After a rest, I cautiously re-enter the fray. Analysis of polls is far less interesting when there’s no horserace. Let’s just say that I don’t expect NPR to drop by today.
Other themes from this summer remain important, including filibuster reform and gerrymandering. Gerrymandering lends itself well to what we do here. Stay tuned!
Filibuster reform: As I wrote in October, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is working on filibuster reform. This critical change will partially repair damage done to our legislative process over the last 20 years. For a primer on why it’s important, see James Fallows. Ezra Klein thinks the rules changes are incremental. But forcing Senators to actually speak on the floor puts them in the public eye. That makes them put their mouth where their money is. Don’t underestimate it.
Senator-elect Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is on the fence. If you are a constituent, or if you donated to his campaign, write to him at his current House site (update: to get the form to work, enter an Indianapolis ZIP code, 46202). At least 455 of you donated via PEC’s ActBlue page. For a further rundown of undecided Democratic Senators, see this piece by Kevin Drum. Lots of targets for persuasion there.
The Signal And The Noise: I’m currently reading this and working on a review. I am impressed at the sight of statistics on the best-seller list – a big win there. However, as a scientist, I’m disappointed to see prediction a bit divorced from physical law. Climate scientist Michael Mann has pointed this out. Also, there’s not enough math for me. But then again there never is.
I am sure many of you have read the book. What did you think? Update: here’s a rather negative, but factually accurate review. And Paul Papanek puts his finger on the problem with the science examples.