Blogger Shakezula critiques an Atlantic article on the woes of House Speaker Paul Ryan (of the manliest beard ever): he’s trying to propose serious policy changes but hey, Trump keeps stealing the spotlight. But the Atlantic concludes this can work out great for Ryan in the long run—once people see what a mess Trump is, they’ll be ready for a serious policy wonk such as Ryan and his sensible efforts to remake government. As Shakezula points out, one reason nobody’s paying Ryan attention is that his policies aren’t actually groundbreaking (and they’re also bullshit), they’re the same thing Repubs always want: Regulation must be slashed, taxes on rich people must be slashed. These aren’t daring policy suggestions, they’re cliches.
And of course it assumes that the people voting for Trump are enthusiastic about shrinking government rather than, say, hating on Muslims and Mexicans. Which I doubt: as plenty of writers have noted, Trump voters love his calls to boost Social Security, for instance.
•Here’s another classic conserva-pundit theme: cities are horrible places and Americans are rushing to low-tax, small-government rural places. Which as Roy Edroso at the link and several commenters point out, raises the question why the people making this argument are frequently big-city dwellers themselves.
•I’m delighted Jimmy Johns is no longer using non-compete clauses to stop sandwich makers from taking their skills elsewhere. From my limited legal knowledge it sounds like they’d be unenforceable, but if you’re making sandwiches at Jimmy Johns, you probably don’t have money for a court fight.
•The FBI has frequently abused its authority to issue National Security letters demanding information from businesses. So I’m glad legislation making it even easier to use them flopped in the Senate.
•Not only do we have bacteria immune to current antibiotics, but some bugs can hide their immunity.
•Comcast debits $1775 from a customer’s account for a fee he didn’t have to pay. After repeated promises to pay a refund, a rep tells him all that refund talk was an error—he’ll have to go to his bank for the money.
•Rep. Steve King wants a law that prevents anyone putting different people on our money. And as usual, the racists and sexists are the ones who talk about change, not the totally post-racial King, no sirreee, Bob! And I’m sure Trump doesn’t think he himself was racist when he said that well-educated blacks have the advantage over whites.
•The Intercept points out that not only the police but stalkers and peeping toms can exploit drone surveillance.
•One more argument for a guaranteed income: even call centers jobs could be replaced by robots.
•Studies indicate a lot of millennial men still hold traditional views of the sexes: men leading, women shouldering most child care, etc. While it wouldn’t surprise me if that were true, Echidne of the Snakes says the survey appears to have problems such as not being random (participants took the initiative to sign up online) and other possible sampling issues.
•Megan McArdle outsources bigotry (in the words of Roy Edroso) explaining that British hostility to immigrants and their weird foreign foods is perfectly understandable (I have the strange feeling she’s implying an analogy with America) even though she, of course, is too worldly to ever feel like that. As noted at the link in comments, McArdle appears oblivious that Indian food is a British staple (chicken kedgiree is one of the Great British Dishes according to one poll)