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Current Topic: Elections

Voter Guides -
Topic: Elections 10:49 pm EDT, Oct 21, 2010

League of Young Voters PAC:

Your vote is powerful. But these ballots can be confusing! That's where a voter guide can help out. Find a voter guide for your area, or create your own guide that other people can use. It's easy.

From the PAC history page:

The League of Young Voters PAC was started by Billy Wimsatt, hip hop activist and author, in 2003. Billy was an occasional voter who never really thought his vote mattered. But one November evening when Billy went to cast his ballot at the polls he stared up and down the ballot and realized that he was only prepared to check the box for Governor but had no idea who to vote for to be judge, controller or any of the local positions. Billy left the polls with a new idea and mission: voter guides for the hip-hop generation, made by young people for young people -- in every community across the country. No more giving away votes. It was time for young people to educate ourselves and make a youth voting blocs across the country.

By November 2004 the League of Young Voters PAC had 163 voter guides across the country in 44 states. The guides were distributed at clubs, concerts, coffeehouses -- everywhere people could be reached. In addition, the League developed, an online site where anyone can create their own voter guide for their own community, reaching hundreds of thousands of people and helping them make informed votes. The League of Young Voters PAC has been credited for swinging key elections on the state and local level and building significant influence on national elections as well. In countless communities across the country the League's voter guides are trusted sources of information about the important choices in every election.

Voter Guides -

Obama to Become Next President
Topic: Elections 10:03 pm EST, Nov  4, 2008


Update: Shortly after 11:00 PM ET, NBC reports that McCain has conceded in a phone call to Obama. McCain was expected to speak publicly in 11:00 hour, with Obama to follow in Chicago. PBS reports that the crowd has assembled in Phoenix to hear McCain.

Obama to Become Next President

One For Tomorrow, One Just For Today
Topic: Elections 3:49 pm EST, Nov  4, 2008

The presidency could be won with just 22 percent of the electorate’s support, only 16 percent of the entire population’s.

Even at McDonald’s, you’re interviewed three times before you get a job.

Other differences are more subtle.

I Tried So Hard My Dear ...
Topic: Elections 7:37 am EST, Nov  4, 2008

This election year is about what unites us, not what divides us.

It's not all doom and gloom, either.

But so far, that knowledge has probably not been entirely comforting to McCain supporters.

My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable
Topic: Elections 9:34 pm EST, Nov  3, 2008

"I thought I might try a strategy called the Reverse Maverick."

"It will be zesty," he added.

Parents get that.

Children can also be taught the technique.

Your kids will thank you.

And does it work in reverse?

He doesn't know. But he can't bear not finding out.

Maybe there is still time for that question.

A revolution comes when what was taboo becomes mainstream.

In other settings, the court has protected vulgarity.

In other words, there has to be a line people will not cross, even for a suitcase full of cash.

No One Knows Why She Thought That
Topic: Elections 6:09 am EDT, Oct 29, 2008

"A little fear can often be a healthy thing."

Some friends say the expression is a metaphor for an essential tension that runs through Mr. McCain's life.

If you keep flicking it on and off it will eventually blow.

"There was no downside -- until the bottom fell out."

She thought she could do it.

"Enough about clothes and hairdos and high heels," Ms. Palin said. "I want to talk about the important things."

But something essential is missing.

"The emptiness got to me very quickly," he said.

And there's certainly something to that.

The problem is now that none of that's left.

"It basically comes down to sucking it up," she said.

How much, no one knows.

The Insiders
Topic: Elections 6:49 pm EDT, Oct 22, 2008

Jane Mayer on the Palin selection.

David Keene, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, who is close to a number of McCain’s top aides, told me that “McCain and Lindsey Graham”—the South Carolina senator, who has been McCain’s closest campaign companion—“really wanted Joe.” But Keene believed that “McCain was scared off” in the final days, after warnings from his advisers that choosing Lieberman would ignite a contentious floor fight at the Convention, as social conservatives revolted against Lieberman for being, among other things, pro-choice.

“They took it away from him,” a longtime friend of McCain—who asked not to be identified, since the campaign has declined to discuss its selection process—said of the advisers. “He was furious. He was pissed. It wasn’t what he wanted.” Another friend disputed this, characterizing McCain’s mood as one of “understanding resignation.”

McCain had met Palin once, but their conversation—at a reception during a meeting of the National Governors Association, six months earlier—had lasted only fifteen minutes. “It wasn’t a real conversation,” said the longtime friend, who called the choice of Palin “the fucking most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” Aides arranged a phone call between McCain and Palin, and scrutinized her answers to some seventy items on a questionnaire that she had filled out. But McCain didn’t talk with Palin in person again until the morning of Thursday, August 28th. Palin was flown down to his retreat in Sedona, Arizona, and they spoke for an hour or two. By the time he announced her as his choice, the next day, he had spent less than three hours in her company.

I am ambivalent about this article; on first reading, it struck me as rather too Hershy for my taste. But now we're seeing this and this:

Sarah Palin appears to be a continuing – if not an increasing – drag on the GOP ticket.

See also, in today's WaPo:

How do you sell someone as a no-frills hockey mom who sold the state plane, fired the official cook and turned down travel per diems for her family and then try to explain wardrobing her in clothes from Neiman Marcus -- a store occasionally referred to by aggrieved, frugal shoppers as Needless Markup? How do you, in barely two months, lavish her with fashion swag worthy of a starlet and valued at more than her annual governor's salary of $125,000?

That's not careless.

That's just plain stupid.

From a week ago:

In familial relationships, money can be a proxy for love and trust.

The Insiders

Topic: Elections 10:41 pm EDT, Oct  7, 2008

A Word, brought to you by the Violent Femmes:

Well I'm reading this poem
and it's so profound
and I like its rhythm
and I like its sound
it's by a very famous poet
no critic can criticise
and then I pause a moment
and I start to realize
he's tellin'
lies lies lies
on the motel TV.
I dig the evangelist
he'll tell you all about that
and then he tell you all about this
he's preachin' up a storm
by the sea of Galilee
he's mixin' up the truth
with something funny I start to see
he's tellin'
lies lies lies
I never had this problem
with nobody in the government
I guess I always figured
they never mean what they meant
and GOD help us all
not to be so stone surprised
when we wake up in the stars
with the skies in our eyes
if we keep tellin'
lies lies lies


Saturday Night Live - Palin / Biden Debate
Topic: Elections 1:15 pm EDT, Oct  5, 2008

I believe marriage is meant to be a scared institution be a between 2 unwilling teenagers. But don't think I don't I tolerate gay people because I do. I tolerate them with all my heart.


Saturday Night Live - Palin / Biden Debate

Why Experience Matters
Topic: Elections 7:43 am EDT, Sep 16, 2008

David Brooks:

The narrow question is this: Is Sarah Palin qualified to be vice president?

This argument also is over what qualities the country needs in a leader and what are the ultimate sources of wisdom.

In the current Weekly Standard, Steven Hayward argues that the nation’s founders wanted uncertified citizens to hold the highest offices in the land. They did not believe in a separate class of professional executives. I would have more sympathy for this view if I hadn’t just lived through the last eight years.

It turns out that governance, the creation and execution of policy, is hard. It requires acquired skills. Most of all, it requires prudence.

What is prudence? It is the ability to grasp the unique pattern of a specific situation. It is the ability to absorb the vast flow of information and still discern the essential current of events — the things that go together and the things that will never go together. It is the ability to engage in complex deliberations and feel which arguments have the most weight.

Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared.

Why Experience Matters

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