Election Politics of the Day

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

CSPan Videos about Media and Politics

Below are several videos concerning Medias Role in Politics.

First up is Media's role in Iowa


Second video is from 1984 and discusses how the media can deflect as well as spotlight issues.


Last, a video showing how the media covers the three branches of congress and has gotten corrupt as well.

Rick Perry 2.0

The New Rick Perry

In an effort to stay relevant and relaunch his campaign Rick Perry plans to participate in at least five more presidential primary debates, his campaign said Saturday, dismissing speculation that the Texas governor's lackluster performances so far would lead him to skip future Republican debates.

Debates are a funny thing.  You could be the perfect candidate, but if you sound or act bad, or say something that is interpreted badly the media will excoriate you.  You begin to look poor and by association, unelectable.

A quick look back on a Rick Perry moment in a debate during which he had to defend his policy on giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens.  Trying to defend that stance Rick Perry said it would be heartless to deny young students, through no fault of their own, an education.

Unfortunately the focus was on the fact he was giving illegal aliens a break and calling his conservative base heartless if they disagree with him.  This did not go over very well.

Take Rick Perry's most recent debate where he went after Mitt Romney with so much vitriol in his voice interrupting and not letting Mitt Romney speak, it made him look unhinged like someone who is grasping for last breaths.

Rick Perry has always maintained that he is not a great debater, and has even suggested that he may skip some upcoming debates and avoid sparring with other GOP candidates.  This really didn't go over well either.  The idea that he would skip some debates to avoid verbal sparring matches brings up the thought about how well he would do against a skilled debater such as Barack Obama.

"Shoot, I may get to be a good debater before this is all over," Perry joked during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday.

Problem?

Perry's chief rival Romney has not agreed to any more debates yet.  Plus do we really want see these two keep throwing jambs at each other?  It certainly does not look good if the top two GOP candidates continue to air each others dirty laundry on public television versus tell the public how they will fix the economy.  The democrats certainly would like many more debates between these two.  The more they fight the more people get turned off to either one.

Solution

I have one.  How about we forget the one on one jabbing and stick to the issues at heart, namely the economy, jobs, the national debt.  Throw in national security like the border and our national interests abroad.  Tell me how you can fix regulations that choke our economic growth and how the government can be shrunk to manageable size.  For that matter how about making sure my civil rights are not trampled on. 

Links

Tempers Flare
Attending more debates

Obama tries to energize college students with free tuition

The Issue

Amid plummeting approval numbers and “Occupy” protesters’ growing outcry against onerous student debt, President Obama has announced a plan to circumvent Congress and modify the federal student loan program unilaterally.
It is a thinly veiled attempt to stir up his base of young voting adults.
The president wants to expedite provisions of a 2010 law that would lower the maximum required student loan payment from 15 percent of a graduate’s discretionary income to 10 percent, and forgive all remaining student loan debt after 20 years.

Hold it!

What?  Wait a minute.  Did I read that right?  Forgive a loan after 20 years?
Well then who pays the government back? Oh wait its not the government its the tax payers that need to get paid back.
Lets make a quick calculation here ...
Suppose a student takes a $200,000 loan to go to an ivy league school, pre and post grad of course.
Then the student needs to pay back that loan at 10% of his discretionary income.
Next, lets say the student graduates and gets a job in a sector that is non-profit and make $50,000 a year for the duration of 20 years. Assuming after taxes the person gets to keep $35,000.  So $3500 a year is required to be paid per year.  That would take 57+ years to retire $200,000.  The tax payers would only get back $70,000 of their investment in the student.
A loosing proposition in terms of investment.

Ok lets change some numbers here.  Lets assume $100,000 with being able to keep $75,000 after taxes.
After 20 years that still just $150,000 paid back to tax payers.
I haven't even added the interest on the loan which would create even more spread.

If you are a student reading this, it may sound like a good deal right?  Hey, borrow as much as you want, you only need to pay a portion back.  But that is really short sighted.  Everyone becomes a tax payer after your first job.  Thats the real graduation in life.  When you have to start paying for taxes, all of a sudden all thos income redistribution schemes don't look so good.

So whats the incentive for anyone to pay the loan back.  Even worse, whats stopping the colleges from raising the costs of college even higher than they already are.  Nothing.  As a matter of fact, this could be a conspiracy by colleges to get as much money as possible, knowing fully well students will get loans.

See my blog on college costs ...
Blame Colleges not the Banks for College Costs

So why the change? 

Its a political favor, meant to buy the votes of students now, because as they graduate and play and pay in the real world they would not go for this.
Maybe its a way to help enrich the colleges?  Those pension funds won't pay for themselves anymore.  Maybe Obama is trying to redistribute the wealth by creating these bad loans and forgiving debt owed to the tax payers.  Or it could be all of these.

Biting the students in the future

Have no doubt that this is unsustainable.  Just like the Social Security Ponzi Scheme.  This will come back to bite the student of today who benefit in the short term by creating overwhelming college costs for their kids, as well as contribute to the United States Debt Ceiling over time.
Plus this is being done without congress.  Ever since the whole student loan process has been moved to the government, politicians can manipulate the terms at will.  Obama used an executive order to make this change, which could prove illegal if challenged, or reversed when the next president gets into office.
The economy has changes political dynamics,  no longer are these hot button issues off the table as political suicide.  People want accountability, at all levels of government and this change shows the need for accountability.

So what is the solution?

Dont fogive any loans.  I can't get my bank to forgive my mortgage after 20 years, so why should a student loan be forgiven?
But that will put colleges out of reach for some people?  Maybe, but that is inevitable if the colleges continue to increase their prices higher than both the CPI index and inflation.  Eventually colleges will be forced to keep or lower the costs of tuition or make changes to their compensation plans or go out of business.  Worse yet, it will be a political funding problem for congress.
Colleges could also do something dramatic as well.  They could prepare our kids to be more productive when they graduate and compete for dollars by attracting kids to colleges that have proven track records of turning out successful students.

Call me cynical but I should have more than a piece of paper and a "rounded" education.  I should have a skill when I graduate.  Something I can make a living on, something .  But hey, I'm old school, not new school.

Links

Government Repayment Terms
New college aid plan will increase tuition costs
Tuition jumps 8.3% Double Inflation
Obama changes tuition plan

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Political Party Platforms

Below are three CSPAN videos on key republican platforms.

The first is on deficit reduction ...



The second is on abortion from Newt Gingrich's contract with America.



The last is on domestic energy ...

Backman near a finale in IOWA push.


Staff Exits, But Backman still fighting.

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann insists her candidacy is still afloat after two campaign aides resigned from her New Hampshire staff to protest what they said was too much focus on Iowa.

As many as five staffers formally left Bachmann’s campaign this week.

Campaign finance reports show that Bachmann, who has fallen in polls and struggled to raise money, had five paid staff in New Hampshire as recently as late September.

The Republican presidential contender has largely ignored New Hampshire in recent months. She has been focused on Iowa and South Carolina, where her social conservative message has more appeal.


Bachmann said she is hiring new staff and has spent a "great deal" of time in The Granite State. She added that she recognizes it has a special role as the first state to hold a primary, behind the Iowa caucuses.

Looking for that Iowa boost.

It is no suprize that everyone is vying to take Iowa.  Iowa being the first in the nation to have a "primary" (caucus) would give anyone a big boost in the nomination process.  The nation and the media focus's so much attention on Iowa and New Hampshire that to ignore or loose there would more than likely mean an exit to seeking the nomination.

Bachmann is focused on Iowa, which goes to vote on Jan. 3, and despite polling showing her on the decline there, she won the Ames, Iowa, straw poll back in August, which she insists gives her strong momentum.

In the latest University of Iowa poll, Bachmann grabs 4 percent of support in the state where she was born. That's behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and front-runner Herman Cain, who has 37 percent support. 

In Iowa religion plays a big role.

This is where Backman can show off her conservative religious roots.  Especially her stance on pro-life.

However evangelical activists, Iowa’s most potent conservative voting bloc, are divided 10 weeks away from the state’s leadoff presidential caucuses, and are weighing a number of GOP hopefuls competing hard to emerge as the more conservative alternative to early front-runner Mitt Romney.


Businessman Herman Cain sought to clarify his position on abortion to about 1,000 of Iowa’s most devout social conservatives, after suggesting this week the issue was a matter of choice.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry first took a veiled jab at Romney, who had supported abortion rights but declared his opposition during his term as Massachusetts governor as he was weighing a presidential bid.

Evangelical conservatives have yet to rally around any single candidate in Iowa.  Thats sort of how the rest of the conservatives feel around the nation.  Yep we all know Mitt Romney is going to get the nod for the nomination and but its a hold your nose and vote type of nod.  Not exactly what we where looking for but the best we can muster at the moment.

Oh well, lets see what happens.

Links

Obama Foreign Policy Being Challenged

Challenging Obama

 In a public forum Senator Lindsay Graham has warned all GOP candidates they need to challenge President Obama on his foreign policy.

Yep you read that right.

Even after Obama has seen some favorable opinions about killing Osama Bin Ladin, and supporting the overthrow of Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, Graham thinks the president has failed by allowing Tehran to get a leg up in Iraq and get that much closer to nuclear weapons.

In addition Graham thinks Obama has thrown Israel "under the bus,"; he has blown his policy on the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and has made a decision to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, pandering to his electorate before the 2012 elections.

Obama's decisions are being "run out of Chicago, not Washington," Graham said.

As a show of failure Graham points to the comments made recently by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.  Karzai has said if the United States and Pakistan ever went to war, his country would back Islamabad.

Wow, the country that owes their freedom and liberty to us now is suggesting we might go to war with Pakistan and by the way they wont back us?  Hum, makes you wonder why we just didn't leave any sooner.  I mean whats the difference.  Leave their country in a heap of rubble and they'll hate us the same as now after we spend more on their rebuilding then on our own poverty stricken areas here at home.

In any case, Afghanistan and Iraq may now be seen as failures, and in no small part to the way things are being handled since Bush left office.  I doubt Karzi would have had the guts to make those comments with W. in charge.  He would have been summoned to the Oval Office.

Graham also mentions that President Obama has been leading from behind allowing foreign forces to  take control of what is essentially a U.S. lead mission like Libya.  (NATO without the U.S. is nothing more than a few soldiers, some missiles, and a couple of planes without fuel.  Plus maybe a baguette and wine from France.)

So is President Obama vulnerable on foreign policy?

Possibly.  We saw a bump in the polls (approval rating) right after Osama Bin Ladens death.  That's understandable and I also applauded the move. (I wish I could see the pictures as evidence.  I could have picked a better burial ritual as well, something along the lines of vultures and rats picking at the body and maybe ending with a monster truck parade over his head, then dump him in the East River outside of NY, right under the sewer plant exit pipe.)  Nevertheless that bump in poll favorability was rather short lived.  Plus the accumulation of these other issues overshadows any good points (the few that there are).

Senator Grahams Comments can be heard here ...




Links

Karzai Backs Pakistan over U.S.
CBS News Polls on Obama

Friday, October 14, 2011

How have Conventions Changed since 1968

Below are a several video on how conversions have changed since 1968.

The first is Senator George McGovern talking about the Democratic Convention of 1968 with all the violence and issues surrounding it.




The second is the day Sara Palin accepted the VP slot on McCains ticket and how she energized the GOP base.



The third is President Clinton talking about Candidate Obama at the 2008 Convention


Obama puts U.S. in another war. Was it Political?

More War

New war --- Uganda.
So much for that campaign promise of getting us out of wars.
Why would the administration put already tired troops to work fighting another war in which we have no national interest?
How many wars are we in right now?  Lets see, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Uganda.

National Interest

What could we possibly gain by going into Uganda.
The answer is nothing of value as a National Interest.  No oil, trade, or natural resources for us or anyone else for that matter.

The answer is humanitarian.  We have humanitarian interests to gain, or specifically to give.  President Obama is sending about 100 U.S. troops to central Africa to help local forces battle the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group that the administration says has waged a campaign of murder, rape and kidnapping for more than two decades. Obama said Friday the troops will act as advisers in efforts to hunt down rebel leader Joseph Kony but will not engage in combat except in self-defense, according to a letter to Congress.
And so here we are again acting as the worlds policeman.  Granted on the surface, this is a very noble cause.  But if this was that noble, why didn't any other country take up the baton, or the U.N for that matter.

The real reason

Political "browny" points with Obama's base.  For years, the cause celebrity was (still is) to stop the genocide of rogue regimes and waring factions within Africa.  To save lives.  This is another small way of pandering to the liberal base, and not the altruism that is should be.

Who should be helping Africans?

Why are we the worlds police anyway.  Africa has been a royal mess since the 1800's colonialist period land grab by European states.  Were are they today?  Why haven't they intervened to fix the mess created by the state lines they drew?  Oh yeah they have money issues.  Bigger fish to fry I guess as their EU experiment comes crashing down.

What about all those war protesters?

Where are all those war protesters these days.  You saw them everywhere protesting the Bush Administrations war efforts.  Now, not a peep from the same folks and we have two more wars we are in?
I sense a bit of hypocrisy, or maybe they are in the Occupy Wall Street rebellion.

Links

Candidates Boycott Nevada Caucus

Issue ...

States continue to trip over themselves to become relevant in the election cycle and not middle of the pack "thanks for your vote" states.  See my blog on how Florida moved their primary up to Jane 31st declaring they are more representative of the national electorate. --- Link

To be fair, early primaries and caucuses have the effect of giving potential nominees momentum to win other states primaries.  That in turn typically means an early win is the deciding factor for the nomination, but not always.

This week Nevada election officials chose January 14th as their primary day, which not only jumps over New Hampshire but also Florida's new date as well putting them first on the list.

Repercussions

In a show of unity, several GOP candidates boycott the Nevada primary. Nevada's current primary date is slated for Jan 14th, which is ahead of New Hampshire.

Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Backman and Jon Huntsman are pledging to boycott the Nevada caucuses because the state is daring New Hampshire to consider scheduling its first-in-the-nation primary in December. 

From Fox News -- "Nevada's move has potentially forced the other early states to have primary's near Christmas - and that destroys the primary process,” Santorum said. “I firmly believe that we must protect New Hampshire, the other early primary states and the proven presidential primary process.

New Hampshire's Secretary of State William Gardner wants Nevada to move its primary back from January 14, and is threatening to Hold the Granite State's primary as early as Dec. 6.

Someone is Missing

Notice Anyone Missing?  Yes the lead candidates ... Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney.
In a statement made to the AP Rick Perry hopes the matter will be resolved before he needs to make a decision.  Romney also stated that he is a firm believer in upholding New Hampshires claim as first in the nation, but has remained neutral on the Nevada boycott and intends to go.  Quoting ... "It is up to each state to determine the date of their primary or caucus." -- Romney Spokesman Ryan Williams.

Also notice, not one candidate has spoken out against Florida taking the first spot when they announced Jan 31st.

Does it Matter?

Well in a nutshell, yes.  Establishing a clear leader earlier on would allow that person to then have much more time to concentrate on getting elected against President Obama, plus more fund raising events to comete against Obama.  The momentum could carry on into other primaries as well.  But is Neveda the state to do this in?  No not at all.
First, Nevada was a clear win for Obama during 2008, and in 2010 while democrats suffered many losses, they still held onto Harry Reid in Nevada.  Reid did this by concerted effort (political promises) on the part of the unions in Las Vegas.  So I believe the election atmosphere in Nevada is tainted and slanted against the GOP.  We could potentially have another McCain moment; having our candidate chosen for us even though it probably will not be the right pick.

Keep New Hampshire?

I don't like that either.  New Hampshire has also been tainted, but not by political favors, but by the media attention focusing on New Hampshire and therefore the voters have lost their "Un-Biased" claim to be independent thinkers.
I like Florida being first.  Their demographics have a bit of everything, from all walks of life, all ethnicities, all races and all religions.  What more can you ask for if you are looking for a representation of the nation. 

Links

Candidate Boycott Nevada - USA Today
Candidates Boycott Nevada - Foxnews
GOP Split on Boycott - CNN

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Religious Influences over politcal parties

Below are several c-span videos that discuss how religion place a part as well as influences political parties. Whether you believe in separation of church and state or whether you believe that our country was formed with religious doctrines, you can be sure religion plays a roll in our politics.


Here a caller mis-interprets the separation of church and state doctrine and clearly does not know about the 1st amendments limits.
"wall of separation between church and state," as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802



Here is a discussion of a grass roots organization for women conservatives that endorse religious involvement.

Scandals Plague Obama Administration

Scandal, Scandal Everywhere

Nothing like a of scandal to ruin your chances of being re-elected.

The Solyndra scandal explodes in the administrations' face as news keeps coming out that the administration knew it was a bad investment and even worse, it was a political payback deal.

Due to massive media coverage in the business journals and money news programs like CNBC and Fox Business we all know about the Solyndra collapse this past August, and that we lost over half a billion dollars in taxpayer money, my money, your money, our money, gone, to a firm who's business model and product where known in the industry and to investment companies to be failures and bad investments before the loan.


So why did they get the money?

Email records and whistle blower testimony indicate that Steven Spinner in lengthy email discussions occurring in the days before the Solyndra loan closed in September 2009, advocated for getting the deal done, apparently in an effort to score the loan as a political victory for President Obama. Many of the emails surround his efforts to coordinate plans for either President Obama or Vice President Biden to announce it as the administration's first loan approval -- one that he repeatedly notes will create clean energy jobs.

The problem, Steven Spinner was an Obama campaign fund raiser that netted over one million in funds.  Steven Spinner was appointed to the Obama Administration in 2009 as an Energy Department director.

Investigations continue, new emails found describing how after the Obama Administration knew Solyndra was going to file for bankruptcy and was attempting to save them by giving them another 5.4 Million.

Watch how these newly released emails show the Administration wanted to use this for political gain.



 Solyndra Executives Keep Quiet


Now congress is investigating, and on September 23rd in a Congressional hearing, lawmakers pressed Solyndra executivesfor answers on what they knew and when they knew it.  But to no availe they all pleaded the 5th.


So what is a president to do?

It is hard to say. There are still over 12 months till the election and just about anything can happen between now and then.  But this is certain, these scandals add up and chip away at reputation.  Any more fallout will be sure to continue the downward spiral of the chances of being re-elected.  Right now there is another scandal brewing that can go horribly wrong for the administration called the Fast and Furious scandal.  This one involves the justice department issuing orders to allow guns to be illegally sold and shipped to drug cartels.  Yikes.  This one is just beginning to get legs but you can read about it here ... Link
If this keeps up, Obama's record and reputation will be marred too badly to even stand a chance.

Links
Obama Fundraiser Pushed for Solyndra deal
Officials resign over Solyndra Scandal
Solyndra executives plead the 5th to Congress
Executives refuse to talk - Plead the 5th
CNN - Fast and Furious Scandal - Subpenas being issued.

Blame colleges not the banks for your debt.

Recent Events

Talk to any current or recent college student who does not have scholarships or Trust funds about what the scariest prospect of college is ... They'll tell you,  its the cost.  Sure there are other pressures, like grades and job hunting, but overall its the cost for those students that take out loans from $50, 000 to $250,000 that is on their mind the most.
Recently, one of the topics of protest at the Occupy Wall Street camp-in has been about tuition bills and loan debt after graduation. 

From the Huffington Post - "Earlier today, students from at least 100 college campuses around the country walked out of class in a show of solidarity and support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.  While the Occupy Wall Street movement has yet to present a coherent agenda or message, the college students who marched today in support of it were clear about their concerns. They banded together to make their voices heard, many citing the rising amount of student loan debt and the increasing cost of college, in addition to a dearth of decent jobs for recent graduates."


Misdirected Anger, banks don't hold your loan.

The blame typically goes to the bankers.  And why not, they own the loans right? They got the bailouts right?   Well they may have gotten the bailouts and they may be to blame for not lending, but they don't own your college loans.  No, the government saw to that on July 1st 2010. 
President Obama signed a bill March 30th, 2010 that ends a 45-year-old program under which banks and other private-sector lenders such as Sallie Mae receive a federal subsidy for making government-guaranteed college loans. 
Instead, the U.S. Department of Education - which already makes roughly a third of these loans through its direct-lending program - will make 100 percent of them starting July 1.
Yes thats 100%, in addition, banks no longer are allowed to offer student loans.  They can only service existing ones.  Existing loans are quickly being consolidated into the government direct loans at a cost of 7.9% interest.  What a scarey proposition to think you can only go to one place for a college loan now, the government.  I hope your political party isn't displayed on your facebook, otherwise they just might deny you a loan because "your not the right fit." or "your not our type."  Granted that would be illegal, right?  Yeah tell that to the Gibson Guitar folks who got raided at the factory because their owner is a republican contributor.
No the government would never play politics like that.
Gibson Story - Link

Its the colleges fault

Tuition should not be expensive.  We all know that to get ahead in this world, some sort of eduction is required.  Academic or trade.  By making education so expensive, it does two things ... Creates a debt society beholden to the creditor, now the government (Just what are they going to make us to do pay it off), and it also creates class warfare since only rich kids can get an education easily.

Why is college so expensive?

Great question.  Take a look at the following charts.  Notice the cost of college tuition going up over 4 times higher than the CPI index and over 1200 times more than the cost of homes (using index).
Those numbers are staggering and I can personally attest to the price crunch.  In 2004 I decided to go back to college to finish a degree I started back in 1987.
Back in 1987, college cost me $275 a credit, now at Pace University its $1000 a credit, plus fee's. Being an adult student, I don't get the privilege of a scholarship from the fed, nor the ability to get a loan.  (In this day and age I'll pay cash thank you.  No in-indebtedness for me.)



Do I really need to pay so much for college?

Flat out No.  The terrible thing about a college education today is that many folks have one.  A slip of paper saying "I graduated from So and So college."   They should put a dollar cost on those things so every time you look at it on your wall you know what it cost and you can calculate if it was all worth it.

Dont get me wrong, its better to have one than not.  But you don't need one if you have experience.  I am proof of that.  And if you decide to get one, unless its is from an ivy league school like Harvard or Yale or one of the many Ivy'ish colleges like N.Y.U. dont pay an arm and a leg for it.  A piece of paper that says Pace University ($12,000+/semester) on it is just as good as Brooklyn College ($5,300+/semester), and will get you the same job.



Do I need an expensive college degree to get a job?

Again NO.  Unless the company is searching for candidates from specific colleges, and some do, then any college will do.
Now if you are going for that job that is looking for someone with a Business degree and the employer see's two candidates with degrees, one from N.Y.U. school of business and one from Brooklyn College for Liberal Arts, you can guess which one will get some extra preference.  But in general you need more than a piece of paper these days to get a leg up on similar candidates.
My choice for hires has always been experience.  Show me someone with or without a degree that can do the job, you get the job.  I have hired more qualified people that way then fresh out of college folks.  My advice is to intern, and intern often and network while you intern.

Why do colleges charge so much?




Good question.  Ask you college for their budgetary breakdown of costs, liabilities and expenses.  Its public information if they accept federal grants and monies.  Chances are you will see pension funds out of control.  As an example, in my town, we fired (through elections) our schools superintendent who made $350,000 per year (while regular teachers go about $50, 000/yr) and her only job was to administer over 7 schools.  Well after we fired her we found out her contract gave her this salary for life after retirement.  She promptly retired.  Now there is a court battle.


Don't get wrong, teachers deserve their pay and plenty of it, but there needs to be a balance between what the schools cost and how much taxpayers get charged.

We can't start life after school $250,000 in debt like wage slaves from the 1900's.
"There Are Two Ways To Enslave A Country…. One Is By The Sword. The Other Is By Debt." — John Adams



Read about what a wage slave is free from Amazon on Kindle for PC (also free).

The Jungle - Upton Sinclair - Free Edition

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."~Winston Churchill







Links
College sympathizers protest tuition hikes
Occupy wall street is about getting free tuition
Obama Plans on Taking over Student Loans
Feds finally take over student loan program
Gibson Guitar gets Raided due to Politics?
The Jungle - Upton Sinclair - Free

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Voter Turnout "Rock the Vote Bias"

Below are several videos on youth Voter Turnout in elections.  The first is a video discussing the voter drive called "Rock the Vote."  A term used by Music Media to spur the music loving (watching) youth into turning out to vote for a candidate.  While these voter drives appear on the outside to be non-partisan, in reality, they typically trend towards voter turnout of one particular candidate.

The first video is with Heather Smith from the "Rock the Vote" campaign discussing the 2010 midterm elections (prior to November).  In the first few minutes Ms. Smith claims the youth are hesitant to vote this year (2010) due to frustration with the process, corporate influence in politics, and are hungry for leadership like in Obama's Campaign in 2008 but now feel used due to the lack of what they expected to be the "change" promised.
She goes on to describe how the youth vote is turned off by the Tea Party and suggests that the tea party is for the older folks.

Clearly the bias is towards the democratic party, and while her demographic may not be provable, she makes a huge leap of faith judgement that "Rock the Vote" is mostly representative of the youth.

Successive videos are a bit older but of the same campaign "Rock The Vote" and so the same biases.






Florida Bucks GOP Primary Rules

A Race to Become Relevant

In a bid to become first in the nation and more relevant in the selection process of the GOP nomination, Florida on Friday has decided to move their primary up to Jan 31st ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire.

From the Jackson County Floridian (Lauren Delgado) - This early date violates the rules of the Republican Party, which say that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada can hold a primary on or after Feb. 1 during the year the national convention is held. All other states are to hold primaries on or after the first Tuesday in March during the year the national convention is held.

Because of this violation, Florida will lose half of its delegates at the party convention. According to Republican National Committee officials, if New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada attempt to hold their primary before Florida, they also will lose half of their delegates. Iowa has a nonbinding caucus, so it will not be penalized for not following the rules.

Not to be outdone, On Sept 30th Nevada officials voted and decided to move their primaries ahead of Florida costing their state half their delegates.  A specified date was not announced, but officials stated they will move it to sometime in early January.
UPDATE: on Oct 1st, Nevada reversed their decision to move up their dates into January and instead opted for Feb 4th citing they could not afford to loose half their delegates like Florida can (28 in Nevada 99 in Florida).  Officials in Nevada blame Florida for the calendar mess.

How Important is it to be First?

That depends on who you ask.  The vast majority of potential nominees who win their first or second (Iowa, or New Hampshire) primary typically gain significant momentum both politically and financially in the races and tend to win the nomination.  This statistical anomaly is typically due to the major news coverage and campaigning focus on these two states. Take a look at these lists ...


Republicans - New Hampshire
Primary Date Winner Runners-Up
January 8, 2008 Senator John McCain Governor Mitt Romney, Governor Mike Huckabee, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Congressman Ron Paul, Senator Fred Thompson, Congressman Duncan Hunter
January 27, 2004 President George W. Bush (no viable opposition)
February 1, 2000 Senator John McCain Governor George W. Bush, Malcolm S. "Steve" Forbes, Jr., Ambassador Alan Keyes, and Gary L. Bauer
February 20, 1996 Pat Buchanan Senator Bob Dole, Governor A. Lamar Alexander, Steve Forbes, Senator Richard G. "Dick" Lugar, and Ambassador Alan Keyes
February 18, 1992 President George H. W. Bush Patrick J. "Pat" Buchanan
February 16, 1988 Vice President George H. W. Bush Senator Bob Dole, Congressman Jack F. Kemp, Jr., Governor Pierre S. "Pete" du Pont IV, and Reverend Marion G. "Pat" Robertson
February 28, 1984 President Ronald Reagan (no viable opposition)
February 26, 1980 Governor Ronald Reagan Ambassador George H. W. Bush, Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., Congressman John B. Anderson, Congressman Philip M. "Phil" Crane, and Senator Bob Dole
February 24, 1976 President Gerald R. Ford Governor Ronald Reagan
March 7, 1972 President Richard Nixon Congressman Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey, Jr. and Congressman John M. Ashbrook
March 12, 1968 former Vice President Richard M. Nixon Governor George Romney
March 10, 1964 Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.* Senator Barry M. Goldwater, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, and former Vice President Richard Nixon
March 8, 1960 Vice President Richard Nixon (no viable opposition)
March 13, 1956 President Dwight D. Eisenhower (no viable opposition)
March 11, 1952 General Dwight D. Eisenhower Senator Robert Taft and Governor Harold E. Stassen
1948 Governor Harold Stassen Governor Thomas E. Dewey


Democrats - New Hampshire
Primary Date Winner Runners-Up
January 8, 2008 Senator Hillary Clinton Senator Barack Obama, Former Senator John Edwards, Governor Bill Richardson, Representative Dennis Kucinich and Former Senator Mike Gravel.
January 27, 2004 Senator John Kerry Former Governor Howard B. Dean III, General Wesley K. Clark, Senator John Edwards, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich and Reverend Al Sharpton.
February 1, 2000 Vice President Al Gore Former Senator Bill Bradley
February 20, 1996 President Bill Clinton (no viable opposition)
February 18, 1992 Senator Paul Tsongas Governor Bill Clinton, Senator Bob Kerrey, Senator Tom Harkin, Former Governor Jerry Brown, and former mayor Larry Agran
February 16, 1988 Governor Michael Dukakis Congressman Richard A. "Dick" Gephardt, Senator Paul Simon, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, and Senator Al Gore
February 28, 1984 Senator Gary Hart Former Vice President Walter Mondale, Senator John Glenn, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, and Former Senator George McGovern
February 26, 1980 President Jimmy Carter Senator Edward Kennedy, and Governor Jerry Brown.
February 24, 1976 Governor Jimmy Carter Congressman Mo Udall, Senator Birch Bayh, Former Senator Fred R. Harris, and Former Ambassador R. Sargent Shriver
March 7, 1972 Senator Edmund Muskie Senator George McGovern and Mayor Samuel William Yorty
March 12, 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson Senator Eugene McCarthy
March 10, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson (no viable opposition)
March 8, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy businessman Paul C. Fisher
March 13, 1956 Senator Estes Kefauver Former Governor Adlai Stevenson
March 11, 1952 Senator Estes Kefauver President Harry S. Truman

The lists clearly show the recent winners of New Hampshire moving on to compete in the presidential election (recent exceptions of 1992 (D) and 2000 (R) )


So Whats Up with Florida

For one ... It may be a pride thing.  Since 2000 Florida has been the butt of election jokes ranging from geriatric related issues to lousy election ballots and possible corruption.  So to put an end to this, what better way than to be the "Proving Ground" for the next nomination.   Florida also claims to have the most diverse citizenry, and so should hold a premiere position in the selection process.  They feel that their diversity is key to nominating a "proper" candidate that is much more representative of the nation as a whole and the move would "Spread" the media coverage (and financial rewards) appropriately, thereby not giving any one candidate a clear advantage early on, and having other candidates be able to compete.

The Reality

The original "First in the nation States" have threatened to move their primaries to December 2010.
Should that happen Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina - the only four states allowed to vote before March 6 under Republican National Committee rules - have collectively vowed to move the dates of their caucuses and primaries ahead of Florida to protect their early voting status.
This would put Florida into the 5th position nationwide for primaries.  Still, this is much better than being in the middle of the list somewhere in March.  In that middle position, primaries become less important as a clear leader has typically already been chosen by then.

Is This a Good Thing?

Anytime scrutiny is given to the election process, its a good thing.  The fact that so many people, media outlets, and political pundits (as well as officials) are even discussing Florida's decision puts pressure on party leaders to re-evaluate the cause and effect.  Maybe it would be better to have Florida first?  After all, they certainly do have a more diverse population than New Hampshire.
In any case, it is shaping up to be a very interesting election season.

Links
Florida Changes GOP Primary to Jan 31st.
Jackson County News Article on Florida Primary Jan 31st
CNN - Florida to Hold Primary Jan 31st
Washington Post Article on Nevada Moving Primary ahead of Florida
Politico - Nevada Changes Their Minds