Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A common meme in American political discourse is that our country is divided sharply between the liberal, Democratic outposts of the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Coast, with virtually everything in the middle being solidly conservative Republican. This is commonly demonstrated by simply referring to the electoral map in the 2000 election:



But, the truth -- as is always the case -- is more complicated than that, and indicates that we're not as split an electorate as some might insist. The 2002 election results, which resulted in a pretty even split in Congress despite the conventional wisdom that the Democrats suffered a massive bloodbath, bears this out. If you instead combine the percentages of "red" and "blue" -- say, assigning 54% red and 46% blue to Ohio, just to make up an example off the top of my head -- you end up with what Brad DeLong calls "a purple nation". Check this out:



And, for Republicans who like to think that all that geographical space in their red area is impressive (or for Democrats who look at their tiny little blue area and suffer some kind of Freudian envy), there's this map in which state size is represented by the number of electoral votes.



Blogstop - each entry must be an acronym for the next post. (via mefi). Anyone up for an attempt?
Interesting special flash-based interactive guide to the fence that Israel is trying to build between itself and the Palestinians. Some Israelis view this with relief while others fear that it will reinforce the legitimacy of the pre-1967 borders. Palestinians claim it will exacerbate the economic apartheid they currently suffer

Initially opposed to the fence and urging compliance with the "road-map to peace", President Bush is now backing out of the debate.

To begin the (brief but informative) Guardian tour, click here.
This morning's headlines:

:: Memo Warns of New Hijack Plots

:: Air Marshals Pulled From Key Flights

Well....allrighty, then.

UPDATE: A new headline appeared just now: Flip-flop on Air Marshal Schedules. I'm glad that wisdom has prevailed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

China needs breathing room. Russia's got too much breathing room.

A novel solution.

Gambling on terrorism... I'm going long with Osama, but I plan to short Sadam