1) Nice Reihan Salam piece on why party leadership has so little leverage over the freedom caucus.
2) Andrew Prokop with a nice piece arguing that the “Party Decides” conventional Political Science wisdom is wrong. I hope he’s right– that would be great for the Democrats.
3) James Surowiecki on what’s wrong with generic prescription drug regulation and good ideas on what to do about it.
4) Nice Wonkblog summary of some provocative and disturbing new political science research that says that rising economic inequality politically benefits Republicans.
5) Got in a huge FB debate with Steve Saideman over the niqab in Canada because I support the viewpoint against nicely advocated by Adam Gopnik (where he clearly lays out both sides).
6) Why universities need tenure-track faculty
As for costs, universities typically spend only one-third of their budgets on faculty salaries. Despite more than 10 years of education after high school, most people standing in front of a college classroom earn less than $60,000 a year, considering that contingent faculty members, who are not eligible for tenure, make up two-thirds of the faculty work force. Most earn well less than $35,000. And most graduate students paid as teachers earn less than $20,000 a year.
It’s not faculty salaries that have grown so much over the years; it’s the increasing number of administrators and their salaries—along with unnecessary building—that is breaking the higher-education bank. That’s where your tuition money goes. Why? Because administrators set one another’s salaries and pad their staffs.
As for deadwood? Well, the job market for faculty members has been extraordinarily competitive for 40 years. Colleges everywhere have been able to hire outstanding faculty members, people who work hard and stay current in their fields because they love what they do. The deadwood retired or died years ago.
7) Supposedly, it doesn’t even make sense to even define “assault weapons.” I’m no expert on guns, but here’s a shot– weapons derived from those originally designed for military purposes.
8) I’ve enjoyed college soccer ever since my Duke days (we had quite a good team). Now I love that my whole family can see pretty good quality soccer at an NCSU game for $5. Very few elite players play in college, but so far it is working for Stanford student, Jordan Morris.
9) Love this story about an anonymous activist doing all he can do disrupt ISIS on twitter.
10) It is truly amazing that Ben Carson is making a serious run for president while being so utterly ignorant about how the US economy works. Talk about domain-specific knowledge.
11) Hillary Clinton’s problem with men.
When Hillary Clinton entered the presidential race, she expected to win overwhelming support among women in her bid to become the first female president. Instead, she’s finding out that an unprecedented level of resistance to her candidacy among men is undermining the conventional wisdom that she’d be the strongest Democratic nominee in the general election.
Put another way: Clinton is now nearly as unpopular with men as Donald Trump is with women. That’s saying something.
12) Seth Masket on changing gun laws without changing hearts and minds.
13) Mark Kleiman starts with guns, but moves onto how we should more closely regulate alcohol.
14) Julia Azari on the need for liberals to change the political rhetoric on gun violence:
Lee Drutman writes today in the New York Times that the side in favor of gun control lacks the organization and energy of the other side. This evaluation strikes me as correct, and I think it’s linked to the framing issues mentioned above. It seems unlikely that gun control will attain the status on the policy agenda that health care, economic issues, orcivil rights have enjoyed.
It might be more effective instead for the president — in his capacity as leader of the nation but also leader of the Democratic Party — to use his platform to reframe this issue in terms of the party’s wider platform. Although matters of economic and racial justice have not dominated the policy agenda in recent decades, they are the focus of the movements that appear most vital on the left. By placing last week’s tragedy in the same category with other, more representative incidences of gun violence, Obama could have laid the groundwork for a new understanding of the issue…
This gets at a crucial function of presidential rhetoric. It not only offers ways to connect seemingly disparate issues, it also has the potential to infuse political debates with moral purpose. The president’s words won’t fundamentally change the substance of an issue or the interests invested in it. But it can shift the focus from process — from questions about enforcement or about whose fault it is that nothing happened last time — and from old frames, like the liberty versus security one that has resulted in a persistent stalemate over the years…
As long as incidents of gun violence remain episodic and uneven, such an understanding will probably require political creativity, not a rehash of familiar arguments. The president isn’t wrong to politicize the issue. Politics is how we address problems. But he missed an opportunity to politicize the gun question in a new and meaningful way.
15) Some of those “good guy with a gun” types might decide it’s a good idea to shoot at a fleeing shoplifter in a parking lot. It’s not.
16) Paul Waldman on the permanent conservative rebellion:
That’s why it doesn’t really matter much who actually ends up in the Speaker’s chair. Whoever that Speaker is, he’ll be judged inadequate, not enough of a fighter, too willing to roll over. After all, no matter who he is or what he does (and yes, I’m assuming it will be a man, because there aren’t any viable female candidates at this point), he won’t successfully repeal Obamacare, or send all the illegals away, or slash taxes rates, or outlaw abortion, or pound his gavel until the thunderous vibrations reach down Pennsylvania Avenue and drive that usurper Barack Obama out of the White House and back to Chicago. In the eyes of the rebels, the next Speaker will fail, just like his predecessor did. And the rebellion will have to continue.
17) I had not realized that Ben Bernanke says the Republican party left him. Drum on the matter.
18) Just how much those internet ads slow everything down.
19) I was going to give this great Robert Reich essay on how Economics is too important to left to Economists it’s own post, but I want DJC to read it.
The second issue unaddressed by an exclusive focus on efficiency and growth is democracy — the accountability of government officials to the public. I have known economic policy analysts and advisers who, after finding what they believe to be the best or most efficient outcome, then seek to discover how best to do end runs around the democratic process to implement it. To them, politics is a constraint on rational policy making rather than a source of wisdom about what should be done.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, a focus on efficiency and growth disregards the allocation of power in a political-economic system and the role of political power in determining what the economic rules will be. It fails to examine whether that allocation of power is likely to result in a stream of future decisions that further entrench the powerful and add to their winnings. And it doesn’t ask whether a different balance of power might be preferable.
20) Given my interest in prisons and this great review, I had to buy Prison Architect. Alas, it could really use a tutorial. And I think I prefer to just shoot people when I play video games.
21) Lawrence Krauss on why people keep getting Nobels for neutrinos:
This is exotic and amazing stuff, but why should neutrino oscillations and neutrino masses be worthy of popular, or even scientific, interest? The reason is simple. In the standard model of particle physics, developed throughout the last fifty years of the twentieth century—the model which has correctly described every other observation that has been made in particle accelerators and other experiments, and which represents perhaps the greatest intellectual adventure that science has ever seen—neutrinos have to be massless. The discovery of a massive neutrino, therefore, tells us that something is missing. The standard model cannot be complete. There is new physics remaining to be discovered, perhaps at the Large Hadron Collider, or by means of another machine that has yet to be built.
22) There’s an old saying that “all politics is local.” Tom Edsall makes the good case that “all politics is national” now. Read it.