Tag Archives | Elections

How the Negative Trumps the Positive in Politics

Picture: John Etnier (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

Negatively framed political attitudes (“I don’t like Romney”) are stronger than positively framed attitudes (“I like Romney”), and this effect is strengthened when people think more deeply about the issues involved.

That is the finding of a paper published October 25 in the British Journal of Social Psychology by Dr George Bizer (Union College, New York), Dr Iris Žeželj (University of Belgrade) and Jamie Luguri (Yale University).

The researchers presented participants with information about two fictional (though ostensibly real) candidates — one conservative, one liberal — for a position on a government board. After reading about the two candidates, some participants were asked if they ‘supported’ or ‘opposed’ the liberal candidate and some were asked if they ‘supported’ or ‘opposed’ the conservative. When the candidates were vying for a local government board, participants who were led to frame their opinions negatively — regardless of their underlying preference — expressed more certainty about their attitudes than did participants who were led frame their opinions positively.

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Occupy the Debates

Picture: Flickr/DonkeyHotey (CC)

Occupy the Debates is encouraging activists and critical thinkers in every American city to organize their own events around the Presidential debates this month, fostering dialogue and dissent. Already there are events scheduled in San Diego, Denver (with political comedian Lee Camp and live music by Junkyard Empire), and here in my own beautiful San Francisco, on Mutiny Radio:

We’ll not only be live-streaming the debates in our gallery space and on the air, but we’ll also open up our microphones to the public to rebut the Master Debaters, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Both of these politicians are renowned liars, who sit in denial of the voice of the people. Get live on the air with Mutiny Radio DJs for each of the debates in October, and make your voice heard against their campaign cash machines! Discuss the issues that most likely won’t be covered by either corporate candidate: public banking, suppression of protest, discrimination, net neutrality, climate change, the NDAA, and the drone program!… Read the rest

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Obama Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises

I know. I'm just as shocked as you are. No doubt Mitt Romney will be quick to turn this into an anti-Obama attack ad. Writes Zach Carter at the Huffington Post:
A critical document from President Barack Obama's free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises. The leaked document has been posted on the website of Public Citizen, a long-time critic of the administration's trade objectives. The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive. "The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in a written statement...
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How Microsoft and Yahoo Are Selling Politicians Access to You

Writes Lois Beckett on ProPublica:

Microsoft and Yahoo are selling political campaigns the ability to target voters online with tailored ads using names, Zip codes and other registration information that users provide when they sign up for free email and other services.

The Web giants provide users no notification that their information is being used for political targeting.

In one sense, campaigns are doing a more sophisticated version of what they’ve always done through the post office 2014 sending political fliers to selected households. But the Internet allows for more subtle targeting. It relies not on email but on advertisements that surfers may not realize have been customized for them.

Campaigns use voters records to assemble lists of people they’re trying to reach 2014 for instance, “registered Republicans that have made a donation,” Yahoo’s director of sales Andy Cotten told ProPublica. Microsoft and Yahoo help campaigns find these people online and then send them tailored ads.… Read the rest

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Rand Paul’s Endorsement of Mitt Romney

Via Media Roots: In a surprising turn of events last Thursday, Senator Rand Paul came out on the Sean Hannity show on Fox News to make a special announcement: his endorsement for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The announcement was a blow to the Ron Paul liberty movement who are still rallying for Ron Paul until the very end of the game. Despite his statement of concession in a recent newsletter, many die hard Ron Paul fans are still hoping that there's a chance for him to win the nomination with unbound delegates in Tampa. But what does it say when his own son comes out to endorse his rival? Many are theorizing that the endorsement signifies Rand Paul "selling out" to the war mongering establishment that has worked to shut out his father's libertarian ideals for so long. Others are stating that it's simply a political strategy to bring the liberty ideas into the mainstream. I explore the issue in three segments below for RT TV, all with varying guest opinions and theories:
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Roseanne Barr To Run For President?

Describing herself as “the only serious comedian in this race”, Roseanne is seeking the Green Party nomination for 2012. She already had my vote wrapped up by being Roseanne, but her campaign welcome page lays out her platform, which includes marijuana legalization, ending military support for Israel, forgiveness of all student loan debt, and ballot access in every state. A snippet:

The legalization of marijuana is the way to end all Drug Wars and stop the monopoly of the subsidized prison systems. Our government and corporations are getting paid every time someone goes to prison for non-violent crimes due to marijuana arrests. Drug laws need to be rewritten to make them sane and people based. We need to end the prohibition on marijuana and legalize it.

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Meet Command Central: The People in Charge of Wisconsin Voting Machines

Writes Barbara With, Marianne M. Moonhouse and John Washburn on Wisconsin Citizens Media Co-op:

Command Central is one of Wisconsin’s leading vendors of voting machines and election supplies. They are distributors for Dominion Voting Systems, a privately-owned electronic voting equipment company. Founded in Canada in 2002, Dominion is now based in Denver, CO, since their acquisitions of Premier Election Solutions, from Election Systems & Software (ES&S), and Sequoia Voting Systems.

Command Central deals directly with Wisconsin county and municipal clerks and is closely involved in their selection of voting machines, ballots, and other election supplies. Command Central does all the maintenance on the voting machines and provides tech support throughout the year, with a special “hot line” should clerks need help with glitches, etc., on election day.

In June 2011, the Wisconsin County Clerks Association held their annual summer conference in Ladysmith. Seventy-five county clerks from across the state came together to, among other things, “assist the legislators in developing sound legislation that affects county clerks and county government by providing accurate and useful information.” WCCA Legislation Committee chair at the time was Kathy Nickolaus.

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Gary Johnson: ‘Politics Be Damned’ Running to Win As Libertarian Presidential Candidate (Video)

Reports Alicia M. Cohn on The Hill:
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said Tuesday night that he is running as a third-party candidate because he has a message to convey: "Politics be damned." "The 'pie in the sky' notion" is to win the race, Johnson told The Daily Show. He also noted that he'll appear on ballots alongside President Obama and Mitt Romney in all 50 states in November. "Lots of opportunity to change the world a little bit," he said, describing his campaign. "I have seen nothing but increased crowds, increased appetite for what I have to say." Comedy Central host Jon Stewart described being a libertarian as two halves of a friendship necklace — half Republican, half Democrat, according to the policies that traditionally appeal to each part — coming together to make a whole heart. Johnson agreed.
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