Sunday, October 30, 2011

Who's worthy of the media?

Rober woodward talks about the Media’s coverage of the 1988 campaign, and he says that C-span news reporters only covered candidates that they thought would “make it”. A candidates worth had a lot to do with the media coverage they received or if they received any coverage at all. How interesting is that? If the media didn’t see you as viable, then no one really knew much about you?

Biased or not?

Michael Robinson says the press . . . (major media networks), aren't about "issues" per say, they’re more about scandals and credentials. They aren't necessarily biased, they are equally critical of every party and like Robinson says, their goal is to show america the problems and taboo's with either party

How people respond to the media

William Adams talks about how the media treats certain states as far as their importance goes for the election and the legitimacy that it gives certain candidates if they don't take that state seriously.


This map shows the 2010 congressional election results, and as per the results, the balance of power lies with the republicans (193 votes went towards the Democrats and 242 went to the Republicans). if you go to this website you’ll get customized maps of republican gains, tea party wins, overall poverty rate, votes from the percent 65 and older, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and those uninsured. Quite interesting stuff, so check it out!

So what exactly can impact a party’s votes?

According to an article from The Washington Post, the Occupy Wall Street movement might stir up some negative results for the Democrats. Not the movement itself, but violent clashes that the media that has brought to our attention. The movement has been acknowledged by many Democratic politicians so the Republicans have a great deal to jab at, especially since Democrats ave already tried laying out attacks on the republicans for being extreme tea party activists.

What would make this a great story for the Republicans?

Well, as we all know, the protest has been quite peaceful, but just a few streaks of violence can really give the entire movement a bad stench. Rachel Weiner of the Washington Post writes, “Just as Democrats tried to tie Republicans to the most extreme tea party activists, the Massachusetts Republican Party is already attacking Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren as the “Matriarch of Mayhem” for saying she helped create an intellectual foundation for the protests”

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The video provides the framework for which the Democrats can bash the Democrats and the route they would take in doing so. They take a few quotes from Democrats and fit them into one clip to make them look bad. Essentially saying look at these Democrats and what they stand for, is this the party that you want to run your nation?

The media is so quick to capture the negativity but are reluctant to show the positive proponents. So far, we know that the protests have been rather peaceful, but for someone that doesn’t necessarily look into the movement and doesn’t keep up, this video would provide a complete basis for their outlook.

The violence in Oakland has been the basis for the negative media coverage lately. The city sent police to clear out protesters. This disrupted the peace amongst the protesters and they didn’t seem to like it very much because they weren’t doing anything wrong. Why is it the protesters faults when police fired teargas at them and didn’t them protest like the rest of the country? Isn’t it our right to assemble and isn’t freedom of speech our right as well? What do the Republicans have to say about that?

I personally don’t think the Republicans have a basis for which to attack the Democrats. The Democrats speak of the movement itself, not all the people individually. Pollster Stan Greenberg seems to agree that what’s going on with the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t going to affect how the nation feels about the Democrats. Weiner writes,

“Pollster Stan Greenberg argues that the violent clash in Oakland won’t much change public opinion, pointing out that there was already a large gap between support for the goals of the movement and support for the movement itself, suggesting there’s already “some ambivalence on methods” — an ambivalence that has always existed about civil disobediance, including during the civil-rights movement.”

Funny guy campaign

Cheers to Steve Berke. Here’s this young 30 something year old that is running for mayor of Miami, but he isn’t just the ordinary candidate, he’s the extraordinary candidate. When I read an article about him in the New York Times (posted below), I thought about a specific conversation I had in my political science class: Road to The White house. We had discussed a president’s personality and what we look for in a man running our country. Some said they would rather have a more stern and serious president, while others disagreed and wanted someone they can relate to and connect with, someone with personality and a certain quirkiness, and of course the ability to be president ( whatever that means).

Although Berke isn’t running for president, he is running for a rather serious role, but his attitude, maybe not so serious. In the video posed up top, we get a certain vibe from this man and without a doubt he’s funny, outgoing, charming, and last but not least, a young bachelor. I watched the video and found it hilarious-he had me, almost. He describes everything anyone my age desires and is accustomed to or at least would want to be accustomed to. He’s got that edge to him that makes it hard to dislike him, and that’s hard to dismiss.

When looking at this guy, I absolutely love him, but I would probably just want to hang out with him not exactly look up to him as the mayor of Miami. I’m not about the whole “political correctness” thing but I feel as though the line has to be drawn somewhere because humor is a wonderful thing, but politics are a serious matter. It is a matter of being able to take someone seriously or not. It is hard to take this guy seriously and after all, he IS a comedian. Oh, and I think I failed to mention that he isn’t part of the Democratic party nor the Republican party, which is fine… but he has developed his own political party called the “After party”. It speaks for itself.

So where exactly can we find this guy? Lisette Alvarez of The New York Times writes:

MIAMI BEACH — wearing a black suit and tie with neon-pink laces on his kicks, the man in the video struggles up Ocean Drive, past the Art Deco hotels and the hangovers they house. He pulls a trolley freighted with two voting machines — the ones that hung those chads long ago and made election infamy. “Easy come, easy go, time for me to say hello,” he sings soulfully into the camera in a parody of Bruno Mars’s video “Grenade.” “My name is Steve Berke, and I am running to be mayor, yo. Is he real? Do you know? Is he one big joke? I can promise you it’s real.”

Fortunately for Steve, his chief opponent is the present mayor Matti Herrera Bower who is 72 years old and has been mayor for 2 terms already. She’s got a lot to bring to the table, like her experience and grandmother credentials … sounds like she might take the votes, OR probably not.
I can sit here and bash them both, but sincerely, they both have great credentials, even Steve. Steve is a Yale graduate, believe it or not and has done a great deal for himself. He won two national tennis championships, was a contestant on the fox reality show “The Rebel Billionaire” and was able to successfully market and sell his own product (travel pillow) that he created on the show. He then became a comedian, and now he’s running for Mayor. YOU DECIDE.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Republican platform

Newt Gingrich, 2012 republican candidate talks about the republican platform vs the democratic platform and how much more it has to offer. He's very to the point with each platform he announces.


Curtis DuBay talks about the democratic party platform and the capital gains rate that exists which is said to help the middle class, but apparently that isn't so. He talks about tax rate extensions as well as many other proposals Obama has introduced.

Deal or no deal?

Richard Cohen talks about the deficit reductions committee and the partisan views from the two political party platforms. When it comes to the deficit reductions committee there needs to be some sort of compromise and there needs to be a bipartisan result from both parties.

Will the troops return?

On Friday, our president, Barack Obama announced that all troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. He stated that this will declare an end to America’s long and costly war. He started off his speech with “as a candidate for president”, making this decision one for the books, as far as being reelected goes. He wants to make sure voters hear him out and side with him on what is the result of his 2008 campaign pledge to end a war that has divided the nation since it began in 2003 and claimed more than 4,400 American lives. He proudly states that ever since his presidency, more than 100,000 troops have been removed from Iraq and brought back home, and more than 30,000 will be back home by the end of the year and reunited with their families for the holidays. “After 9 years, America’s war will be over”

In his speech he pledged to bring the war to an end, for the sake of national security and the strength of American leadership around the world. According to a statement from the Iraqi prime minister's office, al-Maliki and Obama "shared the same point of view on the need to start a new phase of strategic relations.” Obama states that this is a positive thing and that he wants to refocus into a new transition of new ties of trade, commerce, culture, and education with Iraq, to unleash the potential of Iraqi people.

Not only is it time for troops to get back to their families, but it has also been very costly (financially) for America to keep troops in Iraq. Costs have gone above and beyond what they were intended to be, and it’s time to budget differently.
A report from the non-partisan, government-funded Congressional Research Service found that the Defense Department spent nearly $757 billion for military operations in Iraq over the past decade, $50 billion higher than the estimate released by the Pentagon. Another $41 billion for Iraq was spent on State Department and USAID initiatives, plus $6 billion for troops' health expenses, the CRS report stated.

Although we may see this as a positive impact, economically and morally, many like John McCain don’t seem to feel the same. John McCain spoke about Obama’s plans to remove troops from Iran.
"Today marks a harmful and sad setback for the United States in the world," John McCain Said. "This decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."

Who knows what will happen until December, but Obama did promise to bring troops home. Standing by his word would give him a one up in the election process because his commitment and dedication will become more and more clear for the Democrats as well as those on the fence.

We can't wait

Many have opposed Obamas $447 Jobs bill, especially the republicans sitting in Congress. Some sources have called it Uberous (or Ourborous) which is an ancient symbol of the snake eating its own tail. In ages past it represented a myriad of arcane philosophies, but today it is also known as a symbol for one who is his own most dangerous enemy, while others approve every bit. I found it a bit entertaining that sources have compared Obama’s jobs bill to Uberous.
Obama’s had enough of the negativity he’s facing and he is no longer willing to wait for congress to take action. He’s said to be willing to take matters into his own hands and cut the fat from the process of getting this bill signed. Sources say that he will be using his executive- branch powers to tackle housing, education, health care, and other economic issues within the next coming month so that America knows he’s serious about the success of our nation. As written by Jackie Calms of the New York Times, by resorting to executive actions, using his wide-ranging authority to oversee federal laws and agencies, Mr. Obama seems intent on showing that he is not powerless in the face of Republican opposition but is trying to strengthen the economy and help Americans in trouble.

Aides have said Mr. Obama would announce at least one initiative each week through the rest of the year.
• This month the administration expedited approval of payments to small businesses with government contracts.
• Steps will be taken towards helping returning veterans and small businesses.
• He has announced waivers for states with schools falling short of the proficiency standards of the 2002 No Child Left Behind education law
• On Wednesday in Denver, Mr. Obama will announce policy changes to ease college graduates’ repayment of federal loans, seeking to alleviate the financial concerns of students considering college at a time when states are raising tuition.
• Obama is also going to announce a housing proposal in Las Vegas that is rooted in the independent Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is the office created to oversee the government- sponsored housing finance companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which claimed bankruptcy during the financial crisis of 2008.
• Initiatives are expected to change eligibility standards for the three-year-old Home Affordable Refinance Program to encourage new, lower-cost loans to more homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in a CNN appearance on Sunday, said the administration would continue to work with federal agencies “to loosen restrictions on the ability to refinance” and also press the banks, “so they can get in the business of actually doing what we think they should have been doing much more of, and that is sitting down and renegotiating with people who are about to go under.”
This is all part of Obama’s new “We can’t wait” campaign, which is designed as a new phase in his effort to pass the jobs bill. WE can see that’s he’s very serious about the bill and sees a better America with its advancements. The question is why are republicans so reluctant to pass the bill when polls show overwhelming support for pieces of the bill. Support for the bill is aimed primarily towards tax cuts for workers and employers, spending for infrastructure projects and for state aids to keep teachers and emergency responders at work. All we can do is wait and see. . . Tune in soon and I’ll discuss some more.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yay or nay? RNC 2008

I found the resolutions interesting and the process in which the resolutions are objected or ordered is even more interesting. yay or nay? I have never really paid attention to the conventions closely, and probably because I was too young but watch how this is done and take notes !

Obama can tell us why America is so great ...

Obama gives a speech in 2004 at the DNC in honor of the democratic presidential candidate at the time, Rick Perry. Being the great speaker that he is, he gives an amazing speech about the equality of America and how far we have come, "a black father and a white mother that came from nothing found one another".

Where will the RNC convention be in 2012?

Lenny Curry talks about the RNC in 2012 and it's significance. What shot out to me was the economic impact the RNC will have. The RNC is said to take place in Florida, and Curry put's all doubts aside with the amount of confience he has that Florida is the place to be. He's goes into why Florida is such a great factor to the nomination of the president. Watch and learn.

where is this election headed?

The news is filled with all these events going on with the campaign and the candidates but who is America’s top choice so far ? We can see that Obama is taking a big negative hit and Herman Cain is taking the lead. Obama is also taking a hit on wallstreet, against Romney. WHAT !? Which would you rather see in the White house next year?
Obama and Romney are head to head with campaign financing. Unfortunately for Obama, Romney is collecting/ raising more from firms on wall street that have given top donations towards campaigns and specifically Obama in 2008; he seems to be out of luck this year. This isn’t looking good for Obama at all. Obama’s getting hit hard because of the government regulation he tried to impose on large corporations., they obviously didn’t take that very well.  There is a great imbalance of money being distributed amongst the candidates.
Nicholas Confessore and Griff Palmer write that The imbalance exists at large investment banks and hedge funds, private equity firms and commercial banks, according to a New York Times analysis of the firms that accounted for the most campaign contributions from the industry to Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama in 2008, based on data from the Federal Election Commission and the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
“Employees of Goldman Sachs, who in the 2008 campaign gave Mr. Obama over $1 million — more than donors from any other private employer in the country — have given him about $45,000 this year. Mr. Romney has raised about $350,000 from the firm’s employees. “
We can see there is a huge decrease in the money Obama is taking in for his campaign from the business/corporation sector.  Other articles have shown him at the top as far as raising money, but where exactly is that money coming from?
Nicholas Confessore of the new york times writes that  President Obama’s filings with the Federal Election Commission on Friday confirmed that he had he raised about $42 million for his campaign during the three-month period, far more than any of the Republican candidates are likely to report. And Mr. Obama reported having $61.4 million in cash on hand out of the roughly $100 million he has raised so far this year, a war chest that is likely to grow as the campaign progresses.
In comparison to the 14.7 million Romney raised and the 15 million Perry raised, Obama isn’t doing too bad. Word on the street is that the candidate with the most money wins the election. I guess we’ll have to wait and see to see how this one plays out.
Another question is which candidate is Obama most likely going to come up against? It seems as though Herman Cain is doing well, to the distress of many. With the comment he made about a fence that will electrocute people at the Mexican border and his phony 9-9-9 plan that he’s not even sure about himself, do we really want him to run America- (Texan accent) ... not to forgot his slurs about how black's and Latino's vote. Oh, Harmen !!

Obama, where's your head at?

This time around, Obama isn’t doing as great as he hoped. Mark Lander of the New York Times writes that Obama isn’t getting the same satisfaction that he did in 2008. His voters aren’t responding like they used to. Apparently a lot feel as though he hasn’t done enough, so they’re looking for the next best thing. At a restaurant in Marion, North Carolina, it was seemingly interesting to find that very few diners got up to shake his hand as anyone would  when in the presence of the president.  The other few were there to critique him and provide their complaints. Lander writes “A  lawyer, Dan Kuehnert, urged Mr. Obama to roll back regulations on business, which the president said he was willing to do — up to a point. Bob Ritter, a pastor at a Baptist church, told Mr. Obama he was praying for him. But he later groused about bank bailouts, saying they amounted to “picking winners and losers.”
Obama is working hard to rise above the negativity and continue to promote himself as best he can so that he can get the votes back from North Carolina. He managed a 3-day tour there to promote his jobs bill , but is also seen as a “crucial segment of his electoral map.” The responses he’s getting are a prelude of what’s to come, but he’s taking it one step at a time. “Look, I appreciate the ‘four more years,’ ” Mr. Obama said to a friendly crowd early in the day at Asheville’s regional airport after it burst into a familiar chant about a second term. “But right now, I’m thinking about the next 13 months.”
Obama spoke about the senate’s rule against his $447 billion bill. His speech was well said and well put together. Obama stated, “They said no to putting teachers and construction workers back on the job,” Mr. Obama said to a spirited crowd of several hundred gathered on the tarmac under a giant American flag. “They said no to rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our airports.”
“Essentially,” he declared, “they said no to you.”
 “If they vote against taking steps that we know will put Americans back to work right now,” Mr. Obama said, “then they’re not going to have to answer to me, they’re going to have to answer to you.” 
So where's Obama's head at?  He's worried about our Country. His attitude, in my opinion is pretty on point. Stating that he’s more worried about what’s going on with today’s economy rather than his reelection, is telling of his motives for the nation. With that statement we can conclude that he cares more about the people of the nation and the prosperity of America than his “title”.  Something that we need to all be aware of is the fact that he can’t just write laws and pass them all on his own. American need to understand that Congress has a large role in the law passing process and we can’t just put the blame on Obama, because he can only do so much. Obma became the president after the nation was left in ruins. He was left to remove the excess debris and continue from there. Lets cut him some slack and listen to what he  has proposed and is willing to do for the nation.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Education: is the government doing too much?

What does it mean to take a anti-federalist stance when it comes to education? Well, as reported by Trip Gabriel of the New York Times, Michelle Bachmann promises to “turn out the lights” at the federal Education Department. Gov. Rick Perry calls it unconstitutional. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, would allow it to live but only as a drastically shrunken agency that mainly gathers statistics. Mitt Romney, too feels as though the government and education should have nothing to do with education. There goes Mitt Romney once again, with his flip flopping ways, as once a defendant of the “no child left behind” law. Anyway, that’s beside the point, but I just thought I’d throw that in there.
The Republican presidential candidates feel as though the states and local districts should take care of the educational system and the government should NOT. States are more likely to know what’s going on with their school districts far better than the government does. The government takes care of the educational system as a whole, not really considering what each school district individually needs.
Margaret Spellings, the education secretary in the latter years of the Bush administration, said that before No Child Left Behind, when federal laws had few strings attached, many states showed little progress raising student achievement, especially for poor and minority students. “We tried that for 40 years,” she said. “The results were far from stellar.”
“People want government money, they want higher standards, they want greater accountability,” said Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative-leaning education policy group, who was an education official in the Reagan administration. “None of those things in most places comes from local control.”
Gabriel write that ”Mr. Perry participated in a news conference heralding federal officials’ approval of the Texas plan for putting the law in place, providing $400 million for the state. But today he complains of “unfunded mandates” in federal education laws that require Texas, he says, to spend more to meet the rules than it receives in federal dollars.”
The issue of the government and educational system has been an issue dating back to Ronald Reagan’s presidency when he tried to do away with it but had no supporters to help him out. That just lead him to create a bigger cause to support it and fund more money. Why did Reagan give up his stance on education and do the total opposite? Education hasn’t really been a huge topic for the candidates but it’s only a matter of time.
If the government isn’t funding education, which is only getting worse as studies have shown, then how is public education going to work? Government funded education opens the doors for the poor and less fortunate who can’t afford private schooling. In my opinion, I don’t think that smaller, less wealthier states will have the proper funding to give towards education and that will only keep the students behind, cause a bigger issue. Let’s just wait and see what the Republicans have in store for us as far as this issue goes and then we’ll decide.

Religion or just politics?

How does religion play into our politics in present day America? As a New Yorker, I view the world as quite diverse, as na├»ve as that may sound. When I think of who my friends are, it’s safe to say that I have never thought twice about their race or religion when considering our friendship. Unfortunately, politics considers everything. Today, the presidential nominees are as diverse as ever and so many issues arise. One of these issues is religion. Should we dwell on a candidate’s religion and put a label on his/her politics? Why is it that the new is filled with unworthy reports about whether or not a candidate is considered to be “Christian?” Are we swaying away from what’s really important, or is religion an important factor when it comes to our president? Personally, I feel as though religion should never be a factor. A candidate should be judged upon their credentials, potential, goals, etc that they have for America and its Citizens.
It seems as though it all comes down to the consistency and depth of a candidate’s conservatism; when looking at presidents of the past, those that were considered to be good old conservative Christian family oriented men were caught cheating on their wives or sending out obscene pictures here and there. . . I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. Anyway, back to what I was saying, why is it that Americans feel so inclined to butcher a candidate over their religious beliefs? Does being Christian mean that you’re more of a conservative, or is this just all a stunt to sidetrack candidates from their political message?
Just on the news, I read that Mitt Romney is facing some scrutiny over his Mormon beliefs. Herman Cain congresswoman Michele Bachmann declined to answer questions about Romney’s Mormon religion, but others didn’t seem to be on the same boat. What was being questioned was if Mormons are considered to be “Christian”. Why is this even on the news? Michael D. Shear, Erik Eckholm and Ashley Parker of the New York Times answer that question. “With Mr. Romney having regained the perceived status of front-runner, his opponents have signaled that they will go after him hard from the right, questioning his conservative credentials and trying to force him off his economic message. He now has to parry those intensifying attacks without giving up the opportunity to win over independent voters should he become his party’s nominee and face President Obama next year.”
I feel as though this is very well put and described. Romney’s opponents will do anything to steal his title as front runner so they’re playing hardball. Anything that can be thrown out there to get the public’s reaction is fair game. Social issues have been a big deal for Romney because he is seen to be a “flip flopper” as his political stance on certain things have changed over the years. He does well at defending his motives and continues to be the front runner.