Elections in the Internet Age

According to a report (pdf) released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, "46% of Americans have used the internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views and mobilize others." The readers of this post are all in that 46 percent. John McCain is not.

For list lovers, the top three election-related internet activities are: [more ...]

First, 35% of Americans say they have watched online political videos a figure that nearly triples the reading the Pew Internet Project got in the 2004 race. Second, 10% say they have used social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace to gather information or become involved. ... Third, 6% of Americans have made political contributions online, compared with 2% who did that during the entire 2004 campaign.

More findings:

  • 11% of Americans have contributed to the political conversation by forwarding or posting someone else's commentary about the race.
  • 5% have posted their own original commentary or analysis.
  • 6% have gone online to donate money to a candidate or campaign.
  • Young voters are helping to define the online political debate; 12% of online 18-29 year olds have posted their own political commentary or writing to an online newsgroup, website or blog.

The good, the bad, and the conflicted:

Yet despite the growth in the number of people who are politically engaged online, internet users express some ambivalence about the role of the internet in the campaign. On one hand, 28% of wired Americans say that the internet makes them feel more personally connected to the campaign, and 22% say that they would not be as involved in the campaign if not for the internet. At the same time, however, even larger numbers feel that the internet magnifies the most extreme viewpoints and is a source of misinformation for many voters.

If you're worried that all this political stuff will clog the internet tubes, or if you're a heavy consumer of internet video, you might want to take note of a new scheme to charge users more for indulging their online interests. On a related subject (tubes regulation), there's a noteworthy difference in the positions of Obama and McCain on net neutrality. Check it out.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Y Knot on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:26:48 PM EST
    the internet... is a source of misinformation for many voters.

    As if those who only get their news from TV or radio are better informed...

    Depending on what site you frequent. (4.66 / 3) (#19)
    by sociallybanned on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:24:31 PM EST
    Users are only misinformed when they visit Huffpo, Dkos, to name a few.  I will never forget when Obama's "passport" information was breached on Huffpo.  The report took up my whole monitor.  Then when you scolled down, on the right was McCain's and Clinton's info were breached too.  Almost every single site I went to had put Obama on a pedestal and demonized Hillary.  The Obama supporters , IMO, were no diffent than the Bush supporters of 2004 & 2000 election.  Extremist!  I even searched to see what type of folks were crossing from Republican to Democrat.  

    Were they for Hillary or Obama?  Obama!  Take a look!


    There have been some suggestions by conservative commentators, including columnist David Reinhard of The Oregonian, that Republicans should consider temporarily registering as Democrats to vote for the candidate they see as the weaker of the two in November. But there is little evidence that many Republicans have changed parties for that reason.

    "I was a Republican, but I don't think I've voted the Republican ticket for the last 12 years," Hockenbarger said. For years, she and her husband, James, who also switched parties, "were Republicans in name only."

    Dan Mahan, 43, a software engineer from Sherwood, said he changed his registration from Republican so he could vote for Obama. "It's a close race, and I want to support one candidate over the other."

    Melissa Thomas, 59, of Beaverton said she left the Republican Party to become a Democrat because of Obama.

    I had to actually visit WND.com just to obtain inormation on Obama.  They are pro GOP and anti- Democrat, including Hillary.  I didn't know about TL until I was linked to them from another site.  I lurked for a while then wanted to comment.  I tend to not hang around the sites that have Obama supporters bashing and acting too liberal aka NEOliberalism (Chavez)..  It's not my cup a tea and I prefer not to debate with those that look through rosey glasses.



    What? (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by jtaylorr on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:06:00 PM EST
    Hugo Chavez is one of the worlds biggest critics of neoliberalism.

    but dude, he was on a roll....hehe (2.33 / 3) (#35)
    by tben on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:41:40 PM EST
    I'm not a dude (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by sociallybanned on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:48:31 PM EST
    and while I believe Hugo had great intentions for the poor in his country, he let it get to his head .
    I thought it was noble for him to offer fuel assistance for our country.  

    i wasn't addressing you (1.66 / 6) (#41)
    by tben on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:00:10 PM EST
    i wonder if you know what neoliberalism is. Or liberalism, for that matter.

    See, round here, people tend to think Obama is too conservative - a Republican. Although I dont know where they get that either. Maybe you could discourse with the regulars here and the rest of us could learn all about political philosophy.


    Isn't neoliberalism just a (5.00 / 5) (#44)
    by Grace on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:04:48 PM EST
    neocon wearing Superman underwear?  ;-)

    I wonder if you know anything, frankly. (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by MarkL on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:08:43 PM EST
    You don't even know how to be convincingly supercilious.

    Disagreeing (none / 0) (#30)
    by sociallybanned on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:30:20 PM EST
    Disagreeing doesn't reflect true intentions or actions.  I don't mind Hugo on some issues (poor supporters) but to change their constituion to end term limits that would allow him to reign indefinitetly (we all know about illegal elections) sounds like something the Bush & Co would do.  Anything to benefit their own kind and ignore the intentions of the ppl.  He controlled the media and so did Bush at one time.  So, I don't see a difference in a Republican President of the US vs. a Venezuelan (liberal) president.  I would have dbl standards if I thought everything should be liberal.  I'm for fair and balance. For the good of the people! Not some leader calling the shots for everyone.  

    Chavez... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Alec82 on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 11:01:30 PM EST
    ...is not a liberal, by any stretch of the imagination.  You don't earn praise from the Chomsky crowd by being a political liberal.  But he's also not Ahmadinejad, which is why right wing talking points are ridiculous when it comes to Chavez.

     Hard leftists have been railing against the neoliberals and "Washington Consensus" for some time now.  Their passion obscures the fact that they do have some very legitimate concerns.  

     Regardless, there are many things to criticize Chavez and Co for.  But he's no liberal, and certainly not a "neoliberal."


    Every change to the Venezuelan Constitution (none / 0) (#101)
    by jtaylorr on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 07:09:21 AM EST
    has been done democratically through referendums that have been monitored by watchdogs. So if you think abolishing term limits was a bad idea, blame the Venezuelan people, not Hugo Chavez.

    The December referendum, which would have (none / 0) (#111)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:15:16 AM EST
    permitted Chavez to be President for life, was defeated.

    Thank you for correcting me. (none / 0) (#115)
    by jtaylorr on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:23:16 AM EST
    And the fact the he didn't dispute the results and will comply with them once his term ends shows Chavez is committed to preserving democracy.

    I hope you are correct about what will (none / 0) (#116)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:28:02 AM EST
    happen at the end of Chavez's term.  Mugabe isn't going thata route.  

    NEOliberalism (2.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Spike on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:13:49 PM EST
    "I tend to not hang around the sites that have Obama supporters bashing and acting too liberal aka NEOliberalism (Chavez).."

    I know what you mean. You know some of these young folks talk like commies with all that liberal talk. Especially all those extremist! Republicans crossing over to vote Democrat. So much misinformation.


    Speaking of lists. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:29:19 PM EST
    Yours doesn't even include newspapers.  

    Print is dead (none / 0) (#3)
    by Y Knot on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:34:48 PM EST
    Hence not listed here.

    Besides, newspapers can all be found on the internet these days, so I consider it redundant.


    Depends on your perspective, I suppose. (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:39:47 PM EST
    I remain a subscriber to the NYT, although I must confess I read the print edition less now.  

    I'm surprised only 6% (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:35:12 PM EST
    contributed over the internet.  I'd think it would be higher.  So the rest are giving by mail?  (or through work?)

    I think it refers to (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Y Knot on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:37:53 PM EST
    6% of all Americans have contributed over the internet.  that's not the same as saying 6% of all contributions have come from the internet.

    How odd (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:42:07 PM EST
    I would have thought all those $25 donation requests from Obama's camp would have been a huge number of people clicking on the "Contribute" button.

    Especially with all the young, new democrats.


    A lot of those (4.50 / 2) (#16)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:12:28 PM EST
    were given as donations for entry to those big rallies. In some cases, you had to  make a donation to get in.  Im not sure if that is true of all of the rallies.

    And buying bumper st ickers and pins (4.00 / 1) (#43)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:03:05 PM EST
    apparently gets counted as a "small contributor."

    if it's required, (none / 0) (#87)
    by cpinva on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 12:16:52 AM EST
    In some cases, you had to  make a donation to get in.

    it's not a donation, it's an entry fee. a donation is something given freely, of one's own accord, with no expecatation of receiving anything of value in return.

    if the obama campaign is including mandatory entry fees as part of "donations", they are just flat out lying.

    chavez is a wannabe dictator, hence the attempt to change the constitution, to eliminate presidential term limits.

    his actions are classic petty, third-world style: divert the attention of the populace by creating ficticious threats from outside. in his case, the US is the big, bad boogyman, constantly about to invade. we never do, nor have we ever given it any thought, but that doesn't stop him from getting them all lathered up over it.

    he's a twit. were it not for oil revenues, his economy would have sunk below ground level, and he'd have been tossed on his ear out of office.


    I made a series of $25 contributions... (none / 0) (#91)
    by Alec82 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 01:24:31 AM EST
    ...and I didn't receive anything in return.  No entry fees, etc.  I would appreciate a link to such an assertion.

     Additionally, while I have very strong reservations about Chavez, it was pretty clear in 2002 that this administration was happy to have him gone, and quite shocked by his return.  They also met with the coup plotters beforehand, and forgive me if I doubt their intentions, after all theyh have said and done.


    At some point we will find out most of the (4.33 / 6) (#13)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:58:58 PM EST
    money came from the bundlers, etc.

    Again, (none / 0) (#12)
    by Y Knot on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:49:55 PM EST
    6% of Americans.  Contributed over the net.  It is unknown what percentage of Americans have contributed period.  Let's say, for sake of easy math, 10% of all Americans have contributed period.  That would mean 60% of all contributions would have come from the internet.   Which would be impressive.  But the total number isn't stated here.

    8% of internet users have (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:07:05 PM EST
    contributed online.

    Y - I realize this does not address your point.  But the report doesn't say what percent of all Americans or all internet users have contributed.

    Just additional info.


    I'm not sure what to think about this (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by dianem on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:39:18 PM EST
    On the one hand, it seems sad (and a bit creepy) that a Presidential candidate doesn't know how to use a tool that most of us use regularly. On the other hand, I've been reassured many times by Obama's supporter's that it isn't really necessary for the President to have a wide variety of knowledge and experience - it's enough that he is able to hire people who do.

    I don't really care (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by stillife on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:49:35 PM EST
    about that.  My boss is 81 and sharp as a tack.  However, he doesn't even know how to turn on a computer!  He has no concept of how e-mail works - we have to do all that for him.  But it doesn't interfere with his practice of law.

    It's probably different for people in their 20's and 30's, but I find that a surprising number of people my age (I'm 53) do not use the Internet nearly to the extent that I do.  My mom is cute - she's 82 and an Internet addict.  She's arthritic and it takes her hours to get through her daily routine of reading the Times online and her loathsome websites (DKos, Huffpo, AmericaBlog).  

    Me, I'm hopeless with cellphones.  My daughter gets the giggles every time she sees me laboriously trying to type a text message.


    Same here (5.00 / 8) (#20)
    by janarchy on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:30:53 PM EST
    My 80 yr dad is very well informed, reads the paper, pays attention to the news and refuses to go on the Internet. He can't manage computers so relies on me to search for things for him and then print them out. Just because McCain doesn't surf the net himself doesn't mean he doesn't have staff who don't or a daughter who does.

    Meanwhile, my 73 yr old mom does use her computer, surfs the net, sends email and even IMs with a few of her friends. But she also relies on ME to do a lot of her googling and/or finding of websites to read.

    Personally, I hate snobbery about technology. As if owning an iPhone or a Blackberry or the newest shiniest computer on the block makes you a better person. I had friends in college who dropped $5000 on the first ever cd players and thought their sh!t didn't stink because some of us couldn't afford them or weren't in a great rush to get one (I waited until they were around $100!). I still get laughed at for having an old warhorse of a PC that runs in Win98 (my current laptop is a lot shinier and spiffier, mainly because the previous one died after a nasty fall). Not everyone has the same priorities!


    I watched Obama walk behind a group (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by Grace on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:01:28 PM EST
    of television reporters.  He was on his cellphone.  Strangely (though perhaps not to the group who post here) I thought that was a turnoff.  It reminded me of Paris Hilton who is always on her cellphone.  Well, her and about 100,000 other people who rudely carry on cellphone  conversations no matter where they are.  (In particular, I HATE, with a passion, the people who stand in front of the grocery store cashier with 20 people standing behind them in line, and yap away, ignoring everything the cashier is saying.)

    I kind of like the idea of having a leader who doesn't carry a cellphone -- or who at least puts it on vibrate and ignores all calls.  


    The main problem with cell phones (5.00 / 5) (#48)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:08:38 PM EST
    is you can't tell anymore who's a crazy person talking and gesticulating to himself and who's just on the phone with a bud.  Drives me crazy.

    What's worse (5.00 / 9) (#51)
    by Grace on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:20:41 PM EST
    is that people carry on conversations that we used to only have in private...

    "I know I told you I took my birth control pills but I forgot, okay??!!"

    "Put that whip back under the bed where you found it!  That belongs to your father!"

    "Really?  In your stool sample?"


    He may have been talking to his daughters (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by dianem on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:33:19 PM EST
    Apparently, he and his wife make a point of keeping close to their daughters even through the campaign. I'm betting that if it's bedtime, Obama says good night even if he's on his way to a fundraiser, if he can.

    This was in the daytime (none / 0) (#56)
    by Grace on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:48:40 PM EST
    and he was emerging from a building so... Who knows?  

    If you go to Google images and look for "Obama cellphone" (without quotation marks) there are bunches of photos of him on his cellphone.  

    I guess he likes his cellphone!  


    Nature of campaigning (none / 0) (#84)
    by Alec82 on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 11:10:54 PM EST
    I used my cell phone the most I have in my life during the 2004 campaign.  I happen to dislike cell phones (my own is very simple, without any relatively standard features (these days) like cameras).  And once it became possible I dropped out of having contracts.

     But regardless, I don't hold his cell phone use against him.  Shockingly, if you do a search for "Clinton cell phone" or "McCain cell phone" you get a lot of photos of those candidates on their cell phones as well.

     All that tells me is that there isn't a luddite running for president.


    Cell phone talkers (none / 0) (#85)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 11:40:23 PM EST
    are annoying, I agree with Grace there.  But of all the things I harsh on Obama for, his cell phone use wouldn't be one of them.  At least he answers his cell phone instead of making some poor staffer take all his calls.

    I'm pretty sure (none / 0) (#73)
    by Grace on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:48:55 PM EST
    John McCain has a shoe phone, just like Maxwell Smart, because he's not as technologically advanced as Obama.  ;-)  

    An awful lot of people (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:06:45 PM EST
    who didn't grow up with computers are convinced they'll get a computer virus and kill the computer if they go on the Internet.  Really older people have a very hard time with the whole concept.  I had once an 85-year-old neighbor, retired professional guy, very smart, used the Internet to read newspapers, even buy things, but wouldn't have anything to do with any email because he was certain  everybody who did got computer viruses.

    Heh (none / 0) (#99)
    by stillife on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 05:31:13 AM EST
    My mother uses e-mail to send me those "helpful" forwarded warnings about e-mail viruses!

    My in-laws (none / 0) (#80)
    by stxabuela on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 10:34:32 PM EST
    love email.  My father-in-law is 86, my mother-in-law is 83. They bought a computer about 18 months ago, and they're starting to figure out how to read newspapers online!  

    maybe as you.

    You would think, the younger generation would not only have experience surfing the net and obtaining their information from lets say a non-biased site, but to be able to research better and to discover their candidate (Obama) is not all made out to be a candidate of "change".  While I'm outweighing McCain's stances and Obama's, I don't see a difference.  Voting record?  Sure, if you are counting Obama's record as evidence and then listen to him speak and answer differently, you can easily detect, something isn't right. He echos the ideas of other congresswomen (Hillary)  and men.

    The difference is that McCain is more honest in his stances.  Obama , imo is a puppet, and has so many dbl standards.  If these young students would apply their research skills, that they have had all throughout middle school to college, they would have voted differently.  

    Obama's superficial anti-war stance, is going to slap them in the face. He has no plans to withdrawl but to refocus and add more military in Afghanistan.   See his website.

    His true stance on capitalism is going to be another wake up call for those that have lost their jobs (Furman - pro-nafta , pro-corporate policies).  

    Btw, I lost my job (2001) to NAFTA and pro-corporate policies.  Nothing is worse than seeing your car being repoed and a foreclosure on your house.  I'm making less than I was 16 years ago.  (Thanks Bush & Co) and your pro-corporate policies!)

    The youth that relies on the net isn't going to get a fair shot of the truth (unless they apply their researching skills) because, I still see so much biased media favoring Obama (net or via tv).  They will be the blame for a democratic loss in November.  


    The internet is terrible for developing (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by MarkL on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:47:15 PM EST
    thinking skills, IMO, but it's a good resource if you have them already, AND if you have a lot of time.

    well to obtain thought, you have to (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by sociallybanned on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:06:32 PM EST
    obtain good resources.  Right?  The library these days do not provide the necessary tools via books of opinion, yet some necessary tools are unpublished and are blogged.

    First you have to learn how to think (5.00 / 5) (#59)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:56:54 PM EST
    and get the basics down.  Without those, all the info in the world is meaningless.

    If you've already learned how to process information, find sources, and have some basic history, social studies, geography etc., then the internet is like Willy Wonka's to a sugar addict.

    I'm glad most of my education was pre-web.  My thoughts and opinions don't depend on what my closest MySpace pals think.  Of course, I could have really used it when I was writing my college thesis...


    There are too much information (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by dianem on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:36:17 PM EST
    Having the internet at your disposal is like having a library that contains every book, newpaper, and magazine (tabloid or otherwise), as well as millions of conversations at your disposal. Even though we have all of this information, it's hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. There is a lot of good stuff - but anybody who has tried to research a serious issue will tell you that the truth may be out there, but it's very hard to sort out from the lies.

    Oop... "Is" (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by dianem on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:05:29 PM EST
    I have some kind of knack for writing things that sound right but use the wrong work or letter, which would not be a problem if I was able to read and see the mistake before I posted. Even if I read a note twice, it often has at least one type. The only thing that works in the real world is printing things out and looking at them - which I'm not going to do for internet comments. That said, consider this a blanket apology for all of my typos and words that are close to right but not quite on target.

    You could consider it (none / 0) (#9)
    by Y Knot on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:46:16 PM EST
    Sad and creepy, but not disqualifying for the Presidency.

    Experience, not so important.  I won't be expecting him troubleshoot my port mapping problem, or set up my web-server  ( http://www.reformtheprimary.com )*.  

    Knowledge is another matter.  I would hope that our next President has at least some familiarity with one of the driving forces of our economy and society.  

    *And no, that's not a real.  But if I was more technically saavy, I would've Rickrolled you.  So if you clicked on it, consider yourself rolled.


    I'm wondering if those of us who (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 05:48:49 PM EST
    are less than enthralled with Obama should sign up for facebook and myspace.  Would this turn the tide?  

    You Do Like To Stir The Pot (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:07:54 PM EST
    Somehow I don't think facebook or myspace would make me more enthralled with Obama.

    Would frighten me (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:13:59 PM EST
    Because a lot of the implications of massive social networking give me pause.  (btw I know you were joking).

    I find there are very few sites, political or otherwise, that really allow discussion.  No back and forth, just a bunch of opinion blurts in a long list.  Yes, social networking has other benefits, but I really miss some of the early usenet groups I used to belong to way back when there was exchange of ideas.

    Aside from TL the best board I've ever been on for discussion was the Buffy Philosophy board.  Seriously, some deep sh*t was discussed.  Sigh.


    Oh, I think the sites (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 12:28:27 AM EST
    "allow discussion." But, mostly that is not what is happening.  

    I post on one bulletin board website (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 01:42:30 AM EST
    Their "Politics" board was sort of an afterthought (since the website is devoted to other things) but I usually enjoy it because people just exchange ideas and argue over topics like immigration, gun control, taxes.  The board is moderated so the insult level is very low.  Nobody proclaims to be smarter, better educated, or any of those "better things" so it feels like it's just ordinary people interested in politics.  Overall, I like it a lot.  

    The only bad part was when the Presidential Elections started attracting a lot of new people who continually posted long memes supporting Obama.  What's worse, you get to rate posters (like here) and the Obama supporters were troll rating everyone.  Most of the people who posted there prior to the Obama people NEVER troll rated ANYONE unless they posted spam, advertising, or obscenities.  We were just a happy group of people who happened to disagree on a lot of things.  :)  

    Anyway, I finally got tired of posting about the elections there so I found this board.  


    unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by boredmpa on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 02:06:18 AM EST
    all my graduate peers are on facebook. and most of them have been in probama groups (i get the little updates).  

    Between the spam from all the "games" (read: advertising hook-ins) and "what i'm doing now" information, I really think facebook is annoying as hell.

    Personally, I only have an account so i don't totally lose touch with people and forget their names at a reunion :P


    Oh, and I clicked an Obama facebook group/forum back in the day...they were trying to bounce online polls to Obama's favor.  Unfortunately, AOL had a rolling poll (updated/reset every week)...they never did get obama ahead on it...too many older supporters :)


    I always think of ... (none / 0) (#114)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:39:24 AM EST
    MySpace and Facebook as Fisher Price Internet.

    Big colorful buttons and easy for children to use.


    I'm content to maintain my (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:14:44 PM EST
    less than enthralled state. I'll vote for him, but if it takes a facebook life to love the guy, I'm just not that into him.

    I'm content to watch Tiger (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by oldpro on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:50:33 PM EST
    struggle through the last nine of the US Open in pain and out of focus...still...he's right in there.  A pro under duress with a bogey on 13, drops back to second place.  For now.  But an unbelievable finish yesterday (2 eagles to take the lead) reminds us not to leave before it's over.

    Comparing Tiger and Obama in my minds eye as I watch this drama unfold...it seems to me that Obama is no Tiger Woods, much as his admirers might think the comparison apt.  But perhaps 'the audience' may have been conditioned to confuse talent and achievement with celebrity in some way, especially when it involves sport.  Remembering in basketball...Dr. J...Michael Jordan...and how they rose 'above the crowd' with singular talent and achievement, achieving celebrity given to few minorities in our culture.  And Woods...the first AA in golf and now Obama in the political 'game.'

    If only it were only a game.


    He's no Tiger Woods. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by masslib on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:19:39 PM EST
    I have a Facebook account (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by janarchy on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:31:50 PM EST
    It hasn't changed my mind in the least!

    I have a myspace! (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by sociallybanned on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 06:55:25 PM EST
    Same here, doesn't change my mind at all.

    I have to give Obama credit for this.  When Bush & Co were elected, it created online activism which IMO is more powerful than going door to door.  He even went beyond and hired bloggers to flood the internet, bashing all they could but unfortunatly, he only focused on the fresh registered college kids to do it for him.  Online activism started with the late 20 somethings and 30 pluses.  We are still around and have seen all that Bush and his MEDIA had done.  WE don't typically jump on the issue and run with it.  That's irresponsible!  Even my friend who is a blogger in Cincy supports Obama and started to bash Hillary on his site.  (I think he has a crush on me).  I commented and told him, that he is ruining it for a democrat to win in Nov.  I told him that his blogging was turning into radical blogging and will push any centrist minded or independent thinker away fro his candidate.  I kid you not, he stopped bashing Hillary.  I said more than that but I believe he's seen my point.  I wonder if he was one of the paid bloggers.  Like TL, he has been a blogger for 5 yrs or so.  

    Well, enough of my blah, blah, blah, my point is, that I don't trust any media outlet. I have to dig deeper by researching and form my own opinion.  One thing I can't stand is someone forcing their opinion on mine and Obama supporters are guilty of that.  


    My age group (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:31:03 PM EST
    is definitely internet capable (for instance, I've done just about all the things in the report) but isn't really as conducive to influence through social networks.

    Soc networks are more about relationship building using technology and just not focused on analysis or discussion.  Agreement with whatever opinion is more important than any intellectual concern.  I think that explains some of the astonishment among Obama supporters that Clinton supporters ever existed or that they didn't all rush to Obama after June 2.

    I like y'all at TL but my world wouldn't end if everyone disagreed with me.  My social relationships in real life depend very little on agreement.  For some of them, bonding is as often through the process of disagreeing discussion as much as anything.


    I just signed on to facebook (none / 0) (#66)
    by dianem on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:09:27 PM EST
    To look at Jeralyn's pictures (from the birthday post). I was a bit nervous, actually. There are so many ways to go wrong on the net. The first time I ever posted to a newsgroup I replied to a very sad letter from someone who was depressed. I guess it was a trol; (I had never heard of trolls, of course) who was crossposting, because when I read the posted comment it was crossposted to a site about incest. I didn't post again for about 2 years. I'm sure that won't happen with facebook, but any time I put my real name on anything I get a bit nervous. I have an unusual name and it would be very easy to tie my name to me.

    Internet misinformation? (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by Prabhata on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:22:36 PM EST
    Not possible.  Facts are available to anyone who desires to know them by using "The Google".  Newspapers and other media outlets can twist the facts or ignore them and one cannot go to the source.  A good example is the "fairy tale" accusation from the AA community and the media against Bill Clinton.  At the time I was supporting Edwards, but I was appalled at the accusations coming from the Obama camp after watching the comment from BC about Obama's position as a antiwar candidate being a fairy tale.  The information was there for anyone to check and determine the truth on facts.  Checking facts helped me understand the Obama camp use of misinformation against the Clintons.  I lost all respect for Obama and his supporters because it was not possible to misuse the facts unknowingly.

    A lot of people don't check, though (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:37:27 PM EST
    I learned all my research skills and such long before the web existed.  I'm just in the habit of looking stuff up, it's all about the data.

    If that's not your habit, or you're never taught to view the world skeptically, then it doesn't matter what's available.

    Plus it's hard not to become lost in the storm.  Clouds and clouds of people saying the same 5 things over and over.  Frequency does matter, no matter how resistant one is.  No one has the time to check out every single thing.


    Even if you check, that doesn't mean... (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by dianem on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:15:30 PM EST
    ...that you get the truth. Even, sometimes, using supposedly reliable sources isn't enough. I read Media Matters when I'm not sure what the story is, and it's amazing how often the media get it wrong. And when you take into account the the internet bloggers are as subject to mass irrationality as the general public, the internet can become a very bad place for facts.

    Look up any of the Clinton attacks, and I guarantee that before you get to the truth you're going to have to wade through at least a dozen pages making good sounding arguments to promote the lies.


    That's true (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:45:34 PM EST
    when Drudge was circulating that pic of Obama 'in Muslim dress', a friend sent to me as proof that the Clinton campaign was engaged in 'Rovian' tactics.

    It tooks me digging through at least 20 sites just to find out that it originally came from Drudge.  So malicious person + masses only too willing to believe = big harm.


    and, if someone was really trying (none / 0) (#83)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 11:07:07 PM EST
    to sell the country on the Muslim garb idea, they didn't check the right places on the internet. I was surfing around yesterday, don't even remember whose site I found it, but there's a very interesting photo of Obama with his half-brother, or cousin, where Obama is in full dress for a family photo. You can tell how much I don't care about that topic...I'm sure I couldn't find it again now if I wanted to.

    Unfortunately, this is true even (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 01:58:00 AM EST
    in issues where there should be no opinion presented, like history websites, which should only present facts.    

    I sell antiques and I frequently look for information on the internet.  Sometimes I find things that I know are terrible falsehoods.  Other times I find copyrighted material that comes from expensive books (I know because I own the books) that is posted without the author's permission.  (And when you spend $200 to own the book so you can own that information, it really rankles to see it free for everyone on the internet.)  I've even found some of my own photographs of an item I once owned on a website that purports to be a "museum."  

    There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet.  


    Check these out (none / 0) (#102)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 07:52:42 AM EST
    Dihydrogen monoxide research or this
    or this .

    Teachers use these sites about the "velcro crop" the Pacific NW Tree Octopus and the more famous one about water to show kids that you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Unfortunately, many people have missed the lesson.


    Snopes is a good resource (none / 0) (#106)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 08:55:02 AM EST
    Unfortunately, it's limited in scope (they don't vet web pages  or political rumors unless they become viral e-mails). I have yet to see a situation in which they flat out got something wrong and I've never seen them have a discernable bias (although they seem to have spent more time vetting Obama's legends than those of Clinton). But they do have a section of their web site that exists exclusively to make the point that you can't trust everything you see on the web, even if you completely trust the site.

    True! (none / 0) (#39)
    by sociallybanned on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:54:53 PM EST
    Facts Are Simple (none / 0) (#34)
    by Spike on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:39:43 PM EST
    "...it was not possible to misuse the facts unknowingly."

    Facts are simple and facts are straight

    Facts are lazy and facts are late

    Facts all come with points of view

    Facts don't do what I want them to

    Facts just twist the truth around

    Facts are living turned inside out

    Facts are getting the best of them

    Facts are nothing on the face of things

    Facts don't stain the furniture

    Facts go out and slam the door

    Facts are written all over your face

    Facts continue to change their shape


    Facts rarely (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by pie on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:00:21 PM EST
    elect presidents or influence policy.

    I have nothing... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by A little night musing on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:36:13 PM EST
    ..except that someone, earlier today, in what context I've forgotten (in my current "if you can't say something nice say nothing" mood) suggested BTD as the perfect VP nominee...

    And I was lost... YES I said YES I will YES...

    Dang, I'm easy. ;-)

    BTD met my criteria for AG. (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:48:55 PM EST
    met and exceeded n/t (none / 0) (#38)
    by A little night musing on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:51:02 PM EST
    Hey! I'm (5.00 / 6) (#40)
    by camellia on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 07:57:20 PM EST
    a 71 year old woman, and I own a Mac-mini, which I set up myself, and I must say it was a lot easier than setting up my former Windows computers (3 of them).  I know how to use The Google, and how to text-message (although I am rotten at getting my T-Mobile phone to cough up my voice messages).  I keep up with all my groups (Spanish classes and conversation, political activity, family and friends) on email, and have made political donations on-line since 2003 when Howard Dean began his run.    I post here and on a couple of other political blog sites, but ....

    I still read the newspaper daily, use the library frequently (librarians are fantastic at finding obscure stuff for you), listen to NPR and C-Span, as well as the local Spanish-language stations.   Just because I don't use Facebook doesn't mean that I am not plugged in!  And I agree -- I don't think that McCain necessarily has to know how to use the 'net himself -- that's what he has aides for, although I would hope that he would spend some time surfing around himself just to get a sense of what's out here.  It really is a new world, although I am not so sure that it's a wonderful world.  A lot of strange things going on!

    Yes. A call out on behalf of newspapers, (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 12:31:19 AM EST
    NPR, C-Span, and most especially, that fossil of an institution, the library.  Yeah.  

    Babe! (none / 0) (#46)
    by A little night musing on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:05:48 PM EST
    I'm a supra-fuggit-female mini fan. Don't get all defensive about using a computer that makes your life easier.



    Go Mac! (none / 0) (#57)
    by Y Knot on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:49:09 PM EST
    I love my mini. Of course, then I got my MacBook Pro so then I hated the feeling of being tied to my desk. Of course, THEN I got my iPhone. Now I hate lugging around that big old laptop.

    Still, I do all my photoediting on the mini.  It's great when this stuff just works.

    Hey, there's a thought. Maybe someone should buy McCain a Mac!  (whew!  Made it back on topic at the last second!)


    Hey, you have all my computers (none / 0) (#105)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 08:28:17 AM EST

    Except they make me use a Dell at work.  Painful.


    OTH (none / 0) (#58)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:52:14 PM EST
    this ancient one thinks a Linux operating system is just the ticket for keeping your brain limber.  It's also a bunch cheaper.  Started off with a Coleco Adam, which worked for years and was eventually linked to a Win 3.1 home-built.  Also we had a Comodore C 64 and an Amiga (often used with a DX7-2FD), and a university-issued Windows 95 upgraded to a Windows 98.  (My first mainstream computer was an IBM Aptiva with 95 on it.  Still works.)

    As to politics and news--I get almost everything from the net now.  My sister got behind on the primaries for awhile, and was telling me I needed to watch Bill Moyers and vote the Democrat, no matter who.  I'm not being fair to her--she's 87 and has MD, so actual surfing is hard for her.  


    C-64 rulz! (none / 0) (#61)
    by Y Knot on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:59:11 PM EST
    that was my first computer ever.  Got through my last 2 years of high school and all of college writing papers on that thing.

    I like the idea of Linux. I keep telling myself I'm gonna get a cheapie box and try to puzzle it out, but it never happens.


    You are new so you may not be aware that (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:17:50 PM EST
    we have rules about civility on this site. STFU does not fall within the guidelines no matter what your political opinion or leanings.

    Hope you will honor the rules when sharing your opinion.

    My, My (5.00 / 0) (#55)
    by Spike on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:41:14 PM EST
    Such troll-like behavior. I thought it was the Obama supporters who exhibited such incivility. I have clearly received misinformation on the internets.

    Who knew (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by pie on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 08:57:03 PM EST
    the Open would continue tomorrow?

    And NBC will air it.

    No Gallup at least has added cell-only (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:00:22 PM EST
    households to their polling.

    I'm not sure about the other big pollsters.

    ahem (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Alec82 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 04:37:21 AM EST
    You may not use TalkLeft as an organizing ground to gain support for McCain. That's not what comments are for. They are for expressing your opinion, consistent with our commenting policy.

     I think it is fair to say that is what you are doing.  You are in violation of site policy.

    When did (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 08:56:12 AM EST
    supporting Hillary become supporting McCain?  As far as I know, Hillary is still a Democrat and I see no mention of McCain in that post.  

    Polls (none / 0) (#67)
    by befuddledvoter on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:14:13 PM EST
    Has anyone ever been contacted for one of these polls??  I have never been.  My 90-year old mother was polled.  It was early primary and she was asked if she supported Obama.  She said he seems nice but he needs to wait so that she really knows who he is.  She stated she would vote for Hillary, the strongest candidate and the most experienced.  Woman pollster said well you can vote for Obama in 8 years then.  Mother answered, "No I cannot."  Pollster says "Why"?  Mother says "because I am 90 now and in 8 years, I will be 98."  Pollster laughed.  

    I was contact for a local election (none / 0) (#72)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:48:44 PM EST
    poll recently.  Although, it was kind of odd, aside from the normal questions to see if I'm a likely voter, there was a whole string of questions that went like this:  Candidate 'X' says blah blah about 'Y' and Candidate 'Z' says other blah blah about 'W', which do you find more convincing.

    And a friend at work was polled by Gallup a couple months ago.  She was quite pleased to be able to answer 'Clinton' strongly for all the questions.


    I have to admit that being able to make (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:31:28 PM EST
    contributions online have made things a lot easier and consistent for me.  It used to be that somewhere in between the million things that needed to be done every day, getting that check made out and mailed got pushed way back down on the must do list and had been known to even fall off the list.

    Ease of contributing (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 09:50:37 PM EST
    Same here.  Every time I'd get really annoyed by a 'news' report or a blog or some other stupidity, I'd just send along another couple of bucks.

    But the old-fashioned way, forget it, I can barely get my bills out on time for the few I can't pay online each month.


    I was straight internet contributions also (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by befuddledvoter on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 10:16:03 PM EST
    It was almost too easy and I think that is why contributions broke all records.  Also, I was "inspired" to contribute whenever I got an email from Clinton or heard an Obama blogger saying she was out of money.  

    I do wonder since I probably made about 10 separate contributions, was I counted as 10 contributors??  


    Could be Both (none / 0) (#81)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 10:35:04 PM EST
    How you were counted with a PR statement to the press and how you were counted with official campaign finance reports could be two different things. Officially you are just one. For PR purposes you may have been ten.

    Which helps confirm the old adage, Figures lie and liars figure.


    Being able to contribute by clicking (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 12:32:54 AM EST
    on a link caused me to make my first contribution to a Presidential primary candidate.  Heard my candidate had to loan his/herself a bunch of money, and there I was.  

    I grew up having the importance of (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:08:56 AM EST
    contributing to the campaign demonstrated to me by my grandparents.  They were FDR democrats.  Our lives tend to get so fast paced though now and add some kids in there and I ended up feeling guilty at times when I realized that I hadn't got that campaign contribution sent in.  Now I can do it while checking my email.

    I just realized something (none / 0) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:14:38 AM EST
    I get really chapped at the idea of churches throwing guilt around about not tithing to them, but I'm no fan of organized religion.  I expect myself to tithe to political campaigns though that are espousing my beliefs.  I think I do have a religion, and it's politics.

    As I recall, tithing is Bible-based, for (none / 0) (#112)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:20:12 AM EST
    religion, that is.

    forget cell, what about skype or other voip (none / 0) (#92)
    by DandyTIger on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 01:41:09 AM EST
    I'm sure they're not calling those. Haven't called me anyway.

    of prices and net neutrality (none / 0) (#94)
    by DandyTIger on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 01:49:03 AM EST
    As the internet has evolved into a necessary utility for many people not unlike roads, the idea of individual companies making changes, filtering, or down right stopping you based on your packet patterns really makes me nervous. As more people jump on board and as more people use video and use VoIP, there will definitely be problems with the infrastructure. And of course the big problem of ISP's having minimal infrastructure and charging based on the assumption that you're not going to use your bandwidth is all about to hit a brick wall. We will need some big changes and some big oversight very very soon.

    Then again, better wireless approaches may happen just as the telcos and cable companies are starting to put on the squeeze, which would be extra great because they'd lose out for being idiots once again. And would be a nice example of choices, i.e. competition, being the way to fix something like this.

    Time will tell.

    This is off-topic (none / 0) (#113)
    by ajain on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:22:43 AM EST
    But in the latest New York magazine there is a cover story about Hillary Clinton that is pretty good.


    Its a fun read.

    McCain Can't Use A Computer (none / 0) (#117)
    by Moishele on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 03:45:13 PM EST
    So? This story reminds me of the Josh Marshall melt down on Bill Clinton referring to YouTube videos as 'movies'. It's much ado about nothing.

    There's so much else wrong with McCain. Why dwell on this type of thing?