Monthly Archives: March 2012

Rick Santorum, “Over my dead body would I vote for Barack Obama”

Republican candidate Rick Santorum did his best to escape a political trap last Friday, March 23.

CNN news iterates the former Pennsylvania senator claimed that Americans “may as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk”. Santorum only meant this as an attack on current front runner Mitt Romney, as he considers Romney to be similar to Democratic president Barack Obama. Perhaps Santorum should have made his statement much more clear, because media outlets immediately saw this as a sign that the conservative republican  would vote for Obama if the election forced him to choice between the president or Romney. Romney’s team ran with his quote, though, accusing the former senator of being self-serving and not supporting the Republican party.

On Friday, Rick Santorum was provoked into explaining his words, and has stated, “No, I was saying the people may not vote for someone they don’t see as different.” He even reasserted, “Over my dead body would I vote for Barack Obama”. Santorum has managed to climb out of one pitfall, but he has taken a hit to his credibility simply because he was caught up in the first place.


Polls for Louisiana Republican Primary Favor Santorum

CNN News is quick to pronounce Rick Santorum as the victor in Louisiana primaries today. The projections put Santorum well beyond frontrunner Mitt Romney, and give him a fifth win in the southern states. CNN, like many other news outlets, bases early predictions on exit polling from the primaries, and posts results as they are released. Analysts constantly perform exit polls so that the news source can have the latest updates and can compare final results with previous reports. The tactics may seem like a ploy to gain and keep attention from viewers throughout the entire process, but random sampling serves legitimate statistical purposes. Viewers may even be able to determine a site’s margin of error by comparing results throughout each campaign. Regardless, they will find the results promptly.

Update: Rick Santorum has proven successful in Louisiana with 49%. This is his fifth win in the south. Romney, who will still receive delegates with 27%, has yet to win a state in the “deep south”. Newt Gingrich has been losing his campaigns in the south despite great effort.

Wal-Mart to Introduce a Brand New Media Solution

Wal-Mart will get itself involved in a very interesting business venture in April, 2012. The mass-retailer is preparing to join Warner Bros.’ Ultraviolet digitizing service, and Wal-Mart’s service will be called VuduVudu will allow consumers to take DVDs and Blurays to Wal-Mart stores and pay to have them digitized, so they will become accessible on Vudu’s cloud service. Wal-mart, as a large, multinational company,  can potentially bring more notice to both websites within the next year. However, Vudu‘s success or failure will likely decide the future of the the entire Ultraviolet platform. The ways we buy media could change forever if Wal-mart’s venture proves itself to be popular among consumers; A new and successful digital service would create a great option for consumers who would like to store movies on their own computers. On the other hand, Vudu’s failure would prove that any future digitizing services would also face great difficulty if they try to find a consumer base.

Mitt Romney Seemingly Escapes the Media Traps

On “Super Tuesday”, March 6, the Republican primaries will reach their peak. Tom Cohen of CNN News helped explain the nationwide events and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s comfortably high position. Romney has garnered a lot of notice, both negative and positive. The candidate was caught up in bad press earlier in the campaign, but has markedly pulled through and now leads in delegates, with an estimated 207, followed next by Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with only 86 at this point. It is clear that the publicized debates have still given Romney an edge over the other candidates, and he doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Each of the candidates will try to make their mark for the 10 states of Super Tuesday, and Romney has a command over several so far especially after earning the favor of Catholics. Coverage of Super Tuesday will be throughout the afternoon on March 6th on various networks, and will give a better idea about the future of republican primaries.

Order in the Court: Judge Richard Cebull’s E-mail Dilemma

Montana’s Chief Federal Judge Richard Cebull recently got himself into some hot water, and is actively trying to resolve his situation. As CNN News’s report explains, on Wednesday, February 29th the man forwarded a racy e-mail that he received from his brother. Despite proclaiming that he absolutely did not write the email and publicly apologizing, Cebull acted on his obligations, and the Huffington Post (among many other sites) have confirmed that, “Cebull said he requested that the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit review the situation.”

CNN did post the e-mail and its context:

“Normally I don’t send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

“A little boy said to his mother, ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’ His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!'”

Of course, Cebull’s apologies have been largely directed towards President Obama himself for the admittedly offensive content.

Chief Federal Judge Richard Cebull’s situation reveals the strong influence of the Internet, and how putting things into any more public sphere can have tragic consequence. Even with privacy settings, it will always prove beneficial to judge early on whether others would react poorly to the message.

Jumping into the Small Boat

Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains is a real gamechanger. While I’ve been reading the non-fiction book for my English 2000 course, I try not to focus on what is disparaging about having to read it, or about the message it is trying to get across about the slow loss of higher thinking. I really have spent my time studying this book like it’s a textbook, and Carr is trying to impart the knowledge he found from serious research unto the readers.The book, however is more than a textbook, and does have a prominent call to action.

The bestselling author does provide an aim for his book, fed by his own experience with changing media and his new-found urge to preserve critical thinking. The book’s afterword addresses the reader, “it’s a small boat. But there’s plenty of room inside. Feel free to grab an oar”. After all, the book itself is certainly proof that the shift from shallow-minded acts of blogging and internet searches make it all the more difficult to write a final, well-written and thought-provoking book. Carr ultimately succeeded as far as I’m concerned, and I have a restored will to embrace stronger intellect. It will be no easier for me that it is for the author, and it will always be difficult to avoid harmful habits, but it’s a goal I’m willing to try and live out. If all it takes is to change the way I look at information, I’m willing to jump in the small boat and help however I can.