May 25, 2005

Metro-Area Brainpower Survey Released. And the Winner Is….

Filed under: General,News from Other Sites — Tom @ 10:11 pm

(This ought to start some discussion)…Boulder, Colorado:

“People in the rest of Colorado joke that Boulder is so different, it’s like it’s in a bubble,” laughs David Bolduc, owner of the Boulder Book Store. “And you know, in a way they’re right. Maybe we are in a bubble. We really are different from everyone else.”

Boulder residents, Bolduc says, tend to be more liberal. He also considers them to be more interested in natural foods, more passionate about political issues, more opinionated.

And, based on a new study by American City Business Journals, they’re smarter.

Boulder has more brainpower than any other metropolitan area, not only in Colorado, but in all of the United States, says an ACBJ analysis of 171 urban centers.

Fifty-nine percent of Boulder’s working-age adults have bachelor’s degrees, according to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The survey used mostly 2003 Census data for each Metro area, and multiplied the percentage of the population with grad degrees by 5, bachelor’s degrees by 4, associate degrees by 3, “some college” by 2, high school grads by 1, and non-HS grads by zero.

As with any survey of this nature, it has its limitations. For example, Boulder was presumably able to include plagiarist first-class Ward Churchill and his unhinged academic defenders as grad-degreed persons.

The Top 10 are Boulder; Stamford, CT; San Francisco; Madison, WI; Metro Boston; San Jose; Raleigh-Durham; Ann Arbor, MI; Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ; and Metro Washington.

As to the bottom 10, five are in California, 3 are in Texas, and one each are in Florida and Louisiana (studiously avoiding commentary to avoid alienating readers).

An Excel spreadsheet with all 171 metro areas ranked is at the link above.

I’m still trying to get over the fact that Metro Dayton (102) came in ahead of Metro Cincinnati (111). My response: We have less brainpower, but we use what we have more effectively. So there. Oh, and Cincinnati was one of the few areas where 2003 data wasn’t used, so they had to use 2000 instead. Trust me, we’ve picked up a lot of brainpower since then.

Let the bragging and bashing begin.
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UPDATE: Generic Confusion makes a good point: “I would venture that a study like that is biased against states with older populations. The people retired in Florida now got the same education with a high school diploma that kids today go to college to receive. True or not, it was a lot easier to prosper without a college education back then.”

UPDATE 2: Betsy notes: “Of course, this equates college degrees with brainpower. The two are not necessarily correlated. As we see all the time listening to some of the lame brains pontificating on politics.”

2nd District (OH) Congressional Race Update: Open E-mail to Local Prolife Leader and McEwen Worker (revised)

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 2:46 pm

JUNE 8 UPDATE: Subsequent to this post, the McEwen campaign released information concerning McEwen’s “clearance” in the House Bank scandal. My response to that release is at this post: “2nd Congressional District (OH) Race: Voters Fired McEwen AFTER His “Clearance” Was “Common Knowledge.”
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NOTE: The letter as posted on this site was revised as a result of a discussion with Mr. McEwen. The prolife leader I e-mailed was notified that changes were made, and I suggested that this person read this revised post to identify differences from the e-mail.
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ALSO NOTE: I have given no money, and don’t plan to give any money, to any of the candidates in this race, and have not decided who I will vote for on Primary Day.
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Dear (Prolife Leader):

The most important point to make here is that I indicated in my original post that Bob McEwen is probably a fine man now in his personal and spiritual life (maybe even “exemplary,” as I suggested, if you made it that far in the post). That’s not the point. He (fairly or unfairly) got tainted by the House Bank Scandal, and he created the career of Ted Strickland. He’s got a million other meaningful things he can do with his life, and I wish him all the best, but IMHO being a Congressman again in the current circumstances shouldn’t be one of them.

My second, and probably larger, point is that he shouldn’t get to represent an area he hasn’t really lived in for more than 6 months of the past 12 years, and pretend to know the interests and concerns the people in this Congressional District.

(Note: McEwen and the e-mailer say that the McEwens rented an apartment for a couple of years leading up to the condo purchase; I believe McEwen stated that they moved to a larger unit in the same building. I do not know how often or even whether he actually was in the district during this time. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in mid-April on his condo purchase as if he had just moved into the district (an incomplete rendering on their part), and noted last week (scroll down to the “Endorsements, Endorsements” section) that “For the past 12 years, McEwen has been living in northern Virginia and working as a Capitol Hill lobbyist with close ties to Christian conservative leaders.” I haven’t seen the McEwen campaign dispute this repeated characterization of his residency. The original April 15 link referring to the condo purchase appears to have been archived by the Enquirer and isn’t accessible. Finally, the RedState.org link in the first post notes that “As in 1993, when he lost to Portman in a primary, McEwen has had to buy a home in the district to establish residency.” All in all, I believe that my point about McEwen’s lack of presence in the district stands.)

How many times did the prolife movement use “Hillary” and “carpetbagger” in the same sentence in 2000? I can see myself letting go of the House Bank scandal if Bob had gotten back in the trenches in this area, started with lower elective offices, and worked his way up again. But Mr. McEwen did not choose that route, IMHO to his detriment.

My third “point” is a question: When did Pat DeWine become radioactive? Don’t say it’s the filibuster thing with his father, because the antagonism obviously predates that. Pat DeWine, like his father, is 100% prolife, even on ESCR (embryonic stem-cell research). If it’s his personal life, I’m not pleased with that either. But his political stands are strong, he lives here, and he hasn’t been affected (again, fairly or not) by the House Bank Scandal. In other words, DeWine may be a politically principled guy who is a personal scoundrel, but he’s our politically principled personal scoundrel. McEwen may be a saint, but he’s not our saint. I’m not saying I’m voting for DeWine, but I find the obvious antipathy to DeWine hard to fathom. From your e-mail, it seems as if defeating Darth DeWine is the only reason McEwen is running and the only reason the “moral” Who’s Who is at all interested in the race.

My fourth “point” is another question: Since when do Washington insiders and mostly out-of-district “moral” leaders try to dictate who our candidate will be?

My fifth point is: Although my objection to outside involvement stands, the national and “moral” leaders could have, and should have, backed Brinkman if they thought something was wrong with DeWine. Brinkman lives here and works here. Bingo, Brinkman’s money problem is solved. Instead, as e-mailer and blog poster Sierra-Faith wrote to me today (note: this is S-F’s opinion, not mine):

Why does the GOP set itself up for the well-deserved hypocrite label when it’s not necessary?

Don’t know DeWine (not fond of his dad) nor Brinkman, but the only thing I can think of is that folks see McEwen as the real pro-lifer, and are willing to damage that cause by supporting someone who used the taxpayers as his private slush fund (purposefully or not).

My sixth point is: If Mr. McEwen has a letter of “exoneration,” as you and he both claim, on the House Bank scandal, post it on his web site. We’ll see what the working definition of “exoneration” is. If it’s truly exculpatory (or even if it isn’t), I would suggest that you get it out now so that it’s “old news” by the time the Special Election is held on August 2. Otherwise, you’re left with the same problem John Kerry continues to have with his refusal to release his military records.

My seventh and final point (I’m sure you’re relieved at that) is: Bob McEwen has shown that he can lose to a Democrat. He can do it again. The overconfidence and the arrogance of the “moral leaders” and the GOP Washington insiders that the August 2 Special Election is a lock for any GOP candidate with a pulse is breathtaking. This appears from here to be an orchestrated attempt to impose the party’s and/or “moral” leaders’ will on 2nd District Republicans that may have been in the works as early as December; if I’m right, I resent it deeply. Everything I’m noting in this letter will be multiplied by 10 by the Democrats in the seven weeks leading up to August 2, and if you don’t think it has a good chance of resonating with the voters, you don’t remember Harris Wofford (2nd item at link).

I’m inches away from leaving the party and changing my registration to Independent over this. McEwen’s injection into this campaign is very, very misguided. Bob may win now, and in August, but that doesn’t change the fact that this will not be one of his, or your, or the prolife movement’s, proudest moments.