Submissions

An opinion without evidence is just hot air

Follow the evidence and write for Politics Undressed.
The real reason why the fearless editor loves writing about numbers…her art skills stalled out in first grade. Author provided image.

At Politics Undressed, we want the facts behind the rhetoric. Let’s dive into the hard data and ask whether the numbers support a politician’s arguments. Tell us about how Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer can take the same information and twist it into opposing viewpoints. Show how the powers that…

Unintended Consequences

The upper class owes 90.8% of unpaid income taxes, but monitoring bank accounts actually targets working-class America.

Pie chart showing the estimated percentage of unpaid taxes by income percentile. The poor pay what they owe. The wealthy don’t.
Author provided image. Data source: “The Case for a Robust Attack on the Tax Gap,” US Department of the Treasury, accessed October 18, 2021

Nancy Pelosi’s tripping if she honestly thinks monitoring bank accounts with $600 in annual cash flow will solve our revenue problem. I get it. The US has a tax gap, which means that some people are not paying what they owe. Folks want to know where she’ll get the money…

How did we get so divided? Sometimes, we move forward by looking back. Andrew Tanner’s recent piece discusses the extreme influence propaganda has on US politics. While I don’t personally…

On Writing About Data

Here’s a real-world screw up from the recent jobs report coverage and how to fix it

Write, rewrite by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexel
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

One phrase from CNBC’s September’s jobs creation comes up short with gain of just 194,000 immediately downgraded it from an informative news article to clickbait junk.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by just 190,000 in the month, compared with the Dow Jones estimate of 500,000, the Labor Department reported Friday. (Cox, 2021)

Economic Reporting Fail

Hint, whose prediction matters

Author provided image. Data from DeBarros (2021); United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021).

When the September jobs report dropped last week, headlines loudly proclaimed that the 194,000 new nonfarm jobs fell short of the predicted 500,000 — a 306,000 deficit. This narrative has a hole large enough to fly a 737 Max through.

That 500,000 jobs prediction did not originate with the US…

Writing Setup

Saving my hands one spoken word at a time

Author provided image showing her dictating in Emacs.

Making Emacs and Dragon Professional 15 play nicely together requires five minutes and a copy of Window Detective — a freely available open-source program.

This method enables a dumb Dragon without full Select-and-Say capability. I created custom Dragon commands that use Emacs’ built-in editing capabilities instead. This works for me…

Satire

Nothing says “I respect the people” quite like drawing a penis on a map

California’s 43rd Congressional District. Source: Wikimedia Commons in the public domain.
Zoom Version of California’s 43rd Congressional District. (Yes, that’s what you think it is.) Source: Wikimedia Commons in the public domain.

Welcome to the 2021 Decennial Art Competition for Legislators, better known as gerrymandering for artistic idiots. We at the Association of State Shenanigans, affectionately known as ASS, would like to thank this cycle’s sponsors: Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh.

Thank you, gentleman, for greenlighting…

Kristle Chester

Freelancer. Data geek. Gardener. Baker. Spaniel lover. Georgian. MA International Commerce and Policy.

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