Sanford said Chapur is his soul mate but he's trying to fall back in love with his wife.Gov. Sanford, this one's for you:
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Tuesday that he "crossed lines" with a handful of women other than his mistress — but never had sex with them.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The Office of Presidential Correspondence is not yet an adjunct of Michael Jackson’s PR firm.
In today’s Post there were already reports that some youngsters were turning away from Mr. Jackson in favor of a newcomer who goes by the name “Prince,” and is apparently planning a Washington concert. Will he receive a Presidential letter? How will we decide which performers do and which do not?Roberts was 29 when he wrote this. Prince had released "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" two years earlier. Is it possible that Roberts had never heard this music? What was he listening to? The mind reels.
Why, for example, was no letter sent to Mr. Bruce Springsteen, whose patriotic tour recently visited the area?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sanford: "See you guys later."Staffer: "Where are you going, Governor?"Sanford: "I'm hitting the Appalachian Trail."
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
I was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. And as many other Americans have realized as they’ve struggled to reconcile the principle of fairness with the lessons they learned early in life, that’s not an easy thing to overcome.
But the fact that I was raised a certain way just isn’t a good enough reason to stand in the way of fairness anymore. [...]
I believe that, when my daughters grow up, barriers to marriage equality for same-sex couples will seem as archaic, and as unfair, as the laws we once had against inter-racial marriage.
And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history. [...]
I understand that even those who oppose discrimination might continue to find it hard to re-think the definition of marriage they grew up with. I know it was for me.
But many of the things we must do to make our union more perfect – whether it’s fighting for decades to reform our health care system or struggling with a difficult moral question – are hard. They take time. And they require that, when you come to realize that something is right, you be unafraid to stand up and say it.
That’s the only way our history will progress along that long arc towards justice.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The town manager of Billerica announced his resignation this morning in the wake of criticism for less-than-flattering comments he made about the suburb north of Boston, town officials said.
The town manager, William F. Williams, who has held the post since September 2008, did not return calls. But he was forced to apologize after negative remarks he made about the town of 40,000 people at last week's Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce Municipal Breakfast.
"Some individuals, and I'm not one of them, are stuck in the '80s, where they look at Billerica as a place that was great and we need to retro back," Williams said, according to The Lowell Sun. "Wendy's is considered to them to be a wonderful thing."
He was also quoted as saying: "I look at [Billerica] as a town that needs a lot of work. I look harshly at Billerica as a place that seems to be in distress. When I look at it that way, I'm not demeaning you, I'm just saying that you don't photograph well. You don't have curb appeal."
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
There’s a bit of a disconnect between networks tools and the expectations of the discipline. What networks research is really good at is description, but the discipline generally frowns on description and encourages hypothesis testing. A lot of the papers I’ve seen here (including one of my own) are hamstrung by this problem.
If you’ve watched “The Wire,” you understand the value of description of a network. Season Three was a particularly good example. The Barksdale/Bell drug cartel had a very complex structure, with a bunch of pretty poorly-educated guys at the bottom selling heroin on the streets, a group of savvy lieutenants coordinating them, and then the two principals at the top. The cartel did a lot to make it appear like there was no coordination between these levels, mainly by communicating over disposable cell phones and then dumping the phones or switching SIM cards frequently. Meanwhile, the police are trying to map out the whole network out, using increasingly sophisticated tools to overcome the cartel’s efforts to hide the links.
In this kind of case, description of the network is enough. It’s enough to arrest the key players, and presumably enough to convince a jury. Description also works nicely for teasing out the structures of terrorist organizations, figuring out who the key players are and who you need to eliminate to cripple a network.
Some of my research has attempted this same sort of approach with parties. And, in all seriousness, there are important similarities between parties and criminal networks. Party leaders are often attempting certain levels of coordination to do things like advantage a candidate in a primary or convince other candidates to drop out of contests. The things they do along these lines are either illegal or would appear unsavory if run in the newspaper, so they try to keep them hidden. But we still know this coordination occurs.
Greg Koger, Hans Noel, and I have an article coming out soon with BJPS that uses the buying and selling of names and addresses for direct mailings to trace out the party networks. Below is one of the pictures we produced which shows the structure of the Republican Party network. It’s kinda cool, and it’s an image you wouldn’t get by following more formal descriptions of what a party is. But again, there’s not much hypothesis testing here.
I’m not sure what the best path is for networks research in the social science. Should the journals become more accepting of networks descriptions? Or should network researchers be going that next step to test important hypotheses?
Friday, June 12, 2009
Yet another cool networks paper: Sandra Gonzales-Bailon of the Oxford Internet Institute analyzed the structure of discussion networks on Slashdot, broken down by category. She looked at the width (number of different comments) and the depth (how many different levels of discussion each comment produced) of postings. A truly deliberative discussion, she reasoned, should be both deep and wide, producing a wide range of comments, each of which involves an intense series of arguments and ripostes.
As it turns out, the topic “politics” produces the deepest and widest conversation threads. The only topics similar to politics in these measures are “interviews,” “Apple,” and “yro” (your rights online). I would describe the last two items in that series as basically political in nature. At the other end of both spectra (both shallow and narrow) was “games,” suggesting that people treat politics more as an area for deliberation and less as a game.
The picture portraits the networks of advice exchange, with blue nodes being political scientists and yellow nodes being scholars from other disciplines. Further, squares are nodes that function as cutpoints (if you remove them, parts of the network become disconnected). Finally, the red nodes are the most embedded individuals in the network according to the "cohesive blocks" algorithm devised by Moody and White (2003). All of them are political scientists.I’m only a red circle. We’re highly central but expendable. Maybe someday, if I work hard, I’ll be a square.
I’m attending the Harvard Political Networks Conference right now and listening to an interesting presentation by Karl Rethemeyer called “Lethal Connections.” (It’s co-authored with Asal, Lee, and Park.) The paper uses social network analysis to study the links between terrorist attacks and the lethality of terror groups. The authors find, among other things, that connectedness is related to lethality. That is, the more connected a terror group is to other terror groups, the more likely they are to kill people and to target U.S. interests. They also find that Islamist groups tend to be better connected.
Non-lethal terror groups, conversely, tend to be relative loners, linked to very few organizations. Leftist organizations (defined here as environmental and anarchist terror groups) also tend to be non-lethal.
Some of these claims beg a few questions. If anarchists and environmental terrorists are leftists, does that make religious terror groups right wing? Not all of these things map well onto American ideological space. Also, why would more religious organizations tend to be lethal? They are more likely to employ suicide bombers, which is consistent with the idea of an afterlife and divine reward, but I’m not sure why such a belief would justify killing others.
Also, more generally, didn’t leftist organizations tend to be more lethal in the past? As I recall, anarchists set off a bomb in the L.A. Times building early in the 20th century, and one of them killed President McKinley. And leftist groups blew up ROTC buildings and other government offices in the 60s, accepting a certain level of collateral damage. We don’t see much of this stuff today from the left. What changed?
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
A governor with a majority in both houses shouldn't have to veto a bill.
If he vetoes a bill, it's either because he didn't communicate his wishes to the legislature, or he did and nobody listened.
Either way, that demonstrates a lack of leadership.Let's just stipulate that overall, organized labor in Colorado is a lot better off with Ritter in the governor's mansion than it was with Owens there or it would be with Penry there. Still, this is two slaps in labor's face in the last month, and they didn't need to happen. I don't get the impression that Ritter is consciously trying to insult labor. It seems more like he has no political strategy at all. He seems to wait until a bill gets to his desk, and then very honestly and sincerely decides what's best for the state. That's a good decision to be making, but it's the wrong time to be making it.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
This same week, my home state, California, declared it was so bankrupt (literally) that it was considering closing access to state parks, and so bankrupt (metaphorically) that it would deny consenting adults the right to marry whomever they wished.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Correction: The data above come from Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn. The visualization was assembled by Carl Roose and Alex Lundry. Apologies for the error.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
In sum, in an eleven-year career on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has participated in roughly 100 panel decisions involving questions of race and has disagreed with her colleagues in those cases (a fair measure of whether she is an outlier) a total of 4 times. Only one case (Gant) in that entire eleven years actually involved the question whether race discrimination may have occurred. (In another case (Pappas) she dissented to favor a white bigot.) She participated in two other panels rejecting district court rulings agreeing with race-based jury-selection claims. Given that record, it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decisionmaking.Hmm. She sounds pretty mainstream. Or maybe Newt is right that she's this week's Threat to American Civilization (TM).