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On Welcome To The New American Housing Bubble (In Coastal Elite Cities)

@Ken Layne You're right - this will sound like a joke, but I am being serious when I say you can never discount the possibility of a plague.

I wonder whether SF's satellite cities, either on the peninsula or even over in Berkeley and Oakland, will take the limited housing supply seriously. People mostly hate tall buildings, but it wouldn't Manhattanize Oakland to build some six-story apartment buildings where there are now none. And they are so desperately needed.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm 0

On Welcome To The New American Housing Bubble (In Coastal Elite Cities)

@Jane Donuts Never say never, but I kind of think that core cities like SF and Manhattan aren't going to either 1) build a ton of new homes or 2) suffer a sudden and calamitous increase in crime and decrease in capital that drives all the rich people out, so we are probably stuck with high housing prices in those places for the time being.

In the far flung future, when SF is a cultural backwater and Jakarta is the hub of all things cool and happening, maybe we can have reasonable housing prices again.

Edit: comments do not apply to LA, which I know nothing about.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm 1

On Republican Senator Now Supports Gay Marriage

I am so glad this Senator has learned how to empathize with his very own son.

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm 4

On Sorry, Rand Paul: The Drones Are Here To Stay

Re: capturing people rather than bombing them, one suspicion bouncing around the law blogs is that the shift to kill lists was a result of courts pushing back on Gitmo and other kinds of indefinite detention. That is, that we now kill people with drones or Navy Seals because it is less visible and harder to challenge legally than it is to hold a purported terrorist somewhere.

If that's true, even as non-lethal weapons technology advances, kill lists would not go away.

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm 0

On White Conservatives On Supreme Court Wondering Whether We Need Laws That Allow Black People To Vote For Democrats

@rcr It's Brian Lammon, "What we talk about when we talk about ideology," 83 St. John's Law Review 1 (Winter 2009). I posted that one both because I was able to find it online quickly and because it pushes back a little on the hard legal realism - it says, sure, the human factor matters a lot in judicial decision-making, but does that mean it's politics all the way down? And the author kind of problematizes this in a smart way. I actually disagree with the author's thesis that the human factor is more idiosyncratic (Judge X didn't eat lunch today and he's grumpy) than political (Judge X is a conservative and hates flag-burning), but I thought he gave a pretty fair presentation of the subject generally.

There's also a ton of citations to other empirical studies showing "bias" in judicial decision-making so you can use this article as a jumping off point if you're interested in the subject.

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm 0

On White Conservatives On Supreme Court Wondering Whether We Need Laws That Allow Black People To Vote For Democrats

@barnhouse This is way off topic now and I hesitate even to bring it up for fear of fanning the flames, but I think it's rarely useful to talk about who is and isn't "a racist" as opposed to whether some statement is racist or plays into a larger racist narrative. Jay Smooth lays it out well, I think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Ti-gkJiXc

So just to be clear, I think Ken Layne is probably an awesome dude and not secretly a Klansman or something, and at the same time I believe that it's kinda racist to say that Thomas has four white bosses who tell him how to vote rather than stating that he's a shitheel and an oppressor on his own terms.

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm 3

On White Conservatives On Supreme Court Wondering Whether We Need Laws That Allow Black People To Vote For Democrats

@deepomega @deepomega Eh - it is important for judges and lawyers to take legal argumentation seriously because stringing together words in a plausibly consistent way is the source of their (our) power, but everyone knows that politics and other human factors play an outsized role in judicial decision-making. It's pretty well-studied (an example, which provides lots of citations to other similar articles in the field: http://scholarship.law.stjohns.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1068&cs).

It is needlessly naive for someone whose life is not bound up directly in the administration of law to pretend that law and politics are separate.

With that said, it is true that calling Thomas a puppet of Scalia is both factually wrong and kinda racist.

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm 1

On Ask Polly: My Roommate's Boyfriend Is Twice Our Age And Practically Lives with Us!

@Smedley T Age is not always a good indicator of maturity, wisdom, or experience, but the trend over time is that an individual will accrue these things (we hope!) and be better than he was before. The reason age is relevant is that if a guy hasn't become a relatively stable human being over two decades into adulthood, there's not much hope for him in the future. In contrast, an 18 year old doesn't know anything, and that's sort of OK. He'll learn (we hope!).

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm 0

On What Exactly Does New York City Offer Tech Startups Besides High Taxes?

When I read the title I was all, "uh oh, Choire is going to use the RAW POLITICAL CLOUT OF THE AWL to get a bunch of subsidies!" but these are some good ideas, especially on pooling payroll services, various insurance services and helping administer health care. That would probably keep costs down and make everyone's life easier.

Supposedly once the dread Obamacare exchange is up and running, it should make administering health care for your employees way easier. We'll see.

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm 0

On The Postal Service, "A Tattered Line of String"

This new track is more upbeat than I remember 2003 Postal Service being.

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm 0