Ten Miles Square

June 2014 Archives

June 30, 2014 1:59 PM Boehner Prefers Suing to Governing

News item: Speaker John Boehner is threatening to sue Barack Obama because House Republicans believe the president isn’t executing the law properly. Let’s get the basics right. No one looking...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 30, 2014 9:02 AM Memo to Academic Journal Reviewers: Don’t Tell Your Editor What a Study is Not

My graduate school mentor was the editor of a leading journal in the field. I once asked him what kind of reviews he most hated to receive from his journal’s...

By Keith Humphreys

June 29, 2014 11:16 AM Ezra Klein's Vox: Epistemic Closure, Derp, or Ideology Building?

In a recent post at The Week, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry attacks the Left generally, and Ezra Klein and Vox more specifically, as suffering from "epistemic closure," or, more colloquially, "derp," or...

By Seth Masket

June 27, 2014 1:37 PM Weekend Film Recommendation: Heat

This month’s reviews of great movie remakes draws to a close with the film that finally brought Al Pacino and Robert De Niro together, face to face. It’s Michael Mann’s...

By Johann Koehler

June 27, 2014 9:19 AM So When Is the Senate in Recess?

Before the Circuit Court went all activist in the Canning case, everyone thought the question was defining what counted as a “recess.” On that issue, the Supreme Court had a...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 26, 2014 10:57 AM The Early Blurbs

There is in publishing the fine old tradition of blurbing, in which the author of a book, and/or his agent and/or his editor, contact certain friends and associates who...

By Jamie Malanowski

June 26, 2014 10:51 AM Rubio the Reformer

In a hostile take on Bill Clinton's campaign during the 1992 presidential primaries, two left-wing journalists wrote that his supporters "fired off neoliberal proposals like a Salad Shooter spews lettuce...

By Ramesh Ponnuru

June 25, 2014 5:47 PM It Doesn't Matter Where Republicans Convene in 2016

Republicans announced today that Cleveland and Dallas are the finalists for hosting their 2016 nominating convention, and the reactions are appearing on Twitter. Some make sense -- reporters and others...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 25, 2014 4:43 PM Hillary is no Bill. Neither was Bill.

Philip Klein notes some of Hillary Clinton's recent fumbles over the issue of her own personal wealth and compares her, unfavorably, to her husband. Bill, after all, was quite deft...

By Seth Masket

June 25, 2014 10:10 AM Republicans, Impeachment, and the Nutjob Factor

Two quick things about the possibility that Republicans will mount a futile effort to impeach President Barack Obama. This idea seems to be getting attention, perhaps because the South Dakota...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 24, 2014 2:30 PM Don't Worry About the Government

At least in some precincts, the mood in Washington is one of frustration and pessimism. This is captured by a good Brian Beutler column today in which he proclaims that...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 24, 2014 8:31 AM Adventures in Motivated Reasoning: Circumcision Edition

Political scientists spend a good deal of time studying "motivated reasoning," i.e. people's tendency to interpret new information in ways that are consistent with their prior preferences and/or predispositions. This...

By Jonathan Ladd

June 23, 2014 5:26 PM Do Primary Challenges from a Party’s Wings Change How Presidents Govern?

Ryan Cooper wants dovish former Senator Russ Feingold to challenge Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary: Feingold would almost certainly lose….But winning wouldn’t be the point — the point...

By Keith Humphreys

June 23, 2014 1:40 PM "Pay As You Go" Medicare

For more than a decade the federal government has borrowed to pay for the rising cost of Medicare. Debt-financing of Medicare will increase sharply as the population over 65 doubles...

By Bill White

June 23, 2014 8:15 AM Rape, Privilege, and the Presumption of Innocence

The amount of nonsense written about rape and lesser sexual assaults is really quite astounding. I suppose I should be grateful for anything that makes “conservatives” sympathetic to the rights...

By Mark Kleiman

June 20, 2014 3:05 PM Weekend Film Recommendation: A Fistful of Dollars

For the third installment of this month’s series of movie recommendations based on remakes, I wanted to do a Western. The obvious choice would be John Sturges’ Magnificent Seven, which...

By Johann Koehler

June 20, 2014 10:50 AM A Homegrown Solution to Partisanship

Whenever congressional gridlock is discussed, you're likely to hear complaints about gerrymandering. And to be sure, that is a problem. But there's reason to believe that self-gerrymandering -- sorting ourselves...

By Megan McArdle

June 20, 2014 9:47 AM Cross-National Intelligence and National Democracy

Over the last year, there’s been a lot of writing about Edward Snowden (I’ve contributed a fair amount to the genre myself). Most people have discussed either the question of...

By Henry Farrell

June 19, 2014 12:23 PM The Ethics of Dog Crap Disposal

The mayor of San Marino, Calif., resigned June 17 after he got caught picking up a bag of dog feces lying near a public sidewalk and tossing it onto his...

By Timothy Noah

June 19, 2014 12:06 PM The Time for Kurdish Independence is Now

With the collapse of Iraqi military forces in Mosul last week the absurdity of America’s foreign policy towards Iraq has come into focus. We're finding that we lack the two...

By Jonathan Dworkin

June 18, 2014 3:46 PM About That Washington Football Team

Washington's football team is back in the news: an appeals board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled its trademark on the name “Redskins.” I can’t comment on the...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 18, 2014 10:45 AM The Atrophy of Congress

What are the big changes in U.S. national political institutions over the last 25 years?1 Parties are stronger; they also are more ideologically polarized. We all know about those. There...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 18, 2014 10:41 AM North American Release of A Measure of the Sin is Here!

Seven years ago, independent film maker Jeff Wedding read some of my wife’s poetic short stories and decided that he wanted to adapt her work to the silver screen. Years...

By Keith Humphreys

June 17, 2014 10:00 AM Spoiler Alert! President Obama Is Not Going to Send Combat Troops to Another Overseas War

Lots of pundits with expertise in foreign policy and the presidency have speculated about whether President Obama will send American combat troops back to Iraq in response to the recent...

By Jonathan Ladd

June 16, 2014 4:37 PM Cantor's Ouster Will Have Lasting Effects

Brian Beutler and Kevin Drum have decided that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat doesn’t matter after all. Beutler focuses mainly on the electoral effects this year, and he’s correct...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 16, 2014 10:01 AM Is it Wrong to Spread the Word about U.S. De-Incarceration?

I was happy to see that Bloomberg Television picked up some of the material I have posted about the decline in the prison admission rate. The anchors express surprise at...

By Keith Humphreys

June 14, 2014 10:21 AM The Pope at Yad Vashem

I grew up in a wonderful, predominantly Jewish suburb outside Rochester, New York. The Holocaust never directly touched my family. It still cast long shadows over many lives I knew....

By Harold Pollack

June 13, 2014 11:53 AM Weekend Film Recommendation: Cape Fear

The second instalment of this month’s series of movie recommendations is sure to set your skin crawling. The theme of the series is ‘remakes,’ and with this film, be warned:...

By Johann Koehler

June 13, 2014 10:01 AM Sore Loser Laws are not the Problem

Under Virginia law, Eric Cantor cannot appear on the ballot in November because he ran in the primary and lost. If he wants to try to keep his seat, he...

By Martin Longman

June 12, 2014 10:25 AM What Does Eric Cantor's Defeat Mean? Nobody Knows

Every political pundit in the country is, right now, writing about what House majority leader Eric Cantor’s defeat in today’s Republican primary means. But how sure can we be that...

By Ramesh Ponnuru

June 11, 2014 4:05 PM Cantor: Shocking Defeat, Predictable Results

Let's start with this: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat in Tuesday’s primary is a really big deal. Members of the House rarely lose renomination, and party leaders almost never...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 11, 2014 2:28 PM A Mandate for Beer? Interpreting Cantor's Primary Loss

The twenty-first century is an age of mandate politics - we are preoccupied with understanding the meaning of elections after they take place. Politicians take this seriously and frequently explain...

By Julia Azari

June 11, 2014 11:09 AM Climate Despair: Get on Yer Bike

On June 6 I gave you an anniversary snark against Ezra Klein’s black takeĀ  on the prospects for our climate. The BrE phrase attributed to Norman Tebbit in the...

By James Wimberley

June 10, 2014 11:15 AM How Scientists Came to Recognize the Benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous

Every year or so I get a call from a journalist who wants me to come on some show with “Someone who is saying that there is no evidence that...

By Keith Humphreys

June 09, 2014 4:40 PM How Bad is Stoned Driving, and What Should We Do About It?

Dishonest advocacy aside, what are the actual risks of stoned driving? The answer, from what seems to be a well-done case-control study, is that driving stoned is hazardous, but much...

By Mark Kleiman

June 09, 2014 10:54 AM Is California's Primary System Working?

Allan Donsig asks: “1) How is the California top-two primary system working out? Better or worse than you expected?” Top-two is a terrible idea, and it’s working out more or...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 09, 2014 10:50 AM The Banana Republicans

If they can’t offer policies that a majority of voters will support without relentless brainwashing, they free up the billionaire beneficiaries of the policies they actually offer to help them...

By Mark Kleiman

June 09, 2014 10:45 AM Polystate: A Not-So-Bad Book About a Very Bad Idea

If you're a reader of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, you may have noticed that its creator, Zach Weinersmith (or just Weiner; it's complicated), recently wrote a book about a new...

By Hans Noel

June 09, 2014 10:16 AM Party "Civil Wars?" Rules, Not Factions, Are the Problem

According to New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, only Hillary Clinton stands between the Democratic Party and “dissolution.” Other commentators have not so subtly wondered if the Republican Party can...

By Julia Azari

June 07, 2014 1:38 PM Weekend Film Recommendation: Father of the Bride (1991)

Because Keith is both kind and suffering from a (hopefully temporary) bout of impaired judgment, he let me deceive him into giving me free rein to write the movie recommendations...

By Johann Koehler

June 07, 2014 1:19 PM Why ObamaCare Can't Be 'Fixed'

Monica Wehby, the Republican Senate candidate in Oregon, has fallen prey to a common delusion: that Obamacare can be "fixed." On her campaign website, Wehby, a surgeon, runs through a...

By Ramesh Ponnuru

June 06, 2014 12:00 PM A King Retires

A political obituary for Spain's first democratic monarch.

By Daniel Luzer

June 05, 2014 10:39 AM Dowd, Althouse, and Cannabis Regulation

Why, in a universe supposedly designed by a good and loving Deity who is also all-wise and all-powerful, does Maureen Dowd not only exist, but have a column in the...

By Mark Kleiman

June 05, 2014 8:40 AM After Coates, It's Time for Nation to Do the Right Thing

Ta-Nehisi Coates' recent cover story in The Atlantic gives thinkers a lot to digest. In its scope and depth, there's much to grapple with, but what jumped out to me...

By Chad Stanton

June 04, 2014 1:10 PM Why Mississippi's Vote Matters

Lots of events in politics are overhyped and are deservedly forgotten weeks, or even days, after they happen. The defeat of a sitting U.S. senator in a primary election isn't...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 04, 2014 9:52 AM The Insubstantial Pageant

British lefty pundit George Monbiot, in a gloomy tirade against the cult of economic growth: Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil;...

By James Wimberley

June 03, 2014 1:30 PM Catch of the Day: Republican Climate Change Shrug

The Catch to Scott Lemieux, who responds to Ezra Klein’s question, whatever happened to Republican support for climate change policy? Lemieux draws a comparison to health care and concludes that...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 03, 2014 9:48 AM The World Cup's Soccer Ball

Four years is a long time and I had forgotten that pretty much everyone hated the soccer ball that was used in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The...

By Martin Longman

June 03, 2014 1:14 AM Polls on Obamacare Tell Us Instead About Politics

Sarah Kliff today pulled some interesting findings from the latest Kaiser health poll. They show an intense partisan split among those who claim to have benefited from the Affordable Care...

By Jonathan Bernstein

June 02, 2014 10:51 AM Insiders and Outsiders in the Public Policy World

Nancy LeTourneau offers a thoughtful reflection on Larry Summer’s advice to Elizabeth Warren about how the world of public policy actually works. Here is Warren’s recounting: Larry leaned back in...

By Keith Humphreys

June 02, 2014 9:10 AM What To Do With Will Hill?

Most of you probably don't care about football, and I know a lot of you actively disapprove of the sport. I like it. I am a big New York Giants...

By Martin Longman

June 01, 2014 9:10 AM Race, Reparations, and the Need for a Universal Culture

As I read the much-ballyhooed debate between the writers Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jonathan Chait about race in America, followed by Coates’ magisterial case for reparations to African-Americans, I couldn’t help...

By Jim Sleeper

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