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Current Topic: Elections

ABC News: McCain Stands With Old Foe Falwell
Topic: Elections 12:55 pm EDT, May 14, 2006

McCain delivered an address arguing that dissent and disagreement in American political life are good things. It was a not an inappropriate topic given both his past animosity toward Falwell and other conservative Christian activists, and the fact that he'll be delivering the same address next week before more liberal audiences in Manhattan, when he speaks at Columbia University's class day and at commencement for the New School. At both locations, students and faculty are protesting his presence, given his support of the war in Iraq, his opposition to same-sex marriage, and his rapprochement with Falwell.

"We have our disagreements, we Americans," McCain said in his speech, referring to debates over government, faith, and national security. "These are important questions, worth arguing about. We should contend over them with one another. It is more than appropriate: It is necessary that even in times of crisis, especially in times of crisis, we fight among ourselves for the things we believe in. It is not just our right, but our civic and moral obligation."

McCain and Falwell?? I mean, I agree about the public debate thing, and I adore McCain, but... Falwell?? Interesting . . .

ABC News: McCain Stands With Old Foe Falwell Election Results
Topic: Elections 9:13 pm EST, Nov  2, 2004

A great resource that is posting election return results in detail. You can enter your zip code and see the results (President, governor, congressional seats) for your own area, or check the results for any other state too. You can even dig down and see individual results for each county, along with percentage of precincts reporting. Election Results

Astronaut makes voting history 
Topic: Elections 7:56 pm EST, Nov  2, 2004

] With a quick computer key stroke, space station
] astronaut Leroy Chiao became the first American to vote
] for president from space, casting an encrypted ballot via
] e-mail and urging fellow countrymen to go to the polls
] Tuesday.

Astronaut makes voting history 

We Vote Together
Topic: Elections 4:49 pm EST, Nov  2, 2004

It's an amazing thing, voting. For me, entering the polling place and casting my vote is a profound emotional experience. Spiritual. Transcendent. A connection with 100+ million other people in my home country, all filing in and casting their votes. We are Choosing, for ourselves, who we want to govern. Not just President, but Senators, Representatives, Governors, judges, and countless other positions and issues.

It's a profound thing, this kind of bloodless coup. A system where every adult is allowed to have their say. Sure, there are flaws in the system, unfairnesses here and there, but overall, it's an amazing thing.

I think about this every time I vote. I think about the wars that have been fought to ensure that I have this right. I remember, "Freedom Isn't Free". I think about the long ago soldiers who sacrificed on battlefields, to secure and defend freedom for their families, their neighbors, and for future generations, of which I am a part. They didn't know me, but they envisioned a future where their children, their children's children, and on down the line could live in freedom, and have a say in how things were done. I'm a representative of the future they hoped for.

I looked around myself at the polling place today. I saw people who I didn't know, but who were nevertheless my neighbors. People young, old, dressed in anything from business suits to jeans and working clothes, but all with a common element -- We're citizens together, in our neighborhood, in our country, and we came together, peacefully, to make our choices known.

It's an amazing thing, voting. And I'm thankful for the right, and the privilege to do so. It's a responsibility I'm proud to fulfill, and I respect everyone around me who votes as well, regardless of whether or not we voted the same way. It's a process I'm incredibly proud of, and I thank everyone I know who voted (or who is going to vote), and participates. Good job! I'm proud to know you.


RE: Take the Votergasm pledge
Topic: Elections 9:11 pm EST, Nov  1, 2004

LOL! Here's a site with a pledge that you can take to help encourage people to vote. You have a choice of three levels of pledge:

] Citizen:
] I pledge to withhold sex from non-voters for the week
] following the election.

] Patriot:
] I pledge to have sex with a voter on election night and
] withhold sex from non-voters for the week following the
] election.

] American Hero:
] I pledge to have sex with a voter on election night and
] withhold sex from non-voters for the next four years.

Oh, and for more laughs, be sure to read the fine print. It's pretty damn funny too. :)

RE: Take the Votergasm pledge

What if it's a tie? -- Electoral College Scenarios
Topic: Elections 3:58 pm EDT, Oct 26, 2004

] The Electoral College ties and Congress chooses the
] president. State delegations can't decide. The
] Senate splits. Republican Speaker of the House Dennis
] Hastert becomes president.
] The scenario may seem outlandish but it's certainly
] as plausible as what the world witnessed four years ago
] when a split Supreme Court ended the Florida recount and
] crowned George W. Bush the leader of the free world.
] In 2004, we have new solutions that may create new
] problems -- a federal mandate to count provisional
] ballots; electronic voting machines that give no paper
] proof that a vote has been cast.
] But it's the nearly 220-year-old Electoral College
] that may be the bane of Election 2004. Here are some
] far-fetched and not-so-far-fetched possibilities:

An interesting article that does a thorough analysis of the "What if" game, if Bush and Kerry were to get identical numbers of electoral votes. Worth reading. :)

What if it's a tie? -- Electoral College Scenarios

The VP Debate
Topic: Elections 6:41 pm EDT, Oct  6, 2004

] WASHINGTON - Sen. John Edwards and Vice President Cheney clashed
] repeatedly in their debate last night, making impressive-sounding
] but misleading statements on issues including the war in Iraq,
] tax cuts and each other's records, often omitting key facts along
] the way.

Here are my own thoughts, after watching the debate live.

First, I think Cheney is a much better speaker than Bush. Between Kerry & Edwards, I think Kerry's better. Edwards struck me as a windup toy who was pre-programmed to say certain things in particular ways, but that he was incapable of original thought. When challenged, he'd fall back to rhetoric I've heard countless times before.

I had a lot of respect for the interviewer. She came up with interesting questions, and I especially enjoyed that she threw in a couple ringers, in a similar way that I think I would have if I were in her position. One of them was to ask a question about a narrowly-focused issue (the % of AIDS cases among a specific age demographic of black women), which though important, was one that the candidates would *not* have prepared for. The other, was to ask a question they'd heard a hundred times before, but to have them answer it in a way *different* than they normally did. In both cases, I was impressed with the way that Cheney handled it. He seemed to have the capacity to actually think about what he was saying. Edwards, on the other hand, kept falling back to old patterns. For example, when the interviewer asked, "Without referring to your running mate, can you explain why you should be Vice President?", Cheney handled the format just fine, but Edwards kept screwing up and repeating his "Kerry macros".

Also, there was one time that Cheney said something that was incorrect, which was when he said he'd never met Edwards before. After the debate, Edwards was reminded **by his wife** that he *had* met Cheney. And then Edwards was off in the spin room, accusing Cheney of again "misleading the American people". But if Edwards was so fired up about it, he should have brought it up *during* the debate, not after a reminder from his wife. What this tells me is that though they may indeed have met, that it was such a brief encounter that obviously neither of them made any serious impression on the other.

When I watch a debate, I'm listening hard to both candidates. Not just to hear what they're saying, but to observe how they're saying it, and compare it with other things that they've been saying. I'm also listening hard to distinguish what's genuinely coming from their heart, and what's just repeated sound bytes, or carefully-crafted messages that have been extensively wordsmithed by speech-writing teams or their campaign managers. In the case of last night's debate, I think that both Cheney and Edwards were occasionally guilty of being party mouthpieces who were repeating stuff that they didn't really believe, but were tol... [ Read More (0.1k in body) ]

The VP Debate - Kerry Ad Falsely Accuses Cheney on Halliburton
Topic: Elections 4:01 pm EDT, Oct  4, 2004

] The ad isn't subtle. It says, "As vice president, Dick
] Cheney received $2 million from Halliburton. Halliburton
] got billions in no bid contracts in Iraq. Dick Cheney got
] $2 million. What did we get?" And it implies that Cheney
] lied to the public when he said in a TV interview that "I
] have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind."
 . . .
] To start, the $2 million figure is wrong. It is true that
] Cheney has received just under $2 million from
] Halliburton since his election, but nearly $1.6 million
] of that total was paid before Cheney actually took office
] on Jan. 20, 2001.

Some interesting datapoints on Cheney's Halliburton connection. If anyone's arguing the situation, pro or con, this site is worth reading to make sure you're getting your facts straight. :) - Kerry Ad Falsely Accuses Cheney on Halliburton

Kerry: Misleader-in-Chief?
Topic: Elections 5:05 pm EDT, Sep 27, 2004

] John Kerry: "It was the right decision to disarm Saddam
] Hussein, and when the President made the decision I
] supported him."
] John Kerry: "I don't believe the President took us to war
] as he should have."
] John Kerry: "The winning of the war was brilliant."
] John Kerry: "It's the wrong war, in the wrong place, at
] the wrong time."
] John Kerry: "I have always said we may yet even find
] weapons of mass destruction."
] John Kerry: "I actually did vote for the 87 billion
] dollars before I voted against it."

A collection of "flip flop" quotes from Kerry, and the press release from the Kerry campaign where they try to explain context.

Kerry: Misleader-in-Chief?

Newt Gingrich on 'Runaway Courts'
Topic: Elections 6:50 pm EDT, Sep 23, 2004

] ] The time to reassert the right of the American people to
] ] instruct the court through the Legislative and Executive
] ] branches has come. America is a free nation and it is the
] ] duty of those who would represent the American people to
] ] find mechanisms for our generation which block activist
] ] judges from stripping us of the freedoms and values we
] ] believe in.

Every time I start leaning more towards voting Republican this election, I run into someone from the Bush administration who uses the term "activist judges", and every time I hear that term, I am so horrified, that it makes me go back to scrutinize other possibilities of who else I can vote for.

There are many things that I agree with the Republicans on. But the things I most disagree with them on are the social issues, and this absurd notion that judges are "activists" who need to be reined in. It's wrong-headed, and it violates one of my core values, which is a deep belief in the separation of powers between the branches of government. I really really wish Bush and the other members of his administration would drop the term "activist judges" from their lexicon. I lose respect for them every time they use it.

- Elonka

Newt Gingrich on 'Runaway Courts'

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