Election Politics of the Day

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Conspiracy - Suspend Elections to Fix America, The New Gerrymandering

The Issue

From The Blaze.com - On Wednesday, reports started surfacing that Democratic North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue had made some curious statements about elections. Mainly, she said that she thought the country should suspend Congressional elections for two years in order to “help this country recover.”  


This immediately strikes a visceral response from folks who firmly believe in constitutionally constrained government ... "Who do you think you are?  You work for us!  Now you want to cut us out?"

Media backlash was swift as well and world wide.  A quick google search turns up hundreds of articles from various sources discussing how elected officials want to suspend elections.

Click here to see a google search on the topic.

Governor Purdue is now scrambling to retract those statements saying she meant it with/as sarcasm.  The only problem ... She sounded like she was dead serious.

Transcript of her words ...
“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that,” Perdue said. “You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

A Conspiracy In the Making

On the surface, the argument from Gov. Perdue is that things are not getting done (at least the right thing) in Washington because the elected officials are worried about getting re-elected.  In some way this argument is true.  You know the old saying that the first job of a politician is to get re-elected, everything else is minor.  So Gov. Perdue's fix is to suspend elections so politicians can get to work.  Really?  Its that easy?  Let me ask this question.  Why would you ever give back my voting rights? or What if I didnt like what you were doing, how would I get rid of you and elect someone else to fix it?  What about the fact that you get your powers from the electorate that is willing to give them to you, who can take them back at any time they wish.  Do you mean you want a permanent seat as in the days of the Monarch's?

Don't dismiss this one incident as the rants of a conspiracy theorist.  There are people in our government who would like nothing more than to cut "The People" out of the process.

This is how a country can turn from democratic to a fascist state, and once there, the people will never see the same liberties again.

We have too much Democracy

The reason why we are in this mess today is because we have too much democracy says a former democratic official from the White House.
Huh?
Peter Orszag (a Bilderberg Conference Invitee and Attendee - Uh Oh) (See Peter' Bio Here) suggests that we have too much democracy, and if we just remove some we would all be better off.
See his article here ... Too Much of a Good Thing
Peter Orszag is an Obama Confidant as well as a former member of his Cabinet (Congressional Budget Office Director).  Peter left in August in the wake of a terrible economy.  To be fair, Peter has been in that role since 2007 during the Bush presidency, then again that doesn't surprise me.  I can rant on a few liberty stealing laws that came from that regime as well, but that's another story.
Here is a quote from Orszag's article ...
"Facing the problem is crucially important because our current legislative gridlock is making it increasingly difficult for lawmakers to tackle the issues that are central to our country’s future—issues like climate change, the hard slog of recovering from a financial slump, and our long-term fiscal gap. It is clear to everyone that a failure to act will lead to undesirable outcomes in these areas. But polarization means that little action is possible. This is why I believe that we need to jettison the Civics 101 fairy tale about pure representative democracy and instead begin to build a new set of rules and institutions that would make legislative inertia less detrimental to our nation’s long-term health."

Obama Wants to Bypass Congress as Well

Obama, in a speech to La Raza (Is La Raza A Terrorist Organization? Click Here You Decide.) suggests he wants to bypass congress because he would like to do things on his own. (See video).
And though he notes that this is not how things work, notice the overwhelming support from the crowd on the idea.  Scary.

Obama, however, has a long history of bypassing congress, when he can. See the following stories ...

Obama Urged by Democratic Congressman to Usurp Congress by using the 14th Amendment
Obama circumvents congress on education policy
Obama bypasses senate on Nominations

Obama threatening bypassing congress on Debt Limit
Obama uses regulations to bypass congress

Ramifications

The ramifications are clear ... Usurp power from the electorate to never allow the electorate to change things, Fascism.  In 2008 the mass media and the electorate bought into the idea of change from the Obama campaign, and elected him based on the idea's of hope and change.  Well we got change.  Now as the tide shifts the opposite direction and buyers remorse sets in, the electorate appears to be saying we need to change this again, this is not what we signed up for, however the elected officials refuse to relinquish authority and appear to be looking for ways to consolidate it.  This sounds a lot like Gerrymandering.

History and Thoughts

For a large part of our history we never had term limits on the President.  It was unthinkable to run for more terms than 2 due in part to George Washingtons refusal to become anything more than elected for two terms as well as the idea of not creating anything that looked or felt like the British monarchy that we removed.
That changed with FDR, who ran and was elected to four terms.  A situation that was quickly fixed by congress imposing term limits after he left office (died in that last term).

The idea that suspending elections for the good of our country removes "The People" from the process. The People are only ones who can actually fix government that goes astray.  It is repugnant to the constitution, and by the way illegal in every way, and should be aggressively challenged.

Links

Story from The Blaze about Suspending Elections
NC Democratic Governors Audio on Elections
Obama Discusses Bypassing Congress
Definition of Gerrymandering
Bilderberg Group Bio
Peter Orszag - Too Much of a Good Thing
La Raza - A Terrorist Organization?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Campaign Finance Reform

Below are several videos from CSPAN's archive concerning campaign finance reform.
This is an older topic, but one that continues to get raised year after year, especially during presidential elections.
The first video is from John McCain who has been a big supporter of finance reform to close soft dollar contributions that undermine the political process specifically the ability to contribute almost unlimited dollars to campaigns, circumventing the limitation imposed by law, through the use of separated entities and other donation hiding schemes.


Venture Socialism, Green Jobs and the Election Fallout

The New Buzzword

The Obama administration can't catch a break these days when it comes to green jobs.  To be fair, the promise of jump starting a new industry with public appeal for support is nothing new for Washington.  It has been done before in various different ways from subtle tweaks in tax code to favor one industry over another such as the employer provided health care subsidy that created the "Cadillac Policies" for unions to regulations designed for the same outcomes, such as the madates on ethanol standards for automobiles designed to push alternate fuel agendas and raise prices for corn growers.

However we have entered a new era of careless spending disguised as "investments" for technologies and other agenda items.  This careless spending has finally come back to haunt the administration in the form of one large scale and very public bankruptcy ... Solyndra.

Senator Jim DeMint R-SC coined the phrase "Venture Socialism."
"I would love to be able to work with the president on something, but hes basically practicing what we call venture socialism. Hes basically taken the approach where its the government that needs to stimulate jobs," DeMint said Wednesday on Fox News’s "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
 "There are a number of Democrats ... and this is the scariest thing of all, who really believe that government spending is the major part of our economy," DeMint told Van Susteren. 

Local and state governments do things like this all the time under the guise of economic development, yet while well intentioned, the picking of economic winners through tax subsidies, loan guarantees and targeted regulatory relief means that other companies that compete with the favored entities have to work harder to succeed.

The Financial Fallout

The fallout has been big for the administration.  Solyndra has been the poster child for how poor the green jobs movement has performed at actually creating jobs.  Solyndra closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy on Sept 11th, 2011.  Lets calculate the numbers to be clear.  They had 1100 workers and took and investment from the Obama Administration in 2009 of $535,000,000 (535 Million) dollars.  That's taxpayer money.  Our money.  Now its gone and so are the jobs.  That is the equivalent of $486,000 per job lost.
The worst part ... Its was a known bad investment in a company with a failed business plan and an inferior product.  So why the investment?  Theories abound and with the Solyndra executives taking the Fifth Amendment stance and not co-operating with investigators it will take some time to unwind the true cause.  However, one theory is taking on a life of its own, and is hurting the Administration and democratic allies as well.

The Political Fallout

Everyone can remember the Speech to Solyndra that President Obama Gave, putting Solyndra on a pedestal as the poster child of a green energy investment. (See video for a refresher).


The company that the Obama administration had helped catapult from relative obscurity to poster child for the green energy movement has instead become a symbol for critics to exploit of environmental and economic recovery policies gone awry -- and for assertions of cronyism. The company's prime investor had been a major fundraiser for President Obama's 2008 campaign. 
Those criticisms burst into public view Wednesday during a congressional hearing, eliciting partisan fireworks. But newly disclosed emails shed light on intriguing exchanges behind the scenes, some between powerful, seemingly impatient officials in the West Wing and bureaucrats trying to follow usual procedures at the Energy Department.

Criticism continues and is now being used by opponents, pundits, talks shows and media as a potential talking points for uses and excuses for democrats for the 2012 election.
The loss of half a billion dollars on a poor (and politically motivated) investment will not sit well with voters who have seen their 401k and pension funds depleted over the past few years.  For the government to to this with other peoples money may be a seen as some as a last straw for support.  2012 will tell.




Links

Venture Socialism Hurts Everyone
Solyndra Puts Dept of Engergy in Hot Seat
Calls for Justice Dept to Probe Solyndra
Solyndra will Blunt Obama's Renewable Engery Drive
John Stewart Mock Obama on Solyndra

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Obama, Palestine and the U.N, an election year nightmare.

Map from Family Security Matters
The United Nations general assembly meets this week in New York, and the Palestinians will be petitioning the U.N. for recognition of statehood.

Significance

Why is this significant?  Take a look at the map to the right and notice who surrounds Israel.  Each and every state surrounding Israel has either attacked or vowed to attack Israel in the near future.  Why is this significant and where does Obama come in?

First, we have to recognize that in this region, Israel represents the only true American Style Democracy and free state.  Not only that, Israel is the most American friendly, pro United States country in the world.

As stated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  during an address to congress recently, America has no better friend than Israel, we stand together ...  In an unstable Middle East, Israel is the one anchor of stability, in a region of shifting alliances, Israel is Americas unwavering ally.


Watch the inspiring moments from the speech in front of Congress.

Happening This Week

So what is happening this week? Mr. Abbas (Palestinian President) will address the United Nations General Assembly on Friday and request Palestine be recognized as a State.

In reality no-one expects that to actually pass.  The request will go to the U.N. Security Council where it is expected to be defeated.  The United States has signaled that it would veto the measure there.  However whether that happens or not is difficult to predict.  The Obama administration has gone out of their way to endear themselves to Arab states in the region and a veto vote in the Security Council would send the wrong message.  However an obstain vote could potentially give Palestine what they want.  Either way the United States comes out looking weaker in the region.  Next after the Security Council, Mr. Abbas is expected to appeal to the General Assembly for an upgrade from their current Permanent Mission status to Non-Member Permanent State Observer Status.

Significance

So what is the significance?  If the Palestinians get this upgrade status here is what they get (Taken from AmericanTaskForce.org website) ...
  • Gives members full sovereign rights over air space, a contentious issue with Israel, which currently controls the air space above the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians could bring claims of violation of its air space to the International Court of Justice.
  • Law of the Sea Treaty, they would gain legal control of national waters off Gaza—where they are currently under an Israeli naval blockade. Under the treaty, the Palestinians could challenge the blockade at the International Court of Justice. They could also claim rights to an offshore natural-gas field now claimed by Israel. 
  • Palestinian membership in the International Criminal Court. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, president of the ICC Assembly of State Parties, said in an interview that a Palestinian observer state could join the ICC and ask the court to investigate any alleged war crimes and other charges against Israel committed on Palestinian territory after July 2002. including Israel's 2008-09 assault on the Gaza Strip. 

Troubles for Obama and his re-election

How does this translate to trouble for Obama?  His stance over the past several years on these matters has been significantly Pro-Palestinian and Anti-Israel.

Statements such as "Going Back to the 1967 borders", "End occupation of Palestinian areas", "America does not accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlements" has angered the electorate (Both Jew and Non-Jew) and had negative ramifications resonating through his base, affecting Democrats as a whole.  Take a look at the Special Election in NY District 9, where it is said the vast majority of conservative Jews who carried Democrats for 90 years now voted for a Republican. See this Link for more info ... (Link)

In an article in the Jewish Times (Link) referencing Ben Smith of Politico, he is quoted as forecasting Jewish problems for Obama ahead of the 2012 election year.
Smith said that Obama’s May 19 Middle East policy speech, in which he called for negotiations with the Palestinians based on the pre-1967 lines, with land swaps, had shaken Jewish confidence in the president.

To be clear ... The economy doesn't help either. In past years Democrats could count on significant support and donations from Jewish constituents.  This elections cycle might see that diminish, and the economy plays quite a big role in that.  This years' election cycle, the democrats must own up to the fact they own this economy now.

In a region where chants like "Death to America and Kill the Great satin, and the little Satin" are common in Arab/Musilm states; where regimes' allegiances are never sure or secure, and where human rights violations are common; where government actors spread propaganda from the Holocaust being fake to the attack on the twin towers being the work of Israelis, its is hard to I find common ground with the Obama Administrations stance on Israel.  Israel is not only our ally, who could be counted upon at any given moment for any reason, their inhabitants feel the same towards America. 
We should be honoring that, not undermining their government.  This administrations stance sends a clear message to our other allies, basically saying you cant really count on us.

Our national security is threatened because of all of this, and plenty of folks, even if they are not interested in the Arab-Israeli issues see this as undermining the U.S.'s potion in the world, and will accordingly, both in local and national politics.


Obama Speech to U.N 2009

Obama Addresses U.N. in 2010




Obama Mentions in Speech to the U.N 2010 that he wants to see Palestine a State by this time next year ...

Obama wants Palestine to join United Nations by EUXTV



Sunday, September 18, 2011

Electoral College - Does it work ?


The following C-Span video examines and argues for and against the Electoral College process of electing our president.
Recent events from the 2000 elections as well as other elections bring up the arguments for change in our Electoral College system of politics to winner take all democratic popular vote.  But that changes the election dynamic and disenfranchises whole swaths of our country.  What the video clip and you decide.
Only three times in history has the electoral college changes the election from the popular vote:
1876 Rutherford B Hayes vs. Samuel Tilden
1888 Benjamin Harrison vs. Grover Cleveland
2000 George Bush vs. Al Gore


Below is the Bush-Cheney Florida Recount Press Conference discussing the electoral college votes needed from Florida to win the election of 2000

Below is a video clip of a pitch for popular vote vs electoral college from former presidential candidate John Anderson.

Meet the new Bill, Same as the old Bill

Photo from Christian Science Monitor
I hope The Who doesn't mind me taking a line from one of their songs(with a twist).  However that pretty much sums up the jobs bill being proposed by the Obama Administration.  Immediate short term tax breaks that expire, with future  long term tax hikes that never expire.

Anyone remember 2009 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act?
No not really?  It is because it didn't work. Plus it's as if they dusted off the legislation and put a new title on it for 2011.
Check out this video montage of 2009's Jobs Bill ...


Call me cynical.  But I don't believe this bill was meant to create jobs.
Its true purpose is to create turmoil for the republicans and talking points for democrats for the 2012 election.  I'll explain that later on, but before anyone snickers at that theory, I can tell you, being an entrepreneur for the past 22 years, what it really takes to make jobs and this bill does not do it.

Give me a dollar tax break now only to take 10 dollars from me later?  Why would anyone vote for that?  In fact political pundits are dubbing it Stimulus III. With the first two stimulus' doing so poorly at actually stimulating anything this moniker is not very flattering, and indeed, there are calls from Democratic leaders such as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to stop using the word "stimulus" in any discussion related to the Administrations jobs bill.  The "S" words stigma is too great.
Read: Nancy Pelosi Bans the "S" word - LA Times

Details of the Jobs Bill

First, lets discuss the details of the jobs bill.  The bill actually has its own website.  Google'ing "obama jobs bill 2011" shows a list of links with the actual website for the bill first (courtesy of a paid google ad of course).  It makes me wonder why they need the propaganda.
From the official website (paid for by the democratic national committee) here are the bullet points:
  • Create incentives for small businesses to hire and grow from now into 2012.
  • Make investments that would prevent layoffs of as many as 280,000 teachers, provide opportunities for long-term unemployed veterans, and put Americans to work rebuilding roads, railways, bridges, and schools in need of repair.
  • Implement the most sweeping reforms to the unemployment insurance system in 40 years to help those without jobs transition to the workplace.
  • Expand the payroll tax cut, cutting workers payroll taxes in half next year. This provision will provide a tax cut of $1,500 to the typical family.
  • Be fully paid for as part of the President's long-term deficit reduction plan.
Lets take a deeper look at the the details (the following details courtesy Bloomberg Media -  link below)...
  1. The bill will cost $447 Billion dollars to fund
  2. Increases taxes on high earners to help fund it.
  3. Taxing the carried interest, or profits-based compensation, of private equity managers, real estate investors and venture capitalists as ordinary income, instead of more lightly taxed capital gains. 
  4. The biggest revenue-raising proposal in the jobs package -- about $400 billion -- would cap at 28 percent itemized deductions and some exclusions for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and married couples earning more than $250,000.
The Fallout

So there you have it.  Tax anyone making $250,000 or more, permanently.
The problem with that thinking is everyone forgets that the vast majority of small businesses fall into that category.  These small businesses hire 80% of the workforce.  When faced with higher taxes and smaller income, business tend to NOT hire or lay folks off.  Just read the headlines about the financial sector and the government suing all the major U.S. banks.  They are laying off tens of thousands of workers a year, in no small part to hedge against the coming liabilities.
What is the true reason for this Jobs Bill?

Well, its not to create jobs.  It is a bill put out in an election year designed to force republicans to vote against it.  No conservative would think about raising taxes in an election year.  That fact alone will give democrats a talking point that says something like this ... "We wanted to make more jobs but the republicans voted us down.  Its their fault the recession has not turned around."
But will this work?  If the Nevada and New York special elections this week are indicators of what is to come in 2012, it appears the electorate is not going to buy these excuses.  They want action, they want results, and they want relief.

Hang on to your keyboards folks, this election cycle is going to be a rough one.


Bloomberg Media - Details of Obama Jobs Bill
Official American Jobs Act Website
Obama Gets Aggressive on Jobs - Christian Science Monitor
Read: Nancy Pelosi Bans the "S" word - LA Times

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weiner seat taken by GOP. Is this a preview of 2012?

Bob Turner on Election Night, Photo from AP

On Wednesday Sept 14th, 2011 Republicans won ex-congressman Anthony Weiner's congressional seat.  Politcal novice Bob Turner (R) defeated assemblyman David Weprin (D) today in NY's 9th Congressional district, a heavily democratic section of NY held by democrats for the last 90 years.


Wednesday's special election was held due to Anthony Weiner's resignation from office this past summer following a scandal over lewd pictures and texts sent to followers of his twitter account.  

Photo of Front Page of NY Post
Republican see the win as possible early sign of a 2012 election cycle referendum on the economic policies of the Obama administration

"The district is overwhelmingly democratic by a ratio of 3 to 1 and is counting on the strength of unions and political organizations to bring out the vote."(Devlin Barrett - WSJ Sept 13th).

Turner tapped into the emotions and frustrations of the electorate pledging to be a vote against "Job Killing" Obama administration policies.  Voters frustrated with high unemployment, high taxes, and the threat of more on the way took their frustrations out on the candidate that represented the policies of the Obama Administration and either stayed home or turned out to vote for the republican.

Democrats spent heavily on campaigning and advertising in the district, to the tune of $500,000 this year.  The significant investment in this district highlights this races' importance to the DCCC.  Consider the talking points that will now be published in the media "... Dissatisfaction with Obama turns Blue Disctrict to Red, Democrats up for election in 2012 begin to distance themselves from Obama."  The advertising, heavily touting Weprins support of the adminisrations policies, is seen as possibly hurting Weprin by solidly connecting him to the Obama Administration.

To add to the uphill climb Weprin had to defend his stance and support for Gay Marriage. New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) publicly did not support fellow Orthodox Assemblyman David Weprin in the special election due to Weprins endorsement of Gay Marriage law, which is seen to have cost him Jewish votes in a heavily Jewish district.

Democratic Party leaders attempted to downplay the loss by spinning facts. DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz suggested to the media that the district was difficult for a democrat to win.  Senator Chuck Shumer, who held the seat prior to to Anthony Weiner suggested the district is heavily conservative leaning.  Yet the district holds a 3 to 1 ratio of democrat to republican voters and has not elected a republican since the early 1930's.

So is this a preview of 2012?  It is hard to tell, but you can be sure donors will now be questioning democratic party leaders over the loss, which until this summer seemed unimaginable.  Will it matter in the long run?  NY is scheduled to loose two house seats to redistricting in November.  NY-9 is expected to be one of them so the GOP win will be short lived.  However the GOP will use the win as a "Momentum Building" event.  If people are this upset in democratic stronghold over the economy then the democrats have their work cut out for them to hold onto their other seats in 2012.

Dems to Spend $500,000 in NY-9
Special Election Results - Huffington Post 
Obama Rebuke in NY-9 - Fox News 
Washington Post Article on NY-9