Loose Ends—Mostly Updates (160)

A few days ago I remarked that the Biden Administration would have to appeal the district court ruling striking down the mask mandate despite the political unpopularity of masks because preserving the power of the administrative state is a core principle of the left today. I just didn’t expect The New Republic to come right out and admit this point:

Biden had no choice but to appeal. That’s because Mizelle—a former Clarence Thomas clerk whom the American Bar Association rated “not qualified” based on insufficient experience when she was nominated in 2020—wasn’t repealing only a mask mandate. She was also advancing a slow-motion conservative assault on the post–New Deal regulatory state. . .

As I’ve written before, the right’s big brass ring is to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, which seemed at the time, believe it or not, to be a conservative ruling, but now stands as the only bulwark against virtually closing down regulatory agencies entirely.

I’m failing to see the problem with any of this.

Yeah, now people start paying attention to inflation:

This Bra Cost $68 for Years—Now It’s $98. Here’s Why.

The Natalia Underwire Bra had sold for $68 at department stores and specialty boutiques since it was introduced in 2016. This year, lingerie company Journelle, which makes the bra, raised the price to $98, prompting some retailers to stop carrying it.

“They knew they wouldn’t be able to sell it at the higher price,” said Guido Campello, who owns Journelle and runs it with his wife. . .  Price hikes aren’t arbitrary. They are deliberate decisions by companies as they contend with a complicated set of factors. An unusually large number of inflationary forces are converging on bras, which in Journelle’s case can have as many as 27 components.

I’ll refrain from making the obvious inflation jokes.

Anyone with the slightest familiarity with risk literature would not be surprised by this in the least:

Signs warning of highway deaths may cause more crashes

Showing highway death tolls on roadside message boards in a bid to curb crashes may actually cause more accidents, a new study suggests. That’s because they distract drivers, the researchers said. . .

“People have limited attention,” said study co-author Joshua Madsen, an assistant professor in the School of Management at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “When a driver’s cognitive load is already maxed out, adding on an attention-grabbing, sobering reminder of highway deaths [can] become a dangerous distraction.”

For the study, Madsen and his team compared Texas crash data from January 2010 to July 2012, before the campaign, to August 2012 to December 2017 when it was underway. They also looked at weekly differences each month during the campaign. The investigators found that there were 4.5% more crashes along the 6.21 miles of highway where death numbers were displayed during weeks when they were shown than in message-free weeks.

I was once told that Grand Central Station in New York removed its “Beware of pickpockets” signs because pickpockets used to lurk near the signs, and watch for people to feel for their wallets after they walked by, thus tipping off which pocket for skilled thieves to target. The government doesn’t like private sector competition when it comes to picking your pocket, so no more helpful public service signs like this.

Another example of the Great Liberal Death Wish literally in action:

A climate activist who lit himself on fire on Earth Day outside the United States Supreme Court Building has died, according to reports.

Wynn Bruce, 50, of Boulder, Colorado, died Saturday, a day after he set himself ablaze in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Police Department told Fox News. The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on the plaza in front of the court building. He was airlifted to a local hospital, where he died.

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