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Blog Profile / Kevin Drum


URL :http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum
Filed Under:Politics / US Politics
Posts on Regator:6546
Posts / Week:33.3
Archived Since:February 16, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Chart of the Day: Inflation Is Down, Down, Down

Sometimes it's worth posting the same chart over and over in order to elbow it firmly into the public consciousness. So here's the inflation chart again. This version comes via Matt O'Brien, and it covers four of the biggest economies in the world. Show More Summary

Talk, Talk, Talk to Your Kids

I've long been sort of interested in the ongoing research that shows the importance of building vocabulary in children. This is famously summarized as the "30 million word gap," thanks to findings that high-income children have heard 30 million more words than low-income children by age 3. Show More Summary

Flooding the Zone on Ebola

For the record, I want to note that the top five stories currently featured on the Washington Post home page are about Ebola. If you count related pieces, it's the top nine. That is all.

Iraq Is Cutting Off Electricity From Regions Held By ISIS

Here's a fascinating little factlet: Areas of northern Iraq controlled by ISIS have suffered "massive reductions" in electricity use. A small part of this is probably due to reduced demand thanks to the economic damage ISIS has wreaked. Show More Summary

We Require Affirmative Consent For Most Things. Why Not Sex?

Ezra Klein has taken a lot of heat for his defense of California's new "Yes Means Yes" law, which puts in place an "affirmative consent standard" on university campuses to decide whether a sexual assault has taken place. In other words, the mere lack of a clear "no" is no longer a defense against sexual assault charges. Show More Summary

Let Us Now Praise Placebos

Placebos are fascinating things. They shouldn't work, but they do. And it's not just pills, either. In certain cases, it turns out, fake knee surgery can relieve pain just as effectively as real knee surgery. Austin Frakt writes about the placebo effect today: Given the strength and ubiquity of placebo effects, many physicians prescribe them. Show More Summary

Rick Scott Takes Late Lead In Southeast Division of Jackass Competition

WTF? In one of the weirdest, and most Floridian moments in debate history, Wednesday night's gubernatorial debate was delayed because Republican Governor Rick Scott refused to take the stage with Democratic challenger Charlie Crist and...Show More Summary

Is Clean, Green Fusion Power In Our Near Future?

Fusion is the energy source of the future—and it always will be. That used to be a Unix joke, but in various forms Unix has actually become pretty widespread these days. It runs the server that hosts the web page you're reading; it's...Show More Summary

Lots of People May Misunderstand Thomas Piketty, But That Doesn't Mean They're Wrong

Thomas Piketty is having another moment in the blogosphere. As you may remember, he's famous for the equation r > g, which states that the rate of return on investments is historically higher than economic growth. This means that rich...Show More Summary

No, There's Still No Evidence There Was an Active WMD Program in Iraq

C.J. Chivers of the New York Times has a long piece today about chemical weapons found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. A few dead-enders are now gleefully claiming that Bush was right after all. Iraq did have WMD! This is ridiculous enough that—so far, at least—the savvier wing of the conservative movement is staying mum about the whole thing. Show More Summary

Yet More Housekeeping

How much detail do you want about my medical woes? Well, I'm bored, so you're going to get more. By the time you read this, I should be sedated and ready for a something-plasty, a procedure that injects bone cement into my fractured L3 lumbar vertebra. Show More Summary

Housekeeping Update

Just a quick update. Yesterday my doctor decided to do a "little bedside test" to get a better reading on the state of my bones. It was indeed bedside, and it was indeed done with just a local anesthetic, but I guess it wasn't a very powerful one. Show More Summary

What World Leader Has Done the Most Damage to the Global Economy?

Who's worse: Amity Shlaes or Angela Merkel? You have to give the nod to Merkel, of course. Unlike Shlaes, who is limited to cheering on horrifically bad ideas that would immiserate millions, Merkel has the power to actually implement horrifically bad ideas that immiserate millions. Show More Summary

What's the Point of an Unenforceable Noncompete Agreement?

We all learned recently that sandwich shop Jimmy John's forces its workers to sign a noncompete agreement before they're hired. This has prompted a lengthy round of blogospheric mockery, and rightfully so. But here's the most interesting...Show More Summary

Please Rescue Us. Now Go Away.

Ed Kilgore brings the snark: I realize the remarks of politicians should not be imputed to the entire populations they govern or represent. But still, it's hard to avoid noting that Texas—the very sovereign State of Texas, I should clarify,...Show More Summary

Tom Cotton Is Upset That Democrats Ended a Free Money Stream for Banks

The latest from the campaign trail: Republican Tom Cotton said during an Arkansas U.S. Senate debate on Tuesday that "Obamacare nationalized the student loan industry." The first-term congressman added, "That's right, Obamacare grabbed money to pay for its own programs and took that choice away from you." Huh. Show More Summary

The Kids These Days Know More Than You Probably Think

When I write about American education, the background implication is usually simple: kids these days are dumber than they used to be. Schools are bad; the children are slackers; and the Chinese are going to destroy us. Frankly, I doubt this. Show More Summary

We All Hate Congress. But Why?

Steven Taylor notes today the well-known fact that 90 percent of House members are easily reelected but Congress as a whole has an approval rating only slightly higher than Ebola. But if people hate Congress so much, how is it that they...Show More Summary

It Doesn't Matter Which Diet You Choose

In the category of "news you can use," Emily Oster summarizes a new study that compares weight loss on various diets. After cutting through all the muck, we get the chart on the right. The answer, it turns out, is that all of the diets are about equally effective. So which one you choose is mostly a matter of preference. Show More Summary

Darrell Issa is Finally Going Off His Nut

Darrell Issa's latest jihad is also one of his most peculiar: he's accusing the EPA of working too closely with environmental groups. Seriously. That's it. Here's a report from the New York Times about the "cozy" relationship between...Show More Summary

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