Sunday, November 7, 2004

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Election 2004 in Pictures

Since a picture is worth 1,000 words,  these illustrations of the Election Day 2004 results (courtesy of BOP News)shout volumes about the state of America.   plk


These graphic representations of the election's outcome are thought provoking and even humorous.



The Kids Are Alright
How the Youth of America voted . . .

The Kids Are Alright
by Barry Ritholtz

"Despite long lines and registration snafus, voters under age 30 clocked the highest turnout percentage since 1972. The good news is that America's young people are more engaged in politics than at any time in two generations. Aging cynics have been quick to blame the kids for a host of political lapses, but the cynics have it wrong." -Music for America.


via Music for America


by Barry Ritholtz
So much for self-reliance
The TaxProf Blog points us to a report from the Tax Foundation.

This fascinating study shows exactly which states benefit from federal tax and spending policies, and which states foot the bill.


Surprisingly, the "value conscious" Red States -- you know, the folks preaching independence and self reliance -- are the biggest hogs at the federal trough.

Sayeth the TaxProf:

"The report shows that of the 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that are "winners" -- receiving more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 76% are Red States that voted for George Bush in 2000. Indeed, 17 of the 20 (85%) states receiving the most federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Red States. Here are the Top 10 states that feed at the federal trough (with Red States highlighted in bold):

States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:
1. D.C. ($6.17)
2. North Dakota ($2.03)
3. New Mexico ($1.89) (flipped Red in 2004)
4. Mississippi ($1.84)
5. Alaska ($1.82)
6. West Virginia ($1.74)
7. Montana ($1.64)
8. Alabama ($1.61)
9. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)

In contrast, of the 16 states that are "losers" -- receiving less in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 69% are Blue States that voted for Al Gore in 2000. Indeed, 11 of the 14 (79%) of the states receiving the least federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Blue States. Here are the Top 10 states that supply feed for the federal trough (with Blue States highlighted in bold):

States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:
1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68) (flipped Blue in 2004)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)

Note that Florida, which had previously received exactly $1.00 in federal spending for each $1.00 in federal taxes paid, has since seen a windfall; Federal largesse was dramatically boosted in the post-Hurricaine, pre-election."


Demographics versus Geography
by Barry Ritholtz

Here's a demographic map of how the data breaks down into categories:


Its a different way to look at the election: demographics instead of geography.

via the Votemaster




Voting: Free versus Slave States
Look how far weĆ¢€™ve come as a country

by Barry Ritholtz

Sensory Overload contributes what is probably the most disturbing map pair of the entire series: How did the Free States vote, and how did the Slave States cast their ballots?



Oh, how far we've come...

via Sensory Overload


... other charts that you might find interesting. 

Proportional Electoral Map
this one is my favorite -- because land doesn't vote, people do

Popular Vote, Population Density
similar idea

Purple America
a sentimental favorite

2000 vs 2004 County by County Election Results

Where did their votes come from?
an interesting 3D comparison

Electoral College Over Represents Rural Areas
no kidding?

New America redistricted
DeLay loves redistricting, so . . .

Cartographic political analytics -- fun for the whole family!

Want to share your comments visit:


Saturday, November 6, 2004

Public Agenda Alert - Bush Sets Agenda for Second Term

Public Agenda Alert -- Nov. 4, 2004
* Bush Sets Agenda for Second Term
* Bush Sets Agenda for Second Term
With his election victory behind him, President Bush
announced his priorities for his second term this
week. The list includes continuing his policies on
Iraq, tax cuts and education, while also pushing
for a simplified tax code and allowing younger people
to invest their Social Security funds in the stock
Attitudes on all these issues are covered in Public
Agenda's issue guides and First Choice guides:
Visit our Issue Guides:
In particular, retirement savings and investing are
covered in our issue guide on Social Security. There
are a number of areas where public opinion on reforming
Social Security is unsettled or open to misinterpretation.
- Red Flags on Social Security:
Public support for investing some Social Security funds
in stocks wavers when questions are rephrased. This is
usually a signal that people either do not understand
a proposal or have not thought carefully about its implications.
In fact, very few Americans say they have heard a lot
about these proposals. Substantial numbers of Americans
say they find news coverage on Social Security confusing.
Read the full Red Flags article:
Visit our issue guide on Social Security:

Friday, November 5, 2004



Campaign 2004 -- The Great Marketing Campaign


In the aftermath of the election, every political pundit has their opinion on what the Republicans did right and the Democrats did wrong.  Now that I’ve wiped away my tears and can see the keyboard, I’ll add my 2 cents to the discussion.   


First, for the record I am in the following demographic group:


  • African-American
  • Female
  • 40 something
  • Single with no children
  • College Educated
  • Middle Class
  • Born-Again Evangelical Christian
  • Pro-Life (but not in favor of over-turning Roe v. Wade)
  • Heterosexual but respect the rights of those choosing to live a different sexual lifestyle
  • Not in favor of “gay marriage” but in favor of civil unions which afford committed couples legal protections.
  • Supported the war in Afghanistan
  • Had reservations about going to war in Iraq (and based on the lack of WMD would have opposed it.)
  • And voted for John Kerry for US President



With that in mind here is my take of the election results.  


Pastor Rod Parsley of World Harvest Church in Columbus Ohio has a favorite saying that goes “the Devil has been telling his lies very well and the Church has been telling the truth very poorly.”   Well my twist on that statement is that in Campaign 2004 the Republican political machine told their fiction exceptionally well and the Democrats told the truth very, very poorly” .


Republicans have mastered the art of communicating their message.   William Jefferson Clinton understands the art of communicating. So does Barak Obama.  But apparently the rest of the Democratic Party missed that class.  Political campaigning 101: It doesn’t matter how artfully and eruditely you make your point or even if you’re right. If the audience doesn’t get it you’re just taking to the wall.  And 51% of the voting public just didn’t get John Kerry’s message.  


When it was all said and done it didn’t matter that:


  • we never found WMDs;
  • Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose;
  • the year 2000 budget surplus is now the greatest budget deficient in history;
  • this executive administration is the first to lose jobs in over 70 years;
  • more is spent on homeland security in Wyoming than in New York state;
  • John Kerry’s 1971 testimony to Senate relayed the actual statements of a small group of veterans he met a few months earlier at a meeting in Detroit
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger used the phrase “economic girlie man” and stated at the Republican National Convention that watching Richard Nixon inspired him to go into politics.
  • The Democratic candidate clearly presented his case better in all three presidential debates. 



On Election Day, a majority of voters from the Midwest and South bought the Republican product. 


In the end, the Heartland of America embraced George W. Bush as one of their own - who walks like them, talks like them and believes what they believe.   To them he’s a modern day John Wayne (kicking butt and ready to take on all bad guys with the bible in one hand and gun in the other). 


While on the other hand, in their eyes John Kerry is a Yankee Liberal (a “girlie man” that would let the town be pillaged and let good Christian women be attacked by those terrorists).  In their eyes Kerry advocates abortion, gays and stem cell research.  And Democrats in general are unprincipled, amoral Hollywood types living hell-bound lifestyles.   This campaign was more about Image than Issues.


For anyone to say that Election 2004 was about issues is like saying that the Miss America pageant is based on intellect. Most people, even in the Midwest and South agreed that John Kerry won all 3 debates.  However, that didn't matter on Election Day


And the notion that Southerners and Midwesterners are more concerned with morals and values than those in Northeast, Middle Atlantic and Great Lakes region is another Republican fiction.   (Remember the Salem Witch Trials.)  


The majorities of African Americans in the Northern urban centers have family roots in the South and regularly attend evangelical Christian churches.  And when he comes to the issues of homosexuality and same-sex marriage fall in line with the reset of conservative America.  Latinos in the “blue states” are just as Catholic and Pentecostal as those in the rest of the nation.  Orthodox Jews and Muslims may not recognize the divinity of Jesus Christ but the Talmud and Koran are by no means espousing moral free for alls.   Yet somehow those in the “Blue States” are characterized as less concerned with moral issues. 


You see, while the Democratic party was busy arguing the logic of the issues the Republican party and their advocates were convincing their base that every woman in New York was living the life portrayed in “Sex in the City”, getting abortions at a whim.  Vice President Cheney was telling audiences that if Kerry was elected terrorists (like wolves in the forest) were going to attack Idaho while Kerry would be appeasing the UN.


While Bush (John Wayne) was seen with American’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Kerry was seen with Ben Affleck (one half of the now defunct Benifer).   In the end logic went out the window and the image of wolves running in forests injected itself in the dreams of Middle America.  (Forget that the worst act of terrorism in the Midwest was by Timothy McVeigh.)


But don’t blame this on the Kerry campaign strategists.  For the Republicans, Campaign 2004 did not just begin two years ago.  It actually began Election night 1992 when William Jefferson Clinton won the Presidency of the United States.   From that moment the Republicans were determined to use every means necessary to regain the Presidency.  From the Clinton policy on gays in the military to the impeachment hearings, the Republicans have been building their arsenal.  And every Clinton moral misstep gave bible-belt preachers material for Sunday’s sermon.  Evangelical ministers across the nation preached the wages of sin using Bill Clinton instead of Adam or David as their example.  Pastor John Hagee in San Antonio, TX preached a series on “Witchcraft in the Church” and Hillary Clinton’s name came up every week.  (I know I watched until I couldn’t take it any more)


Democratic intellectuals scoffed at these messages and those outside of evangelical circles were oblivious but seeds were being sown.  The message was Democrats are wicked.  From Gary Hart to Bill Clinton to Jim McGreevy, Democratic leadership gave the Republican fuel to fire up the religious right.   After all, there’s no sin like good old sexual sin to get the attention of the congregation.   For the past twelve plus years the Republicans have reinforced the message

Democrat = Liberal = Non-Religious = Amoral.     Therefore Democrat = Amoral.  Who wants to identify with a party like that? 


The Republicans won because they know their constituency inside and out and they remembered how to reach them.   Their message of patriotism, fear and hell fire brought their base to the polls.

Even the post campaign spin make this election sound as bad as Reagan’s landslide defeat over Michael Dukakis.  President Bush is stating that he earned political capital in this campaign and he intends to spend it.  


But Democrats and Political Progressives don’t be discouraged just remember:


  • The reality is that John Kerry did get over 54 million votes against an incumbent war-time President
  • The Wall Street Journal points out that Bush's victory was "the narrowest win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916."
  • The Democrats picked up two Governorships
  • It was Northern voices that won the Civil War and brought an end to slavery.
  • It was Northern Democrats that fought until it saw the end of Jim Crow laws and brought civil rights to the segregated South.
  • It was the voice of youth and political liberals that opposed the Vietnam War and protested until the government brought an end to that insanity. In fact, in 1972, Richard Nixon (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role model)   ran against George McGovern, a progressive with a message about stopping the Vietnam War. McGovern lost in a landslide, winning literally only one state even though the Watergate scandal was swirling around Nixon. But a year and a half later, Nixon resigned; two years later, reformist Democrats won back control of both legislative chambers.
  • And lastly, four years from now the Republicans will have no one else to blame for their actions. 


I’m still proud to be a Democrat and believe that the majority of registered democrats are ideologically more like me than the caricature that the Republicans have sold to Middle America.  I believe in the vision of a Great America that embraces all her people and I will not surrender that vision to the Republican fiction publishing house.  The Democratic Party has four years to find its voice, reclaim its identity, package its message, energize its base and reach out to Middle America.  Until then we can watch, work and pray.   Yes, Democrats do pray! 


I go on record now – Edwards Richardson in 2008. 


Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Murdoch Exploits 9/11 for Kerry Smear

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism
Murdoch Exploits 9/11 for Kerry Smear
November 1, 2004
In a naked attempt to exploit the September 11 attacks for partisan
political gain, Rupert Murdoch's New York Post ran a deceptive front-page
headline on its October 30 edition that declared that Al Qaeda chief Osama
bin Laden "Urges Bush Defeat."
Of course, the taped message from bin Laden played on Al-Jazeera
(10/29/04) did not call for George W. Bush's defeat. Indeed, toward the
end of the message, bin Laden declares, "Your security is not in the hands
of Kerry or Bush."
Still, Murdoch's media empire seems dedicated to convincing voters that
Kerry is the candidate of Al Qaeda. On Fox News Channel (10/29/04), when
one guest objected to another's characterization of bin Laden's statement
as "an endorsement" of Kerry, saying, "I don't think he's going to have a
Kerry-Edwards sticker in the cave," host Neil Cavuto retorted: "He's all
but doing that. I thought I saw a button."
The same night, Fox's Bill O'Reilly referenced a new anti-Bush video from
rapper Eminem: "And Eminem joins Osama and comes out against Bush as
ACTION: Please contact the New York Post and Fox News Channel and let them
know what you think about making inaccurate and inflammatory claims just
days before an election.
Col Allan, New York Post
Phone: 212-930-8000
Fox News Channel
Phone: 212-556-2500
--Neil Cavuto
--Bill O'Reilly
As always, please remember that your comments have more impact if you
maintain a polite tone. Please send a copy of your correspondence to

Monday, November 1, 2004

3 Governors Challenge Bush on Clean Energy

----- Original Message -----
From: "Apollo Alliance"
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2004 3:24 PM
Subject: Join 3 Governors to Challenge Bush on Clean Energy
Dear Friend,
Last week three of the nation's most powerful Governors (Governors Granholm, Richardson, and Rendell) challenged the Bush administration's failed leadership on energy. In a letter to the President, they called for an "unprecedented national mission to achieve energy independence within the decade by boldly investing in efficiency, new technology, and alternative energy".
Check out the Governor's letter endorsing the Apollo vision, and take action to build on the growing momentum for good jobs and energy independence:
As our country faces unprecedented challenges to our economy, our security, and the health of our environment -- as our communities continue to hemorrhage high quality jobs, and families face rising prices for gas and home heating oil -- we need a better vision, and real leadership in a new direction.
It's time for more political leaders to step up and seize the historic opportunity to make clean energy the backbone of America's economic and security future. We are pleased to have the three Governors join the growing corps of leaders dedicated to making the Apollo vision a reality. Please take a moment to see what they had to say, and take action to continue building on their historic leadership:
Thanks for your support,
Bracken Hendricks, Executive Director
Apollo Alliance