Monthly Archives: January 2012

Will Florida Decide?

In the current presidential race the candidates up for nomination are fighting a close battle.  With Satorum’s win in Iowa, Romney’s in New Hampshire, and Newt’s in South Carolina, no one really knows where the race will go next.  Though Romney has an impressive lead in the polls right now the other candidates said they are not going to let him have the nomination quite that easy.  They have stated that even if Romney comes out with a landslide win in Florida they are still going to stay in the race and take there chances.  With the Florida primary tonight it will be interesting to see what everyone’s next step is.  Romney thinks that Florida is his so he has already pronounced and multi-state plan of attack.  The other two have said that they wont give up but will they really have a chance if Romney takes Florida?

I think that the fact that the race is so close provides positive and negative aspects.  The positive is that the american people are going to really know there candidate and will have a candidate that is universally favored. The bad part is that the longer they stay in the race the more information is released bashing the candidates and the more information is at the disposal of Obama in the Presidential campaign.  Due to this I think If Florida isn’t the deciding factor, one of the next few should be and that way there is the strongest support for the candidate that is chosen.

source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/mitt-romney-florida-primary-election-2012_n_1241196.html

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Gingrich and Women

In the latest NBC poll, Mitt Romney has showed a 15 point lead over Newt Gingrich. However, when analyzing women voters, he shows a 21 point lead over Gingrich compared to the 9 point lead he has with men. This was similar to the findings found in other Florida based polls released today.

What is causing this major gender gap? Is it Newts repeated divorces? Or his affair while pushing for a Clinton impeachment? Or his open marriage requent? When Newt was asked he responded with, “I have no idea.” In nationwide polls, the gender gap tends to reduce a bit, but 57% of women over 50 still have a negative view of Gingrich.

With the recent news of a Cain endorsement of Gingrich, there has been some speculation that this will actually widen Romney’s lead, and the gender gap. As NBC reported:

“I hearby officially and enthusiastically endorse Newt Gingrich for president of the United States,” said Cain, who saw his own candidacy dissolve amid accusations of unwanted sexual advances.”

 The million dollar question is, does one’s personal life matter? Did it matter in the FDR, JFK, Eisenhower, and Johnson days, which all supposedly had affairs?  I believe that in these days, voters need to judge a candidates full character, which may very well include their personal life. However, the primary is focusing way much on this, and not enough about the issues. Everyone will come with some type of baggage, so let’s look past all of this garbage, and focus more on the credentials of the man who will lead our country for the next four years

Global Warming is a Hoax

In Thursday’s debate Rick Santorum listed a laundry list of reasons why he was a better candidate than the rest. One of these included how he didn’t believe in the “global warming hoax.” This response caused many reactions and thought that maybe he was crazy. This is expected with the numerous reports that the media throws down our throats regarding this matter. Global warming is apparently an important subject, and a candidate must have a response on what they plan on doing about it. Santorum, along with a growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that there is need for a plan and drastic actions aren’t needed.

Nobel prize winner Ivar Giaever, who supported President Obama in the previous election, resigned from the American Physics Society in September because of their policy statement that read, “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.” This happened after “climitegate” where leaked emails from prominent American and British climate researches, had lines including, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t”.

What it comes down to is that global warming is becoming “politically correct” but maybe not “factually correct”. It is reported that there are many young scientists who disagree with global warming, but are too afraid of the consequences for displaying their opinion. This was seen when Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, wanted to publish an article with a conclusion that global warming is a hoax. The International Climate Warming establishment called for his removal shortly after. If global warming is a hoax, then why are there organizations still pushing for it? Reasons include excuses for bureaucratic growth, funding opportunities, excuses to raise taxes, and increased subsidies.

Sixteen of these prominent scientists and engineers recently came together and had a message for the candidates:

There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.

 Yale additionally released a study that showed a policy of 50 years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas control yields the highest benefit-cost ratio compared to many other common policies.

The scientists ended with:

Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of “incontrovertible” evidence.

 

A list of the 16 scientists who backed this theory can be found at

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_News_BlogsModule

Newt vs. the Establishment

I find it incredibly fascinating that despite working in Congress for 20 years, with some of that time spent as Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich has effectively framed himself as the outsider in this election. Maybe even stranger than that is the fact that I actually believe him. Judging from recent reactions to his South Carolina win, it’s clear that the Republican establishment is very much anti-Newt.

Bob Dole is the latest establishment figure to come out against Newt. Dole and Gingrich worked together in Washington when Dole was in the senate and Gingrich in Congress, and he described Newt as hard to work with. Combine this with Romney endorsements from favorite Republicans like John McCain and Chris Christie, and the trend becomes clear. Gingrich isn’t kidding around—he actually is the anti-establishment candidate, but not because he’s been outside the system (as one would expect from a traditional anti-establishment candidate). He’s the anti-establishment candidate because the establishment knows him well, and they really just don’t like him. Republican leaders think that he is unrestrained at times and is too unpopular to be successful in the general election. The fear is that Newt would go down hard and drag down too many Republicans running for the House and Senate with him.

So with Mitt Romney having establishment endorsements and money on his side, why does Newt even have a shot at this thing? Well despite his dislike among independents, Republicans connect with Newt because he channels a lot of their anger and dislike of Washington. Since Washington is already against Newt, he’s free to bash them all he likes. And the fact is that Congress is not very popular right now, so Newt’s bashing plays into the feelings of voters. So it looks like the fact that the establishment is rejecting Newt is actually a strength for him—many Americans are on his side in having a dislike for Washington right now.

So South Carolina gave some Republicans quite a scare, but a Gingrich nomination is looking less-likely given the latest Florida poll which puts Romney ahead by 9 points. I think the saving grace for Newt in South Carolina was really his debate performance and the fact that South Carolina is a more-conservative state where it’s harder for voters to back the “Massachusetts moderate,” as Newt likes to say. I think we’ll see a pattern in the voting where Newt has the advantage in the conservative-friendly states, but in states which are actually up for grabs in the general election such as Florida, Romney has the advantage. Romney also didn’t crash-and-burn in the debates this week like he did in South Carolina. He actually came across strong in the Florida debates and was on offense more than defense for a change. Given that the poll mentioned above was conducted before the second debate, Romney has especially-strong momentum heading into the primary.

The funniest part about this whole ordeal is the fact that before the race essentially came down to Romney vs. Gingrich, Republicans weren’t all-too crazy about Romney. They sought-out a “true conservative” to rally the base and defeat Obama in 2012, but that hasn’t happened. Each candidate has their own set of flaws, and their dislike of Gingrich has apparently rallied the base around the less-than-perfect Romney. Mitt has taken-on the status of the “least worst” candidate who has the best shot of defeating Obama.

The Thursday Debate

The Florida Debate last night should have been a big night for both Romney and Gingrich. Gingrich needed to show that he could continue his success from South Carolina and continue to show he should be the Republican nominee. Gingrich need to have a decent performance last night which has led to his success in past primaries. Romney on the other hand need to have a good performance to regain the momentum that he had lost after Gingrich was able to win with such a large margin in South Carolina.

Well to answer who won and if both candidate gave a good performance you only have to look at the fact Gingrich wants a base on the moon! I wish that there was a symbol for face palming. Really Newt a moon base! I just want a functioning economy and to get rid of our $ 15 trillion deficit. So Newt shot himself in the foot and I can’t wait to see him dodge the questions about a moon base or justify his position.

Now Romney according to Todd Graham, a national know debate coach, did a great job last night. According to Mr. Graham Romney argued, attacked, responded and had a better presence than the rest of the candidates. Romney was better able to describe his opinion on the issues, tore Gingrich a part on the moon base comment, and when he was attacked on his investment in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae he pivoted perfectly to say financial success is a bad thing it shows you would make a good president. Also Romney acted like he was a winner on stage he controlled the crowd, usually a strong suit of Gingrich. Romney won this debate but he still has to face Obama.

Paul and Santorum both were riding in the back seat but Santorum from what Dr. Watt and Mr. Graham have said lost ground by going overboard and looked over emotional last night. While Paul  I think won some votes about the questions of his fitness and simply dismissing questions he wasn’t interested in.

The Final Florida Debate

In South Carolina, Gingrich owned the debates and kept Romney on the defensive. Romney fumbled over his responses on tax returns and came off as incredibly weak. The solid debate performance by Newt came at just the right time for him to score a decisive win in South Carolina. And now, Mitt Romney seems to be doing the same thing in Florida.

In the first Florida debate, Newt was off his game because the audience was silenced. His winning strategy in South Carolina was to embody the frustration of voters to thunderous applause, but with a silent audience, getting riled-up would seem inappropriate and out-of-place. And now in last-night’s debate, even back to the normal audience which is allowed to cheer, Newt’s performance was sub-par. Romney came out guns-blazing, and for the first time, was actually effective at attacking Newt and not allowing the attacks to blow-up in his face. Newt can usually get the last word to make Romney look bad, but Romney kept coming back and didn’t let that happen this time.

One aspect that worked to Romney’s advantage was that the audience was clearly on his side. In one moment, Romney called to stop attacking him because of his success or investments and stated that his accomplishments should be seen as an “asset to help America.” The crowd cheered, and when Newt responded that Romney should apply the same standard about personal attacks to the other candidates as well, there was audible booing. Gingrich had not changed—he gave a very Newt-esque answer which could have been given in any of the debates so far—stating that Romney’s attacks are inaccurate. My theory is that Newt held-back at attacking Romney for the rest of the debate because he didn’t want to be booed, thus crippling what he’s been known for in debates. This gave Romney some room to really double-down on his attacks. At the end of the debate, the audience was even chanting “Mitt! Mitt!”

There were a couple poor moments for Romney. The first was in response to a campaign ad of his which makes the claim that Gingrich calls Spanish the “language of the ghetto.” Romney was not familiar with the ad and doubted that it was from his campaign. His response when pressed on it was to ask Gingrich himself if he had said that. That’s an interesting approach—ask the man you’re attacking if the attack is true. Of course Gingrich claimed that the quote was taken “totally out of context.” It was later confirmed in the debate that it was an ad by the Romney campaign and includes the approval message from Mitt himself. Newt actually lumped this together with the fact that Romney didn’t know where some of his investments were (Romney’s defense: it was a blind trust) to make the claim that Romney seemed to be unaware of a few too many things.

In addition, Rick Santorum once again sparred with Romney over Obamacare/Romneycare, claiming that the two laws are incredibly similar. Santorum said that prices have gotten so bad in Massachusetts that people were opting to pay the fine for not having insurance rather than acquiring insurance. Romney denied those claims and was able to spin it well-enough (given that he can’t really escape this criticism) and said that he can at least prove that he cares about improving health care. The media really hyped Santorum’s performance last night, which I thought was strange. I feel like Santorum always does well and that his performance was no better or worse than other debates where they don’t talk about him. It’s always interesting to see what the general consensus is from the media versus how I see a debate.

To give Ron Paul a mention, he’s managed to become the comic relief of the debates. He has some very serious proposals, but he’s been injecting more humor in his answers lately, and that isn’t helping with his problem of not being taken seriously. Perhaps he sees the writing on the wall and is just having fun with these debates now. Romney now has the momentum on his side moving into the Florida primary.

The State of the Union

President Obama’s state of the Union Address I believe was another strong showing of his speaking ability. I feel how he opened the address was a wise decision because he got to show off one of his “accomplishments”, bringing the troops home from Iraq. No matter your opinion on this move Obama used it to applaud our troops and then linked it to two key issues. The economy and the bi-partisan politics that are two of the things Obama wanted to address in his presidency.

The strongest sound byte I heard was when Obama begins talking about our troops “They focus on the mission at hand. They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.” This is great because he has the Republicans and Democrats clapping for our troops and then just slams home a point that we aren’t getting the job done here in Washington. The best was there was a pause between the clapping after he said this were everyone was thinking “crap we need to clap to that even though, we don’t want to.” He then backs this point with what America could be and then ties it to our past. The focus on the economy came from his focus on increasing manufacturing here at home, which I personal completely agree with him. The speech about what he did for the economy sounded great but, I wonder how it will fare in the general election because things are still not great.

What we can take away from this speech is that Obama’s campaign will be won on his ability to prove to the middle class that he was the one that stopped the decline of the economy, and has insured that the mistakes that caused it won’t happen again. The reason I say this is because the issues he point out are focused on the middle class. The thing I liked was Obama kept asking Congress to make bills and kept saying he would sign them. It makes it look like he is a man of action, but still things aren’t getting done. He has pointed out many of his accomplishment at every chance he has got the creating jobs, auto industry and overseas trade. Now Obama needs to fight an uphill battle to show that he has done these things.

The response I have gather from the people who watched the debate was Obama said a bunch of things that we wanted to hear but haven’t seen it done.  The feeling I got was best summed up by my friend Eric Kamer Facebook Status, “Sometimes I don’t understand the Government!! Maybe if they would actually do something instead of just talk about it we would not be where we are today.” I feel Eric is echoing the feeling a lot of us have that our government isn’t doing its job and that we voted for change in 2008. So where is it? Yes our economy isn’t tanking but in his speech he said we lost 8 million jobs but then says he is proud of the 3 million jobs created. I don’t know but the math doesn’t look good. I voted for Obama in 2008 and he is going to need to prove to me I made a good decision.

Initial Impressions on the State of the Union Address

President Obama delivered his 3rd annual State of the Union Address to congress this evening. Here are my initial impressions of the speech. Overall, this speech was my favorite out of the other two State of the Union Address speeches delivered by Obama. I was impressed by the rhetoric used and how Obama was really pushing for a government that worked together.

  • optimistic– Obama was criticized for being pessimistic by Republicans and in this speech, he did just the opposite. He talked about the U.S. before he became President and then stated how the economy and jobs have grown since then. The choice to deliver a more positive speech forced Mitch Daniels, Indiana Governor and speaker for the official Republican response, to be negative and try to highlight how U.S. did not grow as much as Obama claimed.
  • patriotic– Obama was also criticized for being unpatriotic by Republicans. In tonight’s speech, Obama stated that America can get back on top again. If we all work together and Congress puts aside party differences, we can improve the economy, create more jobs, educate the current generation, create affordable healthcare, etc. He also made a comment saying that we need to stop funding wars and start using that money to solve domestic issues. At the end of the speech, he talked about how we need to be more like the Navy SEALS. They do not worry about race, sexual orientation, or political values, they worry about the person next to you. Once you put on that uniform and go to war, “you rise or fall as one unit, serving one nation, leaving no one behind”. Here is the very last part of the speech that shows how Obama had a patriotic tone throughout the night.

    “So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own. This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we’re joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, and our future is hopeful, and the state of our union will always be strong.”

  • Obama was assertive but not attacking– Obama talked about how it is hard to carry out and pass bills through Congress. He encouraged Congress to get more bills on his desk and work together to get things done. Also. Obama said that he is willing to work with Congress if Congress is willing to work with him. He made a comment how even though he is a Democratic President, he will be willing to work with Republicans and fellow members of his party to improve the economy and job creation. “Neither party has been blameless in these tactics. Now both parties should put an end to it.” If Congress are not willing, he will do it himself and push to carry out his goals without Congress.
  • Talked about Filibusters– Obama targeted getting rid of filibustering on all judicial and public service nominations. He wants to create a quicker and more responsive government to fit the ever changing needs of the American people.
  • The speech was longer and more detailed oriented– This type of speech is often accredited to President Clinton and his delivery of the State of the Union. Clinton’s speeches would be detailed including specific facts and well-rounded plans. Obama’s proposals considered the past, present, and future. He introduced his goals for the coming year and a detailed plan to accomplish his goals. Even though the speech was longer, this was essential because the American people are not educated in many of these issues that Obama covered. By including rich detail, Americans can have a better understanding of the issues and try to see eye-to-eye with the President’s plan.
  • Focused on EducationObama, in the majority of the speech besides talking about the economy, addressed our nation’s education. Obama wants states to create a plan in which every student graduates high school. He also wanted to decrease tuition for college students and interests in loans. This will encourage students to continue in higher education. It will also help them after they graduate when they are paying back college loans. I agree with Obama’s passion to encourage students to go on to college. This generation needs to be well-informed and the government now is making it harder for students to accomplish that. Tuition is extremely high and loans have high interest rates making it less affordable for students wishing to attend college. The more educated we are, the more able we are to create jobs and build the economy back to pre-recession states. Obama also spoke about training teachers instead of firing them. Lastly, he also mentioned about how other countries are reforming their education while we are firing teachers and making it harder for students to graduate.
  • Tax issues– Lastly, Obama spoke a lot about taxes and how the rich are not paying as much as they should. He mentioned about Warren Buffet and how his secretary was paying higher taxes them him. Obama wants to create a more equal playing field and have everyone pay their fair shares. The rich should not receive tax cuts nor should the receive a tax refundable and deductible. Then middle class or individuals making less than 250,000 should receive tax cuts.
  • Renewable Energy– Obama promised to find better ways to create renewable energy. He wants to stop relying on foreign oil and fuel our nation with domestic oil and natural energy. He wants to promote green energy as well. he also said that the Department of Defense is helping in this goal. He says,'”The Department of Defense, [is] working with us, the world’s largest consumer of energy, [to] make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.” I found this surprising because aren’t we funding the Navy and so aren’t we then purchasing these clean energy. Also, aren’t we trying to cut the budget for the Navy?
  • Raise the temperature in this city– Obama is pushing for raising the competition and way things get done. Here is a quote from Obama:

    “Finally, none of this can happen unless we also lower the temperature in this town. We need to end the notion that the two parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign of mutual destruction, that politics is about clinging to rigid ideologies instead of building consensus around commonsense ideas.

    I’m a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed, that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.”

  • Lastly, I enjoyed watching Boehner’s   and people of Congress’s expression. I love watching who agrees with what and how different parties, especially Republicans, respond. I did hear some ‘booing’ in the peanut gallery which definitely adds more excitement to this hour-long speech. Also, even with the different parties mixed and not separated like the other State of the Union Addresses, you can still see who belongs to which party. 

To access the full transcript of the State of the Union Address, click here.

(p.s. Besides the State of the Union Address, Mitt Romney released his tax reforms. It shows that he makes 21 million dollars and pays 3 million dollars in taxes. It also mentions that he pays around %13 in taxes. I have also heard that Romney has bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and other countries. Even though Romney donates a lot of money to charities and the Mormon Church, there is something odd about how much he makes to how much he pays for taxes. This just highlights how there needs to be change in this country on tax issues.)

Mitt Romney’s Wealth: What happened to the 4th Amendment

Mitt Romney recently released his tax returns upon the request of many critics of his campaign. Out of total fairness, Newt Gingrich will also be releasing his tax returns. However, I have to wonder what happened to a person’s right to privacy. I do completely understand that America wants an honorable president who has lived an honest life and has led through example, but there is apparently no trust or belief left in this country. Elections used to be based on the belief that candidates were the right men for the job and all that was left to decide was what way do voters want the country to go. If a man is putting himself in the position to leader of our country, I believe he should be trusted enough to have conducted himself in a manner that deserves the respect of every American. It is also my belief that a candidate should be totally honest with his past as to prevent the media from having to try to find dirt on them. Any judgment passed onto a candidate should be the judgement on their platform. That is after all why they are in the race for presidency, to propose their platform, defend it, and persuade others why they can run the country the best. I find it to be disgraceful to attack someone in a personal way just to sink them in the polls. What if they have what it takes to be the best president? It would be shameful to lose that opportunity over some moral mistake forever ago.

Gingrich’s “cheerleaders”and a new Republican candidate?

This morning on Fox and Friends, Gingrich displayed his dislike toward the decision that debate moderator Brian Williams made regarding the silence of the audience. Gingrich said it was wrong and threatened to skip debates if the audience was silenced in the future. He explained, “I think he took them out of it because the media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they’ve done in every debate.”

According to the Commission of Presidential Debates, audience participation has not been allowed in past general election debates and would not be allowed this cycle. If Gingrich wants the nomination, he needs to learn how to debate without the backing of his audience.

Ann Coulter commented felling that “[Gingrich] says whatever the audience wants him to say and I think these attacks on the media have been really, really depleting the well of sentiment against the liberal media.” Gingrich truly gains his momentum during the debate where he excels. It is going to be interesting to see what almost a whole month of February without debates does to him. At the end of the day, it is all about electability. Can we really have a man like Gingrich as president? Can he really beat Obama? It seems that there has even been talk about the conservatives calling for a “new candidate.” I think it could be a very plausible strategy for a new candidate to emerge. Only 5 % of the delegates have been accounted for so far. A Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, or Mitch Daniels could arguably enter the race now – and win. At least it would be entertaining.