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US presidential elections
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Who would you like to see as the next President?
Barack Obama (Democratic Party)
72%
 72%  [ 35 ]
John McCain (Republican Party)
4%
 4%  [ 2 ]
Ralph Nader (Independent)
6%
 6%  [ 3 ]
Bob Barr (Libertarian)
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Cynthia McKinney (Green)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Chuck Baldwin (Constitution)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
None Of The Above
14%
 14%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 48

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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 18-02-2012 08:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting - in an Orwellian Big Brother kind of way...

Obama, Facebook and the power of friendship: the 2012 data election
A unified computer database that gathers and refines information on millions of potential voters is at the forefront of campaign technology – and could be the key to an Obama win
Ed Pilkington and Amanda Michel in New York
guardian.co.uk, Friday 17 February 2012 19.29 GMT

Barack Obama's re-election team are building a vast digital data operation that for the first time combines a unified database on millions of Americans with the power of Facebook to target individual voters to a degree never achieved before.

Digital analysts predict this will be the first election cycle in which Facebook could become a dominant political force. The social media giant has grown exponentially since the last presidential election, rendering it for the first time a major campaigning tool that has the potential to transform friendship into a political weapon.

Facebook is also being seen as a source of invaluable data on voters. The re-election team, Obama for America, will be inviting its supporters to log on to the campaign website via Facebook, thus allowing the campaign to access their personal data and add it to the central data store – the largest, most detailed and potentially most powerful in the history of political campaigns. If 2008 was all about social media, 2012 is destined to become the "data election".

"Facebook is now ubiquitous," says Dan Siroker, a former Google digital analyst who joined Obama's campaign in 2008 and now runs his own San Francisco-based analytics consultancy, Optimizely. "Whichever candidate uses Facebook the most effectively could win the war."

For the past nine months a crack team of some of America's top data wonks has occupied an entire floor of the Prudential building in Chicago devising a digital campaign from the bottom up. The team draws much of its style and inspiration from the corporate sector, with its driving ambition to create a vote-garnering machine that is smooth, unobtrusive and ruthlessly efficient.

Already more than 100 geeks, some recruited at top-flight university job fairs including Stanford, are assembled in the Prudential drawn from an array of disciplines: statisticians, predictive modellers, data mining experts, mathematicians, software engineers, bloggers, internet advertising experts and online organisers.

At the core is a single beating heart – a unified computer database that gathers and refines information on millions of committed and potential Obama voters. The database will allow staff and volunteers at all levels of the campaign – from the top strategists answering directly to Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina to the lowliest canvasser on the doorsteps of Ohio – to unlock knowledge about individual voters and use it to target personalised messages that they hope will mobilise voters where it counts most.

Every time an individual volunteers to help out – for instance by offering to host a fundraising party for the president – he or she will be asked to log onto the re-election website with their Facebook credentials. That in turn will engage Facebook Connect, the digital interface that shares a user's personal information with a third party.

Consciously or otherwise, the individual volunteer will be injecting all the information they store publicly on their Facebook page – home location, date of birth, interests and, crucially, network of friends – directly into the central Obama database.

"If you log in with Facebook, now the campaign has connected you with all your relationships," a digital campaign organiser who has worked on behalf of Obama says.

The potential benefits of the strategy can already be felt. The Obama campaign this year has attracted about 1.3 million donors, 98% of whom have contributed $250 or less – that's more than double the number at the same stage in 2008. At this rate, Obama is also well on the way towards staging the world's first billion-dollar campaign.

etc...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/17/obama-digital-data-machine-facebook-election
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 18-02-2012 08:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

An example of, pre-tea party, premonition, from a 1995, Murphy Brown, episode, signposted over on the, www.michaelmoore.com, Web site.

http://youtu.be/C0-FWweJLRc

Made me cry. Tears of laughter, but genuine tears, nonetheless.
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 18-02-2012 09:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pietro_Mercurios wrote:
...Made me cry. Tears of laughter, but genuine tears, nonetheless.


Laughing

Aslo strikes me that the other guy does look a bit like a composite of the ideal Republican candidate.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 19-02-2012 19:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another god bothering family values politico bites the dust.

Quote:
Arizona sheriff quits Romney campaign amid accusations
http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/tre81i01o-us-campaign-sheriff-arizona/#
By David SchwartzPosted 2012/02/18 at 9:14 pm EST

PHOENIX, Feb. 18, 2012 (Reuters) — A local sheriff resigned as a co-chair of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign in Arizona on Saturday after he was accused of threatening a former male lover with deportation to Mexico if he talked about their relationship.


Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu speaks during a news conference near the Superstition Mountains where rescue workers searched for victims of a plane crash in Apache Junction, Arizona November 24, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

In an embarrassing incident for Romney's struggling campaign, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu denied that he or his lawyer made the deportation threat but stepped down from helping the former Massachusetts governor in the border state.

Babeu acknowledged at a press conference on Saturday that he is gay and that he had a personal relationship with the man making the allegations, whom he identified only as "Jose."

"Sheriff Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him. We support his decision," the Romney campaign said in a statement.

The Phoenix New Times alternative newspaper reported on Friday that Babeu's lawyer had asked Jose to sign a legal agreement that would require him to keep quiet about his involvement with the sheriff. According to the newspaper, the lawyer also warned Jose that any talk about their relationship could imperil his immigration status.

"All of these allegations that were in one of these newspapers were absolutely false, except for the issue that referred to me as being gay, and that is the truth. I am gay," Babeu said at the news conference.

Babeu first came to statewide prominence in 2010 when he appeared in a campaign ad for U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee two years earlier, calling for tough immigration measures.

The sheriff, who is a tough law-and-order advocate, was considered a rising star in state Republican politics and a strong candidate to win the Republican nomination for a congressional seat in Arizona this year.

Babeu is a strong critic of the handling of immigration issues by the administration of President Barack Obama.

(Additional Reporting by Sam Youngman; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Steve Gorman)
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ZoffreOffline
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PostPosted: 21-02-2012 18:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception," Mr Friess told a television interview. "The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."
Shocked Christ, WTF is wrong with these people?
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StormkhanOffline
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PostPosted: 21-02-2012 18:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an old "joke" - If a woman puts an asprin between the knees and this prevents them from opening their legs to a man.

It wasn't as funny then as it isn't now but it does act as an indicator - stupid for thinking it's funny or stupid for thinking an asprin suppository is a contraceptive method. Either ways, quite sad.
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ObakeOffline
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PostPosted: 21-02-2012 20:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoffre wrote:
Quote:
"Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception," Mr Friess told a television interview. "The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."
Shocked Christ, WTF is wrong with these people?


Well, on one hand, not enough space to list everything, but on the other, statements ('jokes') like that don't resonate the same way they do with Republican presidential primary voters/caucus attendees as they do with most Americans. And it's all about collecting delegates and winning the nomination. (That there will be a general election, with a significantly different electorate to appeal to, remains a real problem for whomever the nominee ends up being, but until post-convention time, see below.)

Quote:
In barely a century’s time, the population of the United States has more than tripled, to 313 million. We are a clattering, opinionated cluster of nearly all the world’s races and religions, and many of its languages, under one flag.

You would not know any of this looking at who is voting in one of the strangest presidential primary campaigns in history. There is no other way to put this without resorting to demographic bluntness: the small fraction of Americans who are trying to pick the Republican nominee are old, white, uniformly Christian and unrepresentative of the nation at large.

None of that is a surprise. But when you look at the numbers, it’s stunning how little this Republican primary electorate resembles the rest of the United States. They are much closer to the population of 1890 than of 2012.

Given the level of media attention, we know an election of great significance is happening on the Republican side. But it’s occurring in a different place, guided by talk-radio extremists and religious zealots, with only a vague resemblance to the states where it has taken place. From this small world have emerged a host of nutty, retrograde positions, unpopular with the vast American majority.

But before getting into how this minority has steered the party into a corner, let’s look at the size of the electorate. The nine states that have held caucuses or primaries to date are home to roughly 28 million total registered voters, of all political persuasions.

So far, three million voters have participated in the Republican races, less than the population of Connecticut. This means that 89 percent of all registered voters in those states have not participated in what is, from a horse-race perspective, a very tight contest.

Yes, we know Republicans don’t like their choices; it’s a meh primary. But still, in some states, this election could be happening in a ghost town. Less than 1 percent of registered voters turned out for Maine’s caucus. In Nevada, where Republican turnout was down 25 percent from 2008, only 3 percent of total registered voters participated.

This is not majority rule by any measure; it barely qualifies as participatory democracy.

Results from the two populous states that have held big, media-saturated primaries, and are more likely to attract average voters, are also very revealing. In Florida, the largest and most diverse state among the nine, turnout was down 14 percent from 2008. And 84 percent of the state’s total registered voters did not participate in the Republican contest.

South Carolina is the major outlier this year, the only state to show a big increase in turnout, up 35 percent from 2008. But when you look at who voted, you see a very specific niche.

In the Palmetto State, 98 percent of primary voters were white, 72 percent were age 45 or older and nearly two-thirds were evangelical Christian, according to exit polls. From this picture, you may think South Carolina is an all-white, aging state, full of fervent churchgoers. But the Census says the state is only 66 percent white, with a median age of 36. Exit polls from 2008 put the evangelical vote at 40 percent of total.

Florida was at least closer — only in the Latino vote — to the general election of 2008; in both cases, it was about 14 percent of the total. But voters 45 or older made up 78 percent of the primary, versus 59 percent in the general matchup four years ago.

Outside of Florida, this contest has been nearly an all-white affair. Nevada is 26 percent Latino by population; in the primary, only 5 percent were Latino. Caucus voters in Iowa were 99 percent white.

Again, these numbers represent a small echo chamber. Whites are 63.7 percent of the total population of the United States; in 1900, they were 88 percent — still more diverse than Republican primary voters today.

The takeaway point of this poorly attended, unrepresentative Republican primary contest is not to focus entirely on who is voting but on why the candidates are taking such fringe positions. One explains the other.

Thus, the New York Times poll of this week found that all voters, by a 66 to 26 ratio, support the federal requirement that private health care plans cover the full cost of birth control for female patients. Among women, support is 72-20. And with Catholics, it’s 67-25. Yes, Catholics are slightly more liberal than the population at large.

Other polls show a huge majority of Americans want to raise taxes on the rich, favor the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan and believe the earth is warming because of human action.

Yet the Republican front-runner of the moment, Rick Santorum, is with the minority on each of these issues, and Mitt Romney is a near match.

So, given how out of sync these two candidate are with the rest of the country, how could they be the front-runners? It’s simple: Look at who is voting, a nation unto itself.


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/the-electoral-wasteland/
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 21-02-2012 21:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obake wrote:
Quote:
Thus, the New York Times poll of this week found that all voters, by a 66 to 26 ratio, support the federal requirement that private health care plans cover the full cost of birth control for female patients. Among women, support is 72-20. And with Catholics, it’s 67-25. Yes, Catholics are slightly more liberal than the population at large.

Other polls show a huge majority of Americans want to raise taxes on the rich, favor the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan and believe the earth is warming because of human action.

Yet the Republican front-runner of the moment, Rick Santorum, is with the minority on each of these issues, and Mitt Romney is a near match.

So, given how out of sync these two candidate are with the rest of the country, how could they be the front-runners? It’s simple: Look at who is voting, a nation unto itself.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/the-electoral-wasteland/

Very interesting! Perhaps the USA is not as screwed up as current news reports seem to show. Which is good news for most of us on this side of the Atlantic.
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ZoffreOffline
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PostPosted: 22-02-2012 09:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
They are much closer to the population of 1890 than of 2012
Yes, I think that "joke" sums up this point exactly. I knew it was an old one...

rynner wrote:
Perhaps the USA is not as screwed up as current news reports seem to show. Which is good news for most of us on this side of the Atlantic
Absolutely agree Rynner - it's good to remember that we must get a very skewed look at American politics over here, since generally we only hear about it when there are mad people involved! Very Happy
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WhistlingJackOffline
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PostPosted: 22-02-2012 12:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

18 pages about an election where the result is a foregone conclusion.

Make no mistake, all the Republicans are presently struggling to decide is just which candidate will lose to Obama: incumbent Presidents really have to f*ck-up in order not to be re-elected and he hasn't done that.

However, it's very rare that exiting Presidents are immediately succeeded by someone from the same party so you'd imagine that the Republicans would be a shoo-in for 2016 and the smart candidate is sitting this one out - President Palin, anyone..?
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 22-02-2012 13:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhistlingJack wrote:
However, it's very rare that exiting Presidents are immediately succeeded by someone from the same party so you'd imagine that the Republicans would be a shoo-in for 2016 and the smart candidate is sitting this one out - President Palin, anyone..?


Whoa, I hope not.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 22-02-2012 13:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mythopoeika wrote:
WhistlingJack wrote:
However, it's very rare that exiting Presidents are immediately succeeded by someone from the same party so you'd imagine that the Republicans would be a shoo-in for 2016 and the smart candidate is sitting this one out - President Palin, anyone..?


Whoa, I hope not.


Shes even less sellable. She believes in the Christian Dominion, a Theocracy. She'd have problems selling that on the campaign trail to non-rvangelicals.
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ObakeOffline
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PostPosted: 22-02-2012 13:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhistlingJack wrote:
18 pages about an election where the result is a foregone conclusion.

Make no mistake, all the Republicans are presently struggling to decide is just which candidate will lose to Obama: incumbent Presidents really have to f*ck-up in order not to be re-elected and he hasn't done that.


Well, since the first 16 pages were about the 2008 election, can't really argue with you there! As far as the president's re-election being a 'foregone conclusion', while I agree it's more likely than not, 8-9 months is an eternity in politics, a lot can happen between now and November.

Quote:

However, it's very rare that exiting Presidents are immediately succeeded by someone from the same party so you'd imagine that the Republicans would be a shoo-in for 2016 and the smart candidate is sitting this one out - President Palin, anyone..?


Cute. With the caveat that if 8-9 months is an eternity, four+ years is practically a geological epoch, things look generally positive for the Dems going forward. One reason being that if Romney, still the favorite, is the nominee and loses, the Rs will come to the conclusion that the problem was they didn't nominate a Tea Party type, will refuse to reassess and recalibrate, and continue down the path of extremism, which is not a winning strategy. (By contrast, if Santorum is the nominee and gets crushed, that may be enough to move them back towards the center and their chances would improve.)

But the other, somewhat related reason, is that the Rs are driving off of a demographic cliff, as the NYT piece I posted indicated. The Rs are very much the party of white America, a percentage of the electorate that is in absolute decline and will continue to do so. According to projections, the nonwhite share of the U.S. electorate will grow from 26 percent in 2008 to approximately 34 percent in 2020. (If the racial composition of the electorate had been the same in 2008 as in 1992, John McCain would have won by a fairly comfortable margin.)

The Rs really need to change their policies regarding things like immigration to have a hope of competing, but doing so will severely alienate their base. They're really in a box and it may be a while before they find their way out of the wilderness. The 'parties rarely win three presidential elections in a row' may not be a very useful guide here. A Palin-Cuomo [Andrew, the governor of NY] race would almost certainly result in a worse beat-down than a Santorum-Obama one.

For further reading about race, ethnicity and the electorate, see:

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/aia2010031101/
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 25-02-2012 10:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obake wrote:
...a lot can happen between now and November.

Like this, perhaps:

Jeb Bush eyed as latest 'white knight' candidate in GOP presidential race
Former Florida governor was critical of current field in a speech this week, prompting rumours he could be a surprise contender
Paul Harris in New York
guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 February 2012 15.54 GMT

Speculation that a late challenger might still emerge in the increasingly bitter race for the Republican presidential nomination is set to surge after former Florida governor Jeb Bush made remarks criticising the current field.

Bush, who is the brother of President George W Bush and son of President George Bush Sr, is a beloved figure among many conservatives who see him as a strong and charismatic leader who is popular in the must-win swing state of Florida.

That contrasts with a widespread unease among many Republican leaders and grassroots activists with the remaining crop of Republican candidates and the vitriolic nature of the fight between frontrunner Mitt Romney and his main challengers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

In answers to questions from the audience after a speech in Dallas on Thursday, Bush cautioned the remaining Republican campaigns from drifting so far to the right that they put off the key independent voters needed to beat President Barack Obama in November.

"I think it's important for the candidates to recognise though they have to appeal to primary voters, and not turn off independent voters that will be part of a winning coalition," Bush told the audience according to CBS news.

Bush also directly took on the strident tone of recent Republican debates, accusing participants of scare-mongering. "I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I'm wondering, I don't think I've changed, but it's a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people's fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that's kind of where we are," he said according to Fox News.

With Mitt Romney failing so far to secure the nomination but with no convincing challenger emerging to unseat him, many Republican pundits have speculated about the possibility that none of the current field will be able to amass enough support to secure the nomination this August in Tampa.

Though that is still unlikely, and Romney remains favourite to win the contest, it has led to a slew of names being mentioned as possible "white knights" who could still enter the race or emerge at Tampa as a compromise candidate to unite a splintered party. They include Bush, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels and Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan.

Though none of these figures have expressed any intention to run, and several have repeatedly denied it, Bush's comments are likely to set the rumour mill spinning furiously.

They also come after Tea Party favourite Sarah Palin entered the fray, raising the idea that she might see herself as her party's saviour. In recent interviews the former Alaska governor has said she would "help" out the party if a contested convention happened and told CNN earlier this month that she believed such an event would be a good thing. "I don't think it would be a negative for the party … That's part of the competition, that's part of the process and it may happen," she said.

Ron Paul's campaign has also complicated matters. Though the libertarian-leaning Texan congressman has not yet won a single state's popular ballot, he is trying to build up a large number of delegates to take to Tampa. In caucus states, where complex rules mean the number of delegates assigned to a candidate can outweigh their score in the popular vote, Ron Paul's campaign is working hard to win as much support as possible. That could see him amass a body of delegates in Tampa that far exceeds his standings in the polls and makes a contested convention, with no one having enough support to secure victory, more likely.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/24/jeb-bush-latest-white-knight-republican
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 25-02-2012 18:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeb'll Fix It? Well, he has experience...
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