Politics Round-Up August 21 2013 Edition

stop frisk

Erik Posner of Slate thinks a judge’s decision on stop and frisk was poorly made.

This was not an easy case. Stop-and-frisk humiliates and inconveniences young black and Hispanic men and may reinforce unfair perceptions about race and crime, while creating uncertain benefits for the public. But all laws and police practices create uncertain benefits—social science methods are too weak to prove the effectiveness of any given policy—and all of them will impose unequal burdens in racially diverse cities where different groups commit crimes at different rates. These tradeoffs are best left to the political process. We should expect better reasoning from judges when they strike down entire policing programs that the mayor and police commissioner believe keep a city safe.

The largest illegal gun bust in New York City history occurred because an aspiring rapper bragged about his money on Instagram.

Scott Clement considers the polling edge Democratic candidates have in the Virginia gubernatorial election. There is an interesting aspect of the likely voter model. These captured high turnout in 2008 and 2012, but haven’t always been as effective in low turnout midterm elections until shortly before election day.

A Merril Lynch intern dies after pulling three all-nighters. There’s likely a case to be made for prosecuting his superiors for criminal negligence.

Reporter Michael Hastings had marijuana and meth in his system at the time of his fatal crash, although this was not the cause of the accident.

New York Times Editor Jill Abramson discusses the paper’s “cosmopolitan” but not “liberal” viewpoint.

christie-bookerx-large

Jonathan Bernstein talks about why it’s okay to talk about the 2016 presidential race this early.

Chris Cilizza of the Post notes that a lot of presidential campaigns happens away from the view of the voters. The 2016 campaign is underway.

Nate Cohn views the actuarial tables, and determines that Hillary Clinton is in good shape. Chris Christie, unfortunately, has the worst odds of any of the potential candidates of surviving until January 2025.

The New Jersey governor is just 50 years old, but studies show that obesity reduces life expectancy anywhere from six to ten years. According to the University of Pennsylvania life expectancy calculator, Christie’s life expectancy is 73 years, with a median of 74. That gives Christie the worst odds of any candidate: he has a 96.6 percent chance of living to the 2016 presidential election and only has an 84.2 percent chance of surviving until January 2025, when he might be concluding his second term in the White House. In comparison, Hillary Clinton gets a 93.8 percent chance—which lines up nicely with the 92 percent of white female senators, cabinet secretaries, and first ladies who have survived to age 78.

James Hohlman considers Scott Walker’s road to the Republican presidential nomination.

He can’t use the Senate soapbox to rack up media hits and political points, like Rand Paul or Marco Rubio. He isn’t poised to run up the score in his reelection campaign as a show of strength heading into 2016, as Chris Christie intends to do this November in New Jersey.

But Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s game plan for the next three years is quietly taking shape: Win reelection next year in this purple state without moderating a record that has won many hearts in the conservative base; let the other GOP hopefuls get sullied by the mud pit of Congress and each other; then pounce in 2015.

That, in essence, is the outline of the likely presidential contender’s game plan that emerged from interviews with multiple people in his orbit.

David Catanese considers the argument that a Democratic presidential contender will start out with 246 electoral votes, for the states the Democrats have on in each of the last six presidential races. That view doesn’t all that sensible, since several other states have been close in presidential elections (notably Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) while Democrats were arguably favored in the four elections they won.

David Brock of Media Matters was upset regarding a New York Times story of Bill Clinton’s business ties.

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About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. Currently, I’m writing a few comic books about my grandparents’ experiences in Soviet Estonia for Grayhaven comics. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
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