Author Archives: rick

Bring Back the Gang of 14 — permanently

Today (April 6) the GOP completed Reid’s Revolution in Senate Rules, abolishing the filibuster for Supreme Court appointments.  As with the Democrats’ earlier abolition of the filibuster for all appointments save the Supreme Court, this is a bad idea: the filibuster has great value as a safeguard in preventing the confirmation of a thoroughly unacceptable …

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The 2016 Election With the Threshold Proportional Vote

In 2012, I wrote a series of blog posts (starting here) studying what would happen if Electoral Votes were awarded proportionally according to the vote in a state, not winner-take-all as is the practice in all but two states today (the other two award two EV’s to the winner of the state and one to the …

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wy9od

The Coming Clinton “Groundslide”

This tawdry campaign has little to recommend it; The Economist’s October 15th cover, The debasing of American politics, summed up just how far we’ve sunk.  As I write this, there are still ten wretched days in which the most disgraceful American political figure since Aaron Burr will continue to defecate upon our culture and democracy. …

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A Twin Paradox Variant, With a Surprise

The “Twin Paradox” in Special Relativity is well known.  One of  the pair, conventionally Homer, remains on Earth while his twin, Ulysses, takes off in a high-speed rocket for another star, rounds the star and comes home.  When Ulysses emerges from his spacecraft he finds that Homer has aged far faster than he has.  A …

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Stopping Trump For Certain

There is a reasonable chance that Mr. Trump will get a majority of delegates on the first ballot at the Republican convention.  It is generally assumed that this guarantees him the nomination: majority election is interwoven into our political fabric so tightly we assume that it is a fact of nature. Well, it isn’t.  It’s …

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Justin’s Amazing Poem

It’s hard to overemphasize Justin Trudeau‘s overwhelming victory on Monday night. While neither the percentage of the vote (39.47%) nor his percentage of seats won (54.44%) were very remarkable, it represents a turnaround without equal in the history of Canadian politics — and, as nearly as I can tell, the history of advanced democracies. When …

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And Then There Were Four…Andre Iguodala Joins The World’s Most Exclusive Club

Three years ago, Alvin AuYoung and I pointed out that  Shaquille O’Neal held all three major championships in basketball: the NBA Championship, (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006), the Olympic Gold Medal (1996), and the FIBA World Cup (1994).   We incorrectly said that he was, at the time, the only member of Basketball’s Triple Gold Club: David Robinson had …

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Obama’s Community College Idea Should Get GOP Support

I haven’t annoyed my Republican friends for some time, and I’ve been kicking my Democratic friends in the shins, so it’s time to restore a little balance.  President Obama’s Community College idea is a good one, and it should be supported.  And even Prof. Milton Friedman (might) say it’s a good idea.  Here’s why. Here’s …

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#DeflateGate culprit? Physics

PV = nRT.  It’s one of those laws you learned in high-school physics.  For any gas, pressure x volume = number of molecules x temperature.  The New England Patriots’ balls were tested in the Referee’s Room before the game.  We don’t know the temperature, but 70°F = 20°C = 293.5°K is a good guess.  The …

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All in, The Unbalanced Schedule Wasn’t That Unfair

  The 2013 Major League season is (almost) over, with only a tiebreaker playoff between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers remaining.  But the complaints have been flying fast and furious that the Major League schedule for 2013 was unfair to teams in the American League East.  Specifically, contending teams from the West …

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