Recent articles

1. I visited Miami last month. This FT piece on the city is excellent:

The new president of the United States Conference of Mayors, Suarez, who was re-elected mayor of Miami last year with 79 per cent of the vote, is a Republican. But he’s a Republican who is anti-Trump and disliked by Governor DeSantis, a man who lacks any of Suarez’s smoothness. The whiteboard in the mayor’s offices lists priorities including “upfund the police” and “anti-woke/freedom”.

2. Tucker Carlson is supporting Russia, and it’s influencing the GOP base (but not the Congressional leadership):

Carlson has even defended Moscow’s buildup of troops along the border with Ukraine — and President Vladimir Putin’s rationale for it — in a stark departure from the tough-on-Russia posture that has defined the Republican Party since the start of the Cold War. Meanwhile, Ukraine remains under active threat from an invasion that some are warning could be just the first domino to fall in Eastern Europe.

“I don’t agree with those views,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said when asked about Carlson’s monologues. “[It’s] the U.S. interest not just in Europe but around the world in not having countries decide, ‘That belongs to us, we’re going to go ahead and take it.’”

Some GOP senators rolled their eyes when asked about Carlson’s attacks and indicated that the far-right Fox host isn’t impacting their calculus on an emerging legislative path, even as his views are picking up steam among the base.

3. Just when you think the GOP cannot get any further down into the gutter, with get this:

WHEREAS , Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger are participating in a Democrat-led
persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse, and they are both
utilizing their past professed political affiliation to mask Democrat abuse of prosecutorial power
for partisan purposes, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee hereby formally censures Representatives
Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and shall immediately cease any and all
support of them as members of the Republican Party for their behavior which has been
destructive to the institution of the U.S. House ofRepresentatives, the Republican Party and our
republic, and is inconsistent with the position of the Conference.

That’s right the Capitol Hill rioters trying to overturn the election were engaging in “legitimate political discourse” while Liz Cheney’s statements are illegitimate and she must be cancelled.

People point to nutty things said by individual Democrats like AOL, but this is an official resolution of the Republican National Committee. We are now seeing some members of the GOP embracing people like Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orban. What’s next? Xi Jinping?

4. Things are a bit different in the UK (the FT):

Contrast two leaders. Donald Trump’s approval ratings barely budged during his presidency, and his supporters dismissed every scandal as “fake news”. But when Boris Johnson turned out to have doubled as a party host during lockdown, his supporters fled: his net favourability rating went from +29 per cent in April 2020 to -52 per cent last week, according to pollsters YouGov. . . .

Today the US remains dangerously polarised — more like Turkey or India than western Europe. Among Republicans in particular, ethnic, religious and ideological identities are often perfectly aligned. Many believe God supports their party. Egged on by Trump, they fear their tribe is under existential threat.

And you guys laughed when I suggested we were becoming a banana republic.

5. Some in Britain think Trump is in trouble (from The Guardian):

It included a rebuke from the supreme court over documents related to the 6 January insurrection which Trump incited; news that the congressional committee investigating the riot was closing in on Trump’s inner circle; evidence from New York’s attorney general of alleged tax fraud; and, perhaps most damaging of all, a request from a Georgia prosecutor for a grand jury in her investigation of Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

The week ended with the leaking of a document showing that Trump at least pondered harnessing the military in his attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. . . .

“He’s Teflon Don, he said he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and survive it, his supporters are going to support him no matter what, but I’m starting to think more and more that the walls are closing in on this guy,” said Kimberly Wehle, a respected legal analyst and professor of law at the University of Baltimore.

But this isn’t Britain, it’s the US. Trump is not in any trouble at all. He’ll skate right by all of this.

6. The butterfly effect:

The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, closed indefinitely on Wednesday after years of wild QAnon conspiracy theories and mounting threats of violence, including a physical altercation last week with a Republican congressional candidate from Virginia demanding “to see all the illegals crossing on the raft,” The Texas Tribune reports. . . .

Right-wing conspiracists have been falsely claiming the National Butterfly Center is involved in sex trafficking and other crimes since 2019, and executive director Marianna Treviño-Wright has been getting threats. . . .

Jeffrey Glassberg, founder of the butterfly sanctuary’s parent organization, the North American Butterfly Association, told the Tribune “it’s incredibly distressing that the United States has come to the point where a really significant part of the public is just no longer tethered to reality.”

A “significant part”? I’d say if you add the Trumpistas and the woke supporters of cancel culture it might be “most”.

7. So, does Trump think Kamala Harris has the right to overturn the 2024 election?

8. In the week before the 2016 election, the big issue in the NYT was Hillary Clinton deleting emails. Which makes this especially ironic.

9. The wisdom of George Will:

If the personal is political, everything is politics. And that’s the definition of totalitarianism.

A mistake people commonly make about totalitarian societies is they say, “In a totalitarian society, you’re not allowed to participate in politics.” No, no. In a totalitarian society, you can’t not participate in politics.

Here’s his view of the modern GOP:

It’s bad. It’s not just a husk. It’s not really, in the normal sense of the term, a political party, because it is entirely a cult of personality. And it’s a cult of personality because most Republican office holders, at the national level at least, are frightened of their voters, which means they don’t like their voters very much. And it means they don’t respect their voters, because they think one tweet from Mar-a-Lago can sic 25 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, depending on the constituency of these people, on the officeholder. So they’re walking on eggshells at all times. They’re desperately unhappy, because they don’t feel that there’s dignity to their position or their work right now.

And on conspiracy theories:

I think the fact that Mr. Trump’s successful indoctrination of scores of millions of Americans with the belief that widespread voter fraud stole the 2020 election is a frightening example of how easy it is to change the consciousness of large swaths of the American people. No evidence for what he says. He doesn’t really bother to provide evidence, or point to evidence, or suggest where the evidence is.

It’s a little bit like the crazy people who got obsessed with the Kennedy assassination. And their argument was: Proof of how vast and thorough the conspiracy was is that there’s no evidence left of it at all. . . .

When Gen. [John] DeWitt, who’s really the villain of the piece, who was in charge of West Coast defense [during WWII], said, “We have to do something about these potentially disloyal Japanese-Americans,” people said, “Well, what evidence do you have?” He says, “It’s very suspicious, because there’s no evidence whatsoever. It shows you just how sinister that deep secret they’re plotting is.”



30 Responses to “Recent articles”

  1. Gravatar of Rinat Rinat
    6. February 2022 at 11:37


    Yes, let’s put weapons in Ukraine, then blame Russia for wondering WTF you are doing? Nobody in Eastern Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, wants a war.

    And nobody wants your wacko cancel speech culture that resembles 1960’s USSR. Even Poland and Hungary are pealing off from the leftward nonsense, because they know that your idiocy will lead to totalitarianism. They’ve been through it. They lived it. It’s not fun.

    And I love your description of DeSantis as not having any personality. I find that remarkable, considering you are a souless individual who is so devoid of any personality whatsoever that it takes me three cups of coffee and countless prayers to get through five minutes of your robotic boring speeches. You are a walking robot and absolute boor, so I suggest looking in the mirror before criticizing someone else – especially considering that person has already won over 50% of his states population (probably more now), and a governor who has expertly guided his citizens through a crisis without destroying everyone’s business in the process. Unlike you, he believes in liberty. And based on “foot movement” it appears most of Americans agree. Florida has one of the best economies and it’s one of the fastest growing states. Your MA, NY and CA, and their radical policies, are bankrupt. Leave Miami, where people love freedom, and go back to your marxist state. We don’t want you here.

    And your logic is putrid, as usual.

  2. Gravatar of nick nick
    6. February 2022 at 11:55

    The academic losers said the same about Bush. They can’t win facts, so they just say stupid things like “I don’t like his personality”, lol.

    Policy is a bit more important than personality there dumb dumb.

  3. Gravatar of henry henry
    6. February 2022 at 12:12

    In Sumner’s mind NATO can never do anything wrong. They could nuke Moscow, Russia could respond, and then he would blame Russia for starting the war.

    This is the problem with the liberal babyboomer generation. I really hate to say this, but the truth is that the sooner the boomers die the safer the world will be. These old people are just brainwashed citizens who think Russia is some evil backward place and that putin is secretly trying to kill all of them. It’s the biggest historical farce of all time. Kind of like they say the truckers and farmers are “nazi’s”. I cannot tell you how many braindead academics say Russia is a communist dystopia, or how Trump is part of a secret Nazi organization that will reemerge. Apparently they haven’t read a newspaper in the last 30 years. Or a newspaper that is telling the truth.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. is becoming the USSR. A couple outlets already calling private property a “white privilege”.

    Ah, how convienant. We just need to dismantle that “white privilege”, AKA “private property”, and we’ll all live in a 1960’s paradise.

    The disease of the 60’s hasn’t gone away and it won’t until they die. Sadly.

  4. Gravatar of jayne jayne
    6. February 2022 at 12:22

    So Tucker says we shouldn’t go to war with Russia, and Sumner is upset?

    Hey Scott, remind me. Did you serve in Vietnam?

    Yeah that is what I thought.

    Sumner = chicken hawk.

    I want to see you on the front lines Sumner once the war begins.


  5. Gravatar of David S David S
    6. February 2022 at 13:49

    Scott, I enjoyed this post. However, I wish you would stop comparing the U.S. to a banana republic–or suggesting that we’re turning into one. Such implications insult the brutally effective organization of the United Fruit Company. The U.S. resembles a badly organized criminal syndicate with various factions scrambling around with no clear agenda.
    Neither the right nor the left has a Michael Corleone to right the ship.

    More generously, we’re returning to the type of confederacy that persisted until 1789.

  6. Gravatar of Harry Harry
    6. February 2022 at 13:59

    Sumner’s definition of totalitarianism is not correct. A country doesn’t go from 0 to 100 overnight. There are degrees of totalitarianism and oppression.

    Please read the bill of rights. It’s a beautiful document. Once you violate my rights, you have no right to govern me. Once you’ve violated the social contract, the contract is void. And whoever or whatever violates those rights is now a totalitarian thug that needs to be removed from office.

    Certain things exist outside of political legislation. The bill of rights exists to protect the minority from corrupt legislators, or a brainwashed majority. The framers new that the majority could be just as tyrannical as any tyrant. If 70% of people vote to kill me, it doesn’t give them the right to do so. If 99% want to take my guns, it doesn’t give them the right to do so.

    Historically, totalitarianism has started with mandates. It starts with canceling people. It starts with you mandating that my body be injected with your laboratory products. You don’t own me. It starts with creating arbitrary and secretive no flight lists. It starts with prohibiting travel. It starts with passports that track your every movement. It starts with social credit scores which, today, can be far more effective than in Mao’s dystopia (as the CCP has shown). It starts with little petty tyrants who tell everyone they are racist and bigots.

    Sound familiar Sumner? It should. Because that is your party!

  7. Gravatar of janice janice
    6. February 2022 at 14:10

    “It’s disturbing when you see the protest turning into what looks like some kind of a fun carnival, where they’ve got bouncy castles, and hot tubs, and saunas”

    This is an actual quote by Ottawa’s mayor. This is the party Sumner supports???? lol.

    This people are such stiffs!

    They take the fun out of everything. From regulating your hedges to now reguling sauna usage, the left never knows when to quit.

  8. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    6. February 2022 at 14:40

    Unless ‘things’ have changed the US will not ‘start’ a war with Russia?
    “By the time you got to the first Bush administration, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, they came out with a national defense policy and strategic policy. What they basically said is that we’re going to have wars against what they called much weaker enemies and these have to be carried out quickly and decisively or else there will be embarrassment—a way of saying that popular reaction is going to set in. And that’s the way it’s been. It’s not pretty, but it’s some kind of constraint.”

  9. Gravatar of Ankh Ankh
    6. February 2022 at 14:56

    This is another way totalitarianism starts. Don’t show any evidence, then criticize the reporter for not believing the govt narrative. Biden’s administration is really comical. Reminds me of Obama, Bush and Clinton. Is anyone really that surprised when outsiders like Reagan and Trump are attacked viciously by the Washington insiders. At least Trump’s team provided evidence upon request. They didn’t say “just trust us please”.

    Meanwhile, this is what a real politician looks like.

    Notice how he actually supports a moderate from another party. Amazing.

    Take the red pill, America! At least until it looks more like JFK’s party and not Sumner’s party.

  10. Gravatar of nick nick
    6. February 2022 at 15:13

    Release the evidence of imminent invasion you little fuckin cunt bitch.

    How dare you attack Tucker carlson without any evidence whatsoever.

    Even the NYT says they don’t have the evidence. They are publishing garbage propogating by your filth.


    You go fight russians. I’m going to invite one over for dinner, beers and some football.


  11. Gravatar of Johannes Johannes
    6. February 2022 at 15:27

    Why are you saying that Tucker is “trying to convince people” as if he’s not stating facts?

    Did you watch the interview? Ned Price was asked a number of times to provide evidence. He didn’t. So where is the evidence?

    Clearly, an economist with your credentials understands that heresay is not evidence.

    And your consistent attacks on Tucker in this blog are rarely warranted.

    You’ve seem to gone from Trump derangement syndrome to Tucker derangement syndrome.

  12. Gravatar of Sarah Sarah
    6. February 2022 at 15:43

    Can we please secure our own borders before we worry about Ukraine?

    My mother and father cannot grow crops because every night a group of bandits run through their farm.

    Over 1M already this year in my state of Texas. I mean, just think about that. That is like the size of the U.S. military.

    Seriously, the only people that care about Ukraine are the boomers. Just stop your nonsense already. Nobody in this country wants war. And nobody cares about Putin and Ukraine.

    If Putin attacks Ukraine, then that is Ukraine’s problem. Why is our problem? And please don’t talk about Europe. Europe can defend themselves. Putin is not so stupid to attack any Euro states. He would have to deal with the Germany powerhouse.

    Anyways, the probability of attack is so low. It’s just noise. Why are you always drumming up war. Always Russia. Always Iran. Always N. Korea, or Iraq, or Libya, or some fake enemy that is not so stupid to attack the U.S.A.. The only country that could attack and win is China. That is the 21st century threat. Not RU.

  13. Gravatar of Ankh Ankh
    6. February 2022 at 16:06

    Don’t want to comply?

    They’ll now drug you with a new “morality pill”.

    Thank’s America. The world really appreciates your tyrannical academics.

  14. Gravatar of Nick Nick
    6. February 2022 at 16:47

    Breaking news: Sumtard is now shutting off oil to freeze the loving and peaceful freedom truckers.

    A mandate made up over night under a declaration of “emergency”.

    THAT’S IT. You want emergency thugboy. I will give you an emergency. I am going to declare emergency on SUMNER”S BUTTHOLE. Then after I’m done with the emergency in his ass, I’m going to take a shit on his face.
    Then, maybe he’ll end the mandates. If not, maybe we need to vaccinate him with shit particles. How about that?

    I’m getting a horse and bringing the cavalry with oil.


  15. Gravatar of Aladdin Aladdin
    6. February 2022 at 22:28

    Well, if you needed anymore evidence that conservatives are now supporting Russias idiotic position, this comment section is exhibit A.

  16. Gravatar of Aladdin Aladdin
    6. February 2022 at 22:32

    “Please read the bill of rights. It’s a beautiful document. Once you violate my rights, you have no right to govern me. Once you’ve violated the social contract, the contract is void. And whoever or whatever violates those rights is now a totalitarian thug that needs to be removed from office.”

    Why don’t you read them? Its not a beautiful document. Half of it is ignored today. 90% of our rights derive from three words in the document. And they don’t even apply to states until you stretch the 14th quite a bit.

  17. Gravatar of Tacticus Tacticus
    7. February 2022 at 03:24

    What the hell is going on with the comments here? They’re always strange – who is behind this obvious, purposeful trolling? – but they’ve really gone off the deep end here…

  18. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    7. February 2022 at 05:09

    Tucker Carlson and the trolls in the comment section aside, there are good reasons for us to question what we’re doing in the Ukraine. I can’t see it being in Putin’s interest to conduct a full-scale invasion of Ukraine nor is it in ours to get drawn into a war on Russia’s border. We should be discouraging talk of NATO advancement east and trying to deescalate this nonsense.

  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    7. February 2022 at 09:29

    Tacticus, They are multiplying like rabbits. And not just here—look at MR’s comment section.

  20. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    7. February 2022 at 09:30

    Carl, Agree we should not expand NATO east at the moment, things are too unsettled.

  21. Gravatar of richard richard
    7. February 2022 at 11:52

    You are way off base, and have totally lost pulse with the people of the nation.

    The truth is that the left has very little support right now. They went too far with the mandates and lockdowns. Even liberals in Texas are sick of the border situation. It’s like a free for all. No visa, no problem. Just walk across. It’s horrible for the people living there.

    Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are probably the worst administration since James Buchanan. We may not get to 2024 without a civil war.

    And Desantis is a much better option. The vast majority of Americans agree based on the latest polls. He is a logical guy who cares about the people he serves. He goes after tyranny wherever he sees it. Whether its big tech or big government.

    Your opinions are actually the “fringe minority”, not ours.

  22. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    7. February 2022 at 15:19

    “[D]oes Trump think Kamala Harris has the right to overturn the 2024 election?” I am not confident that Trump thinks Kamala Harris is the Vice President. If, in the Trumpian view, Pence is still Vice President, it would be he who should decide the 2024 election.

  23. Gravatar of Sebastian Sebastian
    7. February 2022 at 23:16

    Scott, what is happening to your comments section? Overflown with hatred, bile and vitriol. It’s sad, really. Now back to the main programming.

  24. Gravatar of TGGP TGGP
    8. February 2022 at 10:01

    Philo, didn’t Pence already decide to let Biden take office? So Harris is the actual VP and would theoretically have the power Trump claimed Pence had.

    Garett Jones disagrees with Sumner on how the censure should be interpreted:
    A critique of the committee is viable using Greenwald’s legalistic logic, rather than “actually, rioting is good”:

  25. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    8. February 2022 at 10:53

    Sebastian, The funniest thing is that 90% of the time when they say I believe X, I hold exactly the opposite view. They seem to be confusing me with someone else. Thus I oppose government imposed vaccine and mask mandates for the private sector. And there are few stronger anti-socialists on the internet. Most of the loonies in this comment section are much more socialist than I am, favoring all sorts of government controls on the economy.

    TGGP, Garett’s argument seems very weak to me. The committee is investigating the January 6 invasion of the capital, not peaceful protests outside. What else could that language be referring to? I must be missing something, as Jones is a smart guy. But that tweet makes no sense to me.

    As for Greenwald, that article is missing the point (much like his other recent stuff.) Of course Congress has the right to investigate an attempt by the executive branch to use a mob to overturn the 2020 election. They are not trying to investigate Jan. 6 in the sense of questions like was Joe Smith in the mob–that’s for law enforcement, they are trying to investigate how Trump incited a riot. If Congress cannot even investigate the executive branch, who will?

  26. Gravatar of tpeach tpeach
    8. February 2022 at 20:52

    I like this line from the FT article about Miami:

    Maybe the brew of success always percolates as bubbles.

  27. Gravatar of steve steve
    9. February 2022 at 05:40

    You need to write more about the important stuff. Did you see Giannis block AD last night on a jump shot? List of players with 40 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in same game and how many times they did it. Only Giannis more than once.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo
    Giannis Antetokounmpo
    Giannis Antetokounmpo
    Dirk Nowitzki
    David Robinson
    Michael Jordan
    Larry Bird
    Alex English


  28. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    9. February 2022 at 08:31

    How is Wilt Chamberlain not on that list? He averaged 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game for his career.

  29. Gravatar of steve steve
    9. February 2022 at 10:45

    Forgot to add you also had to have no turnovers. As much as those guys handled the ball and no turnovers is pretty amazing.


  30. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    9. February 2022 at 19:21

    Steve, I saw your comment before I watched the game today (which I had taped). I inferred from your comment that the Bucks had probably won, which means you ruined the game for me. 🙂

    Yes, Giannis is pretty amazing. I feel like his 3 point percentage would be higher if he only took shots in the first half, but I can’t be sure.

    Carl, I don’t think they kept records that far back. I recall they weren’t recording triple doubles with Oscar Robertson was playing.

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