government

16 posts
Troubling pick for Census Bureau deputy director

The administration’s current pick for deputy director of the United States Census Bureau is Thomas Brunell. He is a political science professor outside of the Bureau and argues against “competitive elections.” Danny Vinik and Andrew Restuccia, reporting for Politico: Since 2005, he has worked at the University of Texas at Dallas, where his research and writing has focused on redistricting and voting rights cases. He has frequently advised states on...

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How many people might lose health insurance

The Urban Institute estimated how many people in each state gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Now they might lose it. The New York Times reports. Oof. Tags: government, health care, New York Times

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Searchable budget proposal and the 10-year change

The administration released a budget proposal yesterday, which as you’d expect contains some big shifts. The New York Times calculated “the changes over 10 years, compared with projected spending under current law” and made the numbers available in a searchable table. Tags: budget, government

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Gerrymandering game shows you hot it works

Gerrymandering is the practice of manipulating boundaries in such a way that favors a political party. If you slice and group in various ways, you can end up with different election results. How many different ways can you draw boundaries though? And can results really change that much, depending on you draw the boundaries? District, by Christopher Walker, is a puzzle game that shows you how it works. The goal:...

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Data distributed as clipart

Government data isn’t always the easiest to use with computers. Maybe it’s in PDF format. Maybe you have to go through a roundabout interface. Maybe you have to manually request files through an email address that may or may not work. However, this file that OpenElections received might take the cake. It’s a spreadsheet, but the numbers are clipart. City of Detroit produced a lookup tables for its absentee precincts...

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Trump approval ratings compared to past presidents

Using multiple polls as their source data, FiveThirtyEight is tracking approval and disapproval ratings for Donald Trump. The page leads with overall estimates with a couple of bands of uncertainty for projections into the next few months. I still wonder what proportion of readers understand the ranges, but I’m glad they’re there. Scroll down the page to see how Trump’s ratings compare to past presidents. You can switch between approval,...

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Shifting national budget

The Washington Post looks at the shifting national budget over the past 40 years. Be sure to keep scrolling past the first overall to see the funding for departments separately. The consistent vertical scale works well. Tags: budget, government, Washington Post

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Easily download large-ish survey datasets

Many government organizations release microdata for surveys every year. It comes as anonymized responses from each survey participant for each question in said survey. However, those who want to use this data often run into the challenge of downloading and parsing. It’s rarely straightforward. So, Anthony Damico provides a big helping of R scripts to easily download data from a bunch of surveys. He calls the site Analyze Survey Data...

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Open data from The White House returns no results

When you search for datasets on The White House site, you get nothing. So yeah. That’s where we’re at. Tags: closed data, government

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Track what your government representatives are doing for you

Taking over an old New York Times project, ProPublica re-launches Represent, which offers an app and an API to see what your local lawmakers have been doing on your behalf. Represent will show details of votes and bills and provide a way for you to follow the activities of your elected representatives and understand how they fit into the broader world of American politics. For example, we’ll show you how...

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