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Berkeley economics Professor J. Bradford DeLong and not counting every vote

Berkeley economics Professor J. Bradford DeLong and not counting every vote

I had not heard of University of California economics Professor James Bradford Delong until he started attacking me unprovoked, including impugning my teaching about which he knows nothing.

I learned quickly that DeLong has many enemies in academia because of his vituperative style of argument, which fast is becoming clownish.

I recently learned something else.

In the wake of the 2000 election, DeLong expressed an opinion in court attempting to hand Al Gore the election by disqualifying legitimate Bush votes based on his statistical analysis, leading to complete embarrassment on cross-examination when he was forced to admit he lacked the necessary data to back up his conclusions, Judge Sets `Tough Standard’ for Democrats in Trial (emphasis mine):

Richman asked witness J. Bradford DeLong, a statistician, to recommend an alternative to throwing out all 15,000 absentee ballots.

DeLong, a former Treasury Department official and professor at University of California at Berkeley, said his analysis of exit polling data supported throwing out up to 1,709 absentee votes for Bush.

DeLong’s testimony inspired cross-examination from four Republican lawyers. Under this questioning, DeLong said he had no data on absentee ballots to support his conclusion.

“Did you obtain exit-poll data from Seminole County?” said Republican lawyer Terry Young.

“I couldn’t find it,” DeLong replied.

DeLong also said he had “no reason to think” that someone other than a voter filling in identification numbers on ballot applications would affect the ballots themselves.

And he got paid $500 per hour.  For that and this (emphasis mine):

Acknowledging the severity of the remedy, the plaintiffs offered an alternative: With the help of a statistics expert, James Bradford DeLong, a professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley, the plaintiff lawyers suggested erasing votes based on the number of disputed ballot applications, proportionately allocating the lost votes for each candidate by a formula taking into account that most of the allegedly tainted applications came from Republicans.

Under heated cross-examination, Mr. DeLong conceded that his calculations didn’t include any allowances for voters who might have gone to the polls anyway if they hadn’t received their absentee ballots because of defective applications. Republicans called only one witness, an attorney who inspected all Seminole absentee -ballot requests and found that some citizens whose requests had been turned down voted anyway.

Jeez.  I think this is a fair assessment of his attempt to disqualify votes:

He can call me any names he wants, and I’m sure he will, but I’ve never attempted to disqualify legitimate votes.

To quote the esteemed law professor Stephen Bainbridge:

“With luck, this’ll be the last time his toxic style of intellectual thuggery and execrable personality will be mentioned in these pages.”

Somehow I doubt I will have that luck.

Update 1-15-2013 — A reader sent me a link to the C-SPAN video of DeLong’s testimony. The full testimony starts at 4:03:10. Cross examination by Stuart Levey at 4:32:10. Cross by Terry Young at 4:48:57 (this link should get you to that spot).


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Prof., I think you could safely ignore the guy. Most of the world does.

That’s DeLong and the short of it…

My analysis supports throwing out Mr. DeLong’s opinions.

There is a growing population of political activists pretending to be academics. Some (Krugman, e.g.) are even rewarded for their politics on the world stage.

It strikes me that this activist – DeLong – is simply looking for attention and headlines. Should he be so easily granted them?

[…] JACOBSON: Berkeley economics Professor J. Bradford DeLong and not counting every vote. “He can call me any names he wants, and I’m sure he will, but I’ve never attempted to […]

This professor you mention who seems DeShort on mental acuity is associated with a faux establishment that fraudulently claims to “educate” proselytes, but instead “indoctrinates” immature minds placed in their care.
Curiously, the faux establishment shares its name with a collegiate football team which occasionally enjoys mild success.

Prof. DeLong gave me the name of my blog fourteen years ago when he called me “Just Barking Mad” for suggesting that someone committed a crime if they lied under oath. Of course, the person in question was BJ Clinton. Brad learned his internet and argument skills back in the bad old days of USENET. He’s never matured past that level of discourse. How I wish I had copies of the forums on Baen’s Bar where Brad was roundly and soundly mocked as we watched his testimony. I don’t think he ever posted again there after it.

DeLong is a left-wing political bully and it can be advantageous (as well as satisfying) to oblige him a well deserved academic liberal bloody-nose.

Jack The Ripper | November 23, 2012 at 11:21 am

Not to worry.

DeLong is on my New and Improved Enemies List, which is up to 936 names.

Like many others I have run into, Mr. DeLong uses his first initial and then middle name to make himself sound more credible than his words make him. “J. Bradford DeLong” sounds much more impressive (to him and his ilk) than plain old “Jim DeLong”. Which name do you suppose he grew up with?

He’s was the left’s useful idiot-of-the-week, and is still trying to suck up to them to keep his name in print.

Like the adage in business, ‘You’re no one until somebody sues you,’ in modern American politics, you’re no one until a useful idiot like Duh Long attacks you.

I would pay admission to see a court battle with Prof. Jacobson as counsel one side and Duh Long as counsel on the other. But Duh Long wouldn’t show up, and instead run away in fear.

So much for that — as you said — clown, and all the leftist clowns like him.

DeLong is fighting above his intellectual weight class in this instance.

DeLong lives in his own little leftist bubble. I can’t think of anything rational he has ever contributed. In fact, if there were a Wikapedia entry for why tenure is bad, it would sport Brad DeLong’s picture.

A little known, hard to find single by Jethro Tull about DeLong, starts out,

“Hacking away … hacking away … hacking away, on the thin ice of a new day …”

I don’t get it. So he’s a fairly typical Democrat. Why the fuss. Take him out back and do what should be done.