Book Review: Spy Who Came In From the Cold
Spy novels are not a genre that I read a lot. I’ve read Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale and was not that impressed by the novel (I’ll stick with the Bond movies - mostly Connery Bond). And though it’s not a novel, I have read Kim Philby’s autobiography - My Silent War. However, the best spy novel I’ve ever read, as well as one of the best novels I’ve read in...
Coaches Poll Plays Favorites? →
I’m shocked, shocked I tell you. Absolutely shocked that coaches play favorites with their votes in ranking teams in the coaches poll, which is used in BCS calculations. The study conducted by Matthew Kotchen (Yale) and Matt Potoski (UC-Santa Barbara) found the following: On average, they found that coaches boost the rankings of their own teams by more than two full positions while...
Ron Paul, Tumblr and Social Media →
johnnygoldwater: In short, the more they’re whining, the more we’re winning. Except when you’re not. What picture am I supposed to get from YouTube? I search Barack Obama, and my search returned 439k results. His official channel has 2019 videos and 211,446 subscribers. By comparison, a search for Ron Paul returned 297k results. His official 2008 campaign channel has 794 videos and 110,996...
Football Corrupts Universities? →
Steven Salzberg is very mad that the University of Maryland is cutting several sports due to not having enough revenue. Somehow this represents a corruption of their mission, even though he offers no real evidence of this (even the chart he posts to challenge the straw man he created shows no correlation between football and academic ranking). Salzberg’s argument is that the experience at...
Book Review: Thucydides
While watching some football, I finished reading Perez Zagorin’s Thucydides: An Introduction for the Common Reader [that’s me]. In this biography/exegesis, Zagorin offers some insight into Thucydides and his History of the Peloponnesian War. In the opening chapters, Professor Zagorin demonstrates how Thucydides differed from his predecessors, such as Herodotus, in the structure of his...
Texas and Hispanic Voting Patterns
It never ceases to amaze me how political folks make dead certain pronouncements about the future. For example, Paul Burka of Texas Monthly has pronounced the demise of the Texas Republican Party, and cites Democratic wonks who suggest they will have a “permanent” majority after 2017-2019. The basis for these bold claims: racial demographics which have shown for years that Hispanics...
Ron Paul Can Win on Arithmetic →
statehate posts this article from Robin Koerner discussing how Ron Paul can win in November, but several things in here have me scratching my head: 1) Republican registration is down, but Paul is reversing that trend. On what basis do we make this observation? As long as we’re talking about math here, where are the numbers to back this up. Party identification fluctuates, but is...
Politics (Debate) vs Sports (Football) →
There really is no contest and never has been, but CNN decided to look at the ratings for the Republican debate on Saturday night compared to the rating for college football. Five point three million households tuned into the debate, but Oregon at Stanford had 7.21 viewers and had a 7 share (3 for the debate). The UFC fight also beat out the Republican debate. Heck even Cops beat out the debate....
The 2011 elections: A split decision →
Everyone is attempting to spin the recent elections depending on their partisan bias, pointing to the victory or defeat of this or that proposition as proof that their party is going to win in 2012. However, the picture that came from election day is much more murky than the partisan spin as Charles Krauthammer points out in the article linked above. Ohio was a perfect example where many of the...
OWS and Campaign Finance Reform
Exploring possible agendas and messages, Occupy Wall Street may begin to focus on campaign finance reform as a direction for their efforts, since it ties together many of their concerns. But are their concerns about campaign finance justified? According to Roll Call, a new study of political spending by S&P 500 companies show that more companies are not spending money on lobbying or...
Religion and Partisanship →
According to a new Gallup poll, if you are white and very religious, i.e., you attend religious services at least once every week, you are more likely to vote Republican (62%). On the other hand, if you are white and nonreligious, you are more likely vote Democratic (50%). Among Hispanics and Asians, the very religious are more likely to identify with the Republican party than the moderately...
Mead on U.S. Political Parties →
Very interesting read from Walter Russell Mead on the relative strength of political parties in the United States, particularly how U.S. political parties have declined in strength and have little influence over candidates (i.e., political parties groom less and elections are pretty open). One aspect of the weakness of parties is the current primary structure. With delegates being chosen by...