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A Guide To The '08 Presidential Election
& Where The Candidates Stand On The Issues
Recent Entries 
Welcome To The Vote Smart Community!
Check the tags page to index posts, navigate by using the sidebar on the right side of the page for links & resources, and make sure you VOTE!
23rd-Apr-2008 02:34 pm - Agriculture: Food and Fuel Overview
newman and schultz
I promised jesus_h_biscuit I would try to contribute something on agriculture to this forum, and just by grand coincidence, it happens to be the day after Earth Day.

Here is my disclaimer: I have mild insight into the field of agriculture, mostly into field crops. I am a journalist who spends a great deal of my time writing about the issue and I have for several years, though it is certainly not my only “beat” nor am I a farmer or commodities expert. I am socially liberal, more fiscally conservative, and my views of global warming are slightly different than what is being pushed as popular these days (and do involve agriculture in a very small way). I will try to present a colloquial quick-and-dirty of some agricultural issues facing us right now as a nation and world, in as objective a manner as I can, just from my observations.

I would not suggest you take any of this for the gospel truth, since I am not providing you my professional information. In fact, I would not suggest you take the gospel truth from any source if you cannot identify its financial and political interest. All this is intended to do is get you interested enough to look up stuff on your own with official and educated sources. Be careful of what sources you trust, especially online – even me – and what news outlets you choose to believe. While some of my information (numbers) comes from the USDA, I keep in mind at all times that such agencies do have politically-appointed directors.

Finally, if you really want to know more about agriculture – ask a farmer, for God’s sake, or call your county extension office (usually affiliated with a university) or Farm Service Agency office (a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA). The hundreds of people I’ve dealt with in this part of my career have always been friendly because I treat them like the experts they are, and because I freely confess that I don’t know much about farming.


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20th-Mar-2008 02:48 pm - vote_smart Widget
You can now use this widget for your own blog if you like - just click the button at the bottom and select "LiveJournal" or whatever other blogging platform you choose to get the code. I'll be adding this widget and any others I think will benefit the community to the sidebar for future reference.

I know that we've been pretty inattentive as of late, but look for more content to be added soon as well as regular postings from myself and the other people coming to add their own voices.

Take care, everyone!
- jesus_h_biscuit
Have a question you think should be part of the FAQ? Comment to this post and let us know!

Community FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
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6th-Jan-2008 03:44 pm - About Open Threads
I'd like to take a quick moment to thank everyone for their input thus far, and also to explain what an "Open Thread" post is and how you each become a part of it - keeping to the spirit of this community as a grassroots involvment of its members.

Open thread:
A thread of comments to a post whose topic is open for definition by those posting to it. Common to blogs with large readerships that visit to exchange views, as opposed to focus exclusively on posts from the blogger.
If I post an Open Thread, I may or may not give it a topic. If the topic interests you, the purpose is to comment and offer your input or questions. If no topic is posted, comment with a question or a message for other community members on whatever issues you choose to spark discussion or exchange ideas with others.

Sometimes an Open Thread will be available to all community members, and sometimes comments will be requested of Guestbloggers only or members with posting access. We will specify inthe post whether or not it is open to all or only posting members.

The subject should read as follows so that there is no confusion: Open Thread
If there is a particular topic one wishes to begin discussion on, the post will ask the question. Finally, we will specify who it will be open to, such as this post:

Open Thread

Topic: None

Open to: All members and watchers
I'd like to get some feedback from all of you watching this community as well as the members on what information you would like to see posted from here on out, and what kind of content you're looking for.

At the moment, I am the lone contributor with guestbloggers on the way to write about the issues dear to them, but I would like to know where you all would like to see this community go and what your hopes/interests/desires for it are. Opinion pieces? Candidate endorsements and "Why I Am Supporting ____ ____ In The 2008 Election" style essays?

Comment and let me know what you're thinking so that changes can be made. This is a communal effort, I really want this community to take off and be something that benefits those who wish to learn more!
3rd-Jan-2008 11:48 pm - Community Promo
Now that Iowa has kicked everything off in an official capacity, we need more activity in this community from all angles, and some guest blogging happening. I ask that everyone please go back to this post, and kindly use the code of your choice to promote our community in a post on your own blog or elsewhere. I think we can do wonders in education of others by raising more awareness, which is the whole point.

Many thanks in advance!
- jesus_h_biscuit
3rd-Jan-2008 11:32 pm - The Iowa Caucus Update
The results are in for Iowa:
Democrat: Barack Obama
Republican: Mike Huckabee
Bear in mind that there has only been ONE President elected after winning his party's caucus in Iowa. Only one. Ever.*

And that was GWB in 2000.

Bill Clinton only got 3% of the votes in 1992, and came in 5th place - he also lost New Hampshire and South Dakota. "Unknown/Uncertain" won more votes than he did. Some guy named Paul Tarkin (who?) and George H Bush won Iowa in 1992. George H Bush and Jimmy Carter won in 1980. Bob Dole and Richard Gephardt won in 1988.

*Not counting incumbents; the incumbent president has always won his party's nomination in Iowa.
27th-Sep-2007 06:28 pm - Candidate Calculator
Vote Smart
Candidate Calculator
Which 2008 Presidential Candidate Agrees With You?

Answer the questions in the Candidate Calculator to find the 2008 presidential candidate that best aligns with your beliefs. More than 350,000 people have already filled it out. Give it a try!
Post your results in a comment to this post - let's see where we are at the moment.
7th-Sep-2007 03:49 pm - Interested In Becoming A vote_smart Guest Blogger?
Vote Smart
I am now seeking guest bloggers for this community to write issues related posts in a nonpartisan way that assimilates the facts and allows members and watchers to have a clearer view into the specifics. The goal is in getting information available to people so that they may be better informed and have links to resources. I'm working on the guidelines for acceptable posting formats, and at the moment am thinking of simply writing a copy & paste code so that all guest blog posts can appear uniform.

Issues can be (but are not limited to):
  • Health Care
  • Free Speech Rights
  • Environment
  • Abortion/Reproductive Freedom
  • Gun Control
  • Right To Privacy
  • Civil Rights
  • The War In Iraq
  • Tradtional -Vs- Same-Sex Marriage
  • Federal Spending
  • Foreign Policy
  • Government Reform
  • Crime
  • Drugs
  • Education
  • Immigration
  • Energy
  • Veterans Issues
  • National Security
  • Science & Medical Research
  • Trade
  • Welfare & Poverty
  • Technology
If there is an issue (listed above or unlisted) that you feel strongly about and would like to research it for a future post, comment to this post or email me at angry_biscuit [at] livejournal [dot] com.
Poll #1038086 Who's It Going To Be?
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 53

Who do you think will get the Democratic nomination?

View Answers
Joe Biden
0 (0.0%)
Hillary Clinton
31 (59.6%)
Chris Dodd
0 (0.0%)
John Edwards
4 (7.7%)
Mike Gravel
0 (0.0%)
Dennis Kucinich
1 (1.9%)
Barack Obama
16 (30.8%)
Bill Richardson
0 (0.0%)

Who do you think will get the Republican nomination?

View Answers
Sam Brownback
0 (0.0%)
Rudy Giuliani
19 (36.5%)
Mike Huckabee
1 (1.9%)
Duncan Hunter
0 (0.0%)
John McCain
10 (19.2%)
Ron Paul
4 (7.7%)
Mitt Romney
15 (28.8%)
Tom Tancredo
0 (0.0%)
Fred Thompson
3 (5.8%)
11th-Aug-2007 04:20 pm - Issues Poll
Please fill out this poll and let's get some idea of what issues your fellow community members find the most important.

Poll #1037477 Issues
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 56

International Issues (check all that you feel strongly about)

View Answers
Foreign Policy
0 (0.0%)
Homeland Security
0 (0.0%)
War & Peace
0 (0.0%)
Free Trade
0 (0.0%)
Immigration
0 (0.0%)
Energy & Oil
0 (0.0%)

Domestic Issues (check all that you feel strongly about)

View Answers
Gun Control
0 (0.0%)
Crime
0 (0.0%)
Drugs
0 (0.0%)
Civil Rights
0 (0.0%)
Jobs
0 (0.0%)
Environment
2 (3.6%)

Economic Issues (check all that you feel strongly about)

View Answers
Budget & Economy
0 (0.0%)
Government Reform
1 (1.8%)
Tax Reform
0 (0.0%)
Social Security
1 (1.8%)
Welfare & Poverty
2 (3.6%)
Technology
0 (0.0%)

Social Issues (check all that you feel strongly about)

View Answers
Education
0 (0.0%)
Health Care
0 (0.0%)
Abortion
0 (0.0%)
Families & Children
0 (0.0%)
Corporations
1 (1.8%)
Principles & Values
0 (0.0%)

Other Issues That You Feel Strongly About & Want To See Where The Candidates Stand On Them (Please separate issues by commas)

8th-Aug-2007 09:43 pm - Community Icons
I made 10 more icons for you guys - hope you enjoy!

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If you see that I've missed something, please let me know by making a comment to this post.

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8th-Aug-2007 12:13 am - Open Thread - Please Comment
Wow - so far, so good! I'd like to personally thank everyone who has joined/added this community, and a BIG thank you to everyone who has posted about it on their own blogs. For some reason, people just don't want to take that extra 10 seconds it takes to copy & post code that I've already made available, but many thanks and much gratitude for those that have.

So far I've gotten all of the Democrat candidate profiles posted, will start on the Republican candidates tomorrow. I'm really enjoying this also, it's giving me a big sense of accomplishment.

Today I added some new content to the sidebar, just a heads-up for later. The tags section I brought closer to the top, so that it would be easier to find posts to reference later on. I added new links in the RSS Feeds section, as well as a link tracker to my Technorati account so that we can track who's linking to us, as well as both RSS & Atom feeds to the community. I might add one to each individual post, will decide on that soon so that I don't have too many posts to go back and edit. I've also added links to each candidate on the issues, thanks to a suggestion by jblaque , those links are in the 2008 Presidential Candidates section of the sidebar. One section below the bottom of the sidebar, just above the calendar, has been designated just for links to outside resources. The YouTube channels are posted in the sidebar for the candidates who have them, if anyone discovers one before I do please comment and let me know so that I may add the link. I might begin adding video to the profiles, I'm not sure yet. I'm definitely going to post the debate videos once I get all off the candidate profiles up.

One of the things I'd like to put together is a reccomended reading list, most likely a future post that suggestions can be added to and referenced by a tag and mentions elsewhere for future members. Speaking of tags, there is an entire
index page for tags!
That masterslacker (layout creator) thinks of everything, and I love him for it.

Something else I want to post is a glossary of political terms, because there are plenty of them and they tend to be confusing!

Once I get paid time for the community, I can begin posting polls on different subjects like who is most likely to get your vote, what issues do you feel most strongly about, etc.

Any post with the subject "Open Thread" is basically a call to arms, it is intended to solicit comments and feedback from members. If you see an Open Thread post, by all means - put your two cents in!

So again, I thank everyone for all of the support I've gotten so far, I hope this community grows exponentially - and soon. Let me know what sort of things you would like to see additionally!

Much gratitude & respect,
jesus_h_biscuit
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