Ten Miles Square

November 2012 Archives

November 30, 2012 12:07 PM Counting Filibusters and Getting Reform Right

Longtime filibuster opponent Hendrik Hertzberg encountered a pretty good Michael Tomasky item on the Reid/Merkley/Udall reform package which wondered whether getting rid of the motion to proceed and forcing talking...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 30, 2012 11:59 AM Put Obamacare On the Table

Kevin Drum notes that Republicans insist on something called “entitlement reform,” but have no actual ideas about what this reform might mean (aside from getting rid of Medicare). So now...

By Jonathan Zasloff

November 30, 2012 11:43 AM Words of Warning from My Grandfather

Big shout out to my mom, who has a letter to the editor in the New York Times today: To the Editor: Re “We Need to Retreat From the Beach,”...

By Joshua Tucker

November 30, 2012 11:38 AM Romney Campaign Still Math-Challenged

A bunch of liberals (here's one; here's another) had good fun with an op-ed by Romney strategist Stuart Stevens recently. The main point of the ribbing was that Romney's campaign...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 30, 2012 10:46 AM Voting Patterns of America’s Whites, from the Masses to the Elites

I am resurrecting this old post (sorry, no clean 2012 data yet, I’ll update when I have the numbers) because some people were asking about education and voting in a...

By Andrew Gelman

November 30, 2012 8:04 AM When Is Spending "Obscene"?

Yesterday at the Monkey Cage, Josh Tucker complained that analogizing $6 billion in campaign advertising to $6 billion spent on potato chips is improper. Jonathan Bernstein defended the analogy, arguing...

By Seth Masket

November 29, 2012 11:52 AM The UN Palestine Vote

It looks like the United Nations General Assembly is set to vote today on granting the Palestinian Authority the status of a “non-member observer state.” As the title suggest, this would not...

By Erik Voeten

November 29, 2012 10:00 AM The WaPo Gets the Right Answer for the Wrong Reason

I’m glad to see the Washington Post endorsing the idea that the feds should let Washington State and Colorado go ahead and experiment with legal marijuana. “For now, the federal...

By Mark Kleiman

November 29, 2012 9:45 AM How Innocence Puts Innocents At Risk

False confessions in criminal cases are very hard to reverse in the minds of police, jurors and judges, even when substantial evidence is available to show that the confession is...

By Keith Humphreys

November 29, 2012 9:12 AM Reform: Get to Conference

Since I wrote about my lack of enthusiasm for eliminating filibusters on the motion to proceed to bills yesterday, I figure I should write one today about a reform that...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 29, 2012 9:00 AM It’s Not a Fiscal Cliff, It’s an Austerity Crisis

Washington is not known for the stunning clarity with which it frames and addresses tough issues. But has there ever been a debate so mired in confusion as the one...

By Ezra Klein

November 29, 2012 8:16 AM Motions to Proceed: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I thought I would add a few observations to Jon Bernstein’s thoughtful discussions here and here about potential reforms of the Senate’s Rule 22.  Jon and others wonder whether...

By Sarah Binder

November 28, 2012 1:00 PM On Raising (and Lowering) the Medicare Age

A new poll shows that raising the Medicare age slowly to 67 (presumably to unify it with the Social Security full retirement age) is not popular. It is a bad...

By Don Taylor

November 28, 2012 12:36 PM Would Alternatives to the Electoral College Be Any Fairer?

In the election for President of the United States, the Electoral College is the body whose members vote to elect the President directly. Each state sends a number of delegates...

By John Sides

November 28, 2012 12:23 PM Time to Kneecap the Three Amigos

Okay, this is just getting stupid. Even after the CIA explained that Susan Rice was using intelligence-approved talking points, and briefed Senators on the fake-Benghazi scandal, the Nuevo Three Amigos...

By Jonathan Zasloff

November 28, 2012 12:17 PM Reform: Myth of Opening Day

Excellent news about Senate reform, at least for those favoring reform, in a Greg Sargent post today: Dems may not change the rules on the first day of the session....

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 28, 2012 11:30 AM Those Wacky Pundits

Joel Kotkin writes that the Republican party can win by moving to the left of the Democrats on economic issues: This aspirational element should be the centerpiece of the Republican...

By Andrew Gelman

November 28, 2012 10:37 AM Democrats and Republicans Belong to Different Groups

Why do people of different parties seem to have such a hard time understanding each other and reaching agreements? It may be, in part, because they belong to completely different...

By Seth Masket

November 28, 2012 9:44 AM Time to Stop A Spuddering Analogy: The Difference Between Campaign Finance and Potato Chips

If you open this week’s Economist, you will find what is becoming a familiar line about spending on US elections: The election cycle that has just limped to its exhausted...

By Joshua Tucker

November 27, 2012 12:00 PM Four Items for the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

1. A phased-in, but ever-rising, greenhouse gas tax or carbon tax. (Raises revenue, protects the planet.) 2. Tripling the federal alcohol tax. (Raises about $15B/yr. in revenue, prevents violent crime...

By Mark Kleiman

November 27, 2012 11:41 AM Why Aren’t Asians Republicans? For one thing, More than Half of them Live in California, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii

Conservative data cruncher Charles Murray asks, “Why aren’t Asians Republicans?”: Asians are only half as likely to identify themselves as “conservative” or “very conservative” as whites, and less than half...

By Andrew Gelman

November 27, 2012 11:32 AM Reagan's Second Term and the Bizarre Reputation of Tax Reform

Politico has a pretty weak item about second terms and what Barack Obama should do to secure a good one. I'm no expert on Teddy Roosevelt, so I'll pass on...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 27, 2012 11:21 AM Will (Can?) Republicans "Shut Down" the Senate?

In yesterday morning's Politico filibuster story, Republicans threatened to "shut down the Senate," in the words of GOP Whip-to-be John Cornyn (via Greg).  Filibuster reformers such as Ed Kilgore respond...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 27, 2012 10:40 AM Don't Blame Me; it Was Just my Unrestrained Id that Tried to Rape You

If you want to understand American gender relations in the 1960s, skip "Mad Men" and tune into classic "Star Trek." I recently re-watched "The Enemy Within" with the kids and...

By Seth Masket

November 27, 2012 10:32 AM Olympia Snowe's Mixed Signals

In February, the political establishment here in Maine was rocked by Sen. Olympia’s Snowe’s late and entirely surprising announcement that she would not seek reelection. The Senate, she said, had...

By Colin Woodard

November 27, 2012 10:10 AM No Need to Defend a Flawed System

In an editorial Monday, the Denver Post defended the Electoral College, writing, Until such time as candidates regularly start landing in the Oval Office despite having lost the popular vote, there is...

By Seth Masket

November 27, 2012 9:54 AM Dinner Won’t Do It

Since the election President Obama has received a wide range of unsolicited advice regarding his legislative relations as they pertain to his second term agenda and, most immediately, avoiding a...

By Andrew Rudalevige

November 27, 2012 9:05 AM Stimulating Big Pharma to Invest in Medications for Stimulant Addiction

In my Wall Street Journal article on vaccines for addiction to stimulant drugs (e.g., cocaine and methamphetamine), I lament the fact that the development of these remarkable medications is moving...

By Keith Humphreys

November 27, 2012 8:50 AM Politics as an Escape Hatch

Reading these news articles that slam more and more nails into the already-dead reputation of Hewlett Packard executive Meg Whitman, I keep thinking: what if she’d won her election a...

By Andrew Gelman

November 26, 2012 11:35 AM Poetic Justice

According to Wikipedia’s latest tabulation, Mitt Romney has received 60,227,548 of the 126,832,750 votes tallied so far. That’s 47.485%, which rounds off to … 47%.Mission accomplished. [Cross-posted at The Reality-based...

By Mark Kleiman

November 26, 2012 11:30 AM Red State Blue State, or, States and Counties are not Persons

Tyler Cowen points to this news article by Lauren Sandler: Stunningly, the postponement of marriage and parenting — the factors that shrink the birth rate — is the very best...

By Andrew Gelman

November 26, 2012 11:12 AM The Game Theory of the Fiscal Cliff, or Why John Boehner May “Act the Diva”

John Patty: In a nutshell, the uncertainty about Boehner’s bargaining position relative to his own caucus can generate sufficient incentives for him to “act the diva,” and seem to hold...

By John Sides

November 26, 2012 10:32 AM Medicare Part D in the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

Republicans are floating three ideas to make cuts to the Affordable Care Act as part of a fiscal deal. Since they’re Republicans, all of the ideas they’re floating are horrible:...

By Mark Kleiman

November 26, 2012 9:27 AM On Not Feeling Sorry for Marco Rubio

Most everyone in Red Blogistan and on the Red-team varsity of punditry (Pete Wehner at Commentary is an honorable exception) seems to agree that GQ was mean to po’ widdle...

By Mark Kleiman

November 26, 2012 8:40 AM Throwing the 1% Under the Bus for the 0.1%?

The New York Times reports the following proposal is on the table in negotiations over raising additional tax revenue so that Republicans can say they have not allowed marginal tax...

By Joshua Tucker

November 23, 2012 10:28 AM Still Fighting the Enlightenment

Marco Rubio decides that running for President as a Republican means pretending to believe that the Earth is flat, or that it might be flat, or that the question of...

By Mark Kleiman

November 23, 2012 6:30 AM Judicial Nomation Reform?

I think the strongest case for protection of minorities in the Senate is in confirmation of judges. It's a lifetime appointment; we're now being governed in part by decisions made...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 22, 2012 11:05 PM The American Right Throws Israelis Into the Breach

At this writing, Middle East watchers are, well, watching to see if Israel and Hamas can reach a cease-fire. Signs are good, but pessimists are rarely disproved in the Middle...

By Jonathan Zasloff

November 22, 2012 10:21 PM Kerry Is the Right Choice to Lead U.S. Diplomacy

For all the talk of tax increases and debt-cutting, President Barack Obama’s biggest and most- revealing decision this year may be which candidate he chooses to be his new secretary...

By Jonathan Alter

November 22, 2012 10:15 PM Who’s Standing in the Way of Change? You Are

Bill Clinton became U.S. president on a platform of “change.” Not change in any particular way -- just change in the abstract. Like characters in a Chekhov play, Americans found...

By Michael Kinsley

November 22, 2012 6:00 AM Turkey Doesn’t Make You Sleepy

No matter how hard I try, I can’t make this myth go away. Until I do, I will keep on posting this every Thanksgiving.Myth: Eating Turkey Makes You SleepyWhile not...

By Aaron Carroll

November 21, 2012 1:15 PM Are the Effects of Senate Rule Changes Predictable?

Greg Koger offers important insights here about potential reforms of Senate rules that seek to encourage “talking filibusters.”  Although as Greg notes, we lack details about the mechanics of the...

By Sarah Binder

November 21, 2012 12:46 PM Will Merkley & Warren’s “Talking Filibuster” Proposal Work?

Last Friday, our friends at Wonkblog posted comments on Senator Merkley’s proposed-but-still-vague reform. I thought I would elaborate on whether Merkley’s proposed reforms will help make the Senate more effective…or at...

By Gregory Koger

November 21, 2012 12:34 PM The Study of Conflict Mediation by Political Scientists

As Hilary Clinton arrives in Israel to attempt to negotiate a cease fire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hammas, it is worth noting that there is a sub-field...

By Joshua Tucker

November 20, 2012 12:57 PM The 2012 Election Was Good for Political Science

In late September, I was involved in an email exchange in which a historian stated that “Someone should do a piece cataloging down all the poli sci consensi being undone...

By John Sides

November 20, 2012 12:12 PM Is the Left Better at Facing Inconvenient Truths?

Long-time reader Ed Whitney wrote me an email that was too intriguing to keep as a private communication. Ed graciously agreed to turn his thoughts into a guest blog post....

By Keith Humphreys

November 20, 2012 12:10 PM Obama Shouldn't Cave on Climate

Ezra Klein predicts today that we'll have a compromise on fiscal issues in time for Christmas. I hope he is wrong, because that would be a real tragedy. Klein was...

By Max Ehrenfreund

November 20, 2012 12:05 PM Medicare, Exchanges, and Work Incentives

One of the arguments for increasing the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to, say, 67 is to increase the incentive to work. Putting aside the fact that many...

By Austin Frakt

November 20, 2012 10:51 AM Alcohol as a Non-Exculpatory Facilitator of Violence Against Women

At Stanford School of Medicine’s blog , I described the results of the new RAND study showing that mandatory sobriety programs reduce both drink driving and domestic violence arrests. The...

By Keith Humphreys

November 20, 2012 9:33 AM Dust Bowl

Ken Burns’ Dust Bowl was on PBS recently. It was essential viewing. The most obvious reason to watch concerned unnerving parallels between the man-made climate disasters of eight decades ago...

By Harold Pollack

November 20, 2012 8:59 AM Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff: Why not a Greenhouse-Gas Tax?

1. The Federal government needs some revenue in medium and long term but we still need fiscal stimulus in the short term. 2. The planet needs a decrease in greenhouse-gas...

By Mark Kleiman

November 19, 2012 9:59 AM The Emergency Committee to Promote Bill Kristol

For the last 20 years, the Right has worked hard to convert support for Israel from an area of bipartisan consensus into a topic for Republicans to beat Democrats with....

By Jonathan Zasloff

November 19, 2012 9:50 AM Taxing Things that Are Bad for Us

I still get an earful for my skepticism that banning, or even taxing, sugar-laden soft drinks will do much to improve our health. In the interest of being fair on...

By Aaron Carroll

November 19, 2012 9:40 AM Radicals for Capitalism

Some of the bits of the Web that I pay close attention to are trying to figure out how to react to the Republican Study Committee’s new thinkpiece on copyright....

By Henry Farrell

November 19, 2012 9:36 AM Romney, Republicans, and Rand

Jonathan Chait riffs today on Romney, Republicans, and libertarians. His general point that every faction after a loss simply blames all the other factions is certainly correct. But I think...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 19, 2012 9:00 AM How to Teach Things We Don’t Agree With

This discussion arose in the context of statistics teaching: April Galyardt writes: I’m teaching my first graduate class this semester. It’s intro stats for graduate students in the college of...

By Andrew Gelman

November 19, 2012 8:54 AM Yup-Romney Was Right

…when he said: “What I would do if I were a Democrat running four years from now, I’d say, you know what, dental care will be included in Obamcare.”Oral health...

By Harold Pollack

November 16, 2012 12:00 PM Red-blue Maps for Different Slices of the Population

Avi Feller and I write: The basic question driving the 2012 campaign was always clear: could Mitt Romney gain enough of the vote among older, upper-income white Americans to overcome...

By Andrew Gelman

November 16, 2012 11:58 AM The Socially Networked Campaign

I have not yet read Sasha Issenberg's book (it's on my holiday wish list!), although I imagine there are still several books to be written about the use of social...

By Seth Masket

November 16, 2012 11:44 AM McCain Jumps the Shark

It appears that even some media outlets are getting tired of John McCain’s shtick. His decision to skip a classified Senate Intelligence Committee briefing about what happened in Benghazi in...

By Mark Kleiman

November 16, 2012 11:36 AM Medicaid Access Ain’t so Bad

The GAO did a study: Medicaid enrollment has grown significantly in recent years due to the economic downturn. This growth is expected to continue as the Patient Protection and Affordable...

By Aaron Carroll

November 16, 2012 11:29 AM The Republicans Are the Party of the Middle Class and Rich; the Democrats Are the Party of the Poor, Middle-class, and Rich

Following up on a comment by a reader, the above title is my quick summary of the income/voting graph: [Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]...

By Andrew Gelman

November 16, 2012 11:12 AM The Tanning Tax, the GOP, and the 113th Congress

Matt Yglesias had a nice item yesterday about a tanning salon owner who reportedly killed himself, blaming Barack Obama. The point Yglesias made was that, this tragedy aside, in his...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 16, 2012 10:14 AM The King and Us

The United States has long relied on monarchs and strong militaries to prop up political systems in the developing world. That strategy isn't working too well any more.

By Joshua Kurlantzick

November 16, 2012 9:49 AM Bobby Jindal: Fake It ‘Til You Make It

At least so far.Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has been making a lot of loud noises lately, theoretically criticizing GOP plutocracy. A few days ago, he supposedly advanced a new conservative...

By Jonathan Zasloff

November 16, 2012 8:53 AM Voter Turnout in the States

Nate Silver helpfully compiles voter turnout figures (so far) by state in last week's presidential election. I've used those figures to chart the change in turnout since 2008, plotted against...

By Seth Masket

November 15, 2012 12:00 AM The Most Diverse Caucus in History, if you Ignore History

Nancy Pelosi, describing the incoming Democratic House caucus, of which white males make up a minority: [O]ur House Democratic Caucus [will be] the first caucus in the history of civilized...

By Seth Masket

November 14, 2012 11:54 PM Mending News

In his keynote speech last Thursday to the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist party, retiring President Hu Jintao said: Energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP...

By James Wimberley

November 14, 2012 11:48 PM How We Talk When We Talk About Taxes

Imagine that a politician announces a plan to cut local/state/federal taxes on income up to $20,000. Is this policy:(A) A tax cut for struggling working class Americans?, or (B) A...

By Keith Humphreys

November 14, 2012 11:41 PM Tax Reform Grand Bargaining

So everyone is prattling away with their grand bargain ideas on tax reform, etc. so I will re-up the basic idea at the heart of the tax reform I proposed...

By Don Taylor

November 14, 2012 11:38 PM The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

Filegate. Travelgate. Whitewater. Birtherism. Solyndra. Fast and Furious. Notice a pattern?When there is a Democratic President, Republicans are quick are quick to make wild accusations of wrongdoing that turn out...

By Jonathan Zasloff

November 14, 2012 11:28 PM The Truth About Life Expectancy

Paul Krugman wrote a nice piece yesterday on life expectancy, specifically on how it hasn’t been going up like “everyone” says. It’s a zombie idea; it won’t die.I thought I’d...

By Aaron Carroll

November 14, 2012 11:21 PM Richer People Continue to Vote Republican

From the exit polls: This is all pretty obvious but it seemed worth posting because some people still don’t seem to get it. For example, Jay Cost, writing in the...

By Andrew Gelman

November 14, 2012 11:15 PM Filibuster Thoughts: Coalitions

In my post last week, I said that I'd like to increase incentives for cross-party incentives. An anonymous commenter quite sensibly asked: "Why?" It's worth a response. Basically, I'm for...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 14, 2012 11:11 PM Why Press Conferences, Anyway?

I wrote about Barack Obama's press conference over at Plum Line today, and I had a few comments about the challenges of negotiating in public, but that sort of begs...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 14, 2012 10:57 PM Tax Reform Won’t Save the World

Washington loves its panaceas. A few years ago, it was Army General David Petraeus who could fix any problem -- up to and perhaps including the presidency. Then it was...

By Ezra Klein

November 14, 2012 10:50 PM The Great Campaign Polling Conspiracy

It’s a small matter, I know, compared with the historic issues now obsessing the commentariat, such as the fiscal cliff and how many mistresses and admirers former Army General David...

By Michael Kinsley

November 13, 2012 1:40 PM Evolution, Pundits and Pollsters

David Lazer has an interesting piece on the topic. What is important is how well pollsters did in the face of increased obstacles to doing a good job: response rates...

By Henry Farrell

November 13, 2012 12:17 PM Swings in the States, 2008 vs. 2012

Michael LaCour sends the following graph, which is fun to look at and puzzle over—e.g., the pro-Obama swing in Alaska. [Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]...

By John Sides

November 13, 2012 12:00 PM Still Waiting for Conservatives and Republicans Repudiating Voter Suppression

I’m gratified that Sean Hannity and other conservatives have gotten the post-election memo on immigration reform. (In Hannity’s case, this may literally be true.) But there’s still another piece of...

By Harold Pollack

November 13, 2012 10:43 AM Fame in the 21st Century

An African friend asked me recently “What did Kim Kardashian DO?”. “Nothing” I said. “Then why is she so famous?”.How I cherish his innocence. The exchange made me want to...

By Keith Humphreys

November 13, 2012 10:26 AM Policy Is Hard

Did you know obesity is a problem? Did you know that saturated fat is bad for you?Why don’t we start taxing fat? Revenue goes up and fat intake goes down....

By Aaron Carroll

November 13, 2012 10:09 AM Use the States as Laboratories for Marijuana Policy

Public opinion about marijuana has moved sharply over the past few years; about half now support legalization. Last Tuesday voters in Washington State and Colorado took the leap of approving...

By Mark Kleiman

November 13, 2012 9:38 AM State-level Cannabis Legalization and U.S.-Mexican Relations

Studying drug policy is no fun if you like things to make sense. But it’s a good way to cultivate an appreciation of the absurd.The United States consumes large amounts...

By Mark Kleiman

November 13, 2012 9:00 AM Physician Suicide

I’ve mentioned before in passing that physicians have the highest suicide rate of any profession. Some more details about this are to be found in a recent study, “Details on...

By Aaron Carroll

November 12, 2012 12:55 PM The Perils of Democrats’ Euphoria, or Why the 2012 Election Is Not a Realignment

After the 2004 election, commentator Michael Lind wrote: Karl Rove is an evil political genius, but he is a political genius.  As he hoped, 2004 was a realigning election like...

By John Sides

November 12, 2012 12:45 PM How We Got the Deficit

As the president and Congress approach the “fiscal cliff,” which will result in automatic cuts to government programs, without a new budget deal there’s one thing it's interesting to recall....

By Daniel Luzer

November 12, 2012 12:44 PM Rachel Maddow, FTW

All that stuff I’ve been saying about deficient reality-checking by the Red team? Rachel Maddow says it about 100 times as well: [Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]...

By Mark Kleiman

November 12, 2012 12:30 PM Real and Rhetorical Climate Adaptation

Joe Romm nails it: The only people who will pursue real adaptation are those who understand the latest science and are prepared to take serious political action based on that...

By James Wimberley

November 12, 2012 12:21 PM The Cost of Modifiable Health Risk Factors

Everyone knows health care costs too much. When I talk about this, especially on the radio, people call in to try and pin that entirely on individual choices. It’s always...

By Aaron Carroll

November 12, 2012 12:15 PM Sideburns

From DogHouseDiaries. Click to enlarge. [Cross-posted at The Incidental Economist]...

By Austin Frakt

November 12, 2012 11:57 AM Geographic Data and the 2012 Election

Via both Cosma Shalizi’s Pinboard feed and an email tip, this map of the geographical origins of racist tweets in the US shows a rather striking pattern. For a very...

By Henry Farrell

November 12, 2012 11:52 AM The Path to Poverty

Now that the question of who will inhabit the White House for the next fours years has been answered, the focus of the political debate will return to the looming...

By Julius Simonelli

November 12, 2012 11:32 AM Get Filibuster Reform Right

It's looking more and more as if something will happen on filibuster reform. Greg has a total of 50 Members of the new Senate on record as supporting at least...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 12, 2012 11:23 AM U.S. Regional Clashes Behind Obama Versus Romney

Last week’s election demonstrated, once again, that America’s most essential and abiding divisions are not between red states and blue states, conservatives and liberals, or even the faithful and the...

By Colin Woodard

November 09, 2012 1:02 PM I Spent $6 Billion and All I Got Was this Lousy Economic Retrospection Election

Economic growth and the vote for president, based on the most recent numbers: So, after all that money was spent, all those ads were run, all those voters were contacted...

By Seth Masket

November 09, 2012 12:48 PM Occupy the White House

We all know the famous story of FDR meeting with a group of liberal activists early in his term. They made an impassioned plea for their policies, and the President...

By Jonathan Zasloff

November 09, 2012 12:40 PM What Will Mitt Do?

It’s now several days after the election, and thus time for a new spate of speculation (e.g., here, here, here) about who might serve in the second term Obama cabinet....

By Andrew Rudalevige

November 09, 2012 12:37 PM Should the Republican Party Move to the Center?

That’s what a lot of pundits say. But let’s examine the assertion a little more closely.There is a reason why the Republican Party, and leading politicians in the Republican Party,...

By Jonathan Zasloff

November 09, 2012 12:30 PM The Cost of Information Technology

A few people sent this on to me, and so I share it with you. From JAMA, “The Cost of Technology“: No one was more surprised than the physician himself....

By Aaron Carroll

November 09, 2012 12:25 PM Obamacare on the Negotiating Table

From POLITICO Pulse:* BOEHNER WANTS OBAMACARE COMPONENTS ON THE NEGOTIATING TABLE - Any moves to chip away at the law during fiscal cliff negotiations could have a game-changing effect on...

By Austin Frakt

November 09, 2012 12:08 PM The Great Depression’s Lessons for Europe and Greece

If the experience of the Great Depression is anything to go by, economic crises help the far right rather than the far left. In a recent paper, Alan de Bromhead,...

By Henry Farrell

November 09, 2012 12:05 PM What If the Majority of Legislators Were Women?

Some interesting new research bears on this question: On average, women make up about 20 percent of lawmakers in the United States and abroad. We found that when women constituted...

By John Sides

November 09, 2012 12:02 PM Yes, 2016 Started Already

I've mentioned this before, but I'm already hearing the complaints, so here we go again. The battle for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president started some time ago. The battle...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 09, 2012 11:55 AM Questions About House Elections 2012

I don't have the answers to these, but I'm sure someone will after a while, and I'm very interested to hear them. By the way, this reminds me that I...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 09, 2012 11:41 AM How Obama Can Heal His Rift With Business

U.S. presidents’ second terms often turn out to be failures in domestic policy, largely because lame ducks are almost by definition political figures of the past. Yet President Barack Obama’s...

By Jonathan Alter

November 09, 2012 11:17 AM The G.O.P’s Yankee Problem

A remarkable thing happened last Tuesday. The Republican Party was virtually extinguished from the land of its birth. I’m speaking of Yankeedom, a great swath of the country from Maine...

By Colin Woodard

November 09, 2012 9:44 AM Convergence of Forces

John Boehner has committed the house majority to accept new revenues under the “right conditions”. The California legislature has a 2/3 D majority in both houses, which means it can...

By Michael O'Hare

November 09, 2012 8:52 AM A New Status Quo?

Like a political Punxatawny Phil seeing his shadow, George Will has seen the president re-elected, Democrats returned to their majority in the Senate and Republicans to theirs in the House,...

By Jamie Malanowski

November 08, 2012 12:01 PM 30/30/40 Nation: Real Voting

How America voted in the 2012 election: More here. The short story: nonvoters have different attitudes, on average, compared to voters. When lots of people don’t vote, this affects political...

By Andrew Gelman

November 08, 2012 11:51 AM Do Democrats Have a Structural Electoral College Advantage Now?

There are still more votes to be counted, but as of now the tipping point state was...Colorado, same as in 2008. They're still counting the votes in Colorado, but as...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 08, 2012 11:40 AM Legalization of Marijuana Likely to Reduce Racial Disparity in Health Between Whites and Blacks

On Tuesday, the voters of Colorado voted to pass Amendment 64 which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years old and above. It is groundbreaking legislation that...

By Do Hyun Kim

November 08, 2012 11:39 AM Let the 2016 Punditry Begin

Today is the day of the Great Pundits Pivot. It happens every four years, the day after a presidential election. Before the election, every commentator wants to be Michael Barone....

By Michael Kinsley

November 08, 2012 11:05 AM Could This Be End of Evil Filibuster?

In 2008, Barack Obama promised to change the way Washington works. In 2013, we might actually see that change. But it won’t be because of Obama. It will be because...

By Ezra Klein

November 08, 2012 10:58 AM In the End, the First Debate Didn't Matter

In my piece on presidential debates in the September/October issue of the Washington Monthly, I argued that while debates can move the polls, they rarely decide the winner of the...

By John Sides

November 08, 2012 8:13 AM A Win, Not Necessarily a Victory

Thank goodness this crap campaign is over. It turned out to be a bit of nail-biter, but it should never had been so close. Obama should have walloped Romney, who...

By Jamie Malanowski

November 08, 2012 8:07 AM Legalizing Marijuana: Some Lessons from The Netherlands

Washington State and Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana during Tuesday’s election. There are still many legal issues to be sorted out but it pays to ponder what will happen...

By Erik Voeten

November 07, 2012 4:31 PM The Uncertain Future of Marijuana Markets

Voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana yesterday. Although the drug is still illegal under federal law, Reason's Jacob Sullum explains that there isn't much Washington can do: With only...

By Max Ehrenfreund

November 07, 2012 12:40 PM The Message of the Election: Some Good Deeds Go Unpunished

Standing out among the mainstream media’s determination to echo the standard Republican talking point that only GOP election victories actually count, Steve Benen nails the election’s real significance: Had Obama...

By Andrew Sabl

November 07, 2012 12:35 PM Obamacare: Love it or Hate it, You Now Have to Deal With it

Jon Cohn put it best: I’ve waited more than two years to write this sentence: The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. It survived the Supreme Court and now...

By Austin Frakt

November 07, 2012 12:31 PM The 2012 Election Was Not a Mandate

When your side wins, it’s easy to think you have a “mandate.” So when Bush won in 2004, Brendan Nyhan notes, the Wall Street Journal editorial page called it a...

By John Sides

November 07, 2012 12:00 PM Fundamentals and the Triumph of Avoiding Disaster

John Sides has an excellent post up called "The Fundamentals Mattered in 2012." He's not saying that the campaigns didn't matter at all, but that the context for the campaign...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 07, 2012 11:58 AM Post Election Thoughts

I stayed up way too late last night, but listening to my kids’ excitement about the election this morning was totally worth it. In no particular order, here are my...

By Aaron Carroll

November 07, 2012 11:53 AM Very First 2016 Post

Hillary Clinton vs. Paul Ryan. I know, that’s a boring speculation, but as a statistician I gotta go with the highest-probability event. [Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]...

By Andrew Gelman

November 07, 2012 11:44 AM Is Nate Silver Incentive Compatible?

I’ll leave it to others to write the bigger posts on how much better the election results support models based on aggregates of polls than the bloviations of the pundits...

By Henry Farrell

November 07, 2012 11:26 AM Who Won the Election for Obama?

Mike Bloomberg and Chris Christie.Sonia Sotomayor.Paul Ryan.Those guys distorting the numbers in some back room in the Bureau of Labor Statistics.That waiter who secretly taped Romney’s “47%” speech.The National Oceanic...

By Andrew Gelman

November 07, 2012 11:16 AM News Coverage Note

just a quick note on the news coverage -- specifically on CNN, since I had the TV on to it for most of the night. If I had to judge...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 07, 2012 11:10 AM Warren Has the Skills for the Senate

The victory of Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts marks the arrival in the Senate of a major new figure in American politics. To be effective, she will have to lay low...

By Jonathan Alter

November 07, 2012 10:00 AM The Fundamentals Mattered in 2012

In the first e-chapter of The Gamble, “The Hand You’re Dealt,” Lynn Vavreck and  I argued that an incumbent running amidst even modest economic growth was the favorite.  Certain economic...

By John Sides

November 06, 2012 1:15 PM Who Still Regards Their Votes as Secret?

About half an hour ago I was eating lunch (outside: this is L.A.) and overheard two female undergraduates talking about heading to the polls. One asked the other, “how are...

By Andrew Sabl

November 06, 2012 11:55 AM What's Going to Happen in State Legislative Races?

A political observer could be forgiven for not noticing that there are more than 6,000 state legislative elections occurring tomorrow -- the presidential race tends to suck up most of...

By Seth Masket

November 06, 2012 11:35 AM Fantasy and Reality

It’s hard to sum up the mendacity and the obscurantism of today’s GOP in a single column. But the real pros are up for the hard tasks.Peggy Noonan, who taught...

By Mark Kleiman

November 06, 2012 11:24 AM If the Rest of the World Were Voting in the US Presidential Election…

… it would be a long night (both literally and figuratively) for Romney. From the a BBC World Service poll conducted largely in July and August: [Cross-posted at The Monkey...

By Joshua Tucker

November 06, 2012 11:17 AM What About Today’s Election Would Prove Me Wrong? (Plus a Prediction)

To date, I haven’t made a formal forecast of the presidential election (though I will below). But I want to answer the question in the title of this post first,...

By John Sides

November 06, 2012 11:12 AM Goodnight Ohio?

As far as I can remember throughout this cycle -- and to be fair, I was mostly following my own advise surprisingly well and ignoring quite a bit of the...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 06, 2012 10:30 AM Vote! Do it for the Children

Perhaps it was my fault, but I was not aware that my kids’ elementary school was going to vote for the presidential candidates a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad...

By Austin Frakt

November 06, 2012 9:41 AM Knowledge Does not Guard Against Conspiracy Theories

When the September jobs report showed that unemployment had dropped to an unexpectedly low 7.8%, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch helped launch a new conspiracy theory when he tweeted:...

By Brendan Nyhan

November 06, 2012 8:47 AM Hating on Numbers

In the latest effort by pundits to grab Nate Silver's hands and hit him in the face with them while asking "Why are you hitting yourself?", we see Michael Gerson's...

By Seth Masket

November 05, 2012 2:00 PM Vote for the D or the R

Tomorrow is Election Day. I have three last minute messages for you. First, vote. If you haven't voted already, go vote. It's probably not rational, but how many of the...

By Hans Noel

November 05, 2012 1:45 PM More Voters (Continue to) Expect Obama to Win

As a follow-up to a recent piece regarding the Rothschild and Wolfers research suggesting the predictive value of aggregating voters’ beliefs about the likely winner of the election, Pew just recently released...

By Joshua Tucker

November 05, 2012 1:33 PM How I Lost My Vote

I won't be voting for Barack Obama this time. Not because I don't think his opponent's policies betray a reprehensible lack of compassion and a reckless disregard for reality. I...

By Max Ehrenfreund

November 05, 2012 11:08 AM Is Our Parties Learning?

In a recent post,the estimable Jon Bernstein considers the question of whether Republicans would blame a Romney loss on Hurricane Sandy. He concludes that this would be a good outcome,...

By David Karol

November 05, 2012 11:02 AM We Need a Better Class of Plutocrat

Comparing (1) this tweet from Nate Silver yesterday: Between national + battleground state polls so far today: 29 Obama leads, 3 Romney leads, 5 ties. with (2) this anecdote from...

By Mark Kleiman

November 05, 2012 11:00 AM The Big Campaign Story for the Next Few Days

Thomas Ferguson writes about the campaign: There’s something chilling that haunts these final days: the Ghost of the 2000 Election. . . . for 2012, the scariest thing about 2000...

By Andrew Gelman

November 05, 2012 10:52 AM Ideological Bias and the Jobs Report

A recent UMass poll was in the field when the September jobs report came out, showing the unemployment rate to have dropped to 7.8%.  Brian Schaffner writes about how liberals...

By John Sides

November 05, 2012 10:05 AM Why the GOP Deserves to Lose

Whatever happens, it’s a safe bet the 2012 presidential election won’t go down in history as one for the ages. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have bickered ad nauseum, but...

By Will Marshall

November 05, 2012 9:55 AM The 2012 Stakes, Part II

Following up with Max’s The 2012 Stakes, Part I, I am going to discuss what's at stake with foreign affairs in this election. James Traub wrote in our 2012 January issue...

By Do Hyun Kim

November 05, 2012 9:33 AM Are Health Insurance Companies “Unproductive”?

Brad DeLong claims that health insurance and finance are “at best, completely unproductive.” Shifting an extra three percent of GDP into health care administration was a huge mistake. What the...

By Mark Kleiman

November 05, 2012 8:44 AM Avoiding the “Mormon Issue”

Ann Althouse is correct (blind squirrel theory in action? stopped clock theory in action?) to say that the absence of any “Mormon issue” in this campaign says something good about...

By Mark Kleiman

November 05, 2012 8:43 AM The 2012 Stakes, Part III

This is the last in our series on what's at stake in this election. Healthcare Obamacare is the most prominent issue at stake in this election. Republicans have vowed to...

By Do Hyun Kim

November 02, 2012 3:17 PM The Employment Report and the Election

Today’s employment report was the last wild card in the electoral deck. Substantively, the report was fairly positive: more jobs gained in October than expected, and the August/September numbers revised...

By Mark Kleiman

November 02, 2012 2:51 PM Conor Friedersdorf on Nate Silver

I’ve been following the current brouhaha about Nate Silver with interest, because it’s fascinating to me to watch people viscerally respond to probabilities. This is, in part, because some of...

By Aaron Carroll

November 02, 2012 2:29 PM The 2012 Stakes, Part I

After a football game, the winning team gets to go home and celebrate. After a presidential election, the winner gets to set national policy for four years. Today and Monday,...

By Max Ehrenfreund

November 02, 2012 2:20 PM How I Think About Undecided Voters

Reading this excellent post by Lynn Vavreck reminded me of a question that sometimes comes up (for example, in our recent q-and-a at the Larchmont public library): Who are those...

By Andrew Gelman

November 02, 2012 2:14 PM Does Unemployment Make People More Likely to Vote?

This is a guest post by Matthew Incantalupo, a doctoral candidate in politics and social policy at Princeton.*****The United States is slowly emerging from a once-in-a-generation period of high unemployment...

By John Sides

November 02, 2012 2:09 PM Good Use of an Endorsement

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg endorsed Barack Obama, citing the issue of climate change. How many votes is that worth to Obama? Well, we have here the mayor of the...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 02, 2012 1:04 PM Bloomberg '16? Of Course Not

Reihan Salam: Is it obvious that HRC would crush Bloomberg in a D primary? I don't think so. Of course, that assume that Bloomberg looks good in the long run...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 02, 2012 12:53 PM Running the Data on a Romney Presidency

In 2007, when Mitt Romney sat down with the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the candidate for the Republican presidential nomination was eager for the influential paper’s blessing. What he...

By Ezra Klein

November 02, 2012 10:56 AM Does Smoke-Free Legislation Work?

It’s incredibly hard to study the effect of legislation. So many factors come into play. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I just saw a study entitled, “Association Between Smoke-Free...

By Aaron Carroll

November 02, 2012 9:05 AM David Frum’s Strange Critique of Obama’s Record on Public Employment

In endorsing Mitt Romney for President, David Frum writes:Obama is following a path explored by the British Labor governments of 1997-2010, when the majority of the net new jobs created...

By Keith Humphreys

November 02, 2012 8:13 AM Reality Intrudes

Plutocrat Michael Bloomberg and the plutocrat-friendly Economist agree: Mitt Romney is just too big a risk to take.My favorite line is from The Economist: “Mr. Romney has an economic plan...

By Mark Kleiman

November 02, 2012 7:47 AM People Can Predict Elections (Even When Polls Can’t)

New research from David Rothschild and Justin Wolfers: Most pollsters base their election projections off questions of voter intentions, which ask “If the election were held today, who would you...

By John Sides

November 01, 2012 2:42 PM Is the Republican Party Brand Keeping Obama Afloat?

Tom Holbrook: …throughout this campaign period the Democratic Party has been viewed more positively than the Republican Party.  In fact, there is not a single poll in this series in...

By John Sides

November 01, 2012 2:17 PM Blaming Sandy Would Be Great

A lot of speculation out there now that if Mitt Romney loses, Republicans will blame Sandy for the loss. Momentum was going Romney's way all through October, but the storm...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 01, 2012 10:24 AM The Most Important Ads of the Campaign Are Only Airing Now

HuffPo’s Jason Linkins asks: Dunno if @monkeycageblog takes requests, but I’d love to see some poli sci on when, on the campaign timeline, tv ads are most effective. Here’s what...

By John Sides

November 01, 2012 9:46 AM How (My) Science Works

A group called EGAP (Experiments in Governance and Politics) is considering a proposal to establish a “Pilot Registry for Research Designs” where scholars could register new research projects, specifying in...

By Larry Bartels

November 01, 2012 8:55 AM Mistaking Parental Influence for Children’s Behaviour

My colleague Dr. Tom Robinson points out that sugar does not actually make children hyper. However, parents who believe that it does see what they expect. When researchers tell parents...

By Keith Humphreys

November 01, 2012 8:21 AM Senate Rules Fight Coming?

Greg Sargent has an important post up this afternoon about the possibility of a strong drive for filibuster reform if, as the polls right now are indicating, we get a...

By Jonathan Bernstein

November 01, 2012 8:00 AM Why not Evaluate the Candidates on their Responses to Crises?

Frida Ghitis writes an odd column for CNN urging voters not to take Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath into consideration when casting a vote in the presidential election. As evidence...

By Seth Masket

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