Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Primaries and Caucuses are coming to Washington!

The election year is in full swing, and the candidates are going to be chosen.
First we need to remember what the Primaries and Caucuses are.

The primaries (aka primary elections) are a vote by the people of a local or State government to determine who that state will support for president.

I heard on the news today a definition of a caucus relating it to a colonial town meeting. Where you gather with your neighbours to discuss issues relating to who will run the town. I seemed to like that as a simplified definition... and I like the sound of that.

Finally and probably most important is the purpose for having these two important parts of the election process... I swear I never heard this in school... which is really sad... The results from the caucuses and primaries are used to determine the Democratic and Republican nominees to run for the office of President of the United States of America!

As far as the candidates go, I would like to start by looking at the Democratic candidates in this post. The Republican candidates will be for my next post on the elections.

To start with, we have Barack Obama.
I have to say I really like what the man has to say: Bush has never said anything of sustenance at the State of the Union address, Middle Class tax cuts, pull out of Iraq, unemployment insurance, and affordable health care... For his video, I choose his response to Bush's last State of the Union Address.

Next is Hillary Clinton.
Take the tax subsidies away from the oil companies to create a fund for alternative energies (strategic energy fund), tax cuts for the middle class, public health care, end the war on Iraq, bridge the Spanish language gap, economic emergency fund, and more student funding. In other words, she is really big on public services for the people. Anyway, I think for my video, the best one I could find was from the Democratic Debate about her experiences that qualify her for president...

Last, and it looks like he may probably be least is Mike Gravel.
MSNBC said he dropped out on January 3rd... His website says he is still in... either he fired is web developer when he dropped out, or he is still running. He has an interesting history considering he played a significant roll behind the "Pentagon Papers" which ended the draft during the Vietnam War.

If you want to see some really intelligent talks that ask the candidates real questions, check out the At Google Talks for the Democratic Candidataes (Caution, these videos are 1 hour each):
Barack Obama - Candidates@Google
Hillary Clinton - Women@Google
Mike Gravel - Candidates@Google

The Mike Gravel one is good... Obama is a speech, not an interview... The Hillary Clinton one is definitely a different tone but still good. The Mike Gravel one is the best I think...

I can see that a lot of money will have to come from taxes for public health care, but at the same time ending the War on Iraq/terror will free up trillions of dollars. I think that should cover a good chunk of it. However I think a genuine concern is national spending... and there are some really good arguments to consider when talking about spending money. For instance, watch this video which talks about David Walker's argument concerning government spending:

I think I'm part of the You Tube Generation... maybe... but concerning this video it does seem that DavidThePatriot, the poster of the video, is rooting for Ron Paul for president, 2008. Ron Paul does seem to have some good arguments, but as a republican my analysis of him is a topic for my post about the Republican candidates.

And now for something completely different...

Snoqualmie's pass may just open in another few hours! Apparently the avalanche control people have done their job enough to significantly reduce the risk of avalanches and are ready to clean up the pass. The pass has only been open for 4 hours this week, marking the longest period in three decades that the pass was closed. Crazy stuff.

Anyway, that's it for now... Check back later for more election themed stuff.