Ten Miles Square

January 2013 Archives

January 31, 2013 11:46 AM More Evidence that People are Still Talking about Gun Control

Apropos of John’s post from earlier in the week, here’s some additional evidence that people are still paying attention to the issue of gun control a month out from the...

By Joshua Tucker

January 31, 2013 11:39 AM The Secret Agreement to Cut the Deficit

Wait. Stop. What are we arguing about? I hate to spoil the fun, but deficit hawks and deficit doves are actually in agreement about how this sucker should play out....

By Michael Kinsley

January 30, 2013 2:05 PM Is "No Budget No Pay" a Misstep?

I highly recommend Stan Collender's latest on GOP budget strategy for those who aren't quite sure what a "budget" (that is, a Congressional budget resolution) is and why it does...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 30, 2013 2:01 PM Health Oriented Drug Policy Under President Obama

The abstract of my new paper in the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis: This paper reviews the first three years of drug policy in the Obama Administration, focusing in particular...

By Keith Humphreys

January 30, 2013 1:48 PM Hilary Mason on Data Sharing

Hilary Mason, chief scientist at bit.ly, has two posts on how and why companies like bit.ly should share data with academics. As a beneficiary (together with John and other members...

By Henry Farrell

January 30, 2013 1:36 PM To Fix the U.S. Economy, Fix Immigration

Washington tends to have a narrow view of what counts as “economic policy.” Anything we do to the tax code is in. So is any stimulus we pass, or any...

By Ezra Klein

January 30, 2013 10:54 AM Being a Doctor Is Still a Great Gig

My father, whom I’ve discussed before, is a retired thoracic surgeon who was triple boarded in critical care and ran a trauma unit. When I told him I wanted to...

By Aaron Carroll

January 30, 2013 10:51 AM Algorithmic Advertising and Racial Bias

Computer scientist Latanya Sweeney turns from her highly influential work on data privacy to investigate patterns in Google AdSense. Specifically, she asks whether the ads that you see when you...

By Henry Farrell

January 29, 2013 10:56 AM Progress and the Boy Scouts

Looks as if the corporate bigwigs on the board of the national Boy Scout organization have decided that they’re not happy with bigotry as a family value, and they’re pushing...

By Mark Kleiman

January 29, 2013 10:51 AM This Time the Gun Control Debate Is Different

The graph is from Danny Hayes, writing over at Wonkblog.  He concludes: But the media tend to be reactive, “indexing” their coverage according to the political debate happening within...

By John Sides

January 29, 2013 10:40 AM The Tricky Math of Rigging the Electoral College

Rick Hasen has a good column about about the national GOP effort to get Republican-controlled legislatures in states which vote for Democrats in presidential elections to switch to apportioning electoral...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 28, 2013 12:50 PM Recess is Over?

You will recall that in January 2012, President Obama named Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members to the National Labor Relations Board, all...

By Andrew Rudalevige

January 28, 2013 12:46 PM Bill Gates on Accountability and Program Evaluation

In the WSJ, Bill Gates writes about the power of data collection and analysis. He writes; “In the past year, I have been struck by how important measurement is to...

By Matthew Kahn

January 28, 2013 12:30 PM Rigging the Electoral College -- Get It Right

I was going to let this go, but I just saw Andrew Gelman's post about what a terrible idea electoral-votes-by-congressional-district would be, and that makes the third one (here's one...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 28, 2013 12:28 PM Life Expectancy Is Going Down for Many

Given my interest in life expectancy, and my desire to overcome the myth that its “meteoric rise” requires trimming benefits for the elderly, I simply cannot believe I missed this...

By Aaron Carroll

January 28, 2013 12:25 PM What the research says: Apportioning electoral votes by congressional district would be a seriously biasing idea

Given that the apportion-electoral-votes-by-congressional-votes idea is in the news again, I thought it would be a good idea to point to some recent research on the topic.Here’s what Andrew Thomas,...

By Andrew Gelman

January 28, 2013 12:13 PM Hey, Conservative Hacks: An Opportunity

Thinking about two major stories, the court decision to eliminate the recess appointment power and the plot to rig the electoral college... It strikes me that there's a major unexploited...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 28, 2013 10:36 AM David Cameron’s EU Magical Mystery Tour

David Cameron has just taken a colossal gamble with the future of his and my country and of Europe. In a speech delivered at the Bloomberg offices in London on...

By James Wimberley

January 25, 2013 2:00 PM Take a Little, Give a Little: There’s no Free Lunch When the Senate Reforms its Rules

Today could have been the day when Senate Democrats went nuclear – reining in minority party abuse of the filibuster with a simple majority vote.  That would have been...

By Sarah Binder

January 25, 2013 12:45 PM On Historical Rankings of Presidents

Nate Silver has an interesting piece attempting to forecast how historians will ultimately rank Obama, based on what we know about his presidency thus far. I don't know if he intended...

By Seth Masket

January 25, 2013 12:15 PM Can a National Popular Vote Defuse Republican Attempts to Steal 2016?

The latest move under consideration by the GOP is so aggressively anti-democratic that it's flirting with coup d'etat territory. Briefly, the thought is to take the states that typically go...

By Ryan Cooper

January 25, 2013 12:02 PM Reagan/Obama

I have a column up over at TAP arguing that it's a mistake for Barack Obama to aspire to being a "liberal Reagan" -- because, well, because politics doesn't work...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 25, 2013 12:00 PM America the Incomparable

Berkeley’s Martin Shapiro in the Law and Courts newsletter: One of the most difficult institutional taboos to evade, however, may be God’s prohibition on any Americanist employing comparative methods or...

By Erik Voeten

January 25, 2013 11:50 AM Do Politicians Need to be Friends to Cut a Deal?

President Obama recently spoke about the value of developing personal relationships in politics, something that a bunch of political scientists have been writing about recently (examples below). Jonathan Bernstein wrote...

By Jennifer Nicoll Victor

January 25, 2013 11:46 AM ARGH! - Emergency Department Edition

I just can’t believe we’re still doing this: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) doesn’t like President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. It’s too expensive and too intrusive, he says....

By Aaron Carroll

January 25, 2013 11:42 AM Flu Shots Don’t Cause Fetal Death

A few years ago, when everyone was panicked about the swine flu, pregnant women appeared to be at significant risk to be seriously ill if they got the flu. But...

By Aaron Carroll

January 25, 2013 10:05 AM Proposed Senate Reforms: Recap and Discussion

The Congressional news (see links to text in article) of the day is that Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell have reached a tentative agreement on a...

By Gregory Koger

January 24, 2013 12:01 PM A Pickle for States Refusing the Medicaid Expansion

Great pickup by the Associated Press: Governors who reject health insurance for the poor under the federal health care overhaul could wind up in a politically awkward position on immigration:...

By Aaron Carroll

January 24, 2013 11:56 AM Rating the Presidents

As Barack Obama enters his second term, some already are wishing it over. Not just the House Republicans, either – but those who want to locate Obama’s place in The...

By Andrew Rudalevige

January 24, 2013 10:00 AM Politicians in the Red

The next time some politician talks about the national debt and tries to make it all folksy by comparing it to your credit card or grandma's farm, keep this in...

By Daniel Luzer

January 24, 2013 8:43 AM Sometimes, the Final Vote Hides the Real Vote

The House yesterday approved the Republicans' debt limit extension. It was a tough vote...I was going to say for Republicans, but it's probably a tough vote for a lot of...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 24, 2013 7:52 AM Overlooked on the Senate Budget?

I linked earlier today to a good WaPo piece by Rachel Weiner explaining why Senate Democrats haven't passed a budget resolution -- mainly that there was no particular reason to...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 23, 2013 2:00 PM Will the British EU Referendum be an Inside-Out Version of the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia?

Earlier today David Cameron made public what had been speculated for a while now: if the Conservatives are re-elected to another term in office, then the UK will hold an...

By Joshua Tucker

January 23, 2013 1:40 PM Obama’s Legacy as a Partisan

Hence the basic irony inherent in the Obama presidency: He campaigned as a post-partisan, but his most lasting accomplishments will be those of a partisan. This is the conclusion of...

By John Sides

January 23, 2013 1:08 PM Why Does DC Have a Gun Death Rate Like Brazil’s?

Last month, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, I argued that while permissive gun laws and mental health were contributing factors in American gun violence, the real cause...

By Daniel Luzer

January 23, 2013 11:49 AM Why Did Normal Order Go Away?

Later today the House is to vote on HR 325, a bill to suspend the debt limit until mid-May and then the debt limit will automatically be increased by the...

By Don Taylor

January 23, 2013 11:46 AM The President’s Permanent Campaign

Presidents are frequently criticized for campaigning instead of governing, but in a highly polarized era without lasting Congressional majorities, the stakes every two years grow ever higher: witness the gridlock...

By John Sides

January 23, 2013 11:34 AM A Bit More on Peaceful Transitions and Democracy

Some commenters to my post (and, separately, Kevin Drum) point outed out yesterday that the US string of consecutive peaceful democratic transitions that Dylan Matthews posted on overlooks the case...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 23, 2013 11:28 AM Can Obama’s Second Term Unleash Power of His First?

U.S. President Barack Obama begins his second term confronting a familiar and frustrating incongruity: the gap between how much change he has fostered and how little about the country seems...

By Ezra Klein

January 23, 2013 10:53 AM Social Class and Marital Conflict

Oliver and Maggie are young, very much in love, and planning their honeymoon. What should be an exciting series of conversations becomes surprisingly unpleasant. Maggie resents Oliver’s nonchalance about where...

By Keith Humphreys

January 22, 2013 4:35 PM Can the “Discharge Rule” Save Congress?

Ezra Klein offers a provocative argument: Perhaps the House discharge rule could save Congress.  He argues: “…[T]here is an alternative to the Hastert rule that doesn’t require Boehner’s assent. Under...

By Sarah Binder

January 22, 2013 3:06 PM What Is the Middle Class?

I noticed an interesting juxtaposition in two recent NYT articles.A few days ago, in a news article by Al Baker on “gifted and talented” programs in public schools: For critics...

By Andrew Gelman

January 22, 2013 12:00 PM The Cost of Finding Breakthrough Drugs

A piece by Keith Humphreys showed us meta-analysis that reveals Omega-3 supplements that were previously thought to lower the risk of having heart attack or stroke actually do not have...

By Do Hyun Kim

January 22, 2013 11:45 AM It’s Sad That Obama Is Doing This

Thomas Ferguson sends along this news article by Lisa Lerer and Jonathan Salant: Obama’s Inaugural Fundraising Lays Groundwork for Legacy President Barack Obama has mused about his legacy . ....

By Andrew Gelman

January 22, 2013 11:40 AM Political Ads: Not as Powerful as You (or Politicians) Think

Over at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, I have a new post on the effects of political advertising in the 2012 presidential race.  I first use the map below to illustrate...

By Dan Hopkins

January 22, 2013 11:33 AM A Damn Good Speech

I’m a little surprised that Mark Kleiman hasn’t beaten me to the punch on this: a helluva speech by the President. My personal favorite moment was when he noted that...

By Jonathan Zasloff

January 22, 2013 11:24 AM Soda Revenue Is WAY Down

Derek Thompson over at The Atlantic: Ten years ago, Americans drank enough soda every year to fill a small aquarium. Fifty-three gallons of the stuff per person. That’s half a...

By Aaron Carroll

January 22, 2013 10:57 AM Yes, the US Should Brag About Peaceful Transition of Power

Dylan Matthews tries to spoil the party by pointing out that the United States is not, in fact, unique in its ability to transfer power peacefully. To which I say:...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 22, 2013 10:50 AM Obama Inaugural’s Liberal Definition of Rights

President Barack Obama’s on Monday made -- or tried to make -- two different points, both concerning the definition of “rights.” Although couched in the kind of president-ese appropriate to...

By Michael Kinsley

January 22, 2013 10:37 AM Why Does David Brooks Want to Take the Politics Out of Politics?

David Brooks’s latest column reminds me of the definition of an “independent” as someone who wants to take the politics out of politics. Except that by “politics” Brooks means, not...

By Mark Kleiman

January 18, 2013 11:52 AM Really Hard Jobs

Some jobs are challenging, and some are so hard it’s a wonder anyone can be found to take them on. Ambassador from Pakistan to anywhere, for example. At the moment,...

By Michael O'Hare

January 18, 2013 11:34 AM Do Americans Trust Goverment Less Because It’s Become an Insurance Broker?

At the end of an interesting and data-packed post on the growth in federal spending, Nate Silver offers a hypothesis: Nevertheless, the declining level of trust in government since the...

By John Sides

January 18, 2013 11:00 AM Obama on Guns

I suspected that Obama would keep it fairly simple: background checks, real penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchasing, high-capacity magazines, tracing, data, research. Other than the magazines provision, none...

By Mark Kleiman

January 18, 2013 10:00 AM Divining Obama’s Next Act From His First-Term Record

Presidential inaugurations are traditionally occasions for stroking one’s chin and offering sober assessments of what the president and the nation can accomplish in the next four years. This is bound...

By Jonathan Alter

January 17, 2013 12:02 PM The Wages of Inequality

Daniel Luzer wrote about how much salary a dean of New England Law School, John F. O’Brien, receives: O’Brien earns about three times the median salary of law school deans...

By Do Hyun Kim

January 17, 2013 11:43 AM Oh 113th Congress Hastert Rule, we hardly knew ye!

Is the Hastert Rule dead?  Speaker Denny Hastert coined his eponymous rule in 2003 when he declared that the “job of the Speaker is not to expedite legislation that runs...

By Sarah Binder

January 17, 2013 11:28 AM New Purpose of Government Is Better Government

For all the bitterness in Washington these days, it’s easy to miss the broad consensus that undergirds our contentious politics. Republicans swear to protect Medicare and Social Security, and most...

By Ezra Klein

January 17, 2013 11:00 AM Why Do We Have Checkups?

There’s a new paper out in Archives of Internal Medicine, which I am sure is causing consternation among many primary care physicians. “General Health Checks in Adults for Reducing Morbidity...

By Aaron Carroll

January 17, 2013 10:06 AM Keith Hennessey on Debt Limit and Health Reform

Keith Hennessey has a long piece noting that a debt limit fight is bad politics and bad economics, that prioritization won’t work and that Republicans should instead fight it out...

By Don Taylor

January 16, 2013 9:17 AM How “Breakthrough Medical Findings” Disappear

Many people get frustrated by the fact that miracle pills, diets and remedies are announced by scientists with regularity, yet in most cases subsequent research can’t replicate the original “breakthrough”....

By Keith Humphreys

January 16, 2013 9:04 AM If It's Always a Crisis...

Philip Klein has been urging Republicans to act sensibly on the debt limit, but I'm going to have to call him out on this one: [I]t’s undeniable that Obama’s first...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 16, 2013 9:00 AM A Sacrifice on the Altar of Intellectual Property

Aaron Swartz died recently, by his own hand. He was 26, and facing up to thirty years in federal prison for downloading most of JSTOR. Prosecutors had offered him a...

By Mark Kleiman

January 16, 2013 8:08 AM Mega Trials for Blockbuster Drugs

Anyone who reads me regularly knows research is expensive. Trials of just a few hundred participants (or less) can run into the millions of dollars. Therefore, most of the big...

By Aaron Carroll

January 15, 2013 1:50 PM U.S. Tax Rates Are Really Low

Derek Thompson over at The Atlantic has reproduced several interesting measures of taxes in the United States, relative to other countries. Despite conservative politicians’ insistence that the country’s budget problems...

By Daniel Luzer

January 15, 2013 12:10 PM Senators Doing It Right

Chuck Schumer today finally said that he would support confirming Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. This set off plenty of guffaws on the twitter machine, as savvy journalists pointed...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 15, 2013 12:04 PM The Economy and the Campaign

Income growth was slow through most of 2012, and prospective voters were correspondingly pessimistic about the state of the economy. So how was Barack Obama reelected? An important part of the answer is...

By Larry Bartels

January 15, 2013 11:00 AM Death Star Politics: the White House Response

Praise where praise is due: the White House has issued a response to the petition calling upon the U.S. to construct a Death Star. (I like to think that this...

By Seth Masket

January 15, 2013 10:17 AM Why Jon Stewart's Coin Bit Failed

So, Jon Stewart took offense at Krugman and myself (okay, just Krugman) whacking him over his crappy coin segment: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Get More: Daily Show Full...

By Ryan Cooper

January 15, 2013 10:00 AM Fast Food and Diet in Children

We’ve significantly reduced our eating at fast food restaurants in my family in the last year or two. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Pediatrics...

By Aaron Carroll

January 14, 2013 12:15 PM Remembering Aaron Swartz

I don’t want to write about the circumstances of his suicide – it’s too raw. I do want to write about who he was. I suspect that the media will...

By Henry Farrell

January 14, 2013 12:05 PM A New Kind of Arms Race with the NRA

A key challenge for gun policy reflects the asymmetric passions of the two sides. The National Rifle Association and its allies hold unpopular views in the country at-large. Yet they...

By Harold Pollack

January 14, 2013 11:57 AM Age-rating and Selection

The American Academy of Actuaries says premiums for young Americans will go way up because they will be cross-subsidizing older Americans. No surprise.A consequence is more of them are likely...

By Austin Frakt

January 14, 2013 11:49 AM Movie Review: Queen of Versailles

My friend Keith Humphreys posts many movie reviews. I’ll step on his turf today. On the recommendation of some friends, I finally caught the documentary: Queen of Versailles. Ezra Klein...

By Harold Pollack

January 14, 2013 11:43 AM Race and Population Level Health Statistics

Whenever I write about population level health statistics, inevitably some people feel a need to email, post, tweet, or message me about their belief that it all comes down to...

By Aaron Carroll

January 14, 2013 11:39 AM Preregistration of Studies and Mock Reports

The traditional system of scientific and scholarly publishing is breaking down in two different directions.On one hand, we are moving away from relying on a small set of journals as...

By Andrew Gelman

January 14, 2013 11:31 AM Rocky Gone; Never Did Have To Spend It All

Jay Rockefeller announced that he will not seek another term. He was going to have a tough time winning it, perhaps; Republicans had already recruited a tough challenger, Shelley Moore Capito....

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 11, 2013 11:58 AM Senate Reform 101: The Case Against the Constitutional Option

On January 3, senators put off decisions about if or how to restrict the ability of senators to filibuster. The quasi-deadline for a decision is January 22. Why? Because, the argument goes, the first...

By Gregory Koger

January 11, 2013 11:00 AM The Future of Nixon

Andrew Sullivan notes that Richard Nixon sometimes didn't kick disabled kids in the face and was a pragmatist on domestic policy and concludes: This was a criminal who betrayed the...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 11, 2013 10:47 AM The NRA: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em-Then Beat 'Em

As my friend James Rosen of Fox News has reported at Greta Van Susteren ‘s blog, in the aftermath of the Newtown mass murder, NRA membership actually increased. “A source...

By Jamie Malanowski

January 11, 2013 10:42 AM Paternalism and Pot Policy

Andrew Sullivan points to arguments by Rod Dreher and David Frum that cannabis legalization would benefit mostly middle-class moderate users at the expense of mostly poor heavy users. Sullivan is...

By Mark Kleiman

January 11, 2013 10:33 AM That Controversial Claim that High Genetic Diversity, or Low Genetic Diversity, Is Bad for the Economy

Kyle Peyton writes: I’m passing you this recent news article by Ewen Callaway in the hope that you will make a comment about the methodology on your blog. It’s generated...

By Andrew Gelman

January 11, 2013 9:00 AM Here Comes the Anti-Coin Backlash

Ezra Klein adopts the arguments which conservatives Philip Klein and Ross Douthat have made: that the "mint the coin" crowd is really bailing out the GOP crazies. The theory goes...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 11, 2013 8:49 AM Jon Stewart Faceplants on #MintTheCoin

Jon Stewart took a look at the platinum coin option on his show last night, and it really sucked: The Daily ShowGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire...

By Ryan Cooper

January 10, 2013 12:03 PM How The Platinum Coin Option Helps the President's Negotiating Position

I agree with Joe Weisenthal, the debate over the platinum coin has been the most interesting discussion in ages. Not only has it split the usual coalitions—with Josh Barro allied...

By Ryan Cooper

January 10, 2013 11:26 AM Megan McArdle Says The Thing That Is

Precisely: Mere words can hardly convey the preposterousness of the debt ceiling. It is a stupid artifact of legislation that was hastily passed in the World War I era, and...

By Mark Kleiman

January 10, 2013 11:10 AM Will We Hold (Football) Pollsters Accountable?

Aaron Ellis gives every single proximate reason why Notre Dame’s football team was completely crushed by Alabama in the BCS Championship Game. But he misses the higher-order cause: They were...

By Keith Humphreys

January 10, 2013 11:04 AM Some Wake Up Calls from Mortality Data

Just a few more charts from the mortality data I’ve been hitting today.This is deaths from violence: The US is a real outlier. We’re not so much when it comes...

By Aaron Carroll

January 10, 2013 11:01 AM Solis Out

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has announced that she's leaving the administration. Barack Obama is going to be under some pressure on the demographic characteristics of her replacement; with Jack...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 10, 2013 10:54 AM A Drone War Is Still a War

The most famous painting of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica,” commemorates the bombing of the small Spanish town on April 26, 1937, by the German air force, in support...

By Michael Kinsley

January 10, 2013 8:30 AM Best in the World, my Ass

By now, I’m sure you’ve read an article on how we’re dying at higher rates of so many, many things compared to the rest of the world. All that is...

By Aaron Carroll

January 09, 2013 4:42 PM Debt Limit Options

I thought I had written about the platinum coin last time around, but if I did, I can't find it. But basically, I think we all covered this last time...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 09, 2013 3:46 PM Congress vs. Nickelback: The Real Action is in the Cross Tabs

I can’t tell if this is a spoof: When asked if they have a higher opinion of either Congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they...

By Andrew Gelman

January 09, 2013 2:08 PM Michelle Rhee's Real Data Problem

Last night PBS’s Frontline featured a documentary on Michelle Rhee, the controversial former superintendent of Washington, DC schools. Rhee, famous for instituting top-down accountability based on results from standardized tests,...

By Daniel Luzer

January 09, 2013 11:01 AM If not the Coin, then what?

Though I somewhat playfully supported the Platinum Coin fix* to the debt-ceiling problem during the last crisis – as the perfect non-solution to a complete non-problem – I’m sympathetic to...

By Mark Kleiman

January 09, 2013 10:54 AM How 2012 Stacks Up: The Hottest Year on Record?

Pat Egan sends along this monstrosity: It would be a fun exercise to find all the problems with the above plot.I’m really glad to have it out there, though. Next...

By Andrew Gelman

January 09, 2013 10:38 AM Great Reporters, Great Books

Very sad about the loss of Richard Ben Cramer. Since I may have an Oy Bai post in the works for later, I figured that I should write something nice...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 09, 2013 10:08 AM Biden Hugs, Deals Way Back to White House Contention

For a 70-year-old man, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden sure spends an awful lot of time winning the Internet. No other living politician has quite the same ratio of words...

By Ezra Klein

January 08, 2013 5:53 PM Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe on the Legality of #mintthecoin

I talked with Professor Tribe today over email, asking him two questions. One, would it be legal to exploit the platinum coin "loophole," (my word) and two, would reaching the...

By Ryan Cooper

January 08, 2013 3:39 PM Richard Ben Cramer, 1950-2012

Over the last twenty years or so, you could talk with people about great political books, like Game Change or what have you, and then somebody would remember that Richard...

By Jamie Malanowski

January 08, 2013 3:23 PM What If the Obama Campaign Didn’t Win Him the Election?

In the wake of the 2012 election, it’s become commonplace to credit Obama’s “formidable” campaign for his victory.  I’ve already begun to challenge that narrative a bit.  This post will...

By John Sides

January 08, 2013 3:10 PM Death Panels and the Challenges of Correcting Political Misperceptions

Context: Misperceptions are a major problem in debates about health care reform and other controversial health issues. Methods: We conducted an experiment to determine if more aggressive media fact-checking could...

By John Sides

January 08, 2013 2:55 PM Hillary Clinton’s Ego Trips

The world is a better place because of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. That’s not the question. The question is whether it is a better place because...

By Michael Kinsley

January 08, 2013 9:15 AM Obama Toes the Line

The regression line, that is.John’s post on “the ‘formidable campaign’ narrative” offers some apt words of caution regarding one popular explanation for the president’s reelection. Alas, that’s a bit like...

By Larry Bartels

January 08, 2013 8:32 AM Physicians and Brand Name Drugs

I’ve often put forth my belief that one easy way we could reduce spending is to stop paying for things that don’t work, or more for things that don’t work...

By Aaron Carroll

January 07, 2013 11:37 AM Pull Back or Lean Forward?

The most recent issue of Foreign Affairs hosts an excellent debate between two visions for a future U.S. grand strategy  (thanks to Foreign Affairs for making both articles freely available...

By Erik Voeten

January 07, 2013 11:19 AM Did Somebody Change the Definition of “Revenue Neutral”?

The New York Times reports: Mr. McConnell did say he would favor reform if it was “revenue neutral,” meaning that any new tax revenue would be matched by spending cuts....

By Joshua Tucker

January 07, 2013 10:15 AM Taxing Sugar Sweetened Beverages

Long time readers know I think that the prohibition against soda in New York City isn’t great policy. I’ve been less hesitant to come out strongly against a tax against...

By Aaron Carroll

January 07, 2013 10:00 AM “Stemming the Rise of the Oceans”

John Cochrane writes: Yes, infrastructure is crumbling, as a few New Yorkers may have figured out when their power went off, while their politicians—and the Times—instead of talking about burying...

By Andrew Gelman

January 07, 2013 9:53 AM "We’re All Big Boys and Girls": Michael Dukakis on the Affordable Care Act, Kerry's Senate Seat, and that One, Very Important, Election

The 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis was rumored to be up for the interim replacement for John Kerry if and when the Senator resigns to become the Secretary...

By Jordan Michael Smith

January 04, 2013 11:57 AM Revenue-Raising Tax Reform Still Probably Impossible

I'm inclined to agree with Ezra Klein's post that liberals are failing to recognize that this week's fiscal cliff deal was actually pretty good for them.  However, it seems to...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 04, 2013 11:45 AM The Strangely Underreported Decline in the Incarceration Rate

I hereby submit my nomination for the most underreported public policy story of the past year: The continuing decline in the number of Americans who are behind bars or on...

By Keith Humphreys

January 04, 2013 11:35 AM Chart of the Day: What Kills Young Americans

Guns do a lot of the killing. From Judith and Sean Palfrey in New England Journal of Medicine: [Cross-posted at The Incidental Economist]...

By Austin Frakt

January 04, 2013 11:30 AM Not Nice Work If You Can Get It: Good Luck to Senator Mikulski

The continually growing presence of women in Congress — now for the first time breaking into triple digits — is getting deserved attention. Another historic first of the 113th Congress:...

By Keith Humphreys

January 04, 2013 11:29 AM Better, if not Cheaper

Ezeliel Emanuel has a great piece over at the NYT about end-of-life care. He starts off by correcting a few myths: Here are the real numbers. The roughly 6 percent...

By Aaron Carroll

January 04, 2013 11:14 AM Governing the World: A Review

The past decade has treated us to some excellent histories of international organizations. Paul Kennedy’s history of the United Nations, Harold James’ history of international monetary cooperation, and Erez Manela’s...

By Erik Voeten

January 04, 2013 11:08 AM Did Steven Levitt Really Believe in 2008 that Obama “Would Be the Greatest President in History”?

In the interview we discussed a couple months ago, Steven Levitt said: I [Levitt] voted for Obama [in 2008] because I wanted to tell my grandchildren that I voted for...

By Andrew Gelman

January 04, 2013 11:04 AM Pull Back or Lean Forward?

The most recent issue of Foreign Affairs hosts an excellent debate between two visions for a future U.S. grand strategy  (thanks to Foreign Affairs for making both articles freely available...

By Erik Voeten

January 04, 2013 10:55 AM Looking Back at the Cliff

I'm late to this post, so I'm just going to do it scattershot-style... First, I'll give you some links. Of course you're going to want to start with what Sarah...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 04, 2013 10:52 AM Obama’s New Leverage: Implement The Defense Sequester

There is much bemoaning in Blue Blogistan that by agreeing to the fiscal cliff deal, President Obama relinquished his leverage of the sunsetting Bush tax cuts. (Markos says that the...

By Jonathan Zasloff

January 04, 2013 10:47 AM Liberals Nip Obama as He Battles Republicans

You can already hear the rumbling in the distance -- a train of noisy liberal Democrats barreling straight for the White House. They should arrive just in time for President...

By Jonathan Alter

January 02, 2013 6:48 PM Obama’s Agenda

A couple of things to note from the President’s statement after the House stepped back from the cliff (other than his strong reiteration of a refusal to deal about the...

By Mark Kleiman

January 02, 2013 6:30 PM 113th House Fun Facts

The House Press Gallery has a nice fact sheet on the incoming 113th House. Lots of fun facts, some of which I knew (78 women, 59D/19R, not counting 3 delegates,...

By Jonathan Bernstein

January 02, 2013 6:26 PM A Congress Nerd’s Superbowl: Watching the Fiscal Cliff Game

Some people watch football; I watch Congress.  The fiscal cliff drama was my Superbowl and Rose Bowl wrapped into one.    First, two septuagenarians negotiated a tax deal overnight, which...

By Sarah Binder

January 02, 2013 1:17 PM Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History

On January 3rd, the 112th Congress of the United States of America finally ends. Thank God. To properly evaluate the 112th, consider the record of its predecessor, the 111th Congress,...

By Ezra Klein

January 02, 2013 12:00 PM How the Health System Fails Consumers

About her own care, which she describes in Journal of the American Medical Association, Nancy Kressin asks, Why was I unable to negotiate a more conservative and less costly path...

By Austin Frakt

January 02, 2013 10:52 AM More “Even-Handedness” from AP

Basic fact about the fiscal cliff bill:   Aye No D 174 16 R 85 151 Why can’t David Espo and Alan Fram at the Associated Press get that basic...

By Mark Kleiman

January 02, 2013 10:03 AM Getting the (Remaining) Lead Out

Shorter Kevin Drum:1. Lead is remarkably nasty stuff. In minuscule quantities (measured in the single digits of micrograms per decliter of blood) it damages both IQ and the capacity for...

By Mark Kleiman

January 02, 2013 9:43 AM The State of the Literature on the Association between Health Care Cost and Quality

Peter Hussey, Samuel Wertheimer, and Ateev Mehrotra conducted a systematic review of the association between health care cost and quality (both variously measured) that included 61 studies. It’s published in...

By Austin Frakt

January 01, 2013 11:06 AM Quantum Mechanics and the Fiscal Cliff

Like most other liberals, I can’t say I’m overjoyed at the fiscal cliff deal. The substance isn’t so terrible. I’m especially pleased that “refundables” like the Earned Income Tax Credit,...

By Harold Pollack

January 01, 2013 10:00 AM “Lincoln” and Parliamentary Procedure

The story is about the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field are astoundingly good as Abraham and Mary Lincoln. The supporting cast is superb. The writing...

By Mark Kleiman

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