Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: March 22, 2017

Seattle’s gun-sale tax raises less than $200,000 in first year: The original estimate was $300,000 to $500,000.

Muslims inside FBI describe culture of suspicion and fear:

Muslims within the FBI say that their treatment is not only unfair but frays the bureau’s already shaky relationship with the US Muslim community. One recently ousted official believes his firing is a prelude to a wider “purge” of Muslims within the US national security apparatus.

How will the American Health Care Act affect the GOP’s political fortunes? A bristling conversation between three political thinkers on the future of the AHCA.

The problems with originalism:

Despite the serious problems with textualism and originalism, we can expect to hear Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee champion these theories in their attempt to send Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. But Democrats should make clear that neither theory is prescribed by the Constitution or reflects a convincing picture of the founders’ intent. Nor, in the end, do they prevent the judicial activism that Justice Scalia supposedly abhorred. On the contrary, they are nothing more than thinly veiled disguises for modern political conservatism.

Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has lost faith in Donald Trump: That didn’t take long.

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Daily Clips: March 21, 2017

Health insurance woes helped Trump win, but his replacement will be worse: How did Trump voters not see this coming? I genuinely don’t understand. They completely dismissed reality.

GOP Senate about to allow bad employers to avoid reporting workplace injuries:

The GOP wants to do away with an Obama administration regulation that maintained the power of an OSHA workplace injury recordkeeping rule. House Republicans voted to eliminate the rule in early March, and the Senate will vote on it Tuesday.

Marijuana raids are more deadly than the drug itself: Lovely.

The median income at 29 is about $35,000. The average American has had more than seven jobs before she turns 29, and a third of them lasted less than six months. Americans at all levels of education held an average of more than two jobs between ages 25 and 28.

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Daily Clips: March 20, 2017

Taking a scalpel to Medicaid: One of Obamacare’s “greatest achievements was the expansion of Medicaid,” writes Gabrielle Gurley in the American Prospect. Medicaid covers about 20 percent of Americans (more than Medicare). In 2016, “nearly 74 million Americans received Medicaid coverage.”

Cory Booker’s opening speech at SXSW Conference: Get to know your 2020 Democratic candidate! (Seriously though, doesn’t it feel like he’s going to be the choice of the Democratic Party? Not saying I would like that…)

Neil Gorsuch’s “natural law” philosophy is a long way from Justice Scalia’s originalism:

It is also time to stop pretending that Supreme Court justices can decide hard cases without reference to their views about what a cohesive and defensible American moral philosophy looks like. The sooner we stop pretending, the sooner we can face up to the fact that the decisive disagreements on the Supreme Court look more like the conservative-versus-liberal disagreements between a Gorsuch and a Dworkin than they do the “neutral arbiter”-versus-“activist judge” disagreements that we are likely to hear about this week.

What if sociologists had as much influence as economists?

And trying to solve social problems is a more complex undertaking than working to improve economic outcomes. It’s relatively clear how a change in tax policy or an adjustment to interest rates can make the economy grow faster or slower. It’s less obvious what, if anything, government can do to change forces that are driven by the human psyche.

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Daily Clips: March 17, 2017

Sean Hannity once pulled a gun on Juan Williams: You cannot make this up. The man is truly odd.

The wrong way to lower health-insurance premiums:

For proponents of the American Health Care Act, perhaps the most encouraging nugget in the Congressional Budget Office’s otherwise critical analysis is that insurance premiums could fall by 10 percent on average by 2026. Even this prediction is more mirage than reality, however, in part because of an obscure concept known as “actuarial value.”

David Brooks thinks highly of Steve Bannon…seriously:

Back in the good old days — like two months ago — it was fun to watch Bannon operate. He was the guy with a coherent governing philosophy. He seemed to have realized that the two major party establishments had abandoned the working class. He also seemed to have realized that the 21st-century political debate is not big versus small government, it’s open versus closed.

Bannon had the opportunity to realign American politics around the social, cultural and economic concerns of the working class. Erect barriers to keep out aliens from abroad, and shift money from the rich to the working class to create economic security at home.

15-an-hour minimum wage in California? Plan has some worried: How original.

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Daily Clips: March 15, 2017

Ready to Run? Overwhelming interest in seminar for women who want to seek office

No, we don’t need higher interest rates:

Why does the financial community want higher interest rates? So that banks and other creditors can make more money, of course. And to head off inflation that for the moment is mostly imaginary. And to keep down worker pressure for higher wages. Just what you’d expect of financial elites.

What suddenly lit a fire under the Fed? A bubbly market?

Monitoring wages for signs of nascent inflationary pressure is a classic case of rearview-mirror forecasting. (Prices lead wages, not the other way around.) That’s why the Fed would do us all a favor if it discarded some of the platitudes and used Wednesday’s statement to outline its strategy, not just its goals.

We know the Fed is going to raise rates. We just aren’t sure what changed in a short period of time to create a sense of urgency.

Only 24% of voters support GOP health care plan: 49% oppose it.

Steve King says racist things because he knows the GOP won’t call him out on it

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Daily Clips: March 14, 2017

69 percent of Americans say they have less than $1,000 in savings: How is this possible? And how have our people been so badly duped into supporting politicians that lead them to this reality?

A $1 increase in the minimum wage would reduce teen pregnancies by about 2 percent:

That would mean about 5,000 fewer births annually, and the number could go higher if the increase climbed over $1, according to Lindsey Rose Bullinger, the study author and an associate instructor and doctoral student at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Michael Gerson realizes that his old party has left him behind:

Day by day, Republicans are lowering their standards of sanity to defend an administration seized by conspiracy thinking. If they do not stand up to this trend, they will be defining lunacy down.

Emboldened by Trump, minimum wage opponents fight back:

In Washington state, business groups, including the National Federation of Independent Business, filed suit claiming that the recently passed minimum wage initiative—which, like Arizona, raises its minimum to $12 an hour by 2020 and institutes mandatory paid sick leave—violated the state’s constitution because it addresses more than one issue, and because the measure’s title on the ballot failed to accurately describe its contents.

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Daily Clips: March 13, 2017

Virginia earns bragging rights — as the best state for illegal gun trafficking:

“Virginia had a law on the books for 19 years limiting gun purchases to one a month, but — despite its success in helping to curtail the illicit gun trade and an appeal from Virginia Tech families — it was repealed in 2012. Efforts to restore the limit — as well as enact other common-sense measures that have popular support, such as universal background checks — have been killed by a General Assembly that is captive to the gun lobby. It is way past time for Virginia to come to its senses and plug this gaping hole in the public safety net. Unless, of course, it enjoys the bragging rights of Virginia as a place for gun runners.”

Minimum wage increases being attacked by businesses:

Opponents of raising the minimum wage give various reasons for wanting to change the new wage laws: Voters didn’t realize what they were voting on; some of the ballot initiatives were unconstitutionally pieced together; others would unconstitutionally affect the state budget. But most of the opponents share a common theme: They don’t think raising the minimum wage is, on the whole, beneficial for their state.

Should Seattle tax sugary drinks?

Trump wants faster growth. The Fed isn’t so sure: 

The rate is expected to remain below 1 percent, and interest rates on consumer and business loans will still be remarkably low by historical standards. But the Fed is moving months earlier than markets had expected at the beginning of the year, precisely because the economy appears to be gaining steam.

Paul Ryan being a moron:

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Daily Clips: March 10, 2017

David Brooks finally realizes that Republicans only ever cared about tax cuts: Truly remarkable that it took him this long.

White evangelicals believe they face more discrimination than Muslims: The false victimization of the Christian Right always astounds me. They are so convinced that they are the persecuted in every situation. It’s bizarre. It’s dangerous. And it shows an incredible lack of empathy.

The economic ‘mess’ Trump says he inherited continues to add jobs: Sigh.

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