Quick Takes

* If you love charts, you’ll want to check out Steven Rattner’s 2015: The Year in Charts.

* Kevin Drum highlights one chart from the above collection to demonstrate that “we are astonishingly safe from terrorism.”

* Today marks another milestone in the end of the Ebola epidemic.

Guinea has been declared free from transmission of Ebola, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, marking a milestone for the West African country where the original Ebola chain of transmission began two years ago leading to the largest epidemic in history.

* Whenever Paul Krugman, Steve Benen and Kevin Drum talk about the same thing, it’s worth paying attention. It all starts with this chart from Krugman comparing the employment numbers for Bush and Obama.

Drum adds that “Obama’s economic performance is even better than it looks.” Here’s how Benen summarizes:

…the closer one looks, the more extraordinary the last few years appear. Sure, Bush inherited a mild economic downturn, but he was able to implement the economic agenda he believed would work. It didn’t. Obama, on the other hand, inherited the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression, had to overcome spending cuts and a shrinking public sector, and still managed to turn the private-sector job market around while cutting the unemployment rate from 10% to 5%.

* Next week workers in these 14 states will get a higher minimum wage:

Alaska, from $8.75 to $9.75
Arkansas, $7.50 to $8.00
California, $9.00 to $10.00
Colorado, $8.23 to $8.31
Connecticut, $9.15 to $9.60
Hawaii, $7.75 to $8.50
Massachusetts, $9.00 to $10.00
Michigan, $8.15 to $8.50
Nebraska, $8.00 to $9.00
New York, $8.75 to $9.00 (as of 12/31/15, fast food excepted)
Rhode Island, $9.00 to $9.60
South Dakota, $8.50 to $8.55
Vermont, $9.15 to $9.60
West Virginia, $8.00 to $8.75 (as of 12/31/15)

* Finally, this from Anand Giridharadas wins my vote for tweet of the day:

If you appreciate the news and views we bring you every day, please click on the banner below and make a tax deductible contribution to the Washington Monthly. Thanks!

Donate Now

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.