Monthly Archives: October 2008

maybe I should check my e-mail again.

Earlier today I finished work on a paper I’ve been developing for the past couple of months. It’s sitting on my desk with the rest of the submission packet since the journal I’m sending it to is archaic enough to not have an online system. And despite the fact that I have another paper to […]

bad borrowers or bad loans?

The right-vs-left contest over the credit crisis seems to have crystallized to some extent into whether the crisis was the outcome of regulators forcing banks to loan to bad borrowers (the right-wing version) or of under-regulated banks and financial institutions peddling bad mortgage products and then aggregating them into un-valuable derivatives that “clogged” the credit […]

theoreticians and the polls

In recent days I’ve chatted with several theory-oriented colleagues (two in English, one in poli sci) about the polling sites. Typically the question is which of the aggregator sites I prefer: Pollster, 538, or Real Clear Politics. (For the record, I typically watch Pollster most carefully.) What I find interesting is that these colleagues–and, by […]

bill the plumber

Our kitchen faucet sprung a leak so Bill the Plumber came by.  (We joke that we may have to adopt him, he’s been here so often lately with one problem and another.)  He’s a middle-aged white guy.  Chatting after the repair was done, he said “I’ll be so glad when the election is over.”  We […]

gender and health insurance

A story from the New York Times today indicates that women who purchase individual health insurance policies pay more than men who do the same. More and more people are shopping for individual health insurance policies because they have lost jobs that provided coverage. Politicians of both parties have offered proposals that would expand the […]

california’s culture war

By now, you have probably heard that Californians will be voting on a ballot initiative, Proposition 8,* that will ban same-sex marriage in the state, just after the state supreme court overturned the ban that was put into place by legislators. The polls show a very close race on this initiative. But that is not […]

what are you doing next tuesday?

Me: I’m going to be making gumbo. And some corn bread. Maybe fried okra. And greens. And a yet-to-determined starch. It will be a celebration of my southern roots. And I’ll be having folks over to watch the returns (NY readers: you’re welcome to join my “party” – if by party I mean anxiety fest). […]

undecided voters: a very dubious argument

In a stunning example of the power of words like “neuroscience” to make us overlook half-baked arguments, today’s NYT contains an article by two neuroscientists suggesting that undecided voters are just more deliberative than the rest of us. They don’t have to make up their minds until Nov. 4, so they don’t. Two problems. First, […]

i don’t get it

Pew has a recent poll that shows some very good news for Obama. Barack Obama leads John McCain by a 52% to 36% margin in Pew’s latest nationwide survey of 1,325 registered voters. This is the fourth consecutive survey that has found support for the Republican candidate edging down. In contrast, since early October weekly […]

possibly the most remarkable first sentence of a political ad i have ever seen

BTW, for whatever reason earlier today I was looking at the 1976 Electoral College map. It’s trippy to imagine this was the Red-Blue map for an election in my lifetime.

barack, we are already behind enough in my baby stats class as it is

E-mail received from Obama campaign two minutes ago: Jeremy – Ask your Boss. Ask your Professor. Take Election Day off and volunteer to make history. [...] No previous experience is required. Sign up now to take the day off and make history on November 4th: Not even if I lived in a swing state, […]

you are getting sleepy, your eyes are getting heavy…

Early this morning I ran across this fabulous press release/blog post from the always fun Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).* I present excerpts of it here for you with only minimal additional commentary: Is Barack Obama a brilliant orator, captivating millions through his eloquence? Or is he deliberately using the techniques of neurolinguistic […]

welcome back, grit

So NYC has lost 13,200 Wall Street jobs since last year. And New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli expects us to lose 40,000 by the end of the year. Even for the nation’s largest city, that’s a lot of jobs – a lot of high paying jobs. Tax revenues will take a serious hit (for the […]

the book party was awesomely awesome

I am walking on air the morning after my book launch party. We had it at Kid’s school, which is in a reinvented church, which is a beautiful space with high ceilings, decorated with about one million tiny books, abacuses, bells, counting beads, and other learning tools that look like toys. It was a grand […]

what might have been

Paragraph from Wikipedia: The names of the Seven Dwarfs (Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy) were created for this production, chosen from a pool of about fifty potentials. The one name Disney always had in mind from the start was Grumpy, or something similar. Blabby, Jumpy, Shifty, and Snoopy were among those that […]


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