Catch-up splat

Having been traveling, I neglected some of the more controversial issues of the last week, but here are a few points of catch-up.

On the immigration study, I liked Reihan’s recent post very much.  It is now the case that 23 student organizations at Harvard’s Kennedy School are protesting the fact that the dissertation was awarded, while nominally defending academic freedom of course.

For all of the brouhaha over Niall Ferguson, everyone is forgetting what Robert Skidelsky wrote in 1977, Skidelsky too it seems.  I don’t agree with either the immigration study or with Ferguson (at all, in either instance), but the response has been a case study in…something or other.  There is a glee and also a selectivity to it all which I am uncomfortable with, to say the least.

Within the span of a week, it is remarkable how rapidly the UK has moved toward a serious debate over leaving the EU, and that is after the UKIP election results were revealed (calling Timur Kuran!).  Our London cabbie, on the drive to the airport, still calls it “the EEC.”  With apologies to Thomas Friedman, I say this movement is for real.

The Novel Coronavirus seems to be human-to-human transmissible in a manner which is very worrying (more here).  When your thought is “that one might be too deadly to be a real problem,” it isn’t actually good news.  Fortunately the French health minister tells us that “Nothing is being left to chance,” including presumably which mutated strains of the virus will survive and spread.

What’s remarkable about the IRS tax scandal is that it was admitted, keep that in mind when revising your Bayesian priors.  Don’t forget about Bloomberg too.  Are all of our phone calls being recorded?

I do understand the back story, but still I become uneasy when the Secretary of HHS goes on a fundraising campaign from affected parties.  In lieu of naming rights, you get…what?  Can you say you “gave at the office”?  The voting booth?  Can they then rent out the mailing list of which companies gave?

The Republicans on Benghazi have learned from the Democrats on Mitt Romney and leveraged buyouts; define your opponent early in the public eye.  It is working, if only because most media accounts, even sympathetic ones, do not include pictures of a radiant and smiling Hillary Clinton with the story.

A twelve-year-old stabbed his eight-year-old sister to death.

Might we have a budget surplus in two years’ time?

The WSJ reviews Knausgaard, and “Babs” Walters will be retiring.

What have the old gods done for us lately?

Could it be this pizza?

OK people, now you can go nuts in the comments, get it out of your system.


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