MILITARY DEMOS CONTINUED.Brad Plumer writes in to point me to this Heritage Foundation analysis showing that, due to the post-9/11 enlistment boost, the army is both a bit richer and more educated than the population as a whole. So there you have it. While on the subject, you've really got to check out The Corner's obsession with Kerry's comment. By my count, they've put up 32 posts on the gaffe. Grasping at straws doesn't even begin to cover it.
HUMAN CAPITAL.Ezra, I think that the lower middle class is more or less the correct answer, although I don't have ready statistics on the socioeconomic backgrounds of military personnel, either. The military still provides a ready avenue for upward mobility, which means that people on lower economic rungs will find it correspondingly more attractive.
FL-GOV: TWO-WAY CONTEST BECOMES THREE-WAY DEBATE. The suddenly-interesting gubernatorial race in Florida took a surprising turn last night, when self-financed independent Max Linn won a court order 20 minutes before the final gubernatorial debate and joined state Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) and Rep. Jim Davis (D) on the stage. As the Palm Beach Postreported today, the last-minute entry "shook up the night and, possibly, the race itself."
WHO FIGHTS? Man, The Corner's really in damage control mode lately. Depending on the day, you'll have dozens of posts on Santorum's just-around-the-corner comeback, James Webb's novels, Casey's corruption, Kerry incorrect wording the astoundingly banal point that Ivy League grads are underrepresented in Iraq, etc. Thankfully, on Tapped, we're still talking about John Kenneth Galbraith -- none of this relevant, topical, "election" stuff.
TO WREAK HAVOC, KIDNAP. As Spencer notes below, for the past five days, U.S. troops had been encircling Sadr City in order to find a missing soldier they believed was kidnapped by the Mahdi Army, the militia of fiercely anti-American Shi'ite cleric Muqtada Sadr. Sadr denies involvement, but the brother-in-law of the kidnapped soldier says the perpetrators were clearly taking him to Sadr City, the stronghold of, well, Sadr.
PUNITIVE DAMAGES AND LESSONS ABOUT THE COURT. The Supreme Court today will hear oral arguments in Philip Morris USA v. Mayola Williams. The case concerns a $79.5 million punitive damage claim against Phillip Morris that was upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court. (See here and here for more background.) There's a good chance that the Oregon Court's decision will be reversed based on a Kennedy's opinion in State Farm v.
ENJOY YOUR TWENTIES. All right, we all know the stakes in the upcomings. But, Lord above, if this thing doesn't swing the election to the Democratic party, nothing will. Just a note to the people engaged in yesterday's Are Evangelicals Really Worth Saving? discussion -- this kind of idiocy is why the "suckers-or-true believers" debate is nothing more than an academic exercise. No matter how sincerely people adhere to this stuff, handing any part of a secular government over to it is always a bad idea. That strange whirring noise you're hearing is Barry Goldwater going at 78 rpm underground.