Thursday Edition



While Republicans have expressed concern about Post-Roe electoral backlash, former President Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the two GOP presidential candidates with the most momentum, both hold relatively moderate stances on abortion. (Commentary Magazine Podcast)

Commentary Magazine Podcast co-host Seth Mandel: “I think that Haley has neutralized a bit of this, the stuff that would normally hurt a Republican candidate, because she's tried to moderate on abortion and tried to draw that sort of nuanced position. … Trump is also, you know, not exactly animated by the abortion thing. And so you might actually get a race between two Republicans who are not as vulnerable on an issue where Republicans these days are pretty vulnerable.

Haley came out against a national abortion ban at the Nov. 8 GOP primary debate, prompting criticism from pro-life advocates. In September, Trump called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of a six-week abortion ban a “terrible mistake.”

A record-high 69% of U.S. adults say abortion should generally be legal in the first trimester, per Gallup. Sixty-one percent of voters disapprove of Roe v. Wade being overturned, according to a NBC News poll from June. Americans, even in red states, have voted in favor of abortion access every time it’s been on the ballot post-Roe.


Former President Trump immediately fundraised off of a Colorado Supreme court ruling Tuesday deeming him constitutionally ineligible from running for president. (The Hill)

A Trump campaign email soliciting donations from supporters on Tuesday: “Crooked Joe and the Democrats know they can’t beat us at the ballot box so their new plan is to nullify every single ‘Trump ballot’ in the nation to keep Biden in the White House.”

Time will tell if the Colorado ruling proves as lucrative a fundraising tool as Trump’s mugshot in August: Trump raised $9.4 million in less than a week after he was processed in Fulton County, Georgia on charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Merchandise sales alone raked in upwards of $2 million, with the campaign selling 36,000 T-shirts bearing a photo of Trump’s mugshot.


Americans aren’t volunteering as much as they used to. (WaPo)

Volunteers in the U.S. dropped by 7% between September 2020 and 2021, according to a Census Bureau and AmeriCorps report. In 2021, about 60.7 million Americans (23% of the population) formally volunteered, the lowest level since the early 2000s. The decline predates the pandemic.

In a 2019 analysis, University of Maryland researchers determined declines in religious participation, people having kids later in life and baby boomers getting older contribute to why fewer Americans are volunteering.


Nobel Prize-winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is taking a victory lap on inflation, to the annoyance of his many critics. (NYT)

Krugman in a new essay titled “Beware Economists Who Won’t Admit They Were Wrong”:Economists who argued that the inflation surge of 2021-22 was transitory, driven by disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, appear to have been right … But many economists who were wrongly pessimistic about inflation — most prominently [former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers], although he isn’t alone — remain unwilling to accept the obvious.”

While there are arguments for and against the idea that inflation was transitory, many critics responded to his latest piece by bringing up questionable takes from Krugman’s past.

1998: “By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's."

2012: “[Argentina is] a remarkable success story, one that arguably holds lessons for the euro zone.”

Nov. 9, 2016: “It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover? … If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”


The federal government has had trouble keeping track of trillions of dollars in recent years. (WaPo)

The Pentagon failed its sixth consecutive audit last month. The Department of Defense couldn’t properly account for half ($1.9 trillion) of its $3.8 trillion in assets.

The military temporarily lost a F-35 fighter jet in September. A single F-35 costs around $100 million, while the lifetime price tag of the F-35 program is on track to reach $1.7 trillion.

A 2022 Washington Post investigation into $5.2 trillion of emergency pandemic spending: “Washington could not fully track this historic distribution of federal spending. It’s clear that billions of dollars were misspent or stolen, but officials aren’t sure exactly how much.”

Meanwhile, the IRS, which is looking to grow by 20,000 employees, has signaled it will start going after taxpayers for transactions worth as little as $600.


Criticisms of school choice from the leader of one of America’s biggest teacher’s unions have gone viral this week. (Fox News)

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten at a conference in October: “[School choice advocates] have not one thing that they offer as a solution other than privatizing or voucherizing schools which is about undermining democracy and undermining civil discourse and undermining pluralism because 90% of our kids go to public schools still.”

It’s true that about 90% of American students attend public schools, but there’s a growing movement toward more choice in education. The number of states across the country passing school choice bills in 2023 was the highest ever. Public school enrollment declined by two million students (4%) between 2020 and 2021. Seventy percent of Americans support expanding school choice, according to one survey.

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