In theory, statistics should help settle arguments. They ought to provide stable reference points that everyone – no matter what their politics – can agree on. Yet in recent years, divergent levels of trust in statistics has become one of the key schisms that have opened up in western liberal democracies. Shortly before the November presidential election, a study in the US discovered that 68% of Trump supporters distrusted the economic data published by the federal government. In the UK, a research project by Cambridge University and YouGov looking at conspiracy theories discovered that 55% of the population believes that the government “is hiding the truth about the number of immigrants living here”.
Resist The Resistance (bobwise32952)
A recent article in The American Conservative proposed an elaborate plan for Trump’s infrastructure spending, including strong support for public transit and intercity rail. Their website covers New Urbanism in depth: walkable neighborhoods, non-branded architecture, local retail, multi-use zoning, etc.
There’s at least one radical reform supported by both Progressives and Conservatives: replacing the Dodd-Frank law with the original Glass-Steagall act. The repeal of Glass-Steagall during the Clinton years paved the way for a host of financial rackets, including peddling mortgages to millions who couldn’t really afford them- and often went on to lose their homes in foreclosure.
Europe’s Coming Campi Flegrei Explosion (James W.)
President Trump, in his inaugural speech, outlined an “American First” manifesto which has horrified the European political class. In it, President Trump articulated a return to neo-isolationism and an end to the certainties of a post-Cold, and indeed, the post WW2 era. Although Prime Minister Theresa May managed to get a grudging confirmation from the president that America is still committed to NATO, it is clearly on the condition that European allies will commit to the minimum 2% defence spending.
Why 2017 Could See the Collapse of the Euro (Cornelius9999)
The hope was that fiscal and monetary discipline would result in convergence, enabling the single-currency system to work even better. Instead, there has been divergence, with the rich countries getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and within countries, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. But it was the very structure of the Eurozone that predictably led to this. The single market, for instance, made it easy for money to leave the banks of the weaker countries, forcing these banks to contract lending, weakening the weak further.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Comes to Washington (westcoastjan)
My fear is that for the next four years, America will be watching a man experience what the clinical language calls narcissistic injury. I predict the presidency is going to be torture for him. He will be subject to the scathing criticism that all politicians must endure. And we already have seen how agitated he becomes in the face of even mild rebukes or disappointing facts about the crowd size at his inauguration. Imagine how Trump will respond to the inevitable failures, frustrations, and setbacks. (For this reason, the thought of him being just another human being suffering from mental health issues that are out of his control or even awareness causes me to have some degree of compassion for him—as odd as that may sound.) All of the narcissistic injury he endures will cascade to the emotional hostages he has assembled in his orbit.
Trump, Bannon and the rest of the Trump campaign have already managed to destroy the old political order. Trump wiped out a slate of traditional Republican candidates and has won the White House, despite losing the popular vote. Meanwhile, a ceaseless Republican political offensive at various levels of government has given Trump an entrenched majority in the House of Representatives and a small majority in the Senate. Soon the conservatives will have a majority on the Supreme Court.
What will they do? Their rhetoric and personalities, viewed in the context of Strauss and Howe’s theory of crisis, suggest that they will not be bound by existing precedents and that they will rely on their own view of the heroes and villains of our time.
A Wrench In The Recovery? (Tiffany D.)
While oil prices have started to rebound and hold steady above $50, many companies have increased their rig demand. But we still have a far way to go. Baker Hughes reported today that active North American rigs number 1,057 — which is still down 43% from the 1,840 that were active at the close of 2014.
The UC-Davis investigators examined public records on commercial pesticide applications and linked this information to the addresses of approximately 1,000 CHARGE families. Most lived in California’s Sacramento Valley, Central Valley or the greater San Francisco Bay area. Nearly a third lived within a mile of a pesticide application site.
Perdue hails from Georgia, which leads the country in poultry production, most of which comes from factory farms. Although he’s not related to the founders of Perdue Farms, Perdue helped the giant chicken-producing factory farm business expand its Georgia operations by $155 million. That might explain, as Grubstreet points out, why the National Chicken Council, which lobbies on behalf of the poultry industry, can’t wait for Perdue to be confirmed.
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