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    ‘University of Wisconsin’


    Thursday, September 29th, 2011

    In today’s news, Bahrain sentences 20 medics for treating protesters; the Saudi Arabian King pardons a woman arrested for driving; a Massachusetts man is arrested for planning to attack the Pentagon and Capitol with drones; and presidential hopeful Herman Cain jumps to third place in the primary race. In entertainment news, MTV reports on the leading fall albums, and Lil Wayne looks to Jimi Hendrix for inspiration.

    Coral + Caitlin


    German parliament approves expanded bailout fund, http://wapo.st/ooHK71
    On Thursday, German lawmakers voted to approve expanded powers for a European bailout fund that Chancellor Angela Merkel has said is critical to ensuring economic stability in Europe. With an approval vote of 523 to 85, the euro-zone took the first step in righting its economic crisis. The move also helped boost European stocks Thursday, and Wall Street appeared to head for gains at its opening.

    Bahrain sentences medics who treated protesters, http://bbc.in/qC8GOM
    A court in Bahrain has sentenced 20 medics between 5 to 15 years in jail for alleged incitement to overthrow the government. The medics treated people injured during a protest movement that called for more rights for the country’s Shia majority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. The medics were also accused of refusing to give police officers medical attention; however, relatives of some of the medics claim they were tortured into giving false confessions.

    Saudi Woman Spared Lashing, http://bit.ly/rn2Zit
    Saudi Arabian King Abdullah pardoned a woman sentenced to receive at least 10 lashes for driving. The woman was sentenced just one day after the King granted women the right to participate in the next election. “Belatedly allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement, then the King’s much-trumpeted ‘reforms’ actually amount to very little,” said Amnesty International Deputy Director Philip Luther.

    Mass. man accused of plotting to hit Pentagon and Capitol with drone aircraft, http://wapo.st/oZ20Zy
    A 26-year-old physics graduate and model hobbyist from Massachusetts was arrested Wednesday in an FBI undercover operation. He has been accused of planning to build small, explosive-laden drones to attack the Pentagon and the Capitol, according to an FBI affidavit and law enforcement officials. Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S.born citizen of South Asian background, traveled to Washington last May to conduct surveillance and intended to launch three small GPS-guided aircraft from East Potomac Park — two against the Pentagon and one against the Capitol, according to a detailed plan he gave to the FBI.

    Occupy Wall Street: inquiries launched as new pepper-spray video emerges, http://bit.ly/oQN0jR
    Senior New York Police Officer, Anthony Bologna, is under investigation after another video has emerged from the Occupy Wall Street protests. This video captures the officer, not only pepper spraying a group of women protesters who were trapped in an orange net, but also pepper spraying one of the women while she was recovering from the first attack. In both incidents, the policer officer appeared to have violated the NYPD’s guidance on how pepper spray should be used.

    25 voters to get free photo ID ride to DMV, only 4 in Tri-County area, http://bit.ly/oFhsE9
    The Department of Motor Vehicles says 25 people in South Carolina are getting a free ride to receive a photo identification card to comply with the state’s new voter law. DMV spokeswoman Beth Parks said the agency spoke to 675 people who wanted information on the law and about 48 people requested a ride for Wednesday; however, when the agency called back, people had obtained rides or state IDs in some other way.

    UW to create new ID cards, http://bit.ly/qjz2FS
    To accommodate for new voting laws, Associated Students of Madison Legislative Affairs Chair Hannah Somers said University of Wisconsin will be instituting new student IDs to include a signature and a valid expiration date. “This is really good news,” Somers said. “This means we don’t have to lobby the university to change our IDs.”

    Romney Reclaims Top Spot While Perry Falls and Cain Rises, http://abcn.ws/r6FVLN
    In a poll released today, Herman Cain has tripled his support base and jumped to third place in the race for the Republican primary. Also, Mitt Romney has reclaimed his front-runner status, and Rick Perry has dropped ten points since the last poll taken in August. This marks the first time Perry has taken second place in the polls; he has been on top since entering the presidential race six-weeks ago. Herman Cain reached the third-place slot after claiming 17 percent, an 11-point jump since August.

    Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos Would Not Necessarily Prove Einstein Wrong, http://bit.ly/qWACEu
    Last week, the physics community was shaken when the OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion tracking Apparatus) team working in central Italy announced that preliminary findings seemed to have found subatomic particles, neutrinos, traveling faster than the speed of light. According to the team, the neutrinos were observed to have traveled the distance of about 450 miles in less time than it would take a light beam – disproving, some have said, Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.

    Nokia to cut another 3,500 jobs, http://cnet.co/nDQLGi
    Nokia will cut another 3,500 jobs to lower its operating costs to run more efficiently. “We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward,” Chief Executive Stephen Elop said in a statement today. Nokia will close a manufacturing facility in Cluj, Romania, and reduce workers in its supply chain operations. This will cause a loss of 2,200 employees. Also, they will cut 1,300 workers in its commerce and location business.


    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse backs “Fighting for Pell Grants,” http://huff.to/pfPpdL

    McKay Coppins asks, “Donald Trump GOP Kingmaker?,” http://bit.ly/nal2k7

    ‘Dancing With the Stars’ studio receives letter containing white powder, http://bit.ly/qqQkzz

    Red Sox Lose to Orioles 4-3, http://abcn.ws/nEuIWC

    Coldplay, Rihanna, Evanescence Lead Fall Albums, http://on.mtv.com/qPu0yk

    Susan Powell’s Parents Granted Custody of Boys, http://bit.ly/pWGo88

    Lil Wayne Channels Jimi Hendrix For New Vibe Cover, http://on.mtv.com/nYwzwc

    Bio: Coral is the Marketing Intern at Rock the Vote

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Courting Young Voters 101: Candidates Shouldn’t Bank on Obama to Save Them

    Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

    If you went on an awesome date, but didn’t receive a follow up text message asking for a second one until a few weeks later, chances are you’d soon be smooching someone else.

    It’s entirely possible that the students at the University of Wisconsin will have a similar reaction to the hype that will undoubtedly surround President Obama’s visit to their campus today, as the courtship of America’s young voters resumes in a high-profile way after a nearly two-year hiatus.

    This time around, conditions are significantly less sexy.

    Not only is 1-in-5 young Americans unemployed, we found in our recent Rock the Vote Young Voter Poll that 59 percent of them say they are more cynical about politics than they were during the historic 2008 election. Moreover, for those Democratic candidates hoping to ride President Obama’s popular coattails, we’ve got some bad news. They’re not as popular as they once were, and young people also told us that they don’t particularly relate to political parties. Instead, they want to hear directly from individual candidates who are doing something about the issues they care about. So if Congressional reps are just starting to head out to football games and concerts in youth-dense battleground districts, with only one week left before most states’ voter registration deadlines, banking on President Obama’s rhetorical gifts on a single campus is too little, too late.

    It’s not that young voters are coy and playing hard to get. More than 80 percent of them told us in our poll that they still believe their generation has the power to change this country. Likewise, look what happened last week in arguably the most exciting spike of the 2010 cycle, when public figures who’ve cultivated street cred with this demographic stepped up to the plate. Lady Gaga sparked a social media firestorm that led to a surge in calls to local congressional offices when she called for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Hundreds of thousands of young people have indicated on Facebook and Twitter that they’re planning to attend Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s dueling rallies on the Washington mall to “Restore Sanity” and to “Keep Fear Alive.” They want something to believe in, and they want to express themselves and participate.

    What’s missing is the ingenuity, creativity and honesty that captivated them in 2008. We don’t want to give up. This is our future and there is no way we will let that get away without a fight. This is our reality, not just a campaign slogan. We voted and elected leaders because we wanted to believe, because we do believe, in our chance at the America we grew up believing in, and we were hungry for leadership and a real path to get there.

    It’s encouraging to see leaders like President Obama getting back out there, hosting a conference call to college journalists and making a few speeches on a few campuses, but is that really the best the revolutionary new media campaign machine (and all the candidates now building on their ground-breaking achievements) can do? Rock the Vote invited senate and gubernatorial candidates in some of the hottest races this cycle – including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and North Carolina – to participate in forums with young people, and virtually every single hopeful representative declined, with a few notable exceptions. If candidates don’t engage with young people, like any demographic, they won’t produce results.

    If more candidates were actively targeting young people, they might be able to answer the concerns of Joey Sanchez, a 23-year-old recent jobless college graduate now living in South East Florida who shared with our Field Outreach Director, Annie Lorenzana, the following message:

    “I started college in 2005 with the dreams of graduating, getting a job, and becoming a successful business man. In 5 years I earned my bachelor and master degrees, was student body president, played division one college soccer, and volunteered in the local community. I achieved a 3.4 GPA and rose to the top in every situation. As captain of the soccer team I led my team to the NCAA tournament. As Student Body President I created initiatives to enhance campus culture. And as I volunteered, I built lasting relationships with children who have been diagnosed with autism. Unfortunately, by the time I graduated the economic climate shifted from a bright, promising future to a dull and jobless environment. I have invested the past 5 years of my life preparing for my career but this unexpected shift in the economy has left me stranded after graduation. I have sought guidance from the career center, contacted local chamber of commerce, and asked family and friends for personal favors. They all have the same response: ‘Organizations have just finished laying off employees and there are no current openings.’ I am working day in and day out to find a job but there are very little out there.”

    Joey is representative of many young people we’ve spoken to on-the-ground, who would like to continue the momentum his generation built in 2008, but who is still struggling just to take care of himself in this dilapidated economy. These young people still need inspiration, and they want to hear from candidates on the issues they care about, particularly on jobs.

    Where is the man or woman that feels like one of us, who is willing to lay out a vision, a real one, that relates to our real lives, and a way to get there? In case it wasn’t clear in 2008, we don’t except any single leader to do it alone, we are willing to work hard. Unlike the youth of the ’60′s that the baby boomers like to compare us to, we are not the anti-government, f*ck your parents rebels who would rather fight the system than work to make it better. We like our parents (usually!), and we find value in a government that works to make our lives better, but that sentiment is fading fast when the only thing we hear about is ‘filibusters’ and governing that seem to be more about politics than principle.

    The youth movement has taken many steps to re-energize itself, and has achieved some significant successes. We’ve registered and re-registered almost 200,000 voters through digital outreach and field programs on the ground. We’ve teamed up with stars like Lady Gaga, Pink, N.E.R.D., Passion Pit, Mike Posner, Nick Cannon, Jason Mraz and Good Charlotte to raise awareness and register voters through our online tool, at concerts, in dorms and on college campuses. A coalition of more than 30 youth organizations and media partners, including the League of Young Voters, Energy Action Coalition, Headcount, Campus Progress, Voto Latino and others, came together to form Vote Again 2010 to mobilize their peers.

    We can only make a dent in this demographic on our own. The universe of young voters grows rapidly, with 13,000 young people turning 18 every day, meaning there are now 9 million new voters since the 2008 election.

    So, savvy candidates, party leaders and strategists. There is an opportunity to lead. Show up for young people while you still can. Admit that you should have been there all along. Tell them what you’re going to do about jobs, debt, health care, immigration, marriage rights, sexual health and college affordability. Ask them to support you. Don’t leave untended your relationship with a tidal wave of young people who will comprise your electoral base in 2012, 2014, 2016 and beyond. Otherwise the next time you blast that cutting-edge mobile list you’ve cultivated with a text asking them for a second date at the ballot box, you might get a response that reads, “Kiss my a**.”

    Heather Smith
    Bio: Heather is President of Rock the Vote.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com