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Archive for the 'politics' Category

GOT Thoughts on the Election?

Election cookiesThe Times is collecting commentary on how people think this election has changed the country. If you’ve got thoughts to share, we’d love to hear them! Click “comments” and share here, or phone 1-510-495-1442 and tell us, “How has this election changed the country? How has it affected you?” You can leave a 30-second recording at that number. Audio excerpts are being posted on so we can all hear them.

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
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A tot casting a vote at Berkeley's Habitot
It’s election day! Go vote! And if you’ve got toddlers, head over to Berkeley’s Habitot for “Let’s Go Vote Day.” Preschool aged tots are invited to cast a ballot in the children’s museum’s mini-voting booths, make Lincoln hats and stars-and-stripes necklaces, and settle in for some patriotic storytelling too between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. today.

And tonight, as you watch the big red state/blue state countdown, pass the time by playing a rousing game of candidate bingo. Yep, we’ve uploaded a set of four, ready-for-primetime bingo cards. Didja vote? Fill in the center square. The rest is a lighthearted salute to election night cliches – elephants, donkeys, confetti, tearful candidates and TV anchor platitudes. Enjoy!

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
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Obamas at a West Philadelphia child center (Sarah J. Glover/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)
The nation’s kids have spoken! The results of Scholastic’s big presidential poll, an online and paper ballot election involving a quarter million kids in grades 1-12, came out yesterday, and it looks like a shoo-in for Barack Obama, who snagged 57 percent of the vote. John McCain grabbed 39 percent of the kiddie vote and another 4 percent of the votes were write-ins for Hillary Clinton, Stephen Colbert and the Jonas Brothers. (And who can blame them? Colbert is patriotic, Lincolnish and multigrain.)

So why does a children’s ballot matter? Scholastic has been doing these children’s elections since 1940 and in virtually every case, the kids’ votes have reflected the general election outcome. The two exceptions? In 1948, kids picked Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman in a vote that echoed the Chicago Tribune’s now infamous and oh-so-wrong headline. And in 1960, children gave the presidential pick to Richard M. Nixon over John F. Kennedy. We’ll know in three weeks whether the kids got it right this time.

Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
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McCAIN Elephants vs. Obama Donkeys

FAO Schwartz Political Pal - ElephantFAO Schwartz Political Pal - DonkeyAfter the 2000 debacle with those butterfly ballot chads, maybe FAO Schwartz has the right idea. They’re tabulating the presidential election based on sales of plush toys. At the moment, the red elephant has 50 percent of the vote, while the stuffed blue donkey is just cresting the 49 percent mark. We’re not sure what happened to the other 1 percent. Perhaps people are buying green monkeys too.

Posted on Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
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SCHOOL HEADLINES: Livermore teachers, WCCSD civility and more Mt D

School signSummer’s over and it’s time to bring back the Friday “school headline” wrap-up. And we’ll kick things off with Livermore, where teacher contract negotiations hit impasse – a legal phrase that summons state mediators – last January. Now it appears mediation has failed as well, and the mediator has called for a 3-man panel to recommend a settlement, the last phase before a strike can be called. It sounds scarier than it is – it’s not uncommon for a district to tiptoe up to the precipice like this, only to find renewed enthusiasm for their own quiet negotiating. We’ll hope that happens here.

It’s been quiet in West Contra Costa… unusually so. Times reporter Kim Wetzel notes that school board meetings have been running short, controversial topics have evaporated, there’s little talk of the teachers’ contract, which ran out in June, and a general air of unprecedented civility has settled over the district. (We’re trying to imagining feisty board member Charles Ramsey, known for his short fuse, holding doors and saying, “No, please – after you!” But hmmm…) Everyone’s so focused on the impending parcel tax election, says Wetzel, they’re all getting along. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, October 3rd, 2008
Under: politics, Schools | No Comments »

CHILDREN’s Issues Forum Saturday

Want the lowdown on affordable child care and other issues facing young children and their families in Contra Costa County? Check out the fifth annual Young Children’s Issues Forum, a panel discussion that includes elected local and national politicos. Moderated by Childhood Matters host Rona Renner, RN, the forum runs from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow at Lovonya DeJean Middle School in Richmond. Among the panel: assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier, supervisor John Gioia, supervisor David Fraser, and representatives from U.S. Congressman George Miller and California Senator Tom Torlakson’s offices. Free, including a continental breakfast at 9:30 a.m.

Posted on Friday, October 3rd, 2008
Under: Other, politics | No Comments »

SARAH PALIN Action Figure

Sarah Palin Super Hero action figureApparently those baby-sized Obama and McCain campaign T-shirts weren’t enough to satisfy the marketplace. Now, you can buy Sarah Palin action figures too.

Hero Builders has added the Alaska governor to its lineup of political toys, which include John McCain Pez dispensers and Barack Obama plush toys, as well as action figures.

We suspect Palin, McCain and Obama won’t pose much threat to Elmo‘s market dominance, but you never know. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
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PALIN, Politics, Teens & Kids

Political slippers (Olivier Douliery/MCT)
Election fever is running high, spurred on by the two national conventions, Barack Obama‘s electrifying speech and the stunning news that John McCain had chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a self-described hockey mom and mother of five, as his running mate. We have a story in this morning’s paper on the conflicted emotions many women are experiencing about Palin’s nomination. Click “comments” to add your voice to that debate.

But the other campaign development we’re intrigued and delighted by is how engaged kids and teens are by this historic presidential election. And we’ve come across a couple of very cool web sites that will help promote that further, including Scholastic’s online parents’ guide to the presidential election. We’re also enamored with Brain Pop’s colorful, new election site. And we loved Bay Area Parent magazine editor Peggy Spear’s take on kid-style political choice on ABC-7’s “View from the Bay”. More? Don’t forget that we’re giving away a pair of wonderful political picture books for kids this week.

Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008
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