Archive | December 2016

Statistics of the Day: Politics-Related


These three charts created by NPR show how Donald Trump’s Cabinet (nominees) compare to the cabinets of previous presidents:


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Statistics of the Day: Politics-Related



On December 13, Quartz reported:

“The 17 people who US president-elect Donald Trump has selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth, with several positions still unfilled. This collection of wealth is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the US.”

Here is a chart from a Boston Globe article by Matt Rocheleau:


Rocheleau includes these additional points of comparison:

“Collectively, the wealth of his Cabinet choices so far is about five times greater than President Obama’s Cabinet and about 34 times greater than the one George W. Bush led at the end of his presidency. . . .

“The net worth of the Cabinet Trump had selected as of Monday was at least $13.1 billion, based on available estimates, or…

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Statistics of the Day: Politics-Related


This short item on the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election was written by Alex Lockie for Business Insider:

A survey conducted by the research company Qualtrics showed that 52% of Republican voters think that Donald Trump won the popular vote in November’s general election, despite nationwide totals giving Hillary Clinton almost a 3 million-vote edge.

The survey, published Sunday and first reported on by the Washington Post, found that in total, 29% of people surveyed thought Trump won the popular vote.

An earlier Pew Research Center survey pegged that figure at 19%.

Qualtrics found that education played a role in the likelihood of respondents saying Trump won more popular votes, with 60% of Republicans with high-school diplomas saying Trump won, compared to just 37% of college-educated Republicans.

Only 7% of Democrats and 24% of independents said Trump won more popular votes.

Trump, who won a sizeable victory…

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At Some Point, Irony and Hypocrisy Become Indistinguishable


The following is from the Daily Kos’s daily newsletter Elections Digest for Saturday, December 10; this edition of the newsletter is subtitled “Voting Rights Roundup”:

“Michigan: Without warning last week, Michigan Republicans began talking about introducing a strict voter ID law, and now the state House has passed the measure over Democratic opposition. Odds are it will easily clear the state Senate as well, since Republicans also dominate the upper chamber. And in a deeply cynical move, Republicans made sure that Democrats can’t overturn the law at the ballot box via an ordinary “veto referendum” by attaching a token appropriation to the bill. Legislation that includes appropriations can only be overturned by an amendment to the state constitution, which takes twice as many signatures to get on the ballot.

“Michigan’s current voter ID law lets voters without the appropriate ID fill out an affidavit swearing to…

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A Christmas Standard Reworked on the Eve of Trump


In a recent post, Hank Reichman provided a post-election playlist that did a great deal to mitigate my post-election despondency.

That playlist could not have included this just released video of Fiona Apple singing a Christmas standard reworked for this particular holiday season:

Whether you enjoy the song or not, Fiona Apple’s hair proves that parody can Trump reality—that Trump may not have the most distracting hair on the planet.

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American Ideals and the Sometimes Very Disappointing Realities


Although we often look nostalgically at our national past and find the present wanting in comparison, looking backwards can also remind us of the very considerable progress that we have made toward realizing the ideals that the nation was ostensibly founded to pursue. It reminds us also that the fault is almost never in the ideals themselves but often in our self-serving certainty that we are preserving them when in fact we are abusing them.

I came across the following passage on the dedication ceremonies for the Statue of Liberty in the Wikipedia article on the great landmark:

No members of the general public were permitted on the island during the ceremonies, which were reserved entirely for dignitaries. The only females granted access were Bartholdi’s wife and de Lesseps’s granddaughter; officials stated that they feared women might be injured in the crush of people. The restriction offended area suffragists

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Quotation of the Day


I have been collecting pieces of the way that the arts can help us to fashion a response to disturbing political circumstances.

What follows is a brief excerpt from “In the Dark Times,” a poem by Bertolt Brecht that was written in response to times much darker than our own:

“In the dark times

Will there also be singing?

Yes, there will also be singing.

About the dark times.”

Source: Motto to the ‘Svendborg Poems‘ [Motto der ‘Svendborger Gedichte’] (1938), trans. John Willett in Poems, 1913-1956, p. 320 (1976)]

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Statistics of the Day


Yesterday, I posted a breakdown of the percentages of metro areas of various sizes that Clinton and Trump won.

The following chart complements that chart because it breaks down the vote by number of counties carried by each candidate and the relative GDP of those counties, with a comparison between the 2016 and 2012 numbers included:


Here is what the chart looks like more graphically:


These statistics are taken from an article written by Mark Muro and Sifan Liu for the Brookings Institute. Their complete article is available at:

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