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The Supreme Court: What's Next?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a celebrated lawyer, jurist, and cultural icon, passed away on Friday at age 87. My first instinct was to post “Requiescat in pace, Justice Ginsburg,” but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., New York) had different ideas.
He tweeted, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

Keep in mind that the Senate has the constitutional power to “advise and consent” to presidential appointments to the courts. In 2016, the Senate—which had a 54-46 Republican majority in part due to voter anger at former President Barack Obama—declined to consider Judge Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee for the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. The Senate’s stated rationale, given by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Kentucky), was Obama’s status as a lame-duck president—and the upcoming 2106 presidential election.
This move was controversial among De…
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FDL Electoral Model (9/10): Biden 318, Trump 220

If the 2020 presidential election were held today, the FDL Review election model predicts that former Vice President Joe Biden would narrowly win the Electoral College. Per our model, Biden commands 318 electoral votes to 220 for President Donald Trump. Biden has added 21 electoral votes since our previous forecast.

However, the Trump-Biden race is still up in the air. When states where neither candidate commands 50% of the vote are shifted to the "tossup" column, Biden's electoral tally drops to 232 and Trump's to 126.

The FDL Review model identifies the following states as tossups: Arizona (48.29% Biden/47.14% Trump), Florida (48.83% Biden/47.55% Trump), Georgia (48.64% Trump/46.95% Biden), Iowa (49.91% Trump/46.54% Biden), Minnesota (49.79% Biden/45.81% Trump), Nevada (49.64% Biden/44.71% Trump), North Carolina (48.41% Trump/48.19% Biden), Ohio (49.9% Trump/46.23% Biden), Pennsylvania (49.94% Biden/47.07% Trump), Texas (49.89% Trump/46.77% Biden), and Wisconsin (48.…

Our Election Diarist's Campaign Trail Update (9/8/20)

The direction of the Biden campaign has been a question all along, but is now clear that the Biden campaign is simply following the cues of the Trump campaign.

The recent uptick in activity amongst the Biden campaign is no surprise. Quite coincidentally, the shift in strategy comes a week after the Republican National Convention in which Republicans took an optimistic and patriotic approach in addressing the state of the nation. It is clear amongst polls that since the conventions President Donald Trump has the momentum on his side as he battles former Vice President Joe Biden. Though Biden is still leading, Trump has narrowed the gap. The shift toward Trump has forced Biden out of his bunker.
The reason for Biden's emergence is evident: He realizes that the Republicans and Trump have gained momentum. This has not been a plan of the Biden campaign all along as their hopes would be that Biden would make as few public appearances as possible. The Biden campaign is now thinking on the …

FDL Electoral Model (8/24): Biden 297, Trump 241

If the 2020 presidential election were held today, the FDL Review election model predicts that former Vice President Joe Biden would narrowly win the Electoral College. Per the model, Biden commands 297 electoral votes to 241 for President Donald Trump.

However, the Trump-Biden race is very close. When states where neither candidate commands 50% of the vote are shifted to the "tossup" column, Biden's electoral tally drops to 219 and Trump's to 205.

The FDL Review model identifies the following states as tossups: Arizona (47.71% Trump/47.48% Biden), Florida (48.93% Biden/47.13% Trump), Minnesota (49.61% Biden/46.07% Trump), Nevada (49.18% Biden/44.82% Trump), North Carolina (48.54% Trump/47.62% Biden), Pennsylvania (49.87% Biden/46.95% Trump), Virginia (49.95% Biden/45.21% Trump), and Wisconsin (48.65% Trump/48.61% Biden).

The model predicts that Biden would win Michigan, commonly identified as a battleground state, with 50.26% of the vote to Trump's 44.82%.


The FDL R…

Analysis: How the Media Deceives on Coronavirus

Throughout the presidency of Donald Trump, members of the media—who see him as an abnormal, corrupt, and divisive president—have emphasized his failures and minimized his successes. For example, the Trump administration brokered a deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel that normalized the countries' diplomatic relations and suspended Israeli annexations in the West Bank. POLITICO responded with an article entitled "Trump's Win Is a Loss for the Middle East," decrying the deal as an ego trip that hangs the Palestinians out to dry.

Apparently, the media believe that reporting on Trump's successes would be missing the forest for the trees. His conduct is so reprehensible, they contend, that conceding an inch would give him and his administration undue credibility. Regardless of its merits, this practice shows that editorial considerations regularly permeate the newsroom.

The media have taken a similar approach during the coronavirus pandemic. Quickly identif…

What is Conservatism?

Simply stated, conservatism is the conviction that governments should consider past practice and the historical record—not untested theories and dynamic “solutions”—as they approach problems.

For example, the individual ownership of property has been a boon for humanity. When developing taxation schemes and social programs to address perceived societal ills, governments should consider private property’s record of success instead of relying on abstract socialist philosophy or capitulating to the confiscatory instincts of the masses. Thus, the conservative is reflexively opposed to proposals for a wealth tax—a challenge to the sanctity of private property.

Recognizing the long list of failed government interventions, the conservative sees only two types of federal action as legitimate: that which protects the citizens’ lives, liberty, and property or ensures the survival of the nation in perpetuity. Even within these parameters, the government should act in a way that intrudes only minim…

How Inflation Prevents Family Formation: A Conversation with Jon Schweppe

According to the latest spot prices from Kitco Metals, an ounce of gold costs more than two thousand United States dollars, an increase of 37.2% from gold's March 2020 low point. This is an important metric, as gold is the ultimate store of value: Scarce and constantly in demand, it has uses both practical and ornamental.
Gold is actually the ultimate form of money, properly defined. As I note in my July 21, 2020 editorial on Dr. Judy Shelton: "We trade goods (including our labor) for money, which -- in turn -- allows us to obtain things that we want and value. However, in order for money to function, it must be valuable for the parties involved." Gold is prized by nearly everyone and it has long been recognized as an appropriate intermediary between other things of value.
Thus, the surge in the price of gold indicates a diminution in the purchasing power of the dollar relative to real money. The data suggest that this is the result of Federal Reserve policy. Between Febru…