Archive for April, 2012
A major flap has developed over the “politicizing” of the death of Osama Bin Laden by the Barack Obama campaign team, but it is false in its pretenses.
George W. Bush bragged about his intervention in Iraq and the capture of Saddam Hussein. and that was seen as acceptable by Republican operatives.
There is nothing wrong with taking credit for the death of Osama Bin Laden, and claiming it as an accomplishment, as one can be certain that IF the mission to kill Bin Laden had failed, the Republicans would be constantly beating Obama over the head on the failure, much like they did when Jimmy Carter failed to rescue the hostages in Iran in April 1980.
And it is a fact that Mitt Romney had said in 2007, that he was unwilling to spend inordinate amounts of time or money to find and eliminate Osama Bin Laden, something people in his campaign want us to forget!
And Mitt Romney only makes things worse by his nasty comment that EVEN Jimmy Carter would have tried to get Osama bin Laden, and in so doing, besmirching the record of Carter, which is a lot better than Republicans give him credit for.
So if it is alright to attack if something fails, then it is alright for praise and take credit if something succeeds.
So the Republicans are hypocrites, annoyed that Obama can look strong in foreign and defense policy, more than George W. Bush, who was unable to accomplish the goal of getting bin Laden in eight years in office!
And in a surprise, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post is wrong to criticize Barack Obama on this.
And congratulations to Bill Clinton, for agreeing to do a commercial for Obama, endorsing and praising Obama’s actions against Osama bin Laden one year ago, making this country safer than it has been since September 11!
In the midst of all of the public opinion polls about popularity of the Presidential candidates, one is tempted to forget that the Electoral College will decide who the next President will be, and the Democrats have a vast advantage since they have a clear edge in most of the larger states with many more electoral votes.
If one candidate wins the top ELEVEN electoral vote states, he wins the election, even if he were to face a massive defeat in popular votes in the other 39 states!
Of course, no one is likely to win all of the top eleven states, but the point is that the Electoral College gives great power to the larger populated states, and all that is required is to win one more popular vote in a state than your opponent to win all of the electoral votes of that state.
So if one looks at the top eleven states, we discover that the Democrats and President Barack Obama have a guaranteed win in California (55), New York (29), Illinois (20), and New Jersey (14) for a total of 118 electoral votes.
Obama also has an edge to win in Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Michigan (16), and North Carolina (15) for a total of 69 electoral votes.
If Obama wins these eight states, he has 187 electoral votes already, not counting other Northeastern, New England, and Pacific Coast states that he is widely expected to win.
The three states that might go Republican are Texas (38), Florida (29), and Georgia (16), but Florida could go Democratic, and even Georgia is considered a long shot for the Democrats.. These three states together have 83 electoral votes. If Obama won Florida, as he did in 2008, and the eight states he is expected to win, which he also won in 2008, he would have 216 electoral votes from just those nine states!
So together, the top eleven states have 270 electoral votes, EXACTLY what is needed to win the White House!
So forget popular vote public opinion polls, as the odds of Mitt Romney winning the election in the Electoral College, let alone the popular vote totals, is not worth betting on, once one realizes the reality of the Electoral College.
Further proof of the difficulty for Republicans to win a vast majority of the Electoral College is the fact of the massive Electoral College wins by Bill Clinton twice (370 and 379) and Barack Obama once (365), while George W. Bush could not hit over 271 and 286 in electoral votes in 2000 and 2004!
The odds are much greater that Barack Obama will surpass his 365 electoral votes of 2008 in 2012, just as Bill Clinton improved his second time around!
The Presidency tends to cause the decline of popularity of those who hold that office, because they have to make controversial and difficult decisions which undermine their image after four or eight years in office.
In the past century, in the time of modern media exposure, which makes the Presidency a national concern on a daily basis, most Presidents, upon leaving office, have seen their public opinion rating collapse, and usually, only after they die, does their image, and respect for the difficult decisions they made, revive their popularity among both scholarly experts and the general public.
This discussion, of course, must eliminate those Presidents who did not survive the office, including Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. However, FDR and JFK would remain highly popular in death on a regular basis since their deaths, while Harding’s brief popularity after his tragic death collapsed upon learning of the sex and other scandals during his Presidency, and he has not recovered in ratings by any group.
The only Presidents who remained generally popular after leaving office were Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.
William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush left office after defeat, and none of them were well regarded after their time in office. Carter and Bush had the bad luck of being followed by popular Presidents Reagan and Clinton, and Bush has had the bad luck of having both his predecessor and successor well regarded, making his time in office look quite unimpressive by comparison.
Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Lyndon B. Johnson left office, with each under a cloud of disrepute, with Wilson seeing the defeat of the Versailles Treaty ratification and membership in the League of Nations; Coolidge seeing the coming of the Great Depression crash on Wall Street within months of his retirement; and Johnson having to bear the burden of the Vietnam War: and all three died within four years of retirement, highly unpopular.
Taft regained respect for his service as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Richard Nixon gained respect for his foreign policy expertise in his long 20 years of retirement, but did not gain popularity for the rest of his lifetime; Harry Truman also had 20 years of retirement, but only gained popularity and respect after his death; Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter started to be regarded better as the years went by, with Carter about to surpass Herbert Hoover in longevity after the Presidency, but still condemned by many experts and the general public; and George W. Bush remains unpopular and seems resigned to the fact that he may not gain popularity or respect until he has passed from the scene.
Eisenhower and Reagan retained their public popularity in their post Presidency despite scholarly criticism of their time in office, and both are now regarded more highly, even by scholars, than they were when they were retired and alive.
TR and Clinton share a special bond, as both were young when leaving office; both were highly verbal and opinionated and constantly made news; both had charisma and were loved by the general public in their post retirement years; and TR actually ran for President on a third party line, while Bill Clinton would love to run again, as many Americans wish he could be President again, but of course, the 22nd Amendment prevents that, so instead, the push for his wife, Hillary Clinton, to try for the Presidency again in 2016 is growing!
Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee for President, spoke to college students at Otterbein College in Ohio yesterday, and suggested they take a risk and start a small business.
Sounds like not a bad idea, right?
But he suggested that if that student does not have the money to start a business, then ask one’s parents to help him out with a loan.
Does Romney not realize that many families cannot afford to pay for their children’s college education, and yet they are supposed to be able to help their children start a business?
Does he not realize that many middle class, as well as poor families, are living hand to mouth, having lost jobs, homes, pensions, due to Republican policies under George W. Bush and the Republican Party in the first eight years of this century?
Mitt Romney had the advantage of wealthy parents, but most Americans do not have that advantage, and now, millions of them also have unbelievable levels of debt from their education, and would have, therefore, no means to be able to start a small business!
And of course, Romney would not support the idea of having taxpayers help pay off those student debts by, god forbid, expecting wealthy people to pay a fair share of taxes after eight years of getting away with that responsibility due to the Bush tax cuts. After all, that would mean that HE would have to pay more taxes, and that would be an absolute outrage, wouldn’t it?
So expect students to pay their debts in full, now nearing $1 trillion, even though we spend $2 trillion a month in Afghanistan, but still suggest that their impoverished parents give them a loan to start a small business!
It is clear that Mitt Romney is an ostrich with his head in the sand, totally out of touch with reality!
The 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates: A Group Embarrassing To American Politics, Except For Three!
The Republican Presidential race for 2012, now effectively over, was a terrible embarrassment to American politics and history, with only three candidates fitting the image of being serious, mainstream candidates.
Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul were all, at best, “cartoon” characters, not coming up to the standards expected by most sane, rational Americans for the office of President of the United States.
However, three candidates did fit the standard of what one would expect of a major party nominee for President.
With all their shortcomings, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts all fit into the arena as legitimate candidates.
And there is a possibility that Romney might select Pawlenty for Vice President, making for a very sane, responsible ticket, which could, in theory, give Barack Obama a “run for his money” in the Presidential race.
But the whole craziness of the Republican Presidential battle helped to marginalize Romney, and destroyed the candidacies of Pawlenty and Huntsman.
2012 will not be remembered as one of the great years of exceptional candidates offered by a major political party for the Presidency of the United States!
The US Senate yesterday voted overwhelmingly for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, originally passed in 1994, during the Bill Clinton Presidency.
The vote was 68-31, with the opposition all being Republicans!
Those who voted against the legislation included such disgraces as:
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Jim DeMint of South Carolina
Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
Charles Grassley of Iowa
John Cornyn of Texas
Roy Blunt of Missouri
Orrin Hatch of Utah
James Inhofe of Oklahoma
Ron Johnson of Wisconsin
Jon Kyl of Arizona
Mike Lee of Utah
Richard Lugar of Indiana
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Marco Rubio of Florida
Jeff Sessions Of Alabama
Richard Shelby of Alabama
John Thune of South Dakota
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
These and the others not mentioned are either right wing ideologues, Southerners (heavily), or gutless wonders who refuse to show courage (Hatch and Lugar)!
Those Republicans who voted for the legislation include all five women Senators: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Susan Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, plus the following and a few others:
Scott Brown of Massachusetts
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Bob Corker of Tennessee
Daniel Coats of Indiana
Dean Heller of Nevada
John McCain of Arizona
David Vitter of Louisiana
Rob Portman of Ohio
Some of these voted YES because of upcoming election races, and others because they have a sense of decency on the issue of violence against women.
The opposition rose to the fact that the law would be extended to cover illegal immigrants who are victims of violence and domestic abuse, as well as LGBT victims, and those on Indian reservations who are non Indian being forced to be judged by tribal justice on the reservations.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives will strip the bill of the new changes, and it will be a massive battle to get the legislation renewed without these modifications.
Its effect, whatever ultimately happens, will make the GOP reassert itself as engaged in a war on women!
Many ill informed people might think that the Presidential Election of 2012 is nearly even, based on some public opinion polls that show the popular vote close or tied, particularly the case with Fox News Polls, which tend to distort reality, but are believed by those who see that so called “news channel”, and the “poison and hate” it disposes, as being absolute Gospel!
But in reality, the election is NOT close at this point, with the decision based on seven “swing” states, all of which Barack Obama won last time, and all seven in which he has a clear lead at this point.
Of course, no one can live on polls at any moment of time, and it will be essential for Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and others who speak for the Administration to get out there and be actively campaigning and spreading the word over the next six months, but the fact that Mitt Romney has major problems with Independents, women, Hispanics and Latinos, Young people, and Evangelical Christians, make it clear that he has a massive set of challenges to overcome Barack Obama, and this is not the time to put betting money on the former Massachusetts Governor.
The seven states that will be most paid attention to, and visited by both campaigns over the next six months are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado and Nevada.
Additionally, four “red” states have a shot at switching to Obama, with those states in order of likelihood to switch including Missouri, Arizona, Montana and Georgia.
So instead of listening to propaganda, realize that it is these seven “swing” states and four “red” states that are the crux of the election!
Vice President Joe Biden is clearly a very effective “attack dog” for Barack Obama!
Yesterday, Biden went after Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP Presidential nominee, pointing out that he wants to take us back to the Bush era of foreign policy and economic policy.
His most effective lines were that due to Barack Obama, Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive, and that had Mitt Romney been in the White House, the opposite result would have been likely!
Wow, that has to really hurt, and it shows how Joe Biden is one of the very best Vice Presidents we have seen in pure rhetoric and defense of the President they serve, and is exactly the right man to have a heartbeat away from the Presidency. It also shows his level of mental and physical strength, and why he should not be dismissed as the potential successor to Barack Obama in 2016!
And Biden reminds us that it is time to celebrate what are certainly two of the greatest accomplishments of Barack Obama as we come to the one year anniversary of the demise of Bin Laden, the terrorist’s death, and the great success of the auto industry.
And, although Biden did not mention another great accomplishment of the Prresident, Rush Limbaugh indirectly reminded us of it, when he referred derisively to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as “just a Secretary”, the biggest bull line of late from the overweight airbag, when everyone knows that Hillary has been an exceptional asset for the country as our chief foreign policy figure, a record which puts her in the line of possible successors to Barack Obama, as much as Joe Biden!
Now that Mitt Romney has the GOP Presidential nomination, we are realizing that he is back in the 1950s, as far as American society is concerned, and back in the 1980s, as far as American foreign policy is concerned!
One might wonder, what does the author mean?
Well, socially, Romney’s family is a 1950s family: a dutiful wife who has never worked for pay, only as a mother and housewife; having a large family of five children; the five sons being well behaved and never getting into trouble; no question of unhappiness or conflict or divorce; very religious; and living a comfortable, suburban life! This is the image of the 1950s, when women knew their “place”; when children did not use illegal drugs or get drunk or even smoke if they came from a “good” family; and minorities were seen, but not heard, and there was very little direct contact with them.
Well, foreign policy wise, Romney is in the 1980s, with the image of the Cold War under Ronald Reagan; with the Russians called the Soviet Union, and seen as an “evil empire”; with the Soviets controlling Eastern Europe, including the nation of Czechoslovakia, and Eastern Europe enslaved by the Russian armies.
Top aides to Romney have used the term “Soviet Union” recently, as has Romney, forgetting that the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991, and while Russia is certainly a nation to watch and keep track of their activities, they are certainly nothing like the old “Soviet Union”, do not control Eastern Europe, and do not even control all of the separate provinces that are now independent nations.
Also, the references to “Czechoslovakia” are truly laughable by Romney aides on foreign policy, as that nation broke up peacefully 19 years ago, in 1993, into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This is the same mistake made by Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee!
One would think that a candidate for President, and his top advisers, would know the true story about Czechoslovakia!
One would also think that a candidate for President would realize we are not in the 1950s regarding the family, the role of women, and the reality of minority groups in America!
So one has to say, is this what the nation wants in 2013 and beyond: a candidate socially in the 1950s, and foreign policy wise in the 1980s Cold War mentality? One would hope the answer is NO!
It is hard to believe, but Politico has published an article speculating about two possible candidates for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016 almost seven months before we settle who will sit in the Oval Office on January 20, 2013!
And get this: the two political figures mentioned are both New Yorkers, a state thought by many to have no role in the future of Presidential races, but anyone thinking that would be wrong!
The two are Secretary of State and former Senator Hillary Clinton, wife of the 42nd President, Bill Clinton, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, himself the subject of much speculation for President in the 1990s, but never running.
Speculation is rampant, although Hillary denies it, that she might be tapped for Vice President in place of Joe Biden, or that she will just retire for two years, write a book, relax, and then come back and run for President, but with Andrew Cuomo not allowing that to stand in the way of his own ambitions.
And then, outside of the Politico article, there is speculation that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will also wish to move ahead and seek the Presidency in 2016!
Imagine New York being a center of Presidential speculation, and we don’t even know if the President in office will be leaving in 2017 (Barack Obama), or be finishing his first term in office (Mitt Romney)!