What Does It Take To Be A 'Partisan' At The Post?

Wild guess: Be a conservative partisan. Campaign against the war? Not a problem; welcome to Nonpartisanville.

In today's front-page story Youths in Rural U.S. Are Drawn To Military by Ann Scott Tyson, we learn, as the subhed tells us, Recruits' Job Worries Outweigh War Fears. The story appears to be inspired by a Nov. 1 press release from the National Priorities Project. What's that? Let's find out and give the Post's sense of neutrality its proper place. Tyson writes:

Nearly two-thirds of Army recruits in 2004 came from counties in which median household income is below the U.S. median.

Such patterns are pronounced in such counties as Martinsville, Va., that supply the greatest number of enlistees in proportion to their youth populations. All of the Army's top 20 counties for recruiting had lower-than-national median incomes, 12 had higher poverty rates, and 16 were non-metropolitan, according to the National Priorities Project, a nonpartisan research group that analyzed 2004 recruiting data by Zip code.

One tipoff to the nonpartisan nature of this research group is the subhed on the press release announcing the data: Online Tool Allows Journalists/Activists to Analyze Data by High School, County, Zip Code, Race, Ethnicity, Gender. Another is its links to Advocacy, Community Organizing and Membership Groups. I'm not familiar with every single one, and yet I have occasionally heard about the American Friends Service Committee ("Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar"), United for Peace and Justice ("Young people are the ones being forced to lose their lives in the illegal and immoral war") and MoveOn.org (no introduction necessary).

Another is this list of NPP publications, which includes nonpartisan titles like Congress Cuts Clean Water and Katrina and Iraq War Demonstrate Misguided Federal Priorities and Cuts to Community and Economic Development Funding. You will search in vain for Bush Tax Cuts Spur Economy, Breakdown By Zip Code but I fear it is partisan of me to say so.

My favorite nonpartisan work product of the National Prioities Project is a running tab of the cost of the Iraq War, and a function that allows you to compare that to items like "kids education" and "world hunger." Peace out, nonpartisans (linked here).

(Cross-posted at PostWatch)