Sunday, 25 May 2008

Having a gay old time in the Times-Picayune

The tempest in a very tiny teapot over the APSA‘s meeting siting policy has hit the Times-Picayune.

Mind you, there are there are thousands of very good reasons to boycott APSA meetings already—I believe they’re called “political scientists.” In a city the size of Chicago you can escape from the teeming hordes of them, even at APSA, but there’s likely to be no such luck in New Orleans. In my mind, the fewer folks who show up the better, at least in terms of improving the experience for those who do attend.

Veeping with the Enemy

The Libertarian ticket for ‘08: Barr and Root. With a name like that, you’d think they have a no-bid contract in Iraq or something.

Meanwhile, John McCain is allegedly talking with potential running mates at his ranch, including Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney, and Charlie Crist, and the Obama veep spin cycle is ramping up too.

I have no real substance here, I just wanted to use this post title before I forgot it…

A very narrow definition of "policy"

Wired blogger Alexis Madrigal posts a map of gasoline prices nationwide and comments:

Note how similar gas prices are within individual states and how much they vary between states. Using just gas price data, you could practically draw the state lines, if they weren’t already inked in for you. Look at that Illinois-Missouri border!

This county-by-county highlights the importance of energy policy at the state level in driving prices, at least at the relatively small variations in price they are mapping here.

I know this is an amazing concept, but individual states set this thing called the “gasoline tax” at different levels. (A few states, including Missouri, also mandate a 10% ethanol blend to subsidize already overpaid and oversubsidized farmers kill most drivers’ gas mileage, thus actually increasing the quantity demanded of gasoline reduce our dependence on foreign oil.) Gasoline is essentially an easily-transportable commodity, and while there are some regional variations in formulation the marginal cost of those variations is rather low.

On a related note, acting Federal Highway Administration, er, administrator Jim Ray says it is time to decouple highway financing from the various motor fuels taxes levied by states and the federal government. Good luck with that.

Via Sully, who links without comment.


I don’t really see what all the fuss is about, but then again I’m not a Democrat so I don’t hold the Kennedy fils (John, Bobby, and Ted) as the Holy Trinity of modern American politics either. Maybe it’s genetic; my mother, by her own account, didn’t cry when she learned that JFK had been shot.

All that said, the analogy is pretty stupid, not because it’s offensive but because it’s specious. Much like in NASCAR, where there is a useful division between “prehistory” and “the modern era,” there is no valid comparison between anything today to anything that happened before 1972 when it comes to Democratic nomination politics. And pretty much everyone who was actively campaigning into June since then was either a loser in the primaries or the general election; Clinton would be better off not reminding Democrats of that history.

Wings! Beer! Sports!

I had a few beers this evening at Buffalo Wild Wings with Frequent Commenter Alfie and Frequent Facebook Correspondent Annie while watching the Ole Miss-Vanderbilt baseball game and various other sporting events, including part of a UFC contest. The onion rings were very good, as was the company, and even the beer wasn’t that badly priced.