This is my analysis of the SCOTUS ruling on the healthcare law, and the political implications.
Mitt Romney pulled out a win today in the Puerto Rican Republican Presidential primary. This victory added 20 delegates to his total. As of today, he has a total of 521 delegates. Rick Santorum is in second place with around 253 delegates. With 61 percent of precincts reporting, Romney hauled in 83% of the votes in Puerto Rico. This win is definitely not a surprise, given the endorsement of Republican Governor Luis Fortuno. Romney was also boosted by the statements Rick Santorum made about Puerto Rican’s learning English. The former Massachusetts Governor also came out in opposition to changing the official language in Puerto Rico as a requirement for statehood. This win puts him a little closer to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Next up is the Illinois Primary, and Romney is hoping for a strong showing there as well. It seems as if the Romney camp is attempting to push the message that it is now time for Republicans to rally around him, and give up their support for other candidates. We will see what happens as the primary contest continues.
My two cents on the GOP Primary field, and the upcoming 2012 General Election.
South Carolina may be a solidly Republican state, but it seems that officials in the Palmetto State can’t stay out of trouble. Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard resigned yesterday amid the controversy over his misuse of campaign funds.
Ard was charged with seven counts of misusing campaign funds for personal use, and fabricating political donations. Hours after he was charged with these offenses, it was evident that the Lieutenant Governor wanted to find as quick a resolution as possible regarding this matter. He plead guilty hours later, and was sentenced to five years probation, and a $5,000 fine.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office released the indictment, which noted specifically what the Lieutenant Governor was engaged in:
In summary, the State Grand Jury charges Mr. Ard with a scheme, developed as part of his candidacy for Lt. Governor, to create the false appearance of a groundswell of political support through fictitious or bogus campaign contributions. These donations to Mr. Ard’s campaign were not a genuine demonstration of financial support. Instead, they represented cash in the amount of $75,000 which was funneled from Mr. Ard to others and ultimately back to his campaign as purported contributions from citizens in the community.”
“The State Grand Jury also charges that phantom contributions in the amount of approximately $87,500 were a part of Mr. Ard’s scheme. Such contributions were either not made at all by the person listed or were not made in the amount reported.”
The last few years have not been kind to the Republican Party of South Carolina. How can any of us forget the embarrassing revelation of former Governor Mark Sanford admitting an affair with a woman from Argentina. From former Governor to the present, controversy is never too far behind. Governor Nikki Haley has taken flack for using a million dollar grant to establish a healthcare panel that’s decisions were already pre-determined. Palmetto State citizens from both parties are also upset at Governor Haley’s approval of Savannah dredging, especially after it was revealed that she held a fundraiser in Atlanta prior to the decision.
Looks like the voters of South Carolina should give the Democrats a chance. It wouldn’t hurt.
The Romney camp came away with more wins than losses on Super Tuesday, but the Rick Santorum campaign is anything but dead in the water, as far as they are concerned. Of the ten primary contests that were held today, Mitt Romney won 6 states, Gingrich came away with a win in is home state of Georgia, and Santorum walked away with 3 victories.
In my opinion, most of the states that held primary voting today are ones that happen to be fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Most of the states that Romney or Santorum won are states that happen to be solidly Republican as it is, which means they will vote for whoever the nominee is in November. One state that was in focus happened to be Ohio(my home state).
Ohio has been, and always will be a crucial swing state in a presidential election. It is especially important to Republicans, because no Republican has been successful in a White House bid without winning the Buckeye State. Things were not looking as great for the former Massachusetts Governor about a week ago. Many polls had him in a dead heat with Rick Santorum. Despite the fact that Romney’s Super PAC’s outspent Santorum 4 to 1, he was only able to beat Santorum 38% to 37%, and barely snatch a victory away from the former Pennsylvania Senator. With support in Ohio this tepid, winning the state in November looks like it is going to be an uphill battle, just as it was in his home state of Michigan.
Rick Santorum won the primary contests in traditionally conservative places like North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. This is no surprise, and will possibly give the campaign a shot of adrenaline to get them to the convention, and assist with fundraising.
Click here for a detailed summary of the states involved in Super Tuesday, and the specific results.
Rush Limbaugh has said some quite outrageous things in his career as a radio host. When you normally hear Limbaugh’s name, it is associated with red meat thrown to his clueless audience in a way that crosses the line very often. Let’s not forget the not so kind words he had to say about Michelle Obama, or his criticism of Donovan McNabb, which got him fired from ESPN. Even with these instances of stupidity and bigotry on Limbaugh’s part, his actions on Thursday were out of order.
He went after Sandra Fluke, who was a Georgetown University graduate student that testified before Congress regarding the lack of access to birth control pills at the University, as well as the cost. He responded viciously, and the avalanche of criticism came soon after. He used the term “slut”, and “prostitute” to describe Ms. Fluke. He even suggested that women who get subsidized contraception should make sexual encounters available for all to see:
On Saturday Limbaugh capitulated, and issued an apology. He changed course not because of remorse for his comments, but simply due to the fact that his sponsors were fleeing. He may have thought what happened to Glenn Beck was coming his way.
My prediction is that Limbaugh will eventually be brought down a considerable notch because of this dust up. Will he be fired eventually? I don’t think it will go that far.
I can’t say that I was at all surprised by some of the tactics we’ve seen recently from Republican presidential candidates in particular. Some may say that it’s expected given Republicans history with employing racial politics when necessary, and that the recent statements by someone like Newt Gingrich can’t be that shocking. Gingrich clip below:
He understands exactly what he is doing. Many would argue that some Americans on food stamps take advantage of the system. Some may, but determining the full extent is tricky. Also, unfortunately some Americans hold a belief that African Americans make up a majority of food stamp recipients(actually 33%). Blogger Joshua Green does a great job of explaining why critics of President Obama on this issue should look in the mirror:
The number of food stamp recipients has indeed risen sharply, but this rise began under President George W. Bush and is largely attributable to the recession. Food stamps are an anti-poverty measure, so it’s no surprise that enrollment should rise when large numbers of people are out of work (the number of recipients dropped last month as the economy improved). But recession isn’t the only cause. A Bush administration initiative begun in 2002 dramatically increased participation rates among eligible households, from 48 percent to 72 percent in 2009.
Couple that together with the fact that if he’s the Republican candidate, he would be facing off against the nations first African American President. Gingrich knew that the far right conservatives in South Carolina would eat it right up, and he went with it unfortunately. He’s not the first candidate to stoop to the racial politics of old.
The Jessie Helms “Hands” ad was one of the most memorable political ads of all time. It was both disgusting to watch, and sadly, very effective. The Republican Senator from North Carolina was in a tough re-election fight. His opponent was none other than up and coming Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt. Gantt was African American, and to Helms surprise, he was staying with him in the race. Helms had to drop a bomb, which he did. Racial politics was all too common in North Carolina at the time. Helms knew that he could play to peoples misconceptions about affirmative action, and use it as a wedge issue.
This next ad was unveiled by the Republican National Committee some years ago to attack Memphis Congressman Harold Ford, in his quest to defeat Republican Bob Corker in the Tennessee Senate race. Ford, like Harvey Gantt, was a young, ambitious African American politician that was on the rise. Ford came from a political dynasty, and though he was a Democrat, stayed moderate. This helped to position him to eventually run for the U.S. Senate, and he ran a very close race with Bob Corker. I believe the RNC aired this ad because they were afraid of a Harold Ford upset. Stoking some peoples hatred of interracial relations or dating seemed to be the strategy of choice for the Republicans. Unfortunately this classless tactic worked. Corker squeaked out a close win.
As the 2012 election nears, I only wonder what some of the Republican operatives have up their sleeve. They are very smart, and won’t present ads such as this unless the election seems to be extremely close. I think in 2012 it might be a little tough to produce ads that have such strong racial undertones. My prediction is that ads aired during the 2012 election will be a bit more discreet- just enough to not cause too much of an uproar. I’ll be watching, and analyzing.
President Obama struck a very populist tone in his State of the Union address last night. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone, because campaign season will be on us before you know it. Some of you may think that November is a long way away, but not for those heavily involved in this upcoming presidential race.
I’m a 26 year old man, who is now thankfully employed. I decided to write this article in order to inform younger people such as myself about what President Obama proposes to do as it pertains to our generation. The President gave a masterful speech last night from start to finish, but what may be on the horizon as far as legislation/action for our generation is of the most importance.
President Obama proposed additional tax credits for companies that choose to stay in America, and hire workers. This is very important, because our current tax code actually rewards some companies for shipping jobs overseas. This must end, and cannot be ignored any longer. He also proposed to double the deductions that high tech manufacturers receive for hiring more American workers. Some U.S. companies are starting to take heed, as President Obama noted:
The CEO of Masterlock says that it now makes more sense for him to bring his jobs back to America.
With the unemployment rate at 8.9% for recent college grads, and 85% of recent grads stating that they (Erica Ho, Time Magazine,May 2011)will move back home with parents, things seem bleak. This is why these jobs creation proposals are very important to pay attention to.
With the rising cost of private and public 4 year colleges and universities, it is becoming increasingly difficult for kids to finance their education. This is where community colleges come in. Many states have excellent community colleges, that offer a sound education at a fraction of the cost of a 4 year institution. President Obama proposed a national commitment to train 2 million Americans with the skills that will lead directly to a job. He also proposed to give community colleges the funding and resources they need to prepare this generation for the jobs of tomorrow. He wants to,”turn our unemployment system into a re-employment system that puts people to work”.
Schools, Student Loans, and more
Fixing our crumbling schools has always been a priority of the Democratic Party, and President Obama emphasized his support of such initiatives. Giving schools the flexibility to teach with passion and creativity, and not just to a test are a few points he discussed in his speech. He also asked that every state move to require kids to stay in school until they were 18, or they graduated.
As far as college students and recent college grads are concerned, President Obama proposed some things that may go a long way in assisting them. He proposed a cap to prevent interest rates from doubling in July. Extending the tuition tax credit along with doubling the number of work study jobs in the next 5 years was stated as a goal by the President. His position on fighting for students and the young has never wavered.
What do the Republicans offer for our generation????Nothing.