October 2, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 6:28 PM


Federal Court Halts Trump's Ban on Nonimmigrant Visas (Peter Margulies, October 2, 2020, Lawfare)

In an important ruling on Oct. 1, Judge Jeffrey White of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against President Trump's nonimmigrant visa ban (NIV ban). 

The ban would have suspended visas for many temporary skilled workers and their families, regardless of their country of origin. White's ruling in National Association of Manufacturers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security means that the National Association of Manufacturers and members of other groups that challenged the ban can continue to benefit from skilled temporary foreign national workers who also aid the U.S. economy. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:53 PM


As Biden's election odds improve, the Russian ruble sinks (NATASHA DOFF AND BLOOMBERG October 2, 2020)

A slump in the currency in recent months has mirrored rising betting odds of Biden beating Trump on Nov. 3. After two days of gains, the ruble sank the most in emerging markets on Friday on news that the president had contracted the coronavirus.

The market is predicting a Democrat in the White House will more likely impose harsher sanctions on Russia, and the risk of such penalties might increase if the Kremlin tries to interfere in the vote to prevent a Biden victory.

The trend is the opposite of 2016, when the Russian currency appreciated as Trump gained in the polls.

Posted by orrinj at 11:42 AM


Tesla sales surge as global demand picks up speed (The Associated Press, October 2, 2020)
Tesla's third-quarter sales jumped 44% as global demand for its electric vehicles outpaced that of most other automakers.

Posted by orrinj at 10:53 AM


No, Debt Is Not at Scary Levels Right Now (Kevin Drum, 10/01/20, MoJo)

In the case of both corporate and household debt, it doesn't do to just show raw levels or BBB bond issuance or median income. The simplest view is to look at total debt as a percentage of something that accounts for the fact that everything is growing, not just debt. In the case of corporations, debt-to-equity levels are the usual way of gauging things. In the case of households, debt as a percentage of income is the most revealing. Both are at historically low levels.

Posted by orrinj at 10:23 AM


Posted by orrinj at 10:17 AM


Democrats Are Moving Fast on the Filibuster. Biden Isn't Yet. Nearly everything they want to achieve hinges on a step their candidate may not take. (Gabriel Debenedetti, 10/01/20, New York)

Since the pandemic shut down the country this spring, Joe Biden has repeatedly invoked a vision for his presidency as a New Deal-size national rejuvenation project, with himself playing the unlikely role of FDR. Again and again, to the applause of liberals and leftists who long viewed him skeptically, he has promised an administration that, fully realized, would be the most progressive in decades: trillions more in coronavirus stimulus spending, a climate plan backed by the authors of the Green New Deal, and perhaps even a public-health-insurance option. But he may also be one of the few remaining members of that progressive coalition in D.C. who think an agenda like that could be passed without first quickly abolishing the legislative filibuster. At the very least, he wants to try and work with post-Donald Trump Republicans first, before his party moves to strip the Senate minority of the ability to effectively veto legislation. Many liberals fret that even if Biden wins and Democrats take back the Senate, he won't have that luxury -- that he would have to make a choice early in his presidency whether to embark on a truly expansive administration that stretches the landscape of legislative possibility, or a restorationist one, which rebuilds self-restricting norms after Trump's destruction. Having it both ways is a way of achieving neither, they worry. But that concern is unlikely to stop Biden -- who still considers himself a consummate man of the Senate whose 36 years in the chamber give him unparalleled knowledge of its inner workings -- from trying. "We can do a great deal if we just start talking to one another," he said on a private Zoom call with 20 donors in mid-July. "Politics has become so dirty, so mean, so personal, it's hard to get anything done."

The most likely scenario for getting rid of the filibuster is not just general Republican obstructionism but Justic Barrett providing the vote to eliminate Obamacare.  at that point, Democrats can just get rid of the filibuster and pass a Democratic bill to replace Obama's Republican one.

Obviously, it would be better for at least a faction of the Senate GOP to participate in helping Uncle Joe legislate.