Moneyball, the 2012 Campaign, and the Limits of Political Sabermetrics
Nov15

Moneyball, the 2012 Campaign, and the Limits of Political Sabermetrics

My wife and I watched the film, Moneyball a few nights back and while I was bothered by the unnecessary profanity, it was overall, good. It’s not just about baseball. Moneyball tells the story of how general manager, Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics, stood up against the conventional wisdom of his profession and eventually experienced vindication. The feel-good formula on which the film was built has worked in Hollywood for...

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Who Goes to the State Department? How About Richard Lugar?
Nov13

Who Goes to the State Department? How About Richard Lugar?

By many accounts, Senator John Kerry wants to take the place of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she leaves here post soon. But the conventional wisdom, which I find compelling, says that President Obama won’t want to put Kerry’s seat up for grabs by Republicans in Massachusetts, who would likely nominate Senator Scott Brown as their candidate in a special election. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice is...

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NY Times Asks, “Are Conservative Christians Biggest Losers of Election?”
Nov10

NY Times Asks, “Are Conservative Christians Biggest Losers of Election?”

I hope so. I hope the same for liberal Christians. See here. Be warned: The post is explicitly Christian, but might be of general interest. If not, that’s okay too.

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The Campaign About Nothing
Nov07

The Campaign About Nothing

So, what exactly was that all about? It’s probable that future historians will describe the long, debasing political season we just endured as “The Campaign About Nothing.” As of this moment, it appears that President Obama has returned to the White House, along with a Democratic Senate and a Republican House of Representatives. Are you getting deja vu all over again? The president has no clear mandate, no trump card...

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Can You Say Quemoy and Matsu?
Oct16

Can You Say Quemoy and Matsu?

In keeping with my generally curmudgeonly attitude toward presidential debates, I only saw the last ten minutes of this second one (and none of the first). But I note on the social media much “back and forth” between advocates of the two candidates on whether President Obama mentioned terrorism in his Rose Garden statement on the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Governor Romney evidently...

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‘Robin Hood Obama’?
Sep19

‘Robin Hood Obama’?

One day after the revelation of a videotape in which Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that the 47% of US taxpayers who did not pay income tax were dependent people who would not vote for him, an audiotape of President Barack Obama applauding “redistribution…at least at a certain level,” has surfaced. The tape is from an event that took place at Loyola University nearly fourteen years ago. Obama,...

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Every Parent Should Read Gladwell’s Profile of Sandusky and Other Sexual Predators
Sep19

Every Parent Should Read Gladwell’s Profile of Sandusky and Other Sexual Predators

Malcolm Gladwell dissects the sexual molestation horrors perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky and his ilk here. It’s astounding the degree of patient planning and trust-building to which these monsters devote themselves to gain the trust of their victims and their parents. I am convinced this is not an isolated phenomenon. During her public school career, our daughter had two male PhysEd teachers who “creeped her out” with...

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David Brooks on ‘Thurston Howell Romney’
Sep19

David Brooks on ‘Thurston Howell Romney’

After an extensive overview of how many Americans, of every class, receive federal support or subsidies in various ways and how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could talk about that fact in more sensitive ways, conservative columnist David Brooks concludes: Personally, I think [Romney's] a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish...

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Midskill Positions Shrinking in US
Sep01

Midskill Positions Shrinking in US

Here. This suggests that securing a post-high school education is only going to become more important in the future.

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Fewer Teens Driving
Sep01

Fewer Teens Driving

Here. This may be a good thing.

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“Where Do You Fit?”
Aug28

“Where Do You Fit?”

That’s the question the PBS Newshour‘s Political Party Quiz purports to help us answer. Constructed by the folks at the Pew Research Center, it poses twelve questions to which respondents are to give answers ranging from “Completely Agree” to “Completely Disagree.” I took the test earlier this evening. The results confirm that I don’t really fit with either party, not a surprise to me. Go...

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‘Fame and the Man on the Moon’
Aug25

‘Fame and the Man on the Moon’

That’s the name of this column, written for the Community Press newspapers in Cincinnati, after a close encounter of a distant kind with astronaut and engineer Neil Armstrong, who passed away today. Armstrong’s family described him today as “a reluctant hero.” Those are always the best kind.

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Quick Thoughts on Romney Veep Announcement
Aug11

Quick Thoughts on Romney Veep Announcement

The media is reporting that Mitt Romney will be announcing his vice presidential pick at 9:00 on Saturday morning and that the choice will likely be Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan. If Ryan is the pick, he will excite the Republican base which sees him as a true conservative. Ryan is intelligent, experienced, and an acknowledged expert on fiscal matters. He served on the Simpson-Bowles budget commission, ultimately dissenting from his...

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Nuechterlein Wants Foreign Policy To Play Bigger Role in 2012 Elections
Dec12

Nuechterlein Wants Foreign Policy To Play Bigger Role in 2012 Elections

Donald Nuechterlein is a political scientist whose writing can be found in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In an article published today, he says that because of an assumption that the 2012 presidential election will focus on domestic issues, pundits and reporters are paying scant attention to where the candidates stand on foreign policy issues and the GOP candidates themselves largely content themselves to say what they think that...

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Bad Vlad Back in the USSR
Dec08

Bad Vlad Back in the USSR

Vladimir has gone back in time to the days of the Soviet Union. How else to explain the Russian prime minister’s assertion that the US and not people from his own country are behind the protests of vote tampering that have arisen since Russia’s recent parliamentary elections? Putin is increasingly going back to his happy place, where war was peace, reality was conveniently airbrushed out of existence, and every domestic...

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Why Am I So Happy?
Dec08

Why Am I So Happy?

My profession is #1 on Forbes‘ list of the ten happiest jobs, among other things. [I blog regularly here.]

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Donald Trump’s “Giant Ego Trip”
Dec06

Donald Trump’s “Giant Ego Trip”

That’s how Ed Morrissey, quoting Karl Rove, characterizes The Donald’s private presidential debate. [I blog regularly here.]

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Write It Down!
Dec06

Write It Down!

The day after Phil Gerbyshak linked to this article, I missed an appointment because I forgot to write it down. I should have read the article more carefully. [I blog...

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Zastoi, Putin-Style
Dec06

Zastoi, Putin-Style

It may be a long time before democracy comes to Russia. [I blog here.]

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Is China’s Rise Inevitable?
Dec06

Is China’s Rise Inevitable?

Jack Goldstone presents the case here that China, under current trends, cannot become the economic behemoth many expect it to be. And Russia’s growth has stagnated. But, he does see growth in the economies of Turkey, Indonesia, and Mexico, as well as Brazil and India, the B and I of the BRIC formulation. He’s absolutely right, I think, that innovation doesn’t blossom in repressive environments. China’s...

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