Quote of the Day: Quantifying the Idiocy of the U.S. Congress

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From Matt Steinglass, on the recent spate of proposals to defund funny-sounding research:

The most urgent research priority for American social science is the question of why so many congresspeople are boastful ignoramuses.

But would you use an instrumental variable approach or a natural experiment approach? What kind of scale would you use to measure boastful ignorance? Should you measure separately by gender? And what about other countries? Are their legislators boastful ignoramuses too? If not, what method do they use to keep them safely on talk radio, where they belong?

This is clearly a pretty complex project. Perhaps we should delegate it to the UN.

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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