Category: Politics

The Generational Election

Great great post by Ray Ghanbari.

I responded to his survey, though don’t remember where I was in the mix. And for the record, I don’t sip lattes – I drink espresso, thank you very much 😉 .

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Town Caucus!

Old, small New England towns are just different. Sherborn was settled in 1652, only 32 years after the Pilgrims hit the continent. We celebrated our semiseptcentennial (350 years – yeah, I too was surprised there’s a word for that!) not too long ago. Sherborn is a town of about 1,500 households and 4,500 residents, and it’s one of the least densely populated towns inside the Route 495 belt. We’ve still got working farms in town!

Last night Sherborn held its annual town caucus. Not to be confused with the presidential party-based caucus hoopla we’ve been immersed in of late, a town caucus is a now-uncommon annual event at which the townsfolk gather for the nominations for the various positions in town government. Most towns have sadly abandoned this process, and apparently only about 30 towns in MA now hold annual town caucuses. Mostly, towns just have candidates submit nomination paperwork instead – how boring!

I enjoy town caucus immensely (perhaps even irrationally) every year. You get to catch up with folks you haven’t seen in forever, meet new neighbors, and get a great read on the political buzz in town. Plus there’s always coffee and tasty baked goods to keep you on your toes!

The 2008 Sherborn Town Caucus was impressively attended, with about 200 residents crammed (and I do mean crammed!) into the room. Great work everybody!

The YouTube Debate

I found the CNN/YouTube debate interesting, but ultimately unimpressive.

The concept of a participatory democracy is obviously a powerful one, but the editorial veils of the network (which videos get chosen) and the campaign staffers (how questions get answered) suggest crisply that the powers-that-be surely aren’t ready for frank, open dialogue yet.

What the evening was, was a testament to marketing prowess.

Kudos to YouTube for making this happen. I bet they worked their asses off to get this deal together and to execute on it. A zillion people over the age of 40 will, this week, come to know what YouTube is.

Non-Kudos to the Democratic candidate campaign handlers (their marketers) for sticking to the rote, repetitive responses like it was any other debate. What an opportunity missed to reach out to a younger demographic.

While there were a few moments where a few of the candidates shined, net-net, the evening was about the questions instead of the answers. Interesting, but not ultimately helpful.

Who is Hilary Courting?

I was pointed to this article covering Senator Clinton’s visit to NH today, where she had a lot to say about our country’s economic situation, including these snippets:

“I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none.”

“There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets. But markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed…”

“Fairness doesn’t just happen. It requires the right government policies.”

Beyond education, Clinton said she would reduce special breaks for corporations, eliminate tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas and open up CEO pay to greater public scrutiny.

High on rhetoric and low on detail, as stump speeches are wont to be. But to this reader, it sounds a bit too much like what Hugo Chavez is touting. Socialism doesn’t work. That horse left the barn a few millenia ago.

I know Senator Clinton is way smarter than to believe this sort of claptrap. So who is she courting? The cynic in me says that the most likely constituency is the half of the nation that doesn’t pay taxes. Sad, unfortunate, and scary state of affairs.