Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Blog #6: Over half of the Missourians support clean power

1. This article is from the Kansas City Star and covers a new “Clean Power Plan” and shows the results of a survey earlier this year over Missourians who “favor stronger limits on carbon pollution”, which was 62% of the respondents.

2. The data from the survey is not listed anywhere in the article so that makes me question where it came from and how the research was conducted.

3. What will the Clean Power Plan enforce exactly? (We learned where the politicians stand on the issue but I want the article to explain more about the plan.)

Categories: BLOG 6 Tags: ,

Biden would enter race in 2016 as most popular candidate

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment
  1. The article describes a study conducted that shows that if Joe Biden ran for President, he would be a leader in the polls. I chose this article because I am interested in becoming more knowledgeable about the presidential election and its candidates.
  2. The data shown in the NBC News article is from Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies funded by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal Survey. The research was done over a period of 5 years beginning in 2010. The information was gathered by calling 1000 adults. The researched asked questions about the likeness of specific public political figures and had participants rate them. According to the study, if Joe Biden was currently in the race as a Presidential candidate than he would be considered to be the most popular candidate.
  3. I wonder what the results would be if they increased the number of people reached and if they expanded the way in which researchers gathered data.


Categories: BLOG 3 Tags:

Most important information need in a community

September 12, 2011 3 comments

Citizens within a community are often driven to accomplish individual goals and tasks rather than working for the greater good. People are worried about what time they need to get to work, when their child needs to be picked up from school, what they are going to eat for dinner that night, how much their bills are this month, etc. While all of these concerns are very necessary to get through daily life, there are greater needs that could stem from the amount of information available within a community.

The city of Columbia does a fine job of providing event dates for music festivals, bar specials for the downtown area, sports coverage, and other entertainment like entities. As much as I enjoy hearing about these facets of the community, I also see a lack of information about the local politics, movements, and activists. I would also like to see greater attention paid to the art scene. I just recently found out about how the North Village Arts District is an actual little community within itself that provides special events and gatherings for Columbians.

It would be nice to have a website, database, or some type of information-collective that laid everything out in grid form for viewers to pick and choose what they are interested in. Columbia has a website that lays out events and things going on around the area, but there is still a vast amount of necessary information missing.

Just to sum everything up, Columbia needs more information concerning local politics, the art scene, and movements going on in the area. I want to know more about these parts of the town, and after getting that information, I will inevitably feel more included and apart of the community.

BLOG 12: The End is Nigh

As I was sitting at my laptop last night, refreshing Twitter and watching CNN, awaiting Obama’s announcement with breathless anticipation (okay maybe not so dramatically), it occurred to me how relevant the paper I researched for this class really was/is to my daily life. We talked about social networking technologies so many times throughout the semester and its implications for the news media and political communication. It was ironic, or maybe satisfying in its own way, when Twitter leaked the news of Obama’s big announcement a good 15 minutes before CNN even did.

That, I think, was the best part of this class–how extremely relevant the material and discussions were. The dissemination of political news, the evolution of satire, the effects of social media, and the changing structure of the political regime–these were all political and communication theories, in a sense, but they were also tangible theories; theories we could find real life examples to just by opening Twitter or turning on the news.

Materials-wise, I have to say that my favorite readings and lectures came from the Kennedy/Nixon discussions early on in the semester. Granted, I’m a bit of a history nerd and, as a Poli Sci major, a huge political science nerd as well. Still, seeing the differences between Kennedy’s campaign strategies and Nixon’s campaign strategies and then tracing the evolution of political campaigns and communications through today was not only rewarding for a nerd, but rewarding for someone who likes to think that politics has some relevance to her life. The information was new, to me, and the reading material was interesting and fresh, but I liked that it gave me a tangible timeline to draw from–background information on how political campaigns came to be the way they are today.

Relevance, relevance, relevance. I think in any good class, that is key, and even in discussing the history of political campaigns, the material we read and discussed was extremely relevant. I loved this!

On the other hand, there were differences I would have liked to have seen too, of course. The Sustein book wasn’t my favorite, clearly. But mostly, I wish we could have had more in-class discussions on some of the blog topics. I enjoyed writing and reading blog posts, but I feel like they could have really added perspective and good discussion to a class that almost encourages a Socratic-style seminar. I would have liked to have spent more time talking about current events, relating our discussions back to what we’re seeing in the world today (especially given that the Egyptian Revolution happened during the course of this class), and probing more into really interesting and unique theories like the Al-Jazeera Effect.

I won’t say necessarily that any topics were boring or irrelevant, because I think everything very naturally related to one another, and I greatly appreciated that. But perhaps next time, more discussion-based topics, rather than a discussion of the reading material, will make this class even more interactive, relevant, and fulfilling than it already is!

Thanks for letting me use this space to sarcastically remark about politics all semester! In return, have yet ANOTHER Obama manip. Thank god for Tumblr, really.

Nuz, out! xoxo!

Blog 12 Wrapping it up…

I came into this class with zero sense of political awareness and now that this semester is coming to a close I feel like I’ve learned something and now have an interest in politics. The class was so hands on and interactive, and that’s right down my alley. I really enjoyed how the “lectures” were put together. When we have discussions like we did it made things a lot more relevant to our lives. A lot of the times a professor will get up in front of the class and just go on and on about something that you don’t even feel like has anything to do with your life…this class was completely different.

If I had to put my finger on one thing that was my favorite part of the class I think I would say that reading ‘Making of the President‘ would top the list. When we broke down the reading within groups it made it much easier and a much more obtainable task. Not to mention it was a very entertaining book on the history of media and how it related and changed the political world forever. I’m sure that in 20 or so years students will be reading about how the 2008 Presidential election changed the way candidates went about their campaigning.

I’m not even going to touch on anything that I didn’t like about the class…Because there wasn’t anything.

I do know that I came in worried that I was going to struggle my way all the way through this semester within this class because of my lack of knowledge within the political world but because of the way it was taught and how relevant it was my worry turned into enjoyment. I can honestly say that one of the most important thingsthat I will take away from this class is that I will now vote in the next election because I feel like I will be informed to make the right decision and a lot of that has to do with the interest that this class has sparked for me!

Job well done Professor Houston!

BLOG 11: “Democracy Now–Now Known As the Age of the Google”

April 18, 2011 1 comment

Democracy, if you think about it, is kind of a like a Pokemon. You start off with one creature in one shape with one set of powers. You nurture it, play with it, come to know it intimately. Somewhere down the line, you realize that you can’t cope with external pressures anymore. Your Pokemon evolves because you needed it to, because you’ve taken care of it long enough to see it change into a creature that’s more helpful.

Okay, so admittedly, I’ve never played Pokemon and even as a fifth grader, I was utterly disdainful of everyone who had the trading cards on the playground. The point is the same, though–Democracy, as an institution, as a bureaucracy, has evolved over time and with it, so has the role of the Democratic citizen.

The 20th century was a time of rapid change for our democracy. The Progressives limited the power of the political party, political parties realigned their values, women gained the right to vote, the voting age was lowered,  television won Kennedy the presidency, and Vietnam rocked the political world. To be a democratic citizen in the 20th century depended entirely on when you were being a democratic citizen.

Initially, the responsibility was simple–vote. Listen to the President on the radio, register with your political party, turn in a ballot and vote for the candidate determined by your party. If you had political discussions at the dinner table, good for you.

Nixon, Vietnam, the war between the Democratic and Republic parties–the 1960s-1970s changed the very face of our democracy and, with it, the responsibilities citizens had toward it. The media became much more critical of our government, television afforded publicity and gave a face to Washington D.C., so when Nixon’s “betrayal” and the entry into Vietnam rocked the surface of our democratic trust, so it changed the nature of political participation as well. Suddenly, the importance of democratic participation did not rest solely in voting or just consuming what the President said. Suddenly, democratic participation meant analyzing the government’s actions–being a critical consumer, if you will–and protesting when you disagreed with it. Nixon and Vietnam ushered in a wave of democratic participation and activism fueled by a suspicion of government that hasn’t fully gone away.

The difference between the protests that stemmed from Vietnam and protests in 2010 is not a very subtle one.  Signs, protests, and organized marches on Washington mall are still heavily favored, of course, but 2010 has something that the 70s did not have–the Internet. The fundamental difference between Democratic citizens today and our parents is that we have a multitude of forums through which to protest and participate. Participation is no longer simply a black-

and-white exertion of physical effort. Sure, you can march in downtown Los Angeles for immigration rights or through Washington for some misbegotten Tea Party movement, but you can also begin an awareness campaign on Facebook, you can have political discussions on online forums, you can Tweet live pictures, and organize Rock the Vote parties.

With this expansion of opportunities, of course, has also come an increased expectation of what entails a  real Democratic citizen. It’s not enough to vote anymore, it’s not enough to simply watch televised debates anymore. To be a well-respected, well-involved, active citizen in democracy–American or otherwise–you have to participate tangibly, visibly. I suppose it’s just as well that Google, Twitter, forums, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr create pressure to be involved or at least well-versed in current events and politics, because with Google, Twitter, forums, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr eating up our extra time, we certainly need that easy-access forum to participate at all.

That’s not to say, true political participation can’t be completely avoided regardless.  You might fail miserably at Jeopardy and be judged from here to the coasts and back, but it is, I assure you, entirely possible. I wouldn’t choose it as an alternative, though. Seriously, take five seconds to read Obama’s platform on a blogging site and go vote. Really, it’s not that hard. xoxo!


Blog #11: Democratic Past vs. Present

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Politics is a topic of great interest in my family. I have sat down with my parents and grandparents before and talked about our experience with politics throughout our lives. Based on these conversations I am able to state that being a democratic citizen does not mean something different to each generation. My parents, grandparents, and I would agree on what a democratic citizen does and acts, however we would not see eye to eye on the way these acts are carried out.

Why? As times have carried out since my grandparents generation people have become more and more dependent on technology. While people in my generation would consider a democratic citizen to be an advocate of a politican or a cause on Facebook or Twitter, my parents would not, and my grandparents would ask you what the heck a Twitter or a Facebook was AKA they definitely would not. The older generations on my family are more into actions that take place in the “real world” not necessarily online, such as protests or speeches.

No one is right or wrong in this particular situation, rather our generations have a different influence on the way we act out our shared definition of a democratic citizen.