This is how we do it!

27 03 2008

Oh, I couldn’t resist with my title today. Today, there was an article in the NYT called Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On. I love it! Granted, I am studying political management, and I work online, so maybe I am a little bias. But ok, here goes. This article talks about how young voters get the news. Online. Not only do we get our news online, but we pass it along online. I (sample of one, yes, I know) watch local news in the morning before I go to work, mostly for weather and traffic updates, but I pick up a few pieces of national news. Then, during the day, I read the NYTimes, the Washington Post, and I peruse Perez Hilton (which is a guilty pleasure). If If I have time during lunch or something, I will check out the Ft. Worth Star Telegram to see what is going on where my family lives, and once a week I try to read The Stranger. Most of my blog postings come from something in one of these publications. Anyway, the point is, these are the places I get my news. That and from friends. I probably get at least 10 urls from friends via instant messenger or email a day. That doesn’t even count blog postings that I read along the way. According to the article, there was a study done by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press with a “broad look at how media was consumed for this campaign cycle.” Not surprisingly, the results were that more than 50% of the respondents over the age of 50 reported watching local news regularly for campaign news. 39% of 30 to 49 year olds report watching local news for campaign news, but less than 25% of people under the age of 30 report that they do. 66% of web users under the age of 30 report that they use social networking sites, and less than 20% of older users do. 40% of young people have watched a candidate speech, interview, commercial, or debate online. Presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary R. Clinton, and John McCain all have profiles on Facebook where they have numerous friends, friends who translate into young supporters. It isn’t even a new concept if you think about it. It goes back to the old school idea of “word-of-mouth” marketing, or buzz marketing. When we see something interesting online, we share it. In the online world, we call that “going viral.” I am glad that someone is figuring out that online is the place to go to reach young voters. I think we are going to see a big(ger) turnout of young voters in November, and it is because the use of the net for campaigning has expanded immensely in the past few years. I can go to Youtube right now and find a video of Chelsea Clinton’s appearance at Butler University if I wanted to. And share it with a few friends. I’m glad to see young people getting excited about it. Let’s just hope that translates into votes.

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Obama in Philly: Is-Wright, or Fore-Wright?

18 03 2008

About an hour ago, at 11:00am (EST), Presidential candidate Barack Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia. Pieces of information released by the campaign prior to the speech revealed that Obama was going to reiterate his denunciations of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s comments. But a broader discussion of race in general is what Obama’s campaign was seeking. Reverend J. Wright is a longterm pastor and mentor of the presidential hopeful. A 2 minute video was recently released with snippets of over 4,000 sermons that he has given through out his career. This video, which many have construed as racist, is what the Wall Street Journal is calling the first real test of his campaign. And very quickly, Senator Obama criticised the Reverend’s remarks. But it gave the Obama campaign the opening it needed in order to open up the race discussion. Here is the video clip of his speech.

I’m not sure he helped himself in this case, though. It had potential, but he just didn’t hit the mark. This has been a popular topic recently, so I thought I’d say something. My opinion is that cosmetic issues shouldn’t exist. The color of a person’s skin, hair, eyes, or fingernails have nothing to do with what kind of leader they are going to be. And as Obama says in speech, we’ve all heard ideas on occasion that we do not agree with from influential people in our lives. I agreed with very few of my professors in college, and fewer in grad school. In fact, I had a semester long battle with an ethics professor whom I still think lacks any semblance of ethics. They do not represent the ideas and ideals that I hold. Very few things get my blood boiling as quickly as racism, in any form. I am glad Obama took the chance to say something. At the very least, it portrayed his leadership.





Safe for now

6 03 2008

I’ve been out of the blog loop for a few days due to an insane statistics test. *Sigh* That is over and done with now. Lets get back to business. Starting with Tuesday. Hillary Clinton pulled out a win in three of the four states that voted on March 4th. Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island all believe that Hillary R. Clinton should be the next President of the United States, or at least the Democrats in those states do. Barack Obama took Vermont, as most everyone predicted. And after these four states voted, John McCain now has all the votes he needs to be the Republican nominee. But the Democratic nomination is still up for grabs! It’s all very exciting. It’s very American Idol-esque. See, this is why I don’t understand why some people don’t get into politics. “Last week, the judges weren’t too thrilled with Hillary’s performance, but American voted! And she is safe-for this week.” Dun, dun, dun (scary music). Maybe we just need to get Ryan Seacrest or someone like that to announce the results of the polls. Maybe not, maybe this has to be more “serious” than that. But I still get into it, and after seeing the outcome of Tuesday’s primaries, I felt like it was American Idol. Which isn’t even something I watch very often. I am not so big into the reality television shows. Although there is a new show that just premiered last night, called High School Reunion, on TVLand. I didn’t watch it, but I did record it. I thought it might be interesting. Although it will probably turn out to be another one of those shows where they put a bunch of people in a house and make them live together until two people hook up, two people get into a major fight, and then the entire group turns on one person and tries to get them kicked out. That’s basically the plot of most reality shows, isn’t it? Politics is way more exciting to me, at least they have to maintain a mask of civility. Their sniping is more intellectual snobbery than hair-pulling and eye-gouging. Is that what it takes to interest the general public? In other news, Patrick Swayze (the Dirty Dancing actor, among other things, but whom I will always remember as “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 55. Pancreatic cancer is a very unforgiving disease, by the time symptoms appear it is often that there is little can be done. It has a 5% 5-year survival rate. In a statement released by Swayze’s reps, they say that he is remaining positive and responding well to treatment. The actor and his family are in my thoughts and prayers!





Not again…

25 02 2008

Well, what else can I say. Ralph Nader announced on Sunday (2/26) that he will run for President as a third-party candidate. I don’t know what he is thinking. He has run for President, what, 47,000 times already (4 times, ’92, ’96, ’00, ’04, and ’08 will be *lucky* number 5)? He announced on “Meet the Press” that part of his decision was driven by attempts to keep him out of the race in 2004. “They were mean to me last time. I’ll show them.” I don’t think that people should be denied the opportunity to run for President if they have a legitimate reason to run for the office. And I suppose that Mr. Nader did some excellent consumer advocacy work back in the 60s with automobile companies, but does that give him the credence to run for President? No, not to run, to be elected. Let him run, if he wants to. Let whomever run that wants to. But he isn’t going to be put on the ballot in some states. And he’s going to get even fewer votes than he did last time. Why? Because 1) the people who would generally vote for him already have a candidate that they can get behind. The young voters that would vote for him are behind Barack Obama, and 2) He’s become a stodgy old guy, and this gen’s Ross Perot. The guy that people look at and think, why? Ok, you have something to say, but you’ve said it 100 times, and now it is just starting to look sad. We appreciate what you are trying to do, but step aside and let some of these other (younger) people work on it. These are your issues, but they are ours too. We’ll help you get it done if you will get out of the way and let us talk to the people that are in more of a position to do something about it. Honestly, Mr. Nader, if you cared about these issues, you would spend your time, money, and efforts into solving, or fighting to solve the problem, rather than campaigning for a position that you are never going to win, and possibly hurting the people that would help you the most were they elected. Read more at NY Times.





This week in NEWS

20 02 2008

Fidel Castro stated he would not accept the nomination for President of Cuba. He has been bedridden for almost two years now, and his brother Raúl has been ruling in his place. Does this signal changes for Cuba? Or is it going to remain in Castro’s inner circle of communist rule? I don’t honestly know if I can say one way or the other. I think, probably, there isn’t going to be much change in Cuba. I wish I could say that I thought there was going to be. But I just don’t think so. Raúl Castro has had power, maybe not in title, but in every other sense while FC has been bed-ridden. And FC has been in power for almost 100 years now. (I exaggerate). My question is…is the United States going to get involved? *Unofficially, off the record, and all that jazz.* We seem to get involved in all sorts of places where we aren’t wanted, so it only seems natural that we put our two cents in in Cuba too. Speaking of getting involved where we aren’t wanted…
Have you seen the MadTV Apple video? If not, here it is.

I’m sorry, but that is just too funny. Props to whomever thought that one up.
Has anyone heard this week that Harry and Hermione are dating?! Ok, not the characters from JK Rowling‘s books, but the people that play them in the movies. Perez Hilton, or a “source” is reporting that the two (Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson) were spotted together on Valentine’s Day and were looking very cozy. Aw…..I always think of them as being, I don’t know, 11 years old or something. So, that’s just weird for me. But, good for them.
Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Washington held pimaries last night. Was anyone surprised by Wisconsin going to Senator Obama? I was. It seems as though the Clinton campaign is losing momentum, which I think worries…a lot of people. March 4th is going to be a very interesting day. Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont are all holding their primaries that day, and Texas and Ohio have suddenly become very big players. Well, ok, they were already big players, but even more so now. I’m under the impression that the Republican nomination is owned by Mr. McCain, so I choose not to focus on those primaries.
The space shuttle Atlantis landed today, because we are going to try and shoot down the faulty spy satellite that is orbiting the earth. Seems like our missions need to be a little more stealth, if ya know what I’m saying. We’ve clearly not done a very good job keeping our spy satellites under wraps. Next thing you know, someone is going to leave the missile launch code book on the metro…





Love Bites

12 02 2008

I love it when I have a theme and can tie other things I like to talk about into it. Like politics and Valentine’s Day. What do the two have in common, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you. The RNC has embraced the holiday for all it’s worth. A friend forwarded an email to me yesterday (with an accompanying groan) that was sent by the Republican National Committee, and I have to share this email with all of you. Well, not the email, but the contents certainly. It contained 6 Valentine’s Day cards featuring the faces of the two Democratic nominees for President. Each “card” had carried its own attack against the person featured on it. My two favorites (based purely on their creative ingenuity) are below.
Photobucket Photobucket
To see the others, you can click ♥♥♥.
A few love bites for the Dems, but if Gallup is any indicator, they will survive.





Icicles

11 02 2008

It is cold across the nation. Well, I say cold. It’s 66 degrees in the southern most point of Texas, but I am supposing that that is pretty cold for the southern most part of Texas.                                                                                                                                               

*image from The Weather Channel.
weather

It was 18 degrees when I trekked from my home to my office this morning. Not at all surprising, although a bit unnerving when your transportation method of choice includes a hefty bit of walking. So, I arrive at the office with wind-bitten rosy cheeks and nose. Thankfully, I enter the building and can start to thaw out.
But lo, to my (and many of my co-workers’) dismay, the heat is not running! Actually, to correct that statement, it was running when I entered the building, but it was quickly cut off. So, I know it DOES in fact work. Now, I’m not one for complaints, but as one who spends a great deal of time working on the computer, freezing fingers do not make for very effective work time. Alas, I sit at my desk, my fingers diligently pounding away on the keyboard, staving off the inevitable freeze of my hands. My poor circulation is not a fan of this most recent egregiousness bestowed upon myself and my collegues by building management. I imagine we will survive.
Today is Monday, February 11th, 2008, which I am sure anyone reading this knows. This means that we are 266 days from the general election on November 4th, 2008. Primary season is in full swing, and with Super Tuesday behind us, I am pleased to say that at least one party does not have a clear front-runner. The Republican Party seems to be owned by one John McCain at this time, but the Democratic nomination is still up for grabs between Senator Hillary Clinton, and Senator Barack Obama. I make no predictions as I write this, I feel like my predictory enlightenment leaves something to be desired. Tomorrow hosts the primaries in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, or as it is affectionately called by beltway insiders, the Potomac Primary. We may see a front-runner after this the latest in our long line of primaries.
This election has so far been one of the most impressive displays of the American political system in a long time, in my opinion. For the first time in a long time, we’ve heard genuine debates about the issues, and can understand that the candidates are for more than winning and against someone else winning. It has been inspiring. Stay tuned tomorrow, as I will be following exits for the three primaries.
I’ll mention the date again, as there is something else equally terrifying that approaches and much sooner than the general election. Yes, four days from today is the day that excites women and terrifies men across the globe. ♥VALENTINE’S DAY♥. Is there another day out of the 365 days a year that men feel more pressure? I doubt it. I know from my own conversations with the male friends that I have that the expectations surrounding this holiday continue to grow. I’m sorry, boys. When you learn, like a small percentage of my wiser male friends have, that Valentine’s Day is to women what Halloween is to children, you will be in a much better position *ahem*, relationship-wise. What is your perfect Valentine’s Day? I bet that HIS idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day far differs from that of HERS. HIS and HERS of course being my names for everyman and everywoman. Oh, but that is just for those of us in relationships. What is Valentine’s Day to the Singleton? Well, I don’t know what Mr. Singleton feels, because I’ve never been in his shoes. But to Miss Singleton, Valentine’s Day above all else is BLACK THURSDAY. (Well, its Thursday this year). The day when her friends all have dates, and she gets to watch them all go out with the guys they care about, and she gets to sit at home eating ice cream and watching all the sappy chick flicks that will be playing on Lifetime all night. I empathize with all of you. I have been there. Trust me.
Anyway, as it is the week of the faux holiday, Valentine’s Day will be a recurring theme this week.