post addressing Fung et al.’s article on Canada’s private banknote currency, the imperfections of that currency appear, on close inspection, far less substantial than Fung et al. Show More Summary

Will Gorsuch Break With Scalia, Providing 2d (or 3d) Vote To Allow Flood of Undisclosed Money in Elections?

The Supreme Court has long upheld the constitutionality of requiring disclosure of the money behind elections, lobbying, and many political activities. In the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo case, the Court held that such disclosure, while implicating First Amendment rights, served three important … Continue reading ?

Will Democrats Filibuster Gorsuch, Forcing McConnell to Go Nuclear?

Carl Hulse suggests this is a live possibility. The signals I had seen suggested Democrats would not filibuster. We’ll see. … Continue reading ?

“Judge Gorsuch: Do You Back the ‘One Person, One Vote’ Principle?”

Doug Smith, author of On Democracy’s Doorstep, has written this article for the Daily Beast. … Continue reading ?

If Trump restricts skilled immigrants, the U.S. could lose jobs to other countries

President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration, which restricts immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, has dominated headlines. But much less publicized is that he is reportedly considering an overhaul of the H-1B visa program, which provides visas to highly skilled foreign workers. Show More Summary

New poll: only 3% of Trump voters regret their vote

Within weeks of the November 2016 U.S. presidential election, social media posts expressing voters’ second thoughts began trending. While some Donald Trump voters felt he was backtracking on initial hard-line positions, the Huffington Post and other websites reported on hashtags such as #Trumpgrets — used by voters irked that his campaign persona was not simply an […]

Trump’s budget fattens ‘Republican’ programs (and starves ‘Democratic’ ones)

With the release of his first budget proposal Thursday, President Trump is aiming to make good on his promise to dramatically change how federal dollars are divided among the government’s departments and agencies. As shown in The Washington Post’s graphic below, Trump’s budget calls for double-digit cuts to the Education, Health and Human Services, and Housing […]

Planet earth spider fact of the day

Their conclusion was that there are 25m tonnes of spiders around the world and that, collectively, these arachnids consume between 400m and 800m tonnes of animal prey every year. This puts spiders in the same predatory league as humans as a species, and whales as a group. Show More Summary

Has American federalism moved from underrated to overrated?

Probably so, so says my latest Bloomberg column.  One problem is that interstate mobility as a competitive check has declined, but there are other problems too.  Here is one excerpt: One unfortunate side effect of today’s political polarization...Show More Summary

“Former Colorado GOP chairman Steven Curtis charged with voter fraud”

The Denver Channel with a story that is just too rich: The former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party is charged with forgery and voter fraud for allegedly forging his wife’s mail-in ballot from last year’s election, according to court records … Continue reading ?

GOP Responses to Trump Budget

President Donald Trump’s budget issued last week would cut $54 billion from nondefense spending. Budget director Mick Mulvaney did a nice job assembling an array of sensible cuts, as I discuss in this CNN op-ed and this blog. Recipients of handouts and pro-spending activists are not happy with the proposals. Show More Summary

LBRY Saves 20,000 Courses from the ADA

Walter Olson at Overlawyered reports: Those free online course materials may be gone from the University of California, Berkeley, courtesy of a U.S. Deparment of Justice interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and related...Show More Summary

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