Thursday, January 25, 2007

Numbers

I was bopping about the internets today and stumbled over two very interesting sets of statistics. I for one have always hated math, but my wife was a math major so we offset each other very nicely. It is always a bit of a thrill when I look at some number or calculation and it is broken down well enough for me to grasp the concept, without having to burden my poor little brain.

First let me draw your attention to this story at Crooks and Liars. They show a poll conducted by Fox News which Crooks and Liars thinks is noteworthy because Fox is obsessed with Rosie Odonnell. But look at the responses for "never heard" of on that poll. 1% of respondents have never heard of the Democratic party. This poll is taken of registered voters! 1 percent of registered voters who resonded to the Fox News poll have never heard of the Democratic party. How is that even freaking possible?!

The next set of numbers I found very interesting come from the message boards of the 700 Club. You did read that correctly... the message boards of Pat Robertsons 700 Club.

Let me first describe the link adventure which landed me on the 700 Club's message board. I have recently started paying a bit of attention to Andrew Sullivans blog. I do not agree with him on more than a few issues because he tends to be conservative, and I tend to be liberal. However, I respect him for his principles and well reasoned approach to the issues at hand. Reading him brings to mind the days of yore when I first got involved in politics. I was liberal then as well, but the conservatives I opposed were principled, respectable and sane. Todays Republican leadership have strayed far from the true conservatives I respected, and still do respect, of that day. There are still some around, but when you come across them these days they are nearly uniformly opposed to the direction this President is leading the nation. Andrew Sullivan went into the war as a staunch Bush supporter, but has since evolved to hold diametric opposition to the Presidents policies in Iraq.

Today while perusing Sullivan I clicked a link from his blog to a post on Beliefnet by David Kuo. Kuo was an integral part of President Bush's early efforts at the faith based initiative. Kuo eventually left the administration and later wrote a book describing the disrespect of the administration for evangelicals and how Bush was using them for political purpose alone.

So I linked from Sullivan to Kuo, whose post regarded the weakening of support for the Iraq war by evangelicals. Kuo notes these people are being lost by Bush and no one could have imagined this would happen with his most ardent and loyal supporters. The meat of Kuo's post details the messages being left at the 700 Clubs message board that seem to indicate a strong oppositon to the surge. So I linked to CBN from Kuo, and found a post that included the set of numbers I'm about to comment upon.
able806 1/11/2007 10:58:06 AM
...The amount of money we have spent on this war is staggering. A total of 350 Billion dollars and counting. This is more than enough to help many of the interal situations we have in the US now. The US budget for Iraq in FY 2006 comes to $3,749/Iraqi. This is more than double their per person GDP. It's like spending $91,000 per person in the US. Why not just bribe the whole country?
That is one of the most concise, well reasoned and devastating posts based upon a mathematical equation I have ever seen. It makes absolutely perfect sense. It is so good I choose to simply note it's worthiness and not even try to expand on the concept. Well done able806.

Comments:
I've often blogged on all the things we could have done with the 'war money', but that GDP stat on the amount we're spending per Iraqi, really hammers it home, doesn't it?
 
Yeah... the way the poster gives the break down of those numbers is really effective. Who would have thought you would find that on the CBN message boards!?
 
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