Does anyone else ever turn over a paper lying around and see something like this?:
At least there aren't any Greek letters or integrals in there.

Welcome to TESB, my first attempt at blogging since I left The Democratic Strategist in spring of 2007.  If you're thinking, "I needed another blog to add to my online reading like I need a hole in my head," this post is for you.  Because, all respect, you need another blog. (Whether you need another hole in your head depends on the number of nostrils and ear canals you currently have.  And mouths.)

Here's the thing: there are a lot of numbers out there, and not many reliable resources that help people make sense of them.  The blogosphere is dominated by passionate people with strong ideological bents.  Passion is generally a good thing, and you'll see a lot of it here as well.  But it too often gets in the way.  Soft hearts can make heads mushy too.  And the correlation between hard-heartedness and hard-headedness is, shall we say, less than perfect.

As for ideology, well, there's no escaping it is there?  But what one can do is to try as hard as possible to surmount it.  People who pretty much always argue the same, readily identifiable ideological side of any debate in which they participate ought to be viewed suspiciously.  On the other hand, while no one ever filled up a dating card by being "tough to categorize", people who are willing to argue against both sides or for both sides without regard to how either side perceives them at least have the benefit of being more likely to be trusted as a straight shooter.

I'm not going to always live up to the ideal of the "non-partisan gun-slinger"...because I do have some ideological commitments.  Some of them are matters of values that aren't subject to empirical refutation.  I think Americans collectively should do more than we currently do to expand opportunity for those with fewer opportunities.  Some of my ideological commitments—like those of anyone—are just failings, and hopefully, you will help keep me honest.  But if this blog succeeds, it will be because I have fewer ideological commitments—or am better able to surmount them—than the other blogs buried sadly within the recesses of your feed reader.

This is a blog about domestic policy, social and economic trends, and politics.  I have a day job, so I won't be posting as much as other bloggers.  In fact, I'd like you to think of TESB as a self-published ezine that dribbles out over the course of a week, as I will likely carry on about some obsession for days at a time (lucky you!).  For now, if you want to be emailed on a weekly basis with my posts, drop me a line at tesbATscottwinshipDOTcom.  You may also follow me on Twitter (username swinshi).

About me: I'm a newly-minted Ph.D. in social policy, a resident of D.C.'s hipster neighborhood of ten minutes ago (that is, no longer hipster), a native of small-town Maine, and a two-time body-building champion.  One of those descriptors is a lie.