Human beings differ in how much risk they will accept. Thus, as an analyst I quoted in a recent column concluded, Russian President Vladimir Putin "was too risk-acceptant" in invading Ukraine and Chinese leader Xi Jinping "has been too risk-averse" in imposing "zero-COVID" lockdowns.
States are set to vote on a range of measures dealing with abortion, elections, marijuana, and more.
KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE
— As happens every 2 years, voters across the country find a variety of ballot measures to vote on in 2022.
— The most closely watched issues will include abortion, with 3 states voting on protecting abortion rights and 2 others considering whether to impose limitations on abortion; election administration, including efforts to both expand and tighten voting rules; policy toward immigrants; and further expansion of legalized recreational marijuana.
When new British Prime Minister Liz Truss suggested lowering the United Kingdom's highest tax rate from 45% to 40%, along with a 1% reduction in the income tax rate for all taxpayers, the bond markets and the central bankers around the world went stark raving mad.
Will 2022 turn out be a hinge year, as a moment when long-standing trends in geopolitics suddenly shifted in a different direction? This week, two important writers, one a long-established and prolific historian, the other a provocative presence on the internet, have argued persuasively that the answer is yes. But there's one other interesting point in common: Neither sees the United States as having played a decisive role in the sudden shift.
What we learned watching more than 300 campaign ads released in the second half of September.
KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE
— To get a flavor of the 2022 ad messages from both sides, we watched nearly 350 campaign ads that came out in the second half of September.
— Abortion dominates Democratic messaging, while Republicans are much less likely to mention it. Crime has become a huge focus for Republicans, with Democrats trying to inoculate themselves by featuring law enforcement officers in their ads.
— Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are frequently cited in Republican attack ads, but other politicians make cameos in ads not directly related to their states/districts.
In just the last few weeks, Liz Truss, Britain's new prime minister, has been denounced by critics as a "fascist." So has Giorgia Meloni, Italy's newly elected prime minister. Along with all Republicans in Congress, Texas and Florida GOP Govs. Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis and, of course, former President Donald Trump. Every one of the tens of thousands of "MAGA Republicans" who attend Trump rallies, too.
In a Kremlin speech last week, President Vladimir Putin identified Russia's real "enemy" in Ukraine as "the ruling circles of the so-called West" whose "hegemony has a pronounced character of totalitarianism, despotism and apartheid."
Over the last three months, political journalists have been reporting a trend toward Democrats. The Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade, they have reported, has provided increased motivation for Democrats to turn out and vote. The easing of gas prices from their springtime peak has reduced concern about out-of-control inflation. Biden administration legislative victories have raised Democrats' morale.
— The spending decisions by big outside House groups can inform us about the most competitive House races.
— So far, outside groups have spent money in 57 House districts. The lion’s share of those districts that have seen spending are held by Democrats, indicating that Democrats are playing significantly more defense than Republicans.
— The vast majority of the districts we rate as the most competitive — those in the Toss-up or Leans categories — have seen at least some outside spending so far.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the praise pouring in from almost all quarters for her 70 years of service make a powerful case, even for small-r republican and small-d democratic Americans, for the institution of constitutional monarchy. There is much to be said for having a head of state who is politically neutral, culturally traditional but open to popular innovation, personally embodying the traditional strengths of a nation.