The Convert

Source: Notes From The MiddleGround
by Damon Linker

“It can be a comfort and consolation to believe one’s political opponents don’t really mean what they say. They’re liars. Hypocrites. Shameless opportunists who will say and do anything to gain power. It’s impossible to take them seriously. So it’s been with the reaction of Democrats to news that the Republican nominee Donald Trump has chosen Ohio Senator JD Vance as his running mate. Because Vance was once a ferocious Trump critic and changed his views around the time he launched his Senate campaign in 2021, it’s easy to conclude that everything he’s said and done since then has been a cynical ruse. He’s just saying what he thinks he must in order to get ahead in a Trumpified GOP. None of it’s real. He’s faking it from top to bottom. I think that’s wrong — and Democrats affirm it at their peril.” (07/17/24)

The Coming Coeval Age

Source: Isonomia Quarterly
by JN Nielsen

“Of the many scenarios we can entertain for the future of civilization, the most expansive is that which projects human civilization onto the cosmos at large, with humanity building new settlements for itself in far flung outposts of the solar system, then other stars, and even other galaxies. A macro-civilizational expansion in which civilization itself will be iterated on other worlds in other planetary systems with no prior human history would constitute a pristine re-founding of civilization with each new settlement established, whether on another world, or some artificial construction in space. What happens to a civilization when it distributes itself on a cosmological scale? How must its institutions adapt to cosmological expansion?” (07/17/24)

Investors are Not to Blame for the Priciest Housing in History

Source: American Institute
by Joel Griffith

“As the housing affordability crisis drags on, politicians and pundits are increasingly blaming investors for the rise in prices and dearth of supply. This misdiagnosis, though, threatens to exacerbate the crisis while ignoring the root causes: federal mortgage subsidies, interest rate manipulation, central bank MBS purchases, rising construction costs, and local land-use restrictions.” (07/17/24)

Federalism Could Heal a Divided Nation

Source: Reason
by JD Tuccille

“Anybody expecting politicians’ empty promises that they’ll savage one another more politely in the future to settle the country’s tensions is dreaming. Vicious rhetoric by candidates may fan the flames of political hatred, recently fueling the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. But those flames were lit long ago. To damp those fires, the best way to reduce the likelihood of Americans with opposing views battling for political control is to reduce the power of government — starting with the feds.” (07/17/24)

Schiff calls on Biden to exit presidential race

Source: The Hill

“Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) on Wednesday became one of the most prominent and high-ranking Democrats to call for President Biden to withdraw from the presidential race. Schiff, who is running for California Senate, said in a statement first reported by the Los Angeles Times that while Biden ‘has been one of the most consequential presidents in our nation’s history,’ he noted that ‘our nation is at a crossroads.’ ‘A second Trump presidency will undermine the very foundation of our democracy, and I have serious concerns about whether the President can defeat Donald Trump in November,’ he explained. ‘While the choice to withdraw from the campaign is President Biden’s alone, I believe it is time for him to pass the torch,’ he continued.” (07/17/24)

The Infinitely Plastic J.D. Vance

Source: The Dispatch
by Kevin D Williamson

“Whatever one makes of Vance as a potential future president, he is nonpareil as a candidate for the vice presidency. He has no legislative record to speak of, and — if we can set aside the fact that he once very publicly held the view that Donald Trump is an amoral lunatic utterly unfit for office — his rhetorical record isn’t much trouble, either. Not that he hasn’t said a lot of outrageous and stupid things. … But nobody takes anything he says seriously — he is so transparently a man who will say whatever his betters require him to say to get what he wants from them. Telling people with money and power what they want to hear is the only consistent throughline in his career, from Hillbilly Elegy to the present day.” (07/17/24)

US mortgage refinance demand jumps to two-year high as interest rates drop

Source: CNBC

“Mortgage rates dropped to the lowest level since March last week, sparking swift demand in refinancing. Homebuyers, however, seemed unimpressed. Applications to refinance a home loan jumped 15% last week, compared with the previous week, to the highest level since August 2022, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Demand was 37% higher than the same week one year ago when mortgage rates were exactly the same. While the increase last week was large, it is coming off a very small base. Refinance demand is still more than 70% lower than it was in early 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.” (07/17/24)