Toy Store meets the Wire

I love both of these.  If you’re not a Wire fan, get the DVD’s and become one, damnit!  And if you’re not a Toy Story fan– same thing.   If you appreciate both, you’ll enjoy this:

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Soccer and ideology

Well, I recently mentioned how it does seem that my friends among the intellectual class are disproportionately soccer fans as compared to the general public.   Pretty much all my friends at work are following the World Cup.   Yet, I didn’t realize that, at least according to conservatives, this is a matter of the liberal intelligentsia.  Think Progress has rounded up a series of overheated conservtavie condemnations of liberal soccer fandom.  For example:

The growth of soccer in the U.S. and the notable expansion of attention and enthusiasm surrounding this World Cup has given rise to numerous conservative conspiracy theories. Matthew Philbin on the conservative site NewsBusters asserted, “The liberal media have always been uncomfortable with ‘American exceptionalism’ — the belief that the United States is unique among nations, a leader and a force for good. And they are no happier with America’s rejection of soccer than with its rejection of socialism.”

I would love to actually see some data on this.  Just a simple crosstab of soccer fan by ideology or Party ID.  Alas, none of the political datasets I ever use measure any type of sports fandom, as far as I can tell.  (If you’re reading this and know of a dataset that has both, let me know).

On a related note, I’ve been really curious as to how come all the nations of the UK (e.g., England, Scotland, etc.) get their own team.  Thanks to Slate’s explainer, we get the answer– because they invented soccer.

Lastly, if you’re a fan and just can’t get enough of the vuvuzela.  You can have it in the background while you do your web surfing.

Long quote of the day

Mild-mannered Kevin Drum channels his inner Glenn Greenwald when it comes to the crazy legal limbo of not actually being charged with doing anything wrong, yet being unable to remove yourself from the no-fly list (and, in this case, end up banished from America):

This is an abomination, pure and simple. There’s not the slightest question that it would be possible to allow Wehelie to fly home safely even if he were Osama bin Laden’s minister of defense. The government of the United States should be allowed to search him and his luggage with abandon if they have reason to suspect him of illegal activity, and they have every right to question him for the same reason. But the right to keep him from flying home? No. That doesn’t just skirt the line of what the American government should be allowed to do, it blows right by it and makes a mockery of the constitution and every smarmy bureaucrat who pretends to support it while snickering behind their hands about “carefully protecting the civil rights and privacy concerns of all Americans.” How on earth can Barack Obama stand by and continue to allow stuff like this to happen?

Preach it, Kevin!

The motherhood penalty

As you know, my research is about parenthood and politics, but one really interesting area that I teach about (i.e., today), but don’t research about, is the motherhood penalty in employment.  It’s not that women are discriminated against, so much as mothers.  Psychologists have done some pretty cool studies where they ask respondents to rate employee resumes and then vary the gender and parental status of the hypothetical employee.  Short summary: mom’s lose. Typically seen as less competent, less qualified, and deserving of lower starting salary.   Men, however, do not typically face a fatherhood penalty.

The truth is, the whole $.77 on the dollar is one of the most misleading statistics out there.  That figure is median wage of working women as compared to median wage of working men.  As one of my students nicely summed it up today: “men are doctors; women are nurses.”  Of course, that’s changing, but the its a big part of the explanation.  What’s interesting, is that discrimination is certainly real, and it seems to be based not so much on gender, per se, but rather the intersection of gender and parenthood– motherhood.

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