Cory Leonard

Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Shall I Unfriend Thee, Political Foe?

In politics on August 26, 2016 at 8:10 pm


From Leticia Bode, new research on that issue of the century–talking politics on social media.

Social media allow users some degree of control over the content to which they are exposed, through blocking, unfriending, or hiding feeds from other users. This article considers the extent to which they do so for political reasons. Survey data from Pew Research suggests that political unfriending is relatively rare, with fewer than 10% of respondents engaging in the practice. Analysis finds support for the idea that political unfriending is most common among those who talk about politics, those strongest in ideology, those that see the most politics in social media, and those that perceive the greatest political disagreement in their social networks. This suggests that social media are not exacerbating the political information gap as political information on social media is likely still reaching the least politically engaged, whereas the most politically engaged may opt out of political information within social media but still receive it elsewhere.

via Sage Journals | Pruning the news feed: Unfriending and unfollowing political content on social media


David Frum Offers a Dose of Reality

In politics on November 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

My favorite line: “The Roman Catholic Church deems despair a mortal sin.” And then this next:

The United States did not vote for socialism. It could not do so, because neither party offers socialism. Both parties champion a free enterprise economy cushioned by a certain amount of social insurance. The Democrats (mostly) want more social insurance, the Republicans want less. National politics is a contest to move the line of scrimmage, in a game where there’s no such thing as a forward pass, only a straight charge ahead at the defensive line. To gain three yards is a big play.

Whatever you think of the Obama record, it’s worth keeping in mind that by any measure, free enterprise has been winning the game for a long, long time to this point.

via Conservatives, don’t despair –

via Conservatives, don’t despair –

Bob Bennett on Church and State | Hugh Nibley Off the Record

In politics on October 29, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Former Senator Bob Bennett, fellow at the Hinckley Instiutte of Politics explains how it works:

The Church does not say, ‘Well let’s purge Harry Reid.’ They say, “Let’s call him up and ask him for something else we need.’ And he delivers.

via Bob Bennett on Church and State.

Bob Bennett Video on Nibley and Politics: Part 2.


Challenging the Claims of Media Bias – the Media Equation –

In media on October 2, 2012 at 3:15 am

David Carr’s take on the diminishingly-claimed-Romney-claim of media bias:

Even if legacy media still maintained some kind of death grip on American consciousness, it would be hard to claim that the biggest players in those industries are peddling liberal theology.

Think about it. What is the No. 1 newspaper in America by circulation? Why, that would be The Wall Street Journal, a bastion of conservative values on its editorial pages and hardly a suspect when it comes to lefty news coverage. (Though it’s worth pointing out that the paper has published some very tough coverage of Mr. Romney.)

What about radio? Three of the top five radio broadcasters — Mr. Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the recently departed Michael Savage — have outdrawn NPR’s morning and evening programs by a wide margin. In cable television, Fox News continues to pummel the competition.

Many Republicans see bias lurking in every live shot, but the growing hegemony of conservative voices makes manufacturing a partisan conspiracy a practical impossibility.

via Challenging the Claims of Media Bias – the Media Equation –


Of Luck and Success — Economic View –

In career, politics on August 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Its good to be talented, but better to be lucky.  Or is it?  Answering a very wide divide between liberals and conservatives (hard work pays off and rewards the talented v. luck favors a few) Robert H. Frank explores the implications for each view on public policy:

IN their experiments, the sociologists showed how feedback could be a vitally important random effect. And it can be seen in many other situations: it’s often hard to find information about the quality of a particular product, so we rely on the reactions of friends and acquaintances who’ve already tried it. Any random differences in the early feedback we receive tend to be amplified as we share our reactions with others. Early success — even if unearned — breeds further success, and early failure breeds further failure. The upshot is that the fate of products in general — but especially of those in the intermediate-quality range — often entails an enormous element of luck.

We always knew that it was good to be smart and hard-working, and that if you were born or raised with those qualities, you were incredibly lucky, just as you were lucky if you grew up in the United States rather than in Somalia. But the sociologists’ research helps us understand why many people who have those qualities never find much success in the marketplace. Chance elements in the information flows that promote that success are sometimes the most important random factors of all.

via Of Luck and Success — Economic View –


Why We’re Afraid of Mormons | BU Today | Boston University

In politics on July 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm

One of the best stories of late (and there have been quite a few) addressing many of the issues Mormonism confronts in contemporary American political life, written by Rich Barlow for Boston University Today and interviewing religion scholar Cristine Hutchison-Jones, who coincidentally, isn’t married:

The other people who are uncomfortable with Mormons are socially and politically liberal Americans. Polls ask, would you vote for a Mormon presidential candidate? People who self-identify as liberal have a tendency to say no. There’s a tendency to see Mormons as a hegemony, as if they were en masse in thrall to church leadership. The Moral Majority reached out to Mormons, and because of that association, liberals tend to see Mormons as off-limits. I had to get over some of that myself. That was the expectation I came into my research with. I headed off to the Mormon History Association national conference, and the group of scholars there are by and large Mormon, and they are not in any kind of political lockstep. There’s a wide diversity of opinion.

With the Moral Majority, it seems Mormons were crawling into bed politically with people who had a prejudice against them.

It’s true. In the 1980s, the New York Times didn’t know what to do with Orrin Hatch, who rode into the Senate as a conservative Republican Mormon. Then conservative Republicans proposed a school prayer amendment to the Constitution. He said, “Absolutely not. I am part of a minority religion that has been abused, and I am not going to be party to telling anyone how they should or should not pray.” Hatch famously went on to work with Ted Kennedy for federally funded children’s health care. Mormons have a very strong sense of the common good.

via Why We’re Afraid of Mormons | BU Today | Boston University.

via Why We’re Afraid of Mormons | BU Today | Boston University.

Why Obama Will Embrace the 99 Percent –

In politics on April 19, 2012 at 7:02 am

Gentlemen, start your general election engines.  (Nate Silver analysis rarely disappoints.)

Still, Santorum, who rates as a 68 on the ideology scale (the same as a less-plausible nominee, Newt Gingrich), would probably be weaker than Romney in the popular vote. According to the model, Obama would be a 77 percent favorite to win the popular vote against Santorum given 2.5 percent G.D.P. growth.

Republicans wouldn’t care about that, however, if Santorum carried Ohio and Michigan — and perhaps even his home state, Pennsylvania — places where economic concerns tend to take precedence. Under these conditions, in fact, Republicans might be able to win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote.

I am not quite ready to suggest that Santorum would be a better nominee than Romney. But the electability gap between the two is closer than it might appear because of the way Santorum’s strengths could play in the Electoral College. At the very least, he might force a reset of the White House’s strategy — from one focused on the 99 percent to one more intent on critiquing Santorum’s positions on social issues.

via Why Obama Will Embrace the 99 Percent –


Jonathan Haidt Decodes the Tribal Psychology of Politics – The Chronicle Review

In politics on February 16, 2012 at 6:10 am

An explainer of culture wars, partisanship, and the political brain–social psychologist Jonathan Haidt developed a model that may not (yet) work as a touchstone for politicos, but it can help us better understand why we hold the views that we do, and how to engage with others more effectively.

Now Haidt wants to change how people think about the culture wars. He first plunged into political research out of frustration with John Kerry’s failure to connect with voters in 2004. A partisan liberal, the University of Virginia professor hoped a better grasp of moral psychology could help Democrats sharpen their knives. But a funny thing happened. Haidt, now a visiting professor at New York University, emerged as a centrist who believes that “conservatives have a more accurate understanding of human nature than do liberals.”

In March, Haidt will publish The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon). By laying out the science of morality—how it binds people into “groupish righteousness” and blinds them to their own biases—he hopes to drain some vitriol from public debate and enable conversations across ideological divides.

via Jonathan Haidt Decodes the Tribal Psychology of Politics – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Campus Bloggers featured in NYT Education Life

In politics, tech on April 21, 2011 at 1:38 am

Featured academic blogs from left, right and center–and all pretty well informed about what they spout.  The shortlist includes Althouse (slightly right), Instapundit (libertarian transhumanist),The Volkh Conspiracy (libertarian-conservative), Crooked Timber (social democratic),  Greg Mankiew’s Blog (right leaning mainstream), Informed Comment (left leaning), and The Becker-Posner Blog (small govm’t, private sector).

Online, professors are often highly political, deeply personal and, per the format’s wont, downright snarky in ways they are not in the classroom. Some academic blogs are pure polemic; some are substantive and scholarly, bringing to the national conversation a bit of policy perspective grounded in actual research and expertise. Some speak to their students; most aim for the widest of audiences. What the below blogs share, for better or worse, is influence.

via Big Blog on Campus –