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These 3 charts explain how Trudeau won an upset victory in the Canadian election

On Oct. 19, the Canadian electorate delivered a stunning victory to the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau. When the campaign started in August, few people would have put money on the Liberals even coming in second. And yet they resoundingly defeated Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, which had held power for the previous nine years. The […]

Breaking: Justice Kennedy Enjoins Counting of Ballots in Hawaii Election

Justice Kennedy, in his capacity as Circuit Justice for the Ninth Circuit, has enjoined the counting of ballots in an upcoming election in which only those with Native Hawaiian ancestry may vote. (Via Adam Liptak). I had blogged on Tuesday … Continue reading ?

Best movies of 2015

I thought this was the worst year for movies since I have been watching them.  In fact I think you could multiply this year’s good films by two and still have the worst year for movies in a long, long time.  Maybe by three.  But here are the ones I liked, in many cases with […]

“Other viewpoint: Tossed ballots show need to update law”

Editorial from the Akron Beacon Journal: There was disturbing news from the Summit County Board of Elections last week. The absentee ballots of 861 voters who mailed their selections to the board were disqualified, even though they had done nothing … Continue reading ?

“Tighter Lid on Records Threatens to Weaken Government Watchdogs”

What happened to the Obama administration’s commitment to be the most transparent Administration?  Not looking good.  NYT: The continuing Honduran inquiry is one of at least 20 investigations across the government that have been slowed, stymied or sometimes closed because … Continue reading ?

“The 2016 ballot wars begin”

Politico: Barring a major organizational misfire, there’s little doubt that the top-tier Republicans with big money operations – Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump – will be on the ballot nationwide. But for everyone else … Continue reading ?

Friday assorted links

1. Claims about pho. 2. Mitch Albom in Haiti. 3. How CRISPR actually will prove useful.  And “We’re going to see a stream of edited animals coming through because it’s so easy…” 4. A list tracking student demands from around the country. 5. “The study was conducted in the RAND StoreLab (RSL), a life sized […]

This is what citizens say is needed to end Mali’s insecurity

On Nov. 20, the world’s eyes turned to Mali once again as 21 people were killed during an attack at the Radisson hotel in Bamako, the country’s capital. Many more were trapped in the building until Malian Special Forces led a joint raid and killed two assailants. Two different groups have claimed credit for the attack and […]

Do we need a better educated army?

Is it clever or stupid of us to be avoiding the problem of “overeducation” in our Army officer corps? As shown previously, the higher an officer’s cognitive ability, the lower that officer’s chance at early promotion and battalion command selection. As a curious anecdote, the promotion rate to colonel for officers with PhDs was lower […]

Islamic State as hypermodern, momentum traders

Following up on my earlier post on Syria, Alexander Burns sends me this very interesting email: Dear Professor Cowen, Thanks for your reply tweet regarding your Marginal Revolution post on modelling Syria / Islamic State. I enjoy your books and blog. I’m writing a thesis at Australia’s Monash University that synthesises Jack Snyder’s work on […]

“Shelby challenger John Martin accuses fellow rival Jonathan McConnell of urging him to drop out, reimbursing him if he did” One of the candidates looking to unseat U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., in the Republican primary is claiming fellow GOP challenger Jonathan McConnell urged him to drop out of the race and promise to reimburse his expenses if he did … Continue reading ?

There’s a moral order baked into that ‘Star Wars’ galaxy that’s far, far away

As we inch closer to the Dec. 18 release of the next “Star Wars” film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” we sense a disturbance in the political Internet. Reporters, commentators and even some political scientists are opining recklessly, finding strained analogies between what happened in that galaxy far, far away and what’s happening here on the […]

Golden State fact of the day

So far this season, [Stephen] Curry has made 74 threes — the most in the NBA. Damian Lillard ranks second, with 45. To say that Curry is an outlier would be an insult to the word outlier. So far this season, 84 percent of NBA threes have come off assists. But for Curry, that number […]

Thanksgiving assorted links

1.  Robust monetary rules.  And American Airlines stops accepting Argentine pesos. 2. Can France integrate its Muslims? 3. Dr. Seuss and comparative advantage. 4. “If Pleistocene megafauna — mastodons, mammoths, giant sloths and others — had not become extinct, humans might not be eating pumpkin pie and squash for the holidays, according to an international […]

The most interesting thing about Côte d’Ivoire’s election was that it wasn’t interesting

Kim Yi Dionne: Continuing our series of Monkey Cage Election Reports, the following is a post-election report on last month’s presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire by political scientist Tyson Roberts. There is an ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times,” which is neither ancient nor Chinese. The curse is appropriate, however, for elections in […]

Shipping storage cost sentences to ponder

It costs $300 to move a 40-foot container from Rotterdam to Shanghai…Here’s some more context. Let’s say that you want to travel for a year; it’s cheaper to put your personal belongings in a shipping container as it sails around the world than to keep it at a local mini-storage facility. That is from Ryan […]

What I’ve been reading

1.Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic.  Too much hermeneutics for my taste, but intelligent and interesting throughout.  The authors downplays the prescriptive side of Islam and plays up the experiential and polyvalent aspects of the religion.  If you are reading books in this area, this one should be part of your […]

We truly live in an insane world

I can’t say I understand this FT article so well, but I suppose that is the point.  Which are two groups/persons implicated in buying oil from ISIS, or otherwise enabling such trades to take place? First, Syria.  Or is that “Syria.” Second, the head of the world chess federation, namely Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: “he is best […]

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