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May 2017

Must-Read: I am now hopelessly confused.

I get that it Trump drops the appeal—and if states have not intervened—that the executive is thereafter enjoined from paying the cost-sharing payments.

But I did not think that the executive was required to pay the cost-sharing payments. It was simply not required not to pay the payments. If the Justice Department decides that the House is right as a matter of law, what stops Trump from accepting that legal advice and stopping the cost-sharing payments?

I would have thought that the states would not only have to intervene, but to obtain an injunction requiring Trump to continue to pay the cost-sharing payments until final adjudication is attained.

So I am hopelessly confused here...

Nicholas Bagley: Taking the Nuclear Option Off the Table: "Last Thursday, fifteen states and the District of Columbia moved to intervene in House v. Price...

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Should-Read: Dan Drezner: Trump’s first foreign trip is all downhill from here: "This is day two of the trip, and he’s about to do more flying. He’s only going to get crankier and more error-prone from here...

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Procrastinating on May 22, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Monday Smackdown: Physics Professor Phil Price the NIMBYist

Must-Read I disagree with Noah Smith: reading Phil Price convinced me that Phil Price is an idiot, that for many, many people NIMBYism is not a "flawed but serious package of ideas" but rather "simple ignorance"—or, perhaps, rather, very hard work to remain ignorant, in a way that is supportive of the "selfishness of incumbent homeowners trying to feather their own nests... [and] white people trying to exclude poor minorities from their communities while still appearing liberal..."

What was Andrew Gelman thinking in giving him his microphone?

Noah Smith: The NIMBY Challenge: "NIMBY theorists like [Phil] Price... should do the following thought experiment...

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Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Page: No, Marcolito. 66 million of us voted against Trump. 63 million of you voted for him. We-the-people did not get what we voted for: we got what you voted for. Man up, for a change:

Marco Rubio: ‘People Got What They Voted For’: "People got what they voted for. They elected him...

...I don’t understand why people are that shocked.... [It's] not much different from his very unconventional campaign. And that’s what the American people voted for..."

Must-Attend: But, alas!, I will not—I have to miss it. It is really a shame...

Berkeley Behaviorial Economics Initiative: Celebration of 30 Years of Behavioral Economics at Berkeley: May 20, 2017 :: Wells Fargo Room at U.C. Berkeley:

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Links for the Week of May 20, 2017


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Jacob T. Levy: "Red Toryism": Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading: Jacob Levy: Autonostalgia: "Autonostalgia reminded me that seven years ago there was a Cato Unbound about Philip Blond's Red Toryism...

...but the link was dead; the whole issue seems to have been taken down, maybe because (IIRC) Blond obnoxiously refused to write his promised reply and it ended up being his critics talking to each other.... I went and dug up my piece. Considering that this was written in 2010, I'm pretty pleased with how this description of conservatism has aged. Remember the findings last year that, in both the primaries and the general election, it was especially elites in non-elite areas—richer whites in poorer regions—who tended to support Trump.

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Procrastinating on May 19, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Should-Read: The problem is that nobody really knows—yet—how to accomplish the successful "scaling [of] faculty productivity through online education". The people who can successfully take MOOCs—at least as they are currently organized and envisioned—are people who could perfectly well learn via sustained interaction with the Turing-class virtual instantiation of the thinker they could construct and run on their wetware—in other words, by reading and thinking about the book.

The fact that the lecture survived Gutenberg strongly suggests that that slice of the population—the successful MOOC-takers—is a relatively small fraction of even those who excel and strongly benefit from our current system of higher education.

Rick Levin: Toward Sustainable Financing of Higher Education: "In the face of rising costs of attendance and an escalating burden of student debt...

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Must-Read: My two—three—macro papers would be: Krugman (1998), Blanchard-Leigh (2013), and Mian-Sufi (2011)

Paul Krugman: Calling Literatures From The Vasty Deep: "Noah [Smith's]... Two Paper Rule...

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Live from the Utopian Republic of Letters: An absolutely brilliant choice!

AP: Ian Buruma Chosen as New Editor of New York Review of Books: "An acclaimed essayist and historian has been chosen to succeed the late Robert Silvers as editor of The New York Review of Books....

...The publication announced Thursday the selection of Ian Buruma, who has been contributing to the Review for more than 30 years. His books include "Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War" and "Year Zero: A History of 1945." Buruma, 65, is a professor of democracy, human rights and journalism at Bard College...

(Early) For the Weekend: Why Liberal Democracy Only Dies When Conservatives Help: Dan Ziblatt and Matt O'Brien

Matt O'Brien: Liberal democracy is not dead, but it's not well...

...From Hungary to Poland to even the United States, far-right populists have won power, and, in a few cases, are busy consolidating it. In some sense, it shouldn't be too surprising that the worst economic crisis since the 1930s has led to the worst political crisis within liberal democracies since the 1930s. At the same time, though, it's not as if right-wing nationalists are winning everywhere. Just in the last six months, they've come up short in Austria, the Netherlands and now France. So why is it that these abundant raw materials for a far right — stagnant incomes and increased immigration—haven't always turned into a far right that wins elections? I talked to Harvard's Daniel Ziblatt, whose new book Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy traces the history of how the center-right often determines whether democracy lives or dies, about what's behind our populist moment and just how close a parallel we're running to some of history's darkest episodes.

His answer: It depends.

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Should-Read: Branko Milanovic is what Marx used to call a petty-bourgeois socialist: tame capitalism by making sure that valuable property is widely distributed. Marx thought that this was doomed to fail under industrial capitalism, but Marx's arguments have big holes in them. It might well work:

Branko Milanovic: Reducing inequality by deconcentrating capital: "The capital–income ratio continues to rise...

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Must-Read: Lionel Barber and company at the Financial Times call for the impeachment and removal from office of Donald Trump—unless, that is, Trump does things that Trump is and that Lionel Barber and company know Trump is mentally and psychologically incapable of doing. The question left hanging, however, is how long Lionel Barber and company think the Congress should wait before pulling the plug:

Lionel Barber et al.: Trump’s Failures Risk a Constitutional Crisis: "No president is above the law...

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Procrastinating on May 17, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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29 Days Before Nixon Resigned, the Washington Post Scraped and Went Right Through the Bottom of the Barrel

The Highest Broderism of Them All: A Historical Document Just think what had to be going through their minds—Broder's, his editors', and their bosses'—to print this piece of just-you-wait-Nixon-is-going-to-get-his-revenge-on-all-those-Democrats-and-wimpy-Republicans fanfic 29 days before Nixon's resignation:

David S. Broder (1974), "If Congress Refuses to Impeach..." Washington Post (July 10), p. A 30: "With the oral arguments before the Supreme Court completed...

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Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: So why haven't Mike Pence and Teresa May had their Conversation with James and Lachlan Murdoch yet—about how it has all been fun-and-games so far, but now it needs to stop because somebody is about to lose an eye (and Mossad has, we presume, already lost assets)?

How come Pence, Tillerson, Mnuchin, McMaster, Purdue, and company have not already had their conversation with Trump—about how he is the star but not the boss, and how they are willing to use #Amendment25 to make sure he acts the star and not the boss?

Duncan Black: Because I Am Not Serious: "Trump is a senile old man with some sort of degenerative brain condition and he will brag to anybody about anything...

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Some Notes on Eric Miller's Review of "Public Intellectuals in the Global Arena"...

School of Athens

Eric Miller: The Unnamed Behemoth: Review of "Public Intellectuals in the Global Arena" "Deep learning eloquently brought to bear on the contemporary moment has, quite evidently, not been enough to shore up the aging foundations of our republic...

...And a live-from-the-West-Wing Twitter feed is not likely to advance our fortunes, either.... Is the liberal democratic tradition up to the challenge—the challenge of disciplining an economic order that exists not to prosper democracy but itself? On such crucial questions this volume sounds an uncertain note—and a rather quiet uncertain note at that.... No thoroughgoing leftists (seemingly) number among the contributors—none, that is, disposed to warn of enlarging catastrophic conflict between democracy and capital...

(1) But I thought I had done so! Was I too elliptical?

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Live from the Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: Esme Cribb: ‘Morning Joe’ Hosts: Kellyanne Conway Said She Needed A Shower After Defending Trump: "“This is a woman, by the way, who came on our show during the campaign and would shill for Trump in extensive fashion,” Brzezinski said...

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Should-Read: What FBI officials who "worked aspects of the Russia investigation" are now "former FBI officials"? Who are "senior Trump appointees involved in counter-ISIS policymaking"? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller

Lachlan Markay et al.: White House Staff ‘Hiding’ as Russia Chaos Engulfs West Wing: "“With news like this I’m beginning to wonder why Trump ran in the first place and if he really cares about the country” said a senior Trump appointee...

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