Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Santorum is More Electable than Romney

As a long-time Romney guy this has been painful to admit, but I really think Santorum is the more electable candidate.  From the Five-Thirty-Eight blog (which provides very valuable commentary despite being hosted by the generally fascist NYT):
I argue that one such small factor that could work against Mr. Romney — and possibly in favor of Mr. Santorum — is the Electoral College. A Republican candidate who does poorly with working-class white voters has an extremely tough electoral map because those voters tend to be concentrated in swing states, especially in the Midwest

Friday, February 10, 2012

What I Admire About Paul Krugman

From Bloomberg:  Paul Krugman vs. the World
The great Autistian School economist at Marginal Revolution linked to the following Businessweek article detailing how Krugman has managed to entangle a number of esteemed economists into his nasty little personal spats BUT he asked commentors to be nice.

Here are nicest words I could think of for the Krugman:

Krugman is a skilled political propagandist par excellence who has been extremely effective at discrediting the aspects of the last 30 years of work in macroeconomics that would otherwise question some of the assumptions built into his political ideology.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Un-Scientific American (How Bad Standards Lead to Good Outcomes)

My sloppy journalist of the month award goes to Anna Kuchment at Scientific American for parroting a bizarrely twisted report evaluating state science standards published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education policy think thank that I've never heard of.

What jumped out of this chart was that the Dakotas got F's while California got A's.  Now that's odd, because I seemed to remember that North Dakota scored near the top when in comes to educational OUTCOMES.

So naturally, I spent 2 minutes doing the background research that Scientific American didn't feel was required and it turns out that indeed the very best NAEP outcomes do indeed come from the states with horrible science standards, as reported by Sci Am:

NAEP Rank State Standards Grade
1st Montana F
2nd North Dakota F
3rd South Dakota F
4th Massachusetts A-
5th New Hampshire D

(my own charts of outcomes vs. standards below the fold)