Ultrasound Before Abortion

Ultrasounds has caused some controversy in Virginia as state legislators are getting ready to vote on this bill that requires women to get an ultrasound before she gets an abortion.  Furthermore, the bill says that an ultrasound will need to check the heartbeat and provide an image of the fetus. This was aimed to discourage women from going through with an abortion.

Now, the controversy is not over what the ultrasound does, it is on the requirement of the process and the invasive process. Ultrasounds are painful and requiring this in order to receive an abortion has been compared by many women as “being raped”. Although there are other ways in which an ultrasound can be conducted, the bill specifically states that it must be a vaginal ultrasound rather than an abdominal ultrasound simply because an abdominal ultrasound cannot capture an image of the fetus.

Many advocates of the bill argue that the abortion process is more painful than an ultrasound and that it does not actually require that women to view the picture taken of the fetus. This is a change from other laws in other states that do require women to view the ultrasound picture. Although, requiring a women to go through this painful process without an informed consent seems harsh and controlling.

I believe that even though it might cause women to really think about their decision in getting an abortion, requiring them to go through this process without their consent is wrong and should not be put into law. I imagine this process is also very painful for women and will only make a women more angry instead of having them rethink their decision. It is also a poor attempt for the anti-abortion groups who feel that this law will prevent women from getting abortions. This will only cause women to view anti-groups and the government in a bad light.

What do you think? Are you in favor of this legislation or do you feel there are other ways for anti-abortion groups to promote life?

The voting process was recently delayed to Wednesday allowing for more discussion and feedback from voters. It is predicted though that this will most likely pass and be signed by Governor Bob McDonnell.




On Talk Radio

In class, we covered several topics including TV ads, websites, and debates. There was one politically charge medium that we didn’t discuss: Talk Radio. Channel 98.5 FM delivers most of my radio news. It only takes a few moments to realizes that this particular channel is very much a right leaning (to put it mildly) channel, rhetorically. It is home to pundits such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, who both have a lot to say. Their shows are very different from the traditional news show. The obviously one is that there is no video element. All you have is the host’s voice. Hannity is higher pitched than Limbaugh, who also come off as louder. Limbaugh in particular uses the absence of his voice to emphasize his points. He will make a statement and let it ring. If the point is of extraordinary importance, he will repeat himself, often adding in the pauses. Usually they are talking alone. This gives the monologues a soapbox feeling. They are often talking about how awful the liberal media is, which adds to that preachy effect, assuming you don’t agree with what they say. Otherwise, they seem like the guys who have the guts to say what no one else will. Another significant difference is the interactivity the show has. They often have callers to comment on what they said. In this sense, it is like a synchronous audio-only blog. The hosts talks about a topic, and the listeners chime in. However, they also control the calls heavily and will dismiss callers if they are too off base. In all, the talk radio shows provide a different avenue to get a take on the political world that beats to their own drums.

Newt Gingrich “Dream Team”

Gingrich has fallen behind in the election as Rick Santorum takes his place in leading against Mitt Romney. So, I checked out his website to see if there are any updates or things that prove Newt Gingrich is still in it to win it. Upon looking on his website, one of his three main featured stories talks about his new Dream Team. The conservative Dream Team was created in hopes of  taking on the “Saul Alinsky radicalism of the Obama Administration”.

Now, this group consists of famous conservative figures like Rick Perry, Herman McCain, Michael Reagan, etc. but it also includes…Chuck Norris? It is interesting how Chuck Norris was chosen for this specific team. For those that don’t know who Chuck Norris is, he was known for his acting in famous films and TV series. Later in his career, he began publicly sharing his political views. Although, his actual political experience is very limited. I feel that Newt Gingrich most likely chose Norris for his popularity and fans. Compared to the other people on the Dream Team, Chuck Norris is simply  a face that people will recognize thus receiving publicity for this conservative team.

This is a quote that Norris says describing why he supports Newt Gingrich:

“My wife, Gena, and I sincerely believe former Speaker Newt Gingrich is the answer and deserves our endorsement and vote…We believe Newt’s experience, leadership, knowledge, wisdom, faith and even humility to learn from his failures (personal and public) can return America to her glory days. And he is the best man left on the battlefield who is able to outwit, outplay and outlast Obama and his campaign machine.”

What do you think, is this just a publicity act or do you feel Chuck Norris can really add to the Newt Gingrich campaign?

“I love Trees and Cars”

I came across this speech by Mitt Romney describing his love for trees, cars, and lakes. I found this hilarious as he explains why he loves these things. He says, “The trees are the right height… I love the lakes that dot the inland parts of Michigan… I love cars”. Romney also goes further into describing his love for cars by saying that he used to be able to identify a car’s make and model simply by looking at a square foot of the car. He can’t do it now because there are too many “Japanese Cars”.

Do you think Romney’s rambling has cost him his chance in becoming a strong candidate in this election? I feel that recently, Romney has been in the news not because of him winning in a state or his strong performance  in debates, its about things that he has said or slipped. Mitt Romney is lacking in the oratory qualities that he needs to face Obama in the general election. Could this be why Santorum is leading in the polls?

Growing Up in Michigan Isn’t Enough Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney has been trying to use his history in Michigan to help him convince voters that he is the more viable candidate. He released this video last week talking about his experiences.

In the beginning, Mitt Romney talks about how exciting it was growing up in Michigan. He reflects back on the time when he went to the Detroit Auto Show with his Dad and how the auto industry has changed since. With a shot of  an aerial view of the GM and the Michigan horizon, Romney tries to attack Obama for not helping save jobs and keeping the Michigan people “out of distress”. At the end, Mitt Romney pledges to make Michigan stronger and better.

So, in a deeper analysis of this ad, Mitt Romney tried to accomplish three things. Romney wanted to show his connection to Michigan. He states throughout the ad how he grew up in Michigan, how he has some of the best memories in Michigan, and how this is personal to him in helping rebuild Michigan. The last line he says is “Michigan is me home”. Also, Romney wants to highlight how the economy, especially the car industry, is struggling in Michigan. He explains that people are losing their homes, jobs, and essentially their future. Lastly, Romney wants to attack Obama for not doing anything to help improve the job market and the economy. With one line about how Obama has only focused on the Democratic’s agenda and not on current issues, Romney tries to convince his audiences that Obama has done nothing in helping rebuild America. In the end, Mitt Romney is trying to show his personal connection to Michigan and his dedication and passion for helping restore Michigan.

As for the visual bytes, Romney includes video frames that feature a picture with him and his father, archaic footage, and recent shots to prove that he grew up in Michigan and that Michigan has changed. Having Romney drive is another visual byte that the campaign tried to use towards his advantage. I imagine that the reason for him driving around residential areas in Michigan would prove that it is his hometown. By driving around and not being driven around, catches Romney in his natural environment and appeals to the average Americans. However, the car that he is driving was not made in Michigan. This is a poor decision for the Romney campaign because if he is talking about restoring the glory the car industry in Michigan once had, he should be driving a car made in Michigan.

Despite Romney’s connection, I feel like this argument is irrelevant in making a decision on who is the best candidate. A personal connection helps, but in the end, it should come down to the issues and how each candidate plans to solve them. Right now, Rick Santorum is winning in the polls against Mitt Romney. Can Mitt Romney keep up?

Santorum Rombo Ad

So far attack ads have been a big part of the primaries. Some people think that Romney’s (and his Super Pac’s) relentless attack ads against newt were the main reason he was able to win Florida. Now Romney and Santorum are fighting it out in Michigan and just like in Florida Romney and his Super Pac are airing ads attacking Santorum. This is the advertisement Santorum’s campaign aired in response.

This is a humorous attack ad that talks about all the “mud slinging” Romney has been doing. The first thing I noticed is that this ad is done by Santorum and not a Super Pac. In the ad a Romney look alike is firing mud at a Santorum cardboard cutout. One interesting thing I noticed is that all of the mud misses the cut out which could be them saying that all of the claims by Romney are inaccurate or just it could be that they are trying to show that Santorum is “clean.” The ending of the commercial I thought was very clever. They show Romney’s mud gun backfiring on him and dirtying himself which represents the voters he’ll lose from all the mudslinging if he becomes the nominee. I think this was a very effective ad and a was a nice move by the Santorum Campaign.

Gingrich Calls for Backup

Newt hasn’t had much success the past few primaries. Though he is a strong candidate in order to keep his supporters and prove that he’s still a strong candidate he needs to win another Primary. This is why he’s started campaigning together with Cain in Georgia. Cain is a resident of Georgia and therefore has a home field advantage (meaning he has an abundance of supporters in his home state.) This is a good move by Newt and all we can do is wait and see if it pays off. But if it doesn’t he’ll have a tough job trying to convince people that he’s still a main contender for the nomination.


General Election Predictions

The general election seems to be far off but is actually going to happen sooner than we think.  The  most likely candidates for the republican party at this time are Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  These two are both highly qualified and would make an interesting run for presidency.   The problem occurs in what many think will happen that Ron Paul will instead of accepting defeat go and become a Libertarian party member so that he may continue to run for election even after he loses the nomination.  If this occurs many think he will split too many votes from the republican party and give Obama a big lead and most likely the win in the general election.  This prediction is what I think is a major concern for the republican party cause they know that if this occurs there will be little chance for them to win.  Instead they should be actively trying to convince Paul to end his run and support the republican party as a whole.  That is the only way, I think, that the republican party stands a chance to win the presidential spot.



Can Santorum beat Obama?

In the Republican race, it has basically come down to a contest between Santorum and Romney. Santorum is beginning to round up votes from voters who feel that Romney is too moderate, and because of this he has become a force in the Republican primaries. Despite this, however, Santorum has little chance of beating Obama. In the general election, Santorum is a candidate that will significantly fire up the Republican base. In the process, however, he will quite easily turn off moderates that are crucial to any candidate’s ability to win the presidency, and even might fire up the Democratic base due to his social conservativeness. While this could be mitigated through the smart picking of a VP, a win for Santorum in the Republican nominating contest could mean a significantly easier victory for Obama in the general election. Romney is still the Republican’s best bet at beating Obama, like it or not, and I predict that Republicans will realize this and ultimately nominate Romney for president, setting of a more unpredictable general election result.

Obama Reelection

Most of the news in the political world right now consist with Romney or Santorum fighting it out for a nomination, but it seems sometimes that we have all but forgot that Obama is running against any of those that get the nomination.  So whats his strategy?  According to an article in “The Daily Beast” there are two ways to go about a reelection.  The first has to do with extreme positive attitude in his first term making a second term almost guaranteed, but his popularity is too low for that.  The second is that he will blame the opponent and say it is all their fault.  After looking at the other candidates  it seems that there strategy is the same as obama in that it is not their fault it must be Obama’s.  Who will be able to be the most convincing in the general election?  I think it will come down to wordplay and appearance with unfortunately for the republicans Obama wins easily.  The chance is still there though because people haven’t forgot how bad the  economy is and many will go republican just because of their opinions with Obama’s health care.  Due to that Obama made this a race that is much harder for himself than it needed to be.  Now its anyone’s game.