December 12, 2018

(“down with caviar, long live kebab”) There is something incredibly populist about the kebab. It’s a symbol of the immigrant, of the working class, and because it is literally just a hunk of minced and spiced meat, it can become the canvas upon which any culture can draw. Consider the “We will deep-fry your kebab” sign in The Avengers: Infinity War. This sign, and this kebab shop, do not actually exist in the real world. But it is somehow iconic... Read more

November 6, 2018

Exactly two years ago on the morning of Election Day, I wrote this on Facebook: Its gonna be alright, folks. If Trump wins, it’s gonna be alright. Think about everything Obama wanted to do but couldn’t. The Presidency is not a monarchy. And no one hates Trump more than the Republicans whose ideology I disagree with but who see Trump as an absolute betrayal. But he isnt gonna win. And if Hillary wins, it’s gonna be alright folks. If she... Read more

November 5, 2018

A central problem in any free political system is how to ensure a balanced competition. The problem in our system is that what we balanced for is no longer what’s competing. “If the competing groups are states, you need a set of rules to make sure that competition is fair,” says Mason. “If the competing groups are parties, you need a set of rules to make sure the partisan competition is fair.” The compromises made to calm the divisions between... Read more

October 10, 2018

An essay about India’s dramatic differences in fertility rates by region offers a tangential insight into the politics of representation, in the US: The direct effect of such significant changes in population will be on the representation of states in Parliament. In other federal polities such as the United States, methods to decide seats in the federal legislature have often been torturous. In 1787, for example, the US went so far as to institute the odious practice of counting each... Read more

August 27, 2018

All campaigns need to appeal to the voter. There are a lot of dichotomies at play. For example you can ask voters to vote for something or ask them to vote against someone or something. You can articulate a message of what is possible, or a message of what is broken. None of these dichotomies are inherently negative or positive, and most campaigns find some balance between the two. However, there is one fundamental type of difference that does separate... Read more

August 6, 2018

“The swing voter is not red to blue. The swing voter is non voter to voter. That’s our swing voter.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, at Netroots Nation “The swing voter is not red to blue. The swing voter is non voter to voter. That’s our swing voter.” – @Ocasio2018 — Hamilton Nolan (@hamiltonnolan) August 5, 2018 Read more

August 1, 2018

In an attempt to discredit Medicare for All, a libertarian think-tank analyst (who was part of the Bush Administrations aborted attempt at privatizing Social Security right before the economy melted down) ended up actually making the case for it instead. The LAT Business section summarizes: Taken all together, national health expenditures would total $57.6 trillion through 2031. They’re currently projected to be $59.7 trillion. In other words, Medicare for All would reduce total U.S. spending on healthcare by 3.44%. …... Read more

July 10, 2018

Five male justices appointed by two white male presidents are going to outlaw abortion in America, three women are going to dissent, and we will all be in hell. — Emmy Bengtson (@EmmyA2) July 10, 2018 and both those presidents did not win the popular vote. Read more

July 9, 2018

Elections have consequences. Case in point: today, Donald Trump is likely to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court who is very likely to cast the deciding vote which overturns Roe vs Wade. This article from The Atlantic is a good example of the “conservatives are hypocrites” genre which as usual fails to understand that its all about abortion: It is perhaps an open question whether Trump’s candidacy represents a true change in evangelicals’ DNA or whether it simply revealed... Read more

July 2, 2018

Excellent op-ed in the LA Times about what Jefferson’s famous phrase means in the modern era: Do we believe that Jefferson’s felicitous phrase now, in 2018, has economic implications? Does the self-evident right to pursue happiness entail the right to a living wage? Or affordable healthcare? Does the decline of the middle class mean that our collective happiness as a people is at risk? I think that answering yes to these questions is part of what it means to seek... Read more

Browse Our Archives