Posts Tagged ‘Presidential election 2012’

A psephologist is someone who simply eats lives and breathes the sways and nuances and surges of voter opinion, burying themselves in electoral statistics, voting boundaries, and opinion polls, to try and divine what is likely to happen in any given election. So far I haven’t got a major election wrong in over 30 years in any jurisdiction I have turned my mind to, but I will freely admit this Presidential election is fascinatingly obtuse and difficult to parse.

I am not a professional psephologist by any means. I am, however, a really sad anoraky type who would rather spend hours working out a likely election result than just about anything other than watching my beloved Southampton FC win easily. (Preferably against Portsmouth, but honestly, any win will do.)

This little play toy is, therefore, much like heroin to an opiate addict for me.

Make your own electoral map

 

Click on the map or this:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/obama_vs_romney_create_your_own_electoral_college_map.html

Just click on a state and give it to one of the candidates, and bingo, the updated expected electoral college vote materialises.

You wanna know what all the apparatchiks and backroom boys do all day in the Obama and Romney camp? This! Wanna feel like you’re Josh Lyman living an episode of “West Wing”?  Here it is.

Get rid of all the swing states at a touch of a button and award them to the current leader in that state. See that? Way cool. (Yes, the current electoral standing in each state is there too to make life easy for you.)

Think Romney will pull a surprise in Ohio, or flop unexpectedly in Florida? At the touch of a keypad or mouse it’s all yours.

Last time around this little tool won me a lot of money at the bookies by allowing me to correctly pick Obama’s tally. So go for your life, if you think you know what’s going on. But all care, and no responsibility, eh? Don’t blame me if they take you to the cleaners. This is the hardest election to call accurately in a l0ng time.

If you wanna know what I think, I have different scenarios running currently: Romney winning by a few, and Obama winning by a lot, depending on what happens in the next few days. In other words, it’s still too early to tell.

In summary, I still think the “win all the swing states” bar for Romney/Ryan is set too high, but we shall see what we shall see …

Really, it’s better than sex, innit?

A political candidate quoting Jesus Christ and meaning it. Whatever next?

To the bemusement of viewers all over America, and all over the world, Republicans in the audience for the South Carolina Fox/Twitter Presidential debate loudly booed the Golden Rule in the context of foreign policy January 16.

Libetarian Texas Congressman Ron Paul was talking about respecting the sovereignty of other nations when it comes to American military action:

“My point is that if another country does to us what we do to others, we are not going to like it very much. I would say that we maybe ought to consider the Golden Rule in foreign policy. Don’t do to other nations what we don’t want them to do to us. We endlessly bomb these countries, and then we wonder why they get upset with us?”

Why, indeed? Yet Rep. Paul’s remarks set off some of the loudest “boos” of the evening from the Republican audience, as well as mockery from his Republican opponents.

The Golden Rule is a key part of Christianity and all other major world religions. Perhaps the key part. In Christianity, Christ commands the Golden Rule twice, most noticeably in Matthew 7:12 but also in Luke 6:31. In Matthew 7:12, Christ says, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”

The controversy which resulted in the massive booing of the Golden Rule originated with a misleading accusation by Fox News anchor and moderator Brett Baier. Baier asked (or rather stated):

“In a recent interview, Congressman Paul, with a Des Moines radio station, you said you were against the operation that killed Osama bin Ladin. You said the U.S. operation that took out the terrorist responsible for killing 3,000 people on American soil, quote, “showed no respect for the rule of law, international law.” So, to be clear, you believe international law should have constrained us from tracking down and killing the man responsible for the most brazen attack on the U.S. since Pearl Harbor.”

Rep. Paul responded that Baier was mistaken about his assertion:

“Obviously, no, and that’s why I did not say that. After 9/11, I voted for the authority to go after him.”

Paul clarified that he believed that Pakistan would have turned over bin Ladin to the United States alive if the Obama administration had requested him.

“KSM, (Khaled Sheik Mohammed) his colleague, was in Pakistan. And we communicated with the government of Pakistan and they turned him over. And what I suggested there was, if we have no respect for the sovereignty of another nation, it will lead to the disruption of that nation. Why can’t we work with the government?”

Paul followed with his Golden Rule statement, suggesting we wouldn’t want other countries such as China coming to the United States in search of dissidents and bombing us.

He also suggested that the United States follow its own constitutional requirement to give a trial by jury whenever possible:

“Think about Saddam Hussein. We captured him, the government tried him and he got hung. What’s so terrible about this? What’s this whole idea that you can’t capture people? Just think, Adolph Eichmann was captured. He was given a trial. What’s wrong with capturing people? Why don’t we try to get some information from him?”

(A very important point, in my opinion, that has been virtually ignored in the celebration of Bin Laden’s death.)

Watch Paul’s comments here:

But Rep. Paul’s Republican opponents pounced on his advocacy of the Golden Rule as a sign of foreign policy “weakness.”

“He’s not a Chinese dissident. The analogy that Congressman Paul used was utterly irrational,” Newt Gingrich responded to Paul, suggesting that trials and honouring the 6th Ammendment to the U.S. Constitution are unnecessary. “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear idea about America’s enemies. Kill them.”

The 6th Amendment, to save you looking it up, reads “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Essentially, it establishes the right to a trial. It is one of the most important things that all Americans are supposed to hold as an inviolable concept, to be defended at all costs.

Yet, “Speaker Gingrich is right,” Mitt Romney agreed. “Of course, you take out our enemies, wherever they are. These people declared war on us. They’ve killed Americans. We go anywhere they are and we kill them. And the right thing for Osama bin Ladin was the bullet in the head he received. That’s the right course for people that are killing American citizens.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry (who with breathtaking idiocy also chose to condemn the elected government of NATO ally Turkey as “Islamic terrorists” at another point in the debate, and later confirmed that this was, in fact, his view) continued the mockery, saying to Baier (about Paul), “I was just thinking that the noise you were looking for was a gong.”

As Thomas Eddlem at the New American pointedly asks, “With Republicans so resoundingly booing the Golden Rule, one really has to wonder: Whatever happened to the religious right part of the Republican Party?”

A very good question. And the answer of course is simple. Politicians in the United States are religious when it suits them, and not when it doesn’t. And primarily, when it doesn’t is when standing up for principle might cost them red-neck votes.

Of course, this distasteful behaviour is not just evidenced by Republicans, and nor is it limited to the United States. It is just more obviously demonstrated by the bulk of the buffoons that the “Grand Old Party” – to their shame – currently have standing for the Presidency.

Whilst I don’t think Ron Paul has a snowball in hell’s chance of winning the Republican nomination, (and nor should he, as his economic ideas are delightfully lunatic), his confronting and ruthlessly honest candidacy is the most refreshing thing to happen to American politics in years. And yes, that includes the election of Obama.

Those standing against him should consider what comes next in Matthew’s gospel.

“Enter through the narrow gate;for the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.

How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”

I think Ron Paul found the narrow gate last night. And they hated him for it.

(New American and others)

 

Republican candidate Michele Bachmann got a little carried away in the GOP candidates debate. Not the first time the right in America haven’t let a few facts get in the way of their point of view in recent times. Not all are quite as clumsy as this, however.

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann

BACHMANN: “President Obama has the lowest public approval ratings of any president in modern time.”

THE FACTS: Well, that’s true, if you leave out Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. All of them at some point in their terms dipped lower than Obama’s low point of 38 percent job approval, according to Gallup’s comparison.

(Yahoo)

Of course, it’s not the first time Michele has been caught out talking crap. As a brief review of just part of her Wikipedia entry notes:

On October 17, 2008, Bachmann gave an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews in support of the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain that brought the Minnesota 6th Congressional District race national attention. During the interview she criticised Barack Obama for his association with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, saying “…usually we associate with people who have similar ideas to us, and it seems that it calls into question what Barack Obama’s true beliefs, and values, and thoughts are…I am very concerned that he [Barack Obama] may have anti-American views.”

She noted the terrorist bombings done by Bill Ayers and his associations with Barack Obama, saying that “Bill Ayers is not someone the average American wants to see their president have an association with.”

Matthews responded with, “Why is it of concern? What is wrong with it? When asked by Matthews: “How many Congresspeople, members of Congress fit into that anti-American crowd you describe?”, Bachmann stated “You’d have to ask them Chris, I’m focusing on Barack Obama and the people he’s associated with”.

Matthews followed up by asking “But he’s a Senator from the State of Illinois, he’s one of the members of Congress you suspect of being anti-American. How many people in the Congress of the United States do you think are anti-American? You’ve already suspected Barack Obama, is he alone or are there others?”

Bachmann answered, “What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look … I wish they would … I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out are they pro-America, or anti-America. I think people would love to see an expose like that.”

The five Democratic members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation – Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson and Jim Oberstar – issued a joint statement in which they questioned her ability to “work in a bipartisan way to put the interests of our country first in this time of crisis”. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Minnesota Governor Republican Arne Carlson said that her comments had influenced their decisions to endorse Obama for president.

Bachmann brought up the interview before business leaders and Republicans during a campaign stop in St. Cloud, Minnesota on October 21, 2008. She stated that she never intended to question Obama’s patriotism. “I made a misstatement. I said a comment that I would take back. I did not, nor do I, question Barack Obama’s patriotism…. I did not say that Barack Obama is anti-American nor do I believe that Barack Obama is anti-American … [But] I’m very concerned about Barack Obama’s views. I don’t believe that socialism is a good thing for America.”

However, in March 2010, Bachmann said, “I said I had very serious concerns that Barack Obama had anti-American views. And now I look like Nostradamus” while speaking at a fund-raiser for the Susan B. Anthony List.A year later, in March 2011, Bachmann was asked on Meet the Press if she still believed that Obama held un-American views. She responded “I believe that the actions of this government have, have been emblematic of ones that have not been based on true American values.” Pressed for clarification, she said “I’ve already answered that question before. I said I had very serious concerns about the president’s views.”

Oh yeah, we need her as President. I could go on, but perhaps you’d just like to read another blogger’s expose of her false academic credentials. And pass them on.

http://kaydaily.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/politricks-dr-michele-bachmann-never-attained-doctorate-degree/#more-530

Is it possible that this woman is more peculiar than the redoubtable Ms Palin? We think the people should be told. Indeed, we think the people should be told where in hell the right in America finds these people.