Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Barbara Hale, 90 (I think; one of my regular sources that I thought was safe says 91, but I'll go with imdb).

Right to the good stuff:

1. Andrew Gelman had the same reaction to Richard Lugar's re-election bid that I did, I think.

2. Cool demographic stuff about party preference and consumer preferences, from Tom Edsall. Via Seth, who ads his two cents.

3. I think Sean Trende is basically correct here -- it's opinions of the incumbent that drive presidential elections -- but then again basically correct leaves plenty of room for other effects. If Romney winds up being perceived as ideologically extreme, it will cost him some.

4. Scott Lemieux is correct about health care reform; Barney Frank is wrong.

5. And E.J. Graff on equal pay.


  1. In my experience, the imdb is not reliable about dates.

    1. Really. I did not know that.

      In this case, I had imdb and wikipedia on one side, and, uh, whoever produces the today's birthdays feature that USA Today runs on the other side.

      Actually, I really wish that imdb would have a "today's birthday" feature the way that baseball-reference does. Also that All Music or someone did. Also that there was a comprehensive baseball-reference type site for politicians. Oh well.

      Also, Barbara Hale is way awesome. Isn't anyone going to comment on that part of it?

    2. I think Wikipedia is substantially more reliable than imdb on simple facts, even taking into account the routine vandals.

  2. The nanotargeting stuff is somewhat depressing, since it points - in a way - to a potentially catastrophic flaw in American democracy; viz, that people with no instinct for management are making the nation's most important management choices.

    An easy illustration may come from the NHL, where the league and fans are bracing for what may be a disastrous night tonight. The playoffs this year have ratcheted up the inherent violence in the sport, perhaps in part because a sometime goon has curiously been placed in charge of discipline. Hockey commenters with a management perspective are concerned about the negative impacts for the league from the increased violence; Joe Sixpack in his barcalounger fires back on blogs that "that's just hockey".

    So tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins will probably close out an ignominious series against instate rival Philadelphia; Pittsburgh's star is the league's most marketable, the oft-concussed Sidney Crosby. Crosby is the poster child for players who have lost their minds these playoffs.

    So league management is quite anxious right now that the fragile Crosby, in a final mad hurrah, will instigate something outrageous tonight, perhaps suffering career-ending injury consequences. Joe Sixpack is thinking about the exact same thing, but unlike NHL management, Joe Sixpack can't wait.

    Which is why Joe Sixpack doesn't (usually) run leagues. He also shouldn't run a country. But the science of indulging Joe Sixpack in order to pick the chief manager of the most powerful nation shows how much America, like the Pittsburgh Penguins, has lost its collective mind.

    Its funny, because in many ways the most telling criticism of Obama is that in some respects he simply doesn't seem much like management. A lot of that must have to do with the fact that the Board of Directors (the 300 million of us) responsible for appointing the nation's CEO - well, we have little clue about what we're doing, with a system increasingly sophisticated at exploiting our collective incompetence.

  3. "Equal pay":

    1)Capitalists only care about profits.
    2)Capitalists can pay women 20% less than men for producing the same value.
    3)Capitalists continue to hire men who cost more than women while producing the same value, guaranteeing lower profits.

    Fun fact: as every person in the whole world knows, almost all men are much stronger than almost all women. Some jobs still require physical strength. At many of those jobs, in order to get the EEOC off their backs, employers will change the physical requirements for women.


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