Radley Balko picks my least favorite American president for dishonor:
Woodrow Wilson. Jailed political dissenters, created the Federal Trade Commission, got us into World War I. He also enacted the first federal income tax, the first modern military draft, and the first federal drug prohibition. Wilson also re-segregated the federal government. When blacks protested, he told them to consider segregation a “benefit,” not a debasement. An all-around loathesome human being.
I agree with Balko’s assessment except on the World War I point, if only because I think U.S. involvement was inevitable based on rather boneheaded provocations by the Central Powers, most notably the Zimmerman telegram.
How did I not know about the upcoming Texas Book Festival until today? I guess I now have a possible destination for my first “regaining my sanity” roadtrip of the year.
þ: Tom Vanderbilt.
In the last 24 hours, I’ve been asked to disseminate two survey links. So have at them:
A research team from the Psychology Department at New York University, headed by Professor Yaacov Trope and supported by the National Science Foundation, is investigating the cognitive causes of voting behavior, political preferences, and candidate evaluations throughout the course of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. This stage of the study focuses on the information people use to inform evaluations during the last few weeks before the election. They seek respondents of all political leanings from all over the country (and from the rest of the world) to complete a 15-minute questionnaire, the responses to which will be completely anonymous. The survey is here.
I also have a briefish survey from some students of a friend of mine at Auburn University, for those with less time to spare.
Standard disclaimers regarding the fact I know this is a convenience sample apply; complain at the principal investigators if you must.
I think James Joyner nicely captures the dynamics at work when trying to investigate whether or not someone can engage in criminal behavior—in this case, make a contribution to a political campaign under an assumed name. I would only make the point that I doubt Mark Kleiman would object to the use of similar tactics by those investigating airport security or, for that matter, that perennial local TV sweeps favorite of sending an investigative reporter undercover into the meat department of a local grocery store to document all the horrifically bad things that go on behind closed doors—or, for that matter, would object to anyone bragging about having done so, even if violating the law (which I am pretty sure both of these other examples involve).