Why Are Extreme Weather Events Becoming Less Common?

Featured image The Earth’s climate is poorly understood, and random variation likely accounts for most of the ups and downs of notable weather events. But for some reason, extreme weather events are becoming less common. The United States has now gone longer without a landfall of a Category 3 hurricane than at any time in recorded history. And something similar is happening with tornadoes. Tornado frequency is at the lowest level in »

Media Alert

Featured imageI will be on the Bill Bennett radio show tomorrow at 8:05 Eastern, 7:05 Central, talking about the epic hypocrisy of Tom Steyer. It is ironic that, at a time when Democrats want to focus attention on Republican contributors, the donor who can least withstand scrutiny is one of the fattest of the left’s fat cats. If you don’t know where to tune in Bill’s show where you live, you »

Low-Information Environmentalists

Featured imageI spent more time today going over some of the Gallup Poll findings on the environment, and was startled by the sharp break in opinion seen in this first chart.  Could this mean that people are starting to grasp the facts of environmental progress?  Maybe, but that sharp break makes me suspicious. It’s quite unusual to see a sharp shift like this in just a single year—about any issue.  But »

The Cotton Bowl, or Pryor Analytics Epic Fail

Featured imageYou can tell Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, who owes his office to the fact that his daddy was Senator, is desperate when he accuses Tom Cotton of a sense of “entitlement” to a Senate seat.  Who does Pryor think he is—Chelsea Clinton?  If you want to see why Tom Cotton is going to wipe the floor with Senator Posterior Pryor in November, check out this awesome rebuttal—but in order to »

“The debate is over” — a core progressive tenet

Featured imageJoel Kotkin writes about the spread of “debate is over” syndrome. It’s a good article, but marred by the author’s surprise that this “embrace homogeneity of viewpoint” finds expression by the American left, “the same people who historically have identified themselves with open-mindedness and the defense of free speech.” Actually, “debate is over” syndrome expresses a core tenet of American progressivism, and one that has been present from the beginning. »

Voters can bar racial discrimination by their government, for now

Featured imageThe Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a Michigan ballot initiative providing that the state, including state educational institutions, may not “discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.” It is shocking, but not surprising, that the constitutionality of such a proposition — which »

Kristof vs. Kristol on Ukraine

Featured imageI used to patronize a toy store in St. Paul called Essence of Nonsense. The store closed in 2010 but the memory lives on. It’s a great name for a toy store and it has a wider applicability. It comes to mind in connection with the sophisticated liberal pieties that New York Times columnist Nick Kristof serves up in his encounter with Bill Kristol on CNN discussing Obama administration foreign »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured imageOur friend Ammo Grrrll forwards a special edition of her thoughts occasioned by our series on the war on standards. She titles her column “The War on Standardz.” Here it is: Yeah, I know, “standards” is the so-called “correct” spelling. But, I just felt like spelling it that way, and if that’s, like, you know, my experiential way of interacting with the world, then, that should be good enough for »

The “Rich” Are Everywhere

Featured imageWhen Scott and I wrote “The Truth About Income Inequality,” one of the highlights of our pre-internet career, we emphasized the remarkable degree of income mobility that has long characterized the American economy. The rich man and the poor man, we argued, are largely the same man in different stages of life. In recent years, some have tried to show that income mobility has lessened, but longitudinal studies don’t support »

A Sunday sports trifecta

Featured imageAs John can attest, I’ve been supporting mostly bad sports teams for more than half a century. Thus, it’s a rare occasion when three of my teams win important victories on the same day. But that’s what happened yesterday. Until yesterday, Everton had not won both of its matches against Manchester United since the 1969-70 season and had not finished ahead of the Red Devils since 1990. Those streaks ended »

Marxist blues again

Featured imageThe visit of French economist Thomas Piketty to the United States has not quite induced Beatlemania, Scott Winship writes at Forbes, but rather the Washington analogue of teenage frenzy. In the New York Times, Jennifer Schuessler might lend credence to the Beatlemania that Winship disclaims. “Economist receives rock star treatment,” Schuessler reports. Indeed, you can see the frenzy through the New York Times alone. Yesterday’s Times brought us Ross Douthat’s »

Green men cross red line

Featured image“Green men” — armed gunmen wearing green — were at the vanguard of Russia’s Crimea takeover. Now they are stirring the pot in Eastern Ukraine. Russia claims they are local protesters. In reality, as Max Boot says, they are Russian soldiers and intelligence operatives. The evidence is conclusive. According to the New York Times: Photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine endorsed by the Obama administration on Sunday suggest that many »

Happy Earth Day

Featured imageIt’s April 22, so happy Earth Day everybody.  Yes, it’s also Vladimir Lenin’s birthday, so for many on the left this actually presents little cause for confusion. The Gallup Poll reports today on the latest survey results on public attitudes about global warming climate change, which shows that while the number of true believers has barely changed since 2001, the number of people who are deeply skeptical has roughly doubled, »

U.S. strikes in Yemen after al Qaeda’s day out

Featured imageIn a post called “Al Qaeda’s day out,” I criticized the Obama administration for backing away from drone strikes against that outfit in the terrorist hotbed of Yemen. Therefore, it is only fair that I give the administration credit for launching an aggressive drone strike campaign over the weekend in Yemen against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In one drone strike the U.S. targeted AQAP’s top bomb maker, »

Democratic Senator Nearly Qualifies for Darwin Award

Featured imageSenator Richard Blumenthal called a press conference at a train station to criticize Amtrak’s safety practices. He set up for the press conference on the yellow paint next to the train track…that shows where you aren’t supposed to stand. Naturally, a train promptly came along: It is sobering to think that this guy is one of only 100 senators and gets to vote on important legislation. »

The lies of Obamacare — bending the cost curve

Featured imageOne of the supposed benefits of Obamacare was that, somehow, it would “bend the cost curve” for health care cost — in other words, slow the rate of growth of these costs. Just how providing subsidized health care to millions would accomplish this feat was never clear. But the claim, nonetheless, was part of the sales pitch. The claim has persisted since Obamacare was enacted. Supporters note that lately health »

What’s the matter with David Gregory?

Featured imageDavid Gregory strikes me as the smarmiest liberal of the Sunday gabfests. He seems (to me) not even to know how to pretend to be fair. At least Tim Russert could fake it, as Bob Schieffer does now leading the pack on CBS. Both Gregory and the Meet the Press panel that Gregory hosts drive me nuts. I have therefore taken a small amount of joy in the fall of »