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Current Topic: Elections

Election result maps (cartograms)
Topic: Elections 2:32 pm EST, Nov  8, 2004

] The map gives the superficial impression that the "red
] states" dominate the country, since they cover far more
] area than the blue ones. However, as pointed out by many
] others, this is misleading because it fails to take into
] account the fact that most of the red states have small
] populations, whereas most of the blue states have large
] ones. The blue may be small in area, but they are large
] in terms of numbers of people, which is what matters in
] an election.
] We can correct for this by making use of a cartogram, a
] map in which the sizes of states have been rescaled
] according to their population.

... Election result maps continue to be all the rage.

The cartograms do help to get perspective.

Election result maps (cartograms)

Aspen Daily News | Election with Hunter
Topic: Elections 1:22 pm EST, Nov  5, 2004

] "Their army is how much bigger than mine? Three percent?
] Well shucks, Bubba. Now is the time to establish a
] network and an attitude," he said. "You make friends in
] moments of defeat. People in defeat tend to bond because
] they need each other. We can't take the attitude that
] it's over and we give up. We're still here."

Aspen Daily News | Election with Hunter

2004 Election Breakdown by Average State IQ
Topic: Elections 11:19 am EST, Nov  5, 2004

The only state with a three digit average IQ that voted for Bush was Virginia.

Update: Hoax

2004 Election Breakdown by Average State IQ

Best Election Data visualization yet
Topic: Elections 11:17 am EST, Nov  5, 2004

County by county 3d breakdown with Y axis showing margins.

Best Election Data visualization yet

And the gloves come off..
Topic: Elections 4:41 pm EST, Nov  3, 2004

First off, I'm not one of those "not my president" people. He won. Game over. Time to get on with it. Put in the second coin, hit continue, let the man go through.

The Republicans now have the Senate, the House, and the White House with mandate. The Bush White House no longer has to worry about election year politics. The gloves can come off. There are a number of questions about what they will do now that they do not have to worry about the electorate.

Will he pander to the fundamentalist right, now that they have nothing more to offer him? I can see that one go either way. I hold hopes that Bush/Rove drop their interest in issues such as prayer in schools and amendments on the court house walls. They no longer need it to inspire the christian right to transform their group fanaticism into a demographic with a strong supporting vote. Join me in my blind optimism for a minute, it will help slow your heart rate and bring on some of that hope for the future many are lacking this November 3rd.

The Republicans do have full control of the government by a wide margin. This is either their time to shine, or their last time to hold this much power. There are a number of issues that they must make ground on, or their power will sunset in less time it took to rise. Now is the time to start making some of these issues clear, so there is a full four years to make it sink in the big collective head of the 2008 electorate. All I can think of are double edged swords.. Energy policy, and its other edge, making the various energy and vehicle companies bind to it. Health care policy, and its other edge, making the various health care and insurance companies bind to it. Isn't this the type of stuff that the Republicans should be able to triumph at? I mean its all policy wonk bullshit and dealing with big corporations, and who does that better?

The Wars. I'm not entirely sold that Iraq is going to become a complete disaster. I still see much hope there. Its necessary to look at Iraq with the decade eyes, not the election cycle eyes. It will start off looking like a fundamentalist state. This is a culture war, and it will be a properly fought culture war. If as our first strike, we replace the authoritarian structures in place with courts, laws, and an electorate, we have already won most of the battle. Let there be no mistake, our goal is to bring the working parts of Western culture to the Middle East, and I'm not talking about pop culture, McDonalds, and Mickey Mouse. The authoritative structure of Iraq started with a vicious dictator and wound its way down to the goon squads that took people who disagreed with actions of the state to places where they "disappeared". In Afghanistan the authoritarian structures in place consisted mainly of Mullas dressed in black who immediately punished people for any action they did not like, trivial or otherwise. The trivial often wound up resolved in public executions, as ... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

This God Damned Election, A Note From America
Topic: Elections 5:53 pm EST, Nov  2, 2004

I want to watch High Noon now more then any other time. I've read that its a presidential favorite going back to Ike; the first man who really understood the power of media in politics. Never seen it. Maybe if I can get my hands on a copy I'll make it an election night thing. It would be perfect for TV number three.

Oh yes.. That might be useful background. Watching TV, as much as it does hurt, is best done in concert with other things. I've been desiring the three television setup. Elvis had it, the president has it, I want it. He used to sit in a yellow room watching them with a gun in one hand, and a drink in the other. I have a general idea of what it was that finally made him pop off a round. Elvis that is, not the president. I wonder how much he gestured with the gun.

I don't have the three television setup, but I can fake it to a degree thanks to laptops. I certainly don't have the evil boardroom wall o' tv thing that's been made popular in movies. Almost all of my viewing is done in the kitchen, on a little TV. Its like watching TV in a foxhole. I sat in the same kitchen, watching the same TV, and typing furiously on the same laptop while watching the Iraq war. What a show that was. Several scenes are forever burned into my memory, such as watching the 3rd ID burn across the desert of Iraq in realtime while sitting in my kitchen foxhole listening to River Euphrates. Priceless.

Its been one hell of an election cycle. I've disliked administrations. Hell, that comes naturally. However, I've never actually been scared of one before. I'm glad I can still be surprised. Politics have never been so engaging. Clinton and his dick don't even compare.

This is about the time I'm used to hearing people start complaining about the electoral system. Oh yes, it has its problems sure. At the very least realize that your state does speak for itself in how its elections go, so try not to shit up your section of the fucking union. Ok? That is the way it works. Its your state versus all the others. If you state sucks, its your problem. Its your state. Shutup. (Yes, yes.. Florida. Don't be too hard on them.. They have had a bad year. And don't put too much stock into the whole message from God thing either. If anything, it was just a scream. Could mean anything.)

At the very least, I'm happy to be in Jersey. We seem to have outdone ourselves yet again in brilliantly sucking. Our past few years continue to expose us for the pit of corruption we are, but we continue inventing new ways to get out of it. How America of us. This time around, we have been holding up as a swing state to the very end, even though we all know Jersey will go blue. Being needlessly contentious is our style. Check out those polls. The way scale works here, every one of those bumps represents hundreds of fist fights. I know, I was a participant in one that broke out during the last debate.

I love a good ... [ Read More (0.1k in body) ]

Topic: Elections 2:44 pm EST, Nov  2, 2004

Camera phone image from Santa Clara...

via BoingBoing. Brian Nicks, the voter who got this screen, says a local tv cameraman got some footage of the screen as well.


Electoral College Calculus (
Topic: Elections 8:21 pm EDT, Oct 28, 2004

] None of these scenarios is likely to occur next week, but
] neither is any of them far-fetched. Tuesday's election
] will probably be decided in 11 states where polls
] currently show the race too tight to predict a winner.
] And, assuming the other states go as predicted, a
] computer analysis finds no fewer than 33 combinations in
] which those 11 states could divide to produce a 269 to
] 269 electoral tie.

This election is better then football, the American or European version. The American version being the one with more complex rules.

Lets just hope there are no errors.. Errr.. That's baseball. Fouls? Calling foul? What the fuck do you do in football? Do I go to DC and toss a flag in the reflection pool? What color is the flag? How does this work?

Electoral College Calculus (

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004
Topic: Elections 6:06 pm EDT, Oct 28, 2004

This seems to be the best site for getting polling data and information to predict how the Electoral Vote is going to go.

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

BarlowFriendz: Supporting Kerry Anyway...
Topic: Elections 5:16 pm EDT, Oct  4, 2004

On a flight back from Berlin, Barlow turns up his voice of reason to comment on Kerry vs. Bush. Barlow is a Kerry supporter of the "anyone but Bush" flavor, but it is a mistake to brand him as such. Barlow is unhappy with Kerry, but terrified of Bush.

His central point is a common one; A reminder that a presidential election puts a power structure in place, not a person. It is necessary to look past the personality fashion show, and keep the laser beam on the specific issues and larger ideologies that guide them.

As is the tradition, I'll quote out of context and expect you to read the whole thing:

And let's face it, folks, John Kerry is really irritating. There. I've said it. And, having broken the surface tension on that spleen blister, let me just get the rest of this off my chest once and for all. ... Worse, Kerry's transparently theatrical efforts to out-macho the Republicans make him seem, as a friend recently put it, all dick and no balls. ... Kerry's failure to capitalize on the failures of the worst administration in my lifetime is unfathomable. ... Gradually, I have watched the steam go out of the Anybody-But-Bush crowd as we realized that anybody, in this instance, was the increasingly irksome John Kerry. ... And I have become, I must admit, one of these. Being an actual Kerry *supporter* just seems, well, un-cool.

... and the gear switch. Lincoln vs. Douglas it was not.

But is Kerry really as personally lame as he appears? Well, in fact, no. ... I would say not, especially when we consider what's at stake here. ... I refer to our national tendency to treat presidential elections as though we were all high-schoolers choosing a Prom King. ... Being dorky is more damning than being dictatorial. ... We were electing a set of ideologies, cultural predispositions, policies, practices, and beliefs - many of them religious - that may literally affect the fate of life on earth. ... Along with the man himself, whatever his personality traits, we got a large cast of characters who, in aggregate, have been vastly more important than the hands-off President himself. ... We got a legion of too-smart-by-half Stepford husbands with flags on their lapels, fire in their eyes, and God on their side. ... His masters, his servants, and his fundamental beliefs will all be very different, whatever his marketing wizards (all of whom study Rove) are telling him to say now. ... While it would be a wonderful thing to have a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, it is criminally misguided to think that we could bomb such a thing into existence. ... He has started the United States on a path towards oligarchy that, unchecked, could turn America into a country that makes Mexico look like Sweden. ... I won't attempt to repeat the list of his catastrophes here. ... Neither can the rest of us who have any regard for the well-being of our descendents. ... Yeah, John Kerry makes a lousy candidate for Prom King. But that isn't what he's running for.

BarlowFriendz: Supporting Kerry Anyway...

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