These People are Not Qualified to Give Opinions

It’s suddenly become a thing to suggest that something or another is disqualifying. It’s coming up a lot in the presidential election. I keep hearing that Clinton is disqualified over the email thing or that Trump is disqualified for whatever reason this week. I could link to hundreds of examples, one for each is enough to describe the breed. And it’s weird. There are precisely three qualifications to be president. From Article II of the Constitution: No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall

Brexit Versus Texit

Andrew Gelman is right that potential Scottish independence comes at a cost of losing influence in the larger United Kingdom (UK). However, the political calculus is not quite as Gelman describes. Look at it this way. The UK has lost some influence in European political structures. First, the European Parliament (EC) is essentially a do-nothing body that nobody cares for. So losing influence there is no big deal. However, the British have also lost influence in the European Commission, where it is represented by an appointee of HM Government. And that’s a loss. The counter balance to this is not

Terrorism Policysplainer

As part of the ongoing national discussion about the events in Orlando, I noted on Facebook that the shooting may not be terrorism. And, rightly, someone asked a simple question: What are the alternatives to it being terrorism? Is it a hate crime? Almost 15 years after September 11th, it’s really hard for Americans to understand what is terrorism and what isn’t. The distinction is not so important in the aftermath, since terrorism and non-terrorism mass shootings are usually addressed the same way. Neutralize the perpetrator(s) and seek medical attention for the victims. We also address natural disasters in the

Cell Phones Still Don’t Cause Cancer

I was recently explaining to someone that cell phones do not cause cancer. Of course, then this study comes out last week saying otherwise. There’s a number of flaws with this study, starting with the fact it is not a study. Ars Technica has a great discussion of its problems here: Study that found cell phones cause cancer in rats is riddled with red flags Late last week, headlines blared that a new $25 million years-long US government study had finally found a clear connection between cellphone radiation and tumors in rats-striking fear in the hearts of gadget lovers worldwide.

Political Risk and Export Finance

Here’s a great article on export credit. Following the fight over the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which I discussed here in 2014, here in 2015, here again in 2015, and in The Conversation last year, the bank was reauthorized by Congress after a brief shutdown period. Elaine Pofeldt has a good article in Global Trade where she discussed Ex-Im, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and other export finance options. Predictably, I make an appearance discussing political risk. You can get the full article on Global Trade‘s website: Sharelines When credit insurance broker Joel Berman reached out to the