Fractal Map

This image, done by proportional representation of voting population in the electoral college, rather than landsize, best shows the closeness of the 2000 election (from The Nation Divided: Shifting Shades, by the WaPost).

Pat Tillman's Death

Is the sporting community going to be politicized as well?
Condolences and praise poured forth from former teammates and opponents. Defensive tackle Corey Sears of the Houston Texans, who played with Tillman on the Cardinals from 1999 to 2000, said: "All the guys that complain about it being too hot or they don't have enough money, that's not real life. A real life thing is he died for what he believed in."
Sounds like more people are breaking out of the cycle of complacency.

Congressional Shifts

Even though Bush is still considered a strong leader (wtf?), the Republican Congress is becoming increasingly disliked. There are some big political shifts going on, and they are fundamentally progressive.

Approval Ratings Bouncing around 50

Bush's approval ratings are bouncing around 50... Atrios thinks that Josh Marshall's discounted words are on point:
A contrary reading of these polls might suggest that the president gains as national security and war issues become more salient, even if they are becoming more salient because of what seem to be objectively bad news about his policies."
A smart friend told me that Bush and Kerry are standing around, waiting for the media war to begin. Digby also has a brilliant analysis. What do you think?


Matt Stoller also writes for BOPnews.

Zack Exley of joined the Kerry campaign earlier this month, and the results are already showing. is a fabulous direct email organization dedicated to the nuts and bolts of political activity - fundraising and mobilization. The Kerry campaign is now using their tactics.

Rather than repetitive email appeals for money, the internet division is on top of the news cycle and using it to help the campaign. In response to the Saudi-Bush oil connection, they created a petition to tap into the generated anger and get more email addresses. They are finally tapping the energy from free media by capturing data, something Dean did very well.

More substantially, the Kerry campaign is now running TV ads in blue states, on channels like Lifetime, CNN, and Bravo. The ads are directed towards getting interested people to give their email addresses and money. This is the strategy Joe Trippi pursued when the Dean campaign ran $100,000 of ads in Austin nine months before Iowa, and raised $1,000,000 off of that ad buy.

The ads won't convince anyone to vote for Kerry - but they aren't meant to. This is a new way of doing political communications - beginning a conversation on TV, and continuing it on the internet. Too bad the conversation just involves giving money to one Presidential campaign, but then, that's how and John Kerry see as the essential short-term levers of political power. And it's hard to disagree.


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