Friday, December 22, 2006

Don't Count out Edwards

Senator Hillary Clinton holds a large lead in national polls. These numbers are meaningless right now. The polls in Iowa, however are fairly telling. The Des Moines Register recently released a poll showing John Edwards at 36% and Clinton trailing by twenty points. Obama is two points behind Clinton. This is extremely good news for Edwards.

Despite Edwards' standing in Iowa, most national media coverage focuses only on Senators Clinton and Obama. They are unknowingly providing tremendous help to Edwards in downplaying expectations.

Two factors play into the Iowa Caucus: winning the vote and winning the expectations game. Things may change over the course of the next year, but if Edwards wins outright, then he will almost certainly beat expectations as well. John Kerry, in effect, won the nomination the night he won the Iowa Caucus. Edwards could expect the same bump out of Iowa that Kerry received.

That, combined with Edwards' extensive work with Labor over the past two years would serve him well in both Nevada and New Hampshire. If he were to win all three and then cap it all off with a victory in South Carolina, where he won in 2004, then he could be unstoppable to win the nomination.

For Edwards, it may just come down to winning it all in Iowa.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Turn On Your Electronic Devices

In light of the Holiday Season and all of the travelling associated with it, I have come up with a new mission that I hope you will join me in. It's not going to cause world peace or cure cancer, but I think it's a sensible idea.

We've all been annoyed by the "turn off all electronic devices" announcement on an airplane. Instead of just accepting the nuisance, did you ever stop to think about it? I politely asked a flight attendant yesterday if it was an FAA policy to require that announcement. She wasn't sure. But she went on to explain that "they don't know exactly how it might affect the navigation equipment on the planes."

Hmmmm. If I cell phone or iPod can cause a plane to crash, I don't want to be on it. And, given the highly technological age that we live in and the millions of passengers that travel by air, the FAA should know exactly how these electronic devices affect navigation equipment. My prediction is they don't. Seriously, the girl across the aisle from me was playing Solitaire on her Treo and we didn't even lose cabin pressure.

I'm going to be doing some research into this and will update once I know more. But, it's probably high time for the FAA to do away with an arcane rule that will allow us to enjoy our iPods uninterrupted from one terminal to another.

Thanks to Josh Lurie for sending me a link to this Wired article. Seems as though things like pace makers and hearing aids could cause some of the same unfounded interference that our more entertaining electronic devices do. Yet the FAA doesn't ban the hard of hearing or the faint of heart. (no offense meant, it just sounded natural!)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Global Warming is a Conspiracy Theory

Global warming is real. But, it just might, maybe be a vast-right conspiracy.

In recent years, population trends have seen major growth in Coastal areas. The two biggest Democratic voting areas are the Coasts, and large population centers. Should the ice caps melt and the water level rise, the entire Democratic vote could drown!

That's why Republican have prevented clean fuel research, better gas mileage standards, and alternative energy resources. It's a conspiracy I tell you!! :)

Nevada Dems Enjoy Early Caucus

The Las Vegas Review Journal has an article which includes a brief story on the expectations that Nevada Democrats has from being the beneficiary of an early Democratic Caucus. This summer, the Rules and Bylaws Committee, followed shortly by the full Democratic National Committee, established two early nomination contests in addition to the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary. Nevada will host an early Caucus. South Carolina will finally join Republicans with the First in the South Primary, after a trial run in 2004.

They are right to be excited about the benefits this will bring.

South Carolina Democrats watched for many election cycles as the "First in the South" Republican Presidential Primary slowly contributed to the decline of the Democratic Party in their State. With the increasing importantance of the contest, the Republican Primary began to draw major media attention. That meant any Republican wanting to run for President had to make numerous pilgrimages to the Palmetto State.

The Republican candidates raised money for the State Republican Party and were very generous to SC Republican candidates throughout the State. The media attention contributed to crowd building and an ever-present energy on the Republican side. Young Republican politicos were pursued by Presidential candidates to staff their campaigns. Many of those landed senior positions in Republican Administrations in Washington. Over time, SC Republicans have grown to have major influence in Republican Presidential politics and that has helped them in every way that you can imagine.

The average voter, perhaps even someone who votes in every election does not understand the Presidential nominating process. I believe that for years, many of these people came to their own conclusions about why the Democrats weren't participating in the hoopla surrounding the Republican Primary. Were the Democrats not running anyone for President? Did the Democrats not have anybody good enough to run? Had the Democrats run out of money? Perhaps the Democrats were just ignoring South Carolina.....

Not one of these conclusions is favorable for the Democrats. It would have been hopeless to explain to the voters what was going on. Over the years, this was a major factor in South Carolina going from a One Party State to a One Party State.

Nevada Democrats should enjoy their newly earned status. But don't tell the Republicans! Maybe it'll take them as long as it did for us to in South Carolina!


This post is a little self indulgent, BUT, I would like to make a point with it.

Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2006 is "You" in the sense that in the New Age of Digital Democracy, "You" can make a difference. I was one of 15 people profiled by Time as fitting the mold of the "You" Person of the Year. It's quite an honor. Frankly, I'm floored.

BUT, and here's my point, Time is exactly right. Each and everyone of us has the ability to influence public debate, make someone's life better, or somehow make a difference. At our fingertips, we all have the ability to reach countless numbers of people.

Two questions come to mind. Will you join the new Age of Digital Democracy? And, will you use it with the ultimate aim of improving the world we live in?

You should. You never know what will happen from your efforts.