Ten Miles Square

July 2014 Archives

July 25, 2014 9:55 AM Ted Cruz Renders Himself Impotent

Tailgunner Ted Cruz, the Republican Senator from Texas, has said he will put a hold on all State Department nominees because . . . oh, something to do with Israel,...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 25, 2014 9:46 AM Weekend Film Recommendation: The Trotsky

Rise, comrades, from your slumber! A rousing film of the people awaits you this weekend! Ok, maybe not. But at least it’ll give you a good chuckle. This week’s movie...

By Johann Koehler

July 25, 2014 12:56 AM We're Supposed to Learn and Grow

The people who wrote and ratified the U.S. Constitution didn't intend by so doing to abolish slavery or abolish the death penalty or give women the right to vote or...

By Martin Longman

July 24, 2014 12:46 PM The $21 Gift Horse

David Klemencic is one of the appellants in the Halbig v. Burwell lawauit that threatens to upend the entire subsidy scheme in the federal ACA exchanges. (He turned out to...

By James Wimberley

July 24, 2014 9:12 AM They're Not Harry Reid's Judges

Mind if I get a little cranky? I’ve been reading commentary, from both liberal and conservative perspectives, that explains the presence of a Democratic majority on the full D.C. Circuit...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 23, 2014 4:40 PM America Is Not Superman

As a stopped clock is right twice a day, the American pundits I criticized here in May and June -- Leon Wieseltier, David Brooks, William Kristol - were right to...

By Jim Sleeper

July 23, 2014 11:23 AM Chuck Schumer Gets Primaries All Wrong

In an op-ed today endorsing the California two-two primary system, Senator Chuck Schumer gets so many things wrong, in so many ways, that I can’t get to it all in...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 23, 2014 9:33 AM The Enduring Myth of the "Killer Heroin"

I was at a meeting with the Australian drug addiction researcher Shane Darke last week, which gave me the chance to congratulate him for publically predicting correctly that Philip Seymour...

By Keith Humphreys

July 22, 2014 8:39 AM Tangled-Web Department

Julia Ioffe, reporting on the insane theories about the Maylasian jetliner peddled on Russian TV and in Russian newspapers, points reports that Vladimir Putin is now caught in a trap...

By Mark Kleiman

July 21, 2014 6:05 PM The Decline of America's National Innovation System

Understanding the value of innovation, where it comes from, and how to enhance it is vital for American policymakers trying to improve national economic performance. Unfortunately, America’s innovation environment -...

By Robert D. Atkinson

July 21, 2014 9:44 AM Three Ways of Looking at Marijuana Consumption Data

Here’s a nice chart from Andrew Sullivan on marijuana consumption in Colorado. It illustrates a point that has been made many times by drug policy analysts such as Mark Kleiman...

By Keith Humphreys

July 21, 2014 9:40 AM Does Socialism Cause Dishonesty?

Here’s an interesting natural experiment. For external, historical reasons, workers in one half of a culturally and linguistically unified but politically divided country had the right to organize unions to...

By Mark Kleiman

July 21, 2014 9:36 AM The Road to Bipartisanship Does Not Lie Through Campaign Finance Reform

The amount of money crossing the national and state party books is seen as a good indicator of party strength. So when party soft money was banned in 2002, opponents...

By Seth Masket

July 18, 2014 1:52 PM Why "Ann Coulter" Would Love Cricket

Somehow I saw this rather lame attempt to parody Ann Coulter yesterday. I don’t mind football, I’ve even come to enjoy watching it a bit as a result of my...

By Henry Farrell

July 18, 2014 9:29 AM What Republican Foreign-Policy Fight?

Kevin Drum asks: Honest question here. I've been wondering this for a while, but it crystallized last night after reading this Ross Douthat post about conservative foreign policy. My question...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 18, 2014 9:13 AM Weekend Film Recommendation: He Walked By Night

Last week I recommended The Naked City, one of the many crime investigation procedurals that became popular after World War II and continue to be a staple of television...

By Keith Humphreys

July 17, 2014 8:06 AM Inflation Cranks Keep Cranking

"I don't think you have until 2012 before this gets out of control and there's hyperinflation. It could go past that to 2014, but we're seeing all sorts of things...

By Ramesh Ponnuru

July 17, 2014 7:59 AM Mommy Police With Real Handcuffs

A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for...

By Megan McArdle

July 17, 2014 7:53 AM We Don't Need a Corporate Income Tax

You can think of corporate taxation as a sort of long chess match: The government makes a move. Corporations move in response -- sometimes literally, to another country where the...

By Megan McArdle

July 16, 2014 6:11 PM The Cynicism Behind John Boehner's Lawsuit

Suddenly John Boehner is willing to go to court to fight for the employer mandate. On Thursday, the House Speaker announced that he intends to sue President Obama for delaying...

By Joel Dodge

July 16, 2014 5:15 PM So What If Obama Talks About Himself?

The National Journal's Ron Fournier theorized yesterday that the reason President Barack Obama is struggling is that he casts himself as the hero of his own story. In short, he...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 16, 2014 12:51 PM Nope, Republicans Aren't an Endangered Species

About the politics of the so-called millennials, and specifically the question of whether they might turn conservative with age, Matt Yglesias muses in a nice item: “More interesting than asking...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 16, 2014 12:47 PM Democracy is Bad for Business

A story that has gotten weirdly little play in the US (I can’t speak for the UK press or the press in other countries) is the pushback by the ‘Big...

By Henry Farrell

July 16, 2014 10:38 AM No, Shakespeare Didn't "Say" That

How often have you seen this passage quoted as “Shakespeare says …”? There is a tide in the affairs of men Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;...

By Mark Kleiman

July 15, 2014 3:38 PM Obamacare Isn't Hurting Democrats

Democrats received a bit of good news in two Marist/NBC Senate polls today showing Mark Udall in Colorado and Gary Peters in Michigan holding solid, though not especially large, leads....

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 15, 2014 11:40 AM Buffett, Gates and Adelson Don't Get Immigration

A trio of billionaires -- Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates -- say they want to "End the Immigration Impasse," to quote the headline of their recent New York...

By Ramesh Ponnuru

July 14, 2014 3:31 PM Fun Summer Reading

Books I’ve read in the last while that I’d recommend: Linda Nagata, passim. (Powells, Amazon). In particular, Vast. It’s the final novel in her Nanotech Succession series, which I read...

By Henry Farrell

July 14, 2014 3:24 PM Days of Glory: The Case Against

Happy Bastille Day. As a liberal and an American, I can think of no better way of celebrating it than by defending American individualism against French (small-r) republicanism, the pursuit...

By Andrew Sabl

July 14, 2014 1:13 PM What Will Crooks Do When Crime Doesn't Pay?

I had dinner a few weeks ago with crime policy expert Mark Kleiman, who pointed out something I hadn’t realized: stealing cars is getting a lot harder. Later model cars...

By Megan McArdle

July 14, 2014 8:27 AM Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You…Obama Edition

Nancy LaTourneau has penned an open letter to President Obama. She begins with a observation about how most politicians talk to voters: What I heard most from politicians who were...

By Keith Humphreys

July 13, 2014 10:57 AM Unread Books

Jordan Ellenberg has devised an ingenious way of working out what books get bought but not read: Amazon’s “Popular Highlights” feature provides one quick and dirty measure. Every book’s Kindle...

By Henry Farrell

July 12, 2014 9:57 AM If Boehner Sues Obama, John Roberts Wins

The story on House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Barack Obama is pretty simple: regardless of whether the administration overstepped, what’s at stake is whether the courts are being...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 11, 2014 10:07 AM Weekend Film Recommendation: The Naked City

Disruptive innovations in technology have been one of the defining aspects of the short history of cinematic art. The introduction of sound in the 1920s, followed by color in...

By Keith Humphreys

July 11, 2014 10:05 AM World Cup Reflections

Germany advanced to the World Cup final by a very rare, convincing, historic (7-1) beatdown, Argentina by one of the more typical squeakers.  The main deficiency of [world] football [US]...

By Michael O'Hare

July 10, 2014 1:40 PM The Grim State of Statehouse News

If you really want to get depressed about democracy in the U.S., take a look at Reid Wilson’s summary of “The precipitous decline of state political coverage.” We’ve known that...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 10, 2014 11:28 AM Uber Makes Economists Sad

New York just killed every economist’s favorite thing about Uber: surge pricing. Sure, many economists also love convenient car service at the touch of a button. But black-car services have...

By Megan McArdle

July 09, 2014 10:35 PM Oh Good, Government Bottlenecks Forever

Julian Castro was confirmed today as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Human Development. Nice job, everyone! Not that I care much about the HUD secretary (other than...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 09, 2014 10:17 AM When a Child from a Troubled Family Nominates You to Nurture Them

I know a wonderful couple with a bustling but well-organized houseful of children. The stable cast of characters are their own kids, but from time to time there are also...

By Keith Humphreys

July 09, 2014 10:14 AM It's Not Easy Being Green

Everyone I know (maybe I need to get out more) wants to be environmentally responsible, especially about climate change. After all, I live in Berkeley and work at a university....

By Michael O'Hare

July 08, 2014 3:05 PM More Gaffe Coverage, Please

Kevin Drum wrote yesterday in response to a Jamison Foser tweet that bashed optics, gaffe and hypocrisy as the “dumbest words in politics.” I can’t say I have much use...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 08, 2014 11:47 AM Let's Talk About Those "Death Panels"

Remember that whole crazy thing: Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Betsey McCaughey? Remember that editorial in Investor’s Business Daily, possibly the greatest own-goal in the history of health policy? People such as scientist Stephen...

By Harold Pollack

July 07, 2014 5:01 PM Parades, Presidential Satire and Punching Down

In Norfolk, Nebraska, this year’s Independence Day celebration involved more than just floats with local beauty queens and car dealerships. A float labeled “Obama Presidential Library” featured a dummy in...

By Julia Azari

July 07, 2014 3:09 PM Let the Framers Rest in Peace

I talk about James Madison all the time, so I appreciate and strongly agree with Ed Kilgore's point today: We shouldn't idolize the Framers. Kilgore is responding to a column...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 07, 2014 8:02 AM The Jail Population is Decreasing in Tandem with the Prison Population

I have drawn attention to the welcome three-year decline in the size of U.S. prison population. Because a huge state with a huge prison population (California) recently began a historic...

By Keith Humphreys

July 04, 2014 9:21 AM Weekend Film Recommendation: Fall of the Roman Empire

Although writing reviews of remakes throughout last month was a lot of fun, there was one original that came to mind that I really wanted to review. The new month...

By Johann Koehler

July 03, 2014 2:47 PM Sunny Jobs Report Won't Save Democrats

Democrats should be happy about the excellent jobs report released today showing that the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in June. They shouldn’t, however, expect it to have any...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 03, 2014 8:49 AM Swift, Certain and Fair Consequences for Substance-Involved Offenders in the UK

I am grateful to Policy Exchange for arranging this recent event about how to improve community supervision of criminal offenders who have problems with alcohol and other drugs. The host,...

By Keith Humphreys

July 02, 2014 1:43 PM Jeffrey Ressner Dies at 56

I am terribly sad to hear about the death of my friend Jeff Ressner. He was a very good reporter-enterprising, dependable, resourceful, hard-working, smart. A Time editor once compared Jeff...

By Jamie Malanowski

July 02, 2014 1:36 PM Yet Another Worthless Presidential Poll

A Quinnipiac poll that is getting some attention today finds that “Obama is first as worst president since World War II.” Ignore those polls! This new Quinnipiac poll does provide...

By Jonathan Bernstein

July 02, 2014 9:59 AM Godly Hobbies and Lobbies

Supreme Court of the United States SYLVIA BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC., ET AL Justice Wimberley, dissenting I fully concur with...

By James Wimberley

July 01, 2014 11:42 AM Republican Party Factions and the Hobby Lobby Decision

For liberal and feminist writers and scholars, the silver lining of today's Supreme Court decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. seems to be the prediction that it will...

By Julia Azari

July 01, 2014 9:22 AM Supreme Court's Aging Liberals Roll the Dice

The most important news from the Supreme Court this month? Sure, we’ve had landmark rulings in Hobby Lobby, Canning and several other cases. But the non-retirements of the court's two...

By Jonathan Bernstein

Blog Archives