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This Week in the Annals of Social Science

Featured image The Washington Post reports the following: A host of research suggests that as it gets hotter, people tend to make worse decisions: Not only do we get more ornery and cranky — we can also make unwise long-term decisions whose effects we’ll feel well after the temperature has dropped. This may explain a lot about Congress. As good a reason as I can think of for simply shutting down Washington »

The Week in Pictures: We Want Tattoo Edition

Featured image I’m dizzy from this week. Why does the news cycle in the Trump era seem more like a blender turned on high (and with the lid off)? Is the the week Capitol Hill Republicans packed it in and ratified the old judgment that they are indeed the Stupid Party? If Trump pardons himself, will our political system go blind? One thing is certain: if Trump is driven from office, I »

The loud noise heard round the world

Featured image Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau returned from vacation and held a press conference yesterday afternoon on the shooting death of Justine Damond by Officer Mohamed Noor. The Star Tribune reports on the press conference here along with two-minute audio excerpts. The Star Tribune has also posted video of the entire press conference on Facebook here. The department’s video of Chief Harteau’s statement is posted on YouTube. I have embedded it »

The Week in Pictures: Groundhog Day Edition

Featured image As I surveyed the cartoons, memes, and photos in the large inventory for this week, I couldn’t help but think—”Isn’t this just like last week? And the week before? Is CNN still beclowning itself? Is Trump still provoking Tweetrages? More Russia fanaticism from everyone? Is Gov. Christie still on that beach?” I’m afraid right now that we may be in this pattern for the next three and a half years. »

The media remains all screwed up on collusion

Featured image I planned to call my first post of the day “The Shifting Meaning of Collusion.” Then I saw the title of Scott’s post. That’s the disadvantage of waking up at 10:00 in the morning rather than five hours earlier. But I want to amplify Scott’s point. Claims of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia arose in connection with Russian computer hacking. The hacking was the one significant set of »

How Green Is My Subsidy?

Featured image Lately I’ve been thinking that the Koch brothers ought to come out big for wind and solar power, just to watch lefty heads explode. Better still, they could take a substantial position in publicly-traded Tesla, though the stock is likely overvalued (down over 10 percent in recent weeks I think). Still, it would almost be worth it for the heartburn it would cause the anointed. (For one thing, we could »

Fake news from the Washington Post

Featured image In the Washington Post’s lead story today, another screed about how Trump allegedly is selling out to the Russians, Philip Rucker writes: After Putin denied in his meeting with Trump any such election interference, the U.S. president tried to turn the page altogether on the issue of Russian hacking. As special counsel Robert S. Mueller III investigates Russian interference and possible collusion with Trump campaign officials, Trump has repeatedly labeled »

Patriotism, Next Week in Washington

Featured image Carson Holloway, who for some inexplicable reason I don’t know and have never met, has a very nice long review of my book Patriotism Is Not Enough over at Public Discourse. I’m stunned that someone I have not bribed captures the action and intent of the book so fully: Hayward, however, writes here for a more popular audience of thoughtful citizens, offering them an accessible account of the questions that »

Scalise update

Featured image Yesterday, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was readmitted to ­MedStar Washington’s Intensive Care Unit today. He was listed in serious condition (downgraded from fair) due to new concerns about infection. Today, Rep. Scalise underwent surgery for the management of his infection. Medstar reports that he “tolerated the procedure well.” However, he remains in serious condition. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with the Congressman. »

A Blush of Embarrassment at the NY Times

Featured image Charles Murray likes to describe the wedding announcements section of the New York Times as the “Mergers and Acquisitions” page, since it almost uniformly features a Stanford MBA junior investment banker on Wall Street marrying a Harvard law grad working as an associate at Big Firm on Madison Ave, while rehabbing three Brooklyn brownstones for themselves in between teaching refugees to read while riding a unicycle. The wedding was staged »

Rep. Scalise readmitted to intensive care unit

Featured image House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was readmitted to ­MedStar Washington’s Intensive Care Unit today. He is listed in serious condition (downgraded from fair) due to new concerns about infection. The hospital did not elaborate on these concerns. Scalise’s condition had steadily improved since mid-June when he was shot by a left-wing gunman who trying to carry out the mass assassination of GOP members of Congress. The Louisiana congressman was released »

Yesterday in baseball history — Durocher’s Cubs surge into first [UPDATED]

Featured image Heading into the 1967 season, the Chicago Cubs had not finished in the top half of the National League since 1946, and had experienced only one winning season since that year (1963, when they went 82-80). The Cubs had hoped that their fortunes would turn around when, in 1966, they hired Leo Durocher as manager. Durocher had won a pennant managing the Brooklyn Dodgers and two pennants and a world »

Obamacare Lite?

Featured image This cartoon by Michael Ramirez hurts, but I am afraid it is not far off the mark. As I wrote earlier today, the GOP’s inability to follow through on its countless pledges to repeal Obamacare is worse than an embarrassment. Perhaps the situation can still be redeemed, but time is growing short. »

A Tale of Two Fiascoes

Featured image In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s unexpected (by them) election defeat, the Democrats have gone nuts. Their media wing has made a fool of itself with its Russian obsession, and CNN in particular has lost respect that it will be hard to recover. The attempted assassination of Republican congressmen by James Hodgkinson, a loyal Democrat who marinated in the anti-Trump hatred that is consciously promoted by nearly all leading Democrats, »

Alan Sokal, Call Your Office

Featured image I didn’t think it was possible to write a better satire of postmodernism as applied to the hard sciences than Alan Sokal’s great hoax on Social Text 20 years ago. But I have found a contender . . . Wait a minute.  I think this article is for real, in Ethnic and Racial Studies: Racial physics or a theory for everything that happened Marcus Anthony Hunter [Sociologist—natch—at UCLA] Abstract This political »

Report: Top FBI official had it in for Flynn

Featured image We know that President Obama had it in for Gen. Michael Flynn. The former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency was a persistent critic of Obama’s feckless policies, especially regarding ISIS. Obama reportedly advised president-elect Trump not to offer Flynn a high level position. According to this report from Circa, the FBI’s Andrew McCabe also had an ax to grind with Flynn. A few years ago, Robyn Gritz, a supervisory »

The Week in Pictures: Civil War Edition

Featured image There’s been a vigorous debate going on about whether our political divisions can or should be described as a genuine “civil war” as opposed to just a “culture war” or merely “hyperpolarization.” James Hodgkinson’s heinous act this week argues for the full on civil war characterization. But does the left really want open warfare in America? For all their talk of “fighting in the streets,” they might want to think »