18 November 2004

Josh Rubin: Cool Hunting: A Cyclist's View

I bike commute in rush hour city traffic. As I've written elsewhere, I pass messengers between lights, they pass me at lights. The video mentioned on Josh Rubin's site is a helmet-cam view of a race, messenger-style, through Manhattan.

Josh Rubin: Cool Hunting: A Cyclist's View: "Ever see a bicycle messenger hurling down a Manhattan street, dodging pedestrians and threading the needle between a bus and a stupid stretch Hummer? If you think it looks crazy from the safety of your cab, just imagine what it's like from the messenger's perspective. Lucas Brunelle mounted a camera to his helmet and made an incredible little video that gives you just that."

Can I have one for Christmas?

Dear Santa,

If you get me a freebord (vid clip), could you also toss in some really, really good health insurance?

06 November 2004

First vote error found in Ohio

Hours after the polls closed, visitors to Ohio's vote tally web page noticed a problem - an 800-voter district cast 4000 votes for Bush.

The district was using an older electronic voting machine, and the particular error is believed to be an anomaly. Ohio officials say that the error would have been noticed before they released their official tally.

The New York Times has more details: Election 2004 > Voting Machines: Glitch Found in Ohio Counting: "An electronic voting machine in hotly contested Ohio added 3,893 votes to President Bush's tally in a suburban Columbus precinct, even though there are just 800 voters there."

Terrorism, not values

Paul Freedman at Slate has a great analysis of the election results, The Gay Marriage Myth: Terrorism, not values, drove Bush's re-election. Comparing the 2004 election to 2000, and also 2004 states with anti-gay rights initiatives to similar states without such initiatives, Freedman concludes that gay rights and other moral value issues were not significant to Bush's win. Instead, terrorism was the deciding factor.

This may seem obvious - what with Osama bin Laden popping up just days before the election - but it is contrary to current conventional wisdom that gay rights brought evangelical and Hispanic voters out in record numbers. In fact, conventional wisdom is often whatever story is catchiest, regardless of data.

Freedman concludes:

These differences hold up at the state level even when each state's past Bush vote is taken into account. When you control for that variable, a 10-point increase in the percentage of voters citing terrorism as the most important problem translates into a 3-point Bush gain. A 10-point increase in morality voters, on the other hand, has no effect. Nor does putting an anti-gay-marriage measure on the ballot. So, if you want to understand why Bush was re-elected, stop obsessing about the morality gap and start looking at the terrorism gap.

03 November 2004

Once Again, Targeting Base Pays Off for Bush (washingtonpost.com)

The Washington Post has an interesting analysis of Bush's election strategy and how it has influenced his decisions in office:

Once Again, Targeting Base Pays Off for Bush: Although the final judgment is still to come, yesterday's balloting did in several instances validate important elements of the Bush political model. This strategy has been based from the outset of Bush's term on carefully tending the Republican Party's conservative base, and a governing strategy based more often on trying to vanquish political adversaries rather than split the difference with them.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the Iraq war, Bush strategists have also calculated that there is not so much difference between base voters and centrist 'swing' voters -- both, they maintained, are concerned above all with national security and lower taxes. strategy defied the wisdom of many Democrats since Bill Clinton, which held that swing voters were a distinct political entity and would not respond to a president as partisan as Bush.

As it happened, though, Bush's strategy last night worked much like it was supposed to...

02 November 2004

Late-night election update

For those of you obsessing about the election, here are some good sites with up-to-the-minute information:

CNN's great election page, updated frequently

Official Ohio Election Results, updated every minute as the votes come in.

John Kerry Campaign Weblog

I'm personally interested in how Ohio will turn out. Currently, 95% of precincts have reported, and Bush is ahead by approximately 150,000 votes. There are around 250,000 votes still to be counted.

Here's the BBC's take on Ohio

Election-day info

Here are the sites I'll be watching on election day:

CNN Election Results

For SF Bay Area voters, here are the endorsements from the San Francisco Chronicle and the SF Bay Guardian.

01 November 2004

Reuters: Fahrenheit 9/11 to air on eve of election

Reuters: Fahrenheit 9/11 to air on eve of presidential election: "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Filmmaker Michael Moore and distributors behind 'Fahrenheit 9/11' have clinched last-minute deals to bring his anti-Bush documentary to pay-per-view television and the Internet on the eve of the U.S. presidential election.

Moore's scathing critique of President Bush and his conduct of the war in Iraq will be offered on Monday night to the 10 million-plus subscribers of the satellite-based Dish Network.

The film also will be available for online streaming Monday night to more than 30 million households with broadband Internet access through video-on-demand service CinemaNow.

The Dish and CinemaNow deals add to an agreement reached last week for two Monday night pay-per-view showings of the film by Los Angeles-based TVN Entertainment, which reaches about 1 million homes through various cable systems.

"The potential audience out there is quite large for this," said Mark Benoit, a spokesman for Moore told Reuters.

The two-hour film will be priced on all three platforms at $9.95 per showing. Moore and the Fellowship Adventure Group, which holds rights to the movie, will donate their portion of the profits to a veterans charity, Benoit said.

Fellowship Adventure was formed by Miramax cho-chairs Bob and Harvey Weinstein to buy back rights to "Fahrenheit 9/11" and distribute it after corporate parent the Walt Disney Co. declined to release the documentary.