Author Archives: npitman

About npitman

Student

Fitting end to semester

Hey all This is Nathan. I was the guy who sat by the door and was late to class way to often and also joined the conversation maybe more than my fair share. I am letting every one know that I convinced my boss to do an end of semester special for this class and their friends who are students. MUST BE 21!!! Sorry but the state of Colorado is real strict.

So bring your student I.D. and if you have anyone you want to come with you bring them also. I will be bartending and anyone with their ID will get buy one get one free from 9pm – 1am on Saturday the 13th of December.

The  bar is the REX Lounge. Below is a map and the X is us. If you need more directions or info call me at 720-225-7323

Tony, even though you don’t have a student I.D. you and your friends count also.

Hope to see you all there!

map-51

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Interesting comment

I was doing a little reasearch and came across a comment that at fist I wanted to dissmiss and then I realized that the comment seems to make a lot of sense. Basically I am going to link to the article and then the comment. I am hoping that this may be a post where we can continue the discussion from last thursday.

The title is a link to the article. The text follows the title. All imbedded links and info was left intact.

Breaking Down Voter-Turnout Numbers

High voter turnout was predicted on Tuesday. And the number of votes counted has already shattered all records. But so, too, does the population of the U.S., regularly. The turnout rate appears to be shy of a new record.

ballot box

Focusing on the number of Americans who voted for president is a surefire way to generate headlines touting records, such as those that ran in the Financial Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politico. Just two of the last 15 presidential elections — in 1988 and 1996 — didn’t set a new record by that count, according to data compiled by Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University. Focusing on the total number of voters amid steady population growth is akin to celebrating new box-office records, except that turnout records are easier to come by because there aren’t other elections competing for voters’ attention.

So just how many people did vote this time? We don’t have final numbers yet, as usual. Shortly after the 2004 election, the Wall Street Journal pegged turnout at “perhaps as many as 120 million voters.” The final number, 122 million, was reported in mid-January.

The count posted on WSJ.com is up to 123.7 million Friday morning, but McDonald and fellow turnout tracker Curtis Gans expect millions more votes. The two experts diverge, however, on both the expected number of votes and the number of Americans eligible to vote, as I noted in a February column. McDonald expects the final count will top 133 million, of 213 million eligible voters, for a turnout rate of 62.6%. Gans says 208 million Americans could have voted, and between 126.5 million and 128.5 million did, which would put the turnout rate at between 60.7% and 61.7%. Their divergent numbers also play a role in calculating state turnout numbers, complicating efforts in perennially high-turnout Minnesota to determine if the state cleared 80% turnout for the first time.

Either estimate for national turnout falls short of McDonald’s estimates for turnout rates in 1960 (63.8%) and 1964 (62.8%). However, in both those elections voters aged 18, 19 and 20 weren’t allowed to vote. By McDonald’s estimates, those low-turnout voters dragged down turnout rates by between 1 and 1.5 percentage points in every presidential election between 1972 and 2000. In 2004 and this year, the turnout rate among young voters rose but continued to lag behind that of older voters. So the turnout rate among voters 21 and older could approach or break modern historical records.

| Trackback URL: http://blogs.wsj.com/numbersguy/breaking-down-voter-turnout-numbers-451/trackback/

Now here is a series of comments which bleed from the first one. I found the discussion interesting and I am curious as to what the class thinks.

Of the California Vote I would like to know what the percentage of the African-American vote was of those who voted to remove their long time bondage of opression & repression from themselves and vote to put it on the gay person (by Proposition 8).

Comment by WatchFromEurope November 8, 2008 at 12:13 pm

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Careful WatchFromEurope. Here’s an analysis of that subject. I suspect you’ll be surprised. Hopefully pleasantly. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/7/34645/1235/704/656272

Comment by ron November 8, 2008 at 12:57 pm
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@WatchFromEurope- California is 43.1% white, 35.9% latino or hispanic, and 6.7% black (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06000.html) so even if ALL black voters voted yes on Prop 8 they don’t come close to the 52% that voted for it.

Comment by CT November 8, 2008 at 1:37 pm
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If not a single black voter in California had voted for or against Prop 8, it still would have won by 100,000 votes. Stop the racism and blame the real culprits, the overwhelmingly white cult known as the Mormon Church, white evangelics, Republicans, conservatives, Roman Catholic right-wingers, people living inland in Calforinia, and people over 65.
Comment by Terwilligar November 9, 2008 at 1:00 pm
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Terwilligar, by your logic, even if every Mormon in California (less than 1.8% of the population) abstained from voting, Proposition 8 would still have won.

Maybe blacks overwhelming voting for Proposition 8 was a _major contributing factor_ in it passing and thus worthy of discussion? It’s nice to see how liberal tolerance does not extend to religious minorities. But let us never question why blacks voted against civil rights for another group, because to criticize blacks in any way would be RACISM.

Comment by what goes around comes around – November 9, 2008 at 6:13 pm

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er, by Mormon Church, Terwilligar was referring to the huge fundraising and effort it put into Yes for Prop 8 campaigns.

And singling out blacks as the principle reason for Prop 8’s passing is RACISM.

Comment by CT November 9, 2008 at 8:29 pm

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Another prediction

On Monday I posted a number of predictions. One of them was Robert F Kennedy Jr. to the post of secretary of the interior. I would like to slightly amend that. I heard some rumors on tuesday night while I was at the sheridan hotel. These have been confirmed. I would like to predict the secretary of the interior position will go to our very own Ken Salazar. The new information I have is closer than third person but I am hesitant to post exactly who I got the information from. An analogy of how I got this new info would be the way that Bernstein confirmed one of the people involved in watergate, hang up if I am wrong. Now that is not exactly how it happened but it was done in a sort of similar way. The second part to this, is that when Salazar is named, Andrew Romanoff will be named by Ritter to fill the senate vacancy. Now I won’t claim either of these as fact but I will take any and all bets that if Salazar is named, Romanoff WILL be the replacement.

Sorry for the lack of links but this is still pretty far off the radar. Remember You heard it here first. (and if you didn’t hear it here first, who else is talking about this because I can find no info about this online)

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Filed under Colorado, Democratic Party, Obama, Uncategorized

More Predictions

By Nathan Pitman

To add on to the predictions we are making for class I offer up these predictions. They are based mostly on my own observations however they have been aided considerably by newspaper reports and a number of friends I have who work in D.C. and “claim” to have some super secret info.

Obviously the following are based on an Obama win on Tuesday. Look to see one of two people named as chief of staff within the next two to three weeks. The next nominee will likely be a treasury secretary.

Chief of staff: Rahm Emanuel or Tom Daschle

Secretary of State: Bill Richardson

Attorney general: Tim Kaine

Defense secretary : Chuck Hagel

Treasury secretary: Warren Buffett

(other possibilities for sec treas:)

Homeland Security secretary: Gary Hart ( I go with Gary Hart here because he is from Colorado and I have heard him speak about the related issues many times however, Susan Collins may have a shot)

Commerce secretary: Olympia Snowe

Secretary of Energy: Jeff Bingaman

Secretary of Labor: Richard Gephardt

Secretary of the Interior: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Jesse Jackson Jr.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Max Cleland

Secretary of Transportation: Ed Rendell

Secretary of Agriculture: Tom Vilsack

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Howard Dean

Education secretary: David Boren

Senior adviser: David Axelrod

National security adviser: Anthony Zinni

you

(the possibility exists that Samantha Power will also be involved in a high level possibly as Director of State Department policy planning).

White House economic adviser: Jason Furman (Warren Buffett could be named if he is not named as treasury secretary)

V.P. chief of staff : Tony Blinken

Press secretary: Bill Burton

1st Supreme Court nominee: Elena Kagan (She is the current dean of Harvard Law School. I would go so far as to guarantee it is a woman).

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations: Caroline Kennedy

Environmental Protection Agency administrator: Lincoln Chafee

CIA director: Tim Roemer

Director of National Intelligence: Jane Harman

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wordpress

by Nathan Pitman

I have struggled all semester with using word press. I have hd issues saving correctly, publishing, embedding links, embedding video, etc. I just found out a friend has actually written code to work with wordpress. If you have any question where you have exhausted other solutions, forward them to me and I will get them to him. He WILL answer withen 24hrs

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Lakoff Part Deux

Professor Robinson brought up some <a href=”https://election2008ucdenver.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/lakoff-metaphors-and-08-campaign-oh-my/#comment-329″>great points</a> in his comments about my last post regarding <a href=”https://election2008ucdenver.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/lakoff-metaphors-and-08-campaign-oh-my/#comments”>George Lakoff</a>. I would like to address them and other issues that have crept up over the past couple weeks.

<em>”…the real debates are not about frames–they are about fundamental policies.”</em>

Professor Robinson is right, the real debate is about fundamental policies. The debate between Democrats and Republicans are fundamentally about the differences in policies. We have no need here, to rehash the differences, as long as we take as fact, that there are differences. The differing policy positions truly determine how someone is going to lead and what they are going to do while in office. This is probably the most vital functions of elections. Determining which policy position is the correct one. I would challenge the majority of people to tell us the last person to win the office president who focused their campaigns on policy positions.

Kerry and Gore focused their campaigns on policy, Bush didn’t. Clinton, Dole and Bush Sr. did not focus on policy. While Clinton did not focus on policy issues he did touch on it. Bush Sr. in 1988 did not focus on policy Dukakis did. Reagan spoke very generally about policy but was more focused on ideas and vision. As far back as most people would like to go, the winning presidential candidate’s focus was not on policy.
The American people unfortunately have a history of voting for people who are not focused on policy. The general consensus is that Bush Jr. won two terms because he was somebody people <a href=”http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTFhYjk3NDNmMGFjYTNmZWZlYmY1NzkzYmYzNzc2YTI=”>wanted to have a beer with</a>, Clinton was a charmer and had a silver tongue he was able to present a vision which people believed in and clung to:

Bush Sr., was someone that people trusted was a continuation to continue the Reagan legacy. None of these Presidents focused on policy, instead they all won election from something far more intangible, they won because they were able to “argue” that they were the best man for the job. They were able to “frame ” an argument in which the majority of the populace (excepting Bush Jr. in 2000) that they were the “correct” person to lead the country. To convince a large group of people that they are the cight person for the job, the candidates had to campaign in way to alienate the least number of voters. Often people talk about being disappointed that they had to vote for the<a href=”http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=E82DC2AEC0DDD5D47E9482627A9B522B.tomcat1?fromPage=online&amp;aid=105425#”&gt; lesser of two evils</a>. In reality, this is by design.

Lakoff argues that the Democrats have the progressive ideals that people crave. He also argues that the Democrats have forwarded policies which aggressive enough to capture most of the left but not so progressive that it alienates those people in the center. I would argue that the democrats ideas and policies have been the right policies for each particular moment in history. That however does not change the fact that over the past thirty to forty years, the democrats have been on the losing side of the vast majority of presidential elections. I believe that both Lakoff and I would argue that the lack of winning is not because the policy proposals are bad or not good enough; instead these losses are directly attributable to a lack of communicating these policies in a way which is easily conformable to <a href=”http://labs.google.com/inquotes/”>sound-bites</a&gt;.

A political sound-bite is not a way of communicating policies but instead a way of communicating ideas. The key is to frame the policy in a way that the ever present <a href=”http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fourth%20estate”>fourth estate</a>, will decide to use in their own interests. For instance, a policy proposal on taxes will in some way effect every American. Realistically, something that is going to affect all Americans is going to be fairly lengthy. Something that is short enough to fit into a 8 to 30 second sound-bite is unlikely to contain or able to communicate a policy proposal.

Politics today largely come down to these sound-bites. As a result policy can only be on the periphery of the discussion. While it is the most important part of the discussion, it is in no way influential enough. Instead it is more important to frame the policy debate in a way which will receive the most electoral votes. This is done through framing sound-bites and framing an argument which reaches beyond the base. A presidential candidate has to frame themselves not as the best person for the job; instead they must frame themselves as a better person for the job then their opponent. This, in successful presidential campaigns, is done through framing the argument to promote themselves and/or denigrating their opponent/s.

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Filed under McCain, Media, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Voter Demographics

Candidate vs. Opponent

by Nathan Pitman

Please read twice. The first time do not click on ANY links. the second time click on ALL links.

It seems incredible that in this day and age people continue to advocate for things which are going to put the rest of the country at a disadvantage.

Here we are in the 21st century, and we  have a presidential contender arguing that (1)we should not be helping where help is needed. This same candidate argues that (2)“activist judges” and (3) strong diplomatic actions and not threats are needed to quell messy situations. What is he thinking!

The economy is gone to hell and left a hand-basket of coal. (1) People in the U.S. are suffering and yet he rails against them as if they are at fault. The economic problems have hit some pocketbooks more than others yet the candidate’s opponent wants to give other people the government’s helping hand.The candidate knows that this economic crisis will determine the outcome of the election and yet his opponent attacks every plan he comes up with. It seems downright un-American and a travesty to boot. These attacks portray him as out of touch with real Americans when the opposite is true, just look at his running mate, a “from back home” type of populist if there ever was one.

The opponent said in the last debate that he would (2) not appoint activist judges, are you kidding me? Of course he didn’t come right out and say he would. He did hint that he would only appoint judges that ruled in a certain way. I would like to point out that some Supreme Court justices do not base their decisions on precedent or in a sound legal basis. The last thing this country needs is more activist judges, especially on the supreme court. The two candidates have come down on differing sides of the living constitution issue. In reality there is only one side which is correct.

The candidate understands that sometimes it is important to use (3) diplomacy and sometimes it is important to use force. The key is knowing which time to use which.  The opponent and his running mate think that they should waste little time before using force in a dangerous country to save lives. Is this the proper use of force or diplomacy?

And finally remember one of these two won’t even admit to fund raising, by a TERRORIST for his campaign!

All this shows that the candidate, is in no way the best man for the job. He is wrong on three of the most important decisions facing the country. The candidate is wrong (1) for wanting to help corporations through this troubled times and not the common person. The candidate is wrong on (2) activist judges. he advocates putting judges on the bench that will legislate from the bench by overruling past precedent specifically in the case of Roe v. Wade. Finally the candidate is wrong on the issue of (3) diplomacy. He takes no forceful stand on genocide in Darfur, arguably the worst human tragedy of the 21st century.

It is hard to see how the candidate reconciles his various stances on these issues when often he has been (3) considered a hawk on military affairs. He even advocates staying in Iraq through the foreseeable future. Yet he thinks that we should not sit down “without preconditions” to speak with our enemies. (2) The candidate refuses to take a firm stand on the type of judges. While he has claimed he will require no litmus test for Supreme Court Justices he will not nominate anyone who disagrees with his views on the Roe v. Wade. (1) The candidate wants to give even more money, cut taxes, and further deregulate large corporate interests; meanwhile he refuses to lower taxes on the middle class.

A final thought…

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