Ten Miles Square

June 2013 Archives

June 30, 2013 5:06 PM Constitutional Reflections on July Fourth

This Thursday, Americans will celebrate the nation’s founding. Fewer will recall it as the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the end of the Confederacy with the retreat from...

By Eric B. Schnurer

June 28, 2013 10:45 AM How the Supreme Court Responds to Public Opinion

It has been rather challenging for legal scholars to portray the Supreme Court opinions of the past few days as somehow following logically from precedent or even from the past...

By Erik Voeten

June 28, 2013 10:42 AM Hey, Immigration Reporters! Will "Blame Both Sides" Work?

Brian Beutler has a nice piece today arguing that Republicans are already turning towards blaming Barack Obama and the Democrats for the collapse of the immigration bill. Here's my question:...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 28, 2013 10:00 AM Britain’s Conservative Youth

In the U.S., the Republican Party has an ageing base and is struggling to connect with young voters. I was therefore surprised to learn that in the United Kingdom, support...

By Keith Humphreys

June 28, 2013 9:00 AM Ed Markey

I haven't done a post yet on the new Senator from Massachusetts, mainly because there was no surprise here, and he's presumably about as predictable a new Senator as is...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 27, 2013 11:44 AM Was There Really Bipartisan Support for the Voting Rights Act?

There’s been ample excellent coverage of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Shelby County vs. Holder, which declared a key section of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.  By rejecting the...

By Sarah Binder

June 27, 2013 11:41 AM How LGBT Legislators Enhance Gay Rights

Given the SCOTUS decisions yesterday on same-sex marriage, the arena shifts even more to the individual states.  In light of that, I thought this article was worth highlighting: This article...

By John Sides

June 27, 2013 11:07 AM Petite Woman In Pink Sneakers Does Her Own Law Stuff

Last night Texas Senator Wendy Davis completed one of the more admirable efforts in recent lawmaking history, carrying out a 13-hour filibuster meant to prevent passage of an onerously restrictive...

By Luke O'Neil

June 27, 2013 10:00 AM Zombies of ‘World War Z’ Are Realer Than They Look

The zombies in the new film “World War Z” are too fast to be truly scary. That may be a sacrilegious point in some nerd circles, but it’s a key...

By Ezra Klein

June 27, 2013 8:56 AM Crowd-Filibustering in the Texas Senate

Earlier in the week, the Texas Senate was paralyzed on the last day of a special session by a 12 1/2 hour filibuster against a bill banning late-term abortions and...

By Gregory Koger

June 26, 2013 4:31 PM Journalism and Power

Earlier this month, Josh Marshall gave his much-cited take on the basic dividing lines for people on the surveillance state in general, and the Snowden leaks in particular. If for...

By Devin Castles

June 26, 2013 3:11 PM Old Confederate States Aggressively Restricting Voting Rights

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which specifies states and districts in the U.S. that must have changes in their voting...

By Katelyn Fossett

June 26, 2013 2:28 PM Housing Boom a Bust for First-Time Buyers

Unfortunately, these folks won't be doing more than dreaming anytime soon. Three years ago, Matt Morgan launched his own interior design firm in Washington, D.C. At age 32, his business...

By Anne Kim

June 26, 2013 12:31 PM The Supreme Court Matters Less Than You Think

In a classic “Doonesbury” cartoon from July 1973, the chief justice of the U.S. prefaces the reading of an opinion with these words: “Well, we’ve been conferring like crazy, and...

By Stephen L. Carter

June 26, 2013 12:20 PM Why is Child Poverty Worsening in the U.S.?

According to figures recently released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, nearly a quarter of U.S. children live below the poverty line, compared with 15 percent of Americans generally...

By Katelyn Fossett

June 26, 2013 12:15 PM A Day in the Life of a Member of Congress

Lizza identified this member only as “a freshman Democrat in a tough race.”  More on the demands of “call time” is in this HuffPo piece by Ryan Grim and...

By John Sides

June 26, 2013 12:00 PM The Keystone Pipeline Has No Future

President Barack Obama, in yesterday’s big speech on climate change: Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest. And...

By James Wimberley

June 26, 2013 10:44 AM Conservatives for Better Childcare

This bit in a New York Times about Angela Merkel’s election manifesto may seem a little strange to US observers. Addressing some 600 representatives of her Christian Democratic Union and...

By Henry Farrell

June 26, 2013 9:22 AM In Praise of Shameless Political Debate

Harold Pollack and I have both written about feeling fatigued by “fauxrage”, the political tactic of trying to shut down a conversation or individual by ginning up self-righteous anger about...

By Keith Humphreys

June 26, 2013 8:26 AM Misunderstanding the Civil War

Tony Horwitz has written an excellent article in The Atlantic called “150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War.” Horwitz, author of the very pereptive A Confederate in the Attic, makes...

By Jamie Malanowski

June 26, 2013 7:37 AM The Trouble with Voting

After yesterday's Voting Rights Act decision, Chuck Todd says: Voting in general is a mess. A functional Washington would see today's decision as an opportunity to do a big voting...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 25, 2013 11:16 PM Abortion, Heroes and Scoundrels

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis is a hero.Texas Sen. Tommy Williams, by contrast, isn’t even a gentleman.Davis is in now in the final three hours of a thirteen-hour ordeal to block...

By Mark Kleiman

June 25, 2013 11:20 AM How Campaigns Work Without Polling

I've just returned from the European Political Science Association conference in Barcelona. One of the more interesting papers I saw was a study of the effect of polling on campaigns....

By Seth Masket

June 25, 2013 11:00 AM Is Cory Booker Too Jewish to Be Senator?

The question before the voters of New Jersey is a simple one: Is Newark Mayor Cory Booker too Jewish to be a U.S. senator? I bet you didn’t know that...

By Jeffrey Goldberg

June 25, 2013 10:30 AM What Were the Politico Founders Thinking?

I wanted to offer a few thoughts on the New Republic interview with Politico co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei.  What struck me about this interview was that Harris and...

By John Sides

June 25, 2013 10:16 AM Is Nate Silver Just Paying Those Politico Guys to Say Dumb Things?

How could these guys at Politico say such foolish things about how Politico gets caught up in promoting “total nonsense” but that's all OK because of "the market"? The usual...

By Andrew Gelman

June 25, 2013 9:33 AM What We Won’t Hear Obama's Climate Speech Today

By now all but the hopelessly stupid or deliberately ignorant understand the basics of climate change. Increasing the amounts of a few gases in the atmosphere traps heat and make...

By Michael O'Hare

June 24, 2013 4:19 PM On President Obama's Climate Speech

President Obama’s big climate speech this week was historic, but not for the reasons many observers have suggested. To his credit, Obama is following through on his promise to pursue...

By Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus

June 24, 2013 1:13 PM Severe Flooding Hits South Alberta

Riverfront Ave, Calgary. Ryan L. C. Quan CC Southern Alberta, including Banff, Canmore, High River, Kananaskis Country, and Calgary has been hit by the worst flooding in Alberta's history. The...

By Rhiannon M. Kirkland

June 24, 2013 12:30 PM Obama’s War on Coal

Another BFD. The beauty of it is that he doesn’t need Congression action; all of this is within Executive Branch control.This illustrates why I’m so relentlessly partisan, and so impatient...

By Mark Kleiman

June 24, 2013 12:25 PM What the Farm Bill Means for Immigration

Recently, I wrote about "What the Farm Bill says about immigration in the House." I've already linked to Greg, who had a similar view, and there were others, too. But...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 24, 2013 12:00 PM Do Human Rights Treaties Work?

One of the weirder findings of the recent political science literature is that states which sign up to human rights treaties are more likely, not less, to commit human rights...

By Henry Farrell

June 24, 2013 11:39 AM Conservative Political Analytics Firm Is Hiring

After posting this announcement about Civis Analytics, I wrote, “If a reconstituted Romney Analytics team is hiring, let me know and I’ll post that ad too.” Adam Schaeffer obliged: Not...

By Andrew Gelman

June 24, 2013 11:30 AM There’s No Easy Answer to Obesity

Any reader of the blog knows of my interest in obesity and health. My wife also runs a program to help children eat healthier and lose weight. So this is...

By Aaron Carroll

June 24, 2013 9:10 AM KILLER PAISLEY

From The New Yorker: [Originally posted at The Incidental Economist]...

By Austin Frakt

June 24, 2013 8:20 AM James Gandolfini, 1961-2013

The question of whether James Gandolfini was the greatest actor of his era will be settled sometime in the future. Commentators will have to decide whether an 86 hour performance...

By Jamie Malanowski

June 23, 2013 2:45 PM A Primer on Prop. 8 and DOMA

Flickr - Fibonacci Blue What’s at stake? Both the Prop 8 and the DOMA Supreme Court cases have the potential to be landmark cases, but their ultimate impact will vary...

By Katelyn Fossett

June 21, 2013 2:51 PM Climate Contrarian Badly In Need of Details

Atmospheric warming appears to have slowed, according to the most recent measurements. This has, unsurprisingly, touched off a storm of criticism from contrarians and conservatives questioning the case for action...

By Ryan Cooper

June 21, 2013 1:43 PM Growing Unrest in Brazil

Semilla Luz - Flickr CC License In Brazil, what started as a small protest over bus and subway fare hikes has blossomed into much larger nationwide demonstrations over a longer...

By Devin Castles

June 21, 2013 10:51 AM America Has a Child Abuse Problem

In 2006, the United States had the highest rate of child deaths due to negligence, maltreatment, or physical assault among 17 peer developed countries. The rate of child death due...

By Bill Gardner

June 21, 2013 10:30 AM No One Cares About the Deficit

The Congressional Budget Office says: the Senate immigration bill lowers the deficit (see also a nice explainer from pro-immigration analyst Matt Yglesias). Liberals who support immigration reform have been having fun...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 21, 2013 8:58 AM Why It Matters Where Federal Reserve Banks Are Located

What are the chances that both bank presidents—one as hawk, the other as d0ve—will dissent from the Federal Open Market Committee’s policy statement?  Today’s double dissent from the St....

By Sarah Binder

June 21, 2013 8:40 AM Do Moderate Republicans Matter?

One of the biggest surprises to me recently has been the emergence of National Review as a location for some quality reporting on Republicans. I've thought of NRO as mostly...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 21, 2013 8:00 AM Why Fort Hood Needs a New Name

This piece first ran in The Dallas Morning News on June 16, 2013.Fort Hood is the Army installation in Killeen, halfway between Austin and Waco. The base opened in January...

By Jamie Malanowski

June 21, 2013 7:44 AM The Tea Party's Decline Had Nothing to Do with the IRS

I saw this from Kevin Drum, who sent me to Dave Weigel, and from there to a brilliant paper designed to fuel infinite resentment for conservatives, summarized by James Pethokoukis beginning...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 20, 2013 9:30 AM Why We Shouldn't Trust 'Independents'

Sean Hannity: "I'm not a Republican, though people often mistake me for one." (From Political Wire, quoted from a Playboy interview I'm not going to click through to read). Or,...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 20, 2013 9:15 AM What’s in a Name? That Which We Call the “Hastert Rule” by Any Other Name Would ….

Pardon the morning Shakespeare.  But I think a small dose of Romeo and Juliet might be helpful in wading through recent commentary on the “Hastert Rule”—the expectation that House...

By Sarah Binder

June 20, 2013 9:10 AM Who Killed Equality?

There are two main schools of thought on income inequality: The fatalists, who contend that rising inequality is the ineluctable result of a changing economy, and the redistributionists, who blame...

By Ezra Klein

June 20, 2013 9:09 AM This Is Why We Vaccinate, HPV Edition

File this under “holy crap”. “Reduction in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Prevalence Among Young Women Following HPV Vaccine Introduction in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 2003-2010“: Background.‚ÄÉHuman...

By Aaron Carroll

June 20, 2013 9:05 AM The Pathologies of Politico

Politico produces much valuable reporting. Yet it is also frequently problematic. As John Sides and Ezra Klein have long noted, and as its editors admit in a recent interview, Politico...

By David Karol

June 19, 2013 9:54 AM What Detroit Means for America

The first thing I thought about Detroit is that the state’s appointment of a receiver demonstrated the Republican governor’s profound indifference to the democratic process of a Democratic city, not...

By Kelly Kleiman

June 19, 2013 9:45 AM Why It Matters that Obama’s Approval Rating Is Falling

Despite ridiculous hype about a recent CNN poll that showed an exaggerated 8-point drop in Obama’s approval rating, there’s no doubt that his approval rating is about 4 points lower...

By John Sides

June 19, 2013 9:40 AM Who's Responsible for Judicial Vacancies?

Fascinating parenthetical in Emily Heil's story about judicial vacancies: Some vacancies have remained without nominees because home-state senators have yet to make recommendations to the White House to begin with...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 19, 2013 9:24 AM The Enduring Appeal of Tony Soprano

Credit: Shutterstock What accounts for the outpouring of grief at the passing of James Gandolfini, an actor who was known for playing—really for disappearing into—just one character? Tony Soprano was...

By Louis Barbash

June 19, 2013 8:50 AM The Brits Score Again in Political Satire

The British television series Yes, Minister remains for me the ultimate in political satire, but on a long airplane ride I recently discovered something almost in the same class: Veep...

By Keith Humphreys

June 18, 2013 1:59 PM On Inflation Expectations and Central Bank Credibility

I have to confess something: I've never quite understood the argument that in order to raise inflation expectations, the Federal Reserve would have to "credibly promise to be irresponsible"...

By Ryan Cooper

June 18, 2013 11:57 AM Is John Boehner Really a Weak Speaker?

There's a lot of nonsense on the "Hastert Rule" going around, and a lot of nonsense on John Boehner as a "weak" Speaker. I've talked about many times, but here's...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 18, 2013 11:15 AM The Politics of Krypton

[Spoilers ahead] The new "Man of Steel" is largely faithful to earlier depictions of the Superman story (at least on film and television -- I am admittedly not well...

By Seth Masket

June 18, 2013 11:08 AM Phoenix Figures Out How to Reduce Water Demand During Ongoing Drought

The New York Times reports that Phoenix is figuring out how to reduce the demand for water during a time when it isn’t raining. For economists who read the RBC,...

By Matthew Kahn

June 18, 2013 10:32 AM Will House Republicans Save Food Aid Reform?

These next 48 hours are critical for advancing reform of US international food aid, which I have blogged about previously. Short version: because current rules essentially demand that we provide...

By Jonathan Zasloff

June 18, 2013 9:45 AM How Income Redistribution Improves Infant Health

An enormous literature documents that better off people are healthier than worse off people (entry points here or here). But that’s not the same thing as showing that transferring resources...

By Bill Gardner

June 18, 2013 9:02 AM Why Lautenberg Probably Didn't Matter

Greg Sargent has some reporting out on the concerns among Senate Democrats that Frank Lautenberg's death  may tip things against majority-imposed reform; with several Democratic defections possible and at least...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 18, 2013 8:08 AM Can We Find a House Majority on Immigration?

The news on immigration is John Boehner rejecting the option of passing a bill with mostly Democratic votes. Or so he says; Jonathan Chait points out that Boehner's position makes...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 17, 2013 11:37 AM Syria and the Lessons of Iraq

Apparently, the Obama administration is set to send weapons to the Syrian rebels. The New York Times article reporting that implies that this may be too little, too late if...

By Andrew Sabl

June 17, 2013 11:15 AM Do Anti-Immigration Stances Cost the GOP Votes from Latinos?

The question at hand is whether the Latino respondents became less likely to support the GOP ticket in 2012, after Arizona’s SB1070 and Romney’s advocacy of “self-deportation.”  As it turns...

By Dan Hopkins

June 17, 2013 10:40 AM The Big Soda Ban Is Dumb

Several readers sent me the following study at the end of last week. “Caloric effect of a 16-ounce (473-mL) portion-size cap on sugar-sweetened beverages served in restaurants“: Background: New York...

By Aaron Carroll

June 17, 2013 10:31 AM Does Being a Journalist on the Internet Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

Since the NSA surveillance story broke, a number of journalists (e.g., at Mother Jones and Nation) have noted that the original reporting by Glenn Greenwald/The Guardian and Barton Gellman/Washington Post...

By Keith Humphreys

June 17, 2013 9:20 AM Why Universal Coverage Works

In the New England Journal of Medicine Nick Seddon and Thomas Lee make a claim worth considering and discussing. Only when societies commit to covering all their citizens with their...

By Austin Frakt

June 14, 2013 11:36 AM How Are Judicial Confirmations Going? Bad, But Not That Bad

The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing for hearings on the president’s three nominees for vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  Brewing GOP opposition to filling the vacancies comes...

By Sarah Binder

June 14, 2013 11:30 AM The Informer: Is Edward Snowden a Traitor or Whistleblower? Probably Both.

On June 9 the Guardian announced that Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old government contractor and former C.I.A. employee was responsible for revealing to the Washington Post and the Guardian that the...

By Daniel Luzer

June 14, 2013 11:16 AM When Are We Going to Get Tax Reform?

Earlier this week, Stan Collender wrote a longish piece about the prospects for tax reform. His bottom line? Don't expect anything until 2017. He makes several points, most of which...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 14, 2013 9:51 AM Could the Republican Party Win Asian-American Votes?

The impulse of Republican politicians such as Jeb Bush to try rescue the party from the barbarians now running it is understandable. I might even find it laudable if the...

By Mark Kleiman

June 14, 2013 9:26 AM What If a Political Party Re-branded Itself, and Americans Never Noticed?

Greg Sargent: Which raises a question that I wish the political science eggheads would answer: Are the structural aspects of our politics such that no matter how aggressively Republicans pursue policies...

By John Sides

June 14, 2013 8:21 AM We Might Finally Get a Law to Protect People from Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Here's how fast things are changing on issues affecting sexual orientation and gender identity: there's actually a realistic chance that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act could pass the divided Congress. And...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 13, 2013 11:26 AM Americans’ Wishy-Washy Civil Libertarianism

Faced with the threat of terrorism, many Americans have supported policies aimed at promoting security even when those policies possibly infringe upon civil liberties. To what extent does this policy...

By John Sides

June 13, 2013 11:15 AM How We'll Stop Calling it Obamacare (or Anything Else)

A "townhall" meeting in Maryland about the Affordable Care Act (my emphasis): But politics — so entwined with the health law in Washington — barely came up in the 90-minute discussion....

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 13, 2013 11:01 AM Legalized Prostitution Increases Human Trafficking

One of the advertised advantages of legalizing prostitution is that it should reduce illegal human trafficking. The theory is that customers will favor legal over trafficked prostitutes, thus reducing demand...

By Erik Voeten

June 13, 2013 10:53 AM Congress Gags Itself

I like this Kevin Drum item on National Security Agency and oversight, but it repeats something which I think shouldn't be accepted so easily by everyone: The traditional method of...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 13, 2013 10:48 AM Obama Guesses His Way to Trillions in Health Savings

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama relied on a standard applause line, a promise that his health-care plan would “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family...

By Ezra Klein

June 13, 2013 10:23 AM Are Partisans Hypocrites?

The above Pew poll, noting that Democrats are basically okay with NSA domestic surveillance under President Obama but were outraged by it under President Bush (and vice versa for...

By Seth Masket

June 13, 2013 8:16 AM Health Care Reform: The Sky Didn’t Fall Before, and it Won’t Fall Now

One of the things I’m fascinated by is the way history repeats itself when it comes to health care reform. Everyone acts as if what we’re doing is crazy new,...

By Aaron Carroll

June 12, 2013 4:55 PM How Will the Panopticon State Change Society?

I’ve felt that much of the commentary surrounding Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency has failed to capture just how radically these revelations may alter our society. A...

By Max Ehrenfreund

June 12, 2013 3:13 PM Immigration Reform and the Growing Asian-American Vote

The poor showing of the G.O.P. among Latino voters in 2012 is the political subtext for much of the immigration debate in Congress this week. But Republicans also need to...

By Raymond A. Smith

June 12, 2013 11:10 AM What Do Congressmen, Panhandlers, and Medical Researchers Have in Common?

Just for fun I thought I’d illustrate a previous post about what these people do all day using a service on the web that allows you to make your own...

By Andrew Gelman

June 12, 2013 11:00 AM Changing Attitudes in How we Think About Surveillance

John Sides just posted some survey results comparing attitudes about secret National Security Agency wiretapping, comparing polls in 2006 and 2013. At first glance, support for the surveillance seems slightly...

By Andrew Gelman

June 12, 2013 10:57 AM Wisconsin’s Medicaid Experiment

We’ve all heard about Oregon’s Medicaid experiment, but there was another one recently that deserves a bit of attention too: Wisconsin’s.Unlike Oregon, Wisconsin did not randomize people into eligibility for...

By Austin Frakt

June 12, 2013 9:03 AM How California Primaries Work Now

Remember how California switched to a top-two nomination system in 2012, ostensibly to lessen the role of parties? Well, as detailed here previously, the parties responded to that system by...

By Seth Masket

June 11, 2013 11:05 AM Partisanship in Everything: Views of the NSA’s Domestic Surveillance

From a new Washington Post/Pew survey:...

By John Sides

June 11, 2013 11:00 AM Marijuana Possession Enforcement is Down Dramatically Under President Obama

Marijuana legalization advocates often rest their case on the large absolute number of marijuana simple possession arrests made each year in the U.S. (e.g., over 650,000 in 2011). But number...

By Keith Humphreys

June 11, 2013 10:53 AM The Right Call on Plan B

Given my repeated lambasting of the Obama administration for their seemingly anti-science view of Plan B, it’s only fitting that I also note their reversal: The Obama administration has decided...

By Aaron Carroll

June 10, 2013 11:45 AM Our Changing National Self-Image

I've been touristing around Washington all weekend and can at least share a few thoughts on how DC appears to have changed over time. Mainly, on the changes to the...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 10, 2013 11:33 AM Tolerance for Snooping Among Elites and Masses

Kevin Drum argues that President Obama’s views on the government’s right to snoop have a long provenance: [Obama] falls squarely into the mainstream of the elite, bipartisan, Beltway consensus on...

By Keith Humphreys

June 10, 2013 11:00 AM Abraham Lincoln, Microtargeter: the Role of Maps in the Civil War

Long after the start of the Civil War, President Lincoln continued to believe that the Confederacy was home to a large population of Unionists, particularly in East Tennessee and...

By Seth Masket

June 10, 2013 9:25 AM Weep for the Bros

I have tried – hard – not to continue to talk about the few healthy young people likely to be adversely impacted by changing health insurance policy. I think the...

By Aaron Carroll

June 10, 2013 8:37 AM Legal Marijuana: Why Choose Between Hanging and Drowning?

Yes, having pot sold by money-hungry corporate marketers might be better than having it sold by money-hungry illegal entrepreneurs: more reliable product, less violence, fewer people behind bars, some tax...

By Mark Kleiman

June 07, 2013 11:00 AM How Presidents Make Decisions

I have a new column up over at The American Prospect about the presidency, about how the presidency we have isn't particularly Constitution-based. It goes along with last week's column...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 07, 2013 10:59 AM Did Welfare Reform Kill Some Participants?

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA, also known as ‘Welfare Reform’) changed US welfare by limiting how long clients could receive it and introducing a...

By Bill Gardner

June 07, 2013 10:54 AM Could There (Finally) Be a Backlash Against Domestic Surveillance?

There has been a lot of conversation about Glenn Greenwald’s story showing that National Security Agency is regularly collecting information about millions of phone calls from Verizon.  Marc Ambinder provides...

By John Sides

June 07, 2013 10:47 AM The Perils of (Vague Delegations of) Power

Why could the Obama administration collect data on – as it appears – pretty much every phone call you make? The answer seems to be a lesson in legislative drafting...

By Andrew Rudalevige

June 07, 2013 8:08 AM The Medical Research Funding Squeeze

The National Institutes of Health has announced the cuts to medical research that will be required by the federal budget sequester. Although the new cuts hurt, the proportion of grant...

By Keith Humphreys

June 06, 2013 3:35 PM The History of Gubernatorial Senate Appointments

Including yesterday's appointment of Jeffrey Chiesa, there have been 21 gubernatorial appointments to fill U.S. Senate seats since 1993 -- nine resulting from deaths and 12 from resignations. So how...

By Raymond A. Smith

June 06, 2013 10:18 AM Immigration Reform? Maybe

I have a post up about Marco Rubio's (perhaps) flip on immigration, and about the breakdown of the House bipartisan talks. I'm sticking with what I've always said: the big...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 06, 2013 9:25 AM Green Australia Coming to a Grid Near You

Yet another study has come out, this one for Australia, concluding that all-renewable electricity is feasible while maintaining current standards for reliability. The difference here is the authors, the Australian...

By James Wimberley

June 05, 2013 10:33 AM State Legislatures: Where the Republicans Are Really Red, and Democrats Are Really Blue

I've been meaning to post about the release of Boris Shor and Nolan McCarty's state legislative data. With ideal points of every state legislator in the country over the past...

By Seth Masket

June 05, 2013 8:40 AM Republicans and Democrats Prefer Different Baby Names

As we see in patterns of baby names, liberal elites use esoteric cultural references to demonstrate their elevated social position just as conservatives invoke traditional signals of wealth and affluence....

By John Sides

June 05, 2013 8:20 AM Mortality Among Poorly-educated Women

There is an emerging narrative that America is facing a crisis of poorly-educated men. This is a problem we should focus on — so long as we recognize that there...

By Bill Gardner

June 05, 2013 8:15 AM Twitter and the Turkish Protests

Below is a guest-post from  Pablo Barbera and Megan Metzger.Protests have continued over the weekend in Turkey, both in Istanbul and in other cities, and social media continues to play an important...

By Henry Farrell

June 05, 2013 8:00 AM How U.S. Politics Was Hijacked by Partisans

Power has devolved to the people. And the people hate it. In his book “Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics,” Stanford University political scientist Morris Fiorina considers this...

By Ezra Klein

June 05, 2013 7:17 AM Assumption that the GOP Will Blockade DC Circuit Is Probably Wrong

With the three DC Circuit Court of Appeals nominees finally getting named and sent to the Senate today, I'm seeing a lot of liberal pessimism about the next step. Kevin...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 05, 2013 7:00 AM The Medicaid Expansion Is a Great Deal for States

It’s ironic that my Viewpoint in JAMA Pediatrics was published at the same time as this piece in Health Affairs. “For States That Opt Out Of Medicaid Expansion: 3.6 Million...

By Aaron Carroll

June 04, 2013 11:29 AM All Medicaid Expansion Politics Is Local

In this morning’s Wonkbook, Ezra Klein suggests that the Medicaid eligible in states that don’t expand the program might turn out to be a meaningful political force. It’s a truism...

By Austin Frakt

June 04, 2013 11:20 AM Marijuana Legalization: Mostly for White People

It was an enjoyable experience to work with Ian Urbina and Ezekiel Edwards in examining ACLU data on the difference between the Black and White arrest rate for marijuana possession....

By Keith Humphreys

June 04, 2013 11:19 AM Remember: In Democracies, Policy is Contested

I wrote: "The chief job of party leaders in the Senate is to look out for individual senators’ interests and protect their rights." Which led to a letter-to-the-editor denouncing me,...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 04, 2013 10:00 AM Sen. Lautenberg Demonstrated the Retirement Paradox

From three years ago: The flip side of this was in 2008, when 84-year-old Frank Lautenberg ran for reelection in New Jersey. That was a Democratic year when the Democrats...

By Andrew Gelman

June 04, 2013 8:15 AM Judges, Please

NYT last Monday: White House officials declined to say who Mr. Obama’s choices will be ahead of an announcement that could come this week, but leading contenders for the spots...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 03, 2013 11:40 AM Women in Politics? What a Concept!

Actual NYT quote: The Congress of yore might conjure images of spittoons and old male politicians with briefcases, but the 113th has ushered in a historic number of women —...

By Seth Masket

June 03, 2013 11:00 AM The Blind Monkey Theorem, or What Ayn Rand Got Right

Even a blind monkey, it is said, finds a banana every once in a while.I was reminded of that bit of wisdom some time ago when Left Blogistan was enjoying...

By Mark Kleiman

June 03, 2013 10:00 AM Are Those IRS Conferences Really So Wasteful?

The Washington Post has a story with politicians expressing outrage about the recurring scandal of federal employees going to conferences with training videos and food and stuff. The Internal Revenue...

By Henry Farrell

June 03, 2013 8:24 AM Ted Cruz’s “Sharp Elbows” Aren't Good for a Presidential Bid

recently suggested that Ted Cruz’s tendency to criticize his fellow Republicans was, on balance, not helpful for a presidential bid, if he were to run.  Jon Bernstein has is more...

By John Sides

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