Ten Miles Square

March 2014 Archives

March 31, 2014 9:50 AM A Different Approach to State-Federal Marijuana Enforcement

In Colorado and Washington now and presumably in other states in the next few years, marijuana legalization exists in strange world of federal-state confusion. Producing, selling and using the drug...

By Keith Humphreys

March 30, 2014 1:17 PM Nate's Gonna Nate, Haters Gonna Hate

Well, Nate Silver's new 538 reboot is getting quite a bit of pushback lately. And maybe some of this is unexpected, such as several critical blog posts from Paul Krugman....

By Seth Masket

March 28, 2014 6:39 PM Politicians and Professors at the Is-Ought Gap

Politicians rise to their positions because voters elect them to exercise power over public policy; academic scientists rise to theirs by being accomplished scholars. Sometimes, each craves the authority of...

By Keith Humphreys

March 28, 2014 2:51 PM Different Perspectives on How to Legalize Marijuana

The New America Foundation and Washington Monthly hosted an intelligent and engaging group of guests this morning who debated how marijuana should be legalized. One thing that is evident on...

By Keith Humphreys

March 27, 2014 9:50 PM Journalism and Astroturfing

Back when Nick Confessore broke the Tech Central Station scandal, another journalist wrote a very good piece about the problems that you got when journalism merged into astroturfing. For years—literally...

By Henry Farrell

March 27, 2014 10:02 AM Why Did Eric Cantor Just Put More Medicare Spending on the U.S. Credit Card?

Last Friday House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent a memo to Republican colleagues that paid homage to middle class Americans who “do the hard work of setting a budget and...

By Bill White

March 26, 2014 10:46 AM A Fond Farewell to Jonathan Schell

The writer Jonathan Schell, who taught courses at Yale on non-violence and nuclear arms through 2012, died of cancer last night at his home in Brooklyn. Although I doubt he...

By Jim Sleeper

March 26, 2014 10:16 AM All the Things I Knew I Didn't Know...

This apology by former NSA head Michael Hayden to Angela Merkel is pretty interesting as apologies go. Although I’m not prepared to apologize for conducting intelligence against another nation, I...

By Henry Farrell

March 25, 2014 4:12 PM Why Vivek Murthy Scares the NRA

President Barack Obama should have known Senate Democrats would balk at the confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the next surgeon general of the United States. Murthy has been outspoken...

By John Stoehr

March 25, 2014 3:03 PM E-Cigarettes, Snus and The Impact of Tobacco: It’s Complicated

The debate about whether e-cigarettes are a net positive or negative for public health is becoming ideological at what I find an alarming rate. Before everyone gets too entrenched in...

By Keith Humphreys

March 25, 2014 11:30 AM Reason, Hit & Miss: Smoking Edition

Libertarians, like stopped clocks, are right twice a day. Jacob Sullum at Reason Hit & Run has a fine time taking down an astoundinly silly piece in the New York...

By Mark Kleiman

March 24, 2014 9:43 AM Paying for the Party

I’m currently running a reading group with a group of 7 seniors, all women, whom I’ve known, and have known each other, since the beginning of their freshman year. They...

By Henry Farrell

March 21, 2014 4:16 PM Crimea vs Cuba: Remember, America Has Long Been Twitchy About Its Own Sphere of Influence

“Those who want to see a people’s democracy, let them come here and see this,” Fidel Castro told the UN General Assembly in 1960, after his Marxist insurgency overthrew Fulgencio...

By Jim Sleeper

March 21, 2014 10:09 AM Weekend Film Recommendation: And Then There Were None

Agatha’s Christie’s tale of 10 strangers on a remote island who are mysteriously killed off one by one has been adapted countless times on stage, on television and on the...

By Keith Humphreys

March 20, 2014 10:16 AM What It Takes To Be An Effective Senator

No one can dispute that Congress is broken. The Senate has been particularly dysfunctional in recent years. In the House, at least, a majority can pass bills. But, even now,...

By Martin Longman

March 20, 2014 9:35 AM Suspending the Privilege to Drink

Husband, while opening a beer: “It’s every working man’s right to have a beer on the weekend!” Wife: “It’s Wednesday and you’re unemployed.” 24/7 Sobriety is a program that mandates...

By Keith Humphreys

March 19, 2014 11:17 AM How Do the British Handle Their Tea Party?

Kiran Stacey provided an illuminating review of a new book about the U.K. Independence Party in the FT this past weekend (possibly paywalled in some locations). The book’s authors, Robert...

By Keith Humphreys

March 18, 2014 6:21 PM Ukraine and Historical Analogies

It would be amusing, if it were not so disgusting, to watch elements of the Obama-hating right (e.g. Steve Sailer) and the American-power-hating left (Tikkun, The Nation) agree in fawning...

By Mark Kleiman

March 17, 2014 12:01 PM Waiting for Zohydro With Some Trepidation

I cannot remember a time when the imminent release of a new medication caused as much widespread terror and suspicion as has Zohydro. Given the experience of the Oxycontin addiction...

By Keith Humphreys

March 14, 2014 7:36 PM Weekend Film Recommendation: The Intruder

It is pretty hard to imagine a Hollywood Producer sitting in a meeting in 1962 and saying “I want a daring and powerful film about racism in the civil rights...

By Keith Humphreys

March 14, 2014 6:00 PM National Science Foundation Update

This week the House Subcommittee on Research and Technology, which resides within the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, held a markup session on the FIRST Act of 2014...

By Jennifer Nicoll Victor

March 14, 2014 10:49 AM Yeah, Conservatives Have Better Talismans. So?

Jonathan Bernstein asks, "What's the liberal equivalent of a gun?" He's picking up on Paul Waldman's earlier post noting that the gun has become a rallying symbol for conservative activists...

By Seth Masket

March 13, 2014 4:55 PM E-cigarettes and Junk Science

Clive Bates skewers a paper by a pair of UCSF researchers purporting to show that e-cigarettes lead to cigarette smoking, using purely correlational data. In polite company, you can’t infer...

By Mark Kleiman

March 13, 2014 9:05 AM Of Blogging, Errors and Boredom

Yesterday I wrote a post on the 2014 and 2015 economic growth projections for the US and UK. I started writing when I learned, to my surprise, that despite markedly...

By Keith Humphreys

March 12, 2014 1:32 PM A Review of Confessions of an English Opium Eater

Johann Koehler’s resurrection of a wonderful Thomas De Quincey quote reminds me of the hold his most famous work still exerts today. A decade ago, I had a chance to...

By Keith Humphreys

March 12, 2014 9:38 AM A Surprising Comparison of U.S. and U.K. Economic Growth

The United States and the United Kingdom responded to the Great Recession in different ways. The U.S. passed an $800 billion stimulus bill whereas the U.K. in contrast kept government...

By Keith Humphreys

March 11, 2014 2:49 PM Opposing ObamaCare From Right is Minority Position

When we, as consumers of news, look at poll results on public policies or laws, we don't actually want to know if they are popular or unpopular. That information, by...

By Martin Longman

March 11, 2014 9:25 AM Jamie Dimon's Raise Proves That The MegaBanks Need To Be Broken Up

First we learned last fall that the Justice Department had fined JPMorgan Chase shareholders $13 billion - that's the largest fine in history - mainly for its sale of fraudulent...

By John Winslow

March 10, 2014 4:52 PM True Detective: Wonders of the Invisible World

[Warning: Over-long ruminations and significant True Detective spoilers below the fold] Nic Pizzolato, the executive producer and writer of True Detective says in interview that the show owes a lot...

By Henry Farrell

March 10, 2014 2:25 PM Don’t Expect Democrats or Republicans To Tell You The Truth About SNAP Cuts

Despite outrage over the recent cuts to the federal food stamp program, it’s becoming increasingly clear that these reductions in benefits are unlikely to materialize, at least to the degree...

By Rachel Cohen

March 10, 2014 12:03 PM Leon Wieseltier's Moral Posturing on Crimea Suggests He Learned Nothing From his Moral Posturing on Iraq

“There is the question of how to respond practically to Putin’s aggression and there is the question of how to respond intellectually,” writes Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New...

By Jim Sleeper

March 10, 2014 9:09 AM U.S. Leadership is Essential for International Human Rights

LGBT rights activist Kevin Jennings sounds the alarm about the persecution of gay people in Russia, Uganda and Gambia: even as the momentum in the U.S. seems to be accelerating...

By Keith Humphreys

March 08, 2014 11:16 AM Iowa Presents a Problem for the GOP

Because my grandfather was a professor at the University of Iowa, my father grew up in Iowa, although I don't think Iowa City is very representative of the state as...

By Martin Longman

March 07, 2014 3:44 PM Bernie for President?

If Bernie Sanders runs for president as a Democrat, he could have a similarly energizing effect for the left that another Vermonter had in 2003 and 2004. Of course, Howard...

By Martin Longman

March 07, 2014 12:05 PM Weekend Movie Recommendation: A Fish Called Wanda

After finishing Fawlty Towers, John Cleese set to making a string of feature-length comedies, each with varying degrees of success. This week’s movie recommendation is the finest of those efforts,...

By Johann Koehler

March 07, 2014 8:00 AM Dear Bill Keller, Please Start Taking Drug Addiction Treatment Seriously

In his closing contribution to the New York Times, Bill Keller laments President Obama’s unwillingness to invest in drug addiction treatment. It’s a common jab, made by many commentators (see...

By Keith Humphreys

March 06, 2014 12:15 PM Rush to Judgment

Yesterday, noted cineaste Rush Limbaugh offered some ex post facto commentary on the selection of 12 Years a Slave as Best Picture. “There’s no way that movie was not going...

By Jamie Malanowski

March 05, 2014 10:52 PM Principled Bigotry is Still, You Know, Bigotry

Conor Friedersdorf makes some remarkably wrong-headed claims in a post on gay marriage in the Atlantic. In America, there is plenty of homophobia, plenty of anti-gay bigotry, and plenty of...

By Henry Farrell

March 05, 2014 9:26 AM Is Continued De-Incarceration Guaranteed?

After rising inexorably for more than three decades, the U.S. prison population has declined three years in a row. Few people see this as anything other than an extremely positive...

By Keith Humphreys

March 04, 2014 10:39 AM Are the Parties Devolving?

Nicholas Confessore had an interesting piece in the Sunday New York Times about the changing approaches of major Republican donors. As he writes, some of these donors are increasingly dissatisfied...

By Seth Masket

March 03, 2014 3:07 PM Cheap, At Twice the Price!

Shatterproof is a new organization intending to do for substance abuse disorder what the American Heart Association does for cardio-vascular disease: combining collective self-help, research support, and policy advocacy. What...

By Mark Kleiman

March 03, 2014 9:53 AM Hoffman and the Hype about "Killer Heroin"

Within hours of the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, rumors spread that this magnificent actor had been taken from us by “killer heroin”. The threat of a batch of impurity-laced,...

By Keith Humphreys

March 03, 2014 9:10 AM The Yu'E Bao App is Changing Banking

An online banking application in China has collected more than $66 billion from 81 million customers in less than nine months. The app, Yu’E Bao, which launched last June, gives...

By Summer Jiang

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