Ten Miles Square

May 2013 Archives

May 31, 2013 3:34 PM How Poor Are We?

American progressives have long been concerned about the growing wealth gap in the United States; the country’s resources are increasingly controlled by a small group of people. But what about...

By Daniel Luzer

May 31, 2013 10:07 AM Paul Volcker on Policy Studies

Paul Volcker to Ezra Klein: Those schools [of public administration] are not as strong as one would like to see them. Public administration has not been in fashion for decades....

By James Wimberley

May 31, 2013 10:01 AM Representation Works (Weirdly Enough)

Jordan Ragusa has a very nice post today using the business about PolitiFact ratings to write about research showing that, yes, Members of Congress keep their policy promises. As I've...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 30, 2013 5:36 PM Why We Let UN Troops Get Slaughtered

The official United Nations’ Peacekeepers Day passed yesterday without much fanfare. Secretary General Ban recognized the 111 peacekeepers around the world that died in the line of duty last year....

By Paul Stephens

May 30, 2013 11:45 AM The First National Marijuana Brand, or the First Marijuana Stock Promotion?

It was inevitable that the legalization of cannabis would attract a certain number of insensate greedheads to the industry. And I suppose it was also inevitable that some of them...

By Mark Kleiman

May 30, 2013 11:28 AM What Those Bicep Size and Political Attitudes Papers Are Really About

I was thinking some more about those two recent studies (see here and here) published in Psychological Science, “the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology.”Just to relive these for a...

By Andrew Gelman

May 30, 2013 11:17 AM Notes on Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann, retiring from the House one step of the ethics investigators and, most likely, her district's voters. Garance Franke-Ruta watches her announcement video; Jonathan Chait remembers some of her...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 30, 2013 11:06 AM One Way Obamacare May Already Be Working

There was a time when all anyone in Washington wanted to talk about was “bending the health-care cost curve.” Forget covering the uninsured -- the ultimate test of the Affordable...

By Ezra Klein

May 29, 2013 10:40 AM Are Harry Reid's Threats Working?

Item: Sri Srinivasan was confirmed for the DC Circuit Court, the first Obama pick to reach that important bench. Item: District Judge nominee William Orrick was confirmed 56-41 on May...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 29, 2013 10:30 AM Terrorist Expensing

Half my Twitter feed is convulsed by the discovery that terrorist organizations have office politics and management issues. If they’d been paying proper attention to the Monkey Cage, they’d have...

By Henry Farrell

May 29, 2013 10:26 AM Is Politifact Biased Against Republicans?

A leading media fact-checking organization rates Republicans as less trustworthy than Democrats, according to a new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University....

By John Sides

May 29, 2013 10:17 AM No Available Fix for Politician Paranoia

I highly recommend a post by Ezra Klein about money in politics. He's following up on an earlier item he did about money in the 2012 election cycle being overhyped;...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 29, 2013 8:33 AM Misprojecting the Impact of Expanding Insurance for Addiction Treatment

Michael Dhar and Christie Thompson have both been doing some serious, long-form reporting on how the Affordable Care Act will affect addiction treatment. Both of them asked me a question...

By Keith Humphreys

May 28, 2013 12:26 PM How a Party Clears the Field

There is general agreement among party scholars that political parties are somehow active in many nomination contests. Although rules or customs usually prevent the parties from officially taking sides in...

By Seth Masket

May 28, 2013 12:14 PM The Physical Reality of Mental Illness

One of the persistent misunderstandings of mental illness was — unfortunately — perfectly expressed in a recent Slate Magazine article. Discussing the Oregon Medicaid Experiment, the headline writer stated that...

By Bill Gardner

May 28, 2013 12:00 PM Sympathy for the Kinsley

Paul Krugman, Daniel Drezner, and others slam fabled contrarian Michael Kinsley for his argument that we need to cut the budget deficit now because “we have to pay a price...

By Andrew Gelman

May 28, 2013 11:47 AM Why Did State Legislators Give Away Their Power to Pick Senators? On the Origins of the 17th Amendment

Despite it being the constitutional amendment that most altered the design of the federal government, and despite recent efforts by many prominent figures to repeal it, little is known about...

By John Sides

May 28, 2013 11:43 AM There’s No Pure Economics Unpolluted by Politics

I agree with almost everything Dan Kahan writes here, where he discusses how people’s attitudes about global warming could be changed by looking at the financial decisions of businesses: Market...

By Andrew Gelman

May 28, 2013 11:37 AM One Point on Obamacare Implementation

I have a post up at Plum Line about a familiar topic to regular readers here -- that Affordable Care Act polling now is unlikely to predict much about how...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 24, 2013 6:06 PM The Country Is Falling to Bits, Maybe Someone Should Do Something

Even though the nation's capital enjoys a rich tax base and a comparatively booming job market, it still hasn't avoided the aging infrastructure woes plaguing much of the country. On...

By Devin Castles

May 24, 2013 4:42 PM Afghanistan: What Went Wrong?

The following is the first in our series of collaborations with journals to feature guests posts from authors of recently published political science research in conjunction with ungated access to...

By Joshua Tucker

May 24, 2013 4:40 PM A Memorial Day Weekend Reflection on Political Memory

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Do you think you have a good political memory? Try this little five question quiz. Which US President dramatically cut federal criminal penalties for marijuana possession,...

By Keith Humphreys

May 24, 2013 4:07 PM A Taxing Situation

The more I learn about the so-called IRS tax scandal, the more I pity the IRS. When this story broke, the story was billed as President Obama was using the...

By Jamie Malanowski

May 24, 2013 12:37 PM Sri Srinivasan Confirmed Unanimously

Sri Srinivasan was confirmed unanimously this afternoon, 97-0, for a position on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. He was originally nominated on June 11, 2012 for a position vacant...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 24, 2013 8:48 AM ‘Obama Scandals’ Could Actually Hurt Republicans

Republican politicians and activists can barely contain their glee at the simultaneous eruption of three major controversies about the Obama administration. Conservatives are at a low boil over the administration’s...

By Ramesh Ponnuru

May 23, 2013 12:08 PM What Canada’s Conservative About-Face on Equality Could Mean for America’s GOP

Marriage equality advocates are understandably disappointed by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy’s decision not to pursue an amendment to the immigration reform bill that would have recognized same-sex relationships. Announcing...

By Raymond A. Smith

May 23, 2013 10:32 AM The Sociology of Think-Tanks

This article in The Nation is likely to cause some considerable embarrassment to the Center for American Progress (CAP). Though the think tank didn’t disclose it, First Solar belonged to...

By Henry Farrell

May 23, 2013 10:24 AM Special Prosecutors: Be Careful What You Wish For

There have been various calls in recent days for the appointment of an independent counsel to explore and expunge the IRS’s selective investigation of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status after...

By Andrew Rudalevige

May 23, 2013 10:20 AM Why Ted Cruz Needs to Trust Republicans

The senior senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans. Let me be clear, I don’t trust the Republicans. I don’t trust the Democrats and I think a...

By John Sides

May 23, 2013 10:16 AM GDP vs Health Care Spending

I’ve written many times on how it’s rational for wealthier countries to spend more on health care than poorer countries. I’ve even graphed GDP vs health care spending to show...

By Aaron Carroll

May 23, 2013 10:11 AM Should Very Young Children Be Taking Stimulants?

The use of psychiatric medications with young children has increased greatly in the US over the last 25 years, including 0.3% of US children under 6 (perhaps 100,000 kids) who...

By Bill Gardner

May 23, 2013 10:05 AM Rights, Outcomes, and the Golden Rule in Drug Policy

At a briefing yesterday on cannabis policy, I made my usual argument that (in rough numbers) 80% of the users of almost any drug use it moderately, take no harm...

By Mark Kleiman

May 23, 2013 9:59 AM The Quantity of Candidates Isn't Nearly as Important as their Quality

Some candidates are thinking of running against Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper next year. Does that spell danger for him? Republicans seem to think so: At least five candidates are officially...

By Seth Masket

May 23, 2013 9:48 AM Why Obama’s Scandals Won’t Lead to Reform

Put aside the politics, and the question of who-knew-what-when. There are two policy problems highlighted by the controversies at the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice. The first...

By Ezra Klein

May 22, 2013 1:01 PM A Calm, Reasonable Explanation of Why Michael Kinsley Is Wrong about Austerity

Writing in TNR, Michael Kinsley is annoyed Paul Krugman and his "attack dogs" calling him lots of nasty names on account of his defense of austerity. Though the consequences of...

By Ryan Cooper

May 22, 2013 10:55 AM The Political Science of Star Trek

We welcome this guest post from Stephen Benedict Dyson.*****Star Trek Into Darkness, the number one movie in America, is rife with political resonance. Political scientists have taken to analyzing popular...

By John Sides

May 22, 2013 10:49 AM Does Cellphone Coverage Make Violence More Likely in Africa?

Jan Pierskalla and Florian Hollenbach argue that it does in a new article in the American Political Science Review. Overall, our quantitative models demonstrate a clear positive association between cell...

By Henry Farrell

May 22, 2013 10:02 AM How Public Money Changes Behavior

In the latest edition of his well-known textbook on UK domestic policy, LSE Professor Howard Glennerster tells the remarkable story of how national government support for housing the elderly exploded...

By Keith Humphreys

May 22, 2013 10:00 AM Whither Nation Building? Lessons for Iraq, Syria, and Mali

The following guest post is provided by George Washington University political scientist Harris Mylonas, the author of the recently published  The Politics of Nation-Building  (Cambridge University Press, 2013).  The post originally appeared...

By Joshua Tucker

May 22, 2013 9:10 AM Oklahoma Tornado

Oklahoma is an oil state. Oklahomans vote for people like senators Inhofe and Coburn, who rail at the ‘myth’ of climate change. After all, there are millions and millions of...

By Michael O'Hare

May 21, 2013 2:26 PM Republicans Probably Won't Kill the Filibuster

Paul Waldman makes a claim that I see all the time: Let's be realistic here. Unless there's some kind of major upheaval within the Republican party that moves it back...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 21, 2013 2:24 PM What Happens If Harry Reid Goes Nuclear?

Sarah Binder wrote last night about the new threats that Harry Reid is making to go nuclear. The first thing you need to know is that if you're at all...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 21, 2013 2:19 PM Wingnut-Debating Tips

How would you debate a wing nut? Cass Sunstein has a very encouraging and interesting answer. For a positive answer, consider an intriguing study by Philip Fernbach, a University of...

By Austin Frakt

May 21, 2013 2:10 PM Chart of the Day: Cognitive Ability and Enrollment into Public Programs

I’ve seen it suggested in the comments on this blog and elsewhere that low take-up rates among those eligible for Medicaid suggests they do not find the program to be...

By Austin Frakt

May 21, 2013 10:15 AM New York Nasty and Los Angeles Nice: A Structural Explanation

Tomorrow, Los Angeles voters go to the polls to elect a new Mayor. (At least a few of them, anyway: current estimates predict onyl 25% turnout, about which more later)....

By Jonathan Zasloff

May 20, 2013 11:20 AM Is Nuclear Winter Coming to the Senate this Summer?

It seems the Senate could have a really hot summer.  Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has reportedly threatened to “go nuclear” this July—meaning that Senate Democrats would move by...

By Sarah Binder

May 20, 2013 11:14 AM The Relevance of Statisticians to Researchers in Different fields of Social Science

Someone pointed me to a remark someone who felt that statisticians were not doing their job to help out “mathematically challenged” psychology researchers. My first thought was that statisticians often...

By Andrew Gelman

May 20, 2013 11:06 AM Reform After the IRS Scandal? Don’t Bet on It.

We welcome this guest post by political scientist Michael Miller, author of the forthcoming Subsidizing Democracy: How Public Funding Changes Elections, and How it Can Work in the Future.  For...

By John Sides

May 20, 2013 10:53 AM Oregon's Radical Health Overhaul Blazes New Trail

Talk to people in Oregon about health care for long and eventually you will be asked something like this: “You’ve heard the air conditioner story, right?” In this case, it’s...

By Ezra Klein

May 17, 2013 9:39 AM The First Ever Electoral Map?

The good folks at Handsome Atlas have scanned the entirety of the 1880 Statistical Atlas of the United States, and look what's in there: No, that's not from David Leip....

By Seth Masket

May 17, 2013 9:27 AM Remember Civil Unions? The Shifting Middle Way in the Same-sex Marriage Debate

We welcome this guest post from Robert Jones and Daniel Cox of the Public Religion Research Institute.***** May 2013 is only half over, but it has been an eventful month...

By John Sides

May 17, 2013 9:20 AM Ignore the Twitter News Cycle on Scandals

On Tuesday, they were measuring out the president's tomb. Yesterday, with no big revelations on any of the current scandals (or "scandals" as the case may be), liberals at least,...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 17, 2013 9:17 AM Presidential Approval Isn't Stuck At Midrange

Ezra Klein poses a hypothesis I've heard a few times before at the end of a nice post earlier this week: Tucked inside Abramowitz’s take is an interesting structural prediction...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 17, 2013 9:00 AM How Persuadable Are Voters?

Political candidates often believe they must focus their campaign efforts on a small number of swing voters open for ideological change. Based on the wisdom of opinion polls, this might...

By John Sides

May 17, 2013 8:35 AM Unravelling the Roots of the Upsurge of Criminal Violence in Mexico

Illegal drug trafficking is not inherently violent. The horrific surge of violence that began in Mexico in 2006 thus requires some specific explanation.The most common account is that when President...

By Keith Humphreys

May 16, 2013 5:41 PM Five Scandals Worse than Benghazi

After months of Republican pot-banging (and altering emails), conservatives have successfully turned the media's eye back toward the Benghazi affair, forcing the Obama administration to answer a daily barrage of...

By Devin Castles

May 16, 2013 10:45 AM American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

During the April 2004 oral arguments in the Hamdi v Rumsfeld case about whether an American citizen could be detained indefinitely as an enemy combatant, Supreme Court Justice David Souter...

By Andrew Rudalevige

May 16, 2013 10:35 AM Harry Reid Does Senate Reform

Brian Beutler has the latest on Harry Reid's current plans, or at least his current rhetoric. Reid’s decision to eschew significant reforms to Senate filibuster rules at the beginning of...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 16, 2013 10:00 AM How Politics Can Make People Cooperate

Much of politics is about collective action, whereby groups of people need to cooperate in order to produce an outcome.  One of the biggest challenges is getting people to cooperate...

By John Sides

May 15, 2013 3:10 PM The Sierra Club Was Once the Victim of a Politically Motivated IRS Attack

The 1950s and 60s were about the apex of dam building in the United States, and the capstone of the era was to be turning all of the Colorado through...

By Ryan Cooper

May 15, 2013 10:10 AM No, this Is Not Like Iran-Contra

So many "scandals," so many silly analogies -- but Steve Benen appears to be exactly correct about Lamar Alexander's ridiculous comparison between Iran-Contra and Obama Administration efforts to raise money for...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 15, 2013 10:04 AM Building the Right Sort of Representation

A perennial and crucial question—one intimately tied to the national security interests of the United States—is how to design political institutions that can mitigate ethnic conflict.  This issue was front-and-center...

By John Sides

May 15, 2013 9:20 AM Wall Street Journal Continues Subversive Estate Tax Campaign

I’ve taught in elite academic settings for a while now. Academic life being what it is, many of my students come from wealthy backgrounds. Children of the affluent can attend...

By Harold Pollack

May 14, 2013 1:02 PM Luhrmann's Gatsby Trades Subtlety for an Emotional Cudgel

Warner Bros. In every external way, Baz Luhrmann has made the fourth big-screen film of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The title remains the same. The central characters from...

By Louis Barbash

May 14, 2013 8:23 AM You Call That a Cover-Up?

Obviously, things don't have to be as bad as Watergate to be important malfeasance, but given all the loose talk about "cover-up" and "worse than Watergate" in the context of...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 14, 2013 8:07 AM The European Union is Getting More Unpopular with Europeans

Pew has a very interesting new survey out on attitudes towards the European Union among citizens of eight EU countries. Here are a just a few of the more interesting...

By Joshua Tucker

May 14, 2013 8:00 AM “Full DisclosureBrag” in Political Reporting

How many times have you seen something like this in an article by a Washington-based political reporter:What’s also true is that Obama and [Kamala] Harris are longtime friends. She was...

By Keith Humphreys

May 14, 2013 7:55 AM What Makes People Flee Conflict?

The fifth largest city in Jordan is the Zaatari refugee camp, where approximately 175,000 Syrians fleeing their country’s war now live.  This is but a fraction of the 500,000 Syrians who...

By John Sides

May 13, 2013 10:51 AM Was the Benghazi Attack “Terrorism”?

No.One of the silliest criticisms of the US government in the wake of the assault on the Benghazi diplomatic mission was that it was reluctant to describe it as “terrorism”....

By James Wimberley

May 13, 2013 10:31 AM IQ and the Nativist Movement

We welcome Diego von Vacano for a guest post on the purported low IQ of immigrants.**********************************************************The academic and policy worlds have been roiled by last week’s announcement that a Heritage...

By Erik Voeten

May 13, 2013 10:18 AM Judicial Appointments: It's About Nominations, Not Confirmations

We still aren't getting new judicial nominees. It's now been about nine weeks since the White House convinced some gullible reporters that a flood of judges was coming. Since then, there's...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 13, 2013 10:00 AM Charts, in One Chart

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

By Austin Frakt

May 13, 2013 9:37 AM The White Vote by Income, 2012

Jeremy Johnson asks: “Do we have information yet about voting among whites based on income from the 2012 election?  Did lower-income whites in every state again vote more Democratic than...

By Larry Bartels

May 13, 2013 8:44 AM Why Obama Is in Trouble on IRS and Benghazi

After a largely scandal-free first term, President Obama appears likely to spend a lot more time mired in the politics of scandal after last week's Benghazi hearings and Friday's revelation...

By Brendan Nyhan

May 12, 2013 6:31 PM 400 PPM Reached—But CO2 Isn't the Only Gas to Worry About

The New York Times may have shuttered its Green Blog, but the on the reporting side of things, it continues to cover the depressing environmental news of the day. On...

By Devin Castles

May 10, 2013 11:14 AM Marijuana in Colorado: Bipartisan Agreement, but Partisan Voting

The Colorado state legislature adjourned for the year earlier in the week after passing a series of bills setting regulations for the legal sale of marijuana within the state. It...

By Seth Masket

May 10, 2013 11:00 AM Campaign Money Isn't the Root of All Evil

The Brennan Center's Jonathan Backer gets upset with Ezra Klein's recent post in which he concluded that money in the 2012 elections turned out to be rather less of a...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 10, 2013 10:45 AM Schmitt and Happer's WSJ Climate Faceplant

Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt and longtime climate skeptic William Happer have penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal challenging the scientific consensus on climate change, and making the argument...

By Devin Castles

May 10, 2013 10:34 AM Rep. Lamar Smith Shows Us How to Make Scientific Research Relevant

Maybe you haven’t heard of the James Webb Space Telescope.  NASA says that it “will address several key questions to help us unravel the story of the formation of structures...

By John Sides

May 10, 2013 10:27 AM No, the Creation of the 60 Vote Senate Isn't Harry Reid's Fault

I really dislike this Republican talking point, repeated by former Republican Senator Olympia Snowe at an appearance at the University of Denver: The majority has increasingly "filled up the amendment...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 10, 2013 10:00 AM Benghazi—An Honest Plea for Specific Charges

Wednesday’s hearings over Benghazi (or as Ed Kilgore is fond of calling it to stress conservative hype, Benghazi!) seem to have been a big nothingburger in terms of actual scandal....

By Andrew Sabl

May 10, 2013 9:50 AM More on the NYC Soda Ban

We’re getting to the point where I’ve written more on this one small piece of public policy than any other. So be it. It’s fascinating. In this week’s New England...

By Aaron Carroll

May 09, 2013 11:20 AM Clive Crook Doesn't Understand Paul Krugman or Liberals Generally

There has been something of a flame war going between Clive Crook and Paul Krugman of late over fiscal stimulus, economics, and the tone of Krugman's writing. It's a...

By Ryan Cooper

May 09, 2013 9:41 AM What Campaign Strategies Really Mattered in the 2012 Presidential Race?

As part of a look at how much campaigning actually mattered in this most recent presidential election I’ll report on some of what Lynn Vavreck and I have found in...

By John Sides

May 09, 2013 9:30 AM Small Donors May Make Politics Even Worse

Can small money overwhelm big money? Faced with a hostile Supreme Court and a gridlocked Congress offering little chance of passing legislation, today’s campaign-finance reformers sure hope so. The notion...

By Ezra Klein

May 08, 2013 9:20 AM Why Doesn't America Have Liberal Hack Economists? (Obamacare Edition)

To return to an oldie but goody: it's still striking to me that no one has jumped up to fill what appears to be a market opening for hack economists...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 08, 2013 9:07 AM Obama’s Voter Mobilization Was Barely More Effective than Romney’s

As part of a mini-symposium on campaign effects in 2012, I welcome this guest post by Ryan Enos and Anthony Fowler.  The first post in this sequence, by Michael Franz,...

By John Sides

May 08, 2013 9:02 AM According to David Brooks, Staying Out of Jail Is a Conservative Value

The New York Times columnist writes: First, immigration opponents are effectively trying to restrict the flow of conservatives into this country. In survey after survey, immigrants are found to have...

By Andrew Gelman

May 08, 2013 8:20 AM The Perfect Benghazi Article

Some of you might be thinking: I'm sure that there's not much to all the conservative fuss about Benghazi, but I'm open to the possibility of some Obama Administration malfeasance...I...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 08, 2013 7:14 AM Health Insurance Is Good for Health

Is this really controversial? Evidently, some of you think it is. I was reading a Viewpoint in the Journal of the American Medical Association when I stumbled across this (emphasis...

By Aaron Carroll

May 07, 2013 11:31 AM It's Still About the Broken GOP

I have to commend Ezra Klein for push, push, pushing everyone to understand the place of the presidency in the US political system. As he says, that system "is centered...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 07, 2013 10:00 AM Why Not Give Cash Instead of Medicaid?

This question is kicking around the blogosphere and Twitter. The current interest is inspired by the incorrect view that the latest Oregon Health Study paper shows that Medicaid does not...

By Austin Frakt

May 07, 2013 9:24 AM Why Washington Makes Obama Smart (and Too Many Pundits Dumb)

It’s really extraordinarily pleasing to watch a terribly misinformed view of presidential power finally get its comeuppance.  Various political scientists—Brendan Nyhan, Jon Bernstein, Andy R., me, and others—have been pushing...

By John Sides

May 07, 2013 8:45 AM Why Biological Tests of Driving Impairment are Superior to Behavioral Performance Tests

Andrew Sullivan has had a series of posts recently about “driving while stoned” (Examples here, here and here). He and a number of the people he quotes argue that driving...

By Keith Humphreys

May 06, 2013 11:33 AM Why Both Liberals and Conservatives Need a Health Reform Deal

On December 16, 2010 I wrote a post that began: While the rhetoric around health reform has been incendiary from day one, in policy terms, a compromise between Democrats and...

By Don Taylor

May 06, 2013 11:19 AM Jane Austen, Game Theorist

The popular reception to political scientist Michael Chwe’s book Jane Austen, Game Theorist has been striking.  Here is the New York Times story and Chelsea Clinton’s gushy tweet.  A video...

By John Sides

May 06, 2013 11:03 AM Interest Groups: Greedy Bastards and Democracy

Teaching a class about American politics, Congress, interest groups, or some related topics? You really should find room for this comment, from a Ryan Grim and John Celock article about...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 06, 2013 9:08 AM Does Fossil Fuel Abundance Have Negative Political Consequences?

Charles Mann has an interesting article in the Atlantic about the potential deleterious consequences of finding large quantities of natural gas (methane hydrate) underneath the seafloor.  We may believe that...

By Erik Voeten

May 03, 2013 11:40 AM Why Democrats Lost the FAA Fight, and What They Should Do Next Time

I have a new column out over at TAP on the FAA fight: Here’s what Democrats should have done, and should be ready to do next time that a Republicans...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 03, 2013 11:36 AM Who Smokes Pot a Lot?

Today was the first of a series of five weekly interviews on cannabis policy with Brian Lehrer of WNYC (New York public radio). We discussed the demographics of heavy smoking...

By Mark Kleiman

May 03, 2013 11:20 AM Saying Maureen Dowd is stuck in an Aaron Sorkin fantasy is unfair... to Aaron Sorkin

Last week, Maureen Dowd criticized President Obama for failing to convince Republican senators to support gun regulation. Obama's White House, she claimed, should be run more like Andrew Shepherd's White...

By Seth Masket

May 03, 2013 11:16 AM How Political Science Can Inform Policy Making: Evidence from Liberia

There’s been a lot of discussion recently both at the Monkey Cage and elsewhere both about the value of political science research for informing the decisions made by policy makers...

By Joshua Tucker

May 03, 2013 11:10 AM Eric Cantor's Dilemma?

Ross Douthat is a fan of the ill-fated House health care initiative last week, which was torpedoed by a faction who decided that voting for a program to carry out...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 03, 2013 10:00 AM Culture Clash: Guns

So this happened earlier in the week: I had no idea this sort of thing even existed: I’m reminded of our discussion of Charles Murray’s recent book on social divisions...

By Andrew Gelman

May 02, 2013 4:12 PM China's Empty Houses: If You Build It They Might Come

Images of empty houses built and then never lived in or lived in and then lost are synonymous with bad policy-making and the consequences of the Great Recession. In...

By Rhiannon M. Kirkland

May 02, 2013 11:32 AM Leave Agribusiness Lobbyists ALOOOONE!

A few weeks ago, I posted about the Obama Administration’s effort to change outrageous and wasteful food aid rules that line the pockets of agribusiness and shipping companies. The more...

By Jonathan Zasloff

May 02, 2013 11:25 AM Yes, Ted Cruz Could Win the Presidency

Yesterday's big story was Robert Costa's report that Ted Cruz is actively running for president. Well, no one says it that way, but it's how I think of it. In...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 02, 2013 11:22 AM Paul Krugman's Bubble

Clive Crook tells us again that Paul Krugman is shrill and angry. [Krugman] is wrong about many of the people who disagree with him and about the best way to...

By Henry Farrell

May 02, 2013 10:00 AM Cherry Picking in Medicaid

Managed care companies are cherry picking the healthiest disabled senior dual eligible beneficiaries in New York state using a variety of methods, and excluding those needing the most care. The...

By Don Taylor

May 02, 2013 9:27 AM Keep Scientific Peer Review Free of Political Intervention

The US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is getting involved in the selection of what specific research proposals are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The chair...

By Bill Gardner

May 01, 2013 5:33 PM The Administration Feints on Housing

Why the Obama administration's FHFA pick doesn't matter. For the first time in 27 months, America has a nominee to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the federal conservator...

By David Dayen

May 01, 2013 11:10 AM C'mon, Take (More) Questions, Barack Obama

President Barack Obama holds relatively few press conferences -- and must answer fewer questions when he does than any other president. At yesterday's press conference he called on six reporters....

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 01, 2013 11:07 AM How a Landmark Antitrust Case Changed the Movies

The marked decline in Hollywood’s fortunes in the 1950s and early 1960s (before Scorsese, Coppola, Evans et al saved the day) is usually attributed to the increasing availability of televisions...

By Keith Humphreys

May 01, 2013 11:00 AM Reform Wars: The Two Different Projects to Fix the Electoral College

With the race for president a fading memory, Americans might think they wouldn’t have to hear about swing states again until the next election. But the reason we had to...

By James P. Rooney

May 01, 2013 10:59 AM How China Gives Development Aid

China is often accused of using aid strategically to advance its own interests with little regard for the welfare of the developing countries in which it is investing. Axel Dreher and Andreas Fuchs have...

By Erik Voeten

May 01, 2013 10:54 AM “Contemporary political science suffers from too much policy relevance, not too little.”

Contemporary political science suffers from too much policy relevance, not too little.  Politicians simply do not like the policies that scholarly research supports, prefer policies (often put forward by charlatans)...

By John Sides

May 01, 2013 10:44 AM No, The President is not Being "Forced to Defend his Relevancy"

Ron Fournier: A president is in trouble when he’s forced to defend his relevancy, as Bill Clinton did 18 years ago, or to quote Mark Twain, as Barack Obama did...

By Jonathan Bernstein

May 01, 2013 10:36 AM How Van Halen Explains the U.S. Government

Right there on Page 40, in the “Munchies” section, nestled between “pretzels” and “twelve (12) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups,” is a parenthetical alert so adamant you can’t miss it: “M&M’s,”...

By Ezra Klein

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