I’m Thankful For A Romney Loss

November 22, 2012

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Thursday we gathered with our families and friends giving thanks for the blessings we have, so I thought I’d share one of mine with you here. This year I am thankful that Mitt Romney is not going to be the next President of the United States of America. Sorry if you have just been crawling out from under a rock the past few weeks and I just broke this news to you.

The next day when I went to work you could literally see whose parents were all worked up by the events of the previous night. Just like all conservatives around the country they were filled with anger, outrage and disbelief that a Kenyan-born Muslim Socialist Antichrist was reelected with relative ease. The final tally for the electoral college was Obama 332 Romney 206, the only battle ground state that Romney picked up was North Carolina and the popular vote margin currently stands at right around a three percent win for Obama as well.

It just was not a good night for the Republican party. They lost the Senate even more with Democrats and the caucusing independents accounting for 55 members of the body. If it was not for a lot of gerrymandering in various states in redrawing those district lines they very well could have lost control of the house as well. It just was not a good night for Republicans. Now it is on to the blame game. Every thing under the sun has been thrown out to why they lost. The plain and simple answer is that appealing only to racists, religious zealots and rich people is not enough of a consensus to win as a national party.

My favorite though was the man himself Romney bringing his 47% comments back to life again with a post election discussion with donors that he lost only because the people that did not vote did so because they wanted to recieve gifts. Like I said this Thanksgiving I am happy that this man is not going to be the next President and it was quite funny that his popular vote tally came to 47 percent.

Mitt Romney Can’t Lose

November 1, 2012

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Mitt Romney can’t lose.  President Obama won’t let him.

A person once asked on Facebook “Does the presidential debate make a difference?” At first I thought about Regan’s debates. He didn’t just impress the People, he connected with them. His ideas resonated with the audience. His humor even garnered laughs from his opponent. President Reagan was likable, presidential, and his ideas became our ideas. I think the vast majority agreed the government wasn’t the solution it was the problem. His one and only debate in 1980 possibly won the election for him. What got him reelected was his ideas worked. When Reagan ran for reelection the economy was turning around. People saw their lives improve, the Iranian hostages released, and no more gasoline rationing.

Mitt Romney has ideas not tag lines. The first debate Mitt Romney devastated his opponent. Mitt didn’t do this with general terms like hope or change. Change can mean anything and different people have different hopes. Romney did a wonderful job explaining why cutting taxes works. Romney did an excellent job explaining what reduces violence including gun violence. Romney connected with the People with ideas.

Mitt Romney was very specific. He was specific on the effect of taxes and economic behavior. He was specific on national defense. Romney was very specific on what policies and promises President Obama failed in. Romney’s ideas are measurable. Reducing permanently unemployed and unemployed is measureable. Not cutting spending on national defense is measureable. Reducing taxes and limiting deductions is measureable. All these ideas are attainable and relevant.

People notice the greatest economies are in states with oil and oil exploration like North Dakota and Texas. Romney’s ideas for energy independence are attainable and relevant. Green technology is not there yet. Romney’s ideas are time-bound. Green technology isn’t there yet, clean coal and clean oil production is.

S Specific

M Measurable

A Attainable

R Relevant

T Time-bound

Romney is SMART and smart. President Obama’s hope and change could mean anything to anyone. While this may have helped him get into office it hindered his ability to get reelected. People have wonderful imaginations which lead to great disappointment when their ideas of change are not achieved. Hope is quickly erased with every policy that don’t match their idea of change. Failing to be specific is a failure of leadership.

President Obama did do measurements correctly but when it’s not coupled to specifics it is useless. He promised that if we pass TARP we won’t see 9% unemployment. He wasn’t specific on how this was to be achieved. We know throwing money at a problem doesn’t fix it and it didn’t fix employment it made it worse. He promised green jobs and energy independence. He failed and added billions to the debt in the process. He promised to cut taxes but only provided 18 tax incentives and extensions. Every April I pay more taxes and the President’s so-called “tax-cuts” are not relevant to the working middle class.

The last debate on foreign policy should have been a slam dunk for Romney. The Libyan embassy attack was and continues to blow up in Obama’s face beyond any Lewinski scandal or Watergate cover-up. Romney could have gone on the attack with near impunity but he chose not to and played it safe. With what I consider only a fair performance Romney still gained in the polls.

President Obama is not time-bound and is asking for four more years to somehow find success with the same failed policies. President Obama’s attempts to impress have failed to connect with the People. President Obama has failed in every debate to sound presidential, SMART, and smart. Debates matter and President Obama did everything right to ensure a Romney win on November 6.

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Can Romney Win?

September 24, 2012

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We’re about six weeks away from election day, and the debates are just around the corner.  While the national polls show the race fairly tight, these polls are completely irrelevant.  A candidate gets the same number of electoral votes if he wins a state by one vote or by ten million.  Large margins may help the national polling numbers, but they don’t actually change the chance that the candidate will win.

For years. my go-to site has been Electoral-Vote.com.  The site operator is very clear about the fact that he’s liberal, but I like the way the data is presented.  The site correctly predicted 48 of the 50 states in 2008, missing only Indiana and Missouri.

At this point, Electoral-Vote.com shows Obama with 328 electoral votes, Romney with 206, and New Hampshire tied.  Romney is expected to lose Massachusetts (where he was governor) convincingly.  That’s not surprising, considering how liberal the state is.  He’s also polling well behind in Michigan, where his father was governor.  While I haven’t researched this in great detail, I’d have to think that winning a presidential election while losing two states where you have deep personal ties would be a historic achievement.  Generally, a candidate can count on his home state to cast their votes for him.

One of my favorite features of the site is the tipping point state chart.  Essentially, this ranks the state from the ones where Obama is doing best (DC and Hawaii) to the states where he is doing worst (Utah and Wyoming).  If you’re a Romney fan, you can read from the bottom up.  The chart lets you see how far down (or up) a candidate must go in order to win.  In order for Romney to win, he’d have to pick up the tied state of New Hampshire, as well as Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, and Ohio – all states where Obama leads.  While it’s true that some of Obama’s leads are within the margin of error, this doesn’t mean that the poll results are wrong – it just means there is a greater likelihood that they are wrong.  Unless there is a systemic error affecting polling in multiple states, a candidate leading by less than the margin or error in large number of states is very likely to win a majority of those states.

How can Romney win?

  1. Explain Paul Ryan’s voucher system to senior citizens.  If seniors think that the Republicans are trying to take Medicare away, they could switch their votes or simply not vote at all.  Traditionally, this is a group that leans heavily Republican; it’s hard to imaging a Romney win that doesn’t include winning a majority of the senior vote.
  2. Capitalize on Obama gaffes in the debates.  However, it’s important to strike a chord with independent voters, and not simply preach to the choir.  This minds finding cases where the broader population disagrees with an Obama sentiment and hammering away.
  3. Getting out the vote.  A great way to overcoming a polling deficit is to simply get more of your party’s voters to the poll. 

Other news:

Senate

Tomorrow is the deadline for Todd Akin to petition a judge to remove his name from the ballot in the Missouri senate race.  If he does this (and the judge agrees) he would have to pay for ballots to be reprinted (possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars), but the Republicans would be able to put a different candidate on the ballot.  Claire McCaskill is comfortable head (although it’s not a blowout), and an Akin pullout would basically start with a clean slate.  I do wonder is McCaskill has been holding back a bit, in order to make Akin think he has a chance (rather than having him drop out and facing a stronger candidate).  Will McCaskill release the hounds on the 26th?

It appears that the Senate will add another independent to its ranks.  Former governor Angus King has a big lead over the Republican candidate.  Since King is expected to caucus with Democrats (although he has not publicly stated this), the Democrats are not supporting their party’s candidate, Cynthia Dill, for fear of splitting the vote between Dill and King and allowing the Republican to win.  Republican PACS have actually run ads in favor of Dill – trying to achieve just such a split.

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Who Are the 47%?

September 19, 2012

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Mitt Romney made the news when video from a private fundraiser surfaced this week.  In the video, he is having a candid chat with donors, telling him that 47% of Americans will never vote for him because they are dependent on the government – asserting that these people don’t pay income taxes and feel entitled to health care, food, and housing provided by government handouts.

The 47% number gets bandied about a lot.  You should ask yourself two main questions:

Is it true that 47% of people don’t pay income tax?

I addressed the topic of how many people don’t pay income taxes in greater detail in an earlier article.  A big problem is that people use the terms people, households, and filers interchangeably.  This is a mistake.  I’ll create an example household consist of a mom and dad (married filing jointly, with tax liability), elderly grandparent living with them (minimal taxable income, no tax liability), teenage son with a part time job (minimal taxable income, no tax liability), and a ten year old and four year old.  That’s one household, six people, three tax returns – only one of which has tax liability.  

If you’re using statistics about filers (such as IRS data), it is very inaccurate to substitute the word “people” or “households” for “filers”.  Yet, politicians and the mainstream media often do this, because it’s easier than trying to explain the nuances, even though there is a significant statistical difference.  When you see these quotes, go back to the source they used and verify that they are using the correct term.

Should “the 47%ers” pay taxes?

This is a more complex question.  Who are the 47% who don’t pay taxes, and why don’t they pax taxes?

The stereotype that some people are trying to construct is a family where nobody works, the kids run wild, and the parent use the welfare checks to buy Cheetos and Xbox games.  Certainly this sort of abuse of the system does exist, but let’s look at other examples of people who don’t pay taxes.  All of these fictional scenarios are using a very simplified tax situation of the standard deduction and exemptions, before taking any credits into account.

  • The elderly – Abigail is 70 and a retired high school principal.  She works ten hours each week at the local library, earning $10 per hour.  She also spends twenty hours each week volunteering at various organization within her town.  Other than the $5200 per year she earns at the library, the rest of her income consists of a Roth IRA (taxes paid up front), her husband’s life insurance benefits (non-taxable) and Social Security.  Abigail currently doesn’t pay taxes … but she paid her fair share of taxes for decades when she was working full time.
  • The young – Becky works with Abigail at the library.  Becky is sixteen years old and works ten hours per week.  Becky helps her parents with some of the bills and puts the rest toward college.  Becky doesn’t currently pay any taxes – but she expects to pay a lot of taxes when she graduates from law school.
  • The working poor – Charles and Debra, age 24, have two year old twins.  Prior to the birth of the twins, both of them worked at the local grocery store.  Due to high costs of day care in the community, Charles quit to stay at home with the kids until they are in school.  Debra earns $12.50 per hour and is being groomed for a management position.  While Charles and Debra don’t currently pay taxes, their household income will jump when Charles returns to the workforce and will continue to grow as they move up in the organization.  In a few years, they’ll resume paying income tax and will do so until retirement.
  • The unemployed – The factory where Edward worked shut down, resulting in hundreds of people losing their jobs.  The resulting glut of a particular skill set on the market has made it very difficult to find a job, and Edward has been unable to find work.  At this point, it would be difficult for Edward to move.  He has strong tied to the community and he’d take a financial loss if he sold his house at the moment.  Edward is no longer collecting unemployment and is burning through his nest egg and he attempts to find work.  Edward is not currently paying taxes – but he’d absolutely love to return to the ranks of the tax payers.

This is not a comprehensive list. 

As you can see, not everyone in the 47%ers is a “lifer”.  Depending on age and/or circumstance, you may end up paying no taxes some years and paying taxes in others.  Assuming that the 47%ers is a non-changing block of people is a dangerous fallacy for politicians. 

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Will The Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?

September 13, 2012

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BELMONT, MA - MARCH 06:  Republican presidenti...

Mitt Romney

Willard “Mitt” Romney came to be in Massachusetts in the late 70’s as an adviser to an intermediate level president in the LDS (Mormon) Church. Eventually he lead the Boston Stake, which included some 4000 members of the LDS. In the early 90’s he decided to give a try at politics, having been successful at business -with just a tiny bit of help from an extremely large sum of wealth left to him by his father. He changed his political affiliation from Independent in 1994 to Republican to run against Democrat Ted Kennedy, who while normally was extremely popular had recently endured some family embarrassment stemming from a court case.  In fact, Romney had voted in the Democratic Presidential Primary in 1992, the election year that would eventually see Bill Clinton become president. So in a two year span he went from voting for a Democrat in a Presidential Primary to registering as a Republican to run against a Kennedy. So strong were his convictions in his personal beliefs he told his brother, “I never want to run for something again unless I can win.”   Because front-runners always stick with their convictions.

While head of the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Mr. Romney aggressively lobbied Congress for federal contribution of somewhere between $400 million and $600 million, plus an additional 1 billion dollars in infrastructure projects. While some have said this money was needed to “save” the Olympic Winter Games that year as it was having fiscal trouble, other reports have said the much of the funding was already set and Romney played the hero simply to propel himself into the public spotlight as a savior.  Regardless of his motives, I find it funny that a man who so aggressively asked for over a billion dollars of federal money in 2002 now wants to run the government under the guise of limiting federal spending and allowing private business to function without federal oversight. Every filthy rich business man wants government’s nose out of their business, but many seem to want government’s wallet in their business.

In 2002 Mitt’s “home” state of Massachusetts had an unpopular Republican governor plagued by personal scandals, and even those in the White House wanted the incumbent gone and Mitt Romney in.  After a bit of a see-saw campaign, Romney won the vote 50%-45% over State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien, and although he claims that he immediately faced a deficit of $3 billion, he conveniently overlooks the fact that the state was getting $1.3 billion from capital gains and an additional $500 million in federal grants. Once again, the current small-government Mitt used half a billion federal dollars in 2002/2003 to help fix problems in his state, and then act like he saved the day.  Things weren’t all bad for Massachusetts when Mitt was governor, Ted Kennedy’s dream of near-universal health care came true when in 2006 Romney signed into law “Romneycare.” One of the centerpieces of this law was the individual mandate – that all residents must have health insurance if financially able or face escalating tax increases. He was so proud of the individual mandate that he wrote in his book that it should be the centerpiece of national health care.  Yet on the campaign trail this year he’s called Obamacare’s mandate a tax, and has said the first thing he would do as President is grant waivers to ignore it.

I do not begrudge Mr. Romney his money, all current indications are that he made it legally, but we have a man who has continually changed his political stance to expedite his political career, and that’s simply not the person I want leading the country, despite all of the shortcomings of Barrack Obama. Please also note that what I wrote about here are just a few of the things Mitt has flip-flopped on, watch the last link in this article – it’s a very well-crafted video that pretty clearly shows – with context – how many issues Romney has done a 180 on.

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What Is Mitt Romney Hiding?

August 7, 2012

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Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Mitt Romney

Harry Reid is saying that Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes in past years.  Romney has released his 2010 tax return and will release the 2011 return when it is ready – but that’s a far cry from the 12 years of tax returns that his father released when George Romney ran for president.

Republican leaders are calling Reid a liar, and the result of the entire exchange is that there’s as much focus on Mitt Romney’s taxes as there is on how to solve the current unemployment problems.

That begs the question:

What is Mitt Romney hiding?

There are several possibilities.  Some are far more likely than others.

  • Romney is not hiding anything – The returns from the last ten years may be near carbon copies of 2010, and Romney may be refusing to release the earlier returns on principle alone.  In my opinion, this would be a bad decision, as the failure to release earlier returns gives the definite appearance that he is hiding something.
  • Romney is committing tax fraud – It’s also possible that Romney is committing outright fraud, either by failing to report income or by taking illegal deductions.  However, unless Romney and his legal tax are complete morons, this seems a pretty remote possibility.
  • Romney was born in Kenya – Romney may be paying millions in taxes to the Kenyan treasury
  • Romney paid $0 tax in some years – This is actually quite possible.  I’m sure that Mitt’s stock portfolio has taken a hit in several recent years.  It’s quite possible that he sold stock to lock in capital losses that would offset other income. 
  • Romney had very high income – On the flip side, if Romney had a bad feeling about the market, he may have sold stock to lock in gains.  Are there years where Romney had $20, $50, or $100 million in income?  It’s definitely possible.  it’s even possible that he locked in huge gains as the market was plummeting.

Something to keep in mind is that a capital gain is often the result of many years or accumulation.  For the sake of argument, let’s say that Romney had a $100 million capital gain in 2008. The stocks in his portfolio may have appreciated over a span of 20 or 30 years, and a rate of a few million per years.  Sure, that’s a lot of money, but it’s not as if Romney opened an eTrade account one day and reaped a $100 profit the next.  The huge gain may have been recognized in 2008, but it was building up gradually over the years.

Likewise, if Romney locked in some capital gains in an effort to drop his income to $0, these losses may also have been building up for years or decades.

If you care about how much money politicians make, you really should be focusing on the average income over a long span of time, rather than cherry picking a handful of years.  If someone earns $50 million for each of five consecutive years, this is a higher total income that a person who has $0 in income the first four years and $150 million in the fifth year – even though the $150 million catches they eye.

Honestly, as long as Romney fairly reported income and deductions and paid the proper amount in taxes, I really don’t care how much he paid in taxes.  His effective rate is fairly low due to the fact that most of his earnings are capital gains.  That’s not Romney’s fault – that’s simply the way the tax code is written.

 

 

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Who Will Win The Election?

July 26, 2012

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As we get closer now to convention time, when the Presidential candidates will officially start the race for the White House it is time to look at the landscape that is actually going to determine the outcome of the election. That landscape is the Electoral College, where 270 is the number you need to achieve to win the election. So who has the best shot to win the election? There are certainly at this point in time the certain locked up states for each side, so you can tell from there what ground needs to be made up to get to the magical number.

Let’s take a look at The Rombot’s locked up states and how many electors they hold for him. You might as well chalk up Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and West Virginia for the Republican nominee. So that is 186 electors in those 22 states that Mitt has in the bag right now.

Now let’s take a look at Obama’s locked up vote. You can count on Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Maine, Vermont, Delaware, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington, D.C. for the Democratic nominee at this time. This accounts for 227 electors for Obama in these 18 states and one Federal District that is onboard with the reelection bid.

So that brings us to what is going to determine the election and all the coverage we will continue to see from now until election day, the battleground states. Now some of what is left is more likely to go to one candidate or the other but they are close enough at this point to describe them as where the battle will be waged in this election. There is one state in particular that four electors are with the Republicans already. That state is Nebraska, one of two states that divided their electors by congressional districts. So right now figuring that in Romney’s current number is 190. So going into the battleground states Romney needs to compile at least 80 more electors to win the election. The President on the other hand needs just 43 more electors to get a second term.

So lets look At this battleground with the electoral votes for each state in parentheses. We have the one elector available in Nebraska that I mentioned already, then we have Nevada (6), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), New Hampshire (4), Virginia (13), North Carolina (15) and Florida (29). Obviously with only 43 electors needed to win, the President has the easiest road to get to the victory here, but lets break it down state by state with the current polling info from Real Clear Politics.

Nevada: RCP Average 5/22-7/18 Obama 48.8 Romney 44.3
Colorado RCP Average 6/6-7/13 Obama 46.5 Romney 43.5
Iowa: RCP Average 5/22-7/15 Obama 45.8 Romney 44.5
Ohio: RCP Average 6/19-7/18 Obama 47.3 Romney 43.0
Pennsylvania: RCP Average 6/19-7/23 Obama 47.3 Romney 41.5
New Hampshire: RCP Average 6/20-7/15 Obama 47.3 Romney 44.3
Virginia: RCP Average 6/25-7/17 Obama 46.0 Romney 44.8
North Carolina: RCP Average 6/24-7/18 Romney 47.0 Obama 46.6
Florida: RCP Average 6/19-7/19 Obama 45.8 Romney 44.7

I could not find any real polling data on the Nebraska 2nd District electoral vote up for grabs, but if I were to make a guess it is pretty much a complete toss up. So as you see in the current polling landscape of the battleground, Obama leads in all but one state. The leads are stronger in others but at this point with needing only 43 electoral votes to get the win it is a nice situation to be in. So lets break things down from how I think things will go on the battleground states. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Romney’s pretty much complete lack of support from the latino community not named Marco Rubio that Nevada and its six electors will go to Obama. So that makes it 233-190. Then we have Colorado, I think Obama will win Colorado but it is close, so for argument’s sake here I will put that as well as Iowa, which I also feel Obama will squeak out a win to Romney. That makes the updated tally 233-205. Now it is considered a battleground, but I do not think it really will be, I say chalk up Pennsylvania for Obama. That makes it 253-205.

Now I think Obama will take Virginia and Romney will take North Carolina when all is said and done, so that makes it 266-220. That means Obama is a mere four electors away from wrapping up his reelection bid. You take into consideration that my own previous express sentiments that Obama will win in Colorado and Iowa and he would already have the election wrapped up here with three more battle states still left here to discuss. We will play on for the sake of things with the current count being 266-220. In the end I feel Florida goes to Romney 266-249. So at this point we have Ohio and New Hampshire left and winning just New Hampshire would give Obama the win I think Obama wins there and will win in Ohio as well. I think Obama will take the NE 2nd so one more vote there. So there you have it in my scenario here it is a pretty nice path right now to reelection for President Obama on the Electoral College landscape with a 289-249 victory.

There are also many ways that this things comes down to a tie, and they could be very likely. The outcome of that could bring you President Romney and Vice President Biden. Let’s pray for the best though that it does not need to come down to that, but in my humble opinion that will be the only way that Mittens will become President is that if the House has to appoint him. We will see how things go there still are a few more months left of this seemingly never ending campaign.

Are the Democrats Waging A War Against Women?

April 12, 2012

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What a week for political news! First, Senator Santorum drops from the Presidential Race, citing the illness of his little Bella (she has Trisomy 18) and has been very sick lately. This is the most honorable reason, that I can think of, for someone to drop out of a political race.

As a comparison, most candidates drop out due to lack of funds, a scandal or inability to compete. I think that Santorum bowing out now, for this reason, should be respected. Anyone who supported Senator Santorum should be proud. He brought many issues to light that may not have seen discussion if it had not been for Santorum. However, Santorum supporters must recognize it is time to move on. I’ve seen/read quite a few bitter Santorum supporters who are not reviewing the remainder of the field to support the GOP. Folks, I know it’s only been a few days, but we’ve got to move on. When T-Paw dropped out after the Iowa Straw Poll, it took me MONTHS to decide on another candidate. But I did. There’s no point in holding a flame for a candidate who is no longer in the race. If we want to defeat Obama this year, we’ve got to suck it up and move on. It’s how politics works.

Photo of Hilary Rosen

Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen

And speaking how politics works, I would like to encourage the left to keep talking. Last night, Hilary Rosen (a Democratic strategist) stated that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life.” Really? Really. Ann Romney, a stay at home mother of 5 boys, who has MS and fought Cancer, “hasn’t worked a day in her life.” As a work at home mom of 3 boys (and one boy on the way), I think the only appropriate punishment for Rosen is to have to clean every ball pit in the world. Then maybe she’d understand just how hard mothers work.

It seems the Democrats are attempting some damage control. Michelle Obama (herself) tweeted “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.” The best thing the Left could do is put as much space between themselves and Rosen right now. But if they distanced themselves from every member of the Liberal Left that said something stupid, we’d stop hearing from Biden, Maher etc. I suppose that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

It seems the real war on women has been exposed. I thought the whole women’s lib movement was for women to be able to make their own choices. Yes, I have a 4 year degree, but I CHOOSE to work from home (gasp). And yes, I do work.

Thank you, Hilary Rosen. Thank you for bringing the GOP together. I encourage all of the working women (those who have children and those who have not been blessed with children yet) to back the GOP. Let’s show the left just how hard we do work.

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GOP Endgame

April 6, 2012

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Governor Mitt Romney of MA

Romney is the inevitable GOP nominee

As we get into April and many primaries become winner take all, it’s going to be easier for Mitt Romney to put distance between himself and Rick Santorum.  The carrot for Santorum is the fact that the month of May could hold some big wins for him – including Texas – but he might be in too big of a hole by them.  Currently, Romney leads 655 to 278.  He’s expected to win decisively in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and Rhode Island. 

There’s also the key battle in the Keystone State on the 24th.  If Romney wins Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania, it’s going to be hard to hold out much hope for Santorum.  Honestly, at this point, it’s a question of whether Romney can get to 1144 delegates.  Santorum doesn’t really have a shot at 1144, but if Romney can’t reach the number, a brokered convention could decide the nomination – incentive for Romney to keep the pedal to the metal.

Is Santorum focusing more on 2016 than 2012 at this point?  That’s a definite possibility.  His harsh anti-Romney rhetoric scores points with his own fans, but comments such as the one comparing Romney to Obama can only serve to hurt Romney in the general election.  A candidate in a primary really has two goals.  The first goal is to ensure that their party wins in the general election.  The second goal – a lesser goal, in my mind – is to get themselves elected to be the standard bearer for the party.  Is Rick Santorum handing votes to Barack Obama every day that he stays in the Republican race?  Probably.

The other candidates in the GOP field have really fallen to the side and at this point are really just serving as a spoiler for Santorum.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who has funneled millions of dollars into the Gingrich campaign through Gingrich’s SuperPAC, is putting his checkbook back in his pocket.  At some point, you stop throwing good money after bad.  With his campaign in the red, Gingrich has begun charging $50 per pose for photo ops with supporters.  Yes, $50 for a photo with a guy who finished third in the 2012 Republican primary.  I think Gingrich has the whole concept of “buying votes” a bit backward. 

Is Ron Paul being cheated?

And then there’s Ron Paul.  Paul’s campaign really sheds light on the fact that there are two dimensions to a candidate’s popularity.  The first is the size of the following, and the second is the intensity of their support for the candidate.  Paul is off the charts in terms of average intensity.  The only problem is that all votes count the same – a fervent supporter’s vote doesn’t count any more than a tepid supporters.  A vote is a vote.

Rumors of a third party run are swirling again, but I really don’t see how this is a viable option.  How, exactly, would Paul get enough votes to be viable in the general election?  He’s running fourth in the Republican field, and it’s not likely that he would peel off many liberal votes from the Obama camp.

I’ve also seen some folks in the tinfoil hat brigade allege vote fixing in the primary, pointing to “huge” Ron Paul crowds and saying this with such huge crowds, his vote counts should be higher than the official tallies – so someone must be fixing the numbers.

Recent “evidence” of this is a recent Paul rally in Los Angeles.  His supporters show images of a packed house and allege that there were 10,000 in attendance.  Well, the facility in question (UCLA’s tennis center) has a max capacity of 6,000.  Even if the 10,000 number is accurate, look at this number in context.  The LA metro area has about 12.8 million people.  That would mean that one out of every 1280 people in the LA metro showed up to the event.

Fervent supporters, Paul has.  He just doesn’t have enough of the “grunt” variety who quietly cast votes.

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The Death of Andrew Breitbart and Other News

March 9, 2012

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Media personality Andrew Breitbart gives a spe...

Who Killed Breitbart?  His Heart.

It’s been a week since conservative leader Andrew Breitbart died.  At the time, I asked a friend of mine how long it would be before conspiracy theories started circulating about his death.  It took only a few days before people were saying that the Obama administration had Breitbart whacked.  While it’s fun to spin the theories, sometimes 43 year old men simply die.  My brother was only a bit older when he died due to heart issues.  It happens.

Now, if Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly both turn up dead in the next week, then I’ll agree that we should be taking a long hard look at this.  But until that happens, I’d suggest that Breitbart’s fans celebrate his life rather than trying to indict the president for murder.

The Billionaires Club

Mitt Romney picked up six wins on Super Tuesday, Rick Santorum picked up three, and Newt Gingrich won Georgia (the state he represented in congress).  It’s interesting to note that Santorum and Gingrich each have their own person billionaire funneling tons of money to them via SuperPACs.  This is completely legal.  However, the existence of the SuperPACs means that both can stay in the race even if they aren’t receiving decent fundraising support from anyone else.  In previous years, lack of funding likely would have pushed one of them out of the race by now, leaving the other to go head to head with Mitt Romney.  Head to head with Romney, either of them would have a chance.  But as it stands, they are splitting the non-Romney vote and are coming up short.  Romney can get a plurality in a three candidate race, but would likely have problems gaining a majority in a two candidate race.

Peyton Manning

After 14 years in Indianapolis, the Colts cut Peyton Manning.  The Colts are catching a lot of flak for this move, with many saying that they haven’t been loyal to the player who had built the franchise.

It’s true that Peyton Manning took over a team that sucked and turned it into a great team – largely due to the fact that he’s a stud quarterback.

But bear in mind that the Colts paid Peyton $26.4 million last year – when he didn’t play a down.  He was due to get a $28 million roster bonus if he wasn’t cut.  This isn’t some sort of pro-rated amount that would allow the Colts to wait around a month or two to see how Manning was doing – it was $28 million all at once.  If Manning didn’t play in 2012, this would have meant the Colts has paid $54.4 million for absolutely no on-field production.  Even if money wasn’t an issue, NFL teams are bound by a salary cap, and that sort of a cap hit would make it very hard to maintain a successful team.

If I were Irsay, I’d try to sign Manning to a one year deal with a low base salary and hefty incentives.  If he plays, he makes decent money.  If he doesn’t, then the cost is minimal.

Are the Colts right to go after Andrew Luck in the draft?  Certainly.  Even if Manning were to play this year, at some point soon he’ll be at the end of his career.  There’s no guarantee that the Colts will be able to get a player of Luck’s caliber in a later draft (in fact, it’s very unlikely, as a healthy Manning means a better team and a worse draft pick).  You need to take the bird in the hand.  I also tend to be a fan of having a young QB carry a clipboard for a year or two,  While a handful of recent QB have had success being thrown into the fire, historically, this has burned a lot of teams.

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