Purple America

Robert J. Vanderbei at Princeton takes the red state / blue state meme to a much more informative level, using shades of purple on a county-by-county map to show the results of this election.

Purple America

On another map, he even added false mountains to designate areas with higher population.


What a great way to clearly convey a mountain of complex information. Edwin Tufte would be proud.

UPDATE: An apparent Tufte fan found a map of Purple America with highly-populated areas artificially expanded. Groovy.
UPDATE 2: More maps.
UPDATE 3: Another one using elevation for population differences between counties (I’m guessing it’s showing population density, not absolute population), and no shades of purple.

Coulter vs. Rove

Ann Coulter thinks Karl Rove’s no campaign genius:

If Rove is “the architect” — as Bush called him in his acceptance speech — then he is the architect of high TV ratings, not a Republican victory. By keeping the race so tight, Rove ensured that a race that should have been a runaway Bush victory would not be over until the wee hours of the morning.
As we now know, the most important issue to voters was not terrorism, but moral values. Marriage amendments won by lopsided majorities in all 11 states where they were on the ballot. Even in Oregon, the state targeted by gay marriage advocates as their best shot of defeating a marriage amendment, the amendment passed by 57 percent — a figure noticeable for being larger than the percentage of votes cast for Bush in Oregon. In the great state of Mississippi, the marriage amendment passed with 88 percent of the vote.
Seventy percent to 80 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage and partial-birth abortion. Far from appealing exclusively to a narrow Republican base, opposition to gay marriage is strongest among the Democratic base: blacks, Hispanics, blue-collar workers and the elderly. There were marriage amendments on the ballot in Michigan and Ohio. Bush won Ohio narrowly and lost Michigan by only 2 points. How different might that have been if Bush hadn’t run from the issue.
But Rove concluded Bush should stay mum on gay marriage and partial-birth abortion — contravening the politicians’ rule of thumb: Talk about your positions that are wildly popular with voters. “Boy Genius” Rove decided Bush shouldn’t even run radio ads on gay marriage, and at the last minute, Bush started claiming he was in favor of civil unions, just like John Kerry.


It was a phine phlocking

Last night my younger brother and I went to a Jimmy Buffett concert at Blossom Music Center. His new album License To Chill comes out on the 13th, and I’ve already pre-ordered it. It’s been six years since my last phlock, and eight years for my brother. The place was nuts, the music was great, and my only regret is that I left my camera at home.

Set List for July 1st

Jimmy BuffettPre-show music
Hot, Hot, Hot
Jump In The Line
First half
1. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes (Jimmy alone onstage)
2. Great Filling Station Holdup (Mac McAnally Joins)
3. Pencil thin Mustache (The rest of the band Joins)
4. Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful
5. License to Chill
6. Carnival World
7. Son of a Son of a Sailor
8. If the Phone Doesnt Ring It’s Me
9. Brown Eyed Girl
10. Volcano
11. Why Don’t we Get Drunk and Screw
12. Hey Good Lookin’
13. One Particular Harbour
Second half

14. Smart Woman in a Real Short Skirt
15. Pascagoula Run
16. Jamaica Mistaica
17. Come Monday
18. Grapefruit Juicy Fruit
19. Jolly Mon Sing
20. It’s 5 O’ clock Somewhere (w/ Mac)
21. Cheeseburger in Paradise
22. Coast of Carolina
23. Cuban Crime of Passion
24. Scarlet Begonias
25. Margaritaville
First Encore
26. Fins
27. We are the People Our Parents Warned us About
Second Encore
28. A Pirate Looks at Forty

Before the show, I made certain to get my ceremonial cheeseburger and a big cup of ice cold Corona. It’s too bad my brother wasn’t quite old enough to join me in a celebratory toast, but that day’ll arrive soon enough.
Jimmy BuffettBest Song: “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”, with Mac McAnally singing Alan Jackson’s part. “Scarlet Begonias” was a close second.
Best “hey-what-a-cool-idea” Moment: the appearance of the shark blimp during “Fins.”
Prettiest Woman: Riiiiiiiight … as if I could pick just one from the crowd of tanned lovelies in grass skirts and tank tops!
Proudest Moment: Jimmy’s dedication of the concert to a unit of U.S. Army Military Police in Afghanistan, listening over the Internet via Radio Margaritaville. I thought the crowd was loud before that moment, but the thundering roar of encouragement from 18,500 Americans brought to my heart a deep sense of appreciation for and pride in our country (and some odd moisture to my eyes … must’ve been a gnat). Those Parrotheads, liberal or conservative, old or young or middle aged, drunk or sober (ha!) understood their debt to our troops.
I love this country!