Red + Blue = Purple: There are some compelling tracts being published (in jest, I assume) about blue states breaking away from red states (see CB Shapiro's two-country approach which woefully excludes blue states Minnesota and Wisconsin from the breakaway USA-Blue). Not a bad idea: if blue states of the upper midwest and the coasts seceded, they'd take with them the nation's richest resources of cultural, financial, and intellectual production. They'd take chief population centers of LA, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, Boston, etc., and all the universities, technology firms, art museums, movie studios, financiers, and people that go with 'em. The red states would at last be free to live in moral purity without the evils of monogamous gays, stem-cell research, just wars, or living wages. But are we really that divided? Probably. But a clever new vote map breaks down election results into more nuanced shades of gray--or, rather, purple.

Oh, and by the way, Kerry won, according to investigative journalist Greg Palast's research on the discarding of ballots in Ohio.

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