It is true that I, a liberal, have cheered as private actors have taken steps to advance liberal causes.
A lot of people went to dress this up in fussy proceduralism but it doesn’t make sense.

I cheer when citizens volunteer to help candidates who I support but I boo when they volunteer to help candidates who are bad — you need need a neutral view on “is it good to volunteer?”
A few months ago we had a story about Facebook tweaking its algorithm to hurt Mother Jones and help Ben Shapiro.

That was bad, because Mother Jones is way better than Shapiro. People who work there should feel a profound sense of shame and do better. But hurting Trump is good.
This what I referred to yesterday as “lawyer brain.”

Amazon Web Services is not an appeals court, there is no setting or precedents. Private actors just make first order decisions and should be encouraged to make good ones rather than bad ones.
What would be dumb would be for liberals to decide that they have won permanent new friends in corporate America.

Tim Cook did multiple rounds of pro-Trump propaganda. Facebook hired a GOP operative to set its editorial policies. These things come and go. But ride when you can.

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More from @mattyglesias

13 Jan
I don’t understand the investment in insisting it was a distinctively _racist_ mob as opposed to a generically Republican one.

Was the mob whiter than the general GOP electorate? Have the Black & Latino GOP senators been prominent in pushing back?…
There are two Black House Republicans (and several Latino ones) who voted post-riot to overturn the election at Trump’s behest.

I think murdering people and trying to subvert democracy is bad even when done by a multiethnic group.

There's always been an admixture between racist politics in the United States & the conservative movement (that's today's post!) but imo that's a reason to actually try to be clear about what's driven by partisan sentiment and what's distinctly racial.…
Read 5 tweets
13 Jan
A proposal for a PEPFAR-style program to increase production of mRNA vaccines so they can meet the *global* demand for doses of the Moderna Covid vaccine in particular.

They don’t detail a price tag, but a very high number would be “worth it.”…
IMO the whole vaccination effort has been hampered by thinking way too small on funding; with trillions in government assistance going out the door and trillions more in economic losses, we should be spending whatever it takes to speed this up.
I was talking to someone who works at a place that expects to be doing vaccinations soon, and he was pointing out that administering these is not particularly lucrative for clinics so there’s no strong business case for expanding office hours or crowding out other services.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
Headline sums it up well.

There’s a school of “leftist” thought that would rather make homes and construction jobs scarce than admit that overregulation can be a problem.
The anti-anti-NIMBY view involves the assumption that there is limitless market demand for empty condo units. Image
But on this assumption, the tower has:

— Expanded the city’s tax base by attracting 30 new wealthy residents
— Improved affordability by diverting 20 wealthy incumbent residents from other housing stock
— Created some jobs building & maintaining the 50 empties

I say build it!
Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
It's true that America's governing class sincerely believes in American exceptionalism but as far as I can tell from surveys so do the vast majority of the American people.
I will not vouch for the political typology here ("progressive activists" etc) but the basic demographic data seems sound and there are very high levels of "proud to be American" across racial groups, with skepticism concentrated among the very young.…
This is another interesting one
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
This week’s free post — policymaking for a low trust world:

Rather than getting tied down in an endless cycle of process, targeting, and compliance checks you need simple, crude ideas that clearly do what they say they do.…
The $2,000 checks are a great model. The policy says there will be checks, and then there are checks.

Vaccine prioritization by age is similar — it’s not optimal but it does exactly what it says on the tin and you can show people that.…
The Bad Place is programs like PPP that work through complicated and indirect mechanisms, or “trust before streets” concepts that try to address trust deficits with new layers of process that only degrade performance.…
Read 5 tweets
5 Jan
Chait on charter schools.

I have some points of disagreement but agree with the parts of this that will make people mad.…
Because I'm obsessed with housing policy, I've increasingly seen this through a housing lens.

People who live one block west of me are zoned into Ross Elementary rather than Garrison Elementary. And Ross feeds to School Without Walls for middle school rather than Cardozo.
Ross and especially SWW are seen as "better" than Garrison or Cardozo.

And in DC elementary schools that feed into Wilson High School and especially the sub-set of them that feed into Deal Middle School are seen as particularly desirable.
Read 6 tweets

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