I-1048: For and Against

From @TechFlash: Bill Gates Sr, Case For #I1048: http://bit.ly/b0zXo1 – Matt McIllwain, against: http://bit.ly/93l1n5 #2010election – @kegill

Great resource.


Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert Smack Down

The date: Saturday October 30th
The event: A Rally to Restore Sanity and another March To Keep Fear Alive.
The place: The mall, Washington, DC

Would you go?

2010 U.S. Election Ratings

Google has again produced a map showing forecasts for the fall election; default view is the U.S. Senate race but you can also check U.S. House and gubernatorial contests. There are data from CQ Politics, Cook Political Report, RealClearPolitics and Rothenberg.

Young Republicans Launch Rebuilding Effort; RNC Responds

RebuildTheParty.com is an effort by under-40 Republicans to take control of the direction of the G.O.P. An effort of Patrick Ruffini (and others) that was launched last week, the plan includes goals like “40 under 40” to infuse life into the party: “at least 40% of our challenger and open seat candidates for Congress are under 40.”

In response, the GOP launched RepublicanForAReason.com to solicit input that feels very, umm, one-way. One site is in-your-face slick and the other is approachable. Guess which is which? Right.

The younger group tips its hat to the Obama campaign and demonstrates that it understands that digital communication technologies have fundamentally changed how political parties and their members and supporters interact:


Obama: Headlines From Around The World

A mash up from the Newseum and Amazon Web Services yields this webpage with images from the front pages of 700 newspapers from around the world, trumpeting Obama’s win.

Click on any newspaper image and you’ll be able to read that front page. Be patient — the site is getting a lot of traffic!

Campaigns In A Web 2.0 World

The NYT Times: “Not since 1960, when John F. Kennedy won in part because of the increasingly popular medium of television, has changing technology had such an impact on the political campaigns and the organizations covering them.”

Polling Place Photos, Videos and Tweets

There’s a widespread clamor for crowdsourced documentation at the polls this election: the NY Times “polling place photo project” … the PBS/YouTube “Video Your Vote” campaign … and the techPresident Twitter #VoteReport. Each project relies on the distributed network of connected and engaged voters.

Not one of these efforts would have been feasible in 2004 — that’s how much technology (ease of use, access) has changed in four short years. Remember, in 2004 there was no YouTube!

Democracy, Capitalism and “Creative Destruction”

A must-read essay by Harper’s Magazine editor Roger D. Hodge examines the state of politics in America through the lens of political economist Joseph Schumpeter, author of Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.

Like Marx, with whom he had little else in common, Schumpeter understood that capitalism is a permanent revolution of the means of production, and he placed this insight at the center of his economic thinking with his account of capitalism’s “creative destruction.” He was also acutely aware of capitalism’s weaknesses, its tendency toward monopoly and bureaucracy, and the complacent neglect of its own conditions of success. In fact, Schumpeter was convinced that capitalism would probably not survive, that its upheavals would prove intolerable, and that government control of the economic sphere—socialism, in other words, though not the workers’ paradise of Marx’s fond imagining—would inevitably succeed it.

Modern democracy, Schumpeter argued, is a method of political decision in which individuals acquire the power to rule by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote. Far from being a system in which the people rule, it is best characterized as “the rule of the politician.”

The article requires a subscription or (probably) access through a University database (Lexis Nexus maybe?).

McCain Runs YouTube Contest

“How are you (like) Joe the Plumber?” The McCain campaign is holding a contest: answer the question, share “your story of living the American dream,” in 30 seconds and “your vido wuld end up on the air as a TV ad.” (tip)

A Moment of Campaign Levity

At the Al Smith dinner this week, an annual event honoring the former New York Governor and the “first Catholic and Irish-American to be a major U.S. party’s nominee for president,” presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama roasted one another (and poked fun at themselves). It’s a shame that this more civil — and entertaining — attitude isn’t reflected in regular campaign rhetoric. (tip)

Bless YouTube. Here is each candidate’s roast. Enjoy! (McCain is funnier!)