Hey, you. Yeah, I’m talking to you, American citizen. Guess what today is? It’s the day you celebrate your ‘merican-ness and vote! Whether you’re blue, red, or undecided, it’ll be an important day: we get to pick the dude that runs the country, which is kind of a big deal. For many of us, it’ll be our first time voting. And there’s a lot at stake this time around, and we’ve all been far too entertained by these campaigns to skip the polls altogether. So, what exactly should you do on the Big Day?
After an exhausting saga riddled with false conclusions, the election cycle finally comes to a definitive close tonight. This means no more speculating, debating or anxious poll-poring. It’s time to stop focusing on binders of women. All that’s left to do is vote and wait for the results.
But where’s the fun in that? We have only a few precious hours left to enjoy the often absurd, always entertaining theater that is the American Presidential election–drink it in! If you’re a hardened poll junkie, revel in your final chance to extrapolate from the data found on sites like the no-nonsense RealClearPolitics. For hardcore economics majors, here is a more detailed comparison of the candidates’ economic plans. If you’re a prospective political scientist, peruse the analysis of intelligent blogs like The Monkey Cage and FiveThirtyEight. Use your last chance to consider every possible outcome on interactive sites like 512 Paths to the White House and 270ToWin. Finally, once the results start coming in and you’re a few beers into your election drinking game, you’ll want to catch Jon and Steve’s streaming live coverage. This only happens once every four years–take advantage of it. And feel free to add your favorite election-related time-waster in a comment!
Note: Guilt-free usage of these time-wasters is only permitted to those who actually voted.
Heated rhetoric. Pack mentalities. Buzzwords. Embarrassing gulfs between words and actions. Sound like Washington? According to a new study, it’s just you.
UCLA researchers, in a survey of college freshmen across the United States, found that all that squawking on behalf of liberal causes is actually just part of a trend indicating all talk, no walk… sigh. Among other findings reported in the Chronicle of Higher Ed, 71 percent of freshmen are in favor of same-sex marriage and almost half advocate marijuana legalization. In the realm of substantive activity, however, the freshmen falter. A paltry 6 percent planned to participate in political protests on campus. Moreover, results revealed a roughly 5 percent drop in student participation in campaigns at any level of government from previous years. Rather than spur political activity, the fictional travails of Leslie Knope and the Pawnee Parks Department have apparently only encouraged us to draw sophisticated parallels between Ron Swanson and an actual libertarian named Ron. Comments on the study’s significance after the jump. Continue Reading
Libby Kimzey may not have her undergraduate degree yet, but she could be on her way to a seat in Rhode Island’s House of Representatives. As of today, she is officially a candidate for the District 8 seat where Representative Mike Tarro, a first-termer, currently resides.
Originally admitted in the class of ’09, Kimzey has since taken off several semesters to lobby and organize for political groups in the state.
Kimzey started lobbying for Rhode Islanders for Fair Elections in Spring ’09. At the time, “there were certainly some people that didn’t take me seriously because…I was 19 years old,” Kimzey said. Later, when she worked as campaign manager for Teresa A. Tanzi (D-34, Narragansett, South Kingstown), she helped unseat one of those representatives, David Caprio.
Working on the Tanzi campaign has taught Kimzey to effectively communicate the issues, even to people who might not agree with her, she said. “She’s been my role model in a lot of ways,” Kimzey said. Tanzi’s campaign proved that to take on an incumbent, “You have to work in coalition and you have to start early and you have to think about your resources.” Continue Reading
In case you’ve been doubting your employment opportunities for life post-Brown, there’s hope: Alex Morse ’11 was elected mayor of his hometown of Holyoke, MA last night. After announcing his candidacy last January, Morse became the youngest and first openly gay mayor in the town’s history. Check out the Herald for the official details.
Why this is cool: we shouldn’t even have to explain. Just a few months out of college and Morse is already embarking on a promising political career. Congratulations, Mayor Morse! Lets just hope he resists the urge to build a giant winter sports complex and bankrupt the town.
Though we may like to forget it sometimes, Brown University is, above all else, an educational institution and part of its role is to invite scores of intelligent people to campus for meaningful debates and lectures in every field. Unfortunately, many Brown University courses pile on coursework like its their job — because it is —and, as a result, the average student lacks the time to take advantage of all the opportunities for unadulterated academic enrichment outside of class. A Cool Thing You Probably Missed… seeks to highlight obscure, esoteric and often fascinating people and ideas that tend to get lost in the “school vs. everything else” manner of time management.
Last Wednesday afternoon, Deirdre McCloskey gave the Political Theory Project’s Odyssey Lecture on her book Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World in MacMillan 117. But, while the giant lecture hall overflows with Out of Bounds enthusiasts for their regular sketch shows, the audience was a mere handful of professors and students for the equally entertaining Professor McCloskey.
If you’re already wondering what could possibly be notable about another seemingly standard political theory talk, look no further than McCloskey’s characteristically extravagant self-description: “postmodern free-market quantitative rhetorical Episcopalian feminist Aristotelian woman who was once a man.” Yep. That just happened. Trying to unpack all the contradictions and ironies of that bunch of descriptors might make your head spin, and the spinning will only get worse once you try to wrap your head around her thesis: in terms of wealth, world average income was almost perfectly consistent (roughly $3) until a drastic upshot in the 1800s, when free market ideology gained wide acceptance amongst everyone who conducted business. In this way, McCloskey basically claims that free market ideology, rather than higher investment in capital (the conventional economic explanation), explains how the world got so rich. More on why McCloskey, and her ideas, were a cool thing you probably missed after the jump. Continue Reading
There’s a scary presence on Brown’s campus. It’s up in your dorm room interrupting your study time. It attacks classes by the dozens. It’s stretching its gangrenous arms into your daily conversations, your romantic life, your Facebook news feed. Try as hard you can, you can’t escape…
…from The Huffington Post. That’s right, HuffPost: Brown’s lowest common denominator. Its obnoxious green banner is ubiquitous — if you don’t believe me, just sit in the back row of Intro IR sometime. But why do we settle for HuffPost? Why do we put up with the sensational and bewildering headlines? How do we live with ourselves, seeing that right sidebar populated with such well-researched stories as “The Shortest Shorts You’ve Ever Seen“; “Verdict Handed Down in Pooper-Scooper Trial“; and “Pumpkin Bump” (yeah, click that one)? And those stories are all from Wednesday, by the way.
There must be a better way. There are. Check out these alternative default pages for news:
Don’t get too excited. Former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino, Jr. announced that the First Lady will be gracing the East Side of Providence this weekend. She will be at a fundraiser September 30 at Paolino’s home to raise money for her hubby’s reelection campaign. But don’t start picking out your business clothes just yet — breathing Mrs. Obama’s air will cost you a pretty penny. Tickets start at $1,000 and could go up to $30,500.
So you need to ask yourself: do you really want to spend a year’s tuition on a few hours with Mrs. O?
Looking to add a little bit of pizzazz to Obama’s State of the Union address tonight? Thanks to our friends at NYU Local, we’ve got just the trick: a SOTU drinking game. It’s pretty simple: take a drink every time that the President says “partisan,” “healthcare,” “economy,” “unemployment,” “coming together,” or “blood libel.”