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McCain Asks Supporters To Campaign On Blogs 889

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the new-era-of-campaigning dept.
Vote McCain in 2000! writes "McCain is not the stranger to technology some think him to be. McCain is now asking supporters to stump for him on blogs. Republican Web 2.0 consultant David All was effluent with praise for this outreach, calling it 'smart' and 'unique.' McCain's blogger outreach section has a handy list of political blogs which might be interested in hearing about McCain, such as the DailyKos, Crooks and Liars, and Think Progress. You can even report your posts to the campaign and 'receive points for your success,' though the page doesn't say what exactly the points are good for." Slashdot is not on their suggested blogs list. Can't imagine why.
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McCain Asks Supporters To Campaign On Blogs

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  • I wonder why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by demonlapin (527802) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:43AM (#23763059) Homepage Journal

    Slashdot is not on their suggested blogs list. Can't imagine why.

    Because /. is neither primarily political, nor a blog, while the mentioned sites are both? Because there aren't a lot of disgruntled Hillary supporters here?

    C'mon, Taco, you have lived through the careers of Lee Atwater, James Carville, Bill Clinton, and Karl Rove. Have you learned nothing about political strategy from the best in the business?

  • by mazarin5 (309432) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:43AM (#23763063) Journal
    Even four years ago, I could have backed McCain, but who's this man I see now? This is astroturfing at its finest.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:45AM (#23763083)
    Does anyone really believe that he came up with the idea himself?
  • You can't plan... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:48AM (#23763117) Journal
    to have bloggers write about you. It just happens. It's like trying to be cool. You either are, or you aren't. No amount of effort can change the fact your a nerd (or in this case, not a nerd).

    He'll just end up coming across as creepy and forceful.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:49AM (#23763129)
    I wouldn't say Ron Paul's demographic is as tech-savvy as that. Most of them know how to log in to Digg or YouTube and install basic forum/wiki software and that's about it. Moneybomb Guy Trevor Lyman pretty much just registers domains like a fiend where he sees an opportunity to profit from the cult, then just deploys the same default CMS install again and again and again, with Feedburner pledge charts.

    Does a bunch of unsecured, un-updated, open-to-anonymous-editing, Mediawiki installs for Ron Paul sound very tech-savvy?

    http://ronpaul.wikia.com/wiki/ [wikia.com]
    http://www.rabidquill.com/ronpaulmyths/ [rabidquill.com]
    http://wiki.ronpaulpresshub.com/ [ronpaulpresshub.com] (inside pages)
    http://ok4ronpaul.ashlux.com/wiki/ [ashlux.com]
    http://abeautifulfuturenow.com/RonPaulWiki/ [abeautifulfuturenow.com]
  • by pubjames (468013) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:51AM (#23763159)
    The question is, how did this change occur? Did they put something in his tea?

    Joking aside I'd really like to know how this dramatic change came about.
  • by jbash (784046) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:52AM (#23763177)

    But above all else, I NEVER NEVER NEVER thought I would see a man who was a torture victim and POW stand up and support that very torture by HIS OWN COUNTRY.
    I'm not a McCain supporter, but this assertion is simply incorrect. McCain (along with Ron Paul of course) was the only candidate in the GOP debates to take a stand against torture, arguing pragmatically that torture has the unintended consequence of putting US troops in danger of being tortured themselves. While that's a far cry from the elevated moral argument that torture is simply wrong prima facie, it is still an opposition to the practice.

    McCain has also called for the US Army to specifically train its interrogators to not torture. See for example this news report: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/12/15/519269.aspx [msn.com]

    The specific quotation from him is: "I would create an Army advisory committee with 20,000 soldiers to partner with militaries abroad and launch a crash program in civilian and military schools to prepare more experienced languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, and others and create a new specialty in strategic interrogation -- a new group of strategic interrogators so that we never have to or feel motivated to torture anyone ever again."
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:58AM (#23763247) Journal
    That's BS. There has been astroturfing for a very long time, and the best ones at it are the ones who are true believers, and are also subtle.

    McCain asking his supporters to blog on DailyKos is like MS or Apple asking their PR firms to work on web presence. I'm fairly certain that PR firms hired by companies like MS and Apple astrofturf -- but at least on Slashdot we have moderation to tune out some of it (and a realtively informed readbase), so it has to be fairly subtle to work well. I'm not sure I can say the same for DailyKos or some of the other targeted sites.
  • I can help! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nycsubway (79012) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @09:59AM (#23763275) Homepage
    I can certainly help him blog and get his name out there and what he stands for:

    John McCain is a 'miserable failure', much like George W Bush. (Google take note, please) McCain wants to continue tax cuts for wealthy Americans and corporations at a time of huge national debt and rising unemployment. He wants to continue giving $2 billion/week to Iraq instead of spending that money in the US to fix infrastructure or develop mass transit to reduce use of fossil fuel. He supports torture of terror suspects. He does NOT support a new GI bill to give money for college education to veterans. He stated that he wants terrorists to see him as "their worst nightmare" (stated in an interview on the Daily Show).

    I'm happy to help him get his name out there. The more people understand what he's now running for (instead of 8 years ago), the better.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:00AM (#23763287)
    No, he SAYS he's against torture. But when the rubber hits the road, he quietly backs down and votes against any restrictions on it. Remember the ban on waterboarding the Senate passed earlier this year? Well, guess who voted against it [nytimes.com]?
  • by Cerberus7 (66071) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:00AM (#23763295)
    Then why, oh why, did he back down to the will of the Executive Branch, compromise his morals and integrity, and allow for "exceptions" to the definition of what torture is? It's all well and good to say you're against torture, but when you've redefined what the word "torture" means to specifically not include things that actually are torture, your credibility has left the building. I liked McCain until he agreed to compromise on the torture issue instead of holding to his guns and saying, "No, that's wrong, we're the USA for crying out loud and we will NOT do that."
  • Re:Har har (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:02AM (#23763325) Journal

    McCain has supporters who have blogs? Clearly the Internet belongs to Ron Paul [xkcd.com], and we don't take too kindly to flippy-floppy neocons around these parts.
    How'd that whole "owning the Internet" thing work out for Ron Paul?
  • by kellyb9 (954229) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:04AM (#23763351)
    If I was McCain, I wouldn't worry, Obama may have his "blogs", but McCain has an ENTIRE NETWORK! http://www.foxnews.com/ [foxnews.com]
  • by jav1231 (539129) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:05AM (#23763377)
    And how many others who voice their opinion are modded "Troll" and "Flamebait?"

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:07AM (#23763407)
    That was nothing more than bullshit PR. It was just another "I will not condone torture, as I George W. Bush define torture" unenforceable vague statement. When the rubber hits the road, and it comes down to passing an actual law with real teeth in it, John McCain quietly votes against it [nytimes.com].
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:08AM (#23763421) Homepage Journal
    Aren't you glad that the faker in 2000 who's got a new scam in 2008 didn't get all the power in 2000 that Bush got, and then showed everyone he's a fake in 2000, just like Bush did? OK, maybe you're not glad that Bush got those powers, but aren't you glad that McCain didn't lie his way into them the same way?

    Does anyone think it's just a coincidence that both McCain and Bush have become wastefully spending warmongers, now that the 2000 election is over? Maybe you should think about how they're just spokesmodel puppets for a Republican Party that cannot be stopped from wasting American lives and money destroying our government that interferes with corporate rule.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:18AM (#23763577) Journal

    'Moderation' to me means a willingness to at least listen to other ideas with an open mind. This is not exemplified by Dailykos.

    'Moderation' to me means disagreeing with your opponents without being disagreeable. This [dailykos.com] is not an example of treating your opponent respectfully and trying to encourage a meaningful dialog.

    They're mainstream American liberal, which is what the rest of the world calls moderate since the American conservative party is so far right of center.

    No, I'm sorry, they aren't 'mainstream American liberal'. They are far-left on the American political spectrum. There's nothing inherently wrong with that and they are certainly entitled to air their opinions -- but I wouldn't call them mainstream.

  • by pdq332 (849982) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:19AM (#23763581)
    Done correctly, conservative comments on liberal blogs like Kos could draw firey responses which could then be held up as examples of the mainstream left.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:19AM (#23763591)
    You can't be "against torture" and be okay with it as long as it's the CIA doing it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:20AM (#23763603)
    The problem with that bill was that it would have totally tied the CIA to the Army manual, not just for torture but also basic questioning practices. How effective would our intelligence services be if all they could do is ask for name and rank?

    Smearing McCain as pro-torture is a flat out lie spread by Obamabots. Stop it, it makes you look stupid.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:22AM (#23763643) Homepage Journal

    Here are my issues with Obama: experience
    What kind of experience? Has either Sen. McCain or Sen. Obama ever been a governor?

    corruption, crony earmarks
    I thought Obama was the candidate who stopped taking money from lobbyists and PACs.
  • Points? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:23AM (#23763647) Journal
    So if they're issuing points for trolling lefty forums and keeping score, what score is necessary to earn an appointment to some position in some agency where I'm completely incompetent, yet responsible for nothing; I enjoy a very impressive title and $230,000 a year in salary as well as the best pension and benefits befitting the last remaining superpower nation?

    Or is that on a different scale, like gold stars?
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:24AM (#23763663) Homepage
    Experience - Obama's lack of experience is a PLUS. Look at what experience has gotten us the past 7 years. We need someone who KNOWS they can't do it on their own. The president's job is to listen to his advisers and those around him, and based on the information given make a decision...his job is NOT to decide things for himself because he thinks he knows best.

    Corruption - in the grand scheme of things, the parts of Obama's past that could be considered corruption are no where even close to being on the same level as McCain (or, not that it matters at this point, Clinton.)

    Crony Earmarks - This one I agree with you on.

    Dishonest Politicking - You're kidding, right? You are trying to say that Obama is more inflammatory in his remarks than McCain? Have you ever watched side-by-side a comparison of how Obama talks about McCain and how McCain talks about Obama?
  • by NMerriam (15122) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:32AM (#23763783) Homepage

    Joking aside I'd really like to know how this dramatic change came about.


    I'm optimistic enough to think that he's simply playing the game of politics now the way he thinks he needs to, to get elected by his own party (after seeing the dirty tricks and bullshit of Bush 2000), and that once in office when he no longer needs to kiss up to the neocon idiots who still hold disproportionate influence in the party, we'll see the old, genuinely conservative McCain assert himself and tell them all to fuck off.

    I just can't imagine he's genuinely changed so many attitudes at his age or with his well-known dislike of these folks.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:32AM (#23763791) Journal

    Experience - Obama's lack of experience is a PLUS. Look at what experience has gotten us the past 7 years. We need someone who KNOWS they can't do it on their own. The president's job is to listen to his advisers and those around him, and based on the information given make a decision...his job is NOT to decide things for himself because he thinks he knows best.

    Thank you. This whole experience argument has always seemed like FUD to me. GWB had "Executive Experience" -- how well did he work out again? Lincoln went from a single house term, to private practice to being one of the top three Presidents ever (according to most historical rankings).

    I'd rather have a President that is willing to listen to all points of view (including the opposition) and make an informed decision then someone with "experience" who surrounds himself with yes men and lives in such a bubble that he didn't even realize that gasoline was approaching $4/gal.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:33AM (#23763799) Homepage
    While the whole NASA thing with Obama pisses me off at the moment, I have to say that I agree with him.

    NASA is VITAL in furthering our technology and advancing our knowledge. But what good is that technology and knowledge if we can't even keep our roads in working order or keep books in our schools?

    NASA is extremely important...but if delaying a few programs that NASA has planned means we can pay teachers more and put money into infrastructure...given where our country is at the moment, I would say that is a smart thing to do.

    I don't like it, but that doesn't make it wrong.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:34AM (#23763809) Journal

    American POWs have been -- and will be -- tortured regardless.

    And? So we should torture to?

  • by kellyb9 (954229) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:49AM (#23764027)
    You're dead on. This is really the problem with the American Political system because nobody is in fact, moderate. Being moderate, IMHO, means having the ability to emphathize with another's viewpoints even if you disagree. If you're not moderate, you encourage your opponent to drift further away from the viewpoint that you are trying to make them understand rather than closer. It proves nothing, other than your ability to be devisive.
  • by giminy (94188) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @10:57AM (#23764131) Homepage Journal
    This is pretty much the opposite of a grassroots movement.

    Grassroots: people spontaneously talk about you, support you. Their actions are unpredictable, because, well, they are people and are not guided by a central authority.

    Monolithic: top-down approach where policritter issues organizational guidelines and tells people what to do.

    Looks like McCain is using the monolithic model here. Oops.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:03AM (#23764229) Journal
    How is 'rights for entrepreneurs' not 'redistribution of wealth?' I mean, if they are getting special rights the rest of us aren't, isn't that a form of redistribution of wealth?

    Just pointing out, 'redistribution of wealth' is something both sides do. One side believes in distributing it to the poor, the other side to the rich. Ever heard of trickle down economics? Redistribution of wealth.

    As for land, well, if 'disposing of it as one sees fit' means 'polluting the fuck out of it' or 'not paying taxes on it' then I can't support that. If it means that, barring reasonable special cases where your actions impact others, you can do what you like with your land, well, we already have that. It's hardly a rallying cry.

    People can and do put up Christmas trees in public squares all the time. Where do you live that they don't allow that? Even San Francisco has Christmas trees.

    Sorry if I'm sounding like a dick here, (yeah, yeah, it's my MO) because I agree with your sentiment, it's the specifics that gave me a bit of a pause.
  • Re:I can help! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:04AM (#23764245) Homepage Journal
    Except the tax cuts don't ahve to be even across the board, and some of the recent tax cuts only help people over a very large tax bracket.

    tax cuts means something doesn't get funding...usually eduction and emergency services.

    In a tiome when services are more expensive, perhaps tax cuts isn't the smartest move?

    Tax incentives for new industries is a good thing. That's where you largest return is going to be, overall.

    "Corporate taxes disproportional affect the poor because 100%+ of corporate taxes are passed on to the consumer -by definition-."

    This is incorrect.
    There are many factors involved here: Price point of the item, competitors, current profit margin. . . etc.

    So they are only passed on 100% if the industry is barely making money and all competitors have the same profit margin.

    "He does -not- support torture of terror suspects. "
    Yes, he does. Of course changing the name of torture to something else makes it all better~
    The torture techniques he supports sure were considered torture when the Japanese did it to us.

    The old GI bill is horrible, barely a shell of what it was 25-30 years ago.
    On a personal note, if you have been in a combat area, I think you should be give a free education into any school you can get into, forever.
    Same thing for children of soldiers killed in action. You should be give an interest free loan for a home and a car.
    perhaps 10% off at the movies as well.

  • by ubrgeek (679399) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:09AM (#23764339)
    "If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for . . but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong. If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the enormous amount of time on it that truly intelligent exercise of franchise requires." - Lazarus Long, via Robert A. Heinlein
  • by bjourne (1034822) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:11AM (#23764377) Homepage Journal
    That is not the case and here [about.com] is a thorough analysis of the controversy.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:12AM (#23764379) Homepage
    Extending tax cuts for wealthy buisnesses? Keeping the war going while refusing to extend extra benefits to those who go and fight? Having an OK message but using words in such a way that make it sound like they are a bumbling fool?

    Sounds like a third term to me.

  • by FishWithAHammer (957772) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:13AM (#23764407)

    You really can't be that naive. Assuming that's the case, he'd still kiss their fucking asses for 4 years to get a second term.
    Not really. Assume he tells them to fuck off and goes back to genuine conservative principles. Further assume he does a damn good job. What the hell are they going to do, run a candidate against the sitting President? They're not that stupid. The Republicans will fall in line behind the sitting President. They can't not, if they want to win.

    Besides, we'd have scaremongering of "what if Hillary wins?!" to keep them toeing his line.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:16AM (#23764451) Homepage
    I don't have an issue with $4 gas because supply isn't a problem...OPEC themselves said so yesterday.

    I have a problem with $4 gass because Gas prices were fine even with all the strife going on in the middle east. Suddenly, an administration takes control whose top members have ALL worked with oil companies. Cheney has over $30 million of bonus money sitting in his pocket when he left Haliburton, yet is making our energy policy?

    Republicans blocked an increase on taxes to oil companies profits, and ALSO blocked a TAX BREAK for companies investing in alternative energy?

    I want Obama in the White House because he has no connection to this bullshit. That's why. His lack of experience also means a lack of connections.

    Not to mention that Bush's administration is gone in months, and magically gas prices have increased nearly 90% in the last TWO YEARS? Yeah. That's not a coincidence at all.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:19AM (#23764503) Homepage
    Considering throughout the primary season Obama survived attacks from both McCain AND the Clintons (who, if you forgot, were esentially the leaders of the Democratic party for over a decade) I would say he can handle it.

    Not to mention that he was more or less unknown to most people until this year. Hell, I had never even HEARD of him until late 2007...while I wouldn't say I'm politics obsessed, I do tend to keep up with things on a daily basis.
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:19AM (#23764517) Homepage
    On tech issues, he's entirely wrong? ... Do the people on slashdot who support him actually read his "Issues" section on his web site, or do they just stop at "Yes we can."

    Yes we can [barackobama.com] read his website, and for my money he's right on more issues than he is wrong on, and most importantly he's right on the issues that are actually up in the air. He's for net neutrality and against telcom immunity, while McCain is the opposite. He's for IP protection, and McCain... is against? Yeah right.

    Intellectual Property isn't going away any time soon. Sorry, it sucks I know, but it's true. However, the fundamental nature of the internet may be going away, and winning that fight is more important.

    Go ahead and disagree with his stance on some particular issues; I know I do. But "entirely wrong" is wrong, excepting of course the possibility that I would think you are wrong on many tech issues.
  • by Woundweavr (37873) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:22AM (#23764555)

    Obama won the nomination because he won every state that had a large black population, and they overwhelmingly voted for him, and then, he split the white vote with Hillary. So now, McCain is reaching out to those white voters and po'd women that probably won't for Obama.

    Like Wisconsin, Montana, Vermont, Maine, Iowa, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut, North Dakota, Kansas, Colorado....

  • by orielbean (936271) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:23AM (#23764565)
    Also quite useful would be McCain creating gridlock against a majority Democrat Congress. That is part of why we enjoyed a budget surplus during Clinton's lame duck second term - gridlock keeping spending down. I like him better than pandering Romney or foot-mouth speaker Huckabee. Although I think McCain will end up picking Romney as his VP to secure the hard-conservatives who dislike McCain as a moderate conservative. Who do you think will be the Repub VP pick?
  • by pnuema (523776) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:23AM (#23764573)
    You may be correct on IP, but John McCain is identical. That's a wash.

    The NASA budget - Obama is correct. We are 9 trillion in the hole thanks to the Shrub. We can't afford to go to Mars. Obama is just being a grown-up.

    The real difference:

    John McCain Opposes Net Neutrality [newsmax.com]

    Obama is for Net Neutrality [senate.gov]

  • I.e., astroturfing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:33AM (#23764749) Journal
    There's already a word for faked grassroots movement: astroturfing. You know, after the brand of fake turf.
  • Re:I can help! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by psychicninja (1150351) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:33AM (#23764751)

    Tax cuts disproportionately affect "the rich" because the "the rich" pay a disproportionate amount of taxes. If you do a 1% tax cut, the guy who pays 100k a year in taxes will clearly get more back, in real dollars, than the person who pays zero in taxes (i.e, makes under $30k a year or so).

    Be that as it may, that's completely beside the point. McCain still wants to give a higher percentage back to the richer folks. From cnn.com [cnn.com]:

    [In McCain's tax plan] those in the lowest income groups would only see their after-tax income rise by less than 1% (or between $19 and $319). By contrast, the highest-income households - those with incomes of at least $603,000 - would see a boost in after-tax income of 3.4%, or more than $40,000.
  • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:39AM (#23764843)
    I think it's more accurate to say that you'll be marked troll or flamebait if you're opinion diverges too widely from the mainstream of Slashdot poster. ie:

    "Republican != Sata" - troll
    "Obama != 2nd coming of christ" -flamebait
    "Bush can't be an idiot and evil, so pick one" - troll
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:41AM (#23764871) Journal

    Today it looks like those principles have been prostituted on the altar of political expediency and "electability."


    Which, to my mind, is what one has to do to get elected. This isn't McCain's fault, it's the fault of a shallow, lazy electorate that here's the word "issues" and flips the channel to watch Survivor.
  • by Mishra100 (841814) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:54AM (#23765083)
    I think it's more of how you voice your opinion. I can't really explain it without giving examples.

    Saying something like "Obama is terrible for this country and should not be running for president. He doesn't have any good policies and he sucks." is bad.

    If you post with elegance then usually you are received a lot more intelligently.

    "Barack Obama has been working hard on his campaign but I just simply can't find a lot of things I agree with. It's strange but a lot of his plans and policies seem to not be backed by previous experiences or history. I will be paying attention to his campaign as I long to see him reach some qualified examples but until then I will probably be more on the McCain side. Good luck to both"

    Thus I'm basically saying I don't like anything about him but changed up my tone and made it a smooth read instead of brash with lots of absolutes.
  • by mweather (1089505) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @11:55AM (#23765091)

    The sad and sorry thing is that I am a registered Republican, and I will probably not be voting for McCain, I definitely will not be campaigning for him, and I certainly will not encourage others to support him.
    There's nothing sad or sorry about not compromising your integrity to toe the party line. If anything, you should do so in every election.
  • by limaxray (1292094) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @12:18PM (#23765529) Homepage

    You are somewhat right by saying $4 gas isn't a supply problem, but I think the rest of your analysis is filled with conspiracy theories that have nothing to do with why gas prices are what they are. Bush, Cheney, and Co have nothing to do with oil prices, just because they may have connections to oil companies doesn't mean they can effect the oil prices. You see, oil prices are determined by the market, ie supply vs demand, as they are publicly traded commodities. When demand exceeds supply, prices go up, it's basic economics. Government officials, no matter how devious, have no impact in this trade.

    The real reason why gas is getting expensive is on the demand side. With a combination of the exponential world population growth and the exponential growth in China's and India's economies, the demand for oil is going through the roof. Then add in the fact that the US has an ever growing trade deficit and the falling value of the dollar, and you get a situation where US oil purchasers are less competitive than they once were. This all means higher prices for us.

    Furthermore, it really bothers me when I hear people complain about the record profits of oil companies and how they should be punished with increased taxes. As I think I've explained pretty clearly, they have little if anything to do with how much we pay for oil; the market decides that. What the oil companies do have control over is their extraction and refinement costs, which remain constant for the most part. So when we are willing to pay more for a product, and it still costs the company the same amount of money to produce that product, obviously they're going to get better profits. So what do you suggest they do, give oil away for free? Taxing them as punishment for doing NOTHING wrong does nothing more than making the uninformed population feel better about themselves. Also, by taxing them what's to say they won't pass the cost of the taxes onto the end user, making our gas even more expensive?

    Basically, blaming this on the Bush administration is just dumb and a waste of time. Blame the average American for buying more than they can afford or blame our ENTIRE government for doing the same. Heck, blame the sitting presidents during the Korean and Vietnam wars for not nuking China into the stone age thus eliminating our main competitor for oil (not that I really think this is a good idea). Just don't solely blame a handful of people in our ever growing government for what boils down to a free market forcing.

  • by mhall119 (1035984) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @12:28PM (#23765677) Homepage Journal

    I think it would do US relations with the Middle East a world of good to elect a Muslim president.
    Most Muslim nations can't get along with other Muslim nations, what makes you think having a Muslim President of the United States will do us any good?
  • by DerekLyons (302214) <`fairwater' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @12:36PM (#23765845) Homepage

    That's right. A president who, this day in age, doesn't know how to use a computer. Makes his policies on tech issues make a lot more sense, though.

    So? Knowing how to use a computer doesn't make an expert on software patent reform or IP reform. (Two things most often quoted as being 'tech issues' even though they really aren't.) Heck, judging by the comments on Slashdot being able to use a computer doesn't do anything for your knowledge of these issues.
     
     

    A year ago, I set up a older woman who has brain damage with a Linux desktop and net access and she uses it just fine.

    Nice attempt at a slam - but all it really shows is how shallow and biased you are.
  • by blueg3 (192743) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @12:40PM (#23765913)
    Not really. The reason you have low-quality teachers is you can't offer salaries that would attract good teachers.

    Instead of phrasing it "pay teachers more", you should think "enable schools to hire better teachers who command higher salaries".

    Of course, a lot of other things would have to change, too. Public school is full of political bullshit where if you don't follow asinine rules as a teacher, they fire you. I know a handful of excellent teachers who were willing to work for the low pay because they enjoyed teaching that were either crushed or fired. Now they do something else that pays more and won't return to education.
  • by tedrlord (95173) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @12:51PM (#23766159)

    Today it looks like those principles have been prostituted on the altar of political expediency and "electability."


    Which, to my mind, is what one has to do to get elected. This isn't McCain's fault, it's the fault of a shallow, lazy electorate that here's the word "issues" and flips the channel to watch Survivor.
    I was right up there with you until he voted against that torture bill. He was hardline against even our perceived use of torture up until then. If the guy's willing to change his mind on that in the name of politics, I can't trust him.
  • by BL08N0883N (997823) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @12:52PM (#23766187) Journal
    True Conservatism is nearly gone. McCain has compromised his position of integrity with both parties to the point where no one can really trust him. The only reason he will get votes is because he's relying on: 1) ignorance 2) others that are willing to compromise their own integrity to vote with their party no matter what 3) the rare occasion that someone, even well-informed of his consistent erroneous statements and fear-mongering mentality, likes or agrees with McCain
  • by legutierr (1199887) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @12:52PM (#23766193)
    This post is misleading and, I suspect, factually incorrect.

    Barack Obama explicitly supports Net Neutrality ("I will take a back seat to no one when it comes to Network Neutrality"), media decentralization, and universal broadband access. He supports universal file/data formats ("we will put government data online in universally accessible formats"); and he understands the inherent risks to privacy created by our new technology ("Dramatic increases in computing power, decreases in storage costs and huge flows of information that characterize the digital age bring enormous benefits, but also create risk of abuse."). And if Obama advocates reducing the NASA budget (and I have no specific information about this, it would be nice if tjstork would provide a reference), such defunding would be a re-prioritization of spending only, as he "supports doubling federal funding for basic [scientific] research."

    Furthermore, Barack Obama's policy regarding technology reflects a thorough and deep understanding of the underlying issues pertinent to technology and information. John McCain will never have any personal involvement in creating a technology policy promulgated by his administration; instead he will rely on his staff, who will inevitably rely on lobbyists. The fact is that John McCain knows very very little about these issues, and that he has also shown consistently that he has no problem giving industry lobbyists free reign in his campaign. Barack Obama understands technology, and won't compromise on the central issues.

    Barack Obama's technology policy is located here [barackobama.com] on barackobama.com.

    Another relevant link is a talk Obama gave at Googe, where he touches on many of these issues, here [youtube.com].

    Finally, to conclude from the fact that Barack Obama has accepted money from the most consistently-Democratic industrial block in the US that he will necessarily back its most outrageous demands is logically spurious. tjstork writes that "he is a strong proponent of doing everything with IP that many slashdotters would virulently oppose." I do not have any information supporting such a claim, and I would ask tjstork to provide a reference. The fact is that slashdotters are very willing to balance the interests of IP "owners" against the interests of the general public and the interests of innovation. As long as Obama recognizes that there is a balance to be struck, and is willing to *act* knowing that things are currently out of balance, I am happy to support his positions on IP. If there is anything that Barack Obama is about, it is about creating a fair and informed balance between competing interests.

    It seems to me that Barack Obama is almost, if not quite, the ideal candidate for the /. crowd.
  • by BadIdea (1218060) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .aedidabb.> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @01:17PM (#23766639) Homepage
    Didn't he at one time flirt with the idea of switching over to the Democrats, or going fully independent? It's still hard to imagine how we got from there to him being their nominee.
  • by uniquename72 (1169497) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @01:22PM (#23766751)
    I would disagree. The 16% who think Obama's a Muslim aren't some independent voting block who will be swayed from voting for him by the idea. They're die hard Repubs, who will vote Repub no matter what.

    A better example of disinformation was the constant linking of Iraq to 9/11. 64% of Americans still believe (as of 2005) that Iraq had strong ties to Al Quaeda. [harrisinteractive.com] It's shocking that anyone who can read could believe that Muslim extremists devoted to building a world based on fundamentalist Islam would have strong ties to a primarily secular dictator who happily executed fundamentalists, but there it is.
  • by jgoemat (565882) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @01:35PM (#23767005)
    But their opinions differ from mine, and I'm the one with mod points.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2008 @01:42PM (#23767111)

    The real reason gas is so expensive, that no one is talking about, is that Bush borrowed so much money to fund his tax cuts and the war in Iraq that the dollar has been plummeting against the Euro [yahoo.com] and Yuan [yahoo.com].
    Nice republican talking points there, but sorry, this isn't Fox. We actually check our facts.
    "The real reason gas is so expensive, that no one is talking about, is that Bush borrowed so much money to fund his tax cuts and the war in Iraq that the dollar has been plummeting against the Euro [yahoo.com] and Yuan [yahoo.com]."

    Then why, pray tell, is the price higher in Europe as well? Last I checked, they don't use the dollar.
  • by Deitheres (98368) <brutalentropy@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @01:42PM (#23767123)
    Yeah, she's too busy being called a trollup and a cunt by John.

    http://www.eyesonobama.com/blog/content/id_20167/title_McCains-History-of-Blow-Ups-The-Top-Ten/ [eyesonobama.com]
  • by Leftist Troll (825839) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @01:46PM (#23767181)
    the "hive mind" was right to suppress it

    No it wasn't. I want to read posts that make me consider things from another perspective. I want my views to be challenged.

    Take that away, and you're just reading shit you already agree with to validate your beliefs. Good for you, enjoy masturbating. Personally, I prefer some lube and a porn flick for that, but different strokes for different folks, I guess.
  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @01:53PM (#23767313) Journal
    That's as bad as not knowing how to use a telephone! That should say something about his attitude towards technology in general! The guy is literally COMPUTER-ILLITERATE! Just let that sink in. He is either too inept or too old to be doing anything as important as running a country, take your pick. A computer-illiterate person should not run a country in the year 2008! Hell, what jobs can you get nowadays without even some basic computer skills!?

    That's my opinion, it's not a flame, it's just a very serious well-deserved dissing. Donate karma to this post, the neocon squad's on the way.
  • by DerekLyons (302214) <`fairwater' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @02:26PM (#23767881) Homepage
    Here!, have! a! few! more! exclamation! points! collect! enough! and! your! argument! becomes! valid!

    Computer skills are absolutely no indication of ones abilities. The are absolutely no indication of ones understanding of 'tech' issues. The delusion that one has to have 'x' skillset to understand 'y' issue (or issues) is one nearly unique to Slashdot. (Especially since 'y' issue is utterly unrelated to being able to use a computer.) I don't see machinists from Boeing complaining that any candidate does not understand labor issues because no candidate has been a machinist. Etc. Etc.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <`fairwater' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @02:30PM (#23767935) Homepage

    Otherwise people are supporting a candidate who doesn't consider it worthwhile to sit down and learn how to check his email.

    He doesn't sit down and check his paper mail either I bet. Nor does he answer his own door when UPS or FedEx rings I suspect.
     
    So what? Personally, I vote for candidates on their relevant skills, positions on issues, and (for incumbents) voting record. I could give a rat's ass whether he checks his own email or changes his own oil because there are completely and utterly irrelevant to what I'm "hiring" him for.
  • by nickhart (1009937) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {trahkcin}> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @02:54PM (#23768329) Homepage

    ...it was due to a lot of negative moderation from people who simply disagreed with my opinion.

    Well, that's what you get when you spout a bunch of nonsense, isn't it? No doubt you faithfully regurgitated the pack of lies used to sell the occupations to the American public. Such drivel is rightfully moderated down.

  • by ppanon (16583) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @03:04PM (#23768479) Homepage Journal

    The idea is, at least to many on the Right, that an Obama Presidency will be so disastrous as to guarantee a GOP President in 2012. . .

    It's impossible for it to be worse than Bush, and Obama and the Democrats will have plenty of material evidence of how incompetent and corrupt this administration has been to still be able to drag out examples in an election 4 years from now. While I'm sure there will be some examples of Democratic malfeasance as well by then, the So-Called Liberal Media will be hard pressed to make it seem comparable.

    Even Carter, for all his faults, managed to get Israel, Jordan, and Egypt to sit at the same table and sign a peace treaty. I honestly can't think of *one* thing on that scale that Bush and Co. has managed not to fuck up. Obama's biggest problem will be rooting out all the incompetent/fundamentalist patronage/nepotist Republican appointments that have happened in the last 8 years, since they'll all be trying to sabotage him. Kind of like the way Reagan sabotaged Carter's attempts to negotiate the freedom of the Iran US embassy hostages (a taste of Iran-Contra shenanigans to come).

    I think the difference is that Obama is a lot more politically savvy than Carter. While he downplays the racism that his candidacy has stirred up, I think he does it because he knows it's politically necessary, not because he underestimates it. Given his and his wife's upbringing, he can't be unaware that there will be people trying to sabotage him. That said, he is going to have to deal with the economic disaster caused by 8 years of Republican fiscal and governance incompetence, and the country isn't going to be happy about some of the medicine pills he's going to have to make them swallow. Whether he'll be able to sell to the USA that it's the Republican incompetence that made him do it is another question.
  • by RecessionCone (1062552) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @05:23PM (#23770627)
    Bush is a Neocon, right? I don't think he'd have much problem with a black guy in the White House - after all, he did seat the first two black Secretaries of State that this country has ever known.

    There are plenty of bad things to say about Neocons without accusing them of being racist.

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