Third anniversary mailbag
Maryland Senate, the Duke of Honolulu, and the changing of minds
It’s not the third anniversary of the mailbag columns, but still — it’s been a thrilling three years running this site, and I always love answering your questions.
Some good stuff happening this week. A Thanksgiving dinner will cost less in 2023 than it did in 2022. US-China talks led to some agreement on renewables deployment. Brookline is going to allow more multifamily housing. Home sales are up in general. Wages have risen faster than prices since the pandemic, and inequality is down. The Consumer Price Index was flat in October, and the Producer Price Index was actually down.
I also wanted to flag a candidate of interest. Janelle Bynum is a member of the Oregon House who is running against Republican incumbent Lori Chavez-DeRemer for the OR-5 seat in congress. Bynum beat Chavez-DeRemer in two separate state legislative races, but Chavez-DeRemer was able to get into congress in 2022 after progressives knocked off the incumbent Democrat in a primary. I honestly did not love the incumbent Democrat in question, Kurt Schrader, but I’d much rather have had him than LCD, who’s replacement-level Republican. Bynum can win this seat. She’s endorsed by the UFCW, the Congressional Black Caucus, the New Democrats Caucus, and Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, and I’d consider throwing some money her way a good investment in factional partisanship.
Roberto: Thanksgiving (and a presidential election year) are upon us. Any advice on handling political / current event discussions at family gatherings? My typical approach recently is the WarGames strategy: the only way to win is to not play the game. I try not to take the bait from my conservative family members and steer conversation toward less charged topics. But while disengaging is probably best for my sanity, most of my family members seem to be (conservative-leaning) moderates in a key battleground state, and it can feel like I'm squandering an opportunity.
As a highly trained professional political pundit, I’m generally loathe to get involved in arguments with amateurs.
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