Where Have all the Cowboys Gone?

Historically speaking white male voters have been the bread and butter of the whole voting system. They were the ones who were the ones choosing and running the government - for hundreds, if not thousands, of years in most civilized western countries. Once the race issue got a little more lax, then it was just male voters. Obviously this is not how things are run anymore and it always fascinates me to read articles like The Vanishing Male Voter from Newsweek. I wonder what is happening to all the guys out there who have or are giving up their rights to vote.

I was speaking with my own father about this issue before the 2008 elections and he indicated that the system of voting over the years has become rigged and flawed. His thoughts on the matter were about "hunting animals in the zoo" - its just not as much fun or as exciting when its so easy.

Perhaps male voters are leaving because they are not being challenged enough and because the "game" of politics is just not as fun. If you think about it though, white men still have an upper hand in the "game" - maybe that's why many of the players are able to take a short time out. I am really curious to see what is going to happen in 2012, and I guess only time will tell.

Free Voter Issue Training in Colorado

If you’re young and unemployed, underemployed, or simply a pro-choice voter who wants to hone in on your election-based skills, you might want to think about attending the Youth the Vote Training in Denver on September 18, 2010. Choice USA: Leadership for a Pro-Choice Future is holding the training to help young people master the skills and knowledge necessary to not only get out the vote this fall, but to also ensure that reproductive rights are ensured in the sate of Colorado.

Choice USA, COLOR, and more volunteers will be providing education on the “fetal personhood” amendment being debated in Colorado, as well as how to mobilize friends, family, and other voters to take action against it. Even though the bill, worded in nearly the exact same way, was voted down in 2008 by the citizens of Colorado, it’s back on the table now with only slightly different language. Of course, if the bill does pass, it would negate Roe vs. Wade, and would have a good chance of being struck down by the Supreme Court. Still, as it could provide a fetus with the same rights a human has (including a social security card? A birth (conception?) certificate?), it’s a dangerous piece of legislation that could put many women’s lives in danger. The Tabor Initiatives will also be discussed.

To register for the event, click here. Though a donation amount of $10 is suggested, any amount will suffice. Choice USA will also provide free training to those who cannot afford a donation at this time. This training has the potential to train young activists to not only help save the lives of women and their families this fall, but also to help them become more knowledgeable voters, activists, and possible political leaders. The knowledge you’ll be sure to attain at this leadership training will come in handy while searching for jobs, becoming a political figure, or in working in the grassroots organizing sector.

And even if you don’t plan on running for office, you already have a steady job, or you’re already planning on mobilizing friends and family to vote this fall, this training program can still help you to learn more about the issues, maximize your arsenal of activist skills, and network with other pro-choice activists in the area. To learn more about Choice USA, to sign up for e-mail alerts, or to get involved right now in the organization’s various campaigns, click here.

Male Voters and Politics

The process of voting for many modern societies has roots in a male dominated type of political system. In many countries it was only rich, white, land owning men that had any say in matters of voting and in some cases, depending on who you talk to, this is how the system is still run.

In the lead up to the 2008 presidential election there was a lot of focus on the male voter. Stories such as "The Vanishing Male Voter" , and "Obama's problem with white, male voters", dominated the news. The stories focused on men avoiding the voting booths and their civil responsibilities to America. Did these stories have any merit, was there any truth to them? Well - not when you look at the statistics of the voting population after the election as these showed that - at least for young men - testosterone held the majority of votes. A lot of hot air can certainly help keep ratings up - even if its not really accurate.

I personally feel the competition between "players", and "cheering for ones own team" will keep the sport of elections and politics alive for men in the years to come. Its the adrenaline rush, and the feeling of victory that makes politics interesting to men. I am just waiting for the time elections are sponsored by a major beer company; maybe something like "OBAMA 2012 - if change wasn't your thing try it with a cold, refreshing, Budweiser". A boy can dream.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash. Time is Money; Money is Power; Moneeeey… It’s a gas… Keep your hands off my stash…(Musical post: listen to this one while you read this post).

This week closes with two important power-moves revolving around the cold hard cash. California, who doesn’t have any, finally agrees with itself on how to spend it and the U.S., who doesn’t really have any either, decides to give $200 million to the Palestinian Authority.

Let’s start there.

Apparently the Palestinian Authority has a budget crisis so the U.S. is planning to transfer $200 million there. A formal announcement from Hillary Clinton is expected before the end of the day. The administration is framing this as part of a peace-talk preparation, that they are trying to smooth the groundwork so that Israeli-Palestinian peace-talks can resume.

Sounds more like the U.S. trying to get Palestinian Authority confidence and dependence. It’s a lot harder to say no to someone about something when you owe them money, right? This past March Clinton pledged $900 million during a conference in Egypt, so we may just see plenty more before too long.

It’s interesting politics- if we can get the Palestinian Authority to owe us money, then Israel needs us for guns and the P.A. for cash- now that’s control. Whether we have that much control, well, of course I don’t know, but the machinations of power are strong in this one, young Jedi.

And then there is California. I see this headline screaming at me everyday from the bus stops: Budget Deficit Grows, Talks Stalled or something like that. A few weeks ago the state started paying people with I.O.U.’s and their (our) credit rating got switched to a few notches above junk status- so we’ve got that going for us.

Well, this morning the state senate approved a set of bills that will balance the state budget, closing the imposing $26.3 Billion deficit. The state Assembly still needs to sign off, as does Arnold, but for something that has been stalled in a virtual staring and pissing match for weeks, this is progress worth celebrating. And it gives some perspective on the money issues- The Palestinian Authority is getting a $200 million loan, which I assume is at least a meaningful sum. ONE STATE in the U.S. is down over $25 BILLION for ONE YEAR.

California is not in good shape- 11% unemployment, up 4% from last year at this time. This new budget balancing set of bills cuts funding to programs in education and public programs, big cuts, probably when those services are about to be needed the most.

Maybe the Palestinian Authority should consider lending half of that money to California at interest. You loan it to create it- maybe California should do the same- loan money to the folks they aren’t paying and ask for it back at interest. Time to call Silicon Valley- there’s a business plan in there somewhere.

The week ends off with politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash.

Florida: Doesn't look like a re-do of 2000

Overall, voting went smoothly in Florida.  Check out the breakdown at http://www.tampabay.com
"Florida voters piled into polling places in large numbers Tuesday, giving the state's new paper ballot system its first big workout. But the "tsunami" of voters that many expected turned out to be more of a quiet, steady storm. In the Tampa Bay area and across the state, citizens, election officials and voter advocates reported an assortment of problems at the polls: missing ballot pages, malfunctioning scanners used to count ballots, poll worker errors and, in some places, a lack of preparedness. But officials quickly addressed problems, or voters simply overcame them."

Florida: Voting problems slowly coming in

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/washingtonpostinvestigations Voting in Florida is going fairly smoothly except for a few instances of what could be clerical errors, or voter suppression.  In at least three precincts in Tampa-St. Petersburgh clerks failed to give out the second page of ballots, making voters unable to vote on all the measures.  Similar problems were reported in Palm Beach County, where some machines were not accepting ballots due to the missing page.

Florida Voting Machines...Unreliable?

http://edition.cnn.com Could Florida be embroiled in another voter scandal in this next election?  Read this article from CNN and learn more about the concerns some have with voting machines.
"[...]Most concerns about electronic voting have focused on touch-screen machines. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner sued the maker of the touch-screen equipment used in half of Ohio's 88 counties in August after an investigation showed the machines "dropped" votes in recent elections when memory cards were uploaded to computer servers. Most electronic voting machines are equipped to produce paper records if required by an audit, said David Beirne, executive director of the Election Technology Council, a trade association for voting-system vendors. Recent reports of "vote-flipping" on touch-screen machines -- when a vote for one candidate is recorded as a vote for another -- can be explained by voter error or election workers not properly calibrating the machines, Beirne said. So how can voters on Tuesday be absolutely sure that their ballots are being recorded with 100 percent accuracy? They can't, most election observers say. But election watchdogs and voting-system industry officials agree on one thing: People voting on touch-screen machines should take their time, read the ballot instructions carefully and not be afraid to ask for help.[...]"

McCain Ahead In Florida? Please!

Wishful thinking from Florida Republicans. http://www.redcounty.com
"This is stunning. Florida Democrats are voting early by a margin of 2 to 1 over Republicans but a L.A. Times/Bloomberg exit poll has McCain ahead by 4%.
If early voting in Florida is any indication what will happen across this country come next Tuesday (and there is little reason to assume it will be some crazy outlier well outside the norm) then Obama and the Dems are going to be getting a lesson from the American voters. They are the lead incumbent party in a country where 90% think the country is off track. And how America feels about them and Obama is showing in some early polling of early voters:
According to a GMU site monitoring early polling Florida is already seeing almost 34% of the total 2004 vote for Florida - stunning. And the advantage for Dems on this site is 45.4% to 39% (including absentee). So with a really high 6.4% advantage in turnout Obama is losing by 4%. That is some massive defection numbers away from Obama. And it would seem a large turnout is not a bad thing at all for McCain-Palin, since it will swamp the Obama strengths in certain demographics."

Florida's top elections official confident about Tuesday

Check out this post from the floridas_top_elections_official_confident_about_tuesday.html" target="_self">http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com Kurt Browning is Florida’s top elections official. He was named secretary of state in December 2006 by then Gov.-elect Charlie Crist. For the previous 26 years, Browning was the Pasco County supervisor of elections and had served as president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration from the University of South Florida.