The ordinarily fluent and unperturbed Justice Elena Kagan seemed, judging from the transcript, to be sputtering a bit in the oral argument of the Supreme Court's case challenging the racial quotas and preferences used in admissions by the University of North Carolina.
Questioning the counsel for those suing the university, she said -- and I'm ...Read more
How did it come to pass that public employee unions, which scarcely existed 60 years ago, have come to run public schools and myriad state and local government agencies?
Answers to this question, which few people think about these days, come from Philip K. Howard's latest book, "Not Accountable," accompanied as in his earlier books ("The Rule ...Read more
What are "the major problems this country faces"? Writing in The Atlantic, New York Times columnist David Brooks leads off his list with "inequality, political polarization, social mistrust" before concluding with the inevitable "climate change." Today's "inequality," he notes, is as "savage" as the inequality in the 1890s.
That was a decade in...Read more
America has just exited a biennium of Democratic trifecta -- control by the nation's and the world's oldest political party of the White House and majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives. It is only the third such biennium in the last 40 years, since 1993-95 and 2009-11, the first two years of the Clinton and Obama administrations....Read more
From all those lists of best books of 2022, here's one with the potential to change public policy debate and discourse for the better. It's "The Myth of American Inequality," and the three authors are two Ph.D. economists, former Sen. Phil Gramm and his long-ago Texas A&M colleague Robert Ekelund, and former Bureau of Labor Statistics assistant ...Read more
Where are Americans moving? And where, to make things more specific, have Americans been moving since the sudden onset of COVID lockdowns? Answers to these questions come from the annual Christmastime release of the Census Bureau's estimates of the population of the 50 states and the District of Columbia as of last July.
Comparing those numbers...Read more
2022 was a year full of surprises. Important things didn't work out as many people had expected on just about every point on the political spectrum.
The prime example: Ukraine. When Vladimir Putin's Russian troops invaded on Feb. 24, it looked like an independent Ukraine was toast. Military experts on cable channels said Russia had overwhelming...Read more
Will Silicon Valley go down in history the way of the robber barons? There's been plenty of raw material in the headlines for a sharp downgrading of the San Francisco Bay area tech industry's reputation these last few weeks.
Consider what Twitter's owner Elon Musk has been revealing about how the people who ran old Twitter did business. As the ...Read more
When John Quincy Adams was informed by a committee that he was elected president by the House of Representatives, for the first and only time through the procedure set by the 12th Amendment of the Constitution, he responded in writing. "The answer was not very gracious," writes historian George Dangerfield. "If it were possible, wrote Mr. Adams,...Read more
Unsure of what to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season? Here's a suggestion of something to be thankful for: the Northwest Ordinance.
You might ask, what is the Northwest Ordinance? The answer: It's a law passed by the Confederation Congress meeting openly in New York in July 1787, even as the Constitutional Convention was meeting behind ...Read more
A funny thing happened as I was looking at the political map of this year's presidential election: It began to look like the map of the presidential election of 2004.
I'm not talking about the superficial similarity, the fact that in both elections an incumbent president beat a challenger from Massachusetts by a 51 to 48 percent popular vote ...Read more
One of the puzzles in this year's surprising and unpredicted (including by me) off-year election results is why the Republicans' 51% to 47% win in the popular vote for House of Representatives did not produce a majority bigger than the apparent 221-214 result. (All numbers here are subject to revision in line with final returns.)
That 51% to 47...Read more
One way to look at this election is as a repudiation of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Democrats held 235 seats in the House in 2018 as Biden launched his campaign for president. To the surprise of prognosticators, they won just a bare majority, 222, on the day he was elected in 2020. As this is written, it looks like they will win about 211 this ...Read more