Category Archives: Iran

The Candidates QUESTIONS

This is an audience participation thing, or as Frank Zappa once put it, “enforced recreation.”

1. Go to http://www.vajoe.com/candidate_calculator.html and answer the questions, but leave your intensity about the issues at Medium.

2. Cut/paste and send me the results (or post on your blog, and let me know in the comments section.)

3. Re-vote, but this time, indicate the intensity of your position.

4. Cut/paste and send me THOSE results (or post on your blog, and let me know in the comments section.)

Before revealing my picks, you’ll note that there is something called the Composite Candidate: “The calculator compiles the most popular responses from all voters to create a composite candidate, a candidate whose views match most with the average responses of users.”

Composite Candidate
* Delaware Senator Joseph Biden (D) – 43.48%
* Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) – 41.30%
* Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (R) – 41.30%
* Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd (D) – 36.96%
* Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) – 36.96%
* New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D) – 34.78%
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) – 34.78%
* New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) – 34.78%
* Businessman John Cox (R) – 32.61%
* Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (D) – 30.43%
* Arizona Senator John McCain (R) – 28.26%
* Texas Representative Ron Paul (R) – 28.26%
* Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) – 28.26%
* Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R) – 28.26%
* Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) – 26.09%
* Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich (D) – 23.91%
* Kansas Senator Sam Brownback (R) – 21.74%
* Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo (R) – 21.74%

Also, there’s a list of Most Top-Matched Candidates
* Gravel – 14.20%
* Tommy Thompson – 12.42%
* Romney – 10.95%
* Giuliani – 10.93%
* Kucinich – 10.52%
* Biden – 6.40%
* Clinton – 4.68%
* Cox – 4.47%
* Obama – 4.19%
* Hunter – 3.64%
* Dodd – 3.63%
* Fred Thompson – 2.66%
* Tancredo – 2.51%
* Paul – 2.16%
* Huckabee – 2.06%
* Richardson – 1.82%
* Edwards – 1.32%
* Brownback – 1.02%
* McCain – 0.42%

Now, here are my top selections, with no regard to intensity:
Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (D) 100.00% match
Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich (D) – 94.74%
Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) – 84.21%
Delaware Senator Joseph Biden (D) – 78.95%
Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd (D) – 78.95%
Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) – 78.95%
New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D) – 73.68%
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) – 73.68%
Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (R) – 57.89%
Businessman John Cox (R) – 47.37%
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) – 42.11%
Texas Representative Ron Paul (R) – 36.84%
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) – 31.58%
Arizona Senator John McCain (R) – 26.32%
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback (R) – 21.05%
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) – 21.05%
Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo (R) – 15.79%
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R) – 15.79%

Whereas, when I add my intensity factors:
Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich (D) 96.88% match
Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (D) – 81.25%
New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D) – 71.88%
Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) – 68.75%
Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd (D) – 65.63%
Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) – 65.63%
Delaware Senator Joseph Biden (D) – 59.38%
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) – 56.25%
Texas Representative Ron Paul (R) – 37.50%
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) – 28.13%
Businessman John Cox (R) – 25.00%
Arizona Senator John McCain (R) – 25.00%
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) – 12.50%
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback (R) – 9.38%
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) – 9.38%
Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (R) – 9.38%
California Representative Duncan Hunter (R) – 6.25%
Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo (R) – 6.25%

Strange: Kucinich and Gravel, the two guys left off some recent Iowa debate, switch for the top spot, Clinton (who I’ve never voted for) moves from 7th to 3rd, and Obama falls from 3rd to 6th, but the Top 7 are still the Top 7, with Richardson 8th in both scenarios. One thing is for sure: I won’t be voting for Tom Tancredo. Or for Sam Brownback, though I’d probably enjoy hanging out with him, based on his appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows.

A curious glitch: Duncan Hunter isn’t on the first list (or on the composite candidate roster), while Fred Thompson’s missing from the second.
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“In his new book, The Evangelical President, Bill Sammon paints a riveting portrait of a president who is as committed to worldwide democracy as he is to his faith—and guided by legitimate principles that his critics aren’t willing to understand. In this far-reaching book, Sammon details:
Why Bush believes the Republicans will hold the White House in 2008″

Interesting. Haven’t read the book, probably won’t read the book, but I’m beginning to come to the same conclusion.
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Let the most popular candidate win: Instant runoff voting is simple and effective.
By John B. Anderson (1980 Presidential candidate)
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I wish we could get as 72-25 vote, condemning Blackwater, something actually under Congressional budgetary control. Anyway, MoveOn has moved from Petraeus – Leave Petraeus alone! to a much more appealing target, Rudy Giuliani:

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Pat Buchanan (!) on the hysteria that greeted the request of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to lay a wreath at Ground Zero.
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If Bill O’Reilly Was a Rapper.

ROG

USA News

I’ve been musing over the London bombing fall week. Not about why. One of my fellow bloggers, Greg Burgas has an interesting theory on that. He’s kidding. Sorta.

It’s more about what is news and why do we respond the way we do. It was the late House speaker Tip O’Neill that famously said: “All politics is local.” And in THIS country, it seems that almost all NEWS is local. Oh, yeah, there’s an international segment in the broadcast, but it’s so often about OUR soldier in Iraq or OUR local celebrity. When Ismail Merchant of Merchant-Ivory films fame died, it was a LOCAL story in the local paper, because Merchant had a farm in nearby Columbia County. (Two mentions of Columbia County in three days. Gads.) Of course, it does not always have to be positive. The Houston trucker who transported illegal immigrants in his vehicle, several of whom died, is a local story because he used to live in Schenectady.

Some guy I read was complaining, and this is a heavy-duty paraphrase, “London was bombed. Why is the second lead, ‘Is America next?’ Why is it always about us?”

If someone conducted a poll, and the responses were honest, I’m betting that the 7/7 bombing in London was more palpable to most Americans than…let’s take a comparable example, the 3/11 bombing in Madrid last year. Both attacks likely the work of the same organization, and twice as many people died in Spain than in Great Britain. So why IS that? Is it because the Brits speak our language? (Actually, we speak THEIR language, but let’s not complicate things here.) Is it because of our common heritage? (They’re more like US.)

I remember seeing a story on ABC News about a young black woman of 22 who disappeared in Illinois, and her mother, who was NOT well spoken, trying to get the media involved in her disappearance. Her mother was told, “No, she’s 22. NO one would be interested.” Then Dru Sjodin, 22-year old blonde student from North Dakota goes missing and it’s national news. Indeed, now there’s Dru’s Law, the National Sex Offender Public Database Act of 2005 being offered up in Congress. Meanwhile, I don’t even remember the name of that young black woman or know whether she was ever found. Was it that Dru Sjodin looked more like US (well, not me specifically…)

Bam, Iran was destroyed by an earthquake on December 26, 2003. The initial reports said that 30,000 were killed, later upped to 43,000. It barely made two news cycles. I had initially thought that the reason that the Christmastime tsunami of 2004 was so newsworthy, long before anyone knew the death toll, was because there were so many people with video cameras showing the devastation, and that may be true. But inevitably, there were those stories about how Americans and people like US who lost their lives, because we can RELATE to them.

Indeed, there have been floods in Bangladesh and China over the past 40 years that have taken more lives than the tsunami, but that barely hit our consciousness, if at all. Maybe it was also the novelty of the tsunami. Or maybe it’s that news people like to say “tsunami” and hope that the graphics department spells it correctly.

Why Laci Peterson and not other victims of violent crimes has something to do, I’m told, with identification with Laci – heck, we call her by her by her first name, as though we KNEW her.

When I’m close to the border with Canada and watch the CBC news, it seemed to be more…balanced. When I watched the news in Barbados in 1999, the same thing- a greater awareness of the whole world picture.

How is it that the Great Melting Pot can be so xenophobic? I ask, not out of anger, but out of concern.

(I always hate posing questions that I really can’t answer.)