Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mitt Romney's "Gifts" - He Offered Them Too!

Mitt Romney has been awfully silent since his crushing defeat on November 6th.  After his concession speech Romney slinked from the public eye but he resurfaced this week when a call Romney made to his millionaire donors became public in which Romney addressed his loss and as to why he was defeated by the president, and his statements are without controversy, especially when considering previous statements he made claiming 47 percent of the population where leaches on society, his subsequent doubling down of that statement, and then his later reversal on the matter.  It appears Romney's latest comments are yet another reversal.

Here is what Romney most recently said:

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift…Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008 … You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge … Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

So Romney blames these "gifts" - low interest rates on student loans, free contraceptives, retaining health insurance on your parents plan until the age of 26, and amnesty for the children of illegal immigrants - for his loss earlier this month but the funny thing about Romney's gripe is that he at one point or another in his campaign supported these "gifts."

During the campaign, Romney came out in support of the administration's loan forgiveness policy of maintaining low interest rates for student loans.

“I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans," Romney said.  "There was some concern that that would expire halfway through the year, and I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students as a result of – as a result of student loans, obviously – in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.”

In regards to contraception, Mitt Romney stated during the presidential debates that "every woman in America should have access to contraceptives."

“I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they can have contraceptive care or not,” he said.

This was in regards to the health care reform act originally requiring employers to provide in their insurance for employees contraception coverage.  Romney's debate response was just another reversal of a previous policy position he had held - when the administration reached a compromise exempting religious organizations (but not their affiliated institutions) from the requirement, Romney said he found it "extraordinary" that the administration can force a church to act contrary to their conscience and that it was "an assault on religious conviction."

For young adults staying on their parent's health insurance policy, Romney voiced support for that as well.

“I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform,” Romney said. “Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place.”

He also continued to “assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their—their family up to whatever age they might like.”

And as for the deportation of young immigrants, Romney supported that too.  During the campaign Romney stated that he would honor the decision of the administration to grant temporary deportation exemptions.

"The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid,” Romney stated.

So essentially, these "gifts" Romney blamed for his loss were all things that he also promised.  The problem is that people didn't believe Mitt Romney when he said he would do these things if he were to get in office.  Maybe that had something to do with the fact that with all these positions Romney attempted to stand on both sides of the issue.  It would seem that any future candidate would take Mitt Romney's campaign and learn from its mistakes, much like Romney should have from the John Kerry campaign of 2004, in which Kerry made the much-lampooned statement that he was for something before he was against it.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Paul Ryan Admits To Gerrymandering?

Paul Ryan lost his hometown of Janesville for the first time in a reelection bid by 10 points for his congressional ticket and by a whopping 25 points for the Romney/Ryan ticket.  What was Paul Ryan's excuse for losing?

"Well, as you know, Janesville is a very Democratic town, but I'm a Republican," Paul Ryan said, somewhat admitting to the fact that Republicans gerrymandered their districts. "But I've always done very well here, because more people saw me not as a Republican but just as a Janesville guy."

To explain away the reason that Obama was able to do so well, Ryan offered this analysis of his defeat:

"What the president and his campaign excelled at doing is mobilizing turnout in their critical base areas, and they expanded the turnout above the norms. They had record turnout in urban areas and all of our polling did not project that kind of turnout, and that's why we thought we had a very good chance at winning this race going into election day."

So now Janesville is an "urban" town?

Let's take a look at the demographics of Janesville.

Janesville has a population of 63,575.

91.7 percent of Janesville is white.

25.5 percent of Janesville are multi-unit structures (a.k.a. apartment complexes and condominiums).

57.7 percent of occupations are white collar jobs

These don't really seem to fit with Ryan's "urban" critique.

It would appear that Ryan's comments seems to touch upon a familiar subject regarding elections: gerrymandering.

Take into consideration Ryan's district, considered by some to be a swing district.  It hasn't elected a Democrat to the House since 1992.  Janesville is located in Rock County, which overwhelmingly voted for the president 61 percent to 38 percent.  Milwaukee County voted for Obama with an even greater margin of 67 percent to 32 percent, but Ryan's district only carves out a small portion of that area.  Republicans also outnumber democrats 52 percent to 48 percent, which is hardly a fair fight for any challenger of Ryan's.

 So the question is did Paul Ryan admit that his district is gerrymandered or that his excuse as to why he lost the election is bogus?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Prediction: Obama 303, Romney 235

Earlier in the night, The Midnight Review analyzed the polls and came up with the prediction that President Obama would win re-election with 303 electoral votes.  This is assuming that Obama carries swing states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa, while also taking Wisconsin (the west coast is presumably solid Democratic territory and it was this blog's belief that Romney would sweep the bible belt and lose New Hampshire despite conservative predictions).

Fox News, Conservatives Already Start Disputing Election

Today is election day and it isn't looking good for Romney.  Statisticians place Obama as a favorite and polling suggests that while nationally it may be a dead heat, Obama is winning where it counts - in the Electoral College.  That is why conservatives are using every play in their voter suppression handbook to try and come out on top.  Earlier in the week, they pointed to super storm Sandy as ruining Mitt Romney's momentum, and then started trying to whittle away at what they believe to be Democratic voters.

First, Dan Froomkin reported for The Huffington Post that Republican poll watchers have been dispatched to primarily minority-dominant precincts to dispute votes cast by what they believe to be fraudsters.
Poll watchers from groups ostensibly targeting voter fraud are headed primarily to minority voting precincts on Election Day, lending support to the argument that their real goal is to suppress the African-American and Latino vote.

A partial list of precincts targeted by a Pittsburgh Tea Party group working on behalf of the Republican Party shows that nearly 80 percent of the voters in those precincts are African-American, compared to 13 percent countywide, according to civil rights and union groups who on Monday called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

An Ohio political blog is reporting that forms submitted to election officials by Tea Party spin-off group True the Vote in Franklin County -- which includes Columbus -- show poll watchers heading to 28 precincts, where most voters are African-American. Overall, the county electorate is 20 percent African-American.

"We've been concerned from the beginning that the efforts of True the Vote and aligned groups were going to be targeted largely in communities of color," said Eric Marshall, manager of legal mobilization for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "We've seen in the past where these kinds of tactics can lead to intimidation and harassment of voters."

A potentially even greater concern now is that the groups will use the voter challenge process "for the express purpose of creating lines and confusion," Marshall said.

Prohibitively long lines, particularly where Democrats are in the majority, are a net plus for Republicans; extraordinarily long lines for early voting in South Florida resulted from Republican Gov. Rick Scott's rollback of early voting days there.
Then conservative organizations have started filing complaints because of anonymous allegations that some unions are forcing illegal immigrants to vote.  Fox News had this story of course:
Just hours before voters go to the polls in the battleground state of Nevada, a national group has announced it plans to file a complaint regarding illegal immigrants purportedly being allowed to vote.

ALIPAC, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, based in Raleigh, N.C., sent the Nevada secretary of state an email outlining its intention.

"We want to stop the felonious thefts of American elections," says William Gheen, ALIPAC's president.

Gheen points to a commentary published in Sunday's Las Vegas Review Journal. In it, editorial writer Glenn Cook accuses the Culinary Union 226 of knowingly registering illegal immigrants and then pressured them to vote.

Cook quotes an unidentified illegal immigrant who is on the Clark County voter rolls. The person claims a union representative told them they were "in so much trouble" for refusing to vote.
Are these signals of desperation from a fledgling campaign?  Blatant forms of voter suppression?