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The Pile: Thoughts, Life, and Photography of Joshua Davis

Womans Group Allegedly Suppressing Black Votes

An advocacy group called Women’s Voices, Women’s Vote, is alleged to be engaging in voter suppression in North Carolina. The group sends robo-calls to predominantly black neighborhoods, telling the residents they aren’t able to vote in the upcoming Democratic primary. Technology meets government blog, Threat Level has some more details:

Voters began complaining to The Raleigh News & Observer last week that they were receiving the automated calls, which the paper reported were primarily going to black households. The calls play a 20-second message voiced by a man who calls himself “Lamont Williams.”

“In the next few days, you will receive a voter-registration packet in the mail,” the Williams recording said. “All you need to do is sign it, date it and return your application. Then you will be able to vote and make your voice heard. Please return the voter-registration form when it arrives. Thank you.”

The message doesn’t identify the group, but after some research, the Institute for Southern Studies traced the calls back to Woman’s Voices, Woman’s Vote. The group acknowledged the campaign, but it’s President, Page Gardner said the “Calls were an extension of a legitimate voter-registration drive that the group began in July 2007.”

But Gardner fails to elaborate on why the messages where done anonymously. If it truly was legitimate it would seem like the group would want it’s name attached.This isn’t the first state where the group has been accused of voter suppression. But it also turns out Gardner has donated $4200 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Wired goes on to quote another man in the automated political call industry as saying “The fact that the autodial campaign was performed anonymously suggests it wasn’t an innocent mistake. In general, automated campaigns are designed to suppress voter turnout.” Don Powell went on to say “”It does happen in North Carolina, it works, or they wouldn’t bother. It’s sleazy money, and it affects people like me who would never think about doing this.”

It’s unfortunate that at a time when America was guaranteed to see either a woman or African American in the White House, it turned into a game of identity based politics. It’s understandable that women vote for Hillary, and blacks for Obama, and it’s reasonable to expect these group to be excited about their choices. But what’s disappointing is how the primary has become a fight between white woman and blacks.

Filed under: '08 Election, American Politics, Politics, , , , , ,

Female Lion

Female lion at the national zoo who appeared to be eating grass.

Photo by Joshua Davis (new website at jdavis.info)

Female lion at the national zoo who appeared to be eating grass.

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What Hillary’s Win Means

hillaryobamaapril22.jpg

Hillary Clinton needed to maintain the 25 point lead polls showed her with earlier, to prove she was still competitive in the race to Denver.  But her relatively lackluster showing in Pennsylvanian on Tuesday further illustrated there is virtually no possibility she’ll be able to catch up to Obama in popular vote or pledged delegate count. Exit polls even back that hypothesis, with 54 percent of respondents saying no matter what happened in Pennsylvania, Obama would win the nomination.

With only a ten point, six delegate loss, Barack Obama, showed that in a general election it would be possible for him to carry Pennsylvania. Considering the race baiting and last minute fear mongering the Clinton campaign used, Obama may have well been able to win the Keystone State. For fear of further alienating minorities the Republican party has indicated they will likely shy away from racial based attacks, which certainly was a key factor in Hillary’s win.

Her win only proved two things. She has not tarnished her reputation too much to prohibit herself from winning. Second,  that she will continue fighting even win the odds look nearly impossible.  This is what Al Gore needed to do in 2000, when Florida and the Supreme Court stole the presidency from him. Hillary has showed she is the attack dog Democrats needed in ’00 and ’04.

But after eight years of Bush’s political divisiveness and vindictiveness Americans are ready for a change from the dog fight politics has become. By the time this nearly one year election comes to end Americans will be so tired of bickering they’ll vote for the candidate they viewed as most focused on the issues. Exit polls have showed that despite her win, most Pennsylvania believed she turned the race negative. Seven months from now Americans certainly will become tired of the daily sniping.

Filed under: '08 Election, American Politics, barack obama, Politics, , ,

Lemur In Tree


Photo by Joshua Davis (new website at jdavis.info)

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Obama on the Issues

Someone has started a blog devoted to showing Obama’s stance on issues and how his legislative experience reflects his views. The blog is called Know Barack Obama, and if you want to get to know him I recommend you check it out. Also if you want something shorter, you can view my post on his legislative accomplishments.

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Rowhouses


Photo by Joshua Davis (new website at jdavis.info)

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Flamingo

Photo by Joshua Davis (Yes To Videos)

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McCain’s Energy Plan Will Raise Rates

I know this a few days old, but it sure hasn’t gotten enough coverage. John McCain has proposed to create a gas tax “holiday” during the summer months. He thinks that 29 cents off your gas consumption tax would lower the prices, but it is more likely to increase consumption, and the increased demand will probably outweigh saving money from the gas the tax.

And how does Mr. I’ll Stay In Iraq for 100 years, pay for the war with all these tax cuts? Oh I forgot destabilizing the Middle East creates lower prices at the pump.

The Washington Post talked to some economists who pretty much share the same view:

“You don’t want to stimulate consumption,” said Lawrence Goldstein, an economist at the Energy Policy Research Foundation. “The signal you want to send is the opposite one. Politicians should say that conservation is where people’s mindset ought to be.”

Mr. Goldstein said that instead of freezing the federal tax, the government should help lower-income populations pay for gasoline. It would be cheaper and benefit those households that need it most.

If anything, the gas tax should be increased. This would make heating bills decrease, because less gas would be consumed. Europe has some of the highest gas tax rates, which may acount for up to 70% of costs at the pump. Coincdently Europe also has the lowest gas consumption.

Having less consumption would also lower carbon outputs, and general pollution. Besides helping the disadvantaged pay for energy, a higher gas tax could be used to fund alternatives to excess oil consumption like mass transit, and green and renewable fuels.

McCain has several lobbyists from energy companies working on his campaign, and no doubt his lobbyists would love to see increased fuel consumption, leading to higher gas prices.

Filed under: '08 Election, American Politics, Politics,

Black Crowned Night Heron



A free range black crowned night heron at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.

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Early Bloomer

Photo by Joshua Davis (Yes To Videos)

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