1. There’s an interesting story in the WaPo showing the steep decline in the number of college students who favor free speech. In 1976 (when I was in college), about 90% favored allowing communists to speak on campus, whereas today the figure is below 75%. Even steeper drops occurred regarding free speech for racists. Unfortunately, the academic study is gated. I’d love to know what sort of overlap there was between those opposed to free speech for racists and those opposed to free speech for communists. (And please don’t tell me that “it’s obvious”, as it most certainly is not.)
2. When I waste time pointing to one of Trump’s many lies, his supporters will leave comments providing preposterous defenses for his statements—even libertarians who should know better. Now we see that his press secretary thinks it’s so obvious to everyone that Trump is a pathological liar that he can freely joke about it with the press corps.
3. Speaking of Trump lies, Max Boot thinks that Trump’s recent lies about Obama engaging in criminal acts are the sign of a desperate man who thinks the Feds are closing in on him. Interesting article.
4. And McCain wonders why Trump doesn’t simply release the evidence:
“The president of the Unites States could clear this up in a minute,” McCain said. “All he has to do is pick up the phone, call the director of the CIA, director of National Intelligence and say, ‘OK, what happened?’ Because they certainly should know whether the former president of the United States was wiretapping Trump Tower.”
Indeed, if Trump had obtained wiretapping information from his own intelligence sources, he would have the authority to declassify the material and substantiate his claims.
“It looks as if the president just for a moment forgot that he was president,” former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden said last week on Fox News. “Why didn’t he simply use the powers of the presidency to ask the acting director of national intelligence, the head of the FBI, to confirm or deny the story he apparently read from Breitbart the evening before?”
So Trump knows not his own presidential superpowers.
5. The FT has a very interesting article about the civil war within the White House over trade. Trump seems to side with the protectionists like Bannon and Navarro, but the free traders like Cohn seem to have the upper hand. This will be an interesting test of my claim that presidents are much less powerful than people assume.
And what does the Secretary of State think about this issue? Last time I saw Tillerson his face was on the side of a milk carton. (Oops, someone beat me to it.)
If you aren’t having fun watching the Trump show, then you really should consider psychiatric evaluation.
Update: Miguel Madeira left this very informative comment on the poll results:
“I’d love to know what sort of overlap there was between those opposed to free speech for racists and those opposed to free speech for communists. ”
In the GSS it is possible to have an idea, because is a database with public access on-line.
In “Row” write SPKRAC; in “Column” write SPKCOM; run the table.
You will find that 68.6% of the respondents who say that communists should not be allowed to speak also say that racists should not be allowed to speak.
No, return to the main page and in “Control” write YEAR; run the table; now, you can see the evolution during the years; my impression is that the overlap is growing: in 1976, only 63% of the people who wanted to ban communist speech wanted also to ban racist speech; in 2014, 75% of the people who wanted to ban communist speech wanted also to ban racist speech.