Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today is the Day!

Today is the day. Assuming all goes as expected in the Texas primaries tonight, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will have all the delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.

Not many people ever expected this day to come. It is rather unfortunate that in this country that loves to celebrate "firsts" - First Female Vice President Candidate (Geraldine Ferraro), First African American President (Barack Obama), First Jewish VP Candidate (Joe Lieberman), First Catholic (JFK), etc., that we will not be "celebrating" the First Mormon Candidate. No, somehow that "first" is still an acceptable form of bigotry and bias.

But does it matter? No. Maybe it won't be "celebrated" but it will still happen. And that's momentous enough!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Video Games and Porn- a political issue in the making?

Linked to article source- CNN

Going a little off-topic today-

CNN has an interesting piece today entitled 'The Demise of Guys': How video games and porn are ruining a generation.
The key points from the article-
  • Authors argue that video games and porn create "arousal addictions"
  • Young guys are digitally rewired in a new way that demands constant stimulation
  • Video games go wrong when the person playing them is desensitized to reality
 Here's my question to the world today- how long until this becomes a political issue? It is already being addressed in churches and schools. And that tends to be where issues originate before moving into politics. (For instance homosexuality, women's reproductive rights, etc.)

So when will they become political issues? And when it happens, which side will the different parties take?

The Controversy Over CISPA and the Cybersecurity Act of 2012

CISPA, the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act, is back in the news, but now in the form of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. These cybersecurity measures, if passed, would have significant impact on some of the largest corporations in the United States.
The controversial CISPA was passed by the US House of Representatives in April. It passed the House with bipartisan support in April with 248-168, including 42 Democrats in favor. There were 28 Republicans against the bill.
When the Senate returns from the Memorial Day recess, it is expected to vote on its response to CISPA- the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (CSA), supported by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Susan Collins (R-ME). This bill has the tentative support of the Obama Administration, which CISPA did not receive.

Read the rest at Support and Opposition of CISPA and the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 at the Motley Fool.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Surprises in Kentucky and Arkansas Primaries for Democrats

Just when you thought the primaries were just a formality and didn't matter anymore, something interesting happens.
President Obama didn't have an opponent in Kentucky, so you would except him to win by a fairly large margin, right? But no! Instead, he only took 57.9% of the vote. Everyone else was "uncommitted."  And that was how his own party felt about him!
And he didn't do much better in Arkansas either. With 70% of the votes in, he only had 59% of the vote. He did face a challenger in Arkansas. A man named John Wolfe, an attorney from Tennessee whose platform includes repealing “Obamacare.” Wolfe took 41% of the vote and was able to win several counties.
Mitt Romney did slightly better in his own primaries, but not much better. He took 67% of the vote in Kentucky, (Ron Paul took 13%), and 69% in Arkansas. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum each took 13%. Even Newt Gingrich did better in Arkansas than he did in many states when he was actively campaigning. He got 5% of the vote.
What does this mean for November? 
Obama has had a difficult time winning even the Democrats in the more conservative states. (Let's not forget the 43% of Democrats in West Virginia who voted for the currently imprisoned felon over the POTUS.) He only took 30% of the primary in Kentucky in 2008, and 26% of Arkansas in 2008. But overall, this probably doesn't mean anything for November. Obama was never going to win those two states, and now we have more proof to support that theory. 
But here's the catch- Kentucky is historically a blue state. So why don't they like Obama more? The Washington Post's The Fix addresses that question today with "Is it racism?" The article is worth a read. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Arkansas and Kentucky Primaries Tonight

Just so no one thinks I really believe Arkansas is all bigots and rednecks, here's a picture of a pretty place I once visited when I had the great misfortune of living in that miserable state.

It will be a while before we can expect to see all-night election return coverage on the news networks. But politics junkies can still find coverage online when the want it.
Tonight, Tuesday night, Kentucky and Arkansas will take to the primary polls to choose between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. And possibly between Obama and a mystery write-in candidate in Arkansas. Contrary to the rumors, no, that person is not me. 
Romney still needs 800 delegates to clinch the nomination. Paul needs almost a thousand more. But you just keep trying, Rep. Paul! You're just the little engine that could, or couldn't. Probably couldn't. 
And here's a shocking piece of information- whichever Republican candidate wins Arkansas will probably be able to rely on getting all 6 of their electoral votes in the fall, as the state tends to be historically Republican.
I feel I should say something to acknowledge that hideous Washington Post article I already posted about to point out that at least 60 people in Arkansas are bigots that don't like Romney based solely on religion due to a scuffle 120 years ago. But that would just be a waste of my time, now wouldn't it?
As for the primaries, Arkansas has 36 total delegates; 33 tied to May 22 primary; 3 Unpledged RNC delegate. And Kentucky has 45 total delegates; 42 tied to May 22 primary; 3 Unpledged RNC delegates.
If you love politics just so much that you would want to follow the Arkansas and Kentucky returns online, Mashable has a list of them here for you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Boo on the WaPo

I never intended to use this blog as a defense for Romney or the Mormon faith. But when I see stories like this run in major news outlets, it just makes me mad.
Why would the Washington Post run an article about a very small insignificant group of backwoods bigots in a non-crucial voting area who are holding a grudge over something that happened 150 years ago, if not to try and make Mormons and Romney look bad?
The article served no other purpose. It was not news-worthy, and is barely even interesting. Not to mention, it isn't even that well written, and the author clearly only has a Wikipedia level grasp on Mormon history.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fighting Trafficking and Poverty at Home and Abroad

A family home along the river in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I have been thinking and reading about human and child trafficking a lot recently. Ever since I left Cambodia in September it has been a subject never far from my mind. I continue to follow the developments at Riverkids, the organization I worked for, as well as other developments around the world. And my studies have brought me to some contradictory and confusing conclusions.
I hesitate to use the word “politics” in this next sentence, but I can't find a better word to describe my thoughts. My “politics” don't fall easily in line with any one political party. After all the definition of politics is, “the complex or aggregate of relationships of people in society, esp those relationships involving authority or power.” No, that is not what I am about today. I prefer to think of them as passions, beliefs, rights, and priorities, and how these are the things that make up who I am as a person. They are not politics. They are all that I hold dear.

I find that individuals who are passionate about fighting human trafficking tend to be more “left wing” or liberal. There is great irony in such beliefs at times. You see, those of us who are fighting human trafficking are intervening in parts of the world where the government and local leadership is so corrupt that it cannot be trusted. We step in with aid and assistance and provide welfare where none else is found. Educations are provided from donations from individuals around the world, so that the less fortunate citizens of “less developed countries” have a fighting chance at a better future. Some organizations will attempt to educate and reform the governments themselves, but for the most part, the education and reform goes straight to the people.

We do not expect their governments to provide aid or welfare for them. We expect their governments to abuse them, tax them, and continue to oppress them. I think of the families in Phnom Penh, Cambodia who lived along the river (yes, this is where the name “Riverkids” came from), who were forced from their homes when the river rose and the flooding worsened. The government evicted them and hauled them off to live in what amounts to no more than a refugee camp outside of town. No assistance given. No help or transportation to get to the city where their lives and livelihoods were.

In these less developed countries, we (the good Samaritans and humanitarians of the world blessed to be from more developed countries) provide aid and help so that the people will never have to be dependent on their governments again, so that they may stand on their own two feet proud of their accomplishments. We send funds via Kiva.org, we volunteer with humanitarian organizations, we donate our clothes, money, and time. We yell at and protest their governments. We boycott their abusers. We pray for something better.

And yet, back in the United States, we often do the opposite. Forgive me for using a “glittering generality” in my description. But more often than not it is the “liberals” who care about human rights and international development. But here on American soil it is the “liberals” who want to see more government control and intervention. They encourage more welfare and more aid from our government to our less fortunate. And it is the “conservatives” who preach about families and want less government, who are rarely found in humanitarian circles.

If we fight corrupt governments abroad, why do we encourage more government at home? Why would we want to become more dependent upon them here? We have seen what happens around the world when governments force their people to rely upon them for every little thing- and it ends in oppression, tyranny, devastating poverty, and disease. Why would we want that on our own shores?

Let's practice what we preach abroad in our own homes as well. Do not demand for the government to provide a better education- go out and teach others yourself. Do not demand more welfare- go out and give it. Do not allow anyone to ever become dependent on an impersonal system designed to protect the money of the government, and not designed to improve the lives of its people.
Haitians waiting for a handout

A welfare state will never succeed. Even the most well-meaning of governments will always have to operate on a budget, and will have no choice but to protect its coffers. No government will ever effectively be able to function if it is willing to bankrupt itself in order to provide more for its people. No government, ruler, or leader in history, with the exception of Jesus Christ, (that I can think of) has willingly sacrificed itself for its people. So why, why would we ever encourage anyone to become dependent on a government that cannot by design put his or her needs first?

I may have a “bleeding heart” when it comes to humanitarian work, but I will always vote against more government power. I will continue to stand out in the international aid community as the lone, sole conservative who did not vote for Clinton or Obama. (I will also continue to be a big fan of the great work Clinton has done since his presidency in international development.) And I will continue to stand out amongst Republicans as the crusader who wishes they would stop talking about immigration (how many immigrants are trying to escape a corrupt government to come here for a better life?), and instead focus on stopping human trafficking.

If Republicans were to put as much faith and strength into combating human trafficking as they have other social issues, they could bring an end to it on American soil in just a matter of years. Yes, human trafficking most certainly occurs in the United States, and not just abroad. It happens right in front of us on Backpage.com and right in plain sight.

“Typically, she’s a 13-year-old girl of color from a troubled home who is on bad terms with her mother. Then her mom’s boyfriend hits on her, and she runs away to the bus station, where the only person on the lookout for girls like her is a pimp. He buys her dinner, gives her a place to stay and next thing she knows she’s earning him $1,500 a day.”

This isn't prostitution. To think this girl is a prostitute is na├»ve and misinformed at best. This girl is a victim of human trafficking. “Trafficking” does not mean she was moved like cattle across state lines, and sold to the highest bidder. No, trafficking by definition is the sell or trade of a good. And in this case, a 13 yr old girl is the good.

This is my rallying cry, my soapbox, and plea for the day. Conservatives- don't just preach it at home, preach it abroad. And Liberals- do not just teach it abroad, teach it at home. So many from both persuasions hold up an image and tell the world to be just like us, and yet, when the needy come to cross our borders, you turn them away. Where is the humanity and logic in that?

There is no need for a one world order. There is no need for a great equalizing law to make all things “fair.” There is only a need for all good men to do something. Or in the words of Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not do sit by and do nothing.” 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Painted by a dishonest brush

I am not a birther by any means. I find the whole thing to be fairly silly. But the new hot topic about President Obama calling himself Kenyan born? Bugs me to no end.

A quick synopsis-
Back in the early 1990's President Obama was still just a student, but a promising one, at Harvard Law. He was ambitious, and to prove so, he had a book deal with a literary agency. Agencies back then used to make up little marketing pamphlets to advertise their up and coming authors and promote their current ones. President of the Harvard Law Review Barack Obama was listed in it with a photo, and a short bio. In it is said, "Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago's South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White."

The agency now says that it was a "fact checking error" that he was "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."

I for one, am inclined to believe them. It was an error intentionally pushed by Barack Obama himself. After all, foreign born and mixed race makes a student sound more exotic and accomplished in the affirmative action world that we live in. Of course he wanted to make it sound like he was extraordinary and had overcome so much just to be in an American university.

Granted, the part where his Kenyan father was far from uneducated or poor is irrelevant. (His father was a finance minister in the national government, and attended at least two American universities, including Harvard.) Not to mention, all this talk about how he was raised a by a single mother is a little bit misleading as well. She wasn't some poor, abandoned welfare case. She had a Ph.D in anthropology and traveled the world with her young son. Not to mention, she was married to her second husband for nearly 15 years. She didn't always live with either husband as she pursued her own educational goals. Hardly the typical single mother story.

It is no secret that politicians like to paint the picture of their lives with their own special brush and brand of paint. The problem here is that Obama has painted his in a way that crosses the line from "paints a picture" into straight up dishonest. He lied about where he was born in order to make his background sound more dangerous and complicated.

All that "Chicago Southside" talk? He moved there AFTER he went to Harvard. How many Harvard educated lawyers do you know that can't afford to do any better than the supposed gang filled streets of the southside? He moved there because that is where the color and culture was that he wanted to be around. And not because it was the best he could do.

It is the images that he himself chooses to create and disperse that make me uncomfortable. Why didn't he tell the story of being raised in Indonesia by a Ph.D mother, given excellent educational opportunities that he accepted in the States? What was wrong with that picture?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mormons in the News- a lot!

If you think religion isn't playing a part in this campaign cycle, check out this list of articles just from the last few days-

- Priest to profit: How the Mormon church teaches priesthood holders to lead (Washington Post, May 13, 2012)
- If Harvard Business School were a religion, it could be Mormonism (Washington Post, May 11, 2012)
- Why Mitt Romney shouldn't hide his Mormon leadership (Washington Post, May 11, 2012)
- How Mormons like Romney cultivate business savvy early on (Christian Science Monitor, May 14, 2012)
- Prominent Mormon leaders beyond Mitt Romney (Washington Post, May 10, 2012)
- London Calling for teens at Mormon prom (Washington Post, May 14, 2012)
- Pat Robertson: Romney's faith not an issue (USA Today, May 14, 2012)

Five articles in four days just in the Washington Post alone. Now it must be mentioned that most of them were in the "On Faith" section of the WaPo, and that at least three of them were written by Mormon Church members. (I can personally identify those members, but I cannot say for certain about the other two.)

In fact, Mormons and Mormonism are now in the news so often that the LDS Church official public affairs office has dedicated a portion of its blog to "Mormonism in the News: Getting it Right." Every time a news organization reports on Mormons- and gets it right (which not all organizations do), the www.mormonnewsroom.org site actually provides a link to the story. Doesn't mean it had to be a flattering article. It just had to actually get the facts right. (And at least once, they have called out a news organization for getting the facts just plain wrong.)

The fact that there is even a need to commend news organizations for getting their facts straight is rather ridiculous, don't you think?

It goes without saying that Mitt Romney's run for office has definitely made a major impact on the Mormon church's public profile. (He has not in anyway actually made an impact on the actual teaching and beliefs of Mormons.)

Last week, completely unrelated to religion, I noticed that on the "Anderson" daytime TV show, that there were 3 different major segments on different Mormons (Elizabeth Smart, the "Sister Wives" who are not LDS, or members of the mainstream Mormon church, but are "fundamentalist Mormons," and are a gray area, but I'm counting them anyway, and Stephanie Nielson of the "Nie Nie Dialogues."). I can remember as a child when it was a big deal when ANY Mormon appeared on TV. We stopped everything to watch a Mormon on TV. (We watched a lot of Steve Young football.) Now it happens so very often that no one breaks out the phone tree to alert their friends that a Mormon will be on TV!

I was probably just naive and optimistic when I thought that the religion issue would be dropped when Romney emerged as the presumptive nominee. Silly me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seriously, Mr. President? Seriously?

I do not intend to use this blog to just promote Romney and beat up Obama. I do intend to represent both sides and all issues. However, today, I'm going to come right out with my biases and say,
It is making the rounds that our dear President has made a few interesting changes to the official www.whitehouse.gov site. The accusations are so completely ridiculous and outrageous that I had to do my own research to see if it is true. Because, come on, it sounds like a gag or a really bad vast right wing conspiracy internet meme.
Could it actually be possible that Obama has inserted himself into the biographies and accomplishments of past Presidents?
Yes, yes it is.
Here are a few examples, with links!
  • On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
  • In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has “an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.” He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.
  • President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare signed (sic) into law in 1965—providing millions of elderly healthcare stability. President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.”
  • On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.
  • Now, to be fair, he isn't taking credit for past accomplishments (which some in the vast right wing conspiracy allege). And these little additions are marked with an educational little bullet point that says, "DID YOU KNOW?" above it.  Which does make it slightly less ridiculous (to make it somewhat educational). I'm sure there is some marketing guru out there who came up with this plan (because, no, let's be honest here, I do not, under any circumstances think that a man who has to think about wars, healthcare, gay marriage, and all of the other major issues out there, is really thinking about ways to improve the White House website) thinks this is pretty dang clever. It is an somewhat educational tool. Look up something on Calvin Coolidge (and who hasn't done that from time to time), find an interesting factoid to tie him into modern-day issues. It's not so bad.
    But then... it also really screams of using the official White House website as a campaign tool. It's just bad timing. Had it not come right as his campaign is ramping up, I never would have cared.
    But then, maybe what is missing is the links to all other presidents? How come there isn't a link from one Roosevelt to another? Where are the factoids showing every President that made a change to Social Security?
    So, I'm sure that you, like me, are really curious to see what Obama's marketing person put on the GW Bush page, aren't you? Because you know that was a landmine waiting to be stepped in.
    Prepare yourselves. It's pretty funny.
    • In 2002, President George W. Bush’s State of the Union was the first to be live broadcast on the Internet. In 2011 and 2012, President Obama’s State of the Union speeches were available in an enhanced live stream version that featured infographics, charts and data side-by-side in real time with the President’s speech.
    Yes, instead of mentioning a major legislative initiative of GWB, like he had for all of the other POTUSES, he said GWB gave a speech. And that he, Obama, gave it better.

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Ron Paul - it's about time!

    Rep. Ron Paul has sort of, finally, stopped annoying real Republicans dropped out of the race.
    He announced today, Monday, that he will no longer waste his money fighting a losing battle compete in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Instead he will continue to annoy Republicans by causing problems at state delegate conventions where he will attempt to get his fans delegate spots.
    In his exact words, “Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.”
    Well, at least he is realistic on that one point. Too bad most of his supporters are not. He did encourage his supporters to still turn out and vote.

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Obama supports gay marriage. Wait. You mean he didn't already?

    I'm not sure which part I am more surprised about - the fact that President Obama had not yet come out in favor of gay marriage, or the fact that everyone is so surprised that he did.

    Is it really all that shocking that a liberal Democrat, in an election year, is for gay marriage?

    Let's discuss this one on straight up facts for a second.

    Apparently until yesterday, he had publicly been against it, but his feelings were "evolving." Now let's be honest, how many people in this country can really and truly say that their feelings over same sex marriage and same sex equality haven't evolved over the past few years? Even the most ardent of anti-gay marriage opponents have let up a little on same sex equality when it comes to partner benefits, etc. Many have even come around to say that "they have no problem with gays," but for religious reasons oppose same sex marriage.
    Because "evolving" feelings on same sex marriage is completely normal, you will not hear me complain about that.

    So here's the thing, Republicans and media types, are already saying this will "hurt" the president. Really? How exactly? Were the conservative, pro-family types going to vote for him and won't now? Exactly what demographic did he just lose?

    For those who will somehow say that Obama's gay marriage announcement was all staged and planned out starting with the VP Biden flub on the subject last week, I say again, really? You think that? Seriously? You think the President wanted it to come out via his VP, and not in a big, showy speech before a table of fundraisers or on television somewhere? No, Obama got outed accidentally, and no, I don't mean that in a gay "outing" sort of way. Not a play on words.

    Obama had little to gain by coming out on the subject, except for a few more fundraising dollars. But he was going to get the support of that demographic already, because you know they weren't going to support Mitt Romney.

    Personally, I think this may be a big story today, but when everyone wakes up tomorrow, they'll realize, it was anything but a big story.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    And the Pinocchio goes to the Fact Checkers at the Washington Post!

    Normally I am a very big fan of the Fact Checker on the Washington Post. They do a great job of taking a statement by a politician and then checking the facts. They tend to be very transparent. However, I am very disappointed in their "fact check" today.
    On May 4, 2012, on "Fox and Friends," Mitt Romney said,“We should be seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs created per month. This is way, way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery.”
    So the Post went to check whether or not 500,000 jobs really is "normal."
    His conclusion?
    They pulled up Bureau of Labor Statistics for the past 65 years (Why 65? Because that is Romney's age, not exactly a scientific comparison.), for a total of 784 months to compare the claim to.
    And well, no,what he found was only 14 times out of those 784 that the jobs rate hit 500,000. So they said Romney was wrong and gave him 2 Pinocchios.
    Well... this is where my problem comes in. He used very faulty comparison and math, didn't he? Was the country "in a normal recovery" during all of those 784 months? No, not even close.
    So the real fact that these so-called Fact Checkers should have checked was first, what months over the past 65 years, was the nation in a recovery? And then checked to see what the job growth rate was during those months, and then, it should have adjusted for population growth.
    I'm tempted to sit down and try and figure out the numbers myself. It would be very time-consuming to say the least. But stay tuned, you never know. I just might do it anyway.

    Source: Mitt Romney's new normal for job creation.

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Mitt Romney Bad Boy?

    The rumors are true. Mitt Romney has a criminal record.
    But does it earn him any street cred? (No, it really doesn't.)
    BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski first reported the (really disappointing) story.
    The story goes that in 1981, the Romney clan was out for a pleasure cruise in eel-infested waters.

    Okay, so maybe not eel-infested waters, but I had to do something to make this story more exciting.
    Really, the family was on a lake in Massachusetts.
    As the someday governor of that state went to put his boat in the water, a park officer told him not to launch, because the license number on the boat appeared to be painted over, and he would face a $50 fine.
    Romney blatantly and wholly disrespected the law and got in the water anyway. And by that, I mean to say he felt the number was visible, and he hadn't been told not to get in the water, just that he would get a fine if he did, and let's face it, he probably had 4 cranky kids and an annoyed wife by that time, so he got in the water anyway.
    The park officer came back and using what little tiny bit of authority the park service had bestowed upon him, handcuffed Romney, and arrested him for disorderly conduct.
    Can't you just see it? Mitt and Ann and four little boys raising hell over their little boat? Hair all floppy in the wind, collared shirt askew, kids in diapers crying for attention?
    Yes, it is true. Mitt Romney really is in touch with the common man.
    However, it is a little piece in the Stanford Review that really shows Romney's rebellious side-
    "In 1966, Romney and some other students held a protest on campus — not in opposition to the Vietnam War, but in support of the draft," Kyle Huwa wrote for the Stanford Review. "Though they’re probably being used against him today, the photos … show a conservative willing to go against the mainstream in an era when such a position was very unpopular, an admirable act in my mind."
    As for Romney's embarrassing criminal record (even if only for how boring it can be), the charges against him were dropped and officially dismissed in February 1982. At Romney's request, the records were also sealed, making them unavailable for public inspection.
    Poor Mitt. How will he ever hold his head up at the yacht club again?

    Santorum Endorses Romney

    Little Ricky has finally formally endorsed Mitt Romney. Instead of bringing you what or other people think of what he said, I instead give to you, exactly what he said via email to his email list subscribers (I do not say supporters, since you don't have to support him to subscribe to his email list). (Also, I leave the "Beth" on the email, because it amuses me. My name is not Beth. Nor is it my father's name. And this was actually the email that was sent to him. And for some reason, all of the emails he has received from Santorum's campaign have been addressed to Beth, whoever she may be.)

    Thank you again for all you did as one of my strongest and committed supporters. Your belief in our campaign helped us start a movement of Americans who believe deeply that our best days are ahead as long as we fight to strengthen our families, unshackle our economy and promote freedom here and around the world. Karen and I will be forever grateful for the support, kindness and commitment you showed us, as well as our children, over these last months.
    On Friday, Governor Romney came to Pittsburgh for an over-hour long one-on-one meeting. The conversation was candid, collegial and focused on the issues that you helped me give voice to during our campaign; because I believe they are essential ingredients to not only winning this fall, but turning our country around.
    While the issue of my endorsement did not come up, I certainly have heard from many of you who have weighed in on whether or not I should issue a formal endorsement. Thank you for your counsel, it has been most helpful. However, I felt that it was completely impossible for me to even consider an endorsement until after a meeting to discuss issues critical to those of us who often feel our voices are not heard by the establishment: social conservatives, tea-party supporters, lower and middle income working families.
    Clearly without the overwhelming support from you all, I never would have won 11 states and over 3 million votes, and we would not have won more counties than all the other candidates combined. I can assure you that even though I am no longer a candidate for president, I will still continue to fight every day for our shared values - the values that made America the greatest country in the history of the world.
    During our meeting I felt a deep responsibility to assess Governor Romney's commitment to addressing the issues most important to conservatives, as well his commitment to ensuring our appropriate representation in a Romney administration.
    The family and its foundational role in America's economic success, a central point of our campaign, was discussed at length. I was impressed with the Governor's deep understanding of this connection and his commitment to economic policies that preserve and strengthen families. He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved.
    I also shared with Governor Romney my belief that we cannot restore America as the greatest economic engine the world has ever seen until we return America to being a manufacturing superpower. He listened very carefully to my advice on this matter, and while our policy prescriptions differed, he clearly expressed his desire to create more opportunities for those that are feeling left behind in this economy.
    As it is often said, "personnel is policy." I strongly encouraged Governor Romney as he builds out his campaign staff and advisors that he add more conservative leaders as an integral part of his team. And you can be sure that I will work with the Governor to help him in this task to ensure he has a strong team that will support him in his conservative policy initiatives.
    Of course we talked about what it would take to win this election. As you know I started almost every speech with the phrase that this was the most important election since the election of 1860 and four more years of President Obama is simply not an option. As I contemplated what further steps I will take, that reality weighed heavy on me. The America we know is being fundamentally changed to look more like a European socialist state than the land of opportunity our founding fathers established.
    Freedom and personal responsibility are being replaced with big government dependency. The greatest and most productive workers in the world are being hamstrung by excessive regulations making it impossible to compete. Our healthcare system had been socialized, and the worth of each life dictated by some government bureaucrat. Our allies are insulted while our enemies are appeased. And our religious beliefs and freedom have come under attack.

    What is even more troubling is what a second term of an Obama administration could bring. President Obama's admission to the Russians that he will have more flexibility in a second term can only be translated to "if you thought I was liberal in the first four years you haven't seen anything yet!"
    The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Governor Romney and I have some differences. But there are many significant areas in which we agree: the need for lower taxes, smaller government, and a reduction in out-of-control spending. We certainly agree that abortion is wrong and marriage should be between one man and one woman. I am also comfortable with Governor Romney on foreign policy matters, and we share the belief that we can never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons. And while I had concerns about Governor Romney making a case as a candidate about fighting against Obamacare, I have no doubt if elected he will work with a Republican Congress to repeal it and replace it with a bottom up, patient, not government, driven system.
    Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.
    My conversation with Governor Romney was very productive, but I intend to keep lines of communication open with him and his campaign. I hope to ensure that the values that made America that shining city on the hill are illuminated brightly by our party and our candidates thus ensuring not just a victory, but a mandate for conservative governance.
    Karen and I know firsthand how difficult the campaign trail can be particularly as governor Romney faces relentless attacks from the democrats. We have been praying for him and his family and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead.
    Thank you again for all you have done for us, and I look forward to working together to defeat President Obama this fall and to protect faith, family, freedom and opportunity in America.
    With Gratitude,
    Rick Santorum
    P.S. As promised, very soon we will be making another big announcement, and I will be asking you to once again join forces with me to keep up the fight, together. Stay tuned.

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Never ask if a Republican is enthusiastic. It doesn't work that way.

    Six months from tomorrow we will finally be at election day!
    Will it be Mitt Romney or Barack Obama wearing the champion belt that day?
    If the elections were held today, the answer would be- either Romney or Obama.
    Swing states are more important than ever before. A USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 currently proclaimed swing states—Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, shows President Obama over Romney with 47 percent to 45 percent. 
    A separate poll conducted by Politico and George Washington University found Romney and Obama statistically tied among likely voters nationwide, 48 percent to 47 percent—well within the poll's 3.1 percent margin of error.
    Who do the swing state voters think would be better for the economy? (Gallup poll)
    Romney 60%
    Obama 52% 
    (Yes, I know the numbers don't make sense written that way. Go look at the poll yourself.)
    But who do people "like" more? And we don't mean like in the Facebook sense of the word. 
    58% think Obama is more likable
    31% think Romney is. 

    Now here's a very interesting number, that all the talking heads will try to spin their own special way. And yes, I am about to spin it my own personal way too. 
    Which fan base is more enthusiastic about the November election?
    Obama supporters are "extremely" or "very enthusiastic" - 55%
    Romney supporters are only 46% that excited. 

    Now please pause while I explain why this is one of the stupidest poll questions and numbers ever. In fact, it is so stupid I can't believe Gallup put it out there. What were they thinking?
    You can't ask Republicans if they are enthusiastic about an election. Republicans fear elections, because they all think the world is going to hell in a hand basket. If you ask them what they think about the upcoming elections, they groan and whine and talk about the evils penetrating the earth in the form of liberal Democrats taking over the planet. So no, they are not enthusiastic. They are terrified. Personally, I can't believe so many of them did say they are excited. It's just so un-Republican of them.

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    You say you want a revolution?

    ron paul revolution maine nevada

    While nobody was looking, Rep. Ron Paul and his Paulites pulled a fast one.
    It's like this. Caucuses are a funny thing. Especially in those early-on states that only wanted attention by holding their caucuses early, and then held second primaries or caucuses to redetermine who they wanted to pick after all of the other states picked. (This is also called being spineless and stupid.)
    Despite the fact that former Governor Mitt Romney won Nevada with 50% way back when, and Paul only took 19% of the vote, that isn't what was reflected in the state's second, and more binding, caucus.
    The Paulites have quietly been working all around the country to make sure their own people get picked as the actual delegates who get to go to Tampa for the national convention. Not every state binds their delegates to the votes of the public. Tricky, eh?
    Nevada delegates are bound by the results on the first convention ballot (the one where Romney got 50%). But, thanks to the disrupt by people like Gingrich and Santorum, who refused to drop out sooner, the Paulites are hoping for a brokered convention. Because if no clear winner emerges after the first convention ballot, and there is a second vote, Nevada's delegates are not bound to their state's previous elections. They are free to vote as they please (well, not all, but most of them are). And being Paulites, they will vote for Ron Paul.
    Oh and did I mention this happened in Maine as well? Romney won the Maine caucus with 2,373 votes. Paul took a VERY close second with 2,258 votes. The state has 24 delegates: 21 tied to caucuses, 3 unpledged RNC delegates. And yet, Paul took all 15 of the state's at-large delegates.
    Is this a real threat? If you ask the Paulites it is. If you look at the real numbers, Mitt Romney has 792 pledged delegates, and 49 unpledged RNC delegates, (total 841). The other three guys combined have 490. There are 966 delegates unallocated as of right now. Ron Paul, including the surreptitiously gained delegates, has 76. You have to have 1,144 to win. So even if he were to get all of the unallocated delegates available, no, he could not win. There were would have to be a massive coup and abandonment of the party for Paul's delegates to make something happen.
    Likelihood of that happening?
    Meh. Not likely. But don't tell the Paulites. They think they have started a r-love-ution.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Romney Does Virginia

    I may be incredibly biased on the subject, but I completely agree with Mitt Romney.

    "Now politics is underway, it's underway again. You're going to hear it all right here in Virginia. This may well be the state who decides who the next president is." Romney said to an audience in Portsmouth, VA.
    In 2008, President Obama won Virginia with 53% of the vote.
    Issues discussed by Romney in Virginia-
    - Importance of an energy plan that would utilize Virginia's resources including those found above and below the ground
    - Military and veterans. (VA has largest veteran population in the U.S.)

    Speaking of which, how are the polls in Virginia?
    According to a Washington Post poll released today, 51% are Team Obama, and 44% are Team Romney. Interestingly, 66% of Virginians also think the country is on the wrong track. Go figure.

    Outside of the great Commonwealth, other people in other states discussed the Romney VP potentials. The more he travels around the country, the more the media speculates the he is auditioning VP possibles.
    On this week's list we have-
    Senator Kelly Ayotte- toured fishing boats with the Governor this week (New Hampshire)
    Governor McDonnell- attended multiple events around Virginia with Romney, including the above in Portsmouth, Wednesday and Thursday.
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
    New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
    Wisconsin Rep Paul Ryan
    Florida Senator Marco Rubio
    former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
    former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
    Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
    SC Gov. Nikki Haley

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    The more things change, the more they stay the same

    Utah Congressional hopeful, Mia Love

    Utah politics bring up immediate assumptions and stereotypes. The state is perceived to be all Mormon and Republican. This is close, but not at all accurate. 2.8 million residents, a median household income of $50,000, and yes, in the last Presidential election, 62% of the state voted Red.
    Currently both of the senators, Orrin Hatch, and Mike Lee, are GOP. They are joined by Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz. The state also managed to elect one Democrat in the last House election- Jim Matheson. Salt Lake City has a tendency to elect Democrats as mayor.
    But now that I've convinced you that Utah is as Red as the stereotypes sound, let's move on.
    Utah has an interesting hand of biting the hand that feeds it.
    Case in point- former Senator Bob Bennett was defeated by now Senator Lee in 2010. Why would a state oust a senator that sat on 16 committees or sub-committees to bring in a freshman with the same exact platform and policies? Does new blood really help? Or does a ranking senator with a history, partnerships, and clout serve a state better? It would be one thing if you shook things up by bringing in someone with entirely new ideas. But Lee and Bennett? Not all that different from each other. (Lee sits on 10 committees or sub-committees, and is ranking member on one.)
    Now Utah has the chance to actually shake things up in appearances, if nothing else.
    Her name is Mia Love, a black, Mormon, woman. And she's running for the newly formed fourth congressional seat in Utah. If elected, she’d be the first black Republican congresswoman in the House of Representatives. Not just from Utah, but in the full U.S. House.
    What qualifies her for the job? She is currently the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, a small town in Utah County. She also served on the city council. She is the daughter of [legal] Haitian immigrants. Her politics are conservative. Her website supports her views on limited government, increased citizen liberties and limited restraints on business. She believes the best thing she can do as mayor is stay out of the way of business and out of the lives of citizens. She advocates a return to the personal responsibility and reduced government dependency.
    "Cut programs, cut spending, cut taxes and empower business and citizens to thrive and profit." - words from her website.
    On the outside she may appear to be young, new, innovating, and different, bringing something exciting to Utah.
    But policy-wise? She's the same as all of the other Utah Republicans.