Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Geopolitical History of the Worlds Major Religions - In 90 Seconds!

I'm not very good at memorization. That's one reason why I like to use graphs to put historical and political data into visual form. Here's a rather extreme but superb example of visual history from a website called Maps-of-War. I can't vouch for its accuracy, and it's rather simplified (although I guess that's what you'd expect when you cram 3000 years of history into 90 seconds), but it does seem to agree with what little I know of world religions. Enjoy!

Presidential Fundraising Skyrockets - But Dems Kick Ass!

I know, old pun. But take a look at the chart below I compiled from information released by The Campaign Finance Institute (great organization, check them out!). It compares presidential campaign fundraising, up to and including the 2nd quarter of the odd year preceding the election, for this and several previous election cycles.

It's rather shocking how much total fundraising has gone up. It's two and a half times higher now than at this point four years ago. But look at the Democratic/Republican trend. Comparing 1999, the last cycle with an open seat, to 2007, Republicans have almost doubled their fundraising, but Democrats have increased theirs by a factor of five!

Like it or not, and I don't, money buys elections. Democrats are now more than competitive in the presidential money race, and that does bode well for 2008.

There are lots more goodies in the Campaign Finance Institute report that I'll be writing about over the next few days, including small verses large donor info for all the current presidential candidates. Which major Democratic candidate raises a larger percentage of money from large donors than most Republicans? Stay tuned!

Irony Part 2 - Do As I Say...

The entire Bush administration may be a bunch of incompetent idiots, but at least they're entertaining. This is word-for-word from a Voice of America (VOA) story. VOA is our government-sponsored overseas broadcast and news service:

"President Bush has signed an order that allows the U.S. government to block the assets of any person or group that threatens the stability of Iraq."

"The order exempts the United States".

Irony Part 1 - Supporting Our Troops

It seems President Bush objects to Congress' current attempt to give a 3.5% pay raise to our troops because it would cost too much. The logic behind Bush's position, as expressed in a "Statement of Administration Policy" he sent to Senate leaders: The extra pay for our troops is money "that would otherwise be available to support our troops".

You can't make this stuff up...