Two pieces of good economic news this morning. One is a fall of 6,000 in the initial jobless claims number. This is a noisy series, but it's been on an improving trajectory for months. The labor market is—very slowly—improving.
The other is that the trade deficit narrowed in June on the basis of higher exports and fewer oil imports. I don't fully understand the political economy of this, but U.S. elites seem friendlier to the idea of an export boom than a residential construction boom or a provision of public services boom so any good news on the trade front is less likely to get stomped on by the Fed than other possible forms of good news.
TODAY IN SLATE
Scalia’s Liberal Streak
The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.
Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters
There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?
The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”
The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B
Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey
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The Other Huxtable Effect
Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.