Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why Romney's Growing Endorsement List Matters

Let's talk endorsements, media, and all that other stuff.
Warning- my pro-Romney bias will likely show up.

Last week Jeb Bush, a not so small name at Republican parties endorsed Mitt Romney. Yesterday, Marco Rubio, another popular name endorsed Mitt Romney. And George Bush the Elder will endorse Romney today.
And yet the Washington Post runs an article about how hard it is to find a Romney "superfan."Now, I wouldn't label myself as a "Superfan," or "Romniac," but I do know a few people who fit that description well. In fact, a quick glance at my sidebar (over there to the left) will link you to several of them. And yet, the Washington Post made it sound like drudgery to find just two or three. I find it amusing that the ones they found I had never even heard of, which means there's even more Romney devotees than originally thought. (Maybe the WaPo google machine is broken?)
 In fact, just for fun, I decided to do a very quick search on Romney fan blogs.
That would be over seven million responses in .2 seconds. (Told you it was a quick search.) To get this result, I obviously put in "mitt romney" into google, then clicked "more," and then "blogs," and then "homepage" (not posts- found in left toolbar, so as to remove all newspaper article posts). Seven million amateur blogs.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why the Constitutionality of ObamaCare is Being Debated and RomneyCare is Not

I have previously posted about the differences between ObamaCare and RomneyCare. And because it is such an important question, I have turned it into its own dedicated page on this blog. (It is not just an old blog post.) Click the link above to see it.

With aspects of ObamaCare being discussed at the Supreme Court this week, I wanted to revisit the subject, and address the issues before the SCOTUS. Starting with, how can you be for RomneyCare, but against ObamaCare? And if the mandates in ObamaCare are what are being debated as constitutional, why aren't the mandates in RomneyCare unconstitutional? And I aim to do this with as little bias as possible, and present it on just the facts alone.

The first and basic reason ObamaCare is potentially unconstitutional, and RomneyCare is not, is also the most important difference between the two programs. One is federal, one is state.

Also, as I said in my original post on this subject, many key aspects of the original RomneyCare bill were opposed by Romney. But he was over-ridden by the legislature in the final act, and many of the items he opposed are the basis for ObamaCare. That is why the argument that Romney "created the blueprint" for ObamaCare is invalid. More accurately it could be said the Democrats in the Massachusetts legislature created the template, and Romney opposed it. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hey, Rick Santorum, you just won the Louisiana primary, now what are you going to do?

Linked to Source

Hey, Rick Santorum, you just won the Louisiana primary, now what are you going to do?

More of the same. Talk about Mitt Romney, give him lots of free press, and then cuss out a NY Times Reporter.

“If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not really a real Republican, is the way I look at it,” Santorum told Fox News.

On CNN his spox with the funny hair tried to convince John King that Santorum is "an Italian guy from a steel town who knows how to finish a fight."

Sounds like the Santos are sending up a test balloon to see if the tough guy thing works against clean cut Romney. Speaking of which, what was Santorum talking about when he called BS? Romney. What else? It's all he ever talks about.

In fact, let's look at everything Santorum talked about today.

He paid a little visit to the Supreme Court where the constitutionality of Obamacare was discussed (if you are a Republican, that is what you think they are talking about anyway).  Let's all take a moment to recall that the former Senator from Pennsylvania has absolutely no influence over the SCOTUS whatsoever (and he's not even on the DC ballot. But I do sincerely hope that he got to go to his home in the DC suburbs, see his little daughter, and sleep in his own bed for a night. Because it really sounds like he needs a good night's sleep.)

While standing on those hallowed grounds, just a few feet away from his former Hill offices, he said,

Mitt Romney should be in Washington, D.C. while the Supreme Court hears a challenge to the national health care law, Rick Santorum said Monday.
"Mitt Romney's 3,000 miles away. He should be here. He doesn't want to talk about the issue because he can't on substance disagree with the policies of this administration."

He also responded to suggestions from the Romney camp that his little outburst to the NY Times proves he's unsuited to be president.
"After I won Louisiana by 23 points? I understand the game but this is, you talk about desperate and pathetic, Mitt Romney can't run on his record."

I'd like to argue that it isn't his temper and language that makes him unsuitable. It is his inability to actually discuss a subject that isn't Mitt Romney. 

So where was Mitt Romney?
In California, talking about health care and the Constitution.
"What's happening today in Washington is an attack on free enterprise, an attack on economic freedom unlike anything we have ever seen before," Romney told an audience at NuVasive, a medical device company that designs artificial spine replacements.
He did not directly discuss the Supreme Court docket, but there was a big sign over his head that said "Repeal and Replace Obamacare."
"I just don't think the president and his people understand that as they burden enterprise with taxation and with regulation, they hurt all of us," Romney said. He also discussed innovation and jobs creation.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Louisiana Partial Primary Caucus Today

According to the website I found this on, it is a map of Louisiana "counties." Seeing as they don't have counties in LA, I'm pretty sure it is a map of LA parishes.
There are 46 delegates up for grabs in Louisiana today, of which 20 will be awarded proportionally. Party rules require that a candidates get at least 25% the popular vote to qualify for at-large delegates. Some delegates will remain unbound if candidates don’t meet the 25 percent threshold. The remaining delegates will be divvied up through a caucus and state convention next month. (This is a part of what I like to call Santorum Math- the ability to not win in a state, but still say you might win it later.)

Polls close at 9pm. None of the candidates are in Louisiana though.

A Public Policy Polling survey conducted Wednesday and Thursday found-
Santorum 42%
Romney 30%
Gingrich 21%

A Rasmussen poll this week gave Santorum 37%, Romney 24%.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

What the Republicans did and didn't do this week

A Gallup poll released today (Friday the 23rd), shows that in a national contest, Mitt Romney carries a sizable lead over Rick Santorum. 
Gallup Poll March 18-22, 2012 GOP nationwide
That's Romney at 40%, his highest number of points ever (and for all of the candidates) since Gallup began tracking last November.
The poll* has Romney rising six points since his Illinois victory, and Santorum falling four points. The Jeb Bush endorsement didn't hurt either.
It also comes right as the campaigns are getting juvenile again, drifting away from real messages, and just throwing mud at each other. That both the Newt and Santorum campaigns wasted time jumping on the "Etch a Sketch" comment all week is just ridiculous, and yes, like I said, JUVENILE.
Let's break down what happened in the world this week, and what the campaigns talked about-
1. Romney spox Eric Fehrnstrom said on CNN's "Starting Point." The absence of a GOP challenge could allow Romney to "hit a reset button for the fall campaign." He went on to say seconds later, "Everything changes. It's like Etch A Sketch, you can shake it up and we start all over again."(Which, hey, let's own up to something here, is exactly what happens when someone emerges as the nominee. They stop focusing on primaries, and start focusing on the incumbent and national election.)
2. A US soldier was charged with 17 counts of murder, for the atrocities in Afghanistan.
3. A man of Middle Eastern descent shot Jewish children at a school in France.
4. A new World Bank leader was appointed by the POTUS.
5. Syria!!!
6. The Trayvon Martin case has gained momentum across the country regarding crime and racism.
7. The Dow and the S&P dropped. 
8. Gas prices anyone??
9. Obama vows to speed up permit process to get the Oklahoma portion of the Keystone pipeline passed.

Those are just the issues that pop into my head. There's still dozens of other major hot topics out there. And yet, we've got Santorum and Gingrich making headlines about the Etch a Sketch comment!
As for the actual real issues above, here is what the candidates have said, or more accurately, this is what the media has reported them saying.
Gingrich calls Obama remarks on Trayvon Martin disgraceful.
Romney and Santorum basically say nothing about Trayvon Martin.
And that's about it. There are dozens of articles about the Etch a Sketch comment, and nearly nothing on the real issues.
I'm not the only one getting tired of the GOP talking about nothing when there are major issues that need attention. Peggy Noonan talks about it in "Kvetch a Sketch" in the Wall Street Journal.
Candidates- break the trend! Step up and be a real leader!

**Added Later**
As I sit here, finishing this post, I am watching Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN. And she is leading off the night with a conversation on exactly this subject. Why are the Republicans talking about nothing, and letting the Travyon issue pass them by?

*This is part of an ongoing poll by Gallup. At least 1,000 registered Republican voters are polled on a daily basis, and the poll drops the oldest of five days each day and adds results from the most recent day of polling.
In the latest survey, Gallup questioned 1,157 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents by telephone March 18-22, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

JEB Endorses Romney (finally)

Former FL Governor has finally endorsed Mitt Romney.
“Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney on his win last night and to all the candidates for a hard fought, thoughtful debate and primary season.  Primary elections have been held in thirty-four states, and now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall.  I am endorsing Mitt Romney for our Party’s nomination.  We face huge challenges, and we need a leader who understands the economy, recognizes more government regulation is not the answer, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism and works to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed.”
It's about freaking time.

Santorum Math is a Beautiful Thing (or Romney wins IL)

"My math has to be right! I counted with this many fingers!"

So Romney beat Santorum in Illinois. Now what?
Well, someone has to win in Louisiana Saturday, and it likely won't be Romney. But let's talk about IL before we go south.
In spite of my confusion yesterday about whether or not there are 54 or 69 delegates in IL, the answer is both. There are 54 "direct election proportional" and the remaining 15 are picked in a complicated "don't call them superdelegates" (because Democrats have supers, the GOPdoes not) process. So technically there were 54 delegates up for grabs last night, but Illinois has 69 delegates. Got it?
Really the only questions we all have at this point are -
1. Is Gingrich ready to drop out yet?
2. Does Santorum have a chance of reaching 1,144?
3. Is Romney going to reach the magic number, and if so, when?

To answer the first question, no. Gingrich still continues to make it clear he won't drop out, and that now he is only in the game to keep votes away from Romney. But quite frankly, isn't he also taking votes away from Santorum? Gingrich has been stumping in Louisiana, where he is matching Romney in the polls at about 20% each. Santorum leads there with about 34%.

On to the next two questions.

NBC’s “First Read"  says that even if Romney won every single delegate available after today, he wouldn’t reach the magic 1,144 number until the May 29 primary. If he only wins 60 percent of the delegates in most of the state, he won't reach the threshold number until the Utah primary on June 26. I can't find an article online to back me up, but I heard John King on CNN say pretty much the same thing last night.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Everything you need to know before the Illinois primary tomorrow

The inexplicable Google image results for "official language of Massachusetts." I highly recommend enlarging for full amusement.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) brings the Illinois primary. Here's what you need to know. 
Illinois has 54 delegates according to one article, and 69 according to CNN and Real Clear Politics. I'm pretty sure the answer is actually 69, but you never really know. Sometimes these news outlets make it really hard to know who to trust.*


The current delegate count is-
Romney 519
Santorum 239
Gingrich 138
Paul 69

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Score 1 for Romney (actually that's 33 for Romney)

Santorum sleeps on the job, Romney wins Puerto Rico

As of 6:30 p.m. ET, with about 10% of total ballots accounted for, according to some media outlets, Mitt Romney had 82% of the vote in Puerto Rico (10,000 votes). 
Apparently the Puerto Ricans were not swayed by Senator Shirtless who trailed in a distant second, at 9% with more than 1,000 votes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

And I Approve This Message

Politics, personal loyalties, and preferences can be fickle beast. I appreciate the comments left on my last post, both here and on other social sharing sites. I know not everyone agreed with me, and that a few of my fellow Romney loyalists were not happy that I didn't stump for him in my tirade. I still stand by what I said.
The following clip is making the rounds today, promoted by Romney fans. Santorum fans are hanging their heads in shame, I am sure. I share it, not to mock Santorum, but to remind everyone, we, Republicans, are all on the same page. After this bitter battle to the convention is over, either the Romneyites or the Santorumites (and the Gingriches in theory), will lay down their arms and join together.
We're all Republicans and we all want the same thing in the end. (Unless you are a Paulite, in which case, you get a pass, because we know you don't want the same thing as the rest of us.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm embarrassed for the Republican Party

I'm embarrassed for the Republican Party.
There I've said it. It needed to be said. There is nothing "grand" about the GOP this election season. There have been so many missteps away from the issues that matter, that it is painful to listen.
English for statehood in Puerto Rico?
Moon colonies?
Rush Limbaugh?
Dogs on the roof?
With all of the important issues that need to be addressed in the world today, presidential candidates are talking about requiring English in Puerto Rico? Are you kidding me? Is there anything about that subject that is vital or will make the world a better place tomorrow?
You know what, forget the "world." Let's just focus on making America a better place tomorrow, and ask ourselves which of the following issues discussed by the media and the campaigns this week will actually improve the average American's life tomorrow.

Does Rush Limbaugh speak for Republicans? and Rush Limbaugh joins Twitter.
Mitt Romney calls billionaires friends
English in Puerto Rico

And we're done. That's sad. Really sad. There are no other topics being discussed by the GOP candidates this week, at least not that the media is covering. I blame the candidates. Is this the best they can do? They are in a battle to become one of the most powerful people in the entire known universe, and they can't come up with something more important to say?

How depressing is it that the man who made headlines today for trying to end suffering in the Sudan is an actor? And not a man who is in a race to be the President of the United States?

Sure, human rights and international relationships aren't exactly Republican party favorites. But that doesn't mean they can't start now. There is a major battle going on in Syria- why aren't the candidates talking more about that? We have troops in Afghanistan! Let's talk about the military! Something! Anything but English in Puerto Rico and celebrities on Twitter!

Okay, I admit, it is hard for candidates to talk very much about international relations and military conflicts when they are not privy to intel briefings. And the media likes to ask broad questions but wants narrow answers that can trip up candidates. I get it. Sometimes it is just easier to avoid certain topics like that. So avoid the media and put out a well-written statement explaining how the candidate feels about Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, etc? Voters don't get to hear enough about what candidates think on international relations until after they are elected. And then that becomes one of the key issues an elected official is judged on. Let's judge them now instead.

I blame Rick Santorum for really messing up the campaign trail by bringing in completely unnecessary issues (like English, Internet porn, etc). He has taken us away from the real, immediate, important issues, and spiraled us into Stupidsville, where he doesn't even have a well-crafted agenda waiting. If you are going to bring up and start a new topic, at least be ready for battle on it!

Mitt Romney doesn't get off scot-free here either. The media has well reported time and time again that he has failed to inspire and motivate the base. As a supporter I took offense to that. But now, I have to admit, I agree. He tries to set himself apart as a great leader, but he has yet to set the tone and the agenda. He seems to constantly be reacting to what is thrown at him, trying to remind people that he has a well-thought out platform on his website, and in his book. But he needs to stop reacting, and go out there and start the conversation. He needs to stop talking about how he was a good leader, and instead go out there and be the party's leader.

I'm not even going to dignify Newt Gingrich's antics with a statement, except to say he too has failed.

The candidates need to set the platform, and bring back the real issues of today. Drop the 1996 issues of English, abortion, and homeschooling. Address today and what will make the world, or at least America, better tomorrow.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rush Limbaugh - when he speaks, who listens?

Rush Limbaugh (linked to source: lifenews)

If you are lucky enough to live under a rock where you are blissfully unaware of the Rush Limbaugh and his latest controversy, I am a little bit jealous. I'm so sick and tired of this story! Tonight on Out Front with Erin Burnett on CNN (which is hands down one of the best news programs period, and not just because she and I share a name), she interviewed David Axelrod, a top Obama adviser. They discussed the controversy and naturally compared it to Bill Maher's comments. In the end, they came to an unanswered question, which I now pose to you, kind readers.

Does Rush Limbaugh speak for Republicans?
Is he a defacto mouthpiece for the party?

As for me and my house- no, he is not. I have never listened to his show by choice. I have, on more than a few occasions, been exposed to it. I have heard enough to know what he talks about and what his style is. He isn't for me. When I was in high school every other week a neighbor drove my sister and I to early morning seminary (bible study). And we had to remain silent in the car so he could listen to the early morning promo teaser for Rush. Those teasers annoyed me to no end. (Mostly because they raised questions and I never got to hear the answers.) But I learned then I didn't like Rush. Twenty years later, I still don't like his style.

I say Rush speaks ABOUT Republican issues, and on some occasions, speaks from the GOP point of view. But he in no way speaks for the Republican party. But I do know enough people who swear by Rush and are devoted dittoheads, that I am willing to be corrected on this.

So again I ask-

Does Rush Limbaugh speak FOR Republicans? And by so, I mean when he speaks to Republicans listen and act?

Or does he speak ABOUT Republicans?

Your thoughts?

Who Said What?

Meanwhile, here are the top stories on Drudge this morning.

Can you guess which of the GOP candidates said what?

1. The idea that the Republicans have to be organized before [the convention] or they will be out of the race I think is a fundamental misunderstanding of television, the internet, you know YouTube, all the things we now communicate with. A very exciting Republican Party that actually talked about ideas and actually had a fight over the platform based on real ideas, I think might be a more interesting party than one which nominates somebody who's boring for five months.

2. And that is that English needs to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language, like Hawaii, but [for Puerto Rico] to be a state of the United States, English must be the principal language.

3. There will not be a brokered convention.

4. Yadayadayada, gold standard, federal reserve, yadayadayada.

To be fair, the first one was said in 2008. [source]
2 Source
No source for #3 because I heard it live on air this morning.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Delegate Math- how Santorum won the states, but Romney won the delegates

Here is what the headlines all say-

Fox News

Yahoo Conglomerate

 And my absolute favorite-
Daily Beast/Newsweek

Now, I don't mean to make this site completely 100% pro-Romney. But yes, my biases show through. I don't apologize for that, since apparently I'm not the only one incapable of not showing bias.
All of the major news outlets ran headlines promoting Santorum. And yes, Santorum did win two states last night. But there were 3 states and a territory in play! But when you count up the delegate vote, guess what? Santorum DID NOT WIN!
Romney took home the 9 delegates from American Samoa. (I am very biased when it comes to Samoa. After all, I lived there as a child, and my father played a part in them becoming a territory. So yes, again, I am biased, and unapologetically so.) American Samoa, which, for all of you haoles, is pronounced SAW-mo-uh, not suh-MO-uh (not one pundit got that right last night), is a little island nowhere near Hawaii, hanging out on the international date line.
About 70 people turned out in AS to vote for Romney. Only registered GOP could vote in the caucus, so few attended. It's rare in American Samoa for anyone to officially register as a Republican or Democrat because local elected officials don't run on party lines.

American Samoa
Romney 70

Romney 88,619 (31%)
Santorum 94,909 (33%)

Romney 4,250 (45%)
Santorum 2,369 (25%)

Romney 180,184 (29%)
Santorum 214,493 (35%)

Now for basic math-
Romney = 88619+ 4250+180184+70= 273,123
Santorum= 94909+2369+214493= 311,711
Santorum lead by 38,648.

Now, for those of you who like to call out my bias- look I just showed you how Santorum won the popular count.

But back to the delegates- here's last night's haul.
41 Romney
35 Santorum
24 Gingrich
1 Paul

Now we can't possibly have an election in the United States without someone complaining about the electoral college, delegates, and apparently now the delegate system. The delegate system is based on the electoral college. The electoral college goes all the way back to Constitution Convention of 1787, and before that to the Centurial Assembly system of the Roman Republic (your random fact of the day, your welcome).
The GOP convention and delegate system has changed a few times since it began in 1856. We've been using the current state by state delegate system for about 40 years (early 1970s).
This is me going rogue here. My gut tells me that professor of history Newt Gingrich is up to something. He's a smart man. Yes, he's as egotistical as they come. But he is smart, and he knows better than anyone else that he has no chance of winning. So why is he staying in the race? My gut says he wants to change the delegate allocation system. I don't know what he wants to change or how he wants to change it. But he's not running on a platform (like Ron Paul) where he wants to bring some specific issue to the convention and get it noticed. In fact, other than his current gas price stunt, and the moon colony thing, I can't think of any specific issue he has really talked much about. But he has to be up to something. And my gut says it is going to be something to do with changing the delegate counts. Again, this is a man who is a professor of history, with a mind that knows details and procedures like no other. It fits. I think he will stay in the race right up till the convention, so that he can make a threat or ultimatum to change the system.
Anyone want to argue with me on that?

Rick Santorum Beat Chuck Norris, but Romney Beat Santorum

Chuck Norris can count to infinity twice, but he can't beat Rick Santorum.
The previously unconquerable Chuck Norris made robocalls for Newt Gingrich in Alabama this week. But not even the roundhouse kicking icon was enough to score Gingrich a win. Or did Rick Santorum beat Chuck Norris??
Or did Mitt Romney beat Rick Santorum?
Rick Santorum managed to sweep the South with victories in both Alabama and Mississippi. Gingrich took second, and Mitt Romney technically took third. If Ron Paul even knew there were primaries tonight, I'd be surprised.
While this is a major feat for Santorum, it doesn't actually help get anyone anywhere near closer to victory in the end. Because both states were proportional states, and the wins were nearly 30% splits, the delegates will get divided up equally. There were/are 107 delegates up for grabs today/last night. (We're still waiting on Hawaii and American Samoa to come in right now.) 47 in Alabama, 37 in Mississippi, 17 in Hawaii caucuses and six more in caucuses in American Samoa. It will probably divide up Santorum 29 delegates,  Gingrich 24 and Romney 22.
-- Corrected--
That was the AP prediction last night. Here are the updated, corrected numbers.
After Tuesday votes in Mississippi, Alabama, Hawaii and American Samoa:
41 Romney
35 Santorum
24 Gingrich
1 Paul
CNN Delegate Count, Source:
Uh, yeah, so Santorum may have won two states, Romney walked away with the most delegates (again). So I stand by my earlier declaration. Rick Santorum may have beaten Chuck Norris, but Mitt Romney beat Rick Santorum.
And while it may seem crazy that Alabama and Mississippi even managed to be important in a GOP primary, it is even crazier that Puerto Rico is in play this week as well. In fact, Santorum mentioned it several times in his victory speech that he's headed there next. It couldn't possibly be because no one else is headed there, Romney just won all those [almost forgettable] other island protectorates, and PR has 23 winner take call delegates.
Residents of Illinois can look forward to a long week of negative ads and robocalls until their primary next Tuesday.
Santorum continues to fight the mathematical projections (that say he can't win), and Romney still has more delegates than everyone else combined. Depending on which news outlet you listen to, Romney may or may not amass enough delegates before the convention.
Gingrich's spox (Hogan?) said some disturbing things on CNN tonight. He really insinuated that Gingrich is sticking it out to the convention just to mess with the way the process currently works. It left me with a very uncomfortable feeling. Gingrich is a die-hard Republican. I trust him to not do anything to truly hurt the party. But I have no trouble picturing him wanting to change the primary process and doing all of this just for that purpose.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I read the news so you don't have to

Here is what happened in the last few days, and what you need to know for the next few days.
Santorum won in Kansas, and took home 33 delegates.
Romney won in Guam (9), Northern Marianas (9), and Virgin Islands (7), and took home 25 delegates. Plus he got 7 as the runner up in Kansas. And he won in Wyoming with 12. For a grand total of 44 delegates for the weekend.
This week brings us Alabama (50 proportional, primary), Mississippi (40, proportional), Hawaii (20, proportional caucus), American Samoa (9, proportional caucus)*, all on Tuesday, and then Missouri (52 proportional)**, and Puerto Rico (23, winner take all).
The following week includes Illinois (69 direct) and Louisiana (46 proportional).
Originally all expectations had been that the moderate from Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, would not do so hot in the South. Say what you will, but when has any Yankee done well in the South? But, in spite of expectations, the latest Mississippi's GOP poll showed Romney slightly ahead of Newt Gingrich, 34% to 32%, which was within the margin of error (MOE).
Meanwhile, a poll of likely voters in Alabama's primary showed Gingrich, who likes to pretend he's a Southerner because he used to live in Georgia, but he's actually from Pennsylvania, and has lived in DC longer, at 34% to 31% for Romney, a gap also within MOE.
Rick Santorum trailed in both polls -- 10 points behind Gingrich in Alabama and 12 points behind Romney in Mississippi.

According to CNN the delegate count is currently-
Romney- 458 delegates,
Santorum- 203,
Gingrich- 118
Paul- 66.

In what might be one of the strangest campaign claims yet this year, the Santorum camp sent out a memo claiming “Romney's math doesn't add up.” And then also said that they- Santorum- are doing better math-wise. They also claimed that Romney must win more than 50% of remaining delegates in order to capture the nomination.
Santorum himself said, "We're winning in the South, we're winning in the West, in the Midwest, we're winning really all across the country. And I understand Newt's sort of drawn his line in the sand here in Alabama and Mississippi. Where do you go from there?"
Can someone please show me these states he is winning in in the West? Cause the last I checked, Romney won Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, and Nevada. Romney even won Alaska, if you want to call that the West. Santorum has won Colorado.
But back to the memo on "Romney's math.” Anderson Cooper had a Gingrich and a Santorum spox on live tonight (did you know Santo, Ging, and Rom all have blond female spox? True story.). He gave the Santo girl a huge rope to defend the math statement. Poor girl was a train wreck. And then AC totally mocked her, but still gave her the chance to try and defend the statement. “How? How do you say a man who is beating you by 100% is losing?” Her answer was more or less, “Because we say so.”
Really it is Gingrich who has the most to lose the next few days. He's lagging in money and in momentum lately.

Public Policy Polling surveys showed a three-way tie in the Southern States. In Alabama, the three candidates were within 2 points of each other, inside the margin of error. In Mississippi, Gingrich led Romney by 33 percent to 31 percent, with Santorum at 27 percent. But I've poo-poo'd PPP polls before, and I'll do it again. I have yet to see them turn out accurately.
"About all we know for sure about Tuesday's primaries is that Ron Paul will finish last in them," Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in releasing the results. "Beyond that it's plausible that any of the candidates could finish between first and third in both Alabama and Mississippi."
Santorum has been actively touting the idea that a long drawn out process, and the possibility of a brokered convention would be good for conservatives, because they could slowly tear down Romney. Romney has been actively out there saying a brokered convention could split and hurt the party when they should be focusing on beating Obama.
The Gingrich campaign approach in the South has been to talk sins and forgiveness to earn a few points with the Bible Belt. 
Meanwhile, the Romney tactic has been to attempt a Southern accent, mention grits, and talk about Southern girls giving hugs.
All of these seem like very odd campaign angles. Guess we'll find out which one will work in about 24 hours!

*American Samoa is expected to go completely for Romney due to the 25% Mormon population. 
** Missouri had its facade caucus back in early February. But it actually "allocates" its delegates this week. Technically they have the ability to change loyalty. But I haven't found any suggestions anywhere that they might. (Santorum won.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Keystone Pipeline- Who benefits? Who doesn't?

Keystone XL Pipeline Map, Linked to source at

(From the Motley Fool)
The TransCanada (NYSE: TRP) Keystone XL pipeline project is a proposed 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport 830,000 barrels of oil from one of the largest oil reserves in the world in Alberta to the one of the world’s largest refining center in the Gulf Coast.
On Thursday the US Senate narrowly defeated an amendment that would have allowed the project to move forward. President Obama has personally taken action to stop the progression of the pipeline due to environmental concerns. The measure, which received 56 votes in favor, failed because Senate rules require 60 votes to include the amendment. Sen. John Hoeven (R., N.D.), whose state stands to benefit greatly from the pipeline, is at the helm of the cause for Republicans, and has vowed to keep the issue alive.
In January, Congress attempted and failed to attach the pipeline to a payroll tax bill. Instead an assessment was requested by the State Department (and President Obama) for alternate pipeline routes that avoid the Sandhills of Nebraska. The Sandhills are nearly 20,000 square miles of unbroken prairie with hundreds of transient lakes, with a very high water table running through it (Ogallala Aquifer). The potential for oil leaks along the pipeline into the water table have raised environmental concerns by the Obama Administration.
TransCanada has agreed to reroute the pipeline likely farther east, nearer an existing Keystone pipeline that already carries Canadian tar sands oil into the US. The company expects to announce the path of the reroute when they apply for a new permit in the fall.

See the rest of the article at Keystone XL Pipeline- who benefits? Who doesn't?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY 2012 Taps Mitt Romney - how should he respond?

The KONY2012 movement has identified Mitt Romney as one of the key policymakers who could make a difference in stopping Joseph Kony. (I find it interesting that they did not list him under culture makers with the other millionaires.) 
I would like to raise the question-
How should Mitt Romney (and/or the other candidates) respond to this? Is it appropriate for a man who is not the nominee to do so? What difference would it have on his campaign? Would it be seen as caving to public demand? And if he were to get behind the movement, would his involvement actually change anything?
I am not asking the question whether or not this cause should be supported. (There is only one answer to that- YES!)
I do not pretend that I do not show my bias on this blog. When it comes to human rights and international relations, I do not fall in line with any political party that I am aware of. I am a very strong and firm believer in the power of grassroots, NGOs, and non-profits when it comes to making a difference in the human rights arena. This is one time where my bias is so strong that I know I cannot see the opposing side. I cannot say whether or not this cause falls into line with GOP or Democrat values. I just know how very strongly I believe in the action. And so, I raise the question and ask for feedback. I want to hear what other people think about a political candidate getting involved. And/or whether or not they support this cause.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Media Bias and What Happens Next

A look at this evening's "top of the fold" cover on the Huffington Post is a sad look at media bias in politics. From the "Hiel Hitler" pose to the "hostile takeover" headline, there is nothing but bias in this image. And since when was a five year bid a "hostile takeover?"

I stopped watching Fox News years ago because of the hatred and vile on the network. Sure, maybe it is conservative friendly (it isn't fair and balanced, that's for sure), but I don't care to hear hatred for any party. I only read the Huffington Post to get a true liberal slant on stories for something to compare my own beliefs against. I prefer CNN because I think they actually spend more time on looking pretty and sleek graphics and theme music than they do on bias. (And because they are the only American network I can rely on to give me human rights stories.)

But if there is one thing to be learned from this political cycle it is that Mitt Romney has not won over the media. The news stories today have all been about how Romney has failed to win all Republicans. Or how the base is not yet behind him. And if I hear one more story about how the GOP doesn't have a strong candidate and may have to go to a brokered convention, I may pull my hair out.

Let's look at the straight up facts.
Romney now has 429 delegates, compared with 169 for Rick Santorum, 118 for Newt Gingrich and 67 for Ron Paul. Add it up, kids. That is 429 delegates for Romney, 354 for the other three guys combined. That is a majority of Republicans behind Romney. The other three guys put together can't outdo him. Yes, I've seen the stories about not getting enough delegates and a potential brokered convention. And if that happens, so be it. There's no point in saying "Well, historically..." anymore. This campaign cycle hasn't followed any historic patterns, so we can stop pretending it will in the future.

The plain and simple truth is that Gingrich needs to step down. He has 118 delegates, which in theory is impressive. Except 53 of those came from his own home state last night. He only got 79 delegates total last night. He came in third or fourth place in every single state except for his home state! He's not winning. His money is drying up. And he will have no momentum to move forward. He has no chance of suddenly winning at a brokered convention, although I suspect that a brokered convention would be a daydream of his. He loves history. He probably relishes the idea of a shouting match on the convention floor and the thought of being carried on the shoulders of his men through the room to the stage. But the truth is, if he hadn't been absolutely vile to the competition up to this point, if he were to drop out now, he would make a good VP. But he shot himself in the foot when it comes to that.

No one is more surprised than I am that Rick Santorum is a strong contender. And the truth is, I don't actually think he is that strong on his own merits. I think what he is is the poster child for the anti-Romney vote. I don't believe people are behind Santorum as much as they are against Romney. I believe if anything were to happen at a brokered convention that it would be a dark horse who could usurp Santorum support. And if that person were charismatic and surprising enough, he/she could really compete against Romney.

(As for Ron Paul, do I think he should bow out? Yes. But I don't think it would make any difference. I don't think his supporters would then fall behind someone else. I think they would follow him out of the party. However, I do think in the tightest races like Ohio last night, it would make a difference if there had been one less "anti-Romney" option available.)

So really, it all comes down to Romney at this point. He either has to finally, convincingly win over more voters, or we're going to a brokered convention. He's a by the book kind of guy, so I don't think we'll see any surprise moves come out of him. But if it were me, and I wanted to shake things up, I'd buck convention completely at this point and do something crazy like start talking seriously about VP possibilities. If you can't get the voters to love you, get them to love your ticket. (For instance, a Romney- Nikki Haley ticket? Who could argue with that?)

Just a little interesting moment from Twitter last night. Judging by the surprising number of retweets, I'd say I'm not alone. 

Super Tuesday Outcomes vs Predicitions

Time to compare my predictions for Super Tuesday against the actual outcomes. Ironically, my predictions were not as biased in my candidate's favor as I thought they would be!

Alaska- 27 delegates - Actual- Romney 8, Santorum 7, Paul 6, Gingrich 3.
Prediction: Romney 12 delegates, Paul 8, Santorum 5, Gingrich 2.

Georgia- 76 delegates- Gingrich 53, Romney 20, Santorum 3, Paul 0.
Prediction: Gingrich 36 delegates, Romney 15, Santorum 15, Paul 10.

Idaho- 32 delegates- Romney 32.
Prediction: Romney 20 delegates, Paul 10, Santorum 2, Gingrich 0.

Massachusetts- 41 delegates- Romney 38, (3 remain unpledged).
Prediction: Romney 30 delegates, Santorum 5, Paul 5, Gingrich 1.

North Dakota- 28 delegates- Santorum 11, Paul 8, Romney 7, Gingrich 2.
Prediction: Romney 12 delegates, Santorum 8, Gingrich 5, Paul 3.

Ohio- 66 delegates, proportional- Romney 35, Santorum 19, Gingrich/Paul 0. 3 unpledged.
Prediction: Santorum 25 delegates, Romney 25, Gingrich 10, Paul 6.

Oklahoma- 43 delegates, proportional - Santorum 14, Romney 13, Gingrich 13, Paul 0.
Prediction: Santorum 25 delegates, Romney 10, Paul 8, Gingrich 0.

Tennessee- 58 delegates- Santorum 27, Romney 15, Gingrich 8, Paul 0.
Prediction: Santorum 22 delegates, Romney 18, Gingrich 10, Paul 8.

Vermont- 17 delegates- Romney 9, Paul 4, Santorum 4, Gingrich 0.
Prediction: Romney 10 delegates, Santorum 4, Paul 3, Gingrich 0.

Virginia- 49 delegates- Romney 43, Paul 3, unpledged 3.
Prediction: Romney 40 delegates, Paul 9

My total prediction-
Romney- 192 Actual= 219
Santorum- 111 Actual = 85
Paul- 70 Actual =21
Gingrich- 64 Actual =79.
Romney now has 429 delegates, compared with 169 for Rick Santorum, 118 for Newt Gingrich and 67 for Ron Paul.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Super Tuesday Predictions

Spoiler Alert! If you don't like knowing what to expect on Super Tuesday, you have been warned.
Here's what to expect tomorrow- the polls and my personal predictions. (Note- I am making my predictions without taking the time to see how the states divide up the delegates (winner takes half? by congressional district? truly proportional?) Nonetheless, I feel confident overall.)

Alaska- 27 delegates, proportional (caucus) - There are no available polls for this state, so I'll base my predictions on the national polls- Romney 39%, Santorum 26%, Gingrich 14%, Paul 12%. Except in this case, my gut says Alaska would be a Paul friendly state.
Prediction: Romney 12 delegates, Paul 8, Santorum 5, Gingrich 2.

Georgia- 76 delegates, proportional- Last week's polls (2/26) showed Gingrich 34%, Santorum 25%, Romney 21.5%, Paul 8.8%. But this week Gingrich has actually increased that lead to about 40(ish)%, and Romney has taken second place.
Prediction: Gingrich 36 delegates, Romney 15, Santorum 15, Paul 10.

Idaho- 32 delegates, proportional (caucus)- no available polls. But I'll call it more than 40% for Romney.
Prediction: Romney 20 delegates, Paul 10, Santorum 2, Gingrich 0.

Massachusetts- 41 delegates, proportional- expect Romney to win by a landslide (polls indicate a 40 point lead)
Prediction: Romney 30 delegates, Santorum 5, Paul 5, Gingrich 1.

North Dakota- 28 delegates, proportional- no available polls, so again, I'll go with the national polls, but this time straight across the board (as compared to my Alaska feelings).
Prediction: Romney 12 delegates, Santorum 8, Gingrich 5, Paul 3.

Ohio- 66 delegates, proportional - Santorum and Romney are neck and neck. Most polls have them tied or within a point of each other. But this is a meeting in the middle at the moment. Santorum is sliding down, while Romney is climbing up. Expect it to be close, with a tie for delegate count.
Prediction: Santorum 25 delegates, Romney 25, Gingrich 10, Paul 6.

Oklahoma- 43 delegates, proportional - most recent polls are over 2 weeks old. At that time Santorum had a 20 point lead. I'll call it for Santorum, since no one else has invested any time or resources there.
Prediction: Santorum 25 delegates, Romney 10, Paul 8, Gingrich 0.

Tennessee- 58 delegates, proportional- a last minute poll shows things are almost tied up in a state that had been expected to be Santorum and Gingrich friendly.That poll shows Santorum 35%, Romney 31%, Gingrich 20%, and Paul 9%. And again, this is a Santorum on the downhill, and Romney on the uphill situation. But there has been early voting that gives Santorum the advantage.
Prediction: Santorum 22 delegates, Romney 18, Gingrich 10, Paul 8.

Vermont- 17 delegates, proportional- most recent poll is 2 weeks old, but had Romney with a modest lead.
Prediction: Romney 10 delegates, Santorum 4, Paul 3, Gingrich 0.

Virginia- 49 delegates, proportional - Only Romney and Paul are on the VA ballot, because the other two candidates failed to meet requirements. Romney leads currently with 69%, Paul 26%. Write-in votes are not allowed.
Prediction: Romney 40 delegates, Paul 9

My total prediction-
Romney- 192
Santorum- 111
Paul- 70
Gingrich- 64

Yes, I am giving Ron Paul more delegates than Gingrich. Call me crazy. But I really do think tomorrow will be Gingrich's swan song (which will sound a lot like a dying duck). I also predict some serious whining on Santorum's part about how Romney spent SOOO much more money than he did and only BARELY beat him.
Tonight I heard a Santo surrogate talking about how Santorum has won more counties than Romney, which is some of the most ridiculous spin I've ever heard. Winning a sparsely populated county in Iowa is not the same as winning a densely populated county in Detroit.
The math is simple- to date, Romney has won 52% of all delegates so far. My math for tomorrow has him winning 44% of the delegates. And really, if Georgia wasn't so heavily for Gingrich (which it rightfully is voting for the native son), the numbers would skew more in Romney's favor. Even in the states where Romney doesn't win (with the exception of Georgia), he's going to walk away with close to 40-50% of the delegates in that state.
Of course, as I type this, I am watching CNN, where John King has just said that now Oklahoma might be closer than I am giving it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Men, the Money, and the Companies Supporting the GOP

Check out my article for the Motley Fool-
The men, the money, and the companies supporting the GOP nomination race.

The Republican nomination race is in full swing, with more money being spent on ads and activities than ever before. Millions have been spent in radio and televised ads in targeted states across the country. Because individuals can only donate up to $2,500 directly to a campaign due to Federal Election Commission regulations, wealthy donors and corporations wishing to make larger donations contribute to political action committees (SuperPACs). The superPACs operate independently with campaigns, and do not take direct instructions from campaigns. In many cases, a few key individuals or associations affiliated with corporations are behind the money fueling the SuperPACs.
Investors may not realize that their shares are indirectly contributing to the publicly traded corporations, individuals and associations, assisting the campaigns.

Read the rest at

Saturday, March 3, 2012

RomneyCare vs ObamaCare - differences and similarities

I did my own research on the similarities and differences between "RomneyCare and ObamaCare" and created the following table.
Essentially what I found was that RomneyCare was a hugely bipartisan effort and that it shows. I learned that Governor Romney vetoed many key aspects of the original bill, but was over-ridden by the legislature in the final act, and many of the items he opposed are the basis for ObamaCare.

The two laws are inherently different, but do have a few similarities. Romney funded his primarily with revenue from the federal government. The Obama method uses a mixture of new taxes and savings from changes to Medicare. The Massachusetts plan was designed to expand coverage to the roughly 60,000 uninsured in that state; Obama’s includes mechanisms to help control health-care costs.
There are several similarities between the two acts. I have done my best to remove any bias and present an honest comparison of the two laws.
If an error is found, please let me know in the comments section, and please provide a source for your information. I provide my sources at the bottom of this post.

RomneyCare- Massachusetts Health Care Insurance Reform Law 2006 ObamaCare- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Offers subsidies to residents with income up to three times federal poverty level Offers tax credit to Americans with incomes up to four times the federal poverty level.
Extends coverage to low-income state residents through federal-state Medicaid. Extends Medicaid eligibility to low-income Americans.
Eliminates annual caps on coverage, limits maximum amount that consumers pay annually. Eliminates lifetime and annual caps on coverage, limits annual maximum to consumers.
Requires employers with 11+ workers who do not offer insurance to pay a penalty. Requires employers with 50+ employees to offer insurance or pay a penalty if at least one of their workers receives a tax credit to buy coverage.
Makes investments to improve wellness, prevention, and public health. Makes investments to improve wellness, prevention, and public health.
Created online marketplace for small employers to compare plans and options, saving admin costs. Created online marketplace for small employers to compare plans and options, saving admin costs.

70 pages long 2,074+ pages long
Main goal: insure everyone in the state Main goal: regulate and control costs of healthcare industry
Did not raise taxes Creates new taxes of $500 billion on individuals and businesses
Does not cut Medicare Cuts Medicare by $500 billion
No affect on Medicaid Gives Medicaid more liberally
1.8% of state uninsured (provided opt-in, opt-out) 16.7% of US still uninsured
Romney vetoed employer penalty (legislature over-rode later) Penalizes and requires employers to offer different types of insurance
Cost the state 1% of budget Will cost $2 trillion
Puts responsibility on individual to buy insurance, while also creating employer penalty for not providing insurance. ($295 per person, but increases monthly (opposed by Romney) No mandate for individuals, creates tax incentives for individuals to purchase coverage (penalizes the uninsured)
Did not lower healthcare costs (did insure everyone) Main goal is to reduce healthcare costs (does so by passing the expense to employers)
Deregulated a complex overly regulated state program. It is still heavily regulated, but much less so. Raised the costs of private health insurance premiums by 9% in one year (even before enacted). Expected to eventually raise premiums 55-85%.
Romney opposed the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, also known as the Health Connector. Among other roles, the Connector acts as an insurance broker to offer private insurance plans to residents. Obama plan is based around this regulatory exchange, imposing many requirements on what is considered “minimum creditable coverage” (for instance, contraception)
Romney supported a bare bones policy that covered hospitalization and catastrophic illness. Obama plan imposes several requirements on what is considered “minimum creditable coverage” (for instance- contraception)

Romney on the MassHealth Act, "It’s a Republican way of reforming the market. Because, let me tell you, having thirty million people in this country without health insurance and having those people show up when they get sick, and expect someone else to pay, that’s a Democratic approach. That’s the wrong way. The Republican approach is to say, ‘You know what? Everybody should have insurance. They should pay what they can afford to pay. If they need help, we will be there to help them, but no more free ride."

Governor Romney vetoed sections 5, 29, 47, 112 113, 134 and 137 of the MassHealth bill. The legislature overrode all vetoes. 

Summary of the vetoes-
Section 5- Creation of a public health council.
Section 29- Provides coverage to non-citizens, but qualified aliens permanently in US. Provides coverage for dental services to adults in a federal optional program.

Section 47- Requires employers of more than 11 full-time employees to pay a per-employee "contribution" if uninsured.
Section 112-  Amendment seeking a waiver from federal government to implement the act. Details terms and conditions for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement (from state to fed).
Section 113- Details requirements of behavioral health services and funding by Medicaid. (does not change services, just details how state collects funds) Determines which businesses qualify as behavioral health services.
Section 134- Requires a report by department of labor and division of health care finance and policy on effectiveness of new law.
Section 137- Requirements of the public health council (opposed in section 5). 

New Yorker: Romney's Dilemma (fascinating, highly recommend)
America Needs Mitt: RomneyCare vs ObamaCare
Massachusetts Legislature Website (actual bill) RomneyCare - a revolution that basically worked
CommonHealth: Huge Similarities Between ObamaCare and RomneyCare Real Cost of ObamaCare

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Want to Support Mitt Romney in Roanoke, VA?

There will be a meeting in downtown Roanoke, VA tonight at 7 pm for anyone interested in helping out the Romney campaign between now and Super Tuesday.
If you are interested in attending, please leave a comment below with contact information, and I will email you the details.