Quick hits (part I)

1) I found this analysis of how Chip Kelly’s NFL offenses have failed to evolve, a fascinating look at how football offenses and defenses are always in some what of an evolutionary arms races of ideas.  Evolve or lose.

2) Analytics and the Clinton campaign.

3) Philip Bump, “It’s not clear that Donald Trump understands the relationship between the president and the military.”  Of course, you can add that to a giant list of important things about how government works that Trump does not understand.

4) Speaking of which, all those generals supporting Trump?  Not actually at all impressive in context.

5) NC State research on how middle school teachers’ climate change beliefs influence their students.

6) Apparently, chemicals in the venom of Brazilian vipers are pretty awesome for curing things.

7) I’ve actually been using the neighborhood social network, Nextdoor, for a few months.  Not great, but I really like the concept.  Apparently, alas, a lot of racial bias goes on in posts about crime.  But, awesomely, Nextdoor is doing what they can to limit it.

8) The gender wage gap explodes in the 30’s because…. kids.

9) Drum has been on a tear with a series of great posts about Hillary Clinton’s email.  This was a really good one:

When you put all this together, it leads to an obvious conclusion: Hillary Clinton did want to protect her emails from FOIA, but the emails she was concerned about were her personal emails. [emphasis in original] Unfortunately, her initial decision to use only a single email account—probably because she was technically illiterate and simply didn’t understand why this was such a bad idea—turned everything into a circus. Before turning her records over to State, she had to carefully pull out all the personal emails and then make it clear that she wanted them deleted so they could never, ever be retrieved. Her experience led her to believe that personal or not, if they were somehow accessible they would be subpoenaed and leaked and everyone would go bananas over them.

So her staff complied. Once the official emails had all been turned over, they ordered the electronic records deleted, the hard disks erased with BleachBit, and the backups destroyed, along with a new retention policy that all of Clinton’s personal emails would be deleted after
60 days. This was done not because there were missing official emails they wanted to hide, but because they wanted to make sure Clinton’s personal emails were well and truly gone.

I believe the fact pattern of Clinton’s email usage fits this conclusion far better than any other. We’ve now seen tens of thousands of Clinton’s official emails—more than we’ve ever seen from any other high-level federal official—and they’re boring as hell. We’ve seen emails that were deleted and then recovered from other people’s accounts. They’re boring as hell. The vast bulk of them are short conversations with a handful of close aides, and are largely restricted to the tedious minutiae of press releases, talking points, schedules, and other day-to-day matters.

What’s more, paranoia over exposure of her personal emails fits perfectly what we know about Clinton’s character. She distrusts Republicans in Congress, she distrusts the press, and she feels that both will take any chance they can to embarrass her with out-of-context leaks of her personal life. Whether or not you think this attitude is justified, it’s unquestionably the attitude she has.


10) The exceedingly disturbing view of immigration propagated by Breitbart.

11) The lack of racial diversity for soccer in the US is a really intersting problem.

12) The headline says it all.  Based on smart analsis from Brookings, “Why the federal government should stop spending billions on private sports stadiums.” Hell yeah!

All together, the federal government has subsidized newly constructed or majorly renovated professional sports stadiums to the tune of $3.2 billion federal taxpayer dollars since 2000. But because high-income bond holders receive a windfall gain for holding municipal bonds, the resulting loss in total revenue to the federal government is even larger at $3.7 billion.

13) Tom Edsall on the return of the paranoid style in American politics.

14) How GMO-based vaccines can save lives.

15) David Pogue with the best take on the headphone-jackless IPhone I’v read.  At first I thought this was nuts till I learned the new phones will actually use the lightning port for a jack.  Number of times I’ve personally wanted to charge my phone and use the headphones?  Zero.

16) Not at all surprised to learn that in the competetive process for NYC’s best public high schools, higher SES kids have a huge advantage.

17) Just came across this from three years ago, but I love it.  It’s ridiculous that we expect high school students to answer essays on their college admissions that might be hard for a 44-year college professor to answer.

18) With all that talk about Matt Lauer’s horrible moderating, it is important to note, as Drum does here, that what has been overlooked is Trump’s fabulous ignorance of national security:

The phrase “not even wrong” is a cliche by now. It was Wolfgang’s Pauli’s reaction to a physics paper he had been given to read, and it basically means that something is so far off point that it’s entirely
meaningless. It’s like asking about 2+2 and answering “blue.”

This is what Donald Trump sounded like tonight at the Commander-in-Chief Forum on NBC. It’s hardly even possible to fact-check him. What have you done in your life to prepare for sending men and women to war? I have great judgment. Can we afford a president who pops off all the time with stuff he later regrets? After my visit to Mexico, some guy was forced to resign. Do you really believe you know more about ISIS than the generals? Obama has reduced the generals to rubble. After you crush ISIS, how will you make sure another terrorist group doesn’t come back? I’d take the oil. How would you take the oil? I would just leave some guys behind where the oil is. How would you de-escalate tensions with Russia?Did you see that China didn’t put out stairs for Air Force One last week? Do you really want to be complimented by a guy like Vladimir Putin? We’re losing jobs like we’re a bunch of babies. What are you doing to prepare for being president? I’ve been endorsed by 88 admirals and generals. How much time are you spending on this? A lot.

19) It’s really just flat-out morally wrong that one county with an overzealous prosecutor can completely ruin lives in a way that would not happen at all a few miles over in a neighboring county.  Just so wrong:

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Donnie Gaddis picked the wrong county to sell 15 oxycodone pills to an undercover officer.

If Mr. Gaddis had been caught 20 miles to the east, in Cincinnati, he would have received a maximum of six months in prison, court records show. In San Francisco or Brooklyn, he would probably have received drug treatment or probation, lawyers say.

But Mr. Gaddis lived in Dearborn County, Ind., which sends more people to prison per capita than nearly any other county in the United States. After agreeing to a plea deal, he was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison.

20) The formula for a richer world– equality, liberty, and justice.  Sounds good to me.  Let’s have more of all three.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

8 Responses to Quick hits (part I)

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    #13 Just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean that you have no enemies.
    cf: Bush vs Gore.
    Is it paranoid to ask that if an election can be stolen in the highest court in the land, can it be stolen at lower levels with little chance of being uncovered?
    Many to this day believe that the Court stole the election from Gore and gave it to Bush because the Court stopped the counting and made the decision that Bush won. The Supreme Court took the case away from the state Supreme Court. Constitutionally, states have jurisdiction over elections.

    The perception that a political majority on the U.S. Supreme Court decided the election arbitrarily feeds the paranoid strain that still persists from the beginning of the republic.

    • Jon K says:

      The idea that Bush v Gore was a political majority decided to steal an election is just plain false. The Court ruled that there was an Equal Protection Clause violation in using different standards of counting in different counties and ruled that no alternative method could be established within the time limit set by Title 3 of the United States Code

      That was a 7-2 decision. That is a fact.

      • R. Jenrette says:

        The logical conclusion to your argument is that the federal government has the power to set the rules for state elections so that they are uniform. This may be a good idea but it is unconstitutional. I doubt the votes would be there to pass a constitutional amendment.

      • Jon K says:

        Not exactly. What I am saying is the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on one of the major issues in Bush V Gore. That alone was enough to make Bush president. It wasn’t just the conservative justices that voted that way. They said what the Florida Supreme Court had done violated the Equal Protection Clause and was therefore unconstitutional. That is what the Supreme Court does.

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    #18 Are you sure Drum didn’t swipe a script from Saturday Night Live? 🙂

  3. Jon K says:

    15) The issue for me is abandoning widely adopted, and free to users, standardized ports (USB and headphone jacks) and forcing the use of proprietary connections. This forces consumers to use more expensive and less widely adopted connections. It also enables Apple to collect fees for using proprietary technology.

    It remains one of many reasons that I am not interested in buying any Apple products. I will continue to support developers and products that adopt industry standards and allow customers the widest possible choices in accessories at the lowest cost.

    • itchy says:

      Apple doesn’t force anything. It sells what it argues is the best product it can deliver. You can buy it or not. If you already have an iPhone, the headphone jack still works. No one is forced to buy an iPhone 7.

      If you do choose to buy one, Apple provides an adapter for free. It also provides Lightning headphones for free. So you can use your existing wired headphones at no extra cost (but with a minor inconvenience) or the ones that come with your phone.

      Also, iPhone 7 works with industry-standard Bluetooth wireless headphones. Apple isn’t forcing you to go with a proprietary protocol; it just dropped one standard. (iPhone 7 did introduce a proprietary wirelss protocol, but it doesn’t force you to use it. And, yes, Apple collects fees for this proprietary technology that it developed — and that it argues is superior.)

      To me, this is similar to when Apple dropped the floppy drive from the iMac. Apple didn’t replace the floppy with proprietary storage; Apple just dropped it.

      Apple makes the choices it thinks makes for the best products, and it puts them up for sale. There is nothing wrong with this. If enough people agree with the decisions that Apple has made, it will sell iPhones. If not, it won’t.

      Engineering is all about tradeoffs. Every component infringes on another. If you remove the headphone jack, you might be able to fit a taptic engine behind the home button. Apple feels like this tradeoff is worth it; you may not.

      • Jon K says:

        “Apple makes the choices it thinks makes for the best products.” I completely disagree on the issue of proprietary technology. In what universe does the lightning port do anything but force consumers to use an adapter or buy more expensive products that Apple generates revenue from? What was so wrong with USB other than Apple couldn’t generate revenue from it? I can use any of my standard usb cables to charge my device. If I lose one, or forget one, I can get a replacement for 5 bucks.

        People can buy whatever they want. I’ve just never appreciated the ‘greatness’ that is Apple. My Android phone works for me. It is more compatible with my Windows PC. I have more flexibility in what apps I can put on my phone. I can chose to not use the Google App Store if I would prefer to use Amazon or any other source for Apps.

        I’ve never understood why anyone would buy an Apple computer either when you can get equivalent hardware (they use the same Intel processors as PCs) for hundreds of dollars less.

        I’m just not a fan of the company. However I think it is dishonest, or motivated reasoning, to pretend that developing proprietary alternatives to perfectly acceptable standards that have been adopted by virtually every other technology company in existence has anything other to do with generating additional revenue. It just irritates me. I remember when every cell phone had it’s own charger. There’s a reason the industry decided to move away from that. It was bed for their customers.

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