OpenGov Voices: Bringing Transparency to Earmarks Buried in the Budget

My Data Science for Social Good earmarks team wrote a post for the Sunlight Foundation about difficulties encountered in trying to find congressional earmarks. It begins:

Last week, President Obama kicked off the fiscal year 2016 budget cycle by unveiling his $3.99 trillionbudget proposal. Congress has the next eight months to write the final version, leaving plenty of time for individual senators and representatives, state and local governments, corporate lobbyists, bureaucrats, citizens groups, think tanks and other political groups to prod and cajole for changes. The final bill will differ from Obama’s draft in major and minor ways, and it won’t always be clear how those changes came about. Congress will reveal many of its budget decisions after voting on the budget, if at all.

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College Football Ratings (Updated through November 29th)

team.Ateam.Bprediction
Georgia.TechFlorida.State0.6
Ohio.StateWisconsin2.9
Northern.IllinoisBowling.Green.State4
East.CarolinaCentral.Florida5
CincinnatiHouston5.2
BaylorKansas.State5.6
MarshallLouisiana.Tech6.9
TempleTulane7.6
OregonArizona7.9
ConnecticutSouthern.Methodist12.5
AlabamaMissouri13.7
Boise.StateFresno.State17.2
OklahomaOklahoma.State19.2
Texas.ChristianIowa.State32.5

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College Football Ratings (Updated through November 22nd)

Predictions for this week:

team.Ateam.Bprediction
PurdueIndiana0.3
Middle.Tennessee.StateTexas.El.Paso0.4
New.MexicoWyoming0.4
OhioMiami.Ohio0.6
Florida.AtlanticOld.Dominion1
Mississippi.StateMississippi1.1
North.CarolinaNorth.Carolina.State1.1
Brigham.YoungCalifornia1.2
ArizonaArizona.State1.8
Fresno.StateHawaii1.8
MassachusettsBuffalo3.2
CincinnatiTemple3.7
Louisiana.StateTexas.A.M3.8
Texas.San.AntonioNorth.Texas4.3
Virginia.TechVirginia4.7
AlabamaAuburn5
AkronKent5.1
MarylandRutgers5.1
ArkansasMissouri5.4
ClemsonSouth.Carolina5.6
WashingtonWashington.State5.7
Southern.CaliforniaNotre.Dame6.1
San.Diego.StateSan.Jose.State6.2
Colorado.StateAir.Force6.4
Boise.StateUtah.State6.4
NavySouth.Alabama6.4
Bowling.Green.StateBall.State6.9
Florida.StateFlorida7
UtahColorado8.2
GeorgiaGeorgia.Tech8.6
NorthwesternIllinois8.6
Western.MichiganNorthern.Illinois8.6
Miami.FloridaPittsburgh8.7
UCLAStanford8.8
Louisiana.LafayetteTroy9.2
Louisiana.TechRice10
NebraskaIowa10.1
Boston.CollegeSyracuse10.3
Central.FloridaSouth.Florida10.3
Alabama.BirminghamSouthern.Mississippi11.7
WisconsinMinnesota11.9
NevadaNevada.Las.Vegas12.3
Michigan.StatePenn.State12.6
Texas.StateGeorgia.State12.8
Appalachian.StateIdaho13.7
West.VirginiaIowa.State14.1
Texas.ChristianTexas14.1
LouisvilleKentucky14.5
Georgia.SouthernLouisiana.Monroe15.7
TennesseeVanderbilt16
East.CarolinaTulsa16.7
ToledoEastern.Michigan18.6
DukeWake.Forest18.9
MarshallWestern.Kentucky18.9
OregonOregon.State19.6
Arkansas.StateNew.Mexico.State21
Ohio.StateMichigan21
HoustonSouthern.Methodist23.5
MemphisConnecticut25.9
Kansas.StateKansas26
BaylorTexas.Tech29.4

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Traffic Enforcement and Bad Weather

There are at least three reasons bad weather causes less traffic enforcement:

  1. There are fewer police available for traffic enforcement because they are busy responding to traffic accidents.
  2. Speeding is the easiest violation to ticket, and speeding is less common when there's precipitation.
  3. Officers generally have discretion to apprehend and ticket traffic violators, so they can often choose whether to stop dangerous drivers.  They'd also prefer to stay in their warm, dry patrol cars.  Therefore, all else being equal, they will stop fewer vehicles when it's cold or wet.

Although police are less likely to enforce the law in bad weather, they are also more likely to issue a ticket (and that ticket will be more expensive) during a stop for a couple reasons:

  1. Cops issue more tickets for serious violations, and it takes a more serious violation to draw a cop out of his car in bad weather.
  2. Getting a cop out of his car in bad weather makes him worse off, and cops prefer to punish anyone who makes their lives more difficult.

In summary, the police will probably leave you alone when it's nasty outside, but if they don't they're bringing their ticket book with them.

College-Football Ratings (Updated through November 17)

team.Ateam.Bprediction
OhioNorthern.Illinois0.3
Iowa.StateTexas.Tech0.6
StanfordCalifornia1
ArizonaUtah1.4
RiceTexas.El.Paso1.6
LouisvilleNotre.Dame1.7
PittsburghSyracuse1.7
ToledoBowling.Green.State1.9
PurdueNorthwestern2.8
UCLASouthern.California3.3
Kansas.StateWest.Virginia3.5
Louisiana.LafayetteAppalachian.State4
MassachusettsAkron4.3
Florida.InternationalNorth.Texas4.7
TennesseeMissouri4.7
MississippiArkansas4.8
BuffaloKent4.9
MichiganMaryland5.8
Western.MichiganCentral.Michigan6.3
Louisiana.MonroeNew.Mexico.State6.4
Air.ForceSan.Diego.State6.7
NebraskaMinnesota7.3
Penn.StateIllinois7.4
Middle.Tennessee.StateFlorida.Atlantic7.9
HawaiiNevada.Las.Vegas8.4
WashingtonOregon.State9.2
Miami.FloridaVirginia9.4
ArmyFCS9.7
Arkansas.StateTexas.State10.2
Western.KentuckyTexas.San.Antonio11
Boise.StateWyoming11.5
East.CarolinaTulane11.7
CincinnatiConnecticut12.5
DukeNorth.Carolina12.5
NevadaFresno.State13.7
Colorado.StateNew.Mexico13.9
Virginia.TechWake.Forest13.9
Florida.StateBoston.College14
Arizona.StateWashington.State14.2
South.CarolinaSouth.Alabama14.9
Ball.StateEastern.Michigan15.6
WisconsinIowa16.3
Utah.StateSan.Jose.State17.1
HoustonTulsa18.1
Louisiana.TechOld.Dominion18.3
Michigan.StateRutgers18.6
MarshallAlabama.Birmingham20.7
MemphisSouth.Florida21.6
OklahomaKansas21.8
Mississippi.StateVanderbilt23.9
Central.FloridaSouthern.Methodist25.4
Brigham.YoungFCS26.1
OregonColorado27.5
BaylorOklahoma.State28.8
ClemsonGeorgia.State29.7
Ohio.StateIndiana32.2
AuburnFCS37
AlabamaFCS45.1

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College Football Ratings (Updated through November 9)

team.Ateam.Bprediction
Ball.StateMassachusetts0.1
StanfordUtah0.1
ToledoNorthern.Illinois0.2
NebraskaWisconsin0.3
East.CarolinaCincinnati0.6
GeorgiaAuburn0.7
NevadaAir.Force1.2
Miami.FloridaFlorida.State1.6
Penn.StateTemple2.5
South.AlabamaTexas.State2.8
PittsburghNorth.Carolina3.1
Louisiana.StateArkansas3.4
Middle.Tennessee.StateFlorida.International3.4
Georgia.TechClemson3.6
Texas.A.MMissouri3.9
San.Jose.StateHawaii4
Louisiana.LafayetteLouisiana.Monroe4.3
TexasOklahoma.State4.4
AkronBuffalo5
Georgia.SouthernNavy5.4
IdahoTroy5.4
AlabamaMississippi.State6
IowaIllinois6
RutgersIndiana6.9
DukeVirginia.Tech7
Texas.San.AntonioSouthern.Mississippi7.1
FloridaSouth.Carolina7.2
Central.MichiganMiami.Ohio7.4
North.Carolina.StateWake.Forest7.9
ArizonaWashington8
TennesseeKentucky8.5
Bowling.Green.StateKent9
Texas.El.PasoNorth.Texas10.2
Western.KentuckyArmy10.6
South.FloridaSouthern.Methodist12.1
Arkansas.StateAppalachian.State12.8
Southern.CaliforniaCalifornia12.8
Arizona.StateOregon.State13.4
Ohio.StateMinnesota13.8
Notre.DameNorthwestern15.6
Boise.StateSan.Diego.State15.8
MemphisTulane16.1
Central.FloridaTulsa16.5
Michigan.StateMaryland16.7
Utah.StateNew.Mexico16.7
MarshallRice20.6
OklahomaTexas.Tech23.8
Brigham.YoungNevada.Las.Vegas24
Western.MichiganEastern.Michigan26.4
Texas.ChristianKansas31.8

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College Football Ratings (Updated through November 2nd)

team.Ateam.Bprediction
Ohio.StateMichigan.State0.5
MinnesotaIowa0.7
Oregon.StateWashington.State1.2
TroyGeorgia.State1.8
MichiganNorthwestern1.9
Notre.DameArizona.State2.2
Western.KentuckyTexas.El.Paso2.7
UCLAWashington2.7
ConnecticutArmy2.9
Ball.StateNorthern.Illinois3.2
OhioBuffalo3.6
Florida.InternationalOld.Dominion4.3
LouisvilleBoston.College4.5
San.Jose.StateFresno.State4.5
AkronBowling.Green.State4.8
AlabamaLouisiana.State4.8
MemphisTemple5.5
RiceTexas.San.Antonio5.7
Iowa.StateKansas5.9
Appalachian.StateLouisiana.Monroe6.2
Florida.AtlanticNorth.Texas6.4
Texas.ChristianKansas.State6.4
Utah.StateWyoming6.4
Arkansas.StateSouth.Alabama6.5
OklahomaBaylor6.6
Georgia.TechNorth.Carolina.State7.1
DukeSyracuse7.2
San.Diego.StateIdaho7.7
OregonUtah8.2
Penn.StateIndiana8.5
West.VirginiaTexas8.5
Louisiana.TechAlabama.Birmingham10.5
ToledoKent10.8
GeorgiaKentucky11.3
Louisiana.LafayetteNew.Mexico.State11.6
Colorado.StateHawaii13.2
ArizonaColorado14.9
Florida.StateVirginia14.9
Air.ForceNevada.Las.Vegas15.2
TulsaSouthern.Methodist16
Boise.StateNew.Mexico16.3
HoustonTulane17
FloridaVanderbilt17.3
WisconsinPurdue17.7
Georgia.SouthernTexas.State17.8
AuburnTexas.A.M18.7
ClemsonWake.Forest20.5
MarshallSouthern.Mississippi25.4
Mississippi.StateFCS45.1
MississippiFCS47.6

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College Football Ratings (Updated through October 25)

team.Ateam.Bprediction
Boston.CollegeVirginia.Tech0.1
Louisiana.LafayetteSouth.Alabama0.2
LouisvilleFlorida.State0.3
TennesseeSouth.Carolina0.3
NorthwesternIowa0.8
RiceFlorida.International1.3
ArizonaUCLA1.7
Oregon.StateCalifornia1.8
Alabama.BirminghamFlorida.Atlantic2.2
Middle.Tennessee.StateBrigham.Young2.7
Arizona.StateUtah3.2
TexasTexas.Tech3.7
MississippiAuburn3.9
VanderbiltOld.Dominion4.1
East.CarolinaTemple4.3
SyracuseNorth.Carolina.State4.9
Fresno.StateWyoming5
Texas.StateNew.Mexico.State5.7
WashingtonColorado6.2
MissouriKentucky6.3
New.MexicoNevada.Las.Vegas6.4
Louisiana.TechWestern.Kentucky6.5
NevadaSan.Diego.State6.5
OregonStanford6.9
Penn.StateMaryland7
Texas.El.PasoSouthern.Mississippi7.3
Georgia.TechVirginia7.5
Utah.StateHawaii7.6
Western.MichiganMiami.Ohio8
Colorado.StateSan.Jose.State8.2
CincinnatiTulane8.4
Mississippi.StateArkansas9
MichiganIndiana9.1
Air.ForceArmy9.5
Texas.ChristianWest.Virginia9.6
DukePittsburgh9.7
Arkansas.StateIdaho9.8
HoustonSouth.Florida10.2
Appalachian.StateGeorgia.State10.7
Notre.DameNavy11
Central.FloridaConnecticut11.3
Southern.CaliforniaWashington.State11.7
Central.MichiganEastern.Michigan12.1
Miami.FloridaNorth.Carolina12.3
Kansas.StateOklahoma.State14.3
WisconsinRutgers14.5
GeorgiaFlorida15.9
OklahomaIowa.State17.5
Texas.A.MLouisiana.Monroe18.7
NebraskaPurdue20.1
Ohio.StateIllinois22.8
MemphisTulsa23.6
BaylorKansas24.3
Georgia.SouthernTroy28.9

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