Daily Data Dump – Tuesday

By Razib Khan | August 31, 2010 11:05 am

The Democrats’ New Normal. It’s looking real bad. On the other hand, the Dems passed Health Care Reform. What’s the point of being in power if nothing is achieved? I’m sure the Republicans would have lost bigger if they’d passed Social Security Reform, but they would have achieved a big goal of their party.

Guardian science blogs: We aim to entertain, enrage and inform. They don’t have many science blogs. Yet. But I’m sure they’ll add more, and other “big media” outfits will be adding/expanding in the near future.

Wolves Are Smart, but Dogs Look Back. Makes me think of the empathizing–systemizing theory. Dogs empathize, wolves systemize.

Scientists Square Off on Evolutionary Value of Helping Relatives. Carl Zimmer has a good overview of the controversy which emerged out of the Nowak et al. paper, which seems to take a maximalist position against the utility of kin selection in explaining euosociality. Apparently some “big names” are going to be writing a response, so I’ll be curious. I haven’t bothered going through Nowak et al.’s supplements, so I really can’t say much more than that.

Outlines Emerge of Future State in the West Bank. The thing that stood out was the relative quiescence engendered by economic growth. Idle hands and all.

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Comments (6)

  1. Tom Bri

    Razib said…I’m sure the Republicans would have lost bigger if they’d passed Social Security Reform…

    I’m not so sure. One reason GW Bush and the Repubs in Congress were so unpopular was that they were unpopular with both liberals AND conservatives. They could never satisfy liberals, but they could have tried to serve those who had voted for them. They didn’t, thus their abysmal poll numbers and ultimate slaughter at election time. Conservatives stayed home at voting time.

    The Dems, this time around, have made a few half-assed stabs at passing liberal legislation, but the US is not a majority liberal nation, so they have managed to somewhat please their partisan supporters, but pissed off the middle.

    Dems lose big if the move away from the middle, and Repubs if they move towards the middle.

  2. tom, i disagree. though you make as plausible a case as any when it comes to political analysis.

  3. Tom, I think if you look you’ll see liberals pretty enraged at Obama. Not just because health care reform didn’t include a few prominent aspects (and in many ways is identical to what Republicans were offering in the mid-90’s). It’s for a slew of reasons. Then a month or two ago Obama’s press secretary even started criticizing them.

    Republicans were pretty miffed at Bush from early on in his Presidency (I remember the uproar over his education reforms and medicare prescription program). But they tended to marshall around Bush for better or worse. (Typically for worse) It was only after Katrina and Myers that they really started reaching the level liberals are at already.

  4. Tom Bri

    Clark, I did say the programs passed were ‘half-assed’. The far left is so extreme and so fragmented that nothing could satisfy it.

    Razib, Thanks. ‘As plausible as any’ is a compliment, in this field. Today on Instapundit there is a post which pretty much says the same. I beat him by a day.

  5. John Hawks on Wilson & Nowak.

    I think the Democratic base was more in favor of universal coverage than Republicans were for private accounts.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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