October 25, 2021

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The inexorable movement to scrutinize Jan 6 and the Trump era continues

Trump routinely lied about how much money this loser hotel was bleeding, while simultaneously demanding that allies and supplicants stay there.

Editorial/Omaha World-Herald:

The election lie is not a game, it’s a danger; our real leaders must squelch it

No responsible, clear-thinking political leader should need more evidence than the video footage and subsequent findings about the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to fully accept the dangers. And yet many Republicans ignore, minimize or reframe an assault that included violent attacks on law officers and threats to constitutional officers and process.

Their winks at the widely discredited conspiracy theory that the presidential election was stolen by massive, multistate fraud and their failure to firmly and forcefully tell the whole truth allow suspicion in the public to simmer and grow.

They appear to believe the mob they continue to incite can be controlled. We have ample evidence that it cannot.


Neil Irwin/NY Times Upshot:

The New Jobs Numbers Are Pretty Good, Actually

They fell far short of analyst expectations, but they reflect a steady expansion that is more rapid than other recent recoveries.

Much of the disappointment in payroll growth came from strange statistical quirks around school reopening. The number of jobs in state local education combined with private education fell by 180,000 in September — when the customary seasonal adjustments are applied.

There is reason to think the pandemic made those seasonal adjustments misleading. Schools reopened in September en masse, and employed 1.28 million more people (excluding seasonal adjustments) in September than in August. But a “normal” year, whatever that means anymore, would have featured an even bigger surge in employment. In other words, this might be a statistical artifact of a shrinking education sector earlier in the pandemic, not new information about what is happening this fall.



Biden declines Trump request to withhold White House records from Jan. 6 committee

The White House is authorizing the National Archives to turn over an initial set of documents related to Trump’s activities on Jan. 6.

The White House now is authorizing the National Archives to turn over an initial batch of documents that fell under a broad category requested by the committee, covering Trump’s actions and communications on Jan. 6, including his rally at The Ellipse on White House grounds, and subsequent meetings and communications throughout the day.

That request sought everything from Twitter messages, phone and visitor logs, and any videos and photos of events he participated in. It also included documents and communications related to then-Vice President Mike Pence’s movements and security, and broadly any other documents referring to the rally at The Ellipse and the subsequent violent riot at the Capitol, as well as to planning around the ceremonial event of counting of electoral votes during a joint session of Congress.


Trump’s DC hotel lost millions despite foreign payments -U.S. House panel

According to the Democratic-controlled committee, Trump reported that the hotel earned him more than $150 million during his time in office but actually lost more than $70 million.

The committee found that the hotel received over $3.7 million in payments from foreign governments – equal to more than 7,400 nights at the hotel, raising a potential conflict of interest.



Senate Republicans sow disinformation after $480bn US debt ceiling deal

Republicans claim cap must be lifted to pay for Biden’s economic agenda – a sign of party’s approach to once non-partisan issues

Top Republicans in the Senate are advancing a campaign of disinformation over the debt ceiling as they seek to distort the reasons for needing to raise the nation’s borrowing cap, after they dropped their blockade on averting a US debt default in a bipartisan manner…

The treasury department acknowledges that raising the debt ceiling would allow the US to continue borrowing in order to finance projects, such as Democrats’ social spending and infrastructure package that is expected to now cost between $1.9tn and $2.2tn.

But economists at the department also say that attempts to portray the need to tackle the debt ceiling as an effort to pay for Democrats’ budget resolutions that are yet to pass Congress amount to disinformation, according to sources familiar with the mechanism.


David Leonhardt/NY Times:

When we treat Covid as a simple morality play, we can end up making bad predictions.

The best measure of U.S. cases (a seven-day average, adjusted for holiday anomalies) peaked around 166,000 on Sept. 1 — the very day that seemed to augur a new surge. The number of new daily cases has since fallen almost 40 percent. Hospitalizations are down about 30 percent. Deaths, which typically change direction a few weeks after cases, have declined 13 percent since Sept. 20.

To be fair, forecasting a pandemic is inherently difficult. Virtually all of us, expert and not, have at times been surprised by Covid and incorrect about what was likely to happen next. It’s unavoidable.

But there is a pattern to some of the recent mistakes, and understanding it can help us avoid repeating them.


Jonathan Bernstein/Bloomberg:

Why I Love the Swamp

For all its faults, the U.S. political system works better than many people think.

The U.S. is, after all, organized to produce this sort of … well, what looks like ugliness. It starts during campaigns, where political parties are loosely organized and largely non-hierarchical, which means that practically anyone can show up and contest a nomination. Of course, it’s a large nation, and those already influential within the party tend to stay that way. But they can’t lock out newcomers, with new ideas and new priorities, who perhaps represent interests that were previously ignored by the major parties. This permeability can lead to highly visible conflict, sometimes going on for months or (in the case of presidential nominations) years, even when it eventually encourages compromise.

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