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links for 2009-11-05

  • "And here’s what I found. First, in the year that this network has been expanding and formalising, crime in the neighbourhood dropped, despite the obvious deterioration in economic indicators for London as a whole, and the neighbourhood’s demographic. Unfortunately, there are only two years of statistics available, which makes seeing a longer term trend or a sudden drop impossible. Second, when you break down crime stats by type, there are fewer offences in quite a few categories in this neighbourhood vs. at least one adjacent and comparable (or more wealthy) area. In fact, crime rates in our neighbourhood are one of the lowest in Westminster. Drawing a causation between this rough data and “mommy capital” is of course silly, but it’s not silly to think that belonging to this group encourages people to become more involved in their community, which in turn improves the quality of living in the area on a number of metrics, including, potentially, crime".
  • La mossa migliore: aver dato al congresso la guida sulla riforma sanitaria. La cosa peggiore: dire che il poliziotto che arrestò il prof. Gates aveva agito "stupidamente". Per gli amanti di classifiche e top ten.
  • "The debate has been fueled by a somewhat inchoate populist anger that has taken hold among grass-roots conservatives, encouraged in part by political leaders like Sarah Palin, the party’s vice-presidential nominee last year, and commentators like Glenn Beck of Fox News. In that sense, the divisions within the party extend beyond the traditional strains between the shrinking ranks of Republican moderates and the social and economic conservatives who have dominated the party in recent years. The situation is all the more complicated because, after the party’s defeats in 2008, it has no dominant leaders or cohesive establishment to bridge the divides and help articulate a positive agenda. In that vacuum, the conservative activists and party leaders were both jockeying for advantage on Wednesday".
  • "McDonnell e – in misura minore – Christie hanno intercettato la mobilitazione dell’elettorato conservatore e la parziale disaffezione di quello moderato rispetto ai democratici, e più in generale rispetto ai politici al potere, basandosi su un messaggio pragmatico e non divisivo, tanto che lo stesso McDonnell si era perfino complimentato con Obama per il premio Nobel. Un messaggio non proprio coerente rispetto a quanto vuole la base conservatrice, che si innamora di politici, Palin prima e ora Hoffman, indigeribili per la maggioranza degli americani. Negli Stati Uniti si vince al centro, da sempre, e la tornata elettorale di ieri, quasi ossessiva nel rispettare la tradizione degli Stati chiamati al voto e il carattere locale di queste competizioni, lo conferma ancora una volta. Niente di nuovo sul fronte americano, e mai lo si sarebbe potuto trovare quando solo la metà degli elettori delle presidenziali si presenta alle urne".