Ten Miles Square

March 2013 Archives

March 29, 2013 3:26 PM The Staid Conservatism of Gay Marriage

As two landmark gay rights cases hit the Supreme Court this week it strikes me as interesting how gay rights are typically painted as left-wing but are actually rather conservative...

By Rhiannon M. Kirkland

March 29, 2013 11:30 AM The Real Reason Public Opinion Doesn't Work

Jonathan Chait gets it half-right: At his remarks today touting support for background checks on guns, President Obama said, "Nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change."...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 29, 2013 11:29 AM Hidden Time Bomb in the Gay Marriage Case?

The Orwellian “Defense of Marriage Act” seems to have had a bad day with the Supremes, which is a good thing. Let’s assume that the Court strikes down section 3,...

By Jonathan Zasloff

March 29, 2013 11:00 AM Affirmative Action in the Trenches

“B” was all he texted me, but I knew Tramon was disappointed. His first report card at Dartmouth College was not straight A’s, matching his high school record. He was...

By Elias Vlanton

March 29, 2013 10:24 AM Pope Francis: Change Agent?

Wonkette points to Pope Francis breaking a tradition by washing the feet of two young women prisoners in the nice Maundy Thursday rite he shares (in a bowdlerised dry form)...

By James Wimberley

March 29, 2013 9:17 AM Don't Weep for the Radiologists: Doctors Are Still Pretty Rich

I am sure this will bring me a whole new batch of hate mail, but I can’t ignore the story. I feel like Nina Bernstein wrote it just for me....

By Aaron Carroll

March 29, 2013 9:12 AM Can Politicians Make a Comeback from Sex Scandals?

Mark Sanford is running for Congress. David Petraeus may consider a run for President. In both cases there are major question marks about whether the American public may forgive them...

By Erik Voeten

March 29, 2013 8:36 AM Defining a “Serving” of Pot

A “standard drink” is conventionally defined as the alcohol content of 12 ounces of 5%-alcohol beer or 5 ounces of 12%-alchol wine or an ounce and half (a shot) of...

By Mark Kleiman

March 28, 2013 11:29 AM The Concern Trolls Are Right About Gay Marriage, but that's Nothing to be Concerned About

As the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments on Prop 8 and DOMA in the shadow of a remarkable shift in public opinion in favor of marriage equality, a number...

By Hans Noel

March 28, 2013 11:22 AM How the Heritage Foundation Manufactured a New Obamacare Myth

Over the weekend, Alyene Senger at Heritage ran an item called "Obamacare at Three Years: Increasing Cost Estimates." Her claim: Over the last three years, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 28, 2013 11:17 AM The Battle Over Obamacare Moves to the States

President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act celebrated its third birthday last weekend. This particular anniversary was a big deal, because it was often unclear whether the law...

By Ezra Klein

March 27, 2013 2:04 PM Why the Eurozone Is One of the Worst Ideas in History

I stared at this FT piece with mouth agape this morning: Donald Tusk, Poland’s prime minister, took a big political gamble on Tuesday when he opened the door to a...

By Ryan Cooper

March 27, 2013 11:32 AM Will the GOP Lose the Evangelicals?

Republicans have to move on gay marriage or get left behind, especially by younger votes. Mike Huckabee – nobody’s fool – says that, if they do, the evangelicals will take...

By Mark Kleiman

March 27, 2013 11:27 AM Adapting to Climate Change and the 2014 Winter Olympics

Sochi, Russia knows what happens when temperatures rise above 32 degrees F. The Winter Olympics is less fun in the slush. Anticipating this challenge could arise at the 2014 Winter...

By Matthew Kahn

March 27, 2013 11:19 AM 9 Things You Should Read about the Politics of Same-Sex Marriage

As oral arguments get underway at the Supreme Court, here are a bunch of links to what we and other political scientists have written about gay marriage of late: An...

By John Sides

March 27, 2013 11:09 AM Will International Examples Influence the Gay Marriage Decision?

The U.S. Supreme Court somewhat controversially cited  foreign (non-British) case law  in Texas v. Lawrence (2003, a gay rights case) and Roper v. Simmons (2005). This led to a backlash and the Court has...

By Erik Voeten

March 26, 2013 3:32 PM Political Science Turns to the Political Science Research on Restoring One's Grant Money

Of all the sciences to be subject to congressional restrictions on what research can and can’t be funded by the National Science Foundation, congress may have chosen the worst possible...

By Jennifer Nicoll Victor

March 26, 2013 3:27 PM Why I'm Fascinated by Beer Even Though It Usually Tastes Terrible

Keith’s post reminds me that I love almost everything about beer except drinking it (on the latter, I like it with spicy food or on hot summer afternoons, but as...

By Michael O'Hare

March 26, 2013 3:21 PM Nearly Half of Health Spending for Richer Americans Is Tax-Financed

Below is a pre-publication version of a chart that appears in Chris Conover’s The American Health Economy Illustrated. How do individuals with incomes 400% or more of the federal poverty...

By Austin Frakt

March 26, 2013 3:05 PM The Great Cycle of Health Care Innovation

Ezra Klein reports on some new gadgets to measure and report biomarkers less invasively and more efficiently. He ends with some questions. Will biometric devices in constant communication with the...

By Austin Frakt

March 26, 2013 2:54 PM Did the Iraq War Cause the Great Recession?

Thomas Oatley thinks that it very plausibly did. His argument draws upon an interesting article (should be ungated) in the new issue of Perspectives on Politics, where he, Kindred Winecoff,...

By Henry Farrell

March 26, 2013 2:40 PM How Activists Misrepresent the Groups They Purport to Speak For

A couple months ago, I noted some important differences among the population of gun owners. Gun owners who were not National Rifle Association members were more amenable to various forms...

By John Sides

March 25, 2013 11:54 AM The Real Truth About Lobbying

What do Enron’s emails teach us about lobbying? Popular discussions of lobbying focus on quid pro quo transactions between legislators and lobbyists, with campaign contributions as the currency of choice....

By Dan Hopkins

March 25, 2013 11:06 AM Is the Estate Tax Doomed?

This is the question posed by political scientists Kenneth Scheve (Stanford University) and David Stasavage (New York University) in a post on the NY Times’ Opinionator blog.  They note: With...

By Joshua Tucker

March 25, 2013 11:00 AM How Rolling Rock Got Fancy

In a post about marijuana markets, I mentioned the disorienting experience of seeing affluent San Francisco hipsters who could afford much better brew nonetheless drinking Rolling Rock (a so-so working...

By Keith Humphreys

March 25, 2013 10:18 AM How American Health Care Really Works

Sometimes I lack the words. From the NYT: Two nights a year, Tennessee holds a health care lottery of sorts, giving the medically desperate a chance to get help. Yes,...

By Aaron Carroll

March 25, 2013 9:39 AM Claire McCaskill's Very Creative Christian Justification for Gay Marriage

Claire McCaskill endorses gay marriage. That’s an important sign. McCaskill knows Missouri, and if this is a winning position in Missouri it’s “game over.” The partisan Democrat in me hopes...

By Mark Kleiman

March 25, 2013 9:13 AM The Very Rich Are Different From You and Me

Wealthy Americans, by a sizeable margin, consider the federal debt to be the nation’s most important problem. Unlike the public as a whole, they support cutting spending on a wide variety...

By Larry Bartels

March 25, 2013 8:47 AM How Research Dies... to Thunderous Applause

I wanted to comment a bit on the U.S. Senate's passage of Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) amendment barring the National Science Foundation from funding most political science research. This is pretty shocking...

By Seth Masket

March 25, 2013 7:31 AM Marriage as a Cornerstone Rather than a Capstone

Karen Swallow Prior makes the case for getting married young and thereby having the relationship be the cornerstone of adult life rather than its capstone. Her own experience: Looking back...

By Keith Humphreys

March 22, 2013 12:44 PM Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, vs. Mitt Romney?

Sure, there's war, and unemployment, and all sorts of other terrible things...but at least we get the unreported story of the 2012 nomination battle: that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 22, 2013 10:00 AM The Trouble with Google Products

I’ve been waiting for this post from Ezra Klein. It follows another good one from James Fallows, to which Ezra refers. Together, the Gmail experience, the death of Google Reader,...

By Austin Frakt

March 22, 2013 8:47 AM Political Science as an Interest Group

Dan Drezner has a very pessimistic item on the lobbying power of political scientists. It's good, and I agree with most of it. I do think, however, that political science...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 21, 2013 12:51 PM Does Congress Have a Conservative Bias on Gay Rights Issues?

Justice Scalia argued in his dissent in Romer that: This Court has no business imposing upon all Americans the resolution favored by the elite class from which the Members of...

By Erik Voeten

March 21, 2013 11:45 AM How Do You Know If Someone is Gay?

As the U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to consider gay marriage, the European Court of Justice (ECJ, the European Union’s highest court) is asked a very different question pertaining...

By Erik Voeten

March 21, 2013 10:30 AM Why Spy When You Can Facebook?

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg unfurled the latest changes to Facebook. Soon, the platform’s one billion users can all enjoy a ‘personalized newspaper’, with the newsfeed transformed into an aggregated interface...

By Emily Menkes

March 21, 2013 9:01 AM The Wrong Question People Always Ask about Marijuana Legalization

You won’t see the lead-in with the Cheech & Chong references, but I think – without being excessively grim – I managed to convert what was supposed to be ha-ha-meet-the-pot-czar...

By Mark Kleiman

March 21, 2013 8:48 AM American Academy of Pediatrics Comes Out in Support of Marriage Equality

There are moments I’m really proud to be a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Their just released policy statement, “Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents are Gay...

By Aaron Carroll

March 20, 2013 12:00 PM The Villains of Iraq

Okay, let's talk blame for the Iraq War. Matt Yglasias, in a smart post, says: The main not-totally-obvious thing I have to say about this is that the underrated villains...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 20, 2013 11:54 AM Cypriot Haircuts

So Cypriot banks are broke, big-time. They took tons of money from Russian mafiosi and let it to Greece, which has since melted down. I get that.And the banks were...

By Mark Kleiman

March 20, 2013 11:41 AM What Do Members of Congress Tweet About?

As it turns out, it’s not always about hitting a deer with your car.  Here is a guest post from political scientist Heather Evans.*****Many members of Congress are on Twitter,...

By John Sides

March 20, 2013 11:27 AM What Is Real Government Waste?

I linked to it from Plum Line yesterday, but I want to make sure everyone sees a great survey from Emily Swanson and Mark Blumenthal about what "waste" means to...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 20, 2013 11:18 AM Mistakes, Excuses and Painful Lessons From the Iraq War

I supported the Iraq War, and I’m sorry. I have my excuses, of course. I was a college student, young and dumb. I thought that if U.S. President George W....

By Ezra Klein

March 20, 2013 8:58 AM Just Desserts for the GOP

From a scathing new self-examination by the Republican National Committee: We need to look at our methods of contact and test each — mail, phones, door-to-door, and digital efforts, and...

By Seth Masket

March 20, 2013 7:36 AM Why Economists Need to Pay More Attention to Politics

It’s been interesting to follow the progress of Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson over the last few years, from what I suspect (but don’t know – happy to be corrected)...

By Henry Farrell

March 19, 2013 11:00 PM Making Time Fly (Backwards) in the Senate

It seems the Senate has resolved its impasse over the Continuing Resolution, a disagreement that originally arose last week over which senators would be afforded votes on their proposed amendments.The...

By Sarah Binder

March 19, 2013 11:13 AM Why The Prison Population is Falling

I was glad to see that my post on the declining rate of incarceration in the U.S. was picked up by a number of other blogs and newspapers. In those...

By Keith Humphreys

March 19, 2013 11:07 AM What's the Real Cybersecurity Risk?

Brandon Valeriano has a working paper which gathers some quantitative data to take a look at cybersecurity issues. Like Gartzke, he finds that reports of cyber-war have been greatly exaggerated....

By Henry Farrell

March 19, 2013 10:59 AM The Future of National Science Foundation Money for Political Science Research

Political scientists have been nervous about a move by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to defund the political science program at National Science Foundation.  Yesterday evening’s events on the Senate floor...

By Sarah Binder

March 19, 2013 10:55 AM The GOP Primary and Caucuses Shuffle

One big procedural reform discussed in the RNC party assessment document yesterday is to shift the party convention back from August to July or June, and compress the primaries and...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 19, 2013 10:50 AM Would Postponing Presidential Candidate Debates Matter?

I'm going to look at the GOP presidential nomination process suggested reforms out yesterday, starting with the debates. The RNC wants to chop in half the number of primary-season debates...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 18, 2013 12:10 PM Does the GOP need a DLC?

Will Marshall is arguing that the Republican Party needs a version of the Democratic Leadership Council to encourage the nomination of more moderate candidates and basically make the party more...

By Seth Masket

March 18, 2013 11:55 AM Portman and Gay Marriage

So Rob Portman’s son comes out as gay, and Portman changes his mind on gay marriage. Lots of fun snark around this, of course: “Eventually one of these Republican congressmen...

By Mark Kleiman

March 18, 2013 11:49 AM Who Really Runs the National Rifle Association?

On the off-chance that not all readers regularly view guns.com (which is exactly what you’d expect it to be) here’s my Q&A on gun policy. The site boldly published my...

By Mark Kleiman

March 18, 2013 11:37 AM Reasons to Consult Wikipedia, in One Chart

From DogHouseDiaries: [Originally posted at The Incidental Economist]...

By Austin Frakt

March 18, 2013 11:18 AM Lying With Graphs

This post is mostly not about economics or even politics but rather about the central role of comparisons in statistics and statistical graphics.It started when someone pointed me to this...

By Andrew Gelman

March 18, 2013 10:02 AM Parties Don't Get to Choose their Own Adventures

I've been thoroughly enjoying the recent Thunderdome-esque smackdown between two colleagues over just what a party is. Rather than jump in the middle of these two seasoned gladiators, I thought I'd...

By Seth Masket

March 18, 2013 8:58 AM Down to Slavery

So someone who claims descent from Jefferson Davis made a fool of himself at CPAC, asking why a slaveowner should apologize to a former slave “for giving him shelter and...

By Mark Kleiman

March 17, 2013 12:13 PM The Cyprus Bank Bail Out: Hard to Think of a More Politically Costly Option

This weekend, the Eurozone was greeted with the specter of a something it had hoped was behind it: the dreaded bank run. Cyprus, a small Eurozone state, agreed to terms...

By Joshua Tucker

March 15, 2013 11:40 AM What UK Health Care Gets Right

A colleague alerted me to a piece in British Medical Journal News discussing a presentation on the National Health Service, the health care system in the United Kingdom. You know...

By Aaron Carroll

March 15, 2013 8:57 AM Do Conservatives Now Believe in Lawyers for the Poor?

It’s safe to say that celebrating government programs that serve the poor has not been a priority at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference. But with the 50th anniversary of...

By David Dagan

March 14, 2013 3:26 PM Why Winning the Veepstakes Really Matters

With Eddie Haskell back in the news with his new House GOP budget, Steve Kornacki had a piece this morning about the history of those who were Veepstakes winners but...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 14, 2013 2:00 PM Here's Economic Reform We Should Really Be Working On

Glad to see that Matt Yglesias is talking about this one again: We should beef up automatic stabilizers in the budget by creating some kind of national rainy day fund...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 14, 2013 1:50 PM How Much Did the 47% Video Matter? Not that Much

The interview with Scott Prouty, the man who filmed Romney at the fundraiser featured in the “47% video,” has made the video’s role in the 2012 election newly salient.  Over...

By John Sides

March 14, 2013 1:35 PM Pope Francis's Views on Homosexuality Date from About 1975

The new pope appears to have gone back in time, as if to assist the 1975 LA police chief in a gay conversion effort. 1. From Letters of Note: 2....

By Andrew Gelman

March 14, 2013 11:53 AM Meet the Man Who Showed Us Romney’s Hidden Side

History sometimes has a way of tying itself up with a little bow. That’s the way I felt in January when I introduced Scott Prouty, the bartender-turned- videographer who helped...

By Jonathan Alter

March 14, 2013 10:58 AM Francis

The god of irony is everywhere and never sleeps. Who would have guessed that the first pope from the global South would be an ethnic European, from the most European...

By Michael O'Hare

March 14, 2013 10:01 AM Is the American Political System Really Healthy?

Raise your hand if you think the American political system is healthy. I thought so. Once again, there is an effort to defund political science, this time from Sen. Tom...

By Hans Noel

March 14, 2013 8:53 AM Medicare Pays for Less than Half of Spending by its Beneficiaries

In his book The American Health Economy Illustrated, Chris Conover’s charts are prettier than the one below. He shared this pre-pub version with me for posting purposes. At first glance,...

By Austin Frakt

March 13, 2013 1:26 PM How Economic Inequality Leads Democracies to Militarism

Jonathan Caverly, a former submarine officer and now an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University, has a fascinating and provocative working paper, which argues that: “[..] democracies will build...

By Erik Voeten

March 13, 2013 1:19 PM Paul Ryan's Imaginary Numbers

How do you go about comparing imaginary numbers? Kevin Drum says: The fiscal cliff deal increased top marginal rates from 36 percent to 39.6 percent. Ryan's plan is based on...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 13, 2013 12:46 PM Want to Fix the Deficit? Get Real

This week marks the beginning of the U.S. budget season. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will present the budget for House Republicans. Senator Patty Murray of Washington will, for the...

By Ezra Klein

March 13, 2013 11:38 AM The Medicaid Private Option: So Efficient you Can’t Afford not to Buy It:

David Ramsey of the Arkansas Times has done a ton of great reporting on the private option. His latest post begins, The strangest part of the “private option” is that...

By Austin Frakt

March 13, 2013 11:00 AM Are Political Parties Really About Policy at All?

Greg Koger's excellent post on the Hastert "guideline" raises a point of disagreement among parties scholars. One that we should make explicit. Greg goes to great lengths to say that...

By Hans Noel

March 13, 2013 10:33 AM Paul Ryan's Budget: Again with the Medicaid?

Dylan Matthews has an awesome chart on the Ryan budget proposal. There’s only one line I want to talk about: Again with the Medicaid? This is a huge cut in...

By Aaron Carroll

March 13, 2013 9:52 AM The Hastert Rule: It's More Like a Guideline

Last week the U.S. House passed a bill supported by a majority of the Democratic party and a minority faction of the Republican members, even though the Republicans are the...

By Gregory Koger

March 12, 2013 3:45 PM The FBI’s Stalinist Parking Garage

The J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington is a threat to national security. It’s time to tear it down. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s headquarters has been falling apart for...

By Tim Weiner

March 12, 2013 3:21 PM An Infographic of Our Dark, Hot Future

David Roberts over at Grist posted a really interesting infographic that provides lots of delightful and terrifying information about climate change. Though I disagree with him saying that infographics are...

By Rhiannon M. Kirkland

March 12, 2013 11:35 AM It’s the Votes that Do It: How the Next Pope Will be Elected

In modern times, the College of Cardinals have been locked in the Sistine Chapel with the purported aim to divine the Will of God in the election of the Pope....

By Joshua Tucker

March 12, 2013 11:21 AM Republican Hip-Hop Heads

During Rand Paul's epic filibuster Marco Rubio made a surprise appearance and quoted "modern-day poet[s]" Whiz Khalifa and Jay-Z in the process. Rubio has been crafting an image of himself...

By Rhiannon M. Kirkland

March 12, 2013 11:20 AM The Dramatic Arrival of Health-Oriented Drug Policy

Given how often some people demand “health-oriented drug policy” from the Obama Administration it is more than a little peculiar how one of the biggest reforms in history didn’t attract...

By Keith Humphreys

March 12, 2013 11:13 AM Mississippi Proposes "Anti-Bloomberg" Bill

I’m not a fan of Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban. I don’t think prohibition works, especially when there are so many loopholes and exceptions. Yesterday’s news that the law won’t take...

By Aaron Carroll

March 12, 2013 11:07 AM I Guess the States Did Want Obamacare to be More Expensive

Others are covering the latest ins and outs of the Medicaid expansion deals with much more timeliness than I. The Florida state Senate has rejected Gov. Scott’s deal with HHS....

By Aaron Carroll

March 12, 2013 11:01 AM Fukuyama on Measuring Governance

The journal Governance has posted a new commentary (freely available) by Francis Fukuyama on how to measure governance. His main critique of existing measures is that they focus too much on...

By Erik Voeten

March 12, 2013 10:55 AM Knives on a Plane

Kevin Drum has a conniption because....well, I better tell this in order. First, the TSA announces they're going to relax the restrictions on stuff you can take onto an airplane...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 11, 2013 2:00 PM After Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez is dead, but it looks as if Chavismo lives on. Even with an honest count, Chavez’s successor is likely to win handily. People who know more about Venezuelan...

By Mark Kleiman

March 11, 2013 10:56 AM How Does Jeff Sachs Explain the Great Recession?

First, let me recommend Mark Thoma, who takes apart Sachs' very crude representations of Paul Krugman's positions. I want to circle back to one particular point that leaped out...

By Ryan Cooper

March 11, 2013 10:32 AM The Papal Conclave, Peeps-edition

The Papal Conclave starts tomorrow, with 115 cardinals flocking to the Sistine Chapel.  Faithful readers of the Monkey Cage are familiar with political science treatments of Papal elections: here, here,...

By Sarah Binder

March 11, 2013 10:00 AM Is the Filibuster Unconstitutional?

Law professor Adam Winkler has a TNR piece arguing...well, he doesn't quite argue that the filibuster is unconstitutional, but goes through the case against it and sort of suggests that...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 11, 2013 9:52 AM The Presidential Charm Offensive

The president’s dinner with Senate Republicans, not to mention lunch with Paul Ryan, has prompted mostly complimentary coverage on his efforts to press the “re-set” button with congressional Republicans. Wonkbook...

By Andrew Rudalevige

March 11, 2013 8:44 AM Does Partisan Media Contribute to Healthy Politics?

Today at 5 pm, I’m participating in a South by Southwest panel entitled “How Partisan Media Contributes to Healthy Politics.”  I prefer to think of this as a question: can...

By John Sides

March 11, 2013 7:25 AM The Difference Between a Politician’s "Plans" and his Talking Points

I think Glenn Kessler gets maybe two things right in his column this morning about what constitutes a "plan" by a politician. One is that there are times when a...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 08, 2013 1:50 PM Rand Paul and the Real Filibuster Problem

No, Rand Paul's filibuster wasn't, as Josh Marshall thinks, "the best argument of the need for reform" -- and particularly, for Jeff Merkley's idea that current successful filibusters (that is,...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 08, 2013 1:42 PM Why We Can't Implement An Ideal Economic Policy, Ever

Even if a policymaker was sure of the ideal economic policy, he or she can only implement it with the help of some of the other political players.But I’m saying...

By Andrew Gelman

March 08, 2013 1:35 PM The Surprising Relationship Between Gender Equality and Economic Development

Joshua Eastin and Aseem Prakash find support for the idea that gender equality rises non-monotonically with income in a new article in World Politics: We argue that the effects of...

By Erik Voeten

March 08, 2013 1:22 PM Carl Levin Is Super Old

The Senator from Michigan retires, giving Sherrod Brown the undisputed title of Most Rumpled Senator but leaving Most Jewish Looking Senator up for debate. Levin has been an excellent Senator...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 08, 2013 8:49 AM Privatized Medicaid Will Not Be Cheaper Than Real Medicaid

I’ve heard that there are folks who think that Arkansas’s plans to move the Medicaid expansion population onto the state’s Obamacare exchange will save money. Now, it is not completely...

By Austin Frakt

March 07, 2013 1:30 PM Does the President Claim the Power to Take You Out?

I’ve been known to ask a snarky question from time to time, but right now I’d like to ask a completely serious question: What extraordinary power is Eric Holder supposed...

By Mark Kleiman

March 07, 2013 1:24 PM Why Summers and Obama Didn't Push for a Bigger Stimulus in 2009

Miles Kimball (link from Tyler Cowen; see also Paul Krugman and Noah Smith) writes: So the fact that Barack did not push for a bigger stimulus package really is an...

By Andrew Gelman

March 07, 2013 11:36 AM Kudos to Rand Paul

Yesterday Rand Paul spent a little under 13 hours talking on the Senate floor engaged in an old school filibuster to protest John Brennan's nomination as the head of the...

By Rhiannon M. Kirkland

March 07, 2013 10:09 AM Filibusters and Judges

The Senate yesterday defeated cloture on the Caitlin Halligan nomination for the DC Circuit Court. The vote was 51-41, with Harry Reid switching to "no" for procedural reasons. I don't...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 07, 2013 9:14 AM Droning On: Rand Paul's “Talking Filibuster”

Sen. Rand Paul has just completed his nearly thirteen hour filibuster against John Brennan’s nomination to head the CIA.   Breaking off his filibuster (because, he inferred, he had to...

By Sarah Binder

March 07, 2013 8:38 AM Rand Paul and Ideology vs. Partisanship

How would you characterize the folks who oppose the U.S. drone program? If you didn't know it already, after 11-plus hours of Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster, you now know you'd...

By Hans Noel

March 06, 2013 1:34 PM What's Really Holding Women Back?

Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In, is receiving all kinds of attention and reviews—and it’s not even out yet.I’m blogging about it and I haven’t read it yet. But I...

By Jennifer Nicoll Victor

March 06, 2013 1:28 PM America Ended Mass Deaths of Schoolchildren, 100 Years Ago

My “discovered book” by Grove Patterson, written in 1954, includes this account of the author’s early years at the Cleveland Plain Dealer:The main grade-school building in Collinwood, railroad town and...

By Keith Humphreys

March 06, 2013 1:20 PM How Hugo Chavez Impacted Voting in the United Nations

Hugo Chavez was, to put it mildly, no fan of U.S. foreign policy. One of his favored outlets to express those views was the United Nations General Assembly; most famously...

By Erik Voeten

March 06, 2013 1:17 PM Amazon and the Modern Condition

This Strossian insight brought to you by The Browser Amazon isn’t a store, not really. Not in any sense that we can regularly think about stores. It’s a strange pulsing...

By Henry Farrell

March 06, 2013 1:09 PM A Smart Way to End the Stupidity of Sequestration

There are two main problems with sequestration. The first is that the $1.1 trillion in budget cuts happen in an idiotic, across-the-board fashion. Think farm subsidies are less valuable than...

By Ezra Klein

March 06, 2013 9:59 AM The Strange Expectations for Obama "Leadership"

There's been a lot of chatter about President Obama's comments at last week's press conference that he can't use a "Jedi mind-meld" to convince Republican leaders to agree with him...

By Seth Masket

March 05, 2013 1:29 PM Those Medical "Wellness Programs" Don’t Save Money

If I had all the time in the world, I’d read the following three, new papers in Health Affairs. But, the abstracts say enough to get the gist. In general,...

By Austin Frakt

March 05, 2013 1:20 PM Don’t Drink and Negotiate

The U.S. ambassador for management and reform at the UN politely asked his colleagues to stop showing up drunk: As for the conduct of negotiations, Mr. Chairman, we make the modest proposal...

By Erik Voeten

March 05, 2013 10:37 AM Is Democracy Still Relevant to Political Decision Making?

Mark Mazower has a good piece on Italy in the Financial Times. The turmoil produced by the Italian elections has directed attention back to where it should have been all...

By Henry Farrell

March 05, 2013 9:01 AM Sugar Is Really Bad for You

I saw this over the weekend. The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data: While experimental and observational studies suggest that sugar...

By Aaron Carroll

March 05, 2013 8:23 AM Why Americans Are Happy About Foreign Trade Again

A recent Gallup Poll has found that Americans have become remarkably more positive about foreign trade. Below is the key graph: This is a pretty major shift that could bode...

By Erik Voeten

March 04, 2013 4:00 PM Are the Days of the Hastert Rule Numbered?

Most Congress watchers quickly noted the remarkable House vote to pass the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): For the third time this year, the House passed an important bill over...

By Sarah Binder

March 04, 2013 3:00 PM How Bad Is Wealth Inequality in America?

Really bad. Check out this video produced by Mashable. While many Americans apparently think the distribution of wealth in America is unjust (or dangerous), they don’t really appreciate just how...

By Daniel Luzer

March 04, 2013 12:53 PM Women Are More “Election-Averse” Than Men

In an effort to control for confounding factors that might affect the relative propensities for women and men to enter politics, we take the question of candidate emergence into the...

By John Sides

March 04, 2013 12:00 PM Mitt Romney Writes his Own Obituary

To Chris Wallace, about “47%.” What I said is not what I believe. Just for double irony: it’s clear that the 47% line was the one thing Romney really did...

By Mark Kleiman

March 04, 2013 8:10 AM Privatization to Reduce Medicaid Prices

Paul Krugman, reacting to Florida’s waiver to direct its Medicaid expansion population to private managed care: And despite some feeble claims to the contrary, privatizing Medicaid will end up requiring...

By Austin Frakt

March 01, 2013 2:14 PM Keystone XL and the Enormous Pollution of Oil Sands Development

In John Kerry's first major speech as secretary of state he mentioned the need to get tough on climate change. Implied in this was a challenge to Canada's oilsands track...

By Rhiannon M. Kirkland

March 01, 2013 10:06 AM Trying to Answer John Roberts' Question About Racism

Chief Justice John Roberts, during arguments over the Voting Rights Act earlier in the week: Is it the government’s submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than...

By Seth Masket

March 01, 2013 10:00 AM Copyright Reform, Right and Left

Matt Yglesias asks me what I think about any likely partisan division over copyright reform. The claim, made by Joe Karaganis at NRO (semi-gated) and echoed by Jerry Brito, is...

By Hans Noel

March 01, 2013 9:40 AM What is Government Waste, Really?

I recommend to everyone an excellent Mark Blumenthal summary of the polling on government spending. The results are familiar, but still worth re-reading: Americans generally want to cut government spending,...

By Jonathan Bernstein

March 01, 2013 9:26 AM Why Democrats Must Get Smart on Entitlements

In a season of depressing budget news, the worst may have been that a majority of U.S. House Democrats signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to oppose any benefit...

By Jonathan Alter

March 01, 2013 8:53 AM Government Spending Moves Public Opinion

A couple days ago, John Cluverius noted that public opinion moves in the opposite direction as policy is moving.  We tend to assume that the party in power has public...

By John Sides

March 01, 2013 7:48 AM The Important of Race

How salient is race? I would say the ability of the United States to go from legal segregation a half century ago to the election of a black president suggests...

By John Sides

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