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Should Judges Defer to Legislatures on the First Amendment?

Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman—an important First Amendment case in which Cato filed an amicus brief—challenging a New York law that allows merchants to advertise “discounts”...Show More Summary

Monday assorted links

1. Good take on La La Land and nostalgia. 2. Does it work when the coach yells at the ref? 3. Why is the barter market for lovers so imperfect?  My view is that women compartmentalize this kind of thing better than men do, for the most part, at least above age 30. 4. “Could […] The post Monday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Donald Trump’s team has questions about Africa. Here are answers.

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has circulated a list of questions on Africa to the State Department and Pentagon. At the top of the list are two queries about the United States and China and their relative presence on that continent: “How does U.S. business compete with other nations in Africa? Are we losing out […]

The economics of the circus as a traveling city

I would call the disappearance of Ringling Brothers a civilizational advance, except I am not sure we are living in a time that merits this phrase.  In any case, I found this 2013 article on circus economics interesting: Gibson and Petrov...Show More Summary

What are the most important unsolved problems in your field?

That is a request from Christina, a loyal MR reader.  It sounds like a huge question, and maybe it is, but my answer is pretty simple, which is not to say the problem is simple to solve. Let’s say you are in Germany.  People engage in...Show More Summary

“In Texas, a Test of Whether the Voting Rights Act Still Has Teeth”

Must-read Manny Fernandez in the NYT on the voting rights case in Pasadena, Texas: Within days of the Supreme Court striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act in June 2013, the mayor of this working-class industrial city set … Continue reading ?

Sunday assorted links

1. Why is California so closely connected with melancholy?  Here is a smart, critical review of La La Land, but I think it misses the point: the movie is a critique and indeed subtle reflection of what is (supposedly) an all-pervasive...Show More Summary

“Democrats already are trying to get out the vote for 2020”

Ariane de Vogue for CNN: Even before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, top Democrats — including President Barack Obama — are already launching efforts to reshape the electoral landscape. Faced with a stinging loss at the polls, a conservative-leaning Supreme Court and … Continue reading ?

“‘All Talk, No Action,’ Says Trump, in Twitter Attack on a Civil Rights Icon”

NYT:  On Friday, Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, declared that he did not view Donald J. Trump as a “legitimate president.” Mr. Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement, said he planned to boycott the inauguration, the first … Continue reading ?

“Republican group makes record $5 million bet on Virginia governor’s race”

WaPo: The Republican Governors Association just wrote a $5 million check — the largest single political donation in Virginia’s history — with the goal of putting a Republican in the governor’s mansion. The whopping contribution suggests Republicans like their odds … Continue reading ?

“Is 2017 The Year New York Election Law Makes The Grade?”

WNYC: The way New York runs its elections is facing scrutiny. One day after the Justice Department intervened in a lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections for breaking federal law, a good government group is grading New York … Continue reading ?

Read Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Motion to Dismiss in Alabama Felon Disenfranchisement Case

The case is Thompson v. Alabama and the brief is here. Keep your eye on this suit. … Continue reading ?

Seasteading Deal with French Polynesia

The Seasteading Institute has signed an MOU with French Polynesia. [French Polynesian and the Seasteading Institute will].. pool their efforts for the implementation of a pilot project for floating islands in French Polynesia. The development...Show More Summary

What I’ve been reading

1. Ousmane Oumar Kane, Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa.  This excellent book clarified many aspects of West African and also Nigerian history for me, most of all how it connects to the earlier North African civilizations. Show More Summary

Those old (ZMP) service sector jobs

Austrian hermit edition: An Austrian town is looking to employ someone to live in a hermitage that has no heating nor running water in what appears to be one of the worst jobs in the world. Saalfelden in the state of Salzburg is looking...Show More Summary

A chat with Nobel Laureate Oliver Hart

I especially enjoyed the part about his interior decorating, this segment was fun too: Hart’s appetite for complex contract negotiations has also served him well at home. He and his wife embarked on a major renovation of their house several years ago, adding new rooms to the ground floor and expanding the kitchen and backyard. Show More Summary

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