I was following The Economist in Google Reader but it wasn’t the right thing really because the entire magazine appears in a big chunk every Thursday, whereas what you want in an RSS feed is a steady drip of info-nuggets. So I switched to their Democracy in America blog, and boy was that a good decision.

Over the past couple of weeks they have just been putting up a whole slew of killer posts. I mean, how can you not love a post that picks up a story about some new research on bears (that had been doing the rounds on the internet already; people love bear stories) and segues the hell out of it to end up talking about illegal immigrants?

WITH their razor-sharp claws and gnashing teeth, it’s no wonder that we are frightened of bears… Like bears, undocumented immigrants have been the culprits in some high-profile attacks, leading to a widespread view that they are, as a group, unusually dangerous. However, in both cases, an assessment of the danger is complicated by the context.

They had some great stuff on Osama and torture as well; this post picks up on the fact that since 9/11, foreigners are much more wary of the legal system here:

… recently, I’ve been talking with some people located outside of America whose involvement in cyber-transparency causes has put them in a position where they might be subject to American legal action… they view the United States as a country where they may very well be tortured and held indefinitely without a trial or protection of basic human rights, if they ever wind up in the hands of the American justice system… For these people, over the course of the past decade, we have become “that guy”.

And on Donald Trump and Obama’s birth certificate, the direction they took was to be interested in the fact that, when presented with solid evidence, people really can change their beliefs:

Washington Post poll last week found the same thing: they had overall belief that Mr Obama was most likely born abroad falling from 20% a year ago to 10% now. Among Republicans, the Post‘s figures show a drop from 31% to 14%. Happy news! It seems large numbers of people can be convinced by evidence, even when it runs counter to their partisan inclinations, so long as the evidence is overwhelming and you display it massively and redundantly as part of a huge media push.

I recommend you go follow it as well.

UPDATE: The case in favour of DiA can surely be closed by considering this, in which they explain why a political candidate’s love of the music of ABBA is a reason to think his fortunes are on the up.