Day: May 4, 2012

May 4th: 42nd Anniversary of Kent State University Tragedy

One of the most tragic events of American history occurred on this day 42 years ago, when National Guardsmen, called to Kent State University in Ohio by Governor James Rhodes, to quell anti Vietnam War demonstrations after President Richard Nixon ordered a ground invasion of Cambodia, fired on an unarmed student group wildly and killed four and wounded ten.

The National Guardsmen involved in this massacre were found not guilty in a jury trial, but that does not make it any easier for the surviving family and friends of the four who died, some of whom were not even involved in the demonstration, but were a long distance away when bullets gone awry found their mark!

The thought that this kind of scenario could ever emerge again is a horrible thought, although this kind of situation occurred in Libya, and is now going on in Syria, and also is occurring regularly in many oppressive nations, sight unseen, on a regular basis for sure!

The division in this country, along with the total stalemate of the country’s political parties, makes one wonder if such a confrontation could occur again, whether based on the issue of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, income level, or sexual orientation.

There is too much hate in this country, and there are those political leaders who would not think twice at using force against those they detest, and that makes one worry, fearing another Kent State, which was assisted by the paranoia of Richard Nixon and Vietnam War supporters, who could justify the massacre and sleep at night!

A Doomsday Scenario: A Possible 269-269 Electoral College Tie For The Presidency!

All serious judgment about the Presidential Election of 2012 demonstrates that President Barack Obama should have no problem winning the Electoral College, since he won nine “swing states” in 2008, and is expected to win a majority, if not all, of those nine states again.

But a doomsday scenario has emerged, of what COULD happen if everything went awry!

And that doomsday scenario would lead to a 269-269 Electoral College tie, when 270 electoral votes are needed to win the election, no matter what the total popular vote is!

This 269 electoral vote total for Obama assumes he would win one of the five Nebraska electoral votes as he did in 2008,. when he won the Second Congressional District around Omaha. Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that allow splitting of electoral votes, although such an idea has been broached before, but not adopted elsewhere.

Without Nebraska’a one electoral vote of five, Obama could lose to Mitt Romney 270-268!

This whole scenario is based on the idea that Obama loses Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, and New Hampshire, all of which he won in 2008, while keeping Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada.

This whole scenario is a long shot, but with a country so evenly divided in Congress, who can say that it is not a possibility, as terrible as it sounds!

And if a tie developed, the House of Representatives in January would pick the President, with each state having one vote, so which party controlled the new House and had at least 26 state delegations of their party would choose the President, while the Senate would pick the Vice President, with each state having one vote, but a 50-50 tie a potential in the Senate. Imagine if that happened, and if 25 states had a Republican majority in their House delegation, and the other 25 states had a Democratic majority in their House delegation, keeping in mind that seven states have only one House member–Vermont, Delaware, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming!

What a mess, but again the likelihood is quite low of such a scenario occurring!

Economic Reality: 4.2 Million Jobs Lost In First Year Of Obama Presidency Totally Recovered, But Public Sector Jobs Down 600,000 Due To “Bully” Republican Governors!

Barack Obama came into office during a total hemorrhaging of the job market, due to the Great Recession that began in December 2007.

Therefore, there continued to be a loss of jobs for the first year of the Obama Administration, but that total lost, 4.2 million, has, as of this month, been totally regained, and now we are in positive territory, after 26 months of job growth, with the unemployment rate down to 8.1 percent, from 8.7 percent six months ago,and a high of 9.7 percent in early 2010.

This recovery is miraculous, and only marred somewhat by the Republican Party in Congress refusing to cooperate with the President on public sector jobs, so therefore the Republican “Bully” Governors have helped to cause the loss of 600,000 public sector jobs in the past two years, after the stimulus money of 2009 ran out, and no more was agreed to.

So while certainly, there is a lot left to do to restore a low unemployment rate, considering the circumstances and the political realities, Barack Obama has a lot to be proud of as he formally begins his reelection campaign on Saturday in Ohio and Virginia!

Virginia And Florida: Two “Swing” States With Strong “Blue Areas”: Will It Be Enough For Barack Obama?

Two “swing” states, crucial to the Presidential Election of 2012, are also Southern states, which have usually been fertile Republican territory, but not necessarily this time, as they were not in the Presidential Election of 2008.

Those two states are Virginia and Florida, where much of the battle for the Presidency will be centered over the next six months.

Virginia had voted Republican since after 1964, until Barack Obama won it in 2008. The key area that helped bring the Obama victory was northern Virginia, near Washington DC. This area has seen a continuous growth of federal government employees, many of them for the Pentagon in northern Virginia, but also other government workers who have settled in that area of the state. Additionally, many young people, African Americans, and Hispanics and Latinos have settled in Northern Virginia in recent years, and women have been alienated from the Republicans, due to the vaginal probe bill introduced by Governor Bob McDonnell, a leading candidate for the Vice Presidential nomination to run with Mitt Romney.

Virginia is really two states, and in that regard, not all that different than many other states, but the Northern Virginia vote was enough to give Obama the win in 2008, and right now, it seems likely that scenario will happen again in 2012.

Florida is another such case, with South Florida the “blue” area of the state, and helping Barack Obama to win the state in 2008, only the third time since the late 1960s to go to the Democrats (the other times being 1976 and 1996 when Southerners Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton carried the state).

The margin of victory in Florida was gained by South Florida support, just as was so in Northern Virginia, and the growth of non Hispanic Cubans, plus the northeastern and Jewish influence in South Florida, seem likely to give Barack Obama another opportunity to gain the state in a close vote finish in November!