Friday, April 8, 2011

Your mother was a hamster...

...and your father smelt of eldeberries!

No, I don't really have much to add to yesterday's news story and various posts about Gary King's interesting finding that about a quarter of Congressional press releases consist of what he calls "taunting," a new category to add to David Mayhew's trio of credit claiming, position taking, and advertising. Interesting, but I'm not sure if it will turn out to tell us anything about Congress. We'll see.

But mostly I'm just embarrassed for the internet in that as near as I can tell we have here a genuine news story about "taunting" and yet to this point I can't find anything about k------niggets, or wipers of other peoples' bottoms, a fart in your general direction, or even a oui, oui -- let's go.

Just awful.

Uhh...gotta have some substance we go: in the original article, Justin Grimmer and King looked at all Senatorial press releases over 2005-2007, giving them 300 Senator-years of data. Including, in a footnote, the top ten taunting Senator-years. Ready?
The top 10 senator-year taunters include Baucus (D-MT), 2005; Byrd (D-WV), 2007; Thune
(R-SD), 2006; Ensign (R-NV), 2005; McConnell (R-KY), 2006; Biden (D-DE), 2005; Reid
(D-NV), 2005; Coburn (R-OK), 2007; Sarbanes (D-MD), 2006; Kennedy (D-MA), 2007.
Alas, it's not clear which order these are in. Certainly interesting that there are no repeat customers, and only a single presidential candidate. But: Sarbanes? Really? Cool.

Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time-a.


  1. I don't know if I can live in a world that admits such notions as "Senator-years."

    But then, I also don't know the air flight velocity of a coconut-laden swallow.

  2. I'm still wrestling with whether "taunting" counts as a separate category.

  3. You left out my favorite Monty Python taunt: "And I fart in your general direction."

  4. Wait a minute ... upon closer examination, I see you didn't leave it out. My bad.


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