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Current Topic: Elections

Disney distributes Election-week 'Complimentary Issue' of Sunday NYT
Topic: Elections 1:53 pm EST, Nov  5, 2006

It's hard not to see this as a political act.

Disney distributes Election-week 'Complimentary Issue' of Sunday NYT

Defining Victory Down
Topic: Elections 11:45 am EST, Jan  9, 2005

"It's going to be ugly," Joe Biden told Charlie Rose about the election.

Defining Victory Down

Tape Opposing Vote Attributed to bin Laden
Topic: Elections 9:56 am EST, Dec 28, 2004

"I am Relevant, hear me opine," he said to no one in particular.

No one in particular immediately responded, "Is that you again, big O?"

There is always so much ado about being unable to "determine whether the speaker was Mr. bin Laden."

Wouldn't it be easier to just have Verisign issue him a certificate, and let him run an SSL-enabled web site? But perhaps the logistics of that model are too complicated.

Is it too much to ask for him to publish a public key?

He could distribute his messages with BitTorrent in the form of GPG-signed Ogg Vorbis files. And of course, the messages themselves would be protected by a Creative Commons license.

Tape Opposing Vote Attributed to bin Laden

On 'Moral Values,' It's Blue in a Landslide
Topic: Elections 6:27 pm EST, Nov 13, 2004

"Moral values."

By near universal agreement the morning after, these two words tell the entire story of the election: it's the culture, stupid.

There's only one problem with the storyline proclaiming that the country swung to the right on cultural issues in 2004. Like so many other narratives that immediately calcify into our 24/7 media's conventional wisdom, it is fiction.

If anyone is laughing all the way to the bank this election year, it must be Rupert Murdoch. The Murdoch cultural stable includes recent books like Jenna Jameson's "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" and the Vivid Girls' "How to Have a XXX Sex Life," which have both been synergistically, even joyously, promoted on Fox News.

One sure-fire way for a Blue pundit to reach the heart of a Red voter is to accuse him of hypocrisy. However, this strategy is unlikely to endear the voter to the Blue Man and his group.

Once again, the blue misunderstand the red, and they put their words into print, simultaneously putting themselves on national display and enshrining their confusion for posterity.

For a little Blue boy exposed as a hypocrit, the charade has ended, and he knows it. He can no longer pretend to be what he is not. But he is unlikely to apologize or mend his ways. The Blue version of mea culpa has more in common with Paul Harvey's catchphrase: "And Now You Know ... the Rest of the Story." If the opportunity presents itself, he might even bask in the publicity.

But for a Red man caught red-handed, it's all about Shame and Guilt. While some lashing out is likely, much of the pain is internalized. Instead of tearing down unrealistic expectations of himself, the brightness of the spotlight leads him into hiding. Alone with his thoughts, he sees these events as part of a life challenge ... a struggle. He seeks Guidance, and with his convictions reinforced, he emerges to the world, often acknowledging his faults, but more than ever, supremely confident in the righteousness of his Path.

He is a Sinner, yes. But he knows the Way, and seeks the Light.

In the mind of the Red man, the fact that he may succumb to Blue temptations in no way makes Right the behavior of the temptress. She is Evil through and through. And so the battle rages on.

On 'Moral Values,' It's Blue in a Landslide

How the Faithful Voted: Political Alignments and the Religious Divide in Election 2004
Topic: Elections 3:26 pm EST, Nov 13, 2004

In the days since the November 2 national election, pollsters and pundits alike have sought to account for "values voters."

At this briefing, sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Brookings Institution, experts will explore these and other issues in light of a new Pew Research Center poll that examines the influence of religion on the 2004 election.

Check back late next week for a transcript of this event.

How the Faithful Voted: Political Alignments and the Religious Divide in Election 2004

Bush Benefits From Efforts to Build a Coalition of the Faithful
Topic: Elections 9:39 am EST, Nov  7, 2004

Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, warned against placing too much emphasis on "values voters."

He noted that the percentages of voters who said they attended church once a week or opposed abortion were no greater than four years ago.

This is the point that David Brooks was making.

In addition, a surprising 60 percent of voters said they favored some kind of legal recognition for same-sex couples.

Mr. Kerry won both Michigan and Oregon, two swing states where gay marriage propositions were on the ballot.

"After reading the newspapers this morning, we're getting a little carried away with the cultural and religious interpretation of this election," Mr. Kohut said.

Bush Benefits From Efforts to Build a Coalition of the Faithful

The Values-Vote Myth
Topic: Elections 1:16 pm EST, Nov  6, 2004

David Brooks takes a crack at debunking the Dems. This is one of a host of op-eds on this topic in the Saturday NYT.

Here are the facts.

There was no disproportionate surge in the evangelical vote this year. Evangelicals made up the same share of the electorate this year as they did in 2000.

There was no increase in the percentage of voters who are pro-life.

There was no increase in the percentage of voters who say they pray daily.

If you ask an inept question, you get a misleading result.

Bush did better this year than he did in 2000 in 45 out of the 50 states.

The red and blue maps that have been popping up in the papers again this week are certainly striking, but they conceal as much as they reveal.

The same insularity that caused many liberals to lose touch with the rest of the country now causes them to simplify, misunderstand and condescend to the people who voted for Bush.

The rage of the drowning man.

The Values-Vote Myth

Two Nations Under God
Topic: Elections 9:11 am EST, Nov  4, 2004

At one level this election was about nothing. None of the real problems facing the nation were really discussed. But at another level, without warning, it actually became about everything.

Alpha, meet Omega.

Two Nations Under God

Cleveland's Political Circus
Topic: Elections 9:26 am EST, Nov  1, 2004

We have been told repeatedly that "Ohio will decide the election!" and the responsibility is nerve-racking.

At first I tried to be civic-minded, and worked constructively to register college students. But by late September I was regularly overdosing on blogs, frequently whipped into a froth of outraged ranting.

I was not alone.

"It's like being asked out on a date by someone who secretly thinks you're stupid and ugly."

Cleveland's Political Circus

One Book, Two Book, Red Book, Blue Book
Topic: Elections 9:22 am EST, Nov  1, 2004

Consider this disturbing little dose of reality: Informal polls taken by Barnes & Noble store managers indicate that some 70 percent of customers say they have no intention of actually reading the political attack books that they buy.

One customer in New York said, "I'm buying this book because the author agrees with me."

One Book, Two Book, Red Book, Blue Book

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