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New Data on Campaign Spending in NJ

NJ ELEC: “An unprecedented wave of independent special interest spending drove the cost of the 2013 legislative general election to $53.3 million, the most ever without adjusting for inflation, according to a new analysis by the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC)…. The latest … Continue reading ?

“Legislator Says Gift Ban Violates His Freedom of Speech”

Lee Fang for The Intercept: Supreme Court, in its Citizens United decision, ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts in elections. Now politicians in Kentucky are claiming they have a Constitutional right to receive gifts from … Continue reading ?

The United States Should Stop Treating Russia as an Enemy

The private meeting between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the United National General Assembly session in New York apparently did not go well. The atmosphere was frosty, and both leaders also used their speeches before the UN body to take verbal shots at the other country. Show More Summary

Shooting a 68-Year-Old Who Poses No Threat Violates Clearly Established Law

Can it really be the case that a police officer violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on using excessive force when he points a live firearm at a non-threatening individual, but not if he actually shoots and kills this person? That’s the argument being made in Stamps v. Show More Summary

This chart explains why Pope Francis’s call to welcome immigrants probably won’t make a difference

During his visit last week to the United States, Pope Francis kept emphasizing compassion toward the downtrodden, especially immigrants. He reminded migrants that their lives were important and urged members of Congress to recall religious beliefs like the Golden Rule and to think of immigrants as people instead of as numbers. And in the White […]

How bad a tragedy is the Volkswagen fraud?

The NYT symposium is here, including Robert Reich, Dan Ariely, and myself, among others.  Here is my piece, excerpt: One plausible estimate suggests this additional pollution has been killing 5 to 27 Americans each year, with that number worldwide reaching up to 404 as a maximum. To put that number in context, the World Health […]

Putin and Obama clash over international relations theory

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama clashed at the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly on Monday. Understandably most commentaries have focused on the jabs they threw over the crises in Syria and the Ukraine. Yet their speeches also displayed fundamentally different visions about world politics and the role of the U.N. in it. […]

Reviving Economic Growth: Policy Proposals from 51 Leading Experts

Brink Lindsey is the editor, and I am one of the experts (is anyone an expert on economic growth?), here are the other contributors, and that is also a link to the underlying on-line symposium.  It is a $5.99 ebook on Amazon.  Here is Cato’s home page for the ebook.

Why is Donald Trump declining in the polls? The media strike again.

After over two months of growing poll numbers, Donald Trump has suddenly experienced a notable drop-off — visible in the Pollster polling averages as well as the Real Clear Politics average. My colleague Philip Bump has more. So why are Trump’s polling numbers declining? As I’ve argued before, changes in people’s preferences almost always require […]

Tuesday assorted links

1. Ngdp for the ECB? 2. Soviet bus stops. 3. Can we moderns no longer understand Shakespeare?  If not, when will that time arrive? 4. Markets for migrants. 5. Chinese SOEs all the way down.  And China’s monetary strangulation. 6. New data and results for business pass-throughs.  And the doctor as fundraiser. 7. Dimitri Nakassis, […]

The Roberts Court at Ten

Ten years ago today, Judge John Roberts took the oath of office to become the 17 th Chief Justice of the United States. Although we speak of “the Roberts Court”—its 10 th term now behind it, its 5 th under its current composition—it’s somewhat misleading to do so since it seems to imply that the chief justice has more power than in fact he has. Show More Summary

Syria at the UN General Assembly

Presidents Putin and Obama presented two radically different worldviews at the UN yesterday morning, but both obliquely described the other as the key cause of global unrest. Putin took aim at the United States, implying that the Arab...Show More Summary

To Russia with Love: Why Obama Should Be Glad Russia Is Getting Involved in Syria

Russia’s push to support Assad in Syria and its agreement to share intelligence with Syria, Iran, and Iraq has evoked the predictable handwringing here in the United States. Some worry that Russian involvement will derail the U.S. fight against IS. Show More Summary

Liberty Usually Violated before the “Ban”

It is Banned Books Week, designated by the American Library Association and others as the time for “celebrating the freedom to read.” Of course, having the freedom to read whatever one wants is essential to a free society. But regular...Show More Summary

“Kris Kobach, his views spark intense reactions – from supporters, opponents (+videos)”

Bryan Lowry for the Wichita Eagle: Kobach has had “a devastating impact on voting rights in the state of Kansas and, for that matter, across the country,” says Micah Kubic, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas. … Continue reading ?

The Roberts Court at 10: Election Law

With today’s 10 year anniversary of John Roberts’ joining the Supreme Court as Chief Justice of the United States. here’s another link to my paper in progress, Election Law’s Path in the Roberts Court’s First Decade: A Sharp Right Turn But … Continue reading ?

Trump's Trade Policy is Really Just a Tax Increase

Donald Trump was on 60 Minutes Sunday night, saying things like this about trade in an interview with Scott Pelley:  Trump: … Mexico, by the way, is taking our jobs. I love the Mexican people. They’re great people. But the leadership is too smart for our country. Show More Summary

The Drip, Drip, Drip of Human Progress

Checking out the news this morning, the following five stories caught my attention.  First, NASA has confirmed that there is water on Mars, thus raising the enticing possibility of extra-terrestrial life as well as colonization of the...Show More Summary

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