Filibusters: Hot topic in D.C., obscure or mysterious elsewhere
From the fervid coverage in the national press, replete with terms like “nuclear option,” “meltdown” and “showdown,” you might think the country is riveted to the clash between Senate Democrats and Republicans over filibuster rules. But with the two sides set to gather tonight in the ceremonial Old Senate Chamber in a last-ditch effort at […]
Chart of the Week: The wide world of bribery
Every year, Transparency International asks people around the world about their experiences with public corruption — more than 114,000 in 107 countries for their latest “Global Corruption Barometer.” The map below depicts the percentage of people in each of the surveyed countries who reported paying a bribe sometime in the past 12 months to any […]
Partner? Rival? For many in U.S., China is both
More than half of Americans say it’s very important to be “tough” with China on economic and trade issues — about as many who say “building a strong relationship” with China is very important.
New capital rules require U.S. banks to fatten their wallets
Banks are going to have to hold more capital as a cushion against losses, under new rules adopted today by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Federal Reserve Board, which developed the rules jointly with the other banking regulators, approved them last week. The new capital rules, intended […]
Averages, medians and unemployment: Parsing the numbers
Every month when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its jobs report, people home in on one particular metric: the unemployment rate. But there are a lot of other interesting and potentially significant data in the report, though interpreting them appropriately can be tricky. Take, for example, the duration of unemployment. There’s little doubt that more […]
Egypt’s apparent coup would be first of 2013, as takeovers become less common worldwide
Wednesday’s apparent coup in Egypt, which seems to have ousted President Mohamed Morsi, would be the first of 2013. It is also a reminder that coups are less common methods of regime change than they used to be. According to the Vienna, Va.-based Center for Systemic Peace, which maintains extensive databases on various forms of armed […]
As it turns 6, a look at who uses the iPhone (no, not ’everybody’)
As Apple’s iPhone celebrates its sixth(!) birthday today, the pioneering smartphone has carved out a solid market position, and a demographically distinctive user base, within the ever-expanding world of smartphones (which, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, more than half of Americans now own). The iPhone is, along with Google’s Android, […]
Chart of the Week: Supreme Court justices — who agrees with whom?
It’s one thing to talk about voting blocs on the Supreme Court — four conservative justices, four moderate-to-liberal ones and Anthony Kennedy in between, swinging back and forth like a pendulum. It’s another to see the actual voting patterns at work.
Most Americans agree on immigration-reform approach, but differ on timing
Three-quarters of Americans believe any legislation allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for legal status also should provide for increased border security.
How many same-sex marriages in the U.S.? At least 71,165, probably more
Today, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act’s key section, which prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages and denied same-sex couples who were married under state law a panoply of federal benefits — from favorable tax treatment to the ability to be buried together in veterans’ cemeteries — that are available to […]