From the category archives:

Politics

To surprise of pundits...

November 7, 2012

Thanks, xkcd: As of this writing, the only thing that's 'razor-thin' or 'too close to call' is the gap between the consensus poll forecast and the result.

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Politics & Statistics

November 4, 2012

I'm a big fan of Nate Silver -- he consistently demonstrates that he is one of the best and brightest statisticians around. I like to say that statisticians (and risk managers) are professional skeptics; our job is to let data speak for itself, not to speak on its behalf. Nate Silver does that better than […]

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Visualizing politics through time

November 22, 2010

We love choropleths here at TGR, and here's a really great set -- David Sparks has mapped US presidential voting patterns through time to create an excellent visualization of ebbing (and sometimes volatile) political attitudes: Best of all, he did it with R. Please see David's website for more details. Some of his other projects […]

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364 days ago?

November 4, 2009

In a cab last night, I heard a radio station broadcast a medly of "Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States" calls, followed by a heavily caffeinated announcing repeatedly that it has been one year since Obama was elected and soliciting comments from his audience. Yesterday was November 3. Obama was elected on […]

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Limbaugh totally would have said that

November 4, 2009

As much as I agree with Maureen Dowd's latest opinion (shocking, yes), this drives me crazy: If W. had gone to Dover in the middle of the night to salute the war dead, Limbaugh and Liz Cheney would have been gushing about his patriotism. But since it’s Obama who at last showed up there to […]

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Modelling interactions

August 18, 2009

Andrew Gelman's latest post highlights the importance of interactions. He includes this breakdown of where people fall depending on political party, ideology, and income: Consider the income dimension. Among liberals, the income curve is flat no matter whether the person is a Democrat, Independent or Republican. For conservatives, however, income has a large effect - […]

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Untangling charts

August 6, 2009

House Minority Leader Boehner recently released this "infographic" (I use the term loosely) in order to demonstrate his frustration with the House Democrats's heath proposal: The chart really is an absolute nightmare: the colors, layout, and hidden connections contribute to an absolutely impossible-to-read image, which is exactly what Rep Boehner wants. Recently, Robert Palmer, a […]

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David Brooks entertains/terrifies

June 16, 2009

David Brooks has an op-ed tracking the hypothetical lifecycle of Obama's healthcare plan which I found entertaining because I was sure he was being sarcastic. How could I not, with choice bits like this: You are daunted by the challenges in front of you until you remember that by some great act of fortune, you […]

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Guess who's back?

June 10, 2009

Reverend Wright has resurfaced, and here's what he has to say about Obama: "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office." I'm speechless...

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Keep those soles down!

June 10, 2009

When I first saw this picture, I thought Obama's media team must have fallen asleep at their otherwise pristine desks, or resigned: The image shows the President speaking on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And yes, those are the President's shoes in the picture. I'm astounded. Showing the soles of one's shoes […]

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Republicans are/are not resurgent

June 10, 2009

A new Rasmussen survey finds that voters trust Republicans more than Democrats in 6 out of 10 examined issues, with Republicans being favored on the issue most on voters' minds - the economy - 45% to 39%. It's the first time in two years that Republicans have been favored on the economy. This comes despite another […]

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Credit cards and loaded guns: another day in politics

May 21, 2009

I think I've seen something like this on late night TV: Congress has a new bill which overhauls credit card regulations... and they're throwing in relaxed gun control, absolutely free (but only if Obama signs right now)! Indeed, the latest fiasco out of Washington is a rushed so-called consumer protection plan, which has a second […]

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And on the 73rd day I will rest

May 11, 2009

Obama the comedian at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner:

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Voters may prefer candidates with similar facial features

April 28, 2009

There has been extensive psychological research into the fact that people are more receptive to others who are perceived as being similar. A new study from Stanford by Jeremy Bailenson, Shanto Iyengar, Nick Yee and Nathan Collins has applied this finding to the political sphere (pdf link). The research, published with the telling title "Facial […]

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Why we are doomed

March 26, 2009

We elect people like this to our Congress: Just look at Geithner's face! Utter bewilderment that this woman is actually going have a say regarding his plan. She obviously doesn't understand the plan; she doesn't know what she's asking; and most critically - she doesn't comprehend the significance of his answers! The fact that Geithner has […]

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Worst Weekend: Roundup

March 23, 2009

Unusually, the NYTimes published three opinions this weekend which all slammed Obama - from authors who usually gush about the administration. I don't back off my own opinion that the Times editorial writers are a bunch of pseudo-populist fair-weather fans, but as usual they manage some salient points in their rants: Let's kick it off with […]

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Product placement

March 9, 2009

The Times has written a piece on David Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama.  And what's that in the background of the leading picture?  It's an Obama campaign poster, in Hebrew.  Because campaigning never ends.

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Maybe they don't get it

March 4, 2009

Thomas Friedman's opinion in today's NYTimes (Obama's Ball and Chain) contains the following two paragraphs: I’m worried. We’ve just elected a talented young president with many good instincts about how to propel our country forward, extend health care to more people, make our tax code fairer and launch a green industrial revolution. But do you […]

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The Credit Fairy

March 3, 2009

This ad played ahead of the Japanese Office clip below, and during the whole thing I was waiting for Obama to pop out and yell "I'm the credit fairy!"

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The most irresponsible thing Obama has said

March 3, 2009

The headlines today said it all: Obama: Buy stocks now. The full statement is this: What you’re seeing is profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you’ve got a long-term perspective on it. Is he out of his mind? This is perhaps […]

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Commerce Curse?

February 12, 2009

Two gone: Gregg Ends Bid for Commerce Job, Citing Conflicts. And even Huff is raising doubts: Judd Gregg Withdrawal Sparks New Vetting Concerns.

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"We hate you guys."

February 12, 2009

Update!  The FT is reporting that China will buy treasuries after all, according to Luo Ping, a director-general at the China Banking Regulatory Commission: “Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold?” he asked. “Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the […]

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Something about a pot and a kettle

February 12, 2009

In his confirmation hearing (pdf link), Tim Geithner made the bizarre and potentially embarrasing statement: President Obama - backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists - believes that China is manipulating its currency. President Obama has pledged as President to use aggressively all the diplomatic avenues open to him to seek change in China's currency practice. […]

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Thoughts on Obama's first primetime press conference

February 9, 2009

Remember this, the controversial "3am phone call" ad? How about this response? Last Thursday, President Obama wrote an opinion for the Washington Post which contained the following paragraph: And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will […]

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Let's focus on what really matters

February 6, 2009

George W. Bush's former Chief of Staff, Andrew H. Card, Jr., has a request for President Obama: "I wish that he would wear a suit coat and tie." Just last week, the NYTimes reported on Obama's relaxed Oval Office dress code.  The article retells a famous story about President #43, whose adherence to formal dress […]

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Is this a joke?

February 6, 2009

And Solis makes four: Solis Senate Session Postponed in Wake of Husband's Tax Lien Revelations.

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Oh! Bama!

February 2, 2009

Peter Berkowitz has written an opinion for the Wall Street Journal titled "Bush Hatred and Obama Euphoria Are Two Sides of the Same Coin."  His argument is well constructed and (for once) I'll let it speak for itself... except to say that OF COURSE Bush hatred/Obama euphoria are often found in the same person; anything […]

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Biden's a little upset about this

February 2, 2009

How exclusive is President Obama's new Blackberry? "Everyone look at the person sitting on your left. Now look at the person sitting on your right. None of you have my e-mail address." Via the NYTimes.

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We are all Keynesians now

January 31, 2009

NPR has an interesting article titled "Obama Gives Keynes His First Real-World Test."  I'm not convinced that's entirely accurate, it appears to be missing an appropriate disclaimer -- Keynesian economics played a large role in the New Deal (though, the article suggests, not enough of one).  Richard Nixon (yes, him again) famously declared in 1972 […]

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America's Team?

January 30, 2009
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