Ten Miles Square

March 2012 Archives

March 30, 2012 1:15 PM "Even Ronald Reagan"?

Yes, I know that GOP Reagan worship is strong, but really -- do Republicans now simply assume that Ronald Reagan was the Greatest President Ever? Really? I ask, because (via...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 30, 2012 1:05 PM The Aging Problem

If you’ve read Albert Brooks’ 2030 (or even if you haven’t), you might be concerned about what an aging population means for America’s future. If so, Henry Aaron’s Longer life...

By Austin Frakt

March 30, 2012 1:00 PM Politics Everywhere British Edition: Tasty Snacks and Class Warfare

From the NY Times: A sales tax of 20 percent on pasties and other takeout snacks…. announced last week as part of the government’s austerity budget, was aimed at closing...

By Joshua Tucker

March 30, 2012 12:54 PM Pay for Performance Fail

Long time readers of the blog know of my skepticism for “pay for performance”. That’s not because I take issue with the defining principle; it’s because I think that we...

By Aaron Carroll

March 30, 2012 8:19 AM How Ralph Nader’s Sins Set Trayvon Martin’s Killer Free

Oh, Ralph. If Ralph Nader hadn’t gotten under Lewis Powell’s skin, we wouldn’t be having these arguments over whether the individual mandate in Obamacare is unconstitutional. And “stand your ground”...

By Jonathan Alter

March 29, 2012 11:38 AM Predicting the Health Care Decision from the Oral Arguments

This is from political scientist Michael Evans, and was originally posted to a law and courts listserv.  I thank him for sending it along: ***** I was curious about the...

By John Sides

March 29, 2012 9:25 AM This Is Still Not a Game

I still remember the day after the public option was finally pulled from the bill that would someday become the Affordable Care Act. One of my conservative friends (I have...

By Aaron Carroll

March 29, 2012 8:21 AM A Technological Fix for Meth Labs?

Again this year, the cold medicine industry was the number one lobbyist in all the state legislatures that considered making pseudoephedrine-containing products available by prescription only. They won in every...

By Keith Humphreys

March 29, 2012 7:00 AM Individual Mandate Is Ryan Tax Credit by Other Name

Of all the arguments being waged over the Affordable Care Act -- or, as the Obama campaign now likes to refer to it, “Obamacare” -- the one dominating the Supreme...

By Ezra Klein

March 28, 2012 1:14 PM Do Oral Arguments Affect Supreme Court Justices? A Reprise.

Ezra Klein: Either way, it seems unlikely today’s oral arguments will dislodge the justice’s conclusions. Indeed, it would seem faintly ridiculous, and possibly even irresponsible, for the justices to permit...

By John Sides

March 28, 2012 1:09 PM Your Restrained, Non-Activist Conservative Jurisprudence

From Jon Cohn’s report: Alito seemed particularly concerned that, because of the mandate, young, healthy people would have to pay more for their insurance, because they would effectively be subsidizing...

By Jonathan Zasloff

March 28, 2012 1:00 PM Honest and Dishonest Arguments for Marijuana Legalization

Mike Riggs of Reason magazine supports marijuana legalization but has the guts to point out that three common arguments for legalization are fallacious. He is getting blowback from those activists...

By Keith Humphreys

March 28, 2012 10:04 AM One More Reason Why Justice Scalia Is an Oxymoron

From the Associated Press (h/t Andrew Sullivan): “If the government can do that, what else can it do?” asked Justice Antonin Scalia, referring to the individual mandate portion of the...

By Jonathan Zasloff

March 27, 2012 1:10 PM When Is a Tax Not a Tax?

Well, when a politically ambitious appellate judge wants to avoid getting himself in trouble.As Ed Kilgore pointed out, SCOTUSBlog makes it clear that the Supremes might not even consider the...

By Jonathan Zasloff

March 27, 2012 1:00 PM Why Does the U.S. Lack Openly Partisan National News Media?

I have been puzzling over a difference between the news media in the U.K. and U.S. Having not come to a satisfactory answer in my own mind, I hereby throw...

By Keith Humphreys

March 27, 2012 12:53 PM Mortality

The Determinants of Mortality (ungated pdf), by David Cutler, Angus Deaton, and Adriana Lleras-Muney is worth a full read. Here are some teasers. For most of human history, life was...

By Austin Frakt

March 27, 2012 12:48 PM Think Twice about that Financial Advisor

Suppose you are in business offering people advice about some important products. You have a problem, though. The correct advice pretty much fits on a single sheet of paper that...

By Harold Pollack

March 27, 2012 10:04 AM Obamacare is Unconstitutional? Now They Tell Us

Supreme Court justices, like anyone else, sometimes change their minds. True, there is stare decisis, the principle that they shouldn’t change their minds too often. Reason: If you expect citizens...

By Michael Kinsley

March 27, 2012 10:01 AM "Obamacare"?

I've been calling the health care reform bill passed in 2010 and being argued in the Supreme Court this week "ACA" because I've thought it was the most neutral term....

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 27, 2012 8:09 AM The Supreme Court, Health Care Reform, and Electoral Politics

Last week I participated in a roundtable that on these issues, along with other GW faculty from public health and law—Sara Rosenbaum, Peter Smith, and Katherine Hayes—as well as former...

By John Sides

March 26, 2012 11:50 AM Health Reform: Still the Best-Covered Social Policy Story, Ever

Two years ago, I put myself in hot water by making the simple (admittedly somewhat hyperbolic) claim: Because it is so easy to find bad reporting and public stupidity, it...

By Harold Pollack

March 26, 2012 11:45 AM Yellow-Brick-Road Dep’t

Dick Cheney has received a heart.In related news, George W. Bush will be given a brain.Mitt Romney’s request for some courage has been taken under advisement. [Cross-posted at The Reality-Based...

By Mark Kleiman

March 26, 2012 11:30 AM Maybe It Would Be Better to Be Forgotten By Posterity

I am fortunate enough to have known a number of eminent people. I am unfortunate enough that some of them are no longer living. The death of James Q. Wilson,...

By Keith Humphreys

March 26, 2012 11:19 AM Traffic Circles, Roundabouts, Rotaries

Last fall the Economist had a short feature on traffic circles that I only noticed today. I was about to riff on how wonderful they are, and how underused in...

By Michael O'Hare

March 26, 2012 10:39 AM Voting Patterns of America’s Whites, from the Masses to the Elites

Within any education category, richer people vote more Republican. In contrast, the pattern of education and voting is nonlinear. High school graduates are more Republican than non-HS grads, but after...

By Andrew Gelman

March 26, 2012 9:12 AM Same Old Story on Political Leanings

In a review of psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s recent book, “The Righteous Mind,” William Saletan writes: You’re smart. You’re liberal. You’re well informed. You think conservatives are narrow-minded. You can’t understand...

By Andrew Gelman

March 26, 2012 8:46 AM Coups and Democracy

The coup in Mali is widely seen as a major setback for democracy, not just in Mali but potentially in the region as a whole. Coups are indeed the single most...

By Erik Voeten

March 25, 2012 7:13 PM Campaigns Matter More in Primaries

I've been mostly quiet about the big Etch-a-Sketch thing -- which is just as well, because all you want to know about it can be found in a great Brendan...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 25, 2012 4:57 PM Obamaville

No doubt inspired by the apparent success of The Hunger Games, the dystopian science fiction drama released nationally today, the Santorum campaign has produced this new web video about America...

By Daniel Luzer

March 25, 2012 12:03 PM Mitt’s Etch-a-Sketch

From cartoonist Ted McCagg: [Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]...

By Joshua Tucker

March 24, 2012 10:25 PM Tips for Vetting Veeps

The NYT's Richard Stevenson reports that Republicans are considering actually vetting their VP candidate this time around. It's sort of amazing how many duds they've had (I don't know how...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 23, 2012 6:15 PM How to Get Ahead in China’s Communist Party

Last week, the National Congress of the Communist Party of China  (CCP) removed an important provincial party secretary from office, stirring unrest in China and even suggestions that a coup is...

By Erik Voeten

March 23, 2012 11:57 AM Too Old to Get Hired, Too Young to Retire

A friend of mine had his name in the paper the other day. It was an article speculating about who might inherit a prestigious post in the literary world when...

By Michael Kinsley

March 23, 2012 11:39 AM Titles

Did you see that the airport in Little Rock is being named after Bill and Hillary Clinton? Putting aside the obvious jokes (which I made on twitter yesterday, but it...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 23, 2012 11:30 AM Distorting Obama’s Record on Addiction Treatment

When a particular viewpoint becomes de rigueur among the chattering classes, journalists sometimes become lazy about subjecting that viewpoint to careful analysis. For example, the posh view now is that...

By Keith Humphreys

March 23, 2012 8:08 AM The Obama Administration Goes All In On Health Care Reform

I’ve long argued that the nightmare scenario for the insurance companies is that the mandate gets struck down, but the rest of the law stands. After all, if we force...

By Aaron Carroll

March 22, 2012 6:50 PM Health Care Productivity

This week I’ll return to a paper by David Cutler, about which I’ve blogged before: Where Are The Health Care Entrepreneurs? The Failure of Organizational Innovation in Health Care [1]....

By Austin Frakt

March 22, 2012 6:47 PM Would an “Etch-a-Sketch” Attack Actually Work?

Brendan Nyhan concludes a great post on the Etch-a-Sketch comment by saying: We’re currently 158 days from the Republican convention, and “Etch a Sketch-gate” will likely prove to be just...

By John Sides

March 22, 2012 11:59 AM Illinois and No More Nightmares for Mitt

I didn't write an Illinois wrap, but I realized now as I read Steve Kornacki's post on Rick Santorum's remaining options and a tweet from Harry Enten that I really did,...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 22, 2012 11:24 AM Republican Primary Voters Embrace Government. No, Really.

Paul Ryan’s budget would cut a lot of government spending.  It would cut entitlement spending.  It would cut aid to the poor, transportation, education, veterans benefits, and scientific research.  There...

By John Sides

March 22, 2012 10:29 AM Ryan Plan May Lead to Single-Payer Health Care

Let’s play a game: I’ll describe a health-care bill to you. Then you tell me if I’m describing President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act or the budget released this week...

By Ezra Klein

March 22, 2012 8:13 AM Stephen J. Dubner: My Part in his Upfall

So it appears that Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics is upset at various critics. He is deeply unhappy with Andrew Gelman and Kaiser Fung, for having written what appeared...

By Henry Farrell

March 21, 2012 12:00 PM There Oughtta Be a Law

“There has always been something uniquely brilliant about America,” said Mitt Romney at the University of Chicago yesterday. “I don’t believe this president understands this fundamental secret of America. And...

By Jamie Malanowski

March 21, 2012 11:55 AM Binding?

I want to go back again to the question of whether delegates are bound or not, and why and how it matters. Josh Putnam had a very good post recently...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 21, 2012 11:34 AM Why Are Primary Doctors Thinking about Leaving Medicine?

I spend a lot of time with physicians. As a group, they sure do like to complain. Yet, medical school applications are strong, and residency spots are still competitive. So...

By Aaron Carroll

March 21, 2012 11:30 AM The Real Problem with the Ryan Budget

I recently looked at Paul Ryan's FY 2013 budget rollout. Unlike those who emphasize the budget's conservative slant, my sense is that the key thing this year (as last) is...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 21, 2012 11:25 AM Integrity, in Germany and Russia

Joachim Gauck has been elected President of Germany. Very much against Angela Merkel’s wishes, but the two previous Presidents, unremarkable warhorses from her own CDU party, both resigned in disgrace...

By James Wimberley

March 21, 2012 11:24 AM The Case Against Smart Sanctions

Much hope is vested in the ability of so-called smart sanctions to convince Iranian authorities to abandon their nuclear ambitions and to persuade Syrian authorities to step aside and stop...

By Erik Voeten

March 20, 2012 12:50 PM Maybe “The Big Sort” Never Happened

Many readers will remember the book The Big Sort by Bill Bishop.  It argues that Americans are increasingly clustered in like-minded political communities.  If one categorizes a county by how...

By John Sides

March 20, 2012 12:30 PM David Frum Embraces Anti-Zionism

In a piece that seems to have created something of a firestorm, Peter Beinart calls for a boycott of Israeli goods produced in the occupied territories. I admit that Beinart’s...

By Jonathan Zasloff

March 20, 2012 12:11 PM Learning from the Hungarians: Why Santorum and Gingrich Need Each Other in the Race, and How They Can Best Take Advantage of this Situation

Following the Illinois primary, I assume there will be renewed calls for one of Santorum or Gingrich (and most likely the latter) to drop out of the race* in order...

By Joshua Tucker

March 20, 2012 12:00 PM Wealth, Virtue, and Political Status

Alec MacGillis’s article on why hedge fund managers have turned fiercely against President Obama has deservedly gotten a lot of attention (see the commentary from Rich Yeselson). I take MacGillis’...

By Andrew Sabl

March 20, 2012 11:40 AM The Deadlocked Convention Fantasy

I usually think that Jeff Zeleny at the NYT does a good job, but the Page 1 story he and Jim Rutenberg wrote about the possibility of a contested convention...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 20, 2012 10:40 AM Puerto Rico

Well, that was decisive, no? Mitt Romney gets about 83% of the vote to sweep all 20 delegates from Puerto Rico. Overkill: he only needed to break 50% to get it....

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 20, 2012 10:00 AM C-SPAN World

Brian Lamb is stepping down from heading C-SPAN, which he founded 33 years ago. You don't need me to tell you how wonderful C-SPAN is. But it's worth remembering that...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 20, 2012 9:00 AM Will Technology Undermine “The Knowledge”?

I have ridden in London cabs countless times, but yesterday I had an unprecedented experience. I clambered into a black taxi and told the driver my address. After some blocks...

By Keith Humphreys

March 19, 2012 12:00 PM Getting Gas Prices Right

I just wanted to highlight this New York Times article by Binyamin Applebaum about the political impact of gas prices.  It’s a very judicious take on the available evidence—one that...

By John Sides

March 19, 2012 11:03 AM Why Blame Congress?

The answer, of course, is that Congress is unpopular. However, just because everyone hates Congress, that doesn't mean that Congress is to blame for everything. I'm responding here to a...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 19, 2012 10:55 AM Pity the Plastic Surgeon

At the dining table next to mine, the evening got off to a terrible start. The two women were evidently friends, and had each brought a male date. After drinks...

By Keith Humphreys

March 19, 2012 10:19 AM Employment-Based Health Insurance Coverage Has Been Eroding for Some Time

Yesterday I read Paul Krugman’s post on Reed Ableson’s post on the recent study showing that employment-based coverage is eroding, and quickly: What this says is that the system that...

By Aaron Carroll

March 19, 2012 9:45 AM The Computer Game Takeover

Why a computer or anyone behaving like one will never conquer the world. (We always have Calvinball.) [Cross-posted at The Incidental Economist]...

By Austin Frakt

March 19, 2012 8:31 AM The Rights of Polar Bears

In what I named the “dumbest blog post of 2011“, economist Karl Smith conceded that There will be large environmental costs associated with climate change includ[ing] a very rapid increase...

By James Wimberley

March 16, 2012 11:03 AM National Public Radio: The Facts and the Truth

NPR has changed its rules for journalists [HTs and more discussion: Daily Kos, James Fallows] from reporting “both sides” of any issue to including expert judgment about the sides’ relative...

By Michael O'Hare

March 16, 2012 10:56 AM The Catholic Church's Strange Politics

Although I disagree with it on specifics, I have always respected the Roman Catholic Church’s position that its social teachings are a “seamless garment” — that is, it focuses on...

By Jonathan Zasloff

March 16, 2012 10:00 AM The PAC Music Video

Do you have trouble explaining the significance of Political Action Committees to your friends and relatives? Have you noticed people’s eyes glaze over when you start to talk about the...

By Daniel Luzer

March 16, 2012 9:14 AM Where Are the Black Senators and Governors?

I highly recommend Jamelle Bouie's excellent piece on the absence of  African American Governors and Senators, an absence that doesn't appear to be changing at all even in the age...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 16, 2012 9:00 AM Romney Woos Seniors With Clever Medicare Gambit

Mitt Romney looks right now as if he’s tripping over his shoelaces, but he’s positioning himself well for the general election fight with President Barack Obama on one big issue:...

By Jonathan Alter

March 16, 2012 8:06 AM The Worst Presidential Campaign Ever?

Barbara Bush said the other day that the 2012 presidential race has been “the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life.” I disagree. My vote would be for 1988,...

By Michael Kinsley

March 15, 2012 2:09 PM Why Romney Won't Get a Gore-Like "Liar" Rep

Various liberals have been arguing that Mitt Romney is an unusually dishonest politician, and wondering when and whether he'll wind up developing a reputation for it. David S. Bernstein (my...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 15, 2012 2:00 PM Doctors Struggle to Make Ends Meet?

I’m already preparing for hate mail.So I open up my email this morning to find a gem from the WSJ, entitled, “Doctors struggle to make ends meet.” Usually, when I...

By Aaron Carroll

March 15, 2012 9:12 AM Kill the American Primary to Save American Politics

By now, you’ve probably heard of Americans Elect, the political-reform group funded by a collection of Wall Street executives (some of whom remain anonymous) who hope to field a bipartisan...

By Ezra Klein

March 15, 2012 8:51 AM Why Campaigns Have So Few “Game-Changers”

My latest post at Model Politics looks at public knowledge of three recent political events: Santorum’s statement about birth control, Obama’s call to Sandra Fluke, and Santorum’s comment about Obama’s...

By John Sides

March 15, 2012 8:00 AM House Budget Follies Very Unlikely To Yield Shutdown Crisis

Reuters is reporting that the House GOP's efforts to produce a budget with appropriations bills coming in lower than the debt limit deal's caps may produce a government shutdown this...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 14, 2012 11:36 AM Math, Senate Style

Just in time celebration of Pi Day, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has given the Senate its own special math problem.  Reid filed cloture motions yesterday on 17 nominees...

By Sarah Binder

March 14, 2012 10:32 AM What is the Political Center?

In an article about Obama’s recent meeting with New York mayor Bloomberg, Thomas Ferguson writes the following about a well-funded third party effort: Last year a group, Americans Elect, surfaced...

By Andrew Gelman

March 14, 2012 9:48 AM The Neo-Know Nothings

Richard Cohen nails the essence of contemporary Republicanism: Ignorance has become more than bliss. It’s now an attribute, an entire platform: “Vote for me, I know nothing and hate the...

By Mark Kleiman

March 14, 2012 9:00 AM Lessig: Occupy Americans Elect

In recent years, Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig has taken up the struggle against what is perhaps the root problem of American dysfunction: money’s corrosive effects on our political...

By Colin Woodard

March 14, 2012 8:00 AM Mississippi, Alabama, and More -- and, Newt Sees Conspiracies

If we stay on the same path, Romney is going to be the nominee unless some external unpredictable major shock happens, but this part of the fight will continue for...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 13, 2012 11:35 AM The Phantom Tax Hike

President Obama is paying a significant political price for having increased the tax burden on middle-class Americans. Fair enough—except that he hasn’t.My latest Model Politics post focuses on disparities in...

By Larry Bartels

March 13, 2012 11:23 AM Cheney and Manning: A Modest Proposal

It’s not at all surprising that most US media have yawned at today’s news that a UN rapporteur has found that the US has treated Bradley Manning in a cruel...

By Henry Farrell

March 13, 2012 11:20 AM Whodunit? Not Republican Voters

Ross Douthat recently argued that the triumph of Mitt Romney means that the basic sanity of Republican voters  is underrated: But against this backdrop, the party’s voters have behaved remarkably...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 13, 2012 11:00 AM The Political Consequences of Gas Prices

A new Washington Post poll finds that the public souring a bit on Obama’s handling of the economy, while generally disapproving of Obama’s handling of gas prices.  The headline: “Gas...

By John Sides

March 13, 2012 10:04 AM Get Your Government Hands Off My Land Use Regulations

New Jersey, a primarily suburban state, has some of the highest housing costs in the country. According to HUD, a family that wants to rent a “safe and modest” two-bedroom...

By John Mangin

March 13, 2012 8:30 AM Did George W. Bush Persuade the Public on the Iraq War?

Ezra Klein’s new piece on presidential persuasion is stimulating a lot of debate.  I’ll have more to say.  But let me make one small point in response to Kevin Drum’s...

By John Sides

March 12, 2012 1:40 PM Freedom to Freeload

Mary Brown, a small business owner, decided she didn’t want to carry health insurance, so she became the lead plaintiff in the anti-Obamacare lawsuit filed by the National Federation of...

By Mark Kleiman

March 12, 2012 1:26 PM Should Health Services Researchers Be More Like Paul Krugman?

From time to time I ponder the extent to which the work in health services research and related domains (health economics, public health, and the like) influences policy. Though there...

By Austin Frakt

March 12, 2012 12:59 PM Romney’s Evangelical Double Whammy

From Tobin Grant here.  He writes: Beneath the Republicans’ regional split is Romney’s failure in states where the Republican base is made up of socially conservative evangelical voters. In...

By John Sides

March 12, 2012 12:53 PM The Political Science of Child Soldiering in Africa

As reactions for, and against the Invisible Children campaign against Joseph Kony convulse blogs and Twitter, it may be no harm to turn to what political scientists have to say....

By Henry Farrell

March 12, 2012 9:32 AM What Did J.K. Rowling Know, and How Did She Know It?

One of the more vivid pen-portraits in the Harry Potter series is the tabloid journalist Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In addition to fabricating quotes...

By Mark Kleiman

March 12, 2012 8:16 AM The Reach of Papers in Top Journals

H/t Paul Kelleher for drawing my attention to the Robert Frank NYT piece on rising college costs. I may want the bold bit in the following for later. Not trusting...

By Austin Frakt

March 12, 2012 7:36 AM Chastity and Solvency in Florida Law

Gloria Allred says she wants Rush Limbaugh prosecuted under Section 836.04 of the Florida Code: 836.04 Defamation.–Whoever speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing...

By Mark Kleiman

March 09, 2012 2:00 PM Why Pat Robertson Supports Marijuana Legalization

Pat Robertson’s flat-out endorsement of full marijuana legalization, on the model of alcohol, isn’t as important now as it would have been two decades ago. But two decades ago it...

By Mark Kleiman

March 09, 2012 1:58 PM Santorum 2016?

Alex Pareene, in an otherwise excellent Super Tuesday wrap yesterday, says: As could have been predicted shortly after he dropped out of the 2008 race, Mitt Romney is the likely...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 09, 2012 1:53 PM Should Doctors Get to Withhold Information from Patients?

Before I get into the details, just answer that question. Should doctors be protected by law for withholding information from patients that their patients might want to know? Got your...

By Aaron Carroll

March 09, 2012 11:00 AM Broken Wildows

In a conversation with Michael Jonas of MassINC, a think tank, I try to sort out the differences among the various versions of “broken windows”: [Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]...

By Mark Kleiman

March 09, 2012 10:06 AM Vote Swings Are (Approximately) Uniform Across the Nation; There’s No Point in Focusing on Median America

I got the following in the email: Bush-Obama America There are 272 Bush-Obama counties across the country. George W. Bush carried these counties in 2000 and 2004. In 2008, Barack...

By Andrew Gelman

March 08, 2012 12:15 PM When the New Face is a Flash in the Pan

Joe Scarborough said something particularly dumb on this morning’s program. Talking about the possibility of a brokered GOP convention that would catapult a fresh face to the Republican nomination, he...

By Jamie Malanowski

March 08, 2012 12:04 PM Health Care and the 2012 Election

I have a piece up at Al Jazeera on how health care is likely to affect the 2012 election. I focus in particular on the Affordable Care Act and its...

By John Sides

March 08, 2012 11:56 AM Do People Who Want to Balance the Budget Hate Innovation and Capitalism?

Recently, I feel like I’ve been having the same argument over and over again. I start by agreeing with someone else that we need to find a way to reduce...

By Aaron Carroll

March 08, 2012 11:47 AM The Minor Leaguers

Michael Gerson – David Brooks without the tough, biting, punky edge–tells us in The Washington Post that we should not write off Mitt Romney . Sure, things look bad for...

By Jamie Malanowski

March 08, 2012 11:42 AM Do You Know What Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan Is?

You don’t? Well, don’t feel bad. Neither does he.So no fair criticizing the Romney plan. It doesn’t even exist.Footnote In any case, not knowing beats knowing what ain’t so. [Cross-posted...

By Mark Kleiman

March 08, 2012 10:00 AM Why Do the Kochs Want to Kill Cato Institute?

It seems the effort by billionaires Charles and David Koch to take control of the libertarian Cato Institute is going poorly. “We are not acting in a partisan manner, we...

By Ezra Klein

March 07, 2012 12:18 PM Beat the Drum Slowly

Campaigning Republicans are banging the patriotic and Israel-first drums for a preventive war against Iran, allegedly to stop it from deploying atomic weapons: though how this is supposed to work...

By James Wimberley

March 07, 2012 12:12 PM “Due Process *of Law*” Dep’t

OK, I didn’t go to law school, but I get the point that legal language doesn’t mean what it says; it only means what the cases say it says.And I’m...

By Mark Kleiman

March 07, 2012 12:04 PM Webcams and Polling Stations: Evidence from Azerbaijan

Couldn’t get enough of Super Tuesday? Well, imagine you could not only watch news reports roll in, but could also observe voters (and poll workers) around the country voting through...

By Joshua Tucker

March 07, 2012 11:36 AM Super Tuesday and the American Nations

For those Washington Monthly readers who don’t believe America’s regional cultures, properly identified, have predictive value in contemporary politics, I offer a two-part warning. First, I’m about to deploy the...

By Colin Woodard

March 06, 2012 12:30 PM Russia 2012 Presidential Election Post-Election Report

Displaying a predictive ability at a level of which my Americanist colleague can only dream, I think it is safe to say that most of the claims I made in...

By Joshua Tucker

March 06, 2012 12:11 PM “Flexibility” May Be Necessary, But It’s Not Sufficient for Medicaid

There’s a piece by Kate Nocera out today on how states are taking advantage of Medicaid waivers in order to improve their outlook both now, and with the coming implementation...

By Aaron Carroll

March 06, 2012 12:07 PM The Economy and Birtherism

Andy Borowitz wrote a piece called “In Positive Economic Sign, Republicans Starting to Say Obama Wasn’t Born in US,” and Barry Ritholz writes: The NYT’s Floyd Norris, on a hunch, decided...

By John Sides

March 06, 2012 12:00 PM How to Keep Working-Class Voters on Obama’s Side

In 1980, I was working on the campaign of Senator Birch Bayh, the Indiana Democrat who was being challenged by an upstart conservative congressman from northwest Indiana named Dan Quayle....

By Ron Klain

March 06, 2012 11:51 AM Endorsements, Party Actors, and the 2012 Cycle

I linked to a couple of Matthew Dickinson's posts about the nomination battle earlier today, and mentioned that I disagree with him on a bunch of stuff with respect to...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 06, 2012 11:44 AM The Case Against the Case Against Rush Limbaugh

The people who want to drive Rush Limbaugh off the air are not assuaged or persuaded by his apology over the weekend. They say he was not sincere: He only...

By Michael Kinsley

March 05, 2012 11:46 AM Why Should You Pay For Someone Else to Have Sex?

At least that’s the way that Bill O’Reilly phrased it the other day. His argument goes: 1) group insurance means that we are all paying for other people’s benefits; 2)...

By Jonathan Zasloff

March 05, 2012 11:31 AM More Catholic than the Pope

I was born Catholic. My father was one of ten sons in a Polish Catholic family, and my mother was one of eleven children in a Polish Catholic family, and...

By Jamie Malanowski

March 05, 2012 11:22 AM Super Tuesday and a Question

I need to think of a name for the period of the nomination/general election period in which the nomination is decided, but one or more losing candidate is still contesting...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 05, 2012 11:15 AM Turns Out it is Hard to Cut Medicaid

Looks like Medicaid block grants are due for their turn in the spotlight again. Julian Pecquet notes that even some Republican governors are skeptical this time around. First, they don’t...

By Aaron Carroll

March 05, 2012 11:00 AM The High Point Drug Strategy

David Kennedy’s “High Point” drug enforcement strategy – now known generically as the Drug Market Intervention (DMI) – seems to have scored again, this time in Newport News, VA. The...

By Mark Kleiman

March 05, 2012 10:08 AM Prairie

[Cross-posted at The Incidental Economist]...

By Austin Frakt

March 05, 2012 9:11 AM Why Buy Insurance for the Little, Predictable Stuff?

In recent weeks, I’ve noticed the reemergence of the question of why people insure for relatively low cost, predictable health expenditures. This has come up in the context of contraceptive...

By Austin Frakt

March 05, 2012 8:03 AM Dunce Cap Department

The cardinal mocked a secular culture that “seems to discover new rights every day.” “I don’t recall a right to marriage,” he said, describing marriage, instead, as a “call.” —Cardinal...

By Jonathan Zasloff

March 02, 2012 12:00 PM Are Attack Ads by Independent Groups More Effective?

Since I recently posted a skeptical take on whether negative ads “work,” I’ll continue to highlight relevant research in the months ahead.  To wit: Using a large-N, geographically representative sample...

By John Sides

March 02, 2012 11:55 AM Preventing GOP Filibuster Reform

I wrote over at PostPartisan about the question of whether Republicans would, if they get unified government in 2013, get rid of the filibuster. I don't think they would, but...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 02, 2012 11:50 AM Which Party Is Better for the Economy? Neither.

Every year around late February, the government puts out the Economic Report of the President, which includes a whole bunch of historical charts on the state of the economy that...

By Michael Kinsley

March 02, 2012 11:46 AM Let’s Have More Journals Like This

Last month, I learned about a publication that has been quickly gaining popularity, the Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine (JNRBM). Published, presumably, by a gang of dour curmudgeons who...

By John Sides

March 02, 2012 11:14 AM Remembering James Q. Wilson

James Q. Wilson is dead. I find it very hard to write those words. While I was not his student, his work had a profound impact on me, as it...

By Steven M. Teles

March 02, 2012 10:04 AM Keystone Pipeline Means Dearer Gas, Few Jobs

“I’ll get us that oil from Canada,” Mitt Romney said in his victory speech after the Michigan primary. He was referring to Keystone XL, the crude-oil pipeline that has become...

By Jonathan Alter

March 01, 2012 11:59 AM The Eisenhower Memorial

Matt Bai complained in the NYT Magazine on Sunday (yeah, as usual I'm a bit behind on the Sunday papers)* about the proposed Ike Memorial, saying "I mean, Ike was...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 01, 2012 11:51 AM Added Sugars Are a Big Deal

As I continue my three month weight-loss kick, I could not help but be interested in a study from the CDC, Consumption of added sugar among U.S. children and adolescents,...

By Aaron Carroll

March 01, 2012 11:34 AM New America Report on Countering Misperceptions

Earlier this week, the New America Foundation Media Policy Initiative released a report (PDF) that I co-authored with Jason Reifler titled "Misinformation and Fact-checking: Research Findings from Social Science." The...

By Brendan Nyhan

March 01, 2012 10:39 AM Middle-Class Welfare State Is Invisible by Design

What is a government program? And are you on one right now? Those are the questions Cornell University political scientist Suzanne Mettler has been posing. For her book “The Submerged...

By Ezra Klein

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