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Author: robert

Looking ahead to 2022 Senate Elections

Looking ahead to 2022 Senate Elections

Where’s the betting value? There are four months until the next set of US elections. And midterms – normally – are not kind to the incumbent party. And that’s in normal times: this time around, you have an unpopular President lacking his predecessor’s hard core of support, and an unprecedented cost of living increase. The House is near certain to fall to the Republicans. But the Senate could be different. There are four crucial races, three are Democrat defences, and…

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Ohio, Ohio, Ohio – Measuring Trump’s Chances

Ohio, Ohio, Ohio – Measuring Trump’s Chances

There is an election today, and it might be rather a consequential one. Yep: it’s the Republican Senate Primary in Ohio, and it’s going to give us an early glimpse into Trump’s ongoing popularity with ‘the base’. Because the three leading candidate represent the three different strands within the GOP: Firstly, there’s Trump (and family) themselves. This is represented by JD Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy author, Peter Thiel acolyte, and onetime never-Trumper. Well… he’s the thrown his lot in with…

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Should Some Groups Need to Pay to Vote?

Should Some Groups Need to Pay to Vote?

This sounds like a crazy question: but should the government introduce measures that require certain groups to pay if they wish to vote? One would hope that most people would answer “no”. But the reality is that requiring Photo ID is exactly the same as asking some people to pay to vote. Imagine two sets of queues at a polling station: one requires you to wait an hour in line, the other just 30 seconds. Now, allow people born between…

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And for election day – The Uncultured Mr Maslow

And for election day – The Uncultured Mr Maslow

Home ownership – the issue that could eventually bring the government down? So, in the good old days there was a Left Wing party (which emphasised government action to minimise income differentials) and a Right Wing party (who preferred a less active state). But then a few things changed. Firstly, there was a (perhaps temporary) consensus about economics and the role of the state. And then there was “the culture wars”. Simply, (and completely simplifying) this was the idea that…

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How Bad Is the French Vaccine Roll Out?

How Bad Is the French Vaccine Roll Out?

The perception and the reality France – the country of Pasteur, Marie Curie, Descartes, and Pascal – has a problem with vaccine hesitancy. Their own President, in a bizarre moment of self-harm, decided to declare the Oxford/Astra-Zeneca vaccine as “quasi-ineffective” for older people. Add this to long-standing issues with skepticism about vaccines generally, and you have a recipe for a country that is going to struggle to get jabs into arms – potentially resulting in France never being truly free…

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From Absence to Shortage to Glut – Covid 19 Vaccines in Just Nine Months

From Absence to Shortage to Glut – Covid 19 Vaccines in Just Nine Months

Pic YouTube The COVID equivalent of the WW2 Manhatten Project Just fourteen weeks ago, at the beginning of November, there was scepticism from many about whether a Covid vaccine would be possible, even given the low bar (50% efficacy against moderate symptoms) set by the World Health Organisation and the FDA. And even if one of the vaccine candidates did work, could it be produced in volume? Since then, we have seen a few things happen in vaccine land. The…

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The Future Now – the biggest impact of COVID

The Future Now – the biggest impact of COVID

Arguably the most significant science development of the last half century It’s always hard to know how the future will judge the present. Events which utterly dominated government policy and public discourse can be forgotten in a matter of years. Other events were passed by almost unnoticed at the time, and yet – in retrospect – seem incredibly important. So, here goes. 2020 and 2021 will be seen as a turning point. They will be considered watershed years: Before CV…

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Some Predictions For 2021

Some Predictions For 2021

(This is the first of several posts this week in which prominent PBers give their predictions for the New Year – if you would like to join them please get in touch – MS) I think sometimes one needs to take a step back and make some reasonably wild predictions. Now, I doubt all, most, or perhaps any of these will come true. But that’s not necessarily the point. These are to stimulate debate, and hopefully I’ll get bragging rights…

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