Showing posts from July, 2017

The Time that the New York Times made me so angry that I Finally had to Write Something

Mark Penn and Andrew Stein’s July 6th, 2017 article (“Back to the Center, Democrats”) was completely devoid of any facts, statistics, or analysis, and instead rested its arguments purely on bald assertions.  Perhaps this is because even the most cursory glance at the facts will not bear out Penn and Stein’s now completely discredited theories.  It’s not surprising, perhaps, that Penn and Stein would rehearse these outworn and empty phrases, since this is the type of advice taught to freshmen political science majors.  In statistics, the normal (or Gaussian) distribution, more popularly called a “bell curve,” depicts the way that everything from dandelions to airline flights seem to arrange themselves.  Most things are average, and if you go away from this “mode” at the center, there will be fewer and fewer things, making a nice bell shape.  And in normal times, that seems to be how people align politically.  If you graph all of the people, grouped by their place on spectrum betwee