Scandal Exposed… Attention Diverted

Former CIA director and retired four-star Army General David H. Petraeus’s recent admittance of an extramarital affair has diverted some attention away from Obama.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-untouched-by-petraeus-scandal/2012/11/13/c372ae9e-2dbb-11e2-a99d-5c4203af7b7a_story.html

Being President of The United Sates is a hard job. All eyes are constantly on you to preform and every move you make is scrutinized. This is doubly true during election years and turbulent times in society. President Obama’s recent re-election has been questioned by many due to his handling of events that have taken place both in the last 4 years, and especially in the past few months. The timing of some of these events has allowed attention to be taken off Obama and directed elsewhere. This article from The Washington Post deals with the current scandal involving General David H. Petraeus,  as well as some other ‘’well-timed’’ events that have helped Obama during the course of his presidential career.

The story starts off by calling the president  ‘’a politician of famous good fortune, even scandals within his administration seem well-timed.’’ The article makes mention of another scandal that also came at a good time ‘’Obama’s luck as a politician emerged with another sex scandal almost a decade ago, when, as a U.S. Senate candidate from Illinois, his popular likely Republican opponent, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race amid reports that he made his then-wife visit sex clubs.’’ The article also points out how Hurricane Sandy seemed to help the president at a crucial time in his campaign‘’ Hurricane Sandy arrived a week before Election Day, disrupting GOP rival Mitt Romney’s campaign at a time when he appeared to be gaining ground.’’ Many critics are sighting the super storm as the turning point in the 2012 election.

In regards to the Petraeus scandal, the article makes it seem like it is a welcomed distraction ‘’Petraeus’s precipitous fall also may provide Obama with more opportunities than problems, especially in staffing a second-term administration and in winding down the war in Afghanistan.’’ Petraeus was also scheduled to speak to congress about the recent attacks in Benghazi, that is now up in the air. The story states that while Republicans have been generally  found of Petraeus, ‘’[He] is not known to be any kind of Obama loyalist.’’ Another good point brought up in this article is the fact that this scandal does not involve Obama or his closest advisors, “[It] is hinged on a personal relationship beyond the White House.’’

There are  many theories floating around about the timing of the release of  the information concerning the affair.  In the story, Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who heads the House Homeland Security Committee, is quoted as saying “I have not said a word critical of the president throughout this time. . . But when I say there are a lot of unanswered questions, in this case, there really are. And I do believe at some point, someone dropped the ball.” King and others are questioning whether anyone around the White House knew this information before the election and how long the investigation into this situation has actually been going on. According to the article, White House officials are claiming they were not aware of any of the information until after the election even though the FBI’s probe began this past summer. While the investigation into the General Petraeus situation is still ongoing, there seems to be some missing pieces in the puzzle, pieces that could potentially direct negative attention back towards Obama.

More on the Race Issue

I wish that I could say I am referring to the election; however I am talking about what seems to be the next “big bird” fad for journalists. Journalists who apparently have nothing better to write about other than issues that are only going to further divide our already divided nation. 

Ryan Campbell in his article How Romney and the Republicans lost the Latino Vote, is even more of a disappointment in terms of content than it’s title suggests. I clicked on the article hoping for more than a quote making Romeny seem like a racist jerk and a few statistics that were pulled from a very biased article. 

http://tinyurl.com/cf6yo3g Here is the article he pulled his information from. 

Campbell tries to sum up his points about Romney and the Republican party’s views on immigration by using a quote from a conveniently anonymous DREAM Act demonstrator who addressed another conveniently anonymous conservative Cuban working for Romney.

The quote was “Dude, we may be taken for Cuban in Florida, but in Arizona, Arpaio’s posse might think you’re Mexican and ask you for your papers. Do you carry your immigration papers with you?”

Campbell seems excited that the conservative cuban did not respond. Maybe he thinks the conservative did not get the last word and so the demonstrator won; it is hard to say. Personally, I would not respond to anyone, other than a very young child, that addressed me as “dude” in a professional setting either. 

As a whole the article is lacking in reputable facts and looks similar to every other article that targets the race issue.

Here is the link for the article. http://tinyurl.com/ctbjcag 

Will Race Ever NOT be an Issue?

Threats of voter fraud and succession have followed this election, much like many before it.  However, Philadelphia has been looked at a little closer than most because of their traditionally unusual turnout rates and high percentages for the President.  According to an article on Foxnews.com by James Rosen, “six of Philadelphia’s 66 wards handed the president victory shares of 99 percent or better.  In 20 of the wards, the Obama vote totals exceeded 97 percent”.  This has come under some scrutiny of some, but not as much as one would think.  However, in this particular article, Rosen focuses very much on the race of those in the community.

One quote that he used by conservative pundit Michael Barone goes so far as to say that he sees nothing out of the ordinary because the makeup of the communities are mostly African American and could be seen as “black ghettos”.  Also, the headline itself uses some mildly loaded language by using ‘probe’ to mean an investigation.  The article concludes with a comparison of voter turnout between Philadelphia and Chicago, which had much of the same results.

Using race as a justification of voting patterns is only going to make race relations more disjointed and dysfunctional.  The fact that the African American population obviously voted for Obama because of his race is absurd.  Certainly that may be true for some, but making those kinds of assumptions and generalizations is not only offensive, but detrimental to improving race relations in America.

Becareful What You Do With Your Money

The title of this video is “GOP donor’s overseas casino faces scrutiny” and it is laughable how they try to push the idea that Sheldon Adelson single handedly funded the entire GOP presidential campaign.

The video says that Adelson has given “millions” to support Mitt Romney.  This cannot be true because there is a cap of $2,500 for a candidate.  Even indirectly supporting Romney you cannot reach the “millions” this video claims.  The overall spending cap from a person to a candidate, PACs, or parties is $117,000.  For you to reach the millions in donations then Adelson would have to give money to other people to give to the party or PACs.

Even if the man did spend millions to support Romney; what does that matter?  The last I checked it is still his money and he is allowed to do what he pleases with it.  So he contributes money to a political party that has the same ideas as him.

When the video name drops John McCain and his warning about foreign money coming into the campaign that should pick up a lot of support for going against Adelson right?  I mean after all we don’t want foreign powers to try and move in on the United States political scene.  The problem with this is that the money coming into the campaign is not really foreign.  Adelson is an American citizen.  He owns a business overseas but his company is based in Las Vegas so he is paying U.S. taxes.

This video attacks a man for wrong doings; I get that.  What it also tries to do is tie the GOP in.  I do not see the point in trying to tie them together, the election is already over.

Will Obama Administration Give Mining Companies the Coal Shoulder?

By: Ben Helton

November 7, 2012 was an eerily quiet day on the American front, unless you found yourself wandering Wall Street, that is.

Coal companies have been dealt an especially hard blow in light of President Obama’s re-election.

Peabody Energy suffered a 10% dive, followed by Arch Coal at 14%, Alpha Natural Resources at 12% percent, and Consol Energy at 6%.

Current coal regulations, which include pollution rules, make it costly to operate said companies, and the hope was that a Mitt Romney administration would address the matter.

Murray Energy, the largest privately owned coal company in the United States, blamed a recent layoff of nearly 200 coal workers on “the bleak prospects for the coal industry during Obama’s second term.”

In order to fully comprehend the gravity of coal’s waning support from Washington, one must first understand its economical significance.

Coal generates power in a way that has proven cost-effective. Much cheaper than natural gas and abounding in resources, coal is responsible for 52% of America’s electricity. Moreover, the U.S. claims he largest coal reserves in the world.

Coal’s pertinence is crucial to the local economies responsible for its maintenance, many of which are communities that depend on coal energy production for jobs, such as Kentucky Appalachia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Murray Energy’s CEO, Robert Murray, feels that Americans have voted “in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom.”

The coal mining industry offers relatively high paying jobs to workers whose overall skill set outside of those critical to the coal mining industry is typically limited.

Consequently, losses in coal mining earnings in communities who thrive on coal production usually leads to increased poverty and dependence on social welfare programs.

“Our hope would be that the president on the campaign trail hearing from so many coal miners worried about their jobs — worried about their future, would cause a change in this administration and their very severe anti-coal policies,” said Kentucky Coal Association President, Bill Bissett.

“However, we also remain cognizant that that isn’t likely.”

For now, coal companies, their employees, and their families anxiously await the President’s handling of their dire predicament.

http://middlesborodailynews.com/view/full_story/20754564/article-Industry-officials-hope-Obama-changes-stance-on-coal?instance=popular

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-11-09/coal-company-to-lay-off-156-workers-in-utah-ill-dot

Avoiding the Impending Fiscal Cliff

Now that the election has come and gone, most news organizations have shifted their focus from the campaign trail to a new hot button topic, the rapidly approaching “fiscal cliff.”   For those unfamiliar with the term, the fiscal cliff refers to the effects of the expiration of several major laws, namely the Bush Tax Cuts and the Budget Control Act of 2011, which if not extended or altered, will cause tax increases, spending cuts and a reduction in the U.S. budget deficit effective January 2013.

So, what’s the solution?

Unfortunately, no one in D.C. seems to be able to agree on a plan of action. This is particularly worrisome, as according to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office, if something isn’t done to prevent the spending cuts and tax hikes, the nation will likely enter another recession by next fall.

President Obama has suggested raising tax revenues and revising the current set of tax codes.  Past attempts at raising tax revenues, particularly for families earning more than $250,000 a year, have been met with great disdain by Republicans who have been less than willing to much in the way of compromising.

Fortunately, it now appears that both President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner have expressed interests in working together to come closer to a compromise and eventual solution to the problem.  While a number of news publications have reported positive articles and opinions regarding this rare turn of events, not everyone is happy with Democrats and Republicans getting along to solve our nation’s impending financial problems.

Jon Healey of the Los Angeles Times published this piece earlier today which makes it seem like Obama is trying to force a mandate on Congress. Phrases like “trying to ratchet up the political pressure” make Obama sound like a schoolyard bully. The writer also pulls quotes from some of Obama’s speeches and uses them in a way that makes potential solutions seem like a negative.  Take for example this sentence:

“Still, Obama made clear Friday that he’s not backing away from his campaign pledge to seek a “balanced” solution to the deficit that cuts spending and wrings more tax dollars from high-income Americans.”

While it is true that a major part of Obama’s plan does involve a tax increase for Americans earning more than $250,000 a year, the use of the phrase “wring more tax dollars” once again makes Obama seem like a bully.

With future meetings and planning sessions already in the works, it looks like Obama, Boehner and the rest of the GOP are on their way to finding a solution that both sides can agree on.  Here’s to hoping that we enter 2013 prepared and recession free.

CNN Uses Newt Gingrich to Show Faults in Romney’s Campaign

While the news of Obama’s re-election has now gone viral on every level and most everyone is weighing in on whether we have more “hope and change” in the future or if the United States as we know it is doomed, many are asking what Mitt Romney could have done differently in his campaign that would have won him the election.

According to an article posted by Ashley Killough the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 7 on CNN, Newt Gingrich admitted in an interview with CNN that he was wrong about his prediction that Romney would win with over 300 electoral votes.

When asked what Romney could have done differently to secure more votes, Gingrich said that Republican leaders and GOP political observers were not in tune with what the population at large was seeking in a president.

Therefore, when the Republican party has another shot at the presidency in 2016, Gingrich said that “Republicans are going to have to take a very serious look at what happened and why did it happen and why were (they) not more competitive at the presidential level.”

To improve their chances in the next presidential election, the Republican party along with the GOP should work on “becoming more inclusive,” said Gingrich.

Regarding the way the GOP ran the Republican campaign, there is a difference between inclusion and outreach where the Republican party focused more on the latter.

“The difference between outreach and inclusion is outreach is when five white guys have a meeting and call you, while inclusion is when you’re in the meeting.”

In other words, if the GOP and leaders of the Republican party had focused more on integrating and working with people of all different political affiliations, Romney may have had a better chance of winning the election.

That being said, if the Republican party hopes to win the next election, it will be crucial to both their campaign and to the presidency, should the Republican party win in 2016, that the GOP plays well with others rather than remaining exclusive and only focusing on the ideas presented by Republican party leaders. 

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/07/gingrich-i-was-wrong/?iref=obinsite

Obama Reelected second term-How will this change race relations

There was more than plenty to read this morning about why Romney lost the election Tuesday. One reason that seems to be making its way through the news is that the GOP is “Too old, too white, and too male”, the title of one such story found on Politico.

Is this really why we feel like Romney didn’t win? Because he is a 65 year old white guy? As Politico author wrote the president’s “thrashing” defeat over Mitt Romney…wait what?

Let’s stop and take a look at the voting map from Tuesday. (And of course like usual, ignore Florida.)

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Mitt Romney did not lose this election 65% to 31% or some outrageous landslide. The GOP had an amazing percentage of the country’s support.  Why is the media this morning pulling out the race, age, and gender card to explain Republican’s defeat?

The GOP lost because they didn’t win enough electoral votes. There is however, some legitimacy to the race factor here. The GOP definitely took a hit with black voters, especially in the south. What gives me the audacity to say such things? Well, this does.

Prominent Civil Rights leader Dr. Joseph Lowery came through the state of Georgia in attempts to encourage voters to vote for Barack Obama. However his comments were more alarming and laced with racial slurs than anything. This however, is the same man who gave the benediction at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

Lowery  visited the small town of Forsyth, Georgia where he spoke inside of a Baptist church there. After mentioning how disturbed he is by the amount of hatred coming out of this election, he then made the comment “..that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to hell. Then he mellowed and just said most of them were. Now, he said, he is back to where he was.” Here is a link to a some of the Reverends words on the subject of race.

 

With civil rights “leaders” going around saying things like this it’s no wonder that the GOP can’t appeal to black voters. I digress.

The President will most likely win 332 electoral votes leaving Romney with only 206. Those numbers would indicate a ‘thrashing’ maybe, but Obama also won the popular vote by 2,630,843 votes roughly.

That is not what I would consider a ‘thrashing’.

The next part of this article that bothers me is that the author makes a claim that the country is growing less white and therefore the GOP needs to act accordingly. Is he implying that the only people in the country that the Republicans appeal to are white people? Once again, the race card here is not doing anything to improve race relations in this country and to make a claim as if no other race vote’s conservative only divides the country even more. I would like to personally say thank you Jonathan Martin, for encouraging readers to believe that there is some kind of massive struggle for the Black and Latino vote for the Republicans. It only makes conservatives look more ‘backwards’ and unable to provide the needs for all types of citizens.

The author in this particular Politico story nags at the age old ‘it’s the Bush administrations fault’ and makes another claim that the Romney campaign is hurting from their mistakes still.

Enough. The Romney campaign is the farthest thing from what President Bush was in 2000 and in 2004. At least we can say that the Bush campaign appealed to Latino voters, as he received 44% of their votes. As a journalist it’s easy to write what the rest of the country is writing; to jump on the band wagon, but it is very important to report facts and not what sounds good.

This particular comment has been made throughout the campaign season and Romney has had to battle it every step of the way, trying to “tend to the bruises” of the former Republican president.

Image

As the news pours in this morning let’s pray that there will be real hope for some real change when it comes to race relations in this country and they move forward in a positive way along with this strongly divided country of blue and red and that we can try and see more purple as the next four years unfold.

The most wonderful thing about this representative democracy is that we can have peaceful elections and the country isn’t in civil unrest as we vote for president and other officials. Governor Romney’s remarks as he accepted defeat was a gleaming example of why America is the greatest country in the world and President Obama’s remarks as he accepted victory is a gleaming example of why America is the strongest country in the world.

Good luck President Obama in your 2nd term and may you remember the promises you made to the American people.

Celebrities on Election Day

The celebs are back at it again. Tuesday is the morning that everyone is posting to social media networks the candidate they chose to vote for, or just the fact that they voted. How does this affect people’s votes today? It probably doesn’t affect them today in terms of the political process, but it affects the entire nation’s attitude today, and one theory that I have is that this could continue to polarize the nation into red and blue.

Does this continue to create bias and polarized voters in America? A long debate between scholars is the question of whether or not the U.S. is as polarized as we believe or if it is just a trick of the media, politicians, and a bipartisan system. It would seem that there is a definite difference between voters. If we weren’t all divided then we wouldn’t have such split elections and one candidate would win an overwhelming majority of the votes every time.

Celebrities often encourage opinions of the masses, because a typical citizen could give more information on their favorite musician or actor than they could a political figure. Celebrity endorsements are not necessarily a bad thing, however it creates a bias in voters and especially in younger crowds that tend to follow these celebs on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes this becomes the only sources of news for younger people. Thus, the voter never does any thinking on their own, it simply makes their decision for them.

To stress a point I have made before it is pandering to a certain demographic. These celebrities have a concentrated group of followers and many people view celebrities as role models. It is a very possible indication that voters could take their cues from who a celebrity endorsees.

T.I. the rapper from Georgia posted to Facebook on Tuesday morning a picture his Georgia Peach voting sticker expressing that he had voted saying “Got up,got out,& got somethin’ dis morn.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but good for you Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.  T.I. did not endorse his pick for president on the picture he posted.

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T.I. posted to Facebook Tuesday morning proof of voting

 

Katy Perry another highly recognized Hollywood name, made no qualms about who she was voting for.  Perry wore a ‘ballot dress’ to one of her shows that had Barack Obama checked off as her vote. She encouraged voters on Twitter to get out and vote and to tweet in their outfits for voting day.  By viewing the recent tweets from followers of Perry it is clear that the figure has encouraged citizens to get out and vote, and for Barack Obama.

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Katy Perry’s “Ballot Dress”

 

Several news sources have also played up the awareness of who celebs were voting for. One such piece of news was a video posted on the Huffington Post called, “Who are your favorite celebrities voting for?”

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HuffPost Video

Other celebs like Channing Tatum did not directly name who his choice was for president but has encouraged citizens to get out and vote through tweets.

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Tweets from Celebrities on Voting

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HuffPost article on celebrity voters

 

Donald Trump was more apt to tell it straight and encourage people to vote for Mitt Romney.

Either way, no matter who a candidate is endorsed by it is important for citizens to actually make an informed decision and not just vote for a candidate just because a celebrity does.

We will hopefully find out tonight who the 45th president of the United States is or if we keep the 44th.

Happy Voting, America.

Republicans keeping extra watch on minority polls today?

As if race couldn’t have been blown out of proportion any more in this presidential election, we are still dealing with this issue all the way to the polls, literally. The Huffington Post claimed yesterday that a Tea Party spin off group from Pittsburgh, True the Vote, is sending out poll watchers to precincts that are mostly minority voters.

The founder of this movement, Patti Weaver stated, “We are not harassing voters. We won’t be talking to voters. We’re just there to observe. Nobody’s targeting African-Americans anywhere in the country, that I know of. We’re sending volunteers to precincts which have had irregularities in the past or statistical issues.” Which is exactly what they are doing and what poll watchers are trained to do.

The Huffington Post rebuttals this by interviewing Nicole Berner, a lawyer with the Service Employees International Union, who states that the lists of the precincts where these poll watchers are headed today all have one correlation- race. This is the only factor that ties these precincts together, which raises concern for the reason behind the poll watchers being sent to these precinct locations.

An update from Valerie Caras a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party who said, “The Republican Party of Pennsylvania is working to cover as many polls as we possibly can throughout the state, and all of our poll watchers will be credentialed and be there legally. To claim anything else is simply not true. We support free and fair elections rooted in the principle that every American has the right to cast their ballot on Election Day.”

We knew that the issue of race was a big deal in this election and in the election four years ago. False claims like these have been brought up before. It’s an issue our country has dealt with for years, and people are going to find a way to make it a big deal in any that they can. Race will always play a major role in elections throughout this country’s history and future.

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